The Fat Girl Running Version 2.0

I started a new chapter in my life this month.  It was hard and exciting but I did it.  I joined the world of self publishing and the result of all my tears, hours on the computer and a million questions to #soulmate comes out on July 12.  We all know I have been missing from the publishing world for about 6 months and I actually have not been blogging as much (which is going to change as well).  It was hard to figure out what to do after my publisher died and they closed the doors abruptly, leaving all of us authors with no way to continue.  But, I did it.  I self published a better version of Book 1.  I feel a little like the way a book must feel if you crack its spine (you monsters who do that).  A little broken and a little relieved.  I never knew as a writer/blogger that it could be so painful at times, but it really is.  And this whole self publishing thing?  Kind of scary and I feel like half the time I have no idea what in the heck I am doing to be honest. But what came out of this process is a new and improved version of me.  The Fat Girl Running version 2.0 I guess you could say. Let’s talk about how I came to be this new version.

You see, after my publisher Boss Bean died, I was stuck.  Stuck without a way to get books, my files or even the rights to my cover art.  So I was at the beginning.  I actually had to cancel book signings because I was unable to get any copies of my books and I was so very frustrated.  I was determined to not pull out of Book Bonanza though.  For those of you unaware, Book Bonanza is one of the BIGGEST signings around and I was actually invited to be an attending author.  Me.  Little old me.  Six months of no contact from the publishing company and I decided enough was enough and looked for my files myself.  I am glad I was able to find all my files for books 1-4 on my computer.  There was a pint where I couldn’t find Book 1 and I was entertaining the thought of retyping out the entre thing from a hard copy I managed to have.  That made me cry for sure.  No really.  Ask #soulmate.  I cried.  Then I found the file and I cried with relief.  Files being found, I could proceed.

First of all, I needed an editor.  All of this stuff my publisher did for me before so I had no idea what it all entailed.  Luckily, I had an editor recommended to me that was willing to take me on.  That was the hard part.  You see, most of my author friends are romance authors and we all know I am far from that.  Before I could send the books off to an editor, I needed to go through them all and revise things, self edit, take out chapters and add new content.  That alone made me want to pull my hair out.  You see, part of me cringed over some of my older writing.  It just sounded like a four-year old came in and wrote down some gibberish.  I mean, how did you all actually stand to read it?  Wait.  Are you all just real life stalkers?  Because that would be cool.  Unless you are SOTL Man.  Then that would not be cool.  It would be slightly terrifying.  But I digress.

Once I got the books sent to an editor, I needed to also line up a formatter and a cover designer.  Seriously, I cannot thank my author friends enough for all their help in this direction either.  Oh yeah.  I also had to figure out what to do for my cover.  I wanted to cry and be angry at the same time.  Have we ever talked about what an indecisive person I really am? I finally decided to do something completely out of my comfort zone and put myself on the cover.  It made me want to throw up in my mouth a little, but I called a local photographer and decided to do a photo shoot.

Can we discuss how awkward that was?  I mean I am as awkward as it comes and then put me in front of a camera?  Oh my heck.  I cannot even imagine some of the photos she must have gotten.  There were definitely some gems for sure.  There had to be knowing me.  My photographer was a genius.  She made me do things I thought was stupid.  In fact, the one pose I thought was going to look so dumb is actually the cover.  Huh. Guess she knew what she was doing. We both were laughing a lot during the shoot and I think that helped me relax and be myself a little more than I would have otherwise.  The pictures were all so cute that it was hard for my cover designer to actually pick just one.  But we managed and all of a sudden, I was excited.  Excited to try this whole self publishing thing because my new covers are the cutest.  And a little sassy.

The new cover?  It is everything you guys. 

Book edited?  Check.  Cover concept?  Check.  Cover designed?  Check.  Formatted?  Check.  Next step?  Actually get it set up to publish both in paperback form and e-book in time for Book Bonanza on July 19. Ack. Biggest signing of my life and I didn’t have books for it. But with the help of #soulmate, I got it all set up and approved by the all mighty Amazon.  Paperbacks of Book 1 AND 2 are actually sitting in my kitchen in boxes right now.  Because the lucky people who come see me at Book Bonanza get a sneak peek of Book 2 and a chance to get it early (that one comes out in August).  Now for those of you familiar with my books, these are revamped editions of the old ones with new content, formatting, editing and the like.  I mean I would get them just for the covers alone.  So, if you want, the pre-order is already live and the book goes live on July 12.  In case you need it, here is the link:  Climbing Off the Couch

I still might cry on Thursday because this is the first time I am doing this all on my own and boy do I miss Boss Bean.  But I know she would approve and love the direction I am going this time.  And once again, my books will be available for you guys.  In fact, they are better versions of the old ones.  It really was a little bit what I can only imagine giving birth is like, except without the gross bodily fluids.  Because let’s be honest.  People coming out of other people is gross.  Lots of sweat, tears and love went into this new version of my books and I really hope that maybe a few of you pick them up and stalk me.  Let’s just hope SOTL Man doesn’t blow up my cover into a poster to hang in his house.  Creeper.

Oh yeah. I didn’t die today.  I did, however, venture into self publishing and have a book releasing this week, but I didn’t die.  I am the Fat Girl Running version 2.0 and I hope you love it as much as I do.  The experiment continues…

The Holidays Are Just A Date On The Calendar

It is coming up on holiday season faster than I even realized as I sat in a scheduling meeting the other day at work where we were discussing the holiday working schedule.  It is about this time of year that I get super frustrated with people.  Not because of the holidays themselves but because of people’s attitudes surrounding the holidays and working.  The holidays are just a date.  A time to celebrate family.  But is does not have to be exactly on that date  Just ask those of us that are in professions where working holidays is expected.

Every year around the holidays, It never fails that I will see a bunch of memes or posts on social media about the “poor retail worker” that has to work the holidays.  How everyone has a “right” to have the holidays off to spend with their family.  Let’s talk about this.  Having worked in a profession for the last 20 years that has to work holidays, I find these posts dumb.  No, I won’t feel sorry for the “poor retail worker” who has to work holidays.  I won’t feel sorry for anyone who has to work holidays.  Why?  Because to those of us that work the holidays the day is just that…a date on the calendar.

Now, before you get your chonies in a twist, let me explain.  The point of holidays is to spend it with your loved ones, right?  Well, celebrate on a different day if you have to work.  Thanksgiving dinner can be on a different day.  Christmas can be on a different day. Yes, it can.  I know plenty of people who have to work the holidays whose families celebrate Christmas on a different day.  If Christmas church service is important to you, then you try to arrange to go to a service that works around your schedule.  I look at my church schedule and find one that works for me and I work night shift  Yup.  That’s right, I never miss Christmas mass because my church has more than one service.  Sometimes it means going on Christmas Eve at like 4 pm and then go to work, but I go with my family.  We celebrate Christmas whenever we can all get together and usually with my Mom that means the week before because all of us work the holidays and she lives 2 hours away.  But we make our own celebration.  Every year, my Bubby and I Skype Christmas with Seester who lives in Texas and we have to arrange when we can do it because all of us here and her husband work holidays.  You can make it work.  You just have to realize that the holiday is just a date on the calendar.  Make it your own. Your family really can adapt. As for kids, they really do not care what day they open presents or on what day Santa comes.  Let’s be real…they are in it for the loot.

Skype Christmas is so much fun!

As for the “poor retail worker”,  nope I don’t feel sorry for them one bit.  Maybe it’s because before I became a nurse, I worked in other industries that had to work holidays as well.  So lets take a moment and realize how many people work the holidays.  The hotels you stay at when traveling to your family or while visiting family?  Those workers all work the holidays.  The gas you put in your car to drive to Grandma’s house?  The gas station is manned by people working the holidays.  Some people don’t like to cook on the holidays and would prefer to go to a buffet or a restaurant.  Those workers are all working.  When you forget the rolls for Thanksgiving and run out to get them at the grocery store?  It’s open because people are working.  Those trips you plan around the holidays to Disneyland or some other destination?  The airlines and resort staff are working to make sure you get where you need and your holiday is perfect.  When there are car wrecks because of all the tired drivers?  You can thank all the police, fire fighters, emergency crews and staff at the hospitals that are working that day to save your loved ones.  Hospitals don’t close on the holidays.  We are open 24/7/365.  We work holidays to help your loved ones get better.  We give up time with our families to take care of yours.  We lack sleep a lot of time to spend time with our loved ones on a different day because we make our own holidays and it is just fine.  Some of us don’t mind working the holidays. We like making the overtime or we just like making holidays special for those who might feel like crap or who are traveleing.  Pocket Fiance says working Christmas morning at the hotel she works at is her favorite. I love working Christmas Eve and wrapping presents for the kids who are patients and leaving them in their rooms in the middle of the night so that Santa came to see them.  There are a lot of us who work the holidays.  So, no I don’t feel sorry for retail workers.  At all.

Stop with the memes and posts about the “poor retail worker” working and how they should be with their families.  How about posts and thanks to all of us that do work the holidays?  How about a smile and thank you when you see us working hard on the holidays?  Yes, sometimes we would rather be with our families too (or not as the case may be) on the holidays, but there we are working.  So take the time this holiday season to make a post thanking all those of us working.  That is a better use of your time.  Nurses around the world will thank you.  Hell all of us in different industries that work the holidays will thank you.  End rant.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did pick my own holiday dates to celebrate with my family because of work but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl proud to be a nurse who works the holidays and makes her holidays a different day Running.  The experiment continues…