Friday, March 20, 2015

Celebrate: Coffee & Freebies!


This week I'm celebrating:
1)  Coffee, coffee, and more coffee.  (Cups per day inversely proportionate to hours of sleep per night.  Yes, I resemble the cat in the picture. No, I don't foresee it changing anytime soon.)
2)  Creating a new pen name "L.X. Cain" for the adult Horror short stories, novellas, and novels I'll be self-pubbing in the next year.  The initials hide my gender.  Most Horror buyers are men, and they aren't enthused about buying Horror written by women.  (Same situation for Sci-Fi authors.  Didn't you know?  Women "can't write" Sci-Fi or Horror.  They're only good at Romance, Fantasy, and Paranormal.)
3)  I revised and created a cover for my short story called "Biggun."  It was sold to an anthology 5 yrs ago and now needed serious revisions.  The writing of 5-Years-Ago-Me made Today-Me cringe. 
4)  Setting up new FB and Gmail accounts for "L.X. Cain." Surprisingly, this was the biggest problem. It's "LX Cain" on FB now because they won't allow normal initials in a name. My first acct attempt gave me "L.x. Cain" -- and that looked like a typo.  What author wants everyone thinking their acct name contains a TYPO??  Yeah, that would inspire reader confidence.  (Lots of people complain on the forums about this.  No one can change it.)  I had to delete that acct, then FB needed a new Gmail acct to make another new acct.  So I made a new Gmail acct and deleted the old one.  Google said it "Detected Suspicious Activity" on my accts and FROZE THEM ALL!  I had to give them my phone number to get an SMS verification to prove I'm really me!  Google and FB (and Amazon) are the faceless dictators taking over the world.
5)  On tons of caffeine and almost no sleep for the past 5 days, I powered through novel revisions, short story revisions, making a cover for the short story from free images, downloading fonts and syncing them with my GIMP photoshop, writing critiques for CPs, finding this week's Foxy's Freebies, writing this post, researching my newsletter for Writing.Com, promoting the 99-cent sale of Soul Cutter (Mar 16-31), and the hell that descended while setting up new accts for FB and Gmail.  But I did it!!!!  


How do you feel about your old writing (or your old artistic projects)?  Ever had problems dealing with FB and Google?


My kind and wonderful co-hosts of Celebrate the Small Things are:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Celebrate The Small Things Sign-Up Linky:



Grab the Linky html-code here:



 Celebrate the Small ThingsTo be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is put your name on the linky list on Lexa's Blog, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLit)



Foxy's Friday Freebies!

Foxy has been nosing around the net
When she finds great FREE STUFF, she'll feature it on Fridays Freebies posts -
  • Free short stories, novellas, and novels
  • Giveaways for books and swag
  • Free services for authors


Here are Foxy's suggestions for March 20, 2015:

Free $25 Amazon Gift Card – To celebrate the release of Shy Kind of Love (NA Romance) by Deanna Eshler, she’s giving away a $25 gift card for Amazon via rafflecopter on Books Freebies and Giveaways blog. (ends April 3)

Free $20 Amazon Gift Card – To celebrate the release of My Wolf Fighter (Paranormal Romance) by Rose Wynters, she’s giving away a $20 gift card for Amazon via rafflecopter on Books Freebies and Giveaways blog. (ends April 1)

Free ANY Paperback or eBook Released in Mar 2015 – Win and you get to pick your choice of any book releasing in March 2015 up to $20. Read the rules and click the rafflecopter link at the bottom of the post on My Homemade Library blog. (ends Mar 30)

Free Choice of 1 of 4 Novels – Five chances to win your choice of 1 of 4 novels (An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, Forged by Erin Bowman, Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking, or Every Last Promise by Kristin Halbrook). Just read the rules, follow simple instructions, and post a comment on Brittany’s Book Rambles blog. (ends April 1)


For Foxy's other Freebies, go to the Freebie page.

If anyone has a FREE short story (for download or online at a free ezine), novella, novel, special giveaway, or author service, please let Foxy know so she can plug you here!  Write to: laura.6eg(at)gmail.com

55 comments:

Dixie@dcrelief said...

As I was reading this I began to hyperventilate. I think I may need a cup of coffee before I go to bed.

Facebook has three people with my name and sometimes it gets a bit hairy. I've had to write them on occasion. They're usually nice enough to ignore me (sigh).

My latest frustration is with my music blog... not writing. Knowing music history is a bonus.

I'm trying to get a portrait finished but the lady doesn't like her skin color and wants it changed.

All I can say is... I'm glad you're still breathing and directing this blog hop! > Two sugars, please (smile).

Heather Holden said...

Mostly men buy horror? Oh, dear, they're going to run away in disgust from my name, then, since I plan to unleash some horror projects in the future, haha. Anyway, congrats on the new pen name! Such a shame that it caused Facebook and Google to hassle you as a result, though. What a headache that must've been!

And LOL, I can relate to all the cringing. I can't even stand to look at art I drew last week, much less art I drew months or years ago!

T.F. Walsh said...

Wow... now I need to take a breather. Now that's a lot going on this week, and you've completed it, which is a massive reason to celebrate. Well done.

Kirsten said...

Sounds like you've been busy! Love the new pen name - very mysterious... ;-)

Kate Larkindale said...

What a week! I think you need a stiff drink, not more coffee… And yes, old stories can make you cringe. But that's good because it means you have improved as a writer.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Froze your accounts? That was nice. I'd say every other day I am asked to verify who I am because of the amount of activity online. You're right, they are taking over.
Funny, I know a lot of really good science fiction writers who are women. I'm sure you'll rock at horror.

Marilyn Parel said...

Google is awful. Got an account full of problems. Love the new pen name. You're right about what the other gender thinks of women horror writers. As busy as you are, I think you deserve all the coffee you can manage!

Winter Moon said...

Mmm, I love the smell of coffee.

Loving your new pen name too.

Have a wonderful weekend, Lexa ♥

L.G. Smith said...

COFFEE!!!! My day's are made infinitely better with coffee. And good for you getting it all done. I'm revising, drafting, and critiquing two projects this week, so I feel ya. Never set up a Facebook account before. I haven't met that particular frustration in real life yet. Lucky me. :)

Emma Adams said...

Wow, sounds like you've been busy! It's really cool that you're self-publishing. :)

I recently found a printed copy of the first manuscript I wrote. I'm so glad I never tried to publish it!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm always up for celebrating coffee. Sounds like you've got a great plan with your pen name.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

I like my old writing in that "Oh, how cute. Look what I did there. That makes no sense but good try" way.

Wow, you've been a powerhouse charged with caffeine.

Who would have thought the hardest part of writing would be to set up an email account!

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

uggh..FB drives me insane with that stuff. And isn't it nuts how women aren't supposed to write other genres well? I found some of my older writing last week and I died lol...it's so embarrassing!

Cathrina Constantine said...

I found you on FB as LX Cain. Sound like being sleep depraved has upped your productivity, but beware of hitting the wall...I did.

Have a great weekend.

Jeff Chapman said...

Writers who change their names and drink lots of coffee are inherently suspicious. : ) I cringe at some of my old writing too. Someone actually bought that? Good luck with your revisions. Get some sleep.

Linda Kay said...

Lexa, I like your idea of how you will promote your thriller stories. Sounds like you are a prolific writer. I'm on my third novel, and I'm spending so much time editing and rereading.

messymimi said...

Yes, the large, faceless corporations are a PITA (pain in the asterisk) to deal with -- good luck!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Ahh. I feel your pain. I had some trouble with a couple of platforms this week, too. I'm still struggling with them, have lost sleep, and still have projects in the "revision" zone. My old writing has gems in the midst of mess. I'm going to revise an old short story of mine this month and re-pub it in April (if I can get through the other project without tearing out my hair). I'm really glad it's Friday.

Way to go with getting through all the work and the internet difficulties!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Oh, and yes, I've heard that we (women) supposedly can't write scifi or horror. I have an scifi project that I might just publish under a variation of my name because of that.

Cathy said...

You got so much done, glad you had COFFEE to keep you going!

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Wow, it sounds like you did a month's worth of work in five days! That's some coffee. I like your new pen name. I find Facebook scary and don't venture onto it as often as I probably should. The same with Google. And, yes, I've had some of those "ugh, I wrote that?" moments, too.

Sharon Marie Himsl said...

Reading this I just wanted to say, Breathe, Lexa, breathe. You are doing so much. And darn Google....Grr, they really can be frustrating. Can't live with, can't live without. Didn't know that horror genre was mostly read by guys, so the initials make sense. You learn something every day. Hope you get a break or two this weekend :) Keep smiling!

Suzanne Furness said...

Reading pieces of old writing makes me cringe too. Just shows how much we are learning all the time which is a great thing to celebrate. I don't drink coffee, I love the smell but can't stand the taste! Weirdly though I like coffee cake!

Happy weekend and best of luck with all your new writing ventures.

Stephen Hayes said...

They should change those words to: Life, liberty and the pursuit of coffee!

Kim Graff said...

Wow, you sound so busy! And I agree—google, amazon, all of them are silently taking of the world. Just imagine the horror if Google and Amazon teamed up. We'd all be doomed.

PlanetKimberly said...

Wow! I didn't know that in this day and age that women still had to use initials to hide their gender. That is so sad! But your name is so cool that I think even men would buy your sci fi stories.

I'm glad you made it through your busy week! My car problem was trivial compared to your gmail problem. What a nightmare!

Caffe Maggieato said...

I'm with you on celebrating coffee. Can't live without them, even if it makes us walking zombies eventually! Wow that was some harrowing experience with google and FB. Glad you got all that sorted out. Have a great weekend!

Tanya Miranda said...

#4... I actually feel for you. They are the dictators of all things internet. Heaven forbid you mistype an account name and try to fix it. It's a digital scarlet letter with those folks.

L.G. Keltner said...

That's the same reason I go by L.G. instead of Laura. And YAY for coffee!

Cherdo said...

Finding a good email name is a total hassle. One of the reason I used my nickname on the blog is because it doesn't mean anything (other than the fact that a toddler can't pronounce "Cheryl") and thus was easy to nail down.

DMS said...

Making, deleting, and recreating accounts can be exhausting. I got locked out of my email and it took me two days to get back in because they said I needed to physically speak to someone at customer service and one day I was on hold for 40 minutes! I was pulling my hair out. I appreciate the lookout for suspicious activity, but sometimes it is just me. :)

Your new horror writing name sounds great. I didn't realize that about the horror market.

Have a great weekend!
~Jess

Gina Stoneheart said...

Coffee only helps me after one cup in the wee hours of the morning. After that, I think I become immune to it because I could seriously nap a few hours later!
I love your pen name "L.X." I think you are very smart in doing this! Congrats on all of the work you are getting done.
Sorry I have been MIA. I am back next week!

Shah Wharton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shah Wharton said...

Wow! You rock!

I toyed with the idea of have a different name for horror projects as well as the one I'm planning for my erotic romance, but flip me, it's a ball ache. And you just proved that. Plus, I've built a platform already, why should I build THREE in the slim hope men judge me worth reading. Especially as those who have read my horror loved it? This comes under the 'can't be aXXed' pile.

Sorry, can you tell this vexes me *Blush!

Regarding old writing. Hell yeah, I wish I never published my first novel, and I cringe when I think of finishing the series. I may never finish it because I started it before I knew what was doing.

Group cringe?

Rewriting old stories is fun though, because I can take a muddy gem and turn it into something shiny :)

As for the caffeine reliance: I have Hashimoto's and my doctor is refusing to properly medicate me, so I'm in a permanent sleepy fog. Tea is my only chance of staying upright. Groan.

Well done on getting so much done. You're awesome!

shahwharton.com

Lara Lacombe said...

Holy cow--you need a break! Sounds like you got a ton of stuff done though, and that's always worth celebrating! :)

Jocelyn Rish said...

Dang, lady, you've been super busy! Hope you get some good sleep soon. It's a shame that you had to go to all that trouble for a new pen name because of sexism, but I will admit that L.X. Cain has a scary kind of look to it that will look awesome on a horror cover.

Munir said...

Coffee has a very nice smell. I cannot drink it though. Gives me palpitation.

Laura Clipson said...

Sounds like you got a lot done this week! It sucks that we have to resort to pen names to write horror and sci-fi.

JeffO said...

That sounds like BIG things, not small!

I don't know why men are so stupid about what women can and can't do. We can be pretty dense, sometimes.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

It must be contagious. So many writers I know are creating pen names and self-publishing. I've been thinking about trying it, but it sounds like a lot of work.
Yes, I've been looking through some of my older work. What was I thinking? I hope to revise some of it and submit, or maybe self publish, like everyone else is doing.
I love the kittie.
Good luck to you with your new adventures.

Medeia Sharif said...

I cringe reading my old stories. I'm always improving, which makes me look at my old writing and wonder what I was thinking.

I've had those coffee-filled weeks.

I've read amazing horror by women. I wish stereotypes didn't exist. We know about more than romance.

Cathy Keaton said...

Oh, yeah! I cringe at my old stories and laugh my butt off. Sometimes I can see the kernel of what made it good, though, even if my writing was atrocious. I know I'm going to be thinking this about what I'm writing today 5 years from now, and that bugs me! I don't want to be cringing at my work of today, but, of course I will be. :(

Kelley said...

I've rediscovered caffeine, as well. YUM!
Congrats on the new identity! It's very cool to have another writing persona, although challenging to maintain if you want to keep them separate. I've flagged in maintaining my other literary me.

Best to you!

Inge H. Borg said...

Oh, Lexa. It may be time to take your fingers out of the electrical socket. I know Egypt uses 220 - that'll give you some whammy (I know from when I lived in Europe).

Other than that, 'You go, girl!'

Jennifer Hawes said...

I toyed with a pen name. I've been thinking along those lines--getting the boys to buy your books:) Jennifer is too nice of a name someone told me once! Ha.

TheCyborgMom said...

I got anxiety just reading about your techie challenges! Ugh! I hate computer stuff. I want everything to be easy peasy :) Glad you got it all worked out. Thanks again for hosting!

Jay Noel said...

Good idea on the pen name. It's stupid, but necessary. Us guys are pretty judgmental.

Thanks for the heads up too, on FB. It seems there's been an increase on fake personas popping up of people I'm already friends with asking for new friend requests.

Kim Lajevardi said...

Coffee good. Facebook bad. :) It sounds like Horror and Sci-Fi readers need to stop farting around with out-dated notions and just enjoy the books. Hmph... Get some rest, Lex. I look forward to reading your zombie piece. I'll probably spend the entire read holding my head to protect my brains, but your writing is worth it. ;)

Peaches D. Ledwidge said...

You do have a lot going on, just hope your eyes are not really popping out the cat.

So you're treading in a man's domain - you can do it.

cleemckenzie said...

I can't begin to talk about "old writing" without considering seppuku. Really. My early writing is an embarrassment.

Yet, last month I did "mouth to mouth" with a ms and, throwing caution and sanity to the winds, have sent the revision to my crit group.

Can't wait for the knives to arrive.

Vanessa Morgan said...

I never really knew that being a woman might actually hurt the sales of my horror stories. By the way, I'm really looking forward to your new writings.

TBM said...

It is painful and funny to reread something we wrote years ago. Hopefully I improve with each project. Sorry about the Facebook/Google problems. They can be a pain and I hate that they have to send an SMS. I don't like giving out my phone number, but they insist. So frustrating.

Loni Townsend said...

Wow, that sounds like a trial with the accounts. Glad you got it figured out. And at least Google was trying to protect your account from being hacked. That's gotta get them some kudos, right? ;)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Women can't write... I heard that before, oh yeah-- back in the early 90s. I promised myself when I published I'd write under J Nowell Butler so men didn't think they were getting screwed. 18 years later when I did get published I changed my mind after hearing somewhere that women actually can write. I figured anyone who still believed that could go screw themselves. LOLLOL

lifepostbrainhemorrhage said...

Hey Lexa! I have more problems with FB than I do with Google, but it is what it is. I've missed you so! Sorry I've been away from the 'puter, but I will under the weather for a few weeks.

Thanks for everything you always do, and especially the freebies. Love you! Eva

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