Monday, March 14, 2016

Suck it up, Buttercup!

“What would you like to do for the promo?”

That was the question I’d been dreading when my publisher and I (well, mostly the publisher. Like, 99% mostly. Okay, all of it.) setup the three -week March promo for The Distant Shore.
I hear her say that, and I hear in my head the answer she wants: Write blog posts.
I hate blogging. I’m sorry, I know I’m not supposed to say that, but it’s the hard, cold truth. I hate blogging. 
Every time I say this—mostly uttered in a pathetic, whiny voice while I’m sprawled across the desk like a bored cat—the publisher gives me this very stern glance over the rim of her glasses and says, “Suck it up, buttercup.”
No matter how much I groan and howl, she can be very firm and somehow makes me do things. 
Anyway–this time, I said, “How about I record a video of me reading from the book?”
Did I really suggest that? Had I lost my mind?

It took me three days to work up my nerve.
Is there anything worse than staring at your own face while you try to sound calm, cool, and collected? Because, seeing yourself, and hearing yourself on a screen is the most normal, boring thing ever. Right?
So there I was. My mug of coffee was my only friend in this horrible moment of lonely terror. I’m not a makeup wearer, but my hair looked great.
I looked at my mirror image and decided that lipstick would be a good idea. Yes, I do own a lipstick, and it’s a very nice one, from a Japanese luxury cosmetics company. It was very expensive. But it’s really nice. 

Here’s the thing. I should have gotten up from my desk chair and gone to find a mirror to apply that rather dark lippy. As it was, the result of trying to put it on with the computer screen as a mirror didn’t go well. 
Trying to remove the  lipstick from my mouth with a tissue was even worse. 
Now I had a big red smudge all around my lips, and it made me look like someone had hit me or I’d eaten too many raspberries. After washing my face (actually scrubbing it comes closer to the truth) I had to wait until my irritated skin calmed down.

I started recording. Stumbled over my own tongue. Started over. Like, ten times over.
On the eleventh take I stopped caring if I stumbled over a word or not and just plowed through. YAY! I’d done it! I had recorded an author book reading! And I’d not messed up like a complete idiot either.

Uploading it to Youtube and sharing it to twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest seemed like the sweet treat after a chore well done. I sat back and waited for comments. For praise and joy at how well I’d done. 

“Would have loved to watch and hear, but there’s no sound.”
What? I’d just spent an entire morning on this, and there’s no sound?
Of course I hadn't checked. 
Dudes, it’s hard enough to watch yourself read once while you record. But watch it again? No way. 
I still haven’t figured out why there was no sound. Sigh. 

This was supposed to be a gleaming, beautiful blog post about the joy of doing a virtual author reading, about how easy it is, and how easily I dealt with it. 
Well, it’s not. Because I failed. Miserably. 

Suck it up, buttercup. 

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