bee darling: a blog

Olivia singing - an excerpt  

An excerpt from my work in progress:  

I let my lids fall closed, and I remembered hours before when I sat on the stump by the river.  Alone and at peace.  Then I opened my mouth, and even though I could have sworn I forgot the words, they came out. 

Denver joined my voice first, long dulcet fiddle tones harmonizing with me.  Then Beau came in on the bass, sure and steady, giving me an anchor.  I belted it out, keeping my eyes closed, and letting the song carry me.  Dominic and Cotton layered their instruments into the song, making it even more beautiful.  Time stilled, held me in its hands while I sang, then started up again when I finally opened my eyes.

I've been working on a sequel for The Guilt of a Sparrow, featuring Denver MacKenna and Olivia Hamilton.  In this scene Olivia sings for the MacKenna boys at Denver's request.

Working title is The Weight of a Choice, but I have a feeling it will change as I continue working.  

on marketing, promotion, and the work of being an author  

This is something authors discuss on the regular.  At least the ones I know; the ones self-published or signed with an Indie publisher.  Upon putting your book into the world, the focus isn't on the writing, it's all about marketing.  

What is marketing? 

According to Google, it's the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.  

You guys know what my degree is in?  Dental hygiene.  Not marketing.  

Want to know what my life experience is?  Staying home with my kids.  This makes me good at time management and multi-tasking, but not marketing.  

(My childhood best friend got her degree in marketing, which has been helpful).  

The action or business of promoting.  Ah, yes, putting yourself and your work out there.  

Promotion is defined as activity that supports or provides active encouragement for the furtherance of a cause, venture, or aim.  

My first step, back in December, when I signed my publishing contract but had no clue when my book would be out, was to create an online presence.  Facebook author page.  Twitter profile.  Instagram profile.  Then to post across all three on a regular basis.  About what?  This is tricky in the beginning when you don't have a book cover, a release date, or anything of substance to share.  Plus which people don't want to be bogged down with an author constantly begging you to buy her book.  An element of your personal life must exist, or the persona you've created to sell your books - probably some mix of these.  

Now I'm six months into the process, my book comes out in less than two weeks, and I'm floundering.  I've run Facebook ads - which were not helpful in the least.  An Instagram ad - which got a lot of likes, but didn't sell any books.  I'm active on Twitter and Goodreads.  I've joined author groups (where we help promote one another), reader groups (where I can promote my own books), and tried to put myself out there. 

I'm an introvert.  A true introvert.  Doing all this online isn't as horrible as it will be in person.  I've been sitting on a box of bookmarks for ages, too timid to bring them to local stores and ask to leave a stack.  

I have two signings happening in less than a month.  Admittedly, I have NO clue what I'll do at either.  I imagine myself sitting there being awkward and counting the minutes until I can leave.  Although I'd rather have a hoard of fans, sign dozens of books, have the guts to read a portion of The Guilt of a Sparrow out loud, and walk away feeling a success.  (Maybe I'll strike a balance somewhere in the middle!!) 

I love Canva.  It's such a fun website, and I've had a good time creating all sorts of promotional images.  I like combining colors, fonts, and pictures to share.  Is it enough?  I don't know.  

If you have any ideas on marketing/promotion, please let me know.  I'm open to ideas - in fact I'm starved for them.  

With love, Jess B. Moore 

on feeling pretty  

Have you seen the new movie, I Feel Pretty?  

I went with friends to see it last night.  Wow.  I can not recommended enough that you go watch this movie.  My husband wants to see it too - he sees how important it is.  

If you haven't seen it, the premise is that Renee doesn't consider herself beautiful.  She struggles with self-esteem and confidence.  Not approaching the bar to order drinks.  Not applying for her dream job.  Sure that no one will like her.  Then she hits her head - during spin class - and wakes up stunned by herself.  She hasn't changed.  The actress playing the part admits that she didn't look in that mirror and pretend she was thin, or any different than she actually looks, that she saw herself for who she was and fell in love.  You see how different it is for her to interact with people, putting herself out there.  The way she wears her clothes, without tugging and adjusting.  The way she carries herself.  Including applying for and getting the job.  I won't say more as not to include spoilers.  

Nothing changed except the way she saw herself.  Nothing changed except her confidence.  

Sounds simple, no?  

I've started looking at myself and not seeking out flaws, instead loving the soft tummy, loving the crooked smile, loving every inch of myself.  I've started wearing the clothes I like without worrying if the shorts are too short or if my arms are too flabby.  I've bought a two piece swim suit - modest because that is my preference - but quirky and not matronly.  I don't look at food and think good/bad in terms of what will make me fat, but instead thinking good/bad in terms of health and taste.  

I'm weird.  A nerdy introvert.  A tattooed liberal.  An over-thinking overly-cautious careful type.  Nice.  I try to be thoughtful.  I crack myself up sometimes with my goofy hilarity.  I paint.  I write.  I knit.  Mostly I mother, and if my kids can't come, I don't want to go.  I'm open minded and forgiving.  

I am so much more than my weight, my clothing size, my face.  I don't have to dress a certain way.  I don't owe you a smile.  
 


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To find out more about my upcoming debut novel, The Guilt of a Sparrow, check it out on Amazon.  

 

I love bees.  I love the easy play on words they provide.  They pollinate the world and our lives depend on them.  Save the bees!  

Bee Yourself!  

 

With love, 

Jess B 

no rules 

I won't pretend that I'll be a successful blogger, though that depends how I personally define success.  I plan to update weekly, which will likely never happen, as I'm swamped with other obligations.  The best case scenario is I'll update when I feel like it, which might be multiple times a day, or not at all.  

When I sat down to write yesterday, it was to find I didn't want to do it.  Not that I didn't want to write, but that I didn't want to work on what I was supposed to be writing.  

Let's break that down, shall we.  Supposed to.  Says who?  Me, I guess.  I'm the one running the show and making the decisions.  Such is the life of a writer.  Yes, I have a wonderful publisher, but they haven't asked me to write anything specific.  Or to write at all.  They're pleased with the two books they've gotten from me, both of which will be released this year.  It's all me.  I said I would write sequels to these books, make them series, trilogies what have you.

It feels forced.  I've been trying for months to shape it into something I want to do, but end up flailing around and procrastinating.  

Yesterday I sat down at my laptop - in our sunroom, so I was nearly outside enjoying the birds and squirrels and pollen laden breeze - and I told myself, "there are no rules."  Then I wrote what I wanted.  I crafted a new story about a girl/woman hiking on her own, going off the trail following a bunny, getting lost, then being found by a man who takes her to his residence hidden deep never to be found.  This isn't a horror, don't worry.  It's a sort of maybe romance.  But mostly it's a forest and a girl and a family that is both good and bad.  

What are you working on?  Are you following the rules?