I Suck At Endings

And coming from a romance author, that’s kinda…well, not a good thing, is it?

My story endings tend to be more Happy For Now rather than Happily Ever After. I’ve tried writing HEA’s but they don’t feel genuine to me. That, too, coming from a romance author isn’t a good thing, is it?

There’s a strict definition of romance and it’s centered around the idea of a Happily Ever After. I even have a couple signs in my office that say Happily Ever After. That’s the aspiration for me at time, I think. But as all writing does, mine shifts and changes and gets closer to HEA’s and gets farther away from them, too.

I don’t like endings. Not in books, not in movies, not in television shows, not in my favorite band’s careers, not in life. Ending scare me. Endings mean change. Endings mean finality. Endings, happy or sad, leave me with a sense of…loss.

My first memory of an ending came when I was a kid, kindergarten, and my father sitting on the side of the bed in my parent’s bedroom. He was upset and that’s my last memory of him as my father. After that, he became someone else’s father and someone else’s husband. I saw him a couple times after that, but it was never the same. I was never the same.

When I would leave my grandparent’s home at the end of every summer growing up, I would cry because what if it was the end? What if something happened and I never saw them again? I’d cry at the beginning of summer, too, when my mom would drop me off with my grandparents because what if it was the end? What if I never saw her again?

Friendships. Relationships. I either stay longer than is healthy because I can’t handle the thought of ending something. Maybe I should try harder. Maybe I haven’t done enough, given enough. But there’s another side of it, too. There’s the side that says I’m going to do the leaving. I’m going to do the hurting. I’m going to do the ending because it won’t destroy me as much if I’m the one who controls it. None of it is healthy or easy. It’s all fucking hard as shit. It’s all growth and acknowledgement. It’s all confrontation of myself and my fears that I’m not worth, that I’m not enough, that I’m not lovable, that even as a child I wasn’t lovable. It’s a thing internalized that it wasn’t a thing between my parents, but that it was a thing with me. After all, he married someone else and had a son with her and they stayed married, are still married.

This fear of endings followed me all through childhood and teen years and young adult and new adult and now I’m 49… And guess what? I still hate endings. I still cry with big change, little change. When one thing is ending. When transitions are happening. And there are things happening in my personal life right now that are ending and changing and transitioning and shifting forward and back and I’m an emotional mess over all of it. Even knowing these days would come, these changes, these transitions. Even knowing… I’m still just…

Expecting an ending isn’t the same as being prepared for it and how this translates to my writing is… Hell, if I know. I don’t write good endings. I write them well, either. I kind of just…end them. Like there’s something more coming after, like the middle or beginning of another scene. Like it’s not really over. And I know that’s because I suck at endings, I hate endings, I’m fucking scared of endings, whether someone else ends a thing or I end a thing. You can never go back once it’s done. You can never get it back once it’s over. At least that’s how it is in my head. It’s final. It’s unchangeable. And I do realize that my view of endings is skewed based on my earliest memory of one. I’ve always been fascinated with Happily Ever After. My favorite story was Cinderella and the Prince who search high and low for her. Of love being the triumph. The Hallmark Happily Ever After is one, too, that fascinates me. But the one that always gets me, that resonates with me, as far as a Hollywood everyone has seen it thing… My Best Friend’s Wedding. The friendship that always was is changing, forever. The friendship that was this way would never be that way again. The unresolved issues will always remain because he’s moving on, his life changed and she’s left with a broken heart and trying to piece a new part of herself together from the emptiness that is now there. Now, I’m the one who sees it that way, but most see it a different way, that’s just how my brain works.

We all process and handle rejection differently. We all handle the way things end or don’t end or change or morph or transition and it’s something that I work on, that I journal on. Sometimes distance helps. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it haunts me and I think for years of what I could have said or done or what I did say or did do… I am a second guesser and that follows me through pretty much everything I do (and I’ll discuss this in another blog).

I think in some ways, this is why we experience book hangovers. Sometimes it’s just the content is just that good, and sometimes it’s the fact that something just that good has come to an epic end. And for me personally, this is sometimes why I avoid reading the last or last few books in a series. I love it so much and I don’t want it to end so I leave it undone. I can go back to it any time at all because I haven’t experienced it yet.

How weird am I?

If you’ve got any thoughts or helpful hints or anything at all, leave a comment. (See, I don’t even know how to end a blog post.)

 

Lissa

 

 

Kindle Unlimited, Pricing Changes, Book Revisions, Etc…

Books and a coffee cup on a windowsill

I spent the better part of yesterday morning changing prices, delisting books at distributors, and making lists of things I want to do with the next few months.

I am putting the majority of my self-published books in Kindle Unlimited for 3 months. You may wonder why and you may not. But the simple fact is that my books aren’t selling anywhere. Not really even at Amazon. It’s worth a try in Kindle Unlimited, but I understand I may make less. Honestly, though, for the last 3 months at other book sellers, I made $11.

The place where I sell most is at Amazon. The books that are selling the best for me and that’s not saying much are the Amazon exclusive Kindle World books. I make more from those 3 than I do from the other 20 something titles I have combined. That’s… I don’t know what that is. Sad. Scary. I… I don’t know.

So, I’m trying Kindle Unlimited with the majority of my self-published titles.

Other titles, I’m pulling off sale for a while to do revisions on and look into new covers for… Masked. Melting Jane.

Love & Tattoos will get revisions, but not a new cover.

And I’ll be adding a revised short to Arresting Holli.

More Than This and Double Up have reverted back to me from Loose Id, so I’ll be revising those and putting them back out sometime late this year or early next year.

I’ve also changed the prices on the books that will be going into Kindle Unlimited. Lowered some. Raised some. Granted, if you’re a member of KU, you pay a set rate and can download for ‘free’. If you’re not a member, but are curious about Kindle Unlimited, you can Sign Up HERE

I do have new books coming. I am getting organized. I am finding my way. I am grateful to all who have stuck by on this weird merry-go-round ride I seem to be on. I love y’all more than words can say.

~lissa

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Sunday Speeds


It’s the last Sunday in January. I’ve been sick. I’ve finished a book that tore my heart out. I’ve walked the equivalent of a 5K and a 10K. I’ve made some decisions and loose plans for my writing this year. I’ve gone to a concert. Read a couple of books. Started a writing weekend thing called 10K Weekends For Writers. I blogged most days. Watched the Rolex24 with my son. Mourned for a few beloved one of a kind men who were totally out of this world entertainers.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad month. I woke up every day. I laughed a lot. I cried a lot. And I still haven’t gotten the hang of writing in my planner every day/week. I’ll get better at it.

The other day I wrote a post about the new book I wrote, Break Me. I love that book. I mean, I really love that book. And if no one else does, that’s okay. I wrote what I wanted to write. I put my heart and soul into it when I hadn’t put my heart and soul into writing in a really long time.

And it felt incredible. Scary as shit. But incredible.

It’s not selling all that great. Maybe if I’d put a different name on the cover it would have, but then, it wouldn’t be my story. Lissa Matthews is me and I’m Lissa Matthews. There’s a reason I chose this name as my pen name and there are reasons I stick with it. I can be stubborn and that’s not always a good thing in this business.

But, with a new year, we’re often open to change, but when it gets hard, we quickly do a 180 and go back to the way we were, to the things we were trying to change in the first place. And the sad thing is, we usually know we’re going to do it, too. I know I’ve wanted to do it. I’ve wanted to go back to the before instead of sticking it out to see the after. Not this year. This year I’m bound (don’t I wish) and determined to see it through, to make the changes I want and stick with them, to try and fail and try and fail and try again. To not give the hell up, but to press the fuck forward.

I’m looking deeper, challenging myself to stay the course when I think going back would be easier. It’s always easier when it’s routine, when we know the outcome already. What’s hard is the unknown. If this, then…? We don’t know the Then… I want to find out.

So, if you’re reading this and you see me start reverting back to the old me, not taking chances with my writing, not saying Fuck You to the things and people that don’t serve a purpose in the grand scheme, you have permission to call me out. In public, or in our cases, on social media and remind me of this.

I have a voice and I damn well intend to use it.

And now, it’s on to February… What does the month of Love have in store for us?

~lissa