Race Day and Other Thoughts

daytona500_2014It’s here… The 2014 Nascar season. Speedweeks have been going on and there’s been racing on Daytona International Speedway since the end of January, but this is different. It’s always different. Today matters. Points matters. The engines firing matters. Pit stops matter. Where you  end up when the checkered flag waves matters.

I’m a fan and if you know me at all, this is no surprise. I don’t like my driver’s teammates and I don’t like a lot of other drivers out on the track either. What I do like is good hard racing. Single file and falling in line don’t do it for me. I want to see squirrly cars and bumping and banging and rubbin’ is racin’ excitement. Yes it’s 43 cars going left around a track, but what people who don’t watch, who don’t pay attention miss, is the strategy, the radio communications, the teamwork or lack of. If you understand that’s what the race really is, then it’s more than just 43 cars turning left in turns 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Writing a book and pushing the Publish button is about strategy, communication, understanding of the market, teammwork or lack of, understanding of your own strengths, where the high line is and when it’s time to pull out and try another line… I sought some help the other night on this very thing and while I don’t like some of the changes I need to make, in the end, I’ll find myself and what I’m good at. I could do it the publisher way that I was taught for several years and see only mediocre results… Or, I could allow myself to be pushed and shoved and kicked out of my comfort zone and try things a new way. Being that I’m self-publishing more, I’m going to have to let go of what I was taught. This is scary shit, y’all.

Yesterday was my birthday. I’m 43. I’m no closer now to be where I want to be as an author than I was last year at this time when I turned 42. It’s time to shake things up. The books will be the same. Hot, naughty, sexy as sin men. Feisty, strong, curvaceous women. But the branding will be stronger, tighter. We’re going to have fun, even though there will bumps from behind, slams into the walls, maybe even a few tumbles through the air and landing on our heads as we try to figure out this new world. I was comfortable dipping my toe in, but I wasn’t making it anywhere near the new finish line. I wasn’t fighting for it or taking that bow at the end.

It’s time to change and change freaks me out.

I’m re-writing blurbs, changing keywords, looking differently at categories, and re-covering some books to match this new world to look sharper and hotter. We’ll be experimenting a lot, too.

Let’s go get that checkered flag!

~lissa

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep. That’s right. It’s my birthday. Or rather, it’s my real persona’s birthday but she allows me as Lissa Matthews to share it too. 😉

I am taking today off from writing. I always take my birthday off. I will do a little shopping. Some coffee drinking. I will indulge in a birthday cake from my favorite store along with some of my favorite foods. I will spend the weekend having fun, relaxing, indulging, and watching the season’s first Nascar races.

I typically spend a week celebrating, or a month, but I have been terribly busy this year so far trying to get new books written, older books finished, and interesting new ideas percolating. I have one story under contract already and one that I’m waiting to hear back on. There will be at least 3 releases by late Spring and I’m very excited about that, with more releases coming in Summer and following through the rest of the year. This re-starting of a writing career is hard when I didn’t intend to ever have to do it in the first place. In the last year, I’ve grown and learned a lot about myself as a person and writer and friend. I’ve lost some people and gained others. I’ve asked questions I didn’t like the answers to, but have started learning from them. I’m enjoying writing again and I had lost that feeling for a while and wasn’t sure it was going to come back.

I’m learning to own my mistakes, own my reactions, own my failures, and own my triumphs. I’m learning to like me and who I am becoming. And I’m learning that life is way too damn short not to speak up, not to tell someone the truth, not to stay silent when I would rather do just the opposite. I am learning to ask for help, to say thank you when a compliment is given, to keep my nose to the grindstone and not give a shit in certain situations.

I am 42 years old today. And my goal for this year is to continue learning…my craft, myself, my passions, my life.

Birthdays are not a bad thing and I try to keep my head up as I grow older. I am learning and trying to be more appreciative of the days and hours that go by. I am learning who I want to let into my life, who I allow to affect me and who I cherish.

Over the course of the next month, until March 22, some of those people will receive emails from me containing gifts. Gift cards, coffee, sweets, books, or whatever I happen to think they’ll enjoy. I love gifting people for my birthday. It means a lot to me to be able to give to those who’ve made this last year better than expected.

Now, if y’all will gather around, I’ll listen to you sing Happy Birthday! 😉

Have a fantastic Friday and weekend. And remember… we want the #18 M&M’s Camry of Kyle Busch to win the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

~lissa

UGH! No Racing Today! Now What?

The Great American Race has been postponed due to weather. Torrential downpours. Crap.

I was looking forward to the race today. I had everything all planned out. Had my Sunday to-d0 list all written out (yes, I have different to-do lists for each day of the week) and afterward, I was going to settle in on the couch with my Kyle Busch hat and cup and hoodie for a few hours of beatin’ and bangin’ three wide, four wide,  a lot of someone’s in the wall racin’…

Never fear though, the race is tomorrow at noon. I’ll need to make sure my Monday to-do list is complete by then…

Now well, with the Sunday to-do list nearly finished, I can sit and read. It’s not like I don’t have a lot of that to do. And I’ve just done some baking (brownie whoppie pies) and have a nice bottle of Trader Joe’s Moscato wine chilling in the fridge… On the Kindle, I have a book titled Duck by Kim Dare. So far, I’m enthralled and I’m only in the first couple of pages. On the Nook, I have a book by T. A. Chase titled Duncan’s World.

The race will be fun to watch. It will be crazy to watch. And, I’m one of the very few women who could care less about there being a woman named Danica in the starting line-up.

I myself have never been to the Daytona 500. I’ve been to other races in Daytona, but never that one. The sheer size of the Daytona International Speedway is amazing and impressive. It’s awe inspiring. The roar, the energy, the way the stands shake as the cars thunder past. The site of where so many victories and some devastating tragedies have taken place, take your breath away.

I can’t wait to go to the 500 one day, to take my son… I have a feeling once won’t ever be enough.

So, about that wine I mentioned… Yeah, I’m gonna go have a glass and gear up for tomorrow.

Have a good night, y’all!

~lissa