May 11

Book discount! and nasty comments

First up, book news!  Lulu is having a sale!  You get 20% off any order when you input the coupon code, LUCKY. The sale ends today so if you haven’t bought my book yet, hurry your ass up!

~ ~ ~

Meanwhile, Amelia at The Frisky posted an insightful Letter from the Editor about commenting on pieces, and how it can get out of hand.

While most Frisky readers are wonderful and have valuable things to say, some comments can get nasty.  I, for one, feel very nervous whenever I post at The Frisky. The readers are very perceptive and will often poke holes in my argument, so I always want to make my essays as air-tight as possible, which, actually, makes me a better writer.

I agree that name-calling and obnoxious off-hand comments (that show clearly that the person hasn’t even read the piece) are really annoying.  I haven’t experienced that too much at The Frisky – then again, I don’t post nearly as often as other writers – but I experienced A LOT of that when any of my Frisky pieces (I’m Competitive, I’m Glad My Husband Cheated) ended up on CNN.  I’ve been called “whiny,” “bitchy,” “bitter,” an “angry broad,”  “weak,” “crazy,” and a “loser.”  I’ve been told it was my fault my husband cheated, that I was manipulative, that I deserved what I got.  Readers have said they “fell asleep after the first paragraph” and that they want five minutes of their life back (then why did you keep reading after 10 seconds?).

These kinds of comments are easy to brush off.  They’re so extreme, all I can do is laugh.  But what I hate is when what I’m trying to communicate doesn’t come across.  For instance, my piece, I Found Out My Engagement Ring Was Junk, didn’t go over as well – or rather, the comments were divided.  Some folks were insulted that I seemed to be calling a $2,500 ring “junk,” while others understood that it was junk only in comparison with its implied value.

But the comment that really got to me was when someone called me “selfish.”

The commenter implied that caring for a sick person one day a week was no big deal, and that I was a big fat whiner for complaining about it.  Of course I shouldn’t let an off-hand comment from a stranger bother me, but it did.  If you are not putting yourself out there and haven’t experienced someone trashing basically what is a part of yourself, it’s very easy to say, “Just ignore them.”

If the commenter had said, “Well, I cared for a sick person every week, so one day a week isn’t a big deal,” that would be one thing.  But he exposed nothing about himself, and for all I knew, knew nothing about what it was like.  But I still wish I had written something more like:

One day a week doesn’t sound like a lot, but when the rest of the time your husband is stressed out and ignores you, when he simply expects you to do this and doesn’t thank you, when you work all week, then have no down time because you have to go to your in-laws’ and don’t have the freedom to come and go as you please, one day feels like an enternity. One day spills over into the other days, and your life is no longer your own.

For my most recent piece, I’m Really Bad At Being Wrong, I wanted to be very clear and careful, but after a while, I couldn’t tell anymore if what I was writing made sense.  My pal, YP (who also copyedited my memoir by the way) was kind enough to read it.  He helped me clear up some ambiguous, distracting language, and asked questions and made comments that made me address issues I hadn’t thought of before, and as a result, the piece I ended up with was much better.

So that’s a long way of saying that in some ways comments are great, but they can be damaging if you let them get to you.  Either way, I’m definitely having YP read all my Frisky pieces, pre-publication, from now on.

May 11

My memoir is now available!

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I dropped a hint that while my memoir was available and I was dying to officially announce it, I was waiting for my revamped website to be done.

Now it is, so now I can: MY MEMOIR IS AVAILABLE!

It’s been a long journey. After countless essays, an anonymous, and now defunct blog, two excellent memoir writing classes, a billion rewrites and revisions, and dozens of rejections, it’s finally here!

The paperback is $9.99 while the PDF is just $2.99. (By the way, because of manufacturing and shipping costs, I make the same amount if you buy a paperback or PDF.) What the heck are you waiting for? Buy yours now! You can even click on the image above! I made it so easy for you! You have no excuses! (And I like exclamation points!)

In other news, my revamped blog! While the blog itself isn’t too different, I’ve decided to include a real home page. I love this style because I can showcase my latest publications in a visual, clickable way. I was definitely inspired by The Nervous Breakdown, and their rolling images announcing different books and featured authors. Let me tell you: it was hard work, at least for me, putting together those banners. To a trained eye, I’m sure they look pretty ghetto, but they’re good enough for me.

And MB helped me redo my angelatung.com landing page too.

And that’s that! Now all you have to do is go buy my memoir.

Come on. You know you want to.

May 11

Changes, they are a-comin’

You may have noticed that my blog looks different now.  Well, along with the launch of my memoir, I’ve decided to refresh my site too. This theme allows me more flexibility, including creating a real home page that will showcase my writings in a more visual way and in real time.

I’m still working out some kinks here and there – for instance, replacing all of my pictures, fun! – but it should be all done very soon.

May 11

Writing news + goals check-in

In case you missed it, here’s the stuff I published since my last writing news update:

    I’m Really Bad At Being Wrong, The Frisky, April 27
    Falling, The Nervous Breakdown, April 28

Also, I finally met my memoir in person!  After one minor fix on the cover, it will be available for sale by the end of this week.  Check back here for details.

And those of you who helped me pick a cover, please remember to send me your address so that I can send you a free copy of the my book.  You can email me at angelatungwriter AT gmail DOT com, message me on Facebook, or DM me on Twitter.

* * *

I realized today that I hadn’t done a goals check-in in some time.  Here they were for April and how I did:

  • Blog at least 10 times – CHECK! Actually blogged 11 times.
  • Cardio at least 18 times – INCOMPLETE! Miserably in fact. I only did cardio 8 times this month, a whopping 10 times shy of my goal
  • Core/weight bearing at least 15 times – INCOMPLETE! April was not the month for working out, though I got in 10 rounds of yoga or weights.
  • Memoir: finalize cover art – CHECK!
  • Memoir: convert writing site to focus on memoir – INCOMPLETE! MB was supposed to help me with this, but got sidetracked.  Expect a revamped website in the next few weeks!
  • Memoir: START SELLING – POSTPONED! Getting a copy of my memoir to see in person took much longer than I expected.  Hence, I’ll start selling this week as opposed to my goal, last week.
  • Submit to at least one magazine – CHECK!
  • Submit to at least one contest – INCOMPLETE! Oh well.
  • Post to TNB at least once – CHECK!
  • Go to at least one social activity – CHECK!

I didn’t do too well this month meeting my goals, especially in the workout department (I blame my gym being closed for two weeks for renovations). This month I hope to do better. My other big goals for May include:

  • Start selling memoir
  • Market the shit out of it
  • Submit to at least one NEW magazine (ie, one I’ve not been published in; luckily I’ve many to choose from)
  • Submit to at least one contest
  • Start writing my novel

That’s right, I’m gonna go back to fiction and attempt a novel. Yesterday I jotted down some notes and a very sketchy timeline. Then of course there are my usual monthly goals.

Apr 11

The memoir. . .in person

I know it’s been a few weeks since I last gave an update about my memoir, but my designer and I have been taking the time to get the cover just right. Then I ordered a copy, and it took much longer to get to me than I expected. Didn’t help that of course I wasn’t home when FedEx came by.

But last night I FINALLY was able to pick it up, and I have to say, it looks great!

My photo actually doesn’t do the cover justice, but it’s definitely much better than when I did the cover myself with a random image from the internet.  And here’s the back . . .

I absolutely love how the text and the tail work together.

There is just the tiniest correction we have to make (ie, Lulu’s bar code cuts off some of my bio), and then it should be ready to sell!

And a reminder to those of you who participated in helping me pick a cover, gimme your snail mail addresses so I can send your free copy of the book. I have just three addresses so far.  Email me at angelatungwriter AT gmail DOT com. Or Facebook message me, or DM me, or whatevs.

By this time next week, my memoir will finally be for sale!

Apr 11

And the winner is. . .

First of all, thanks to everyone who participated in helping me pick a cover for my memoir, which I’m self-publishing this spring.  Twenty people commented, which was far more than I was expecting.  Of those 20, I randomly picked someone who will receive a free copy of my book as well as these cute letterpress cards from my cover designer.

And the very scientific way I picked the name?  I wrote everyone’s names on an index card and cut it up.

I threw the names in a mug.

Then I closed my eyes and picked one.

And the winner is Winnie! Hooray, the gods of randomness are on your side! By early next month, you’ll receive the cards, which I already have –

– as well as my book when it’s available.

But you know what else?  I so appreciate everyone “playing”. . .

Continue reading →

Apr 11

Writing news

Things have been pretty busy.

In March I published:

    Why I Stand By Planned Parenthood, The Frisky, March 3
    The Road, The Nervous Breakdown, March 30

In addition, last week I was the featured author at The Nervous Breakdown. Yay!

On Friday, my essay on divorce, dating, and tattoos was published in Dark Sky Magazine, a very cool literary journal. When you get a chance, you should also read the essays in the back issues.  I especially loved Eric LeMay’s Man Can, Caleb Powell’s Yin Dao, and Charlie Geer’s Tell Me the Options.

Perhaps the biggest news this week was that I officially launched my memoir marketing campaign with a contest (if you haven’t voted yet on your favorite cover, you have till this Friday!).  Fifteen people have voted so far, which has far exceeded my expectations.

Who knew marketing could be so much work?  I jest of course.  People build whole careers around marketing.  People and whole companies are hired just to do marketing and PR.

In the past, I’ve talked about how I hate marketing and think it’s a joke.  But I think what I meant was my old job and department were a total joke.  At least when you’re marketing a particular product, it’s a real thing you can hold in your hands.  What we did I can’t – and don’t – even want to explain.  And I found that the less valid one feels, the more adamantly one wants to prove one’s worth, resulting in a department full of dissatisfied Type A neurotics.


Anyway, that’s a long way of saying I enjoy marketing my own book far more than marketing whatever at my previous employer.  But it’s a lot of work!  I had to put together an actual marketing plan and schedule to keep all the details straight.  I had to consider the timing – wait too long between “marketing messages” (barf, I said it) and people will lose interest, bombard and people will be overloaded.

I love the contest idea because 1) I’m showing folks something real (the covers), 2) what I’m showing is quick and easy to take in (pictures), and 3) the prizes are fun and promote both my book and my cover designer’s business.

Crowd sourcing the cover!

Anyway, enough babbling from me.  Back to work.