Monday, December 8, 2014

The Hard Part of Self-Marketing

I actually don't have a problem marketing the book itself. I do have a slight problem trying to sum up the story because so much of it is inside me that I'm always trying to tailor my summary to the person I'm talking to and I end up oversharing.

But that's not really my problem. No, my real problem is the fact that I can do so much better than the books I've published.

You know how your talents go through stages where they plateau and then they grow and then they plateau and so on? I recently feel like I went through a huge growth stage. I'm talking the stuff I've been putting out is so much above the paygrade of anything I've written before that it almost seems like I'm reading someone else's stuff.

But unfortunately, all of it's unpublished. And so I spend a lot of time telling people they should read my book . . . but hey, if you hate it, I'm much better now so keep an eye out for future things!

It's not exactly a good marketing strategy . . . .

I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm glad I'm improving. But it's hard not to be self-critical when I've improved, so it's hard to keep that self criticism out of my marketing :(

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

This is the Story of Why We're Moving to Georgia

I promised forever ago that I was going to tell this story, so here it is at last.

So, my husband is graduating this month. December 2014. And we've been talking for some time about what we'll do after that. He's going into IT, so he's very employable, and he's a hard worker, so I knew that we'd be able to find a job no problem.

The question was: where would we look?

Now, full disclosure: I absolutely hate living in Utah. It's too cold and the people here are kinda snooty and way too close-minded conservative for my tastes and besides that there's not enough diversity so I don't get the pleasure of different worldviews to make my life more colorful and to fill my understanding of life!

But I was finally getting to a place emotionally where I'd be okay staying there. This is largely because of the friends we'd made there and because I work from home now, and no matter where we live, I'd be staying warm in our house.

It was a Wednesday when my husband came home with a blank sort of look on his face. I didn't notice because I was in the middle of a huge rewrite of my Underground Rendezvous series, but then he got my attention, and I knew something was wrong.

"I got laid off."

That was it. No warning, no severance pay, no anything. Just laid off. That day. After he'd spent a year of his life basically revamping every single one of their systems. He'd just pulled an all-nighter that last week getting their new server up and running. But I guess he'd done everything they needed him to do, because that was it. Good-bye.

Suddenly, my measly stay-at-home income was all we had. Let me tell you, that was not nearly enough.

We cut way back on all our spending and took a hard look at our budget. We figured we could probably survive until February if we were really frugal. Maybe.

He started immediately applying for jobs. He applied in Utah. He said he'd look in Atlanta, too, but it was obvious he was focusing most of his efforts here.

That next day, Thursday, was my father-in-law's birthday. He wanted us to go to the temple, a sacred place of worship for members of my faith, as a group, so the married kids and the parents all went as one big group to do a session together.

While we were in the temple, my husband ran into someone who had worked with him at his internship in Utah. Matt mentioned that he was looking for a new job, and the man said he'd be thrilled to have Matt hired on.

Matt told me this as we were walking to our session. I was initially excited. Was a quick answer to prayer: a perfect job opportunity!

And then I sat down in the sacred sealing room.

It was like the floor fell out from under me. I can't describe what I felt except to say that I literally could not move or do anything except cry. All I knew was that we were not supposed to stay in Utah.

I told Matt about my experience, and he agreed to start looking for jobs in Atlanta.

The very next day, he got a call back from the first place he'd applied. Six interviews later, and a week and a half of time later, he was offered the job.

I can honestly say that this doesn't happen. It just doesn't. People don't get new jobs that start after graduation that are exactly where you want to live only two weeks after they lose their jobs. I know that God has put us in Georgia and that we're supposed to be there.

We're moving in just a couple weeks. We'll be shipping all our stuff off in mid-December, then heading to Hawaii with the family, and then we'll get back to Utah, spend one day doing laundry, and then fly out to Georgia the very next day.

Crazy, right?