Friday, February 17, 2023

Shit Just Got Real

Image by Square Frog from Pixabay

This post is going to be as real as it gets, which is something I haven't done for a long time. If the only words you can think of are critical and hateful, then don't say anything. In life, you are presented with times when you should speak up and other times when you should...

Now you know my situation may be sorry, but it isn't hopeless. If it were hopeless, I'd lose the ability to find the humor in something inappropriate and profane like the above image.

A couple more unhelpful suggestions (because believe me, I've heard and/or tried them numerous times)

"you should seek counseling."

Never helped. Don't trust them damn crooked vultures. I live in the middle of nowhere. I'm not making a 100-mile round trip once a week for nothing, which is exactly how much counseling has helped me in my life.

"You should get on medication."

I have paradoxical reactions to psych meds. I can deal with the black dog. I have a fragile peace with that bitch most of the time. Today she has the upper hand. We're lifelong companions, the black dog and me. What I can't deal with is being manic and psychotic, which is what psych meds make me.

Right, here it is.

I created Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp with the intent of talking about the mental health aspects of my life, but it’s never gotten the audience I hoped for. Sometimes I think I should just close it down. 

I feel like an outcast in the world of writers, particularly romance writers. I’ve never adapted very well to the promotion aspects of writing, which I feel take away from the, you know, WRITING aspects of writing. I'd leave the promotion stuff to my assistant if I could afford one. I suck at it.

I feel like I’m drowning or being crushed under a mountain of credit card debt. My credit score is below 500. I’m in the shit. I need to pay off and get rid of the cards that have annual fees. 

I always thought I’d be somewhat successful by now, but here I am approaching if not the ass end at least the lower back of my life and I am anything but successful.

I’m hungry, and I hate being hungry.

I wish I didn’t have to eat. In fact, right now, I kind of wish I was dead.

I’m so deeply ashamed of what I am. I can fool myself for a while, but the shame really never ends.

I’m a fuckup, a failure, a nothing nobody.

I can’t even tell anybody about it, because the fact of the matter is, nobody gives a fuck.

There’s nobody to hear my cries. It’s pull myself up by the bootstraps or die in the gutter.

There will never be a prince to ride along the sea and the mountain.

There will never be the roar of crowds.

There will only be a slow, plodding march to the grave. Or, in my case, a limp to the grave.

I still hate myself.

That's as real as it gets.

Free use image by Gordon Johnson on Pixabay

Give me silver, blue, and gold
The colors of the sky I'm told
My rainbow is overdue
--Bad Company

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Insecure Writers Support Group February 2023


February 1 question - If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

First, I apologize for being tardy to the party. This often happens when the IWSG day falls on the first of the month. Or, sometimes, when it falls on any other day of the month.

I guess I'm a hybrid author. I have published my own work and have also had my stories published in anthologies. 

When it comes to the stories in the anthologies, my input on the cover is zip, zero, zilch, and nada. That's fine with me.

With the books I've published, there's a fair likelihood that I've designed my own cover with the photo manipulation software at and a free use image from Pixabay. Results may vary, but since I'm a broke-ass who hasn't yet reached Kinglike status in the world of authordom, my questionable artistic abilities will have to suffice for the time being.

There are a few things I've learned along the way. Many of you may have known these things before I did. Good on you. I provide the information for the benefit of those who may not know.

Avoid using images including real people unless you can get a copy of a model release. If you do use images with real people, don't include their faces. 

For the cover of the erotic romance novelette, The Shape of Heat: Awakening, I selected an image of a young adult man and woman holding their hands together to form the shape of a heart. I chose this image because the protagonists in the novel are in their early to mid-twenties and because no faces are visible in the image. I discovered the hard way that Amazon gives erotica authors a hard time if they include a real person's face on their cover.

I am planning on using the same background I used to create this banner for the cover of the forthcoming Lovecraftian fantasy novel, The Quest for the Wizard's Key. 

Daft though I may be, I am not so daft as to think my design abilities are good enough that I could charge other people money for them. I'm a graphic design school dropout, and my grandmother lamented the fact that I'm the kind of person who has no eye for anything, I just know what I like. She tried to take me shopping once to help her pick out components for a room. It was a disaster. I had no idea what I was doing. 

However, nobody can design covers for my books at a lower rate than I can. As far as book cover creators go, at this juncture, it's gotta be me.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Free Use Image from Open Clipart Vectors

"Ornery Owl's book covers look like she must have been drunk when she designed them." --K. Ritik