Saturday, May 13, 2017

Garden 2017 - A Better Design

Last year, our garden was so overgrown that it became impossible to get into it pick the food. This year, I exercised a bit of control and planted my plots a little farther apart. Take a video tour with me to see the new set up!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Psychological Thriller Giveaway on Goodreads...

I've been busy building my author website - and neglecting Poppy Juice. My apologies to anyone left still following me. I promise with spring will come posts about the garden and the chickens that we are going to keep in our little urban homestead. Everything has a season, and for this moment, my season consists of learning all about self-publishing and book promotion. 

I wanted to announce the Goodreads giveaway that I'm currently running from March 1st through March 8th. Ten lucky winners will get an autographed, first edition copy of my book, Hidden in the Dark!  (Warning - book is full of adult content - NOT for the faint of heart!) 

Are psychological thrillers not your thing? Feel free to share the link with your friends!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hidden in the Dark by Rashell Lashbrook

Hidden in the Dark

by Rashell Lashbrook

Giveaway ends March 08, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
Thanks and Happy reading!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Self Publishing - (My Learning Curve Looks More Like a Hairpin)

The old saying goes something like, "The more I learn, the less I know".  During my recent journey to publish my novel, this little saying has popped into my mind nearly a thousand times. As I've taken each step, I've become aware of things that I didn't even contemplate before. (Who knew a query letter was a thing?) When I began the process of throwing words onto paper and rearranging them repeatedly, I had an ignorantly, blissfully, sweet way of viewing this thing called "getting published". I thought it would be as simple as creating a great story, picking an agent (little did I know the approval process would be the other way around), and finding a publisher.  Ta-dah! I would be a best selling author! Wasn't I precious?  

Fast forward four or five years later and my awareness has changed. Write a great novel- Check. Pick an agent - Leave blank. This may not happen quickly. I am a researcher. I've done my homework. To be completely honest, I haven't even approached one single agent. I think I've nearly talked myself out of it at this stage of the game. The word on the street is that for someone like me (never published, minuscule social media platform) finding a good agent at this point will be as easy as winning the figure skating competition in the Olympics after the winter of rest that I've enjoyed.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ignored Creative Urges Equals Destruction

First, I should preempt what I'm about to say with this - I believe all human beings are creative creatures, in some form or fashion. We tend to think of artists, musicians, writers, and the like when referring to a "creative soul". The very act of creating something, to bring something into existence, to cause something as a result of one's actions, includes a vast number of things that we do in our everyday life. Artists don't have the market on creativity. An engineer is creative when designing a structure. An attorney is creative when designing a game plan to win a case. The urban gardener's creativity flows abundantly when designing a companion planting plot. When you are being creative, you can feel it in your entire body. It feels like an adventure!

In a video, a few days ago, I talked about the soul's need to dream. Not only do we need to have dreams, we also need to be creative. The creative soul not allowed to create will become destructive.  We have a vast amount of energy designed just to create. If this energy is bottled up, or leached away by the demands of life, we become negative and destructive.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Are You Letting Someone or Something Steal Your Dreams?

I've had a message heavy on my heart lately and feel compelled to write about it. But time has been in short supply over the past week as I've been busy preparing my book for publishing. I decided to make a short video instead! Do you have a dream thief in your life? How do you deal with the challenges of keeping your goals and dreams alive?

Monday, January 30, 2017

If I Succeed, Will I Have to Sacrifice My First Born Child?

Do you have invisibilitis? In case you aren't familiar with the disease, it is a debilitating condition that renders the afflicted weakened and benign, often afraid to shine too brightly or sing too loudly.  Just for the record, I have a slight case of invisibilitis....Okay, I might have made the word up, so don't go pestering Google. You probably won't find anything. 

The condition flares up, like a bad case of diarrhea, whenever I threaten to do something truly magnificent. Invisibilitis manifests itself as the deep, irrational fear that IF I succeed (for example, my novel is a hit), THEN something equally awful will happen (one of my children will be picked off by the imaginary vultures in the sky, or I'll get cancer).

Friday, January 27, 2017

How Important is a Social Following For a New Author?

My unfinished manuscript, last year at this
time <3
Do you have a soundtrack in your mind? Some of you might be scratching your head and wondering what in the heck I'm talking about. But I suspect most of you know exactly what I mean. For those who don't - let me explain.

For example, when I'm in the grocery store during rush hour AND Miss Slow Poke is taking her sweet time in front of the exact section that I NEED to be in.....the song that plays in my soundtrack is "Move Bit@# Get Out Da Way" by Ludacris. (Don't judge, I didn't write the song.) Or, when I'm feeling overwhelmed, "Under Pressure" by Queen/David Bowie plays in my head. And so, the list goes on. 

Today, my soundtrack is on repeat with The Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited!" I don't know if the song has an exclamation point at the end of it on the album, but in my head, it does! 

This week has been a big week for me. I finally agreed with myself on a title to my new novel AND yesterday, we (my social media guy and I) launched my author Facebook fan page. Since I am not a published author, I feel like I'm venturing into unknown land with a pocketful of handwritten maps given to me by a bunch of folks who have been to the destination taking various routes. All the advice has been a little overwhelming. And the big, famous authors, the ones who are there already, haven't exactly left detailed maps with little provision stations along the way. It's good though. It's a journey of faith in my writing, belief in myself, and belief in the consistent hard work required to accomplish any worthwhile goal. 

I've read and listened to a great deal of advice on the subject of "getting published". One thing that I continue to see is that the landscape has changed recently in the publishing world. No longer is it enough to write a great book, find a literary agent and wait for the agent to find a publisher. Social media has changed so many aspects of our world, and book publishing is not immune to its influence. Now, a writer must also have a platform. The publisher wants to know that the author is marketable, that they come with a fan base. I find it distressing in some ways, but also encouraging. 

On the downside, it is sad to think that a writer of amazing talent could possibly be passed over just because he or she hasn't taken the time to develop their social media presence. 

However, the positive voice in my head (almost always the loudmouth in the group) says, "Wonderful! You have the opportunity to create an edge and to be noticed!" If a platform, or a following on social media can make me more appealing to a potential agent and/or publisher, then I can have some influence in the likelihood that my novel(s) will be published! I may not be the most brilliant person on the face of the earth, but I am creative and above all, I am a very hard worker. I can do this! And that, my friends, is why the song, "I'm So Excited" is playing in my head on repeat.