Laugh or Cry? You Decide

Oh Amazon, what am I going to do with you?

In reality, it really isn’t Amazon that I have to contend with, but the luck of the draw. Which rep receives and reviews my ads is what really matters. Specifically, I’m encountering difficulties with my ads for The War on Drugs: An Old Wives Tale being approved.

Amazon seems to deny at least half of the ads I send to them for approval, so much so that I just gave up a few months ago, but now I’m thinking it is time to change that attitude.

I’ll explain.

Amazon does serve as the morality police. They have many rules, which you can find listed here, that state what you can and cannot have in an ad on their website.

And that’s fine, it’s their website and so, consequently, it is their rules. But the rules are inconsistent. Last week, I submitted this ad:

A unique look at how the War on Drugs is a war on people. Learn about the history of marijuana prohibition, private prisons, drug courts and more!

It was approved and is currently being displayed on Amazon to a targeted audience.

But with some ads, while I’ve gotten plenty of clicks, I haven’t seen the viewers turn into buyers, so I wrote a different ad:

The War on Drugs is a war on people driven by a lust for money and control. Learn how marijuana became illegal and what drug courts are really like.

And this one was rejected. I wrote them an email pointing out that the book does not endorse illegal activity, it does not explain how to grow marijuana, and is not a treatise on how to be a stoner. I received an email stating that a manager would review it and I would hear back by Tuesday.

And here is their response:

Hello,

 

This is a follow up email with regards ads.

 

I’ve checked with the technical team and they have informed me that they have reviewed your ad they determined that your ad, or the book being advertised, is related to illicit drugs. We do not allow ads related to books that are centrally themed around an illicit drug irrespective of the content of the book.

Also, the cover of your book contains the image of a marijuana plant which is not appropriate for all audiences. As per our policies, we don’t advertise books that have images of illicit drugs on its cover.

Le sigh. Sooo annoying! And I wasn’t about to reply and point out that there already was an ad out there for this very book that had been approved.

I’m not giving up. I submitted this ad this morning:

The war on drugs is still raging. Learn how marijuana prohibition began and what drug courts are really like in a unique, personal account.

I see the writing on the wall. It is a hit or miss proposition and I’ll be taking the low, quiet road from here. I could fight it, point out their inconsistencies (and potentially get some good, enlightened soul in trouble), and try to trump them intellectually.

However, my experiences in the corporate world have taught me how pointless and impossible that is. Instead, I’ll just test out a different theory. I’ll submit an ad and make note of when I sent it. If it is approved, I’ll repeat my submissions in that particular time frame and hope I keep getting the ads reviewed by the more enlightened folks.

I’ll keep it quiet and operate under the radar…some day our country will come to realize that marijuana isn’t the problem and things will change. And after all, that is what my book is about.

This is a joke, folks. A JOKE!

Damn You, Muse, You are Truly a Pain in the Patoot!

My muse has ADD. Actually, it probably has ADHD.

It flies about, madly bouncing from one project to another, causing nothing but havoc in my life.

Goal for rest of July/August: Finish War’s End Book 2

My muse took a look at that goal, which was a good one by the way, and said, “F#@% that! What about Gliese 581, huh, huh, huh? Why do we have to work on some boring old chapter that we can’t figure out what happens next? Let’s talk space travel instead!”

“Muse,” I said, “we have to finish what we started. And the chapter isn’t boring, it’s just unfinished.”

“Don’t wanna.” sez the muse. “Hey, is that Zentangle®?” She distracted me by pointing to the bookbag sitting nearby, filled with Zentangle® books, several drawing pads, pens and a mishmash of Zentangle® projects.

“Yes, that is Zentangle®,” sez I, momentarily distracted.

“Ooh, let’s do a book on that!” sez my muse, eyes dreamy and distracted.

“What?!” I’ve got War’s End to finish, and then Gliese 581 and the Plague Tales, and did I mention I also have that twelve book series on the Liv Rowan Chronicles (and 60 pages of notes) plotted out that needs writing. Another project? Are you insane?!” I yelled. I did it in my head though…silently. Otherwise people think you are a little bit off.

The muse was undeterred. “Yeah, I really think we need to write a book on Zentangle®.”

I groaned. “I really hate you sometimes.”

Muse…”Yeah, the feeling’s mutual. Go with the flow, baby.”

Well…Maybe Not

From time to time I find myself in a bit of a quandary. “I’ll do this,” I say, and then this really isn’t a good fit.

But I’ve said it, publicly, and so what do I do then?

Immobility typically follows. That, and a lot of sporadic tv watching and spontaneous book collecting. Which is probably why I have so many books.

I looked at Quit Your Job, Change Your Life and although it truly is 2/3 of the way done, I’m just not into it right now. Logical thinking is all good and wonderful, but in the end, it is the creative mind that is in charge around here.

So…

At the moment I’m reviewing Book 2 of War’s End, which should make most people happy. However, I’m not 100% committed to that. If I get stuck, I’ll run back to either Gliese 581/Plague Tales series or The Chronicles of Liv Rowan. Anything but stop writing – that’s never good.

I’ve also decided I’m going to paint my house any damned color I want, my husband’s (or friends or my own mother’s) contrary opinions notwithstanding. I decided this after getting mixed reviews on some of the colors I have chosen for the different walls – many of them rather vibrant colors. I told Dave, “I’m going to try these colors and if you don’t like them, in six months, you can choose the color they are going to be.” He sighed wearily to that and said nothing.

And while most of the painting will be waiting until fall and winter since this is planting season – I decided I simply had to have this wall done in chalkboard paint…

This wall faces my desk. I’ve decided it will be perfect for keeping track of my working notes on writing projects. Ignore the messy desk – they say its a sign of an organized mind.

I need to go buy white and multi-colored chalk now.

NO Christine, No New Projects!

On Tuesday, as I was cleaning a client’s house I started mentally ticking off the lessons I have learned as a business owner, in particular, that of the cleaning biz, and thought, I should put together an e-book, with the top 15 tips, as a lead in to a full book on the subject.

No, no I shouldn’t. What I should do is write Book 2 of War’s End, get it DONE, and move on to my other major projects, like the Chronicles of Liv Rowan, Gliese 581, the Plague Tale, and more.

Why oh why, must I be so endlessly distracted?

This is What I Get

This is what I get when I decide to transfer my calendar from Outlook to Google…

  • Three hours of solid work – checking, double-checking, and reproducing all of the appointments.(yes, there were a lot of them)
  • Screeching halt on writing the Liv Rowan series after Book 2 of War’s End is complete. I’m thinking I really, really need to continue to write in the Plague Tale universe.

Socio-economic collapse?

Civil war?

You think those things are bad? Just wait, it gets far, far worse.

War’s End is the just the beginning of the story. Give us fifty more years to get over the U.S. going to hell in a handbasket and then watch the world collapse – no stone left unturned, death, destruction and mayhem. Oh, and a side of space exploration to go along with it.

My Plague Tale documents, and most importantly, my Gliese 581 story is there on Google. I started reading it and went oh, wow, this is cool!

What really, really needs to happen is this. I need to be discovered and taken on by a major sci-fi fantasy publication. And they need to give me a decent advance so that I can stop doing the cleanings and focus more on my writing.

So…

What are you waiting for, oh great publishers of my work?

Gimme a call.

Like…NOW.

I’ve Been At It Nearly Six Hours

Time for an update.

Book 1 – 14,976

Notes – 18,517

Books identified: 12 – names, titles and basic outlines are all in place.

So…Over 1,000 words in my Notes file written and a puny 800 words written in Book 1.

So, yeah, I’ve got the series outline done. I know where I’m going with each book and the finale in mind for Book 12.

And yes, I’m completely butt-fuck insane right now. Just the thought of it is scaring the hell out of me. How friggin’ LONG is this going to take?! Will Emily be a teenager? I am absolutely and totally convinced that yes, I know where the story goes and how it ends. Done. Finit.

So guess what I get to do now?

Yeah…WRITE it.

Oh…SHIT. I guess I’d best get to work.