Going Where You’re Invited

Lately I’ve been haunted by this drumming thought: Now would be a good time to do something smart.

It doesn’t come naturally to me. To be honest, I have a tendency to do things the hard way. I spent a fair amount of time beating down doors, back in the day. If easier methods existed, they never occurred to me. For instance, I liked the idea of winning the lottery but I don’t actually believe in a free lunch, so I never bought the ticket. See what I’m working with here?

Lousy financial decisions have been a constant. Like hiring that financial planner/ex-IRS agent who helped me lose all the profit I made selling a house… to the IRS. And you wouldn’t want to take me along to buy a used truck. And oh yeah, there’s that barn full of un-rideable horses next to my house.

Maybe I got lost on the way to take the road less travelled and that has made all the difference. (Apologies, Mr. Frost.)

All of this is to say that writing a book fit perfectly into my long-term plan. First, I warmed my fingers up by blogging regularly for the last seven years. Readers came one at a time. I was a tortoise-like sensation. Then it took two years to write the first book, Stable Relation. Not a get-rich-quick scheme by any stretch of judgment.

Research told me that ninety percent of self-published books sold less than a hundred copies, but still I took the advice of two publishers and a book publicist and decided to self-publish. Hello, Prairie Moon Press.

Being the publisher meant writing press releases and blurbs. Promoting a reluctant author and entering book contests. And the biggest challenge of all: Talking good about the author in public. It’s enough anxiety to turn your tongue into a Dorito. How did someone who mucked barns and wrote every spare moment get this PR job?

It’s been fourteen months since Stable Relation came out. I’ve been making the whole thing up as I go and it’s been surreal. But is it time to let it rest? I love this book but is it over? Am I turning–even more than usual–into that balding guy rocking out in the cliché-red Corvette?

I figure just around this time my guardian angel got out of rehab.

And then Stable Relation was awarded a gold medal from the Readers’ Favorite book awards, in the Non-Fiction, Animals category.

The publisher (me) is happy because now the author (me) has the title of  Award Winning Author. I’m flattered but still more likely to come to “Hey, you!”

They hold a ceremony/mini-conference during the huge and wonderful Miami Book Fair, November 18-20th. They invited the winners to come, hobnob a bit, and perhaps snag the ear of an industry pro. And going to a book fair sounds like about as much fun as you can have without goats or donkeys. On Saturday night, there’s a formal event to present the awards. Think rhinestones on my Crocs.

Like I said, I’d really like to do something smart, if I could tell what that was. I try to keep an open mind. Life is like working with donkeys; you end up someplace else but had little control about how you got there.

So, obviously my category wasn’t the biggest, and I won’t know a soul there, and I don’t sleep well in dog-less hotel beds. But I’m going to try something out of character. If you have a history like mine and don’t know what to do next–it’s crazy notion–but maybe you try going where you’re invited.

…Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Equine Pro
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22 thoughts on “Going Where You’re Invited

  1. Jane Clancy

    Whahoooooo! Perhaps Edgar Rice Burro can receive special dispensation (It’s promotional! Unusual! Innovative!) to attend? Promise promoters he will wear a bow tie. They don’t need to know how long that will last. A few panels, a couple of bales of shavings….
    I think we all have the same formal wardrobe. Shirts not stained by betadine or nostril smeared…jeans with only a few dog/goat/horse hairs. And Crocs. Lovely lovely Crocs. Splurge on a new pair and bedazzle the crap out of them. Or wear your least “airconditioned” boots. If they turn down Edgar (appalling, really) bring photos. I’d definitely need my herd around me.
    Congratulations on walking the walk. Good work!!!

    Like

  2. Micheline

    Anna, I’m so happy for you, well deserved to win the award. Congratulation. Also, a thumbs up on the crock with rhinestones, that’s the way to go. Enjoy!

    Like

  3. carol fraser

    u rock. your book is soo delightful. if i were rich (but i have horses, so no surprise i’m not) i would buy bunches and bunches of your book and give them to everyone i meet. after they read it, they would thank you for enriching their life as you have mine! have fun at the event and let us all know who is going to play u in the film…

    Like

  4. Kristen Weber

    GO. Wear what makes you comfortable.

    We occasionally RV. I remember to pack the almost never wore “skirt” for surprise dress occasions, but I generally fail to think about shoes. On launch day, I wear an old stained with paint pair fleece pants my brother gave me for Christmas 1999 and my comfortable running shoes that would only be run in, if I were chased by an angry cow moose…or bear. Both are possibilities here, both have been in a proximity that is far too close. I take my boots because I generally pack only jeans and, well, my boots go with jeans most of the time, if I am not wearing the “running shoes”.

    So…I showed up at a graduation party for a friend of my husband’s daughter, held in what looks to me like a real mansion, with real rich people, wearing my old but rarely worn Double D Ranch wear skirt, a cute jacket and my well worn, can not identify what color boots they used to be, with the worn down underslung heels. I thought no one would notice, as the skirt was a long one and my face was over five feet above those boots, and I was supplying lots of nervous smiles to keep all eyes UP. It didn’t work, someone pointed them out and said, “nice boots”. I didn’t lie, I said the first thing that popped into my head and was blurted out by my backstabbing mouth, which is generally the truth: “they’re old and comfortable and I had enough challenges to face without my feet fighting me for control of my brain.”

    He laughed and brought his wife over to meet me, who then later introduced me to someone else. I can’t remember any names, except those of the family whose daughter was the honoree, but my boots were a hit and I bet several of them do not remember my name but probably still talk and laugh about the woman who brought dirt from Wyoming into the mansion in Washington.

    Go.

    Liked by 1 person

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