Sep 30, 2011

Feedback and Reviews = Sequels of Epic Proportions

Workin on the sequel ... yep ...

Just want to throw something out there, kay? Sweet!


Fall Girl is probably my favorite out of all the books I've written, but I have this HUGE advantage with writing this sequel ... FEEDBACK!

Reviews are rough, especially when they are picking apart something you've worked on for the past year! Some reviews make you smile and some reviews make you want to cry. It's all part of a writers world. But I'm not going to lie, it's the ones that make my all flustered that happen to be my favorites.

(Masochist? Who? Me? Noooooo)

What I'm saying is, these reviews which break apart me book and tell me, "It would have been great, but ..." these are the ones that guide me while writing this sequel. I now know what I need more of and what I need less of (apparently F bombs made the less of list ... which is really funny because I rarely use the word myself. Go figure) and what I did just right.

I look at these reviews as if they are my own personal Goldilocks. It's all the same book/porridge (except my book tastes way better than porridge ... bleck!) no matter who is reading it, but everyone (My Goldilocks) views it a little differently depending on what how (as in what chair/bed/etc.) the are reading it. My book has been all three ...

Too Cold - Not enough about Blake, Not enough about bipolar, Not enough realistic situations ...

Too Hot - Too much teenage melodrama, Too much swearing, Too much cutsie cheesiness ...

JUST RIGHT - This is the majority of my reviews (thankfully) These are the reviews that make me tear up in a whole different way. They are by far the ones that make me feel as though I've done my job, but they also tell me HOW I did that job right.

 So I have these three types of reviews ... some are wanting more, some are wanting less and some think it's perfect the way it is. Each of these types helps me grow and brings my sequel to a whole new level.

That level?


So which chair did you sit in my dear Goldilocks'? Did you like my porridge? Was my bed fluffy enough for you? Was the chair you sat in just right?

If you've got feedback, I want to hear it!

Sep 18, 2011

Practically Imperfect in Every Way

When I started this blog ... WAY back in the day ... when I didn't even have to lie about being 29 ... I wanted to make sure the name of the blog fit who I am.

The name of this blog is the epitome of who I am! "Desperately SEARCHING for my Inner Mary Poppins"

I'm always struggling to be the perfect everything. Perfect Mom. Perfect Wife. Perfect Friend. Perfect Student. Perfect Anything Else that I Can Be ... And that's a pretty big friggen struggle!

I thing searching for that perfection has set me up for some grave expectations that I am not able to live up to. Sometimes I feel like I'm expected to be happy and positive. I'm expected to have my shit together. I'm expected to be ambitious. I'm expected to hold people up when they are falling. I'm expected to be a great leader.

And maybe I'm not ... but it sure feels like it sometimes.

That fact of the matter is, though I am those things some of the time, other times I am not. And in the past two years of trying so desperately hard to live up to those expectations, I've found myself quite burnt out.

So here's the deal world, I'm not friggen perfect! Sure I do have issues with trying to be ... but isn't perfect really an unattainable state anyhow?

I write books and publish them on a whim and end up super embarrassed and humiliated because of the editing errors.

I start websites that sometimes leave me feeling overwhelming and lost.

I got a 70% on my history quiz.

I gained 15 lbs this year.

I start things and sometimes it takes me forever to finish them ... sometimes I don't finish them (embarrassing confession there)

I drop off the face of the earth for weeks to months at a time,  and sometimes there's not even a reason for doing it.

And those are only a few things.

I've decided to change the tagline to this website due to this lack of perfection ...

Desperately Searching for My Inner Mary Poppins  by Marybeth Poppins, Practically Imperfect in Every Way!

Does it ever feel like you are fighting to live up to the pressures of perfection and fighting to meet everyone else's expectations? Or am I the only idiot who for some ridiculous reason believe that someday she will save the world?

Aug 6, 2011

Poppins' take on the F Bombs in YA Literature (open minds welcome ...)

Oh F Bomb ... You sly little mother puppy. Always causing controversy. Why must you do that? WHY!!!!

So after a few more reviews than I'd have liked (though no less than I expected) commenting about the profanity in my book, I felt the need to explain and/or defend myself.

There is something you need to know about me.

I'm really NOT a fan of the F Bomb.

No seriously. I yell at my husband every time he says it. I instantly feel guilty anytime it leaves my own mouth. And I have a tendency to makeup  prettier words to put in the place of most cuss words.


Son of a Monkey

Mother Puppy


Crap Monkeys

Though, you will sometimes hear me use letters. Such as "Oh, F!" or "What a B!"

So ... if you've read my book, then I'm going to share a little secret with you ... (ok if you haven't I'm still sharing it with you, but you just won't get it in the same way.)

My kids REALLY do think F stands for Fantastic. Just ask them. They'll tell you!

When I started writing Fall Girl, I thought long and hard about whether or not I would actually include said cuss words. I mean, if I don't use them, should I really have my characters?

I did a bit of research. Read a good variety of YA books, many of which did in fact use cuss words, some even used the F Bomb *GASP*. I went back and read my journals from age 14-18 ... funny part, I swore MORE from 14-15 than I did from 16-18. I even went back and read all the notes I had from friends. Friends who are all Catholics and who you'd probably never hear utter those words now, but was surprised how many times the F Bomb got thrown around. I NEVER thought I had such a sailor's mouth, and some of the others that did I can't even imagine them having one now.

I literally forgot what it was like to talk like a teen.

Does that mean EVERY teen swears. Absolutely not. And I have the utmost respect for those teens who don't. However, from the research I did, I found that even the most straight laced Catholic teens had a love affair with using the F Bomb at one time or another in their lives.

Sooooo ... I started by just writing. Writing how I heard the characters talking in my head. I considered the circumstances they were under, the stress they had been experiencing, their frustration levels, and their personality types. Many cuss words were cut in the end, but many still remain.

If read closely, one will notice that it is mainly just two characters who use the actual F Bomb more than once. And less than a hand full of others who even say it at all.

Of those two ... one has bipolar disorder ... and is a boy. I could not imagine being true to his character withOUT having him cuss. Though in the story he really only does it under duress. The second character is a boy who is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. In my head, throwing out the F bomb from time to time kinda seems automatic for that type of character.

Okay, you're probably wondering why I'm even bothering to write such a rambling rubbish like post. I just want to make a point to say that my words were chosen carefully, not out of laziness, but for authenticity. Still, after the book was published and reviews started to come out, I made a point to go back and remove as many F Bombs as I could. I just couldn't remove them all and feel like I was being true to my characters at the same time.

Does that make me a bad person? Does the fact that the teenagers in my book think about sex make me a bad person? Does having a character with a drug problem, who also happens to be the the protagonist, make me one?

I'm terrified of my children becoming teenagers, but as much as I want to, I can't hide them from real life. They are eventually going to start thinking about sex, it's human nature. They are eventually going to start cussing, people cuss. And though I hope they never do drugs or drink, chances are, they will probably know or know of some person who does do those things.

These are real life issues. And unfortunately, when you throw in mental illness, these real life issues tend to pop up a little more often. Not writing about these things is not going to stop them from happening. And I'm pretty sure it's not going to convince kids who aren't doing these things to start doing them. It is what it is.

Life isn't always pretty. People aren't always kind. Some kids are offensive. Some kids are inappropriate.

However ...

Sometimes things do work out. Sometime you end up with a kids who stays out of trouble. And sometimes that same kid detests those who are inappropriate.

Teen life isn't black and white. Actually, adolescence is quite a colorful world. Teens battle so much more than just the decision to say and/or read a book that says the F Bomb. They battle real life. They battle decisions about drugs, sex, alcohol, bullying, bad neighborhoods, overcoming diversity, telling someone they are gay, illiteracy, abuse, homelessness, working to support their parents and siblings, etc. And the fact is, whether we talked about it or not, so did we.

Even if I wasn't having sex, I could name at least a handful of people who were.

I was never a drinker in high school, but I'd estimate that a good at LEAST 50% of my senior class was.

And of that 50% most have them did or had smoked a little weed from time to time.

I had friends who barely graduated.

And even I, the girl who rarely swears, got a two hour detention for mentioning the F Bomb and one of my not so favorite teachers in the same sentence while he was, unbeknownst to me,  less than two feet behind my friend and I listening to the whole conversation.

Life as a teenager is, and always has been rough. And there is nothing we as parents can do to hide that truth. I'm not saying we should embrace it or even encourage it, but I think it is important to help our children know that we get it. We were their age once. We battled these same issues. We were faced with the same kinds of decisions. We struggled, we faltered, and we picked ourselves back up, brushed off the dirt and became the adults we are today because of our abilities to overcome the obstacles thrown our way.

Is my novel for kids ages 9 to 12. Absolutely not!

13 to 15 ... I think that's up to their parents.

16 plus ... believe  me, if they aren't reading it in books, they are living it in every day life in some way, shape or form. And, as a parent, I intend to let my kids know that I understand, I've been there, and I will always be there to help them brush off the dirt if they find themselves in any of these situations.

Yes ... I used the F Bomb in my book. 17 times to be exact. 17 out of my over 65,000 words are the F Bomb. I'm not proud of that, and I might even be a tiny bit ashamed of it, however, I'm not afraid of being true to my characters and writing my book in a realistic manner. That, I am proud of!

I offer out an advanced apology to anyone who finds themselves offended by the language in Fall Girl. But, although it might not be the world you've experienced, it's the world I've been a part of. This is what being a teen was like for me, and if it wasn't for you, then you should be truly grateful, for you were blessed and a tiny bit of me even envies you!

So, Dear F Bomb, you have reared your controversial head once again, but you are what you are. You are a word. One that gets used all too often. And though I hate you, I do realize you're not likely to be removed from the English language anytime soon. Due to this depressing fact, I have no other choice than to acknowledge your existence ... and let me tell you what ... you Effing suck!

That's all.

Aug 3, 2011

Self Publishing Project ... The Accidental Best Seller ...

As you saw previously, my book hit #3 on the Kindle Children's free eBook list. *Tosses Confetti*  The fun part is, it stayed there ... in the top 5 for 4 weeks until the month long promotion was up and Fall Girl was no longer free. I still have NO CLUE how it made it up there, but I'm glad it did.

I also somehow made it to #2500 in the Barnes and Noble Nook Store. I have NO CLUE how many books I sold (Not my favorite part about Smashwords ... still waiting for those updates), but #2500 out of ALL Nook Books? How the heck did that happen?

So after giving away a large (and I mean more than I ever thought would get out there) amount of eCopies, I began to get nervous. What would happen now that it's no longer free? I mean it's got good reviews, but if it's not on a best seller list, who's going to find it?

Answer ... a LOT of people. I'm not saying I'm making gobs of money ... I may be able to buy groceries with my own income next month though ... but I am saying it is actually still selling. It's down to $0.99 and the numbers keep climbing. I may be easily pleased, but I'm thrilled to know Fall girl is just over #1600 in the Kindle Paid eBook store. I mean there are hundreds of thousands of eBooks out there, I think being in the top 2000 is pretty darn good for a self pubbed writer!

So I'm only 2 days into this non Free business, so I'm not going to go getting my hopes up or anything. But overall, I'm thoroughly pleased. Sure I made a TON of mistakes along the way ... had some editing/proof reading issues ... which have been taken care of! But overall, I'm kinda proud of my work.

Stay tuned for my next post where I battle it out with myself ... do I self pub the sequel? or do I start the query game again? Oh the angst!

Jul 12, 2011

The Self Publishing Project Month Two (HOLY $@#*!!!)

So the first month was pretty pitiful. I sold about  20 copies and gave away probably another 15. All in all a big fat thumbs down.

So, obviously feeling a bit defeated, I decided to put my book on a one month promotion for FREE. Yep, FREE. Then this past weekend I went to Chicago for the NAMI National Convention. (Amazing!) and didn't really have time to look into any of the sales numbers or anythings. Didn't really expect much anyways.

The weekend finally over, my brain slowly coming back, I sat down to my computer yesterday morning and was blindsided. And I mean BLINDSIDED. Apparently people like my book when it's FREE. Like REALLY like it. So much in fact, that today is day two of my book being ...

Let me break that down for you in case you are in as much disbelief as I am ...

First word

Ok ... Bestsellers ... that's cool, but that could be out of anything. Oh no ... it's not anything! It's the ....

Yep THE ENTIRE stock of Children's eBooks in the KINDLE STORE! And out of the top 100 books that have been listed for free ...

That's my frocking book! MINE! And it's only been FREE since Friday.

So needless to say, I'm kinda in shock. I mean I know that it's just a FREE book, but still. How many FREE books exactly are there on Amazon? (Cuz out of those I'm #32! Just saying ... )

The moral of today's story kids is, my Self Publishing project is going a bit better than I had anticipated. I may have not made much money yet, but I'm okay with that. Because the sheer number of people who have downloaded and read my novel far outweighs what I ever anticipated, Free or not!

Stay tuned ... I have no idea what's going to happen after it goes back up to $2.99!!!

Jul 5, 2011

An Opinion that will Surely Bite me in the Ass!

All day long the talk has been the same. On Facebook, twitter, at home and with friends. Everyone is enraged with the verdict of the Casey Anthony trial. "How dare the system let her walk free after such a horrible crime!" I know I've seen it and heard it about 20 different ways since this morning.

I, on the other hand, refuse to make a judgement about what happened to that poor little girl. I do not fault the jurors whose job it was to decide if or not a woman was guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt". The evidence was mostly circumstantial at best and the two most important pieces, time and cause of death, were missing. Ethically, regardless of how I felt about Ms. Anthony, I could not have convicted her either.

I'm only going to say this once (and I will probably regret it) ... just because a jury says someone is not guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt", does not mean that the person who committed the crime will go unpunished. Imagine carrying that guilt around. Imagine the life that will come after this trial. Imagine what lies ahead of the guilty when he or she has passed on from this life. The one responsible will be punished, just not in a way that any of us will visually be aware of. Nobody gets away with murder. They may think they do, but everyone will be judged in the end. And we should not go around being upset about this verdict, instead we should pity a woman who is obviously not emotionally stable and who is about to go through (or to) hell after all that has happened.

This does NOT in any way condone what has been done, its just to say that we shouldn't judge and we should not throw stones. We weren't there. Just because we believe someone is guilty, it doesn't make it so. I know there is something very wrong about the entire situation, but I believe the person responsible will pay a price much greater than the death penalty.

So tonight, not only will my porch light be on for precious Caylee, but my prayers will also be with her mother and/or the killer, that one day they will come to realize the harm that was caused and seek forgiveness. I know that it sounds absurd, but I believe everyone deserves to be prayed for, especially the ones who commit the worst actions. They are the ones who need prayers the most. Caylee will be ok, she's in heaven (and/or whatever afterlife you may believe in) She's dancing with the angels, something her killer will never be able to do. And I truly pity that person, whoever it was.

*ducks to avoid cans and veggies tossed her way*

Jun 28, 2011

What happens when you disappear ... a bloggers demise

Back in the beginning stages of this blog, I was addicted. I tried my best to post every day, spent hours commenting on all your posts, twittered, networked, it was bliss. I learned SOOO much about writing and met some of the most amazing people, so of whom have become incredible friends.

So, I blogged ... and I blogged and I blogged and I blogged ... and while doing so I wrote my novels. Then I thought, why not expand. I can blog here and there and over in that spot. So I made an author site, a spin off site, a here site a there site everywhere a site site. And then one day it happened, I had so many blogs I didn't know which one to concentrate on. I'd torn my tiny little bloul (blogger soul) into too many pieces ... little mini brorcruxes (blogger horcr.... ok I'll stop with the word meshing).

I knew at that point I had to concentrate on one and one alone. As my heart lies with psychology and mental illnesses (considering I'm bipolar and all, yippeeee), I focused on my Ask a Bipolar site. Amazing things happened. This past year has been incredible! So much so I'm attending my first national convention next week (Oh yeah, you totally just heard me squee!).

But here's the thing about that site, it's just not the same. It's a world different from my blogger days. The networking has disappeared in that I no longer network with fellow bloggers, I network with fellow bipolar sufferers. I'll assume you can see the difference between the two. Instead of learning from my blogger friends, I'm teaching others about something they know little about. Where as that is awesome, I miss blogger friends.

Alas, here I am, a little over a year later, and all that networking I did while I blogged here ever day, it's all disappeared. I no longer had/have time for the twittering, blog hopping/commenting, and constant contact with all my fellow writers. It's sad really.

NOW I am NOT complaining ... I am merely trying to send out a suggestion to all you bloggers out there. Stay with ONE site. Make it yours. Do many different things if you feel the need to, but keep it all in one. Because when you spread out, you spread yourself thin, then suddenly you can't keep up.

I'm in the process right now of trying to be a student, writer, website founder, friend, mother, wife and spectacular person. And sometimes one me is just not enough. But regardless, I miss you guys! If you can, stay in touch. If we don't stick together, we all might just fall apart!

Jun 7, 2011

Experiment phase two .. do reviews really increase sales?

So I want you to be a part of my experiment!!!

If you have a blog or a website, I need YOU to do a review for me (cuz you love me!)

If interested comment here and I will provide you with the coupon code to purchase the book at no charge :)

Let's make this self publishing experiment a success story!!!!

PS You can also purchase Fall girl for only $5.99 this week. Take advantage!!!

Jun 2, 2011

The Self Publishing Experiment

I was hounded ... I was bullied ... I was confused ... I was frustrated

So what did I do?

I just stashed all my fears and put it out there. I published my book as an e book. I am now a self-made author. I thought I'd feel more ashamed of myself, but I don't really. I'm actually kind of excited.

NOT as excited about the marketing portion of it.

So far, today, I've sold ONE copy ... to my sister ... I <3 You Miss Charlotte!

But soon it will be on a million different distribution lists (slight exaggeration is possible) and I will be out there. Stark naked. Ready to be discovered. (and when I say I, I mean my book of course ... I'm totally not willing to get discovered naked myself!)

So my goal is to keep you guys posted. Let you know how sales go. Kinda keep you in the loop of the self pubbing world. Let you know if I become and author outcast.

So, in case you are interested ... and you should be, cuz I'm serious ... this book is AWESOME ... here is how YOU can purchase ... which you should ... cuz you love me and you want to prove that self publishing is the death of authors ... and why yes, that was quite the shameless self promotion.

OOH OOH Anyone want to do a book review?  I'll love you forever and always!

Ok, without further humiliation explanation ... here it is!

(you should buy it!)
Ebook Price: $9.99 USD 

May 31, 2011

Big Fat Awesometastic News!

So, unless you follow me on facebook (In which you've seen me announce this at least once or twice) I have some BIG NEWS!

Wait for it .....




Yes, I know that's probably not as big of a deal to everyone as it is to me, but I've never gone to college. Never knew what I wanted to go for. But now ...

Now it's like the heavens have drizzled upon my lack of direction and their puddles have formed little arrows that say, "UM IDOIT, what is it you do again every day?"

Ok, well I run a website about bipolar disorder, but what's that got to do with college?

And then it started to poor and all the little friendly raindrops got all nasty and slapped me in the face. (Jerks!)

I was all like, "Ok ok, I get it. I should go to college and study psychology. Now stop raining!"

And then since I live in Michigan, the rain obeyed and turned into sunny weather. Which would be great, had it not been accompanied by scorching hot and humid 90 degree temperatures.

So there you have it. I am going to school! 10 Years of Educational Bliss all to become a psychologist. Is it insane that I am EXTREMELY excited?

May 24, 2011

How Secret Life of the American Teenager is preparing me for the near future ...

The beginning of 2011 rang in with a flu bug. Runny noses, aches, fevers. Needless to say, I was stuck in my bed until I got better. And how does one get through a week of being sick ??? Why hello there Netflix, let's be friends.

Now Netflix and I have been friends for awhile, so what was left to watch, well it was slightly limited.  And So I came across this series ...

I'd seen it before. A little bit of the first season. All I could recall is that it went something along the lines of this...

You know, one of those shows you can't take your eyes off of. There's just one train wreck after another and you NEED to know what happens next. All the while you are rolling your eyes and laughing at it's absurdity.

Well it was either watch that or Veggie Tales. Train wreck The Secret Life of The American Teenager won.

Before long, I was glued. I watched pretty much every single season available.

In short, this is how it went down ...

First it starts with 6 teens

 The school year starts and they are all cozied up into their cute little couples.

 But backtrack!!! Let's not forget Ricky and Amy's little "special time" alone at band camp!

Which led too...

Kinda threw a chink in all the cute little couplings, but fought forward. And all was well ... Mommy daddy cuddled up to their new baby Jon and ... wait ...

Who's that kissing Amy?

OHHHH That's Ben. He didn't want Amy to be alone and since they were SO in love at the age of sixteen, they decided to get fake ideas and get married. So they went through the whole ceremony and in the end ... it too was fake!

This is just going to cause more complications and stress and it's all just too much. So Ben and Amy decide to "take a break" up. Amy keeps to her self, but it seems like Ben isn't versed in his episodes of "FRIENDS because he gets a bit lonely. Here is further proof ...

Please take note of Exibit C for this is where our story takes a huge turn in events. In this picture we witness Ben and Adrian alone in a car ...

Break's over Buddy. Time to fess up. Why not take the private jet out to New York for a night so it can be more personal.

Now no story would be complete without everyone's BFF's involved ...

Is it just me, or do all these faces seem to lack a tiny bit of support? It's probably just me.

Moving on, amidst all this chaos, Jack and Grace split because they had sex and Grace thought doing it made her dad die. Then she found out Jack had also been with Adrian doing "something" and refused to go back to him. So she met grant.

And since Jack had no one else to turn to, seeing as everyone else is taken, she chooses Madison (Token BFF) They're a bit rocky right now.

So, moving on... Now that Ricky and Amy are starting to get along better, Ben and Adrian decide they need to make the most of their situation and become a couple. Oh yeah, and they are getting married cuz Ben's dad is buying them a Condo. (Ben's dad is the Sausage King, which makes him rich)

But if we're being honest, I don't really care much about Ben and Adrian because it seems like Ricky is changing his ways and trying to become a family. Good for him!

And so, we start the show with one pregnancy and it seems we are ending this new season with another. Aren't they cute little pregnant teens?

OMG NO!!!!

And this is just a quick synopsis!!! It's only a fraction of how train wreckage this is!

So here is what I learned from watching all 3 seasons in the past two months ...

  • Even as young as 13, all teens think about is sex.
  • If you watch one episode of the Secret Life and took a shot every time they say the word "sex", you'd be drunk within the first half. (Works much better for the earlier seasons) And NO I haven't tried it.
  • Kids talk to their parents about sex and actually ask their permission before doing it. 
I'm sure I've missed a few things.

Have I mentioned that I'm 30! 30 years old and I religiously watch this ridiculous angsty show every week!

I can't lie though, as my daughter just turned 10, I pay more attention to the parents than I do the adults. I'm not sure that the parent/child interactions are actually realistic, I do kinda hope I've gained at least a few nuggets of information to take with me in these next few years.