I Promise You Won't Learn A Thing From This Blog

The official blog for author Ashley Chappell. Check back every week for a few laughs at my expense or, if you know the love-hate process that is writing, commiseration.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Signed 'Alice Will' Book Giveaway!

As promised: Your chance to win!

I'll be giving away a free SIGNED copy of 'Alice Will' so I can share my book launch excitement with someone :-) It will even come with its very own linen tote to make it easier to carry it from shade tree to shade tree without having to spill your wine.

The contest starts at 12:00 AM, Wednesday 11/27 and ends at 12:00 AM on Wednesday, 12/5. There will be multiple ways to enter, and each entry increases your chances of winning! Enter from the widget below or from Facebook. You can enter every day. Go ahead; stack the odds! :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 09, 2012

Tomboy Diva

I’m a natural-born tomboy and I always have been. Give me a pair of jeans, cargo pants, a hippie-looking pull-over, or a tool belt and I’m right at home. Set me loose in a department store full of accessories and fashionable clothes and I’m likely to have a retail-induced panic attack. It’s probably the same way Captain Rogers felt when he walked out into modern day Manhattan surrounded by strange and alien modern contraptions.

Pontoon Pirate
Yes, this is me at my best. 
So why am I suddenly obsessing over clothes, nails, jewelry and hair for next week? The biggest thing that has ever happened to me in my LIFE is happening next week (I can still say this is the ‘biggest’ because I haven’t gotten around to popping the question to Steven yet). My first novel hits the shelves on Tuesday, and on Thursday we’re heading down to Miami for the book launch at the Miami Book Fair. What I should be thinking about is honing my pitch, being sure I’m ready to discuss every aspect with it, having at least 20 quick answers for ‘What’s it about?’ and generally just being professional and prepared.

Instead, I've been digging through my cabinets for make-up that I haven’t worn in ages and trying to perfect the ‘author look,’ as if there even is such a thing. I’m even going shopping again tonight (albeit at Mountain High Outfitters) to try to find the perfect shirt of the Prana persuasion. My nails are perfectly purple, and I even had my hair dyed at a salon for the first time in about 4 years. Though, I have to admit I’m really enjoying that last part; not seeing the gray for a change is nice.

I've been thinking about this completely out-of-character recent behavior of mine and I’m no longer afraid that I’m suddenly turning from a die-hard tomboy to a prissy prom queen. It was a concern at first, especially considering I don’t have enough room in my closet to support a shoe habit, but then the zits started popping up and two things happened. First, I howled like said prom queen upon finding zits the morning of prom. Not little bitty ones, either. Big, painful, red welts on my cheek of the sort I haven’t had since high school. Horrifying timing, of course. Second, I realized that they were the physical manifestation of the stress I've apparently been channeling into the ‘Gossip Girl’ kind of persona I've been wearing lately. *Note: I hope that’s a good analogy. I've never actually seen an episode of ‘Gossip Girl,’ but the title and commercial strikes me as the type of show where shallow reigns and geek stains.*

I’m not prone to stress, so I guess it’s not surprising that I’d been suppressing the reaction until the cauldron of stress and chocolate started bubbling over with some odd side effects. And now that I recognize what’s going on with me, I can at least start getting my head straight. So I’m nervous. Big deal, right? I SHOULD be nervous, but most of all excited and satisfied that my years of working on my writing have finally begun to pay off in the way that I've always dreamed. But on that road I’m going to experience my first public bad reviews, my first nerve-wracking appearances, and I’m going to have to learn to be a more social and outgoing person. Normally I like to hide at the back of a room and sneak out before anyone realizes I’m there. Not in the creepy Unabomber way; more like the awkward wallflower way.

So yes, there is plenty of reason for me to be nervous and anxious, but there is plenty of reason for me to be proud and confident as well. I’m still going to go shopping tonight, but I’m not going to obsess like I have been. I’m going to relax and have fun. I’m going to make fantastic new memories and meet incredible new people along the way. I've worked hard to get where I am and I’m going to continue to work hard and take this new direction as far as humanly possible.

And it all starts with showing up and being comfortable with myself next week in Miami, no matter how many pimples I get.  Besides... that’s why God invented Photoshop.