“There Is No Try.”

Muppet Badass

This is reprinted from my January 2011 blog… I just loved it, and needed the reminder.  🙂

“Do, or do not… there is no try.” — Yoda

Okay. This statement has been quoted by geeks everywhere. It’s usually the glib, ass-kicking, “put up or shut up” quote that encourages pop culture freaks like myself to go out there and, excuse the expression, just do it. Except I’ve been in writer’s block at various points… and believe me, if I could’ve “just done it,” I would have.

As a result, I really took umbrage at the “there is no try” philosophy. Sometimes, I argued, all you had was “try.” Progress, not perfection. Getting something on the page is better than getting nothing on the page.

I’ve recently discovered a different interpretation to the quote.

Think about the last time a friend asked you to do something.

If you say, “Yeah, sure, sounds like fun,” you’re putting it in your calendar. Possibly in pen.

If you say, “I’ll try,” I’ve generally meant “I really doubt it, and I don’t really want to, but I don’t want to hurt you with a ‘no’ so I’ll use this.”

If I say I’m trying to do something in a week, I generally give myself wiggle room… it doesn’t mean I’m going to commit to it.

If someone calls me on my crap, and I say “I’m trying my best,” I mean it. But at the same time, it gives me a certain excuse: I’m still not owning my crap, per se. I’m justifying it.

The difference between doing and trying.

I realized that I’ve been pretty stressed about my writing career for a while, which is the first floor in the worry building, with an express elevator to insanity. There are so many variables that are out of my control. I can’t say “I’m going to write a bestseller” because there’s no way that’s something I can influence. It was, I’ve always thought, unhealthy.

But the difference is, if I say I’m going to do it, and then my books sell two copies and I get dropped by my publishers and my agents put out a hit on me, I can’t say “I’m not a bestseller” definitively — because I’m not dead yet. As long as I can still write, I’m still in the game.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas Edison

It’s a matter of commitment. I need to make smart goals, sure… but I also need to commit to an outcome. I need to connect with the things that keep my engine running toward what I want. I need to support others in their goals, and ask for help in mine.

I need to stop trying, and start doing.

Soooo… I’m part of the Entangled In Love Blog Hop!

Click here to check out what the other authors are giving away during the Entangled In Love blog hop!

Bear with me, peeps.  I have never done a blog hop before.  Be gentle.

So.  Here I am.  Hoppin’.

So a welcome to the new visitors!  I’m Cathy Yardley, author of TEMPING IS HELL.  (All you regulars — stop snickering!  Don’t shame me in front of new people! <g>)

A peek into how I came to write one of my favorite scenes in  TEMPING IS HELL.EntSelec-00040(cove#2681F83

I’ve been doing a lot of promo the past week or  so, talking especially about my worst job experiences.  I have had some doozies — and apparently, so have a lot of you, if the comments back are any indication! 😀

The first scene where my heroine, Kate, meets Thomas Kestrel, CEO of Fiendish Enterprises, is one of my favorites.  It’s one o’clock in the morning, and Kate’s trying to finish up a project so she doesn’t get fired. Thomas is initially suspicious — but soon realizes that the person singing “Baby Got Back” and dancing by herself is probably not a threat.  Especially when, frightened, she holds up a loaded stapler to defend herself.

Strangely enough, there’s a precedent for this scene.

I used to dance at work.

There was one job, one cube farm, that seemed to bring out the dancing fool in me.

I’d need to go to people’s cubicles, waiting until they were off the phone to ask some stupid piece of information before going back to my cubicle.  (Usually because they were ignoring my instant messages.)  While they were blabbing on their interminable calls, I usually found myself doing something to kill time.  Which was usually dancing in front of their cube door, waiting for them to notice I was there.

This was surprisingly effective.

So one day, I was waiting  for a co-worker to get off the phone, and I was bopping away.  When suddenly I hear the big manager — who was rarely ever on our floor — say behind me:  “Excuse me.  What are you doing?”

I froze.  Thought about it.  Swallowed hard.

“Sort of a mambo,” I finally replied, then shot him a grin and a look that said:  as if it isn’t obvious!

Professionalism.  Not my strong suit.

Which was why writing Kate was such incredible fun.

GIVEAWAY!

I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky announcement list subscriber!  The winner will be chosen at random on February 16th.  To enter, just fill out the form to the right (that red box.)  Don’t worry: I don’t do anything weird or uncool, no spam.  And I send announcements maybe once a quarter — usually it’s either a book release date, or a special for my reading peeps.

May the odds be ever in your favor!  😀

UPDATE!

Thanks so much, those of you who entered!  The winner of the $10 Amazon gift card is… Latisha D.! 

 

It’s here, lovies. TEMPING IS HELL is out today!

EntSelec-00040(cove#2681F83“I drink from the keg of glory…  Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land!”

Oh, my sweet lord, yes.

Today.  My book, my baby, the world’s toughest sell, comes out today.

I feel like doing a touchdown dance.  At some point, I imagine I will spontaneously break out in song.  (God willing, this will not be in public.)

Temping Is Hell is out, y’all.  It’s available for sale.  It’s a digital release, so fire up your e-readers or tablets, and snap this puppy  up. And then be prepared to laugh your ass off.

Ain’t too proud to beg.

You know I’m not the hard sell girl.  (In fact, I think I may have missed announcing several of my release dates in the past.  D’oh!)

But I will say this:  I love this book, beyond reason, wisdom, and public decorum.

I would get a tattoo of several of the lines of dialogue.  On my face.  (Okay, possibly just my arm.)

It’s the book I’d be waiting for if I hadn’t written it.  It’s a book I would fangirl squeal for.  I would put the next release date on the calendar and sign up for the newsletter to be sure I didn’t miss it.  I would tell all my friends about it and yammer at them until they got a copy so I could then quote at them and have them quote along with me.  

I feel this strongly about it.

So I’m asking you to give my book a try.  Heck, if you don’t like it, you can always return it (yes, you can return digital copies, I just found that out. It’s within a week or something.)

Commitment shy?  Just read the excerpt.  You don’t even have to download a sample.

It’s got a smattering (okay, for a sailor) of, erm, mature language.  Lots of geek references.  A metric ton of office humor.  And a healthy dose of smexy.  (Mmmm.  Smexy.)

Try it.  You’ll like it.  🙂  And please share, re-tweet, post on facebook, pin on Pinterest.  Frighten someone on public transportation with a spontaneous squee.

I know I will.

P.S.  I will give a free copy to the first person who can tell me where the bagel quote comes from. 😉

face

Winter is Coming. (And So Is My Book!)

That probably sounds weird.  Unless you’re a Game of Thrones fan — in which case, I hope you read the blog title in Sean Bean’s voice, because I know I always do.

TEMPING IS HELL… my latest novel, an Urban Fantasy with a lot of Chick Lit attitude, is coming.

CathyYardley_badgeI have been waiting for years for this particular book to come out.  I’ve got a great blog tour lined up, culminating in the Fools for Love February stop (see badge.)  I’ve got interviews and fun little scenes and holiday memos from Fiendish Enterprises.

But most of all….ohhhhh, the book.

How I love this book.

I know, all authors probably say that.  But this is different.  I love, love, LOVE this book.

Of the (sixteen? seventeen?) books I’ve written… this is my favorite.

It was also the hardest to get published.  I started writing it almost four years ago now, and it went through a lot of iterations.  My agents tried shopping it two years ago.  Most of the major publishers said the same thing:

“We love the voice.  We just don’t know how to sell it.”

Rejection.  Rejection.  Reluctant, kind, but ultimately… rejection.

 

A brave publisher rises.

Then, finally — the  then-nascent publisher Entangled stepped up to the plate.  Editor Heather Howland had been nice enough to do a beta read of the first fifty pages for me… she was working for Entangled, and she said she wanted it.

I promised my agents I’d give it a shot at the Big Six publishers in New York, but something about Entangled just appealed.  For one thing, they’re just my kind of crazy.  For another, they’re truly lovely people.  And I liked their attitude, their ethic, and their guts.

Besides — they loved my book.  Almost as much as I did.  And they weren’t afraid of trying to sell a book that wasn’t about vampires, werewolves, or angels in a time when Urban Fantasy appeared to be finally losing steam.

Long story short — TEMPING IS  HELL, the first book in my Necessary Evil series, comes out in January.  You’ll be hearing a lot about it from me (not spamming, but a whole lot of squeeing, people!)

And I hope you try it, because I really, really think you’ll enjoy it.

Oooh. New cover!

Hello, handsome!

Just saw that I got a cover for the first book in my Blaze trilogy:  The Player’s Club: Scott.  And lo and behold… Scott!

I love this book, and this series.  It’s sort of like The Dead Poet’s Society meets The Bucket List… or maybe Fight Club.   And Scott’s our introduction to it.  He sees a group of guys meeting in a back alley across from his apartment at two o’clock in the morning, but they don’t look like criminals — they’re wearing anything from skate grunge to tuxedos, and he can’t for the life of him figure out what’s going on.  When he decides to investigate, he discovers two things:  an underground Club, dedicated to facing what you’re afraid of and doing what you’ve only dreamed… and his cute girl-next-door-neighbor Amanda, who mistakenly believes Scott’s some kind of daredevil!

I’ll be putting up the blurb and an excerpt soon… but had to share.  Can’t wait to see this one come out!

 

What was your first concert?

Music is a big deal in our house.

My husband and I bonded over an eclectic CD collection — Eminem and Eekamouse, Bob Marley and Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Manson.

The Boy, still in my womb, had a tendency to rock out to thrash metal.  He still insists on listening to “rock and roll” given any opportunity –Queen, Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers are on his personal playlist.

I love Broadway musicals.  Love that The Sing Off is back on the air — something about acapella music just gives me the shivers, in the best possible way.

Spanish guitar or Saint Saens’ Dance Macabre?  Sign me up.

On the other side of the coin, absolutely anything with a bass line that makes me want to move?  Oh, hell yeah.  Hip hop, electronica, just a driving drum beat.

Love music: hate concerts.

All that said, I generally have not been a fan of live music. Part of this is probably the fact that I’m adverse to loud noises and crowds — which, let’s face it, is the point of a concert.

But in my youth (set the way, way back machine) I did go to a concert or two.  Well… just two, actually.  And both were for the same band.

Yes… my first concert was Oingo Boingo.

Don’t judge!  If you’re from So Cal, you know that nobody else on earth does a show like these guys.  And I was so nostalgic for that experience that I saw a cover band, Dead Man’s Party.  They weren’t as good, couldn’t possibly be, but they were still fun and the music still made me want to dance.

So my question to you :  what was your first concert?