Buy My Memoir, Or Else I’ll…

… hunt you down and show you a picture of a cow giving birth to a pig.

Okay, I guess I’ve already done that now. Gross, huh?

… cry all day long until my screaming tears of pain and mental anguish are so loud the neighbors have me hauled off in an ambulance and a straight jacket for one of my routine stays in the local mental health facility.

Alright, that was how I spent my weekend.

So seriously, you people should consider buying my book. Here are all the reasons why:

#1: It’s a steal. You can get it either in paperback or Kindle edition; for $6.99 or $2.99 respectively. That’s less money than you’ll spend this week on hookers and blow.

#2: It’s concise and funny. It’s pretty short (125 pages), so a quick read. I like my books short. I think verbosity is a sin. Anyway, so a lot of my life has been a real shithole with absolutely nothing humorous about it. I left all that out, or rather I glossed over it with some fancy PowerPoint action. Maybe one day I’ll write a second memoir and include a supply of Prozac long enough to get through it. Until then, we’ll all laugh heartily through this one.

#3: I used the terms “whack off” and “jerk off” so many times I lost count. What is so tragic about this is it comes from the story I recount of when my mom gave me “The Talk.” I swear a lot in the book too, but it’s in a fun way.

#4: As if you didn’t already understand why I call my mom my “Trailer Trash Mom,” you will now learn exactly how she got the title.

#5: That voodoo doll I made for the book trailer and book cover may have real powers, and I could stick pins in it to punish you all.

(Okay, so I wrote “World” on it and then threw it in the trash, so we may all very well be screwed at this point.)

#6: I already added it to Goodreads so you can show up all your yuppy Goodreads friends with a quick and fun read to combat their 50 Shades of Shut the F Up, or whatever the hell that women’s porn book is called.

#7: Oh, did you actually want to know what the book is about? Well, I’ll let you be the judge, but it’s my memoir about surviving childhood by becoming a cynic, and navigating motherhood by embracing misanthropy. I think it’s sort of inspiring at the end because I talk about overcoming my mother. Inspiration is always a reason to buy something.

#8: I made this fancy book trailer for it.

#9: The last thing you want me to do is find that my sales from online and in-person promotion are so low that I resort to street-sales. Who knows what could happen when I wonder the dark alleys of suburbia trying to peddle my wares.

#10: It’s really easy to find. Just click the book cover here and buy it! And you can “like” it on Amazon, or even write a nice review too.

For the paperback version:

For the Kindle version:

(For some reason the two aren’t linked yet)

Seriously, though – you faithful blog followers rock my socks off. Whether you buy my book or not, I dig you all. But please buy my memoir anyway, or else I’ll …

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There is no room for literacy at my local pub…

Sadly, my local pub is apparently among those that prefer idiocy and ignorance to intelligence and education. Gladly, I don’t care if  anyone’s feelings are hurt that I honestly share my experience in coming to this conclusion. If you’re ever in California, don’t waste your time at Brendan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant (Camarillo, CA) if you think reading is important. Because there is no room for literacy at my local pub…

Some time ago, I was terribly disheartened by my own experience as a writer trying to seek out publication, and as an avid reader desperately searching for like-minded people who love books as much as I do. To say “I love books” is probably understating it. I am obsessed with books. I read all the time. The only thing that I love more than books are words, which always gets weird looks when I tell people this. I think a word is one of the most beautiful things in existence, and no one can ever take them away from you. So when I was disheartened a while back, I did some research and learned some startling statistics, which I reported on this blog. Among the most startling of things I learned when writing that blog was that as many as 33% of people that graduate from high school never read another book again after graduation, with 42% of the remaining never reading past college. Additionally, on a daily basis the Pew Report estimated that Americans spend an average of 4 hours watching television, 3 hours listening to radio or music, and no more than 14 minutes reading (usually in a magazine or news online). Every, single day – no more than 14 minutes. I came to the conclusion that in a world like this, there is no room for good literature.

But then you have a rare event promoting literacy, such as happened today across the country – an event that lifts your spirits and gives you hope amidst all the statistics and stupidity. Last year in Europe a movement began called World Book Night, which spread to the United States this year and created an unprecedented movement of people encouraging others to read. The idea was that the 501(c)3 would get (through contributions from individuals, organizations, and publishing houses) 30 books distributed in large amounts to volunteers who would then give the books away for free to members of the community. You could give them away anywhere – the mall, senior centers, the library, the grocery store, restaurants, bars … whatever you wanted, you just had to give them away for the event, and for free.

So I signed up and got my first choice for books – The Poisonwood Bible. I got twenty copies, specially printed with a letter on the cover about World Book Night and a list of all the contributors that made the event such a success. A book club I’m in had some ladies that were interested in participating as well, so we organized a meet up at the local watering hole to give away the book (and other used ones we had collected) to passers-by.

When I walked in, the hostesses at the front door welcomed me and my box of books with open arms. They each took one and said they were so excited we would be there. We had communicated with the place about the event, so this seemed only natural. The others in our group showed, we ordered drinks, and set out the books on the two tables we occupied. We gave out a few more books. We snapped a photograph. Then I saw our waitress talking to the bartender and looking at us, and as she walked over I knew things were going to go downhill. The conversation went something like this:

Cocktail waitress: “So, what exactly are you guys doing?”

Us: “We’re participating in World Book Night. It’s a national event where we have been given free books to distribute to people in our community at local hang outs.”

Cocktail waitress: “Hmmmmmm… who did you speak to about doing this? Did you talk to Chuck?”

Us: “We sent an email and also communicated on your Facebook page.”

Cocktail waitress: “Huh. I’m trying to figure out how to say this without being rude. We really can’t have you approaching people to solicit them.”

Us: “Okay, can we stay seated here with our books on the table?”

Cocktail waitress: “Oh sure, you are welcome to stay and drink but you can’t approach people.”

Us: “Can we move somewhere that more people will see this.”

Cocktail waitress: “I’m really just trying to say this without being rude, but no – you see none of us even know what the book is about, having never read it. If someone walks by and asks what you have on the table, you are welcome to give those away.”

She came back a few minutes later to make it clear that we could still give people the books if they walked by and asked, and when we asked if we could put up a handmade sign she said “no.” That was the end of our World Book Night as we thought it would be. Disappointing, but we had to move on.

After finishing our drinks and getting out of there, we ended up walking around the rest of the mall and distributing the books (mostly) to employees of the other shops and fast food restaurants in the area. Some of them were very appreciative, a few looked like they just wanted us to leave. One guy acted surprised that people were giving out books and actually acknowledged that illiteracy in our country is a big problem that things like this will really help fix. In the end, we successfully got all of our World Book Night books distributed and had a good time, but that really isn’t the point.

Had my local pub not been in a complex with other places, they could have ruined our efforts for the night. I get not wanting people to bother their patrons. I get not knowing what the book is about and being worried we might represent something they don’t believe in. But had they taken the time to look into it, or had they considered even just letting us set the books up in such a way that passers-by could see and inquire, this wouldn’t have made me so mad. Instead of doing that, though, Brendan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant let us show up and order drinks, only to shoot us down. Because the people working tonight had never read the book. Maybe they’ve never read any books, or they don’t believe that reading is as important as making money and discouraging anything but drinking at their establishment. Do I really believe that it was some grand conspiracy theory on the part of the place to actively discourage intellectualism? No. But it still is true that if their patrons decided to read more, they’d likely spend less time glued to the bar stool with their eyes on the many big screen TVs that cover the place.

In the end, it’s just a big disappointment in a locally owned restaurant and bar, and a reminder that for the majority of our present society, there really is no room for good literature. We weren’t selling things. We weren’t trying to convert people to any religious or cult-like groups. We weren’t interrupting people’s meals or breaking up their attempts at love. We just wanted people to see what we had to offer, and to have an opportunity to read and expand their minds.

It’s too bad that there is no room for literacy at my local pub… is there room for literacy anywhere anymore?

There are few things you can get for $2.99 anymore…

…and my book is one of them!

Seriously, faithful blog followers. I engaged in so much snark and sass last year I thought that the only way to best assemble it all into one place would be to do so in an eBook. And it’s packed full of old as well as some new material too. For only $2.99, it’s a steal.

If you do not own a Kindle, you can still download it to a Kindle app on any of your smartphone, tablet, or computers; and if that even fails, you may still read it on the Kindle cloud drive directly online on your Amazon account.

So follow the link http://www.amazon.com/itch-Against-World-HeatherChristenaSchmidt-com-ebook/dp/B007D1QWWY/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1 and buy the book! And thanks in advance your ongoing support of my writing. I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

New Years Countdown Series, Day 5: the B(itch) Actually Did Things in 2011

That’s right, b(itch)es – we’re having a New Years Countdown to 2012. Today is the first, although since it’s a countdown it will be (of course) Day 5: 5 days out to 2012 and a whole new year of opportunities to be snarky.

But before I cap off my countdown with the traditional rants and complaints, I thought I’d first go over the things I actually did this year. If you know me well, you know I don’t usually accomplish much – particularly since I left school in 2010 and took up the life of languish. In that time, I’ve tirelessly tried to work on a book and to win some writing-related contests, mostly to no avail though (part because of me, part because of others). But as the year winds down, it appears I have actually done some things worth noting this year:

I finished my Ridiculous Reads Challenge. Originally I just wanted to read as much as I could in 2011 – good, quality books (not that vampire glitter puke crap you get in the ever-growing YA section at Barnes and Noble); then it morphed into the daunting task of finishing 40 good books. A few ended up being utter piles of crap, but the majority were great and I finished them all. To see my list, visit my ridiculous reads page, which will be replaced with 2012’s page in the near future … for a look ahead, I plan on 50 in 2012 with War and Peace kicking off the effort. During this time I realized just how much I love books and words, as well as writing. People call themselves nerds when they spend a lot of time reading and writing but I think it’s the people that read absolutely nothing that are the real losers. (…spoken like a true nerd, I’m sure.)

I was just nominated for a WordPress Blogger Award – the 7 X 7 Link Award. It’s my first and it’s awesome. Muey thanks to Scribbling Hermit for the nomination – faithful blog followers should follow that link, I’m quite a fan of the poetry. Reportedly, the nominee has to make some inclusions to the announcement of said nomination, though, so here they are:

A confession of sorts about me you faithful blog followers might not know: is that I love gangster rap. I’m not even kidding you – stupid, little girl drinking frilly mocha drinks, who is too afraid to drive outside of her comfort zone for fear that some hardcore gang member is going to shank her ass (even if there are no gangs reported in the general vicinity) … bumps rap whose primary words are “fuck” “shank” “guns” “cut” “smoke” “bitch” “bitch” “bitch” “fuck” and more “bitch.”

Seven links of my blog posts that I believe are the cream of the crop: Most Surprisingly Successful Korean Hooker Hostage (I’m on to these people…), Most Underrated The Many Types of Hugs (which I still am in need of, even the terrifying yet at the same time satisfying junk-mashing one), Most Popular How to Have a Hillbilly Thanksgiving (coming up on the countdown – How to Have a Hillbilly New Years Celebration), Most Beautiful People I Would Have an Affair With (a few of which, I am starting to think I actually would …), Most Helpful Profile of a Douche (for it’s applicability and helpfulness to the general population), Most Controversial Stop Being Such a P*s*y (for the number of conversations inspired), and Most Pride Worthy The World Does Not Stop (for its sheer bitchiness and because I used the phrase “on the rag”).

And finally to nominate seven bloggers, who you also should check out because I love them: A Spoonful of Suga (hilariously brilliant), Life in the Farce Lane (love the bluntness), The Life of JWo (I love some of the daily goings-on reported in this blog because it makes my life seem more normal), The Dissemination of Thought (funny. as. hell.), The Eleventh Stack (HELLO! written by librarians about books), Lolabees (for the traveling to places I can live vicariously through in the pictures), and Laughter is Catching (just great writing).

I won a poetry contest in April, and it was for the first real poem I had ever written. (And have since written none.) I don’t think it’s that great – but the group of people judging the contest did.

A Burden To Bear

Feathery Pens. Pillowy clouds.

Ex-tolling crowds.

I, a fool;

Young. Naïve.

Writing, a dream:  covered in shrowds.

Older. Experienced. Lacking elation.

Endless frus-tra-tion.

A sentence

an hour.

Sleepless nights in con-templation.

Voltaire! Voltaire!

He had said to beware!

This hurts.

Sentences strain.

Writing, in reality: a burden to bear.

I’m sure I’ve done other things to mention this year, but these are the three that come to mind (and are probably the most relevant to my blog). I could include other things, like eliminating dysfunctional losers from my life (finally!!) and finishing my manuscript then trashing it – but I think those three above are the most exciting.

Although, there was also that “date” with Wolf  on my 100th blog post … God I love that man …

 

 

Hey, speaking of accomplishments, you assholes didn’t get me what I wanted for Christmas this year – 100 Facebook fans. But there’s hope for our relationship just yet – I’ve extended my goal of 100 to my 30th birthday on April 15th. So do me a huge one and click through to “like” my page. And spread the word!