Mark Your Calendars

My next book is coming out, in exactly one week. One. Week. That’s seven days.

And since I’m posting this so late in the evening, many of you won’t read it until tomorrow, making that LESS than a week.

Exciting stuff, I know.

So at the mark of the one week countdown, I am thrilled to share with you guys my cover and trailer.

*scream*

So here’s the cover, and please be kind with regards the appearance of my almost-37-year-old face… I am tired and old, and having a toddler has worn me down.

And of course you can watch the trailer too, which is a sentiment to just how jaded I have become on the topic of trailers, in general:

And don’t forget you can get entered to win one of two swag bags with a copy of the book by playing along with my caption game over on Facebook or Instagram!

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Survey Says…

The results are in!

A while ago, I sent out a survey to you guys on Surveymonkey, and the responses were OVERWHELMING.

Just kidding, a ton of people took the time to click the survey; a mere 17 of you took the time to complete it.

To you 17…a sincere and heartfelt thanks…

To the rest of you: well, you have a chance to redeem yourselves from your complacent silence.

First, let’s get to the results of the survey.

First-first, let’s remind ourselves what the survey was about.

I am trying to really get my blog more social. I feel as though I haven’t been networking and marketing quite as effectively as I could. Not that I’ve had a drop in readers on my small corner of the Internet; just that there is so much out there available to get your content out there as a writer, and I feel as though I wasn’t taking full advantage of what the world of the wide web has to offer.

So my survey results, few as there were, spoke volumes about what I’ve been doing right (thank God I’ve done some of it the right way), and what I could cut out or quit wasting my time on, so that I can spend that time doing more of the right stuff.

Also: we’ve concluded that I was correct in my previous assumption that Myspace is dead and Snapchat is for kids and hos.

I’ll paste the specific question results in below, but first-first-first let’s talk about how you guys can help me just one more time (and in the case of you lazy bums that looked but clicked away, for the first time):

The thing I’ve been really trying to integrate into my blog content is more video or podcasty type of stuff. No matter what I’ve done though, I can never seem to come up with enough of what I would call good material to do something like a weekly video blog or monthly podcast.

I really want to do it though. I feel video and audio is the wave of the future – who has time to always sit down and read some random lady’s rantings on the Internet? Give me a quick a dirty something to listen to in the car, or watch while I am at a kid’s sports event, and I’m good!

So what would you guys like to see or hear from me (as opposed to read)?

Seriously, that’s the only question in this second inquiry: what the hell do you want to see or listen to me talk about (if I can ever get over how annoying my voice sounds)?

Comment, message, or carrier pigeon me your wishes… I’m open to *almost* anything.

Thanks again to those of you that replied to my survey a while back. I’ll paste in the results as a little slideshow now for your enjoyment:

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I Don’t Care About 3D Mascara, Jamberry Nails, Facials, ITWorks Wraps, or Beach Bodies

That may sound a little harsh.

i-dont-always-do-my-hair-makeup-but-when-i-do-i-make-sure-to-post-it-on-facebook-d8951Of course I care about mascara, I wear it often enough to. Not often enough to obsessively buy your Younique 3D lash mascara that comes out with something new every two months. Not often enough to suddenly abandon my go-to make up brands for the occasional times that I wear a full face-worth of the stuff. As though Benefit and Smashbox weren’t good to me all these years. As though because someone I once knew of in high school selling Mary Kay cosmetics or Younique fiber lashes is going to erase all of my previous and perfectly acceptable experience with Revlon.

And while I definitely like for my nails to be well-kept and nicely polished, I heretofore politely decline any and all invitations to your Jamberry Nail Parties.

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What I don’t give a flying fuck about is getting facials. I’m a stay at home mom and a writer – I can’t afford that bullshit. And anyway, I must have magical skin made out of unicorn puke and Carebear stare juice – because I have literally never considered doing anything other than washing my face with some basic ass soap every morning, followed with some moisturizer I got on Clearance at Target that has an SPF in it. I have no wrinkles. I have no frown lines. I have no cystic acne. My skin does not flake or peel. I am perfectly content with my skin and do not need Rodens + Fields or Nerium or Beauticontrol that all cost a hell of a lot more time and money than my bar of Dove.

I have no interest in wraps, either. Whether ITWorks or not, I don’t fucking care. As I scroll through my Instagram feed and see photo after photo after photo of people’s before and after ITWorks shots – bulbous legs, arms, and bellies suddenly made ultra thin by a piece of miracle saran wrap – I am more compelled to sign off social media altogether than at any other time in my daily social media usage.

That is how much ITWorks annoys me. Be it the photos, or the fact that one person selling ITWorks follows you, and suddenly you’ve got forty-five spammy ITWorks people sending you messages about how you too can sell ITWorks and change people’s lives!

I have a way to change people’s lives and help them get skinny: eat a fucking apple and get off the couch.

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The newest thing showing up in my Instagram and my Facebook and my Twitter and my email and in just daily life is the Piyo. The 21 Day Fix. The Beachbody. The Shakeology. I don’t know if these are all the same thing, or if they’re different, but I do know one thing: you people drank the Kool-Aid. Drank it. Drank that shit right up, probably out of your Shakeology blender while posting thirty selfies of your post-work out sweat.

I do not begrudge anyone getting in shape. I do not hate people eating healthy.

What I can’t stand is when they’re shoving it down my throat, trying to force me to drink their Kool-Aid too. What I do begrudge are the people suddenly becoming Beachbody consultants – or whatever the fuck they are – and making a little fan page on Facebook and asking me to “like” it, when just a few, short years ago NONE OF THEM would “like” my fan page for my WRITING CAREER.

I am like an elephant – I have an exquisite memory. When I was doing my undergrad, I worked full time at a pharmacy, and I had a disturbingly uncanny ability to remember all the customers, recognize their voices over the phone, and even some of the details of their medications and insurance claims. The manager of the pharmacy used to say that it was like Cheers: everyone came to our pharmacy, because when they walked in the door I’d always shout “Norm!”

I remember who was supportive of my writing career from the get-go. I still have the unfortunate and recent memories in my mind of all the people who said they don’t read books and don’t like blogs, and don’t “DO” fan pages.

Well guess what? If you were supportive of me, and continue to be supportive of me, I will cheer you on to the end of days as you sip your kale smoothies and make your pastas out of ground up beans, because the 21 Day Fix told you to. I will “like” your fiber lash updates, and politely and quietly just ignore your attempts to sell me make up. I will attend your Jamberry Facebook parties, and even though I won’t buy anything I’ll at least be supportive.

Because I really and truly think that’s what people should be doing for one another – supporting each others’ endeavors, no matter how few fucks they give. That’s what friends and family are for, right?

But just know that deep down I don’t give a shit. My level of shit-giving is currently at -15, and it gets lower with each invite to sell ItWorks or to join a Piyo training session.

Congratulations if you have figured out a way to make some extra money off of your lifestyle choices. Kudos – really! I am genuinely happy for any and all people from my past, my present, or just in general that have been able to balance life, health, happiness, and to earn a little extra cash doing so.

But that doesn’t take away the sting when many of those very people were so unsupportive of my own endeavors just a few short years ago. I’m suddenly expected to jump on board with their shit – which I do, to the extent that I can be supportive without having to buy anything – while they continue to tell me that they don’t “do” blogs or “do” books. But could you give me advice, Heather, about starting a Facebook fan page? Oh and could you make sure to please “like” all of my many weekly Runkeeper updates?

Life and relationships are a two-way street, people; and at the end of each road, you won’t always find a set of Jamberry Nails.

It’s Time To Say Good-bye

Well, it isn’t really time to say good-bye. Not completely at least. Sorry, this isn’t actually as dramatic as I made that sound.

You guys don’t trust me anymore, do you?

We have a piece of business long overdue to take care of, here on the blog. I apologize for the seriousness of this post; but I promise I will can it with all these dramatics as soon as I’m done, and get back to my foul-mouthed diatribes first thing in the morning.

For about a year, now, I’ve been hemming and hawing over something pretty big. That thing has been so big that I have stumbled along the year, making minor adjustments here and there in hopes that I wouldn’t actually feel like – in the end – I needed to do the thing I had been hemming and hawing about.

In the end, I do.

And I’m beating around the bush, hoping that by the time I finish typing out this post I will have changed my mind.

Years ago – we’re talking years – friends started calling me Bitch as a term of endearment. I know that sounds crazy, but it really was. I say that from my own perspective, though – so what do I know? It could have just been a way to tell me off nicely over and over again. I can be a little bit of a curmudgeon for my age; and I always – always – say exactly what I mean and what is on my mind. That isn’t always socially acceptable to some people, though, and those people (the ones who don’t like who I am) had a habit of referring to me as a bitch (either behind my back or in a mean way, to my face). So after a while, both friends and I figured: if we can’t stop them, join them right?

I’m getting to the point, I promise.

So when I decided to start writing an all-inclusive mom blog (I say all-inclusive because I write about a lot of things, not just being a mom), it seemed natural that I would refer to myself as Bitch. Or The Bitch. And I thought I was being clever by turning Blog into B(itch)Log… It made total sense at the time, until people started having problems getting my emails because of the parentheticals; and others didn’t really get it.

By others, I mean a lot of people didn’t get it. And a lot of people also – sadly, for their limited understanding and appreciation of the nuances of the human language – assumed my blog was not to be taken seriously because of it.

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In the beginning of the Summer of 2013, I published my third book – My Wife’s a Bitch – and went to do a book signing, only to see that they had replaced the title of my book with nothing more than a description. I was insulted, hurt. What was the big deal – they say that word on TV all the time, don’t they? It was then, though, that I started to get the point: sometimes – no matter how cool it sounds, no matter how transcendent my understanding of words and language may be – there are just some things people won’t touch.

That was when I started to face the reality of the possibility of retiring The Bitch, which began with renaming The B(itch)Log.

If I was not going to call my blog The B(itch)Log anymore, what would I call it? Would I still keep my moniker of The Bitch in it? And if so, how could I incorporate it? I knew I needed to rebrand to remedy these problems and be taken more seriously as a writer in the world of creativity, which has become fiercely competitive over the years. But I just wasn’t ready to give up that bitchy, bitching, whining way of making a damn good point.

So I experimented a little. My blog was already on my writer’s website – heatherchristenaschmidt.com – anyway, so it was pretty easy. I experimented with a  new logo or theme of sorts a couple of times. By that I mean I completely overhauled my website at least eight times in the past six months.

1098401_184942645012006_2101961229_nAnd around the eighth redesign is when it hit me: that was a hell of a lot of time spent avoiding the inevitable when I could have been writing.

In the end, it all started to get a little lost in the fray. I realized that people stopped even knowing what to call my blog. Some still called it B(itch)log. Some called it by the new logo. And while my readership and social media following has continued to grow at a rapid pace, the amount of people completely unaware of what they were getting was growing as well.

So as I rang in 2014 (in my pajamas and asleep well before midnight), I decided it was time to accept the future and embrace a new chapter as a mom blogger and a writer. I made the commitment to finally give in and say goodbye to an old friend, a moniker who will always be near and dear to my heart – The Bitch.

I feel as though I’m in the middle of a breakup that was both long overdue, and at the same time bittersweet. In some ways, the grief over the end of the relationship and the identity that comes with it; truly the end of an era, is – at times – overwhelming (hence the months of procrastination). Yet at other times, and where I am now, is in the sense of relief and excitement for the next step.

It would probably be an appropriate time to thank you all again for welcoming The Bitch and all her (my) bitchiness into your hearts. I promise, the bitchiness will still be there; as will all the other wonderful, bizarre, pointed, and – sometimes – psychotic pieces of the puzzle that is my writing. Bear with me over the coming weeks as Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social engines phase out my Bitch and phase in my future.

Now it’s time to say goodbye. I’ll miss you, Bitch, even though you will always occupy a special place in my heart.

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