It’s been a lovely six months or so since I updated you on our doin’s here at The Treehouse. Let’s hit it:
Work continues on The Treehouse, getting it ready to market. As I type, Tim is gleefully perusing the real estate listings in Bloomington AND in Brown County, so obviously we’re still oscillating over which community would suit us best as a new home.
Unicorn Puzzles celebrated its 500th puzzle last month. Subscribers have reached over 400, but we’ve got a long way to go before we can monetize on YouTube. (If you’re reading this, please subscribe!). We are monetized on Facebook already, and I *think* Instagram. We are also getting a lot of views on TikTok, but we could use likes/follows/subscribes on all of the above. *raining magic sprinkle dust on you*
My AMP show continues to be fun, when it’s fun. My low battery has gotten in the way of fitting to a regular schedule, and unfortunately, radio shows do best when they don’t have to be canceled at the last minute due to health reasons. Le Sigh. That does get me down a little, but I’m trying to push past those feelings of “not being as capable as my peers.” I have over 500 awesome followers on AMP, and plan on doing a show today (5/30/23 at 1:11 pm ET). If you enjoy live radio, give me a listen sometime. Right now this is my main project, so I’m very tuned into the AMP community. You can download the app for free on any iPhone or iPad, or listen via your Amazon Alexa speakers, or even listen via the web browser. (The web browser is a little glitchy–you may have to reload if it doesn’t go directly to me the first time.)
Miss Fitz Discovers Midlife Magic has been fully recorded on audio. Next, I need to re-listen to the entire book, because it took me eight months to record it. (Again, health reasons, mostly.) Once I re-listen and re-record any parts that need to be done over, then I will be reading/listening along to the original Kindle version, because…I did find a few typos that missed all my editors/proofers/betas. (It always happens! But why not fix them right now?) My audio engineer will do this magic, then I’ve got to get the PDFs for all the recipes from Miss Fitz 1 organized…make the cover…and then I should finally be ready to publish it. (Note: since Audible.com lowered their prices across the board, my audiobook royalties have dropped by about 75%. I should probably release this book wide, but I likely won’t, because I haven’t researched that just yet. If you use an audiobook service OTHER THAN AUDIBLE.COM OR AMAZON, please weigh in with your thoughts. I’d love to hear from my readers/listeners.)
I will start recording Miss Fitz and the Hot Patchouli Murder when I’m done with all that! That means that Miss Fitz and the Hard No November probably won’t be finished in 2023, but who knows? Weirder things have happened.
Writing and releasing this series has taken longer than I thought it would, but I’ve decided to take my time and enjoy the process AS THOUGH I am blissfully ignorant of my author peers’ blisteringly fast publishing schedules. I’m not able to publish a book a month. I have never really wanted to do that. So…as I grow older, the dream of becoming best buddies with Stephen King in the Rich Authors Club dwindles, but it is what it is. I’m writing stories that I’m happy with. Things I’m proud of, that I can relate to. I’m finishing them my way, in my own time. The money is bonus. The self-esteem hits are no longer welcome in this arena!
To the end of job stuff, I’m studying Artificial Intelligence now, so who knows…maybe I will change career directions entirely.
I’ve been focusing on my physical health this year. 2023 is the year of getting as much energy back as possible. To that end, I’ve been going to exercise classes a couple of times a week. My goal is to get there three times a week, reliably. I almost hit that goal last week, then ended up sleeping all day Friday. I wish I had some control over my energy level, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that I probably never will. My best bet is to try and gain some stamina and strength, so the days when I do have energy, I can use it to the best of my ability.
Tim is supposed to be walking/working out, too. If you talk to him, ask him how that’s going.
Our adventure to Italy is coming to fruition soon. We’ll likely post a lot of photos, so follow our Instagram.
As far as the rest of the family goes…Sean graduates in a few days. He’s living with his dad and I miss him very much. We all do. Seamus is thriving at a new job, and living with Sean and their dad at the Bachelor Pad. Sam is still here at the Treehouse, and proving to be a delightful adult roommate. He is still at his beloved RecBar 812. The non-binary baby of the family is growing up before our eyes. We do our best to keep them entertained, and they are patient with their “old” parents. (50 is the new 30!!!)
I think that’s about it, for now. I’m cleaning the oven and the smoke alarm just went off…again…
If you’ve read this far, thank you. Don’t forget to like/follow/subscribe on all the links above, and by all means, sign up for our email list, because when we have something big to announce (like, an audiobook release!), that’s the first place you will see it. Right in your inbox! If you think you’ve signed up in the past, but you aren’t getting emails, look in your promotions folder, your spam folder, etc. Move us to the inbox, mark us as a contact, etc. Don’t spam me, bro!
Welp, it’s almost Christmas. I’ve been making good progress on recording Miss Fitz Discovers Midlife Magic as an audiobook, and I’m truly glad I’m doing this one myself, for a couple of huge reasons:
Ideas! Ideas for book three come flooding in as I revisit where the characters were in book one. I look forward to recording book two for the same reason. Yes, I know it’s making my timing for book three sort of drag out there, but you know what? I’m trying to enjoy the process of writing in a way that I haven’t been able to for over fifteen years. The last time I really REALLY took my time with a book was… *counts on fingers*
(I mean, don’t get me wrong. I always try my best. This time, though, I’m trying to downshift away from the all-too-common trend of writing more, faster. In the past, I’ve given up on stories before because I felt like there was no way I could get them finished fast enough. Essentially, I branded the books as failures before they even got a chance to be read. Now that I have played the field in so many different genres and settled back on witchy/fairy/magic stuff, I just want to relearn how to love the process. That love of getting my hands dirty got lost along the way. It feels good to take my time.)
Quality control! I’m finding issues with my manuscript that weren’t caught by editors or editing software, and weren’t flagged by helpful readers. As I read this book aloud into a mic, you better BET I notice these. By the time I listen through the post-production copy of the audiobook, I hope to have finally caught ’em all, Pokemon style.
Typos! Gotta catch ’em all!
Ironically, I have told writers more than once to read their work aloud, when I’m certain they are going to catch their own mistakes that way. I suppose from now on, I’ll record my audiobooks (or have them recorded, if I choose to go that route again) before I publish the ebook/paperback. It would just save so much time and embarassment. Hopefully.
In otra otra news, I’m still creating shows on AMP. It’s a lot of fun. I don’t know if I will slow down, but if I need to, I like that I control my own schedule. Right now I’m working on a playlist with the theme Wight Christmas. Definitely want it to be metal AF.
Tomorrow I should be able to do my 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame show. Dec 21, I have a Solstice show planned. I’ve also got a show featuring famous drummers lined up. My most popular shows so far have been theme at my imaginary Indie Bookstore, as well as the I Miss Art Bell shows, and the Dr. Demento-inspired shows full of silly songs.
Rock out with me on the free AMP app, or listen live via your Amazon Echo device by saying, “Alexa, play Leslea on amp.” Listen through your browser at Live.onamp.com/Leslea
I don’t hate Morrissey, but I’ve never been a huge fan.
Enter AMP. I’ve played and listened to more Morrissey lately than I ever would have dreamed. And it’s fun!
But it’s optional. All Morrissey/Smiths is/are optional. Phew.
Today I did my first show in several days, and had a nice intimate crowd of listeners join me. So much fun, truly.
I love music, but over the years it has gotten harder and harder to carve out time just to enjoy it. Now, thanks to AMP, I’m making time to not only play old favorites, but to discover new (and new to me) artists. It is lovely, and although I don’t think of myself as super social, when it comes to talking about music with other AMPers, it’s effortless.
Feelin’ happy, post-show. 🙂 I’d love for you to join me sometime. I don’t have a regular schedule, but if you follow me, you’ll get a notification when I go live. (And I do try to schedule shows in advance when I can.)
If you want to join me on my next show, download the app and follow me (@leslea).
If you can’t run the app on your phone right now (sorry, Androids), then you can still listen through your Alexa app or Echo device by telling it to play my show. (Alexa pronounces my name “Les-lah” because she’s dumb, so my listeners tell me they typically use the title of my show…for instance, today’s show was “Back on the Chain Gang,” so they said, “Alexa, play Back on the Chain Gang on AMP.”) Whew! Hope that wasn’t too taxing to figure out.
On your iphone, it’s just click and play, no sweat. There’s even a chat where you can socialize with other listeners.
In other work news, spent the time between songs working on the ebook/audiobook script of Witchy Wanda Season One. The first three episodes are free on Kindle Vella, and sometimes Vella gives away coins, so you should check it out if you like 1960s ghost stories and urban legends.
Today was a very productive work day. I also got two chapters of Miss Fitz book 1 recorded for the audiobook. It’s a slow process because there are only so many hours a day I can speak before I feel like “Enough of my own voice, already!”
But that’s how it is right now. Editing and voicing things. And vibing to the music.
Well, today’s only the 17th, but I’m going to do a post, anyway.
Tim and I have been up to SO MUCH in the past month. Where to begin? Oh, I know. Let’s start with new releases!
Witchy Wanda launched on the lucky 13th. It’s a Kindle Vella story, which means you get to read the first three episodes for free. After that, it’s a few cents per episode. You pay with tokens. If you enjoy SHORT episodes (think–half the length of a regular book chapter), then you would enjoy Kindle Vella. I’ve been including polls at the end of the episodes, too, so readers can give me feedback on what they think is going to happen next. Reader interaction is freaking awesome.
To keep up to date with my writing projects, including progress on Miss Fitz and the Hard No November (working title), make sure you are receiving our newsletters! Check your spam box, trust our address, mark it as important or add a star, whatever you do to make sure we don’t go to spam, okay? SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER LINK Go click it! You won’t be disappointed. Guaranteed to always include at least one meme.
What else is new? Oh, geez, so much. Right now I’m typing this blog post while listening to Queen’s “Who Wants to Live Forever,” from It’s a Kind of Magic. I’m about 25% through my radio show du jour, Bookworm Radio. Yep, I am playing DJ. Today’s theme is Magic & Whimsy. Yesterday’s theme was Harry Potter. Before coming up with Bookworm Radio, I also did a few episodes of a show called I Miss Art Bell, because, hey–I do. So, yeah, I’ve been enjoying this experiment with DJing! If you want to listen along, call in and make requests, or even start your own show, go here: AMP app for iPhone
Yep. It be that way, too.
So, funny story. Trying to sell this house kind of set me into a hyperwork-work-work mode. In between herding cats, writing books, and cleaning, I started looking for jobs. I realized I should probably update my title from “Writer” to “Content Creator.” Wouldn’t you know it? I even landed a few interviews. On second thought, though…I don’t really have time to do all the things I like to do, plus drive my kid to school when the bus driver has Covid (several times this year) AND clear out the house of kids and animals when the realtor has showings (we had six in six days once, and that was exhausting!).
You guessed it, I’m not taking a job outside of Planet Tash. It would take too much time away from recording audiobooks and everything else I’ve been up to…but since I am an unabashed “Content Creator” now, I thought I’d go ahead and share with you my super secret project. Back in May or June I started this channel. Tim was knee deep in side-hustle research, as per usual, and he was thinking of starting a channel, himself. Now, I don’t want to be in front of the camera, so I had never considered starting a YouTube or TikTok channel for anything other than personal videos or book promo. I realized that I could use my graphic design expertise to make little “seek and find the difference” puzzles for YouTube, for eventual monetization. I say “eventual” because I need 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours to qualify for that. I expect it to take about a year or organic growth.
But, you know what? It’s fun. I usually make the puzzles while I’m relaxing for the day. I think of it as my version of counted crosstich or other needlework. It’s just fun for me. Here’s the latest puzzle:
I think that’s all the news that fits.
Oh, speaking of Fitz, don’t forget Miss Fitz Discovers Midlife Magic, a light cozy fantasy mystery paranormally thingie. It’s free to read through Kindle Unlimited or a whole five dollars to buy. It’s set THIS TIME OF YEAR on days JUST LIKE THIS BEAUTIFUL DAY here in Indiana! It’s a kind of magic!