Why I’m Here – Shauna Granger

I’ve joined a new group blog: Femina Aequalitas all about talking about equality in fiction, movies, and other entertainment arts. Here is my first post!

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#PonyFest14 – Vote for me!

When I was little, say, four or five years old, I really dug My Little Pony. I haven’t gotten back into it as it came back these last few years, but I still smile fondly when I see MLP stuffs in stores. But my friend and fellow author, Rebecca Enzor, has this pretty friggen cool contest on her blog featuring custom made MLPs where authors can compete to win one based on one of their books!

If you know me, you know I love toys. I really do. Right now, there are ten – yes ten – toys on my desk at this very moment. I have to keep myself from going to the comic book store or to Hot Topic too regularly otherwise my grabby little hands reach out for another of those awesome vinyl figures to add to my collection.

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Well, as you can imagine, when I realized I had the perfect theme/character I could use for MLP, I had to enter this contest. So the rules are, design your own pony based on you book, one of your characters, or a theme from your book, come up with a tag line and and explanation of the pony. I have a few works I could choose from, but the idea of a monster pony was too much to resist. So I’ve designed my pony based on the monsters from my Ash and Ruin Trilogy: the Pestas!

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Monsters are real

Steeped in Norwegian mythology, the Black Plague was spread through the touch and breath of mysterious creatures, creatures that crept through the night, spreading their pox, called Pestas. Hunched backed, sallow skinned, and clawed fingered, the Pestas spared no one and when they gripped you in their cold, firm hands the pox was sure to follow. So my pony is a mix of Pesta creepiness and the result of becoming one of their victims, riddled with pox and dead-eyed.

Oh, I love it so! I hope you guys vote for me! It would be awesome to have this little guy on my desk as I write the final installment of the Ash and Ruin Trilogy!

Remembering to Reward Yourself

When you work for yourself, you don’t get awards or bonuses or raises for your hard work. No boss is coming into your cubicle to say thank you and give you a gift certificate to Starbucks for that report that stole a piece of your soul. There’s no promotion hanging in front of you like a carrot that you can’t wait to take a bite out of.

tumblr_n94ef3odT21s2peono1_500As an author (especially a self-published author) there’s no one else to reward you for your accomplishments. It’s you. Just you. Sure, your partner or friends might give you flowers and bagels when you publish a book and, believe me, those little gestures mean the world because it reminds you that other people recognize what you’re trying to do. But you have to remember to reward yourself.

People often forget to take care of themselves. It’s easy to do things for other people, it’s easy to spend money on someone else. I get so excited to buy people the perfect present and watch them open it, especially if it’s unexpected. But doing that for yourself? It’s hard. It feels selfish and frivolous, maybe even a little desperate? But it’s not. It’s not any of those things.

When you work a 9-5 job (really 8-6) there are people holding you accountable and chances to move up in the company or at least get raises and bonuses, so why then, when you’re on your own, would you feel badly to reward yourself?

When I finish a book, I reward myself. When I publish a book, I reward myself. These rewards don’t have to be anything crazy and extravagant (though, there’s nothing wrong with that either), just something that I can treasure and later can look at and say, “Oh, I got that when I finished World of Ash.” “Oh, that was when I published the last of the Elemental Series.” It’s a memory as much as a reward.10348444_855653917792682_3923520702654342654_n

Personally, I love trips to my local comic book store, Hypno Comics, and I love perusing the toys. It’s a small thing, less than $15, but these little things sit on  my desk and make me smile. When I found them, I clutched them in my hands and squeeeeed over them.

And I happen to be a bit of a shoe horse. I love to be barefoot more than anything, but I adore shoes and boots, and when I published Time of Ruin I spotted a pair of gorgeous grey (fake) suede boots. They fit like a dream and were on sale (less than $40!) but I was putting them back, talking myself out of them, until my husband reminded me I hadn’t rewarded myself for publishing TOR.

image (11)And in the next five minutes they were purchased. Yeah, it’s still averaging in the 80’s right now and I won’t be able to wear them for another month or so, but I have them and I love them and I deserved them.

You deserve a reward. Even just dinner out at your favorite restaurant (that is my normal reward for finishing the first draft of a book)!

Go, order your favorite glass of wine and toast to your accomplishment. We’re always talking about refilling the well to keep going, well remembering to congratulate yourself is part of that too. You did something amazing, you deserve recognition, do something nice for yourself. Here’s to you and to me and to everyone who needs a little reward.

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