So You Hate Reading… (Buy My Audiobook 🤷)

Have I recently mentioned my job is insane and it’s pushed me to the edge of some kind of breakdown?

I haven’t ranted about it too much on here because it’s kind of thrilling to feel on the virtual edge of a nervous breakdown when not a single life is on the line.

Not even one.

It’s been a minute since I’ve not been working with humans in severe disparity and/or mortal danger…

aka doing “meaningful work” because, in this position, I am dangerously close to being in sales:

Specifically, now I don’t help anyone. Rather, I work with objects and logistics and really stressed out folk but there is a small ashamed part of my brain which is secretly thrilled with now almost feeling able to cognitively process and organize the insane amount of data that is ever-present in the 300 emails (not an exaggeration) which come through on an average day in the busy season.

One small ashamed terrible part of my brain… gingerly feeling thrilled… almost.

However, the rest of me is a pile and hates everything about this.

I’m always feeling very stressed but I’m not helping anyone and the job does not offer health benefits and – for what I’m doing – it pays rather low.

KEY POINT: Not low pay for Milwaukee though.

On my drive to work there used to be a big sign posted outside a building which advertised eight dollars an hour.

They advertised this.

In the year 2021.

So I should feel grateful for my more-than-two-times-8-dollars-an-hour job and I’m not sure it will work out though at times I enjoy the challenge and the people, but in the meantime, I have an audiobook for sale.

At last weekend’s paranormal conference, I had a giant sign-up sheet for people who were interested in the audiobook and fifteen real humans amazingly signed up… only 3 slots remained empty.

That sign-up sheet is fucking giant, right? At the very beginning of the conference, I sat there with this big giant ridiculous sign-up sheet thinking… what if nobody signs it and it just sits there on my table as a big glowing bright symbol of how NOBODY GIVES A SHIT.

But eventually a bunch of strangers signed it.

Now I just have to figure out how to send out credits like I promised…

I did feel a bit like a faker being there. I was surrounded by paranormal researchers, witches, druids, mystics, goddesses with all kinds of stuff I had no idea about, very serious people with stacks of books and papers and then… there was me with my idiot grin (hidden by mask) and DIY books and colorful, playful not serious at all illustrations.

But it turned out to be a very supportive event.

90% of people who passed by my table laughed at my book title and many seemed to enjoy the illustrations. I’d say “It’s Microsoft Paint. Most people have it on their old computers. Anyone can use it.”

“But not everyone can draw an activist vampire, ” a woman retorted.


Most people would not use Microsoft Paint to draw an activist vampire.

So people were super supportive. It was a nice change of pace from the regular vending events I’m at where people often tell my artist husband “I don’t get it” or “I wonder what it’s like in your brain” or “WOW! This is some weird stuff!”

And his art is… super accessible and…


… I just wonder “Have you ever seen art before?” and also “I wonder what the fuck these people would think of my demented illustrations.”

But those people would probably not be at a Paranormal Conference.

And that’s where I was, a weirdo among weirdos.

Yet, once I finally got comfortable at my table, I had to go on stage to be part of a panel.

Accordingly, it started out terribly NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR STORIES OR YOUR MOM’S ILLNESS WHICH HAS NO CURE OR TREATMENT WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT DOG BOY GOAT MAN but then I briefly found my footing when asked to share a ghost story from my book in the Q&A.

Then I was asked to be on a couple podcasts (though neither of them have responded to my email).

The highlight of the day happened at the end of the day when I found out a YOUNG PERSON who looked to be about 15-16 years old was apparently a fan of my illustrations.


His mom told me this because he seemed too shy. And then s/he bought “Demon with a Histrionic Personality Disorder” (a kindred, Lisa! 🖤 )

and also “Well-Dressed Crooked Man”

But what was so great about this was how his mom said she found it weird that he chose those two illustrations because “I can’t believe he will hang these in his bedroom as this stuff usually scares him” but… that’s exactly why he chose them.

The illustrations make fun of the entities. They’re cartoons. They’re not scary. They’re Microsoft Paint.

The same idea was illustrated in one of the 8 million Harry Potter movies where a professor had the kids conjure up the scariest thing they could think of and then… turn it into something silly:

I felt I had helped the kid. So, when I saw him sitting around later, waiting for his mom to finish a tarot reading, I walked over and gave him my box of illustrations to choose from:

And so the Highlight of My Day carefully took the box from me and I didn’t stand there and stare at him because that would have been super awkward and I also LOVED HIM so I walked back to my table and looked back to see Highlight carefully paging through every single one of my remaining illustrations.

He eventually returned the box to my table and said “Thanks”. I asked him which illustration he chose and he showed us:

I whispered after his immediately retreating figure: “That’s my favorite too.”

I could have adopted him on the spot.

But he has a family so… moving on… a couple days ago the audiobook of my ghostly storybook

was released by ACX.

Not a single person has bought one yet so it’s not flying off the digital shelves yet but… I’d like to think this would be a nice way to spend an October evening.

Turn down the lights.

Light a couple candles.

And listen to my annoying voice tell ghost stories:

the link to the audiobook

If I sell a million audiobooks, I could finally open “Out to Pasture”, my home for old animals nobody wants… like a hospice retirement community for animals… and then maybe also older people… and teenagers in the system… and…

Someday. After I make a lot of money.

Until then, it’s my birthday this weekend (well, it’s Monday and Monday is going to really suck at work ) so my birthday is Saturday when two favorite people are coming over from Chicago and we are going to do spooky stuff ALL DAY LONG and have the best time and not feel stressed or sad or anxious or overwhelmed… not even once.


And this – Birthday Saturday – will hopefully distract me from the thought of:

if I’m not spending my life helping others, what exactly am I doing here.

Besides peddling audiobooks and other shit in my side hustle. 🎈


Until I make enough money to kill my essential need to help others and /or quit my job and find a job that allows me to do this without killing off the rest of me, in the meantime, my birthday signifies the BEGINNING OF HALLOWEEN so… all we need to do this month is stay safe and stay ALIVE! 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

Thanks for reading this whole thing. Hope you stay safe and alive all month long. Don’t let even a single vampire inside your home, no matter how festive/desperate you’re feeling. 🖤

14 thoughts on “So You Hate Reading… (Buy My Audiobook 🤷)

  1. Did you do any voice coaching before you started reading this? I love your cadence and sort of story time reading style, and actually I am going to use it to work on my voice.

    I also know how much effort this must have taken to keep up that dynamic energy. You done good, I hope lots of people buy it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awwwwww no voice coaching my dear friend. Hee hee I’m sure I could have used it. It took maybe 4-5 hours to record… and that’s a lot of talking for someone who doesn’t talk all day. I was super exhausted but only had the day so… pushed through! I think at times it gets weak and there is one point where I really… get tongue twisted and it couldn’t be cleaned up but… it’s $7 and I’m an amateur. 😂

      Awwwwwwww you’re my first positive feedback, Gabi! Thank you so so so so much. Such a high compliment as your voice and the music is makes is magic. You’ve made my day. 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hill, you really should be reading audio books, see if you can exchange with other authors. If you were able to record this in 1 or 2 sessions and keep that energy and not do a thousand retakes, you probably can do as much of this as you want. I thought the studio sounded a bit live; most audible recordings are a little less reverberant, but I would definitely listen to you reading my favorite urban fantasy books too.

    I am sure there is lots to learn, but you sound like you have enough natural ability that you have a huge head start.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! I feel it sounds a bit “live” too. 😂 I know nothing about recording. My producer usually records music. So it’s a learning process but maybe the “live” quality helps the spooky content?

      Oh I’d LOVE to read your favorite urban fantasy books!!! Squeee! I love reading. Studio time and mastering gets pricey but… oh I wish I could do that full time! 🥰 Especially since I worry about ALS/FTD and losing my voice. 😭

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m going to start doing research! 😂 I’d love to do this! But, as a minimum, I’d need access to quality sound gear and my studio is 1.5 hours away. But I will definitely look into it!

        Hee hee first I need to make a sale on the audiobook and someone to listen to the whole thing before I start considering a voice career. 😂


  3. ““Demon with a Histrionic Personality Disorder” (a kindred, Lisa! 🖤 )”
    Whoop! I love this kid, too. Possibly a true kindred spirit as he loves my two favorite Hillarie illustrations.

    I’m grinning right now.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you had a positive experience at the paranormal fair and found your one true fan. Congrats on releasing your audiobook and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Liked by 1 person

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