So it looked like the gremlins sneaked past the rings of salt, the barbed wire, the flocks of guard geese, and swapped out my good css for broken stuff. The header is wrong, my blog roll has disappeared, and of course, there are no links to my books or their samples any more. Of course those had to disappear, why would I want them to be available and easy to click on?
So an afternoon I meant to spend lounging around eating bonbons and reading WWII spy manuals will now be spent wrestling with WordPress. Blech.by callan
Just finished the cover art for A Wind out of Escalon. I let nothing hold me back in pursuit of my vision–not a lack of artistic ability, nor hand-eye coordination, nor technical skills. Here’s the final image, put together from stock photos and Paint.NET:
I have no idea what this says to a potential buyer, but I like it.
The novella is up on Smashwords and under review on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I’ll post links to it when everything is live.by callan
The biggest danger to the writer is not self-doubt, writer’s block, or a cat walking over the keyboard and writing more interesting scenes than you do, but the Google search, and the time you spend following curious links rather than working.
I had decided that the main character in A Memory of Ice would spend a night in the open. I had a vague notion she could burrow into leaves to stay warm, but was that correct? Truth in writing demands that I find exactly how much insulation leaves provide, and whether or not they itch.
So, searching for blanket of leaves lets me learn that
1) Michael Jackson’s son is named “Blanket”
2) You can find Linus’s blanket on Great Pumpkin Island by blowing away a pile of leaves
3) There’s a “Marijuana potleaf mink blanket” (queen-sized!) for sale on eBay
4) Three to four feet of leaves will protect you down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. No information on itching, and I’m not going to experiment. There’s a limit to truth in writing. That’s why it’s called fiction …by callan
UPDATE: Being new to the whole blogging thing, I forgot the reality of automatic pingbacks. This post wasn’t intended as a response to the review, but a personal rumination on what I should take from it.
I received a major review, my first of any kind outside my beloved beta readers and critique partners, and it was a crappy one. I didn’t have even the usual ream of five-star Amazon reviews from totally disinterested reviewers to buffer it. Unfortunately, I read it before my morning’s writing session, and now Writer is hiding under her pile of leaves, sniffling.
Talk about jumping into the deep end without a life vest and only the vaguest notion of how to swim.
Editor has had to take over and firmly remind Writer of a number of realities.
Reviews are for readers. If you behave yourself, success.
Obscurity is the indie’s biggest enemy. Success.
The reviewer treated it as a professional product. Success.
It *wasn’t* a failing grade. Success.
Reviews are a fact of life for writers. Let it stop you writing …. well, failure, for today at least. Tomorrow I’ll be back in form.
I know you’re not supposed to take things from reviews other than, I probably don’t want to pitch to this blog again, but it did leave me wondering if I’ve tagged my whole genre wrong. I thought the story was a romantic one, but a dedicated romance reader found little to like in it, and much to confuse. Genres aren’t hard and fast rules about the nature of the fiction, but the nature of the audience. They are markers for a reader’s expectations–breach those, and they get really annoyed. Her take that it wasn’t romance, but fantasy, is a big, clear signal that I don’t want to target romance readers as a market.
Mind you, I won’t be doing any more marketing–I pitched to the blog before reading Dean Wesley Smith’s advice to ignore marketing and work on producing–but I will change genre tags.by capomes
One of the more enjoyable aspects of indie publishing, (besides the independence, the feeling of control, the ability to strike out into new territory where you contract strange diseases that you have no immunity to …) is creating your own markers of success. Here’s one: if you’ve sold more copies to strangers than friends or family, you’re a success.
Time to celebrate!by capomes
Indie publishing is a wild and woolly frontier, with few roads, tracks, meanders, game paths, ley lines etc. available to guide us, and the few that are there have their signposts spun around. You think you’re heading to publishing Nirvana, and instead, you end up in a Facebook loop. But there are a few maps available, published by hardy explorers such as Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rusch
Reading their blogs has helped me turn away from the tempting mileposts of sales to the serious business of building my stock.
Only one problem. I’m a slow writer, with only a short amount of time in a day to write. For me to succeed, to become what Dean calls an “Indie Writer” rather than an “Indie Author”, I have to write faster–at least a thousand words an hour. I can barely manage 300 well-crafted and eternal words in that time. and that’s on a good day.
So having incredible google-fu, and knowing writers like to write about writing, I searched for what others had to say. And I came across this awe-inspiring post by Rachel Aaron
With all three sides of my triangle now in place, I was routinely pulling 10-12k per day by the time I finished Spirits’ End, the fifth Eli novel. I was almost 2 months ahead of where I’d thought I’d be, and the novel had only taken me 3 months to write rather than the 7 months I’d burned on the Spirit War (facts I knew now that I was keeping records). I was ahead of schedule with plenty of time to do revisions before I needed to hand the novel in to my editor, and I was happier with my writing than ever before. There were several days toward the end when I’d close my laptop and stumble out of the coffee shop feeling almost drunk on writing. I felt like I was on top of the world, utterly invincible and happier than I’ve ever been. Writing that much that quickly was like taking some kind of weird success opiate, and I was thoroughly addicted. Once you’ve hit 10k a day for a week straight, anything less feels like your story is crawling.
(via Michael Harling)
Read the whole thing here.
Ten. Thousand. Words. A. Day. Every day.
Not that her arguments don’t make sense–they do. But if I could do 1000 words a day–no, two thousand–those stories in my head might have a fighting chance at a life.
That’s what I want. That’s my next goal. 1000 words per hour. And I won’t stop there.by capomes
One of my daily blog stops is The Passive Voice, mainly for the smorgasbord of links he/she offers on indie publishing. But this contains possibly the best line of legal humor I’ve read since United States ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff, 54 F.R.D. 282 (W.D.Pa. 1971) (then again, my humor is a strange one)
The brief back story is that Harper Collins is claiming Jean Craighead George sold them the ebook rights to Julie of the Wolves back in 1971. Now, I remember 1971, I remember the books, and I even remember the computers, because my mother was one of the early programmers. She worked by the friendly light of vacuum tubes, and I doubt very much she used the mainframes she programmed to read with.
In the Complaint, Harper Collins spends far too many words explaining what a serious, traditional publisher they are:
“… we learn that HC … has been around for almost 200 years and published some famous people. Therefore, it should win its lawsuit. Among others, Harpers published Charles Dickens and the Brontë sisters. The Complaint does not mention that Dickens frequently accused American publishers of stealing his work without payment. We know Emily died young, but are not certain whether a Harpers royalty statement was involved.”
That last line is going in my quotes file.by callan
I know this is supposed to be a writing blog, but I have to put in a plug for this, a race where the ability to run and scream at the same time is prized. As slow as I am, and since we can’t run armed, I expect the zombies will be feasting on my medulla oblongata within feet of the starting line–unless I trip up some little old lady. Don’t think I won’t do it.
And even if you’re not a runner, they need zombies. Shambling zombies, sprinting zombies. Look into it. Passing as a zombie might even be better protection than having the lung capacity to run from them.by capomes