It’s been fun. But this is like my first apartment, which was great and all but I really wanted my dog to have a yard and I wanted to write someplace besides the dining room. These archives have been moved to my official author site, and the blog will continue there. I hope you’ll continue to keep me company on this long, strange trip in the new space!
I used to sit around and complain that gosh darn it, I’m a good writer, I could write books if only I had ideas. Then I would read books and interviews with authors, and see them say stuff like “the idea is the easy part.” One of them even said that her pet peeve was people writing in to say “I had this idea. Write the book and we’ll share the profit!” Now, while sharing the profit seemed silly, the concept of the idea being worthless seemed somehow unfair. And the idea wasn’t the easy part. My ideas all made for interesting first paragraphs and painted themselves into corners (or turned out to be complete ripoffs of whatever fantasy series I was reading at the time).
Now that I have actually finished manuscripts, I’d like to travel back in time and just whack myself over my silly, clueless little head. I wasn’t a writer. I was an idiot with a fairly decent grasp on the mechanics of writing. A brain used to writing breeds ideas. The first idea I had for a story that actually came with a middle and an ending wasn’t bad, but while I was in the middle of the writing, I had another idea. I opened a text file and pinned down that wild idea like a rat in a trap on the spot because I thought I’d never have another idea again. As soon as I finished the first story, I started writing the second. While I was writing the second, I came up with a handful of new ideas. While I was writing the third, I came up with a dozen ideas, two of which were so exciting that I abandoned the work in progress and started writing them instead.
The problem now is discipline. Put the ideas into the text file, and finish something. (Robert Heinlein again – you must finish what you write!) I’ve got enough ideas in the idea file to keep writing for the next ten years at my current pace, but the new ideas won’t stop coming. I haven’t yet had any ideas like wizard boarding school or angsty emo high school vampires, but who knows what’ll pop out of the fountain spout next.
I got no writing done last night, because my husband was drawing something for me.
Specifically, he was drawing a logo for my future author site. He was trained as a graphic artist, although he now in a related field and doesn’t do much logo design anymore. But I have seen him do them as freelance jobs, and when he offered to help me, I said “Hell yeah!”
Now, I’m a scrapbooker, so as the veteran of many, many title bars, I know there is much more to a header than picking a nice font and typing out my name and tag line.
But good lord, I never knew how many steps were involved, or how much communication has to happen before what is in my head comes out of his Wacom tablet.And my original idea turned out to not be doable, so we had multiple iterations on the concept before we reached something that looks good. The final complication is that my contracted book is contemporary, as are the two out on submission. However, the WIPs are steampunk, and there’s a bit of a sci-fi flavor in about half of my work to date. We needed to design something that would work for multiple types of stories, even though all of them are technically erotic romance.
I don’t know how I could have afforded this process with a professional billing by the hour. Man, can I pick a mate or what?
This morning, my husband and I woke up our little boy at what I used to call the ass crack of dawn. We dressed him, which annoyed him, and then we put him into the car without any breakfast, which enraged him. Fortunately, by the time we got to the hospital for his tear duct surgery, he was a ray of sunshine. My mate said our little guy didn’t cry even when the anesthesia mask went on.
I feel weird even calling it surgery, because basically, they stuck a wire into his tear duct and out his nose in order to pop a little membrane (something that happens naturally for most kids before they’re six months old). He was under for less than ten minutes, and it didn’t hurt. He came out of it so fast that we didn’t even sit down in the waiting room before the orderly fetched us. He was more irritated at waking up to find a nurse cuddling him when he’d fallen “asleep” with Daddy cuddling him.
He is currently fine, and happy to be dismembering Mr. Potato Head.
Me, I’m a wreck, wondering if it’s too early in the morning for Bailey’s. See you Monday.
My computer tower is on my desk instead of the floor, thanks to toddlers, dogs, and my slackitude when it comes to vacuuming under my desk. This gives me a smooth clean surface perfect for post it notes. There are eight on it right now. Character names and thumbnail descriptions, questions for my friend in the army (color background for a story), list of blogs that I’d like to have review my book, books I want to read, that kind of stuff. The kinds of details I’d remember if I didn’t have a small child who does not sleep, and for the love of kumquats, the next person who suggests sleep training DIES, okay, because seriously, do people really think I’d have NOT CONSIDERED THAT after two years of not sleeping? If it worked on my particular kid, wouldn’t I be sleeping more? Anyway.
So I swapped pictures of this computer, bristling with post it notes, with a friend on Facebook who claimed to have the a better collection of notes than I did.
He did. Kind of. Two of his notes were attached to the computer case with magnets.
Y’all… don’t do that. Yes, it’s probably safe. The type of magnet that erases hard drives is much stronger than the “refrigerator” kind of magnet. But you can still do damage to other components. And if you’re a dork like I am, owning a rare earth magnet or two is not unthinkable. If you’re in the habit of sticking stuff to your computer, and you use that magnet because you’re muddy brained from not sleeping or whatever, you could really ruin your day.
It hasn’t happened to me, because sometimes, I can see the trap before I step in it.
I won’t say it’s been raining, but I just saw some animals go by in pairs.
1. Stop making jokes about eight inches being all you can stand, especially in public.
2. Be grateful that the multiple feet of snow around your house are acting as insulation, saving you fuel oil.
3. Finish the @#%^ WIP (work in progress).
4. Write about tropical islands and the attendant cocoa butter. Save the “and we were trapped in our car” stories for summer time.
5. Be glad that your genre is primarily published digitally, and you don’t have to trek to the mailbox. Which is buried, anyway.
I posted about their apparent policy change a few days ago. I proved myself to be a neophyte with that post, in terms of the actual value of Amazon’s proposal, and the experts set me straight. So let me pass this one: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/012156.html
Even though Amazon has supposedly backtracked on the dropping of an entire publisher’s list, the authors involved are justifiably furious. As someone who hopes to epub, and then self-publish stories that have reverted back to me, I am watching all of this with a gimlet eye.
I’m following the stories with a lot of interest, because I think this new gizmo is going to have a big effect on writers – but particularly on writers of erotica.
Our stuff sells like crazy on digital devices, and Apple, with their iBook plans, just opened up a whole new piece of territory for us. When I say territory, I’m talking Louisiana Purchase territory. Already Amazon is revising some of their less than author-friendly policies to try and stay ahead of the Apple wave: http://www.techcrunch.com/2010/01/20/amazon-royalty-kindle-dtp/
And the Kindle hasn’t been bad by any stretch of the imagination. This thriller author broke it down: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2009/10/kindle-numbers-traditional-publishing.html As he says, he wouldn’t be doing that well without the start from a traditional publisher, but once established, it sure sounds like you can keep your own books out there and coasting.
I’m looking forward to hearing from publishers on their thoughts about the iPad.
Dear New York Times,
I know things are hard. I know the copy editors have all been fired in an orgy of cost cutting. But if I ever see “towed the line” in the Gray Lady again, I’m going to stop giving you even my pittance.