Posts Tagged ‘life’

So Crazed

This morning, I have:

– Written two freelance articles for publication
– Done an in depth analysis of user trends on a product
– Completely forgotten about the report I write every Monday before my kid wakes up, and I can hear him waking up now

What I have not done this morning:

– Put any words into at least one WIP. I try to do 250 words every morning. My real writing time is in the evening, but getting one manuscript page complete each morning sets such a good tone for the rest of the day.

What I wish I was doing:

– Reading the copy of Gwenhwyfar I got for Mother’s Day.

I’m only a chapter in, and already I’m so excited. I cut my fantasy teeth on Valdemar, and loved it more than anything, and I know I’m not the only reader who started feeling a bit… disappointed. Like the well had run dry and someone was still making Mercedes Lackey throw down the bucket. Her “romance” series for Luna made me feel a lot better, because they were great reads. Still, there was sometimes a sense of automatic pilot. But this Arthurian book is the good stuff, the vintage Lackey but now with all of the craft and power an author with years of practice can command.

I used the word romance in quotes there because it’s a freaking fantasy series, but it was branded as a romance, which irritated… huh. There’s a whole pile of assumptions to be examined right there. I’ll get to that one of these days when I’m not so crazed.


Romance Writers: The Country Music Stars of the Book World

Rock stars are cool. They are mysterious, tortured beings, and if they aren’t, they sure pretend to be. Country music stars, on the other hand, specialize in being “just folks.” They go to a lot of trouble to create approachable images, even if they are bajillionaires.

Rock stars go to a lot of trouble to talk about their art and how they suffer (oh, how they suffer) to bring it to a cold, unfeeling world that doesn’t appreciate genius. Country stars bust their butts to give us the impression they knock out their songs over the weekend over a six pack of beer.

Rock stars are better than you. Country stars are you.

After a show, a rock star gets his butt on his bus, or minimum into his hotel room, and drinks (or uses some other substance) in order to relax from three hours of running, climbing, dancing, singing, changing costumes, avoiding the pyrotechnics, and pouring his own personal energy like a balm across a roiling ocean of fans. The country star puts on the exact same show, and afterwards, acts like their fondest wish is granted if they can take pictures and sign autographs and kiss babies.

Except for the running and jumping, these two sound remarkably like another set of artists I know.

Ever notice how literary stars go out of their way to look depressed and take up smoking or drinking in order to have props? They bitch about the burdens of success even while they dress in cool clothes. Also, the minute they get popular, they take it as a sign of having sold out, and run off to write something incomprehensible that may or may not be an extended metaphor for sex.

Not romance writers. They interact on message boards and carry around bookmarks and pens in case you’d like an autograph. The billionaires go to quite a bit of trouble to wear jeans and talk about their crazy times being a mom. Also, they don’t bother with metaphors, at least when it comes to boy-meets-girl-in-the-sack. They like sex. They also like their fans, and are appreciative of anyone who buys a book.

I was never cool. I do think appreciating fans is cool. Does this mean I can wear a cowboy hat here in suburban Maryland without irony?

Categories: Thinking Tags:

The Internet Is Forever Except When It’s Not

Right now I’m cobbling together a living from a handful of small jobs. I am trying to find a single large job that will replace the income. It’s not six of one, half a dozen of the other – switching between jobs, manager styles, project needs, writing voice, tracking systems, reporting systems, and all that other stuff takes time. If I have one job and not six jobs, I will have twice as much time in my day. I know this from experience – I finished two manuscripts when I only had one job, and for the last month, I’ve made painfully slow progress on several stories, one of which is begging me to finish already.

An opportunity to do some tech writing came up, and honestly, it would pay so much better than my professional blogging, so I’d love to land the gig. The contact person asked me to dig up all of my product reviews from the last few years. Five minutes with Google, right? Twenty minutes later, I was still digging for the best one, the crown jewel of my reviewing career. The magazine that published it was out of business, but they’d had it on their website, and it had been so widely quoted and linked that surely there was a cache. Right? Wrong.

There are pictures of me weighing twenty pounds more than I do now. Things I have said off the cuff are in forum signature files all over the internet and they come up when you Google my (other) name. There are video clips of me doing unfortunate things with thumb drives at trade shows. And yet this ONE THING I really want, the thing that makes me look witty and incisive and well-informed? Gone like a fart in the wind.

Categories: Writing Tags: , ,

Must… Not… Post… Cover

April 16, 2010 1 comment

Got my final cover 🙂 I am dying to post it, make it my avatar, shout it to the world… but the publisher gets dibs on posting it to the blog first. /cry

It is wonderful in every possible way. So wonderful that I am breaking my own rule about spending money I don’t yet have in hand to buy an ad using it. I’m not going to bother buying anything at the big, expensive sites – that is my publisher’s job – but a little ad at one of the sites where I’ve been lurking ever since I started doing market research? Why not? It’s ten bucks and they’re lovely people. And I just want to see my cover out there online because I am basically a big nerd and THIS IS MY FIRST BOOK, Y’ALL. Oh my goodness, I’m really going to be published.

Categories: publishing Tags: ,

Day Jobs

In a quest to support my end of the family mortgage while I get published, I have a variety of jobs. One of them just started – a gig blogging three times a week for a client. I know from past experience that blogging here is going to be more of a challenge while that side job continues. It’s not just the blog. When my day job consists of a lot of writing, fiction at night is really, really hard.

I’ve heard it said that writers should take day jobs that don’t interfere with the writing muscles – working at bookstores, waitressing, etc. I am not sneering – a day job at a bookstore would be perfect in so many ways, but there are two major flaws for me. One, trust me when I say that the four bookstores near me are not hiring. The stores are virtually empty whenever I go in. Maybe they’re crazy busy during the evenings, but I doubt it. And two, the bookstore isn’t going to let me take my toddler to work.

That leaves me with earning a living the only way I know how, and that’s with my keyboard. At least I’m warmed up when I finally get to my fiction every night, right?

Categories: Writing Tags: , ,

Morituri Te Salutant

March 4, 2010 3 comments

I don’t know how those of you with more than one kid get anything done.

Categories: Thinking Tags: ,