Writing During Stressful Times; some links

It’s been stressful. The election and first days of the new presidency has added stress and anxiety to everyone’s lives. In response to this, several writers around the web have put together some posts, threads and statements giving advice and encouragement to their peers. I thought I would list/link to those I know of here.

I’ve followed Elizabeth Bear since my days back on Livejournal. She shared this thread from Chuck Wendig on anxiety and self-care.

 

 

Over on facebook, Tamora Pierce posted this gem;

To those who are losing a lot of their will to create in the wake of President Tyrant:

Don’t let him and his orcs win. People NEED your books, stories, poems, paintings jewelry, dolls, knitting, tapestries, vases, weaving, dishes, every creation that comes from your hands. Every creation is a punch back at the haters and the heartless. Every word puts hope or thought or dreams or solace or fire into those who read it.

You become a different voice from the bullyraggers and the foolish; your ideals, wishes and convictions reach your audience, whether they are reading Dr. Seuss or James Joyce. You convey food for hope and imagination whether you realize it or not,and the most innocuous-seeming work gives those who partake of it something to go on with.

Keep soldiering on. Comedian or philosopher, baker or glassblower, writer of tomes or fan fiction, you’re needed now more than ever.

 

 

And here is a post from Kristine Rusch here* which states what have said for some time;

…escape is rest. It’s important. It gets us away from the horrors, the terrible things, the stresses and upsetting moments of every day life.

Sometimes, art provides a different perspective, a new way of thinking about important things. And sometimes, we just hang out with a little boy wizard fighting a big powerful evil because it entertains us.

This is not light stuff. It is not unimportant. It is extremely important….

This post actually expands on a post she put up in October, The Importance of Fiction.

My Thoughts;  We stand on the brink of change so drastic I can barely wrap my head around it. Self care is very important in these hectic times and it is not a bad thing to take time for yourself. Creating, in whatever form you use, is important. it matters. What YOU create matters. So to wrap it up, a reminder of a great commencement speech by Neil Gaiman in 2012 I believe.

If you know of other posts along these lines, by all means comment here with the link and I’ll add them to the post.

Be kind to each other.

~NPhoenix

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TGIF? No, for me it’s Monday

My hubs only has one day off a week That was yesterday. So as everyone else is moving towards the weekend we’re just starting our new workweek. Blarg. That sums it up pretty well. So. Writing.

I’m currently (as in, in the other window) working on the final two installments of Inside The Author’s Mind, they’re going to be small, they average under 1k, so if I can get them done they’ll be up for Flash Fiction friday later today and next friday *crossing fingers*. Once those are done I’m hoping to compile them into a collection to have up in Sept. If they’re large enough I’ll see about putting together print versions. It may take some doing though, for the ISPNs. I’m considering a kickstarter or something like that to fund getting the ISPN numbers from Bowker. Or just tossing a donate button at the bottom of the page. We shall see.

If anyone has been paying attention to the bars on the **checks other tab** right side of the page, I’ve been puttering away at the first Zander book. I’m about 1/4 of the way through it and I think it’s coming along fairly well. I was thinking over the series itself and it struck me that there are going to be 4, possibly 5, in the whole series. The first three are the Northern Empire books and the last one(two) would be the grande finale/wrap up of that situation. So. 5 in the Zander series. **twitches**

I do need to come up with new titles for them…

I AM still working on getting E1 edited so I can serialize it. Which I’m still planning on doing. What the heck, right? It may be September (ahhh that month again) before I start serializing it. Or maye OCt. Not sure if I can swing it in Aug though. I may do a teaser chapter to see what people think.

Ok, in other pubbing news, Smashwords is holding a coupon special for the month of July. I’ve signed up all my titles for it. Linked below; The coupon code is SSW50

The Shiny – With coupon is free
Redshirts – With coupon is free
Muse Interrupted – With coupon is free
The Magic Maker – With coupon is 50% off; $1.50
Playing For The Dead – With coupon is free
Help Never Came – With coupon is 50% off; $1.75
River Of Souls – With coupon is free

In Aug I’m going to be compiling them into collections for a September release, and possibly pulling down the single titles. I’m undecided on this atm. We’ll see. I’m also working on some new covers (in my *haha* spare time)  and plan on going through the current titles for a typo hunt. Just a typo hunt/grammar fix, no story changes.

Anyways, time to wrap this up and finish the flash fiction stuff. Have a great weekend folks!

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some things

First of all, this dude wins. Just…he wins.

Slave Leo

 

Read it look at the pictures, He’s not bad looking at all. Go him. And the worksmanship is just awesome.

 

Writing;

Disclaimer: I am still on vacation. **nods** Really, I am.

I was part of a conversation between two friends of mine about goals and characters. The one has been struggling with character issues for a story for a while. The other has ten or eleven books written/pubbed traditionally and has won awards and stuff. I will have to ask her permission before I drop names. but suffice to say she has a LOT of experience, and is someone I HIGHLY respect. Her books are fun too.

She talked about problems with some of her stories and one in particular that had a goal that wasn’t strong enough to carry the whole book. She talked about her methods of finding a better goal and in the process the mc focal point of the story changed. It’s fascinating, and very educational. I was listening, munching on popcorn and thinking about my own books, My own stories and the struggles that I have had with them. And taking notes, checking goals.

We’ll get back to that in a moment, because the night before I was chatting with some of my OTHER pals and we were discussing release dates, serials and stuff like that. And we talked about trilogies.

There is a line of thought, that I encountered years ago, that trilogies are cliche. That they are outdated. No one likes them yadda yadda yadda. At some point a long time ago I got it into my head that writing a trilogy is BAD. I decided I would never write a trilogy.

So we were discussing reader habits. and trilogies. and a little whisper in my head reminded me that years ago, BP and Crossroads was supposed to be a trilogy. I shoved the idea down. No. Not gonna go that route.

Woken up, though, the thought, the urge to make it a trilogy just wouldn’t go away.

Then I sat in on that other conversation. And it hit me. The goal thing. Bastard Prince  covers about 17 years. The goal is hard to define. But if I break it up… I can see two very distinctive goals, possibly three, which would hold their own in their own novels, but smooshed in that time frame, they get lost. Bastard Prince can become a trilogy.

Let me say it again (It’s making the lazy inner writer scream in horror)

Bastard Prince can become a trilogy.

And the mind opens up. Scenes that were blank are filling in in my head because I am giving myself the permission to go more into depth on Zander’s years in the Northern Empire. Because those scenes were just the tip of the iceberg  The conspiracies, the interactions with people. The culture which captured my imagination…

It feels right.

It means a lot more work. BP is roughly finished and I’ll just keep writing on it in one chunk.

So where does this leave my other projects? 

Well that’s a good question there. I have a lot and sometimes it really gets overwhelming trying to pinpoint which one I need to work on next. And there’s the whole vacation thing.

I’m supposed to be backing away, taking a break. Taking a breather. So I am just going to get the Angel thing ready for a late May release. Other work will be decided on after that.

Health

Tony Horton, fitness trainer and creator of the P90X workout system, has a saying ‘Do your best, forget the rest.’

It’s become my mantra in many areas of my life lately. Working out is challenging, especially with toddlers underfoot. Sometimes I mess up, sometimes I have to stop and chase kids. That’s ok. I am working on doing my best. Working out with intensity. Nothing matters. I’m doing my best. It is very liberating.

I feel much better without stressing or feeling guilty for making mistakes.

That said, turbofire beckons and so does the kitchen.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday!

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The powerful resource of social media

A few years ago I started reading a blog/serial by  M.C.A Hogarth (I knew of her first via  livejournal) though I’ve been pretty sporadic on LJ lately, I liked seeing her progress with her projects.

So in December when she announced that Amazon had yanked Spots the Space Marine because of a supposed trademark issue I was a bit concerned. IF it could happen to her, it could happen to others. And dear gods don’t get me started on the claim that Space Marine ‘belonged’ to Game Workshop. There are others who were far more verbal about it, and more knowledgeable about the situation. I had never heard of Game Workshop before this started.

M.C.A. Hogarth protested it, after all, the term Space Marine is a common one in the Science Fiction genre (dare I whisper the word ‘cliche’ even?) and the term first came into being in the 30s/40s. Hells bells the stupid that Game Workshop displayed with this, and the bullying they pulled made me see red. (that was the day the website was offline, in retrospect I think that was a good thing. I can be very incoherent when furious.)

So when a friend shared this, announcing that Game Workshop backed down after a slew of people getting on twitter, facebook, reditt, and other venues posting about it  and M.C.A. Hogarth contacted the EFF, I bounced, cheered and startled my kids by my hooting.

Yes I just went and bought a copy of Spots the Space Marine

Just because M.C.A. Hogarth is a self pubbed author doesn’t give anyone the right to tromple over her books. This issue is sure to come up again. We need stay vigilant and get mad and do what we can to help fellow authors/artists stand against bullying of this nature.

Congrats M.C.A. Hogarth! Thank you everyone who got mad and spread the news.

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Tuesday Links

  • I want to try this, a mind jar to help kids learn how to calm down. I need to do this at my house. A Mind Jar
  • Oglaf  is a over 18 adult web comic I read. New posts every Sunday. Explicit, adult content. Funny as hell but very very crude humor (which explains why I love it :P)
  • The Zombie Hunters If you like zombie stuff, I HIGHLY recommend taking the time, start from the beginning and read this comic. New posts every Monday and Thursday and let me tell you I am riveted.
  • For those who follow my blog who are interested in going trad, I saw this link on twitter this morning and thought I would share it here. Tor UK has announced accepting submissions from un-agented authors.
  • Kris Rusch has a post on Editorial Revisions in which she is teaching how to work with an editor in both the Traditional AND Self-publishing industry. This is a MUST read, MUST bookmark because it applies to ALL writers, Self or trad published ones. Kris, thanks again for the info you share.

 

And that’s the tuesday linkage.  Hope yours is going as great as mine is!

 

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Links

Links Listing

The Business Rusch: The Writer You Want To Be

Dean Wesley Smith; The New World of Publishing: What Should Indi Publishers Be Called In all honesty, in my opinion, you’re wasting your time by OCDing over what term is ‘correct’. Get to writing instead. Better use of your energy.

Joyously Prolific; What I do best in Writing
I don’t entirely agree with Zette here, writing is writing, sometimes there are no ‘endings’. Sometimes to improve your skill you MUST learn to write smaller snips, scenes, gain the skills you can use later with larger projects. Not finishing everything is not a sign that you aren’t a writer, rather you are growing as a writer. But that’s MY take on it and it really deserves a larger post.

Daniel Lieske‘s website. This artist has art and stories up available to whomever wishes to view them. OMG Gorgeous art!

________________________

Muse Interrupted

Her job is to send ideas to the Author, however, not everyone appreciates new ideas and Muse is told to curb her idea gathering. But can you really tell a Muse to stop?

Smashwords | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Edging towards the end of the year

I’ve bounced around on my projects since we moved, trying to get my head back in the right ‘space’. I’ve been slowly getting things settled. So I’m taking a look at the last half of the year. There are two big projects I want to finish (1st drafts), Bastard Prince and Crown of Bones.  I have three smaller (short story size) projects; the FMAnthology, The Christmas Zombie thing, and another ‘from the author’s POV story’ and I have 5 months…

Bastard Prince is sitting currently at 29k and I think 60k should wrap it up. I am going to be doing Aug Camp nano and I am fairly confident I can get that in Aug. Sept might be a rest up, do little projects, then (maybe) tackle COB again in oct/november. I wanted to have COB  finished (rough draft at least) before oct, but I have to say I don’t think it will happen.

There is something I’ve been missing with COB, and I haven’t had the time to sit down and just LOOK at it. Maybe I’ll do that in Oct. Well see.

I also need to do the next pass on E1, I’d like to have it pub ready before the end of this year.

so the line up is;

In Aug;

Bastard Prince I will finish this gods be damned story, dang it

In Sept

~ Shorter projects; 

  • FM-Anthology (submission call is over here for those interested)
  • Christmas Zombie-thing
  • Inside the Author’s mind story

In Oct

~ Final Edit round on Elemental Truth and possibly start formatting?

~ Do the cover for Bastard Prince Crown of Bones, Christmas Zombie  and Elemental Flame

plotting/worldbuilding for Crown of bones.  I need to sit down and just work out what is bugging me about this project.

~Plotting on Elemental Flame (E2)

In November

Crown of Bones

~ If COB doesn’t pan out I’ll work on E2

 

In December

~ Publish the christmas zombiething

~ publish E1(?)

~ Put together goals list for 2013 (dear dog did I just write that? o.O)

 

As usual, this list is subject to change (or be totally ignored) depending on how my RL goes.

There is a lot going on, on the internets, a lot that I have been thinking and mulling over. I just don’t have the words quite right in my head just yet.

Have a good day, folks. Happy Monday!

~*~

Bonus link;

Jay Lake posted at his blog a thing of dialog tags over here. Well worth reading.

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Urban Fantasy Rants

Not mine, I honestly don’t read much UF. I find it far too predictable which has made it boring to me. A friend from livejournal land is doing a series on what she finds lacking with many urban fantasies out there and frankly I agree. Her points are exactly why I don’t read UF.

Fantasy critiques: Lack of good relationships
Urban Fantasy Rant 2:Not even friendship?
Urban Fantasy Rant 3:The Invisible Woman

She’s doing another one tomorrow which I will link to. I highly recommend reading these posts and then read the comments. Lots of food for thought, especially if you are an Urban Fantasy writer.

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Linkage

I have started reading several blogs around the web that are geared towards helping authors make informed decisions about their careers. I have found these blogs to be informative, eye opening and giving me a better understanding as to what is going on in the confusing world of publishing today. I thought I would link to them and give my opinion on them.

first of all over at Paranormal Ladies she just posted a interview (scroll to the bottom) with the Passive Guy from The Passive Voice blog which he discusses his reasons for starting the blog and his upcoming book. I highly recommend giving it a read then cruise through his blog.

In fact Paranormal Indies list of Blogs of interest lists off blogs that I read, which I find very enlightening.

Kevin O. McLaughlin, who recently got booted from AW for pointing out facts about self publishing (and he wasn’t the only one) has a blog up today about what you need to sell your book. Yes, Mr. McLaughlin, I am taking careful notes. 😀

Michael Kingswood is one I have just started following as I was retracing the Sarah Hoyt/TKA train wreak of last week (more on that later). From what I’ve seen so far his blog is interesting and this quote:

a lot of writers seem to have a pathological aversion to common sense, critical thinking, and basic business.

Had me in absolute giggle fits. I think because I’ve seen this myself among authors both experienced and inexperianced. It was sobering however to know that i am not the only one who has noticed this.

Behler Blog has a good post on the consequences of Agents stepping into the publishing arena over here.

Recently several agencies have, in recent months, taken a step to enter the publishing arena the one that caught my attention was the kerfluffle with The Knight Agency. If you didn’t hear about it (tho I think everyone has by now) Sarah Hoyt blogged about her decision to go indi and to drop her agent. In the post she highly praises TKA who has represented her for several years, and explains that she didn’t feel comfortable with the e-publishing step being taken by TKA. Their response was less than stellar which she shares with her response here which she STILL highly praises the very people who tried to bully her (threatened legal action) to retract her statements. She is a better woman than I, let-me-tell-you. I don’t know that were I in her place I would be so nice.

But that leads me to the question; why is such a reputable agency, one that was on the top of MY list of agencies to query, jumping to do something that seems to be a conflict of interests? If they are acting as a publisher then who will they query when finding their clients a publisher will they query themselves? It feels shady and I know for a fact that I am not the only person thinking that. Which is sad, everything I have heard about them outside of this has been stellar.

Now real life is starting to pick up here so I have to go before my kids destroy my house :P.

4 weeks to go…

I do wonder if I should list off my projects and projected launch dates… hmmmm

Take care all


Edited to include Nephele’s input on The Knight Agency side of things;

The link is here and I’ll quote what I consider the key comment here:

Our program includes our taking on the prep work that an author would do to self-publish on their own: finding cover art, converting the format, securing the copyright for their work, obtaining ISBNs, etc. We are not actually publishing anything, but working with the various self-publishing programs at major e-retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, etc. We are not taking a publisher’s commission or cut, but just our standard agency rate of 15%.

And they also state it is for clients only, fyi.

and here is Lucienne Diver’s input on the program.

Why take the trouble? Because the only way to make an informed opinion is by looking at all sides.
That said, I think what bothers more than what still doesn’t feel like a good move by the agency, is their over reaction to Ms. Hoyt’s original post. Their inability to gracefully and gently say good luck, so long. I feel, they overstepped their position and by doing so embarrassed themselves.

But who the hell am I? Some no name, some **gasp** self pubber?

I am a person who once wanted to have The Knight Agency represent me. And when you have hopes like that, at least I put people up on a mini pedestal. Finding out they are, in reality, just human is kind of disappointing.

Anyways, those are my thoughts, hopefully clarified.

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