Ranty McRanty-pants

I will start by saying this is a rant, brought on by one too many people shoving the idea that if you don’t want to be published you’re not a ‘real’ writer.  I’ve heard it in multiple places, from multiple know-it-all asses.

I call bullshit on that.

BULLSHIT!!!

Do you write blog posts, journals? Private journals? Stories that are your precious, secret things that you just can’t bear anyone seeing? Poetry? Songs? Limericks? Guess what? You’re a writer.

That’s right. You are a writer. Do you know why? Because you write. It’s just that simple.

Repeat after me; if you write, no matter what your ultimate goals are FOR that writing, you’re a writer. If you have trouble remembering it, scribble it on a post-it note and put it on your mirror, tattoo it backwards on your forehead. If you write, you’re a writer. Period. And don’t believe anyone who says otherwise.

Got it?

Let it sink in and we’ll move on to the next issue that has completely, 100% pissed me right the hell off.

**takes a deep breath**

There is this idea that if you need emotional support as a writer you shouldn’t be writing. This idea is so asinine, so blatantly stupid that it makes my head hurt. I’ve seen it often, usually spouted by someone who doesn’t have a real strong grip on reality and human interactions. Sadly I see it spouted on social media where gullible new writers could and do stumble on it.

You see as a writer we communicate with each other. Often for emotional kickback. I tell someone I’m not well, I get hugs. I get the emotional kick that someone gives a damn about me, and though I still might feel ill, I emotionally feel better knowing that someone cares. Humans communicate and often it is laced with emotion. When I write, or read, I am going on an emotional journey.

I am, last I checked, human. Humans are social animals. Most of us want to be around, or in contact with other humans on some level or another. It is how we are put together. I remember in Stephen King’s The Stand, the character Glen(I think), talked about how people after catastrophe would gather together in groups. It always stood out to me, because it rings true. Many people want to be around people.

We want to share experiences, we want to be acknowledged. When a friend got a rejection letter on a project, myself and others rallied around her, gave her ehugs and encouragement. When another friend lost someone in his family, again there was emotional support for him. It’s the human thing to do. It’s natural. It’s good.

Writers often write about people, people who catch our imagination. We are moved emotionally in one way or another towards characters. Ever seen UP? The first 15 min is almost exclusively without words, yet it is a poignant and emotional journey. I have not met anyone yet who has not shed a tear while watching that part.

We, as writers, have an obligation I guess you could say, to give the reader an emotional connection with the characters. I read Neil Gaiman’s Neverware, not for the main character (he annoyed the shit out of me) but because I wanted to know what happened to a minor/sidekick character. I was emotionally caught up in HER story (I would LOVE to see a sequel, because there were a lot of unanswered questions about her).

Having an emotional support group as a writer, can be a GREAT THING. Being able to interact with other writers often gives a writer an opportunity for learning, growing, and expanding as a person and as a writer. I’ll admit, not everyone needs it, not everyone desires it, that’s OKAY. I’m not saying you HAVE to find an emotional support group. But to spout off that if you DO feel you need it, that you shouldn’t be in the writing business, is arrogant and self-defeating. Spouting it on a social network platform; facebook, livejournal, blogger, twitter or any of those… well it makes me wonder about a person’s IQ.

Every person, every writer is on their own journey. And with writing there is no ONE WAY to do it. Just because MY way isn’t YOUR way doesn’t mean I’m better than you, or that you are better than me, it means we work in different ways. But I WILL object to you spouting off that YOUR way is the BEST and ONLY way and acting like you know it all. You don’t. I don’t. I’ve heard authors, who have been in this business for DECADES, talking about learning new things. You should never stop learning as a writer.

If you’re naïve enough to believe you know it all, I think you’re going to be in for a huge shock. I worry about the new writers who come so full of hope and dreams only to be crushed under the wave of arrogant ‘advice’ out there by people who don’t have a fucking clue what the hell they are doing let alone telling OTHER people how to do it too. I’ve seen too many new writers get jaded and overwhelmed by that sort of ‘advice’.

Go write, whatever it is that moves you, that you feel pulled to write. You’re a writer. No matter how many shoulders you need to lean on, or how few. No matter if you want to get published traditionally, self publish or a hybrid of the two, or keep your writing to yourself in a secret drawer. You are a writer. And don’t let anyone, ANYONE convince you otherwise.

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Sunday Thoughts

I meant to post something yesterday but totally forgot.  It has been a rough week for me, a lot going on.

Weight; I’ve lost 18 lbs and overall 4 inches since I started Turbofire last July. Now I have NOT been consistent with my diet or following the exercising, yet I’m still losing weight. **YAY**

I’m currently two weeks into my consistent workouts and eating right, I haven’t weighed myself since Tuesday and I’m not going to until next tues. I feel better, I can feel the changes. Just need to work on getting to bed early.

Writing: I’ve been working on the fallen angel thing. Yes, I am still on vacation 😉 but the story is very loud in my brain. I blame J.A. Marlow for it. Yes JA I am publicly blaming you for it!!! 😀  Seriously though  I am very happy to be working on this thing, so I shouldn’t complain.

I am putting together my business plan and release schedule for the next year. There is a lot to think about and now that things are settling down, I think I can start re-focusing on my writing business.

Overall; Life is good. Next Sat we will be celebrating 1 year out from Oklahoma. Hubs and I were talking about doing a celebration or something. I love where we’re living, and though this past year has been brutal, it has been worth it.

 

 

~*~

Help Never Came

Life in the post-zombie-apocalypse is full of nasty surprises and many unsolved mysteries, such as old diaries and teddy bears. After saving some fellow survivors Chris and his team find themselves stuck on the wrong side of the river with surging hordes of Zombies moving faster than normal. Worse yet, home base isn’t answering their calls.

Smashwords | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

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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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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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Digi art and other meanderings

I love digi art. I love playing with programs such as Poser and Daz3d. I love being able to look at a piece of art I have made using those programs and “see” the characters I write about. So yesterday I kinda took a break and just *played* and came up with this:

Zander test render 2

I am quite proud of this picture. Despite the fact the clothes aren’t aligned right at the legs and arms and the hair is not exactly right… And I just noticed he doesn’t have eyebrows… **snerk** I find that funny

It is still very close to how I picture him, in his youth. Before shit hits the fan.mwahahaha **coughs**

#

We’ve been, in chat, having an ongoing discussion of traditional publishing verses self publishing. There is a lot of distrust between the two sides. Which makes me very sad. There is a lot we, as authors, should be able to do. Respecting others’ decisions on how they want to distribute and manage their writing career should be paramount. Luckily, for the most part, the folks I chat with have this respect, and are willing to accept other folks’ decisions… as long as they aren’t pressured to go the route they don’t feel comfortable with.

When I was working on the Zombie thing the other day, a friend advised me to find a publisher for it. And I realized, I’m having far too much fun to do that.

There is a lot of trad publishing hate out there. And it is not very surprising. They’ve been underpaying and mistreating their writers for years. (not getting on that soapbox) I have multiple reasons why I am just not comfortable with going the traditional route. So much is changing, so fast and the publishers, agents and writers are scrambling to figure out what next. I could list off things and reasons why I choose not to trad publish, but there are so many of those declarative posts out there that it feel like it is feeding a negative air that surrounds self pubbing. Honestly, when it all boils down to it, I’d rather list off reasons why I choose to self publish.

  • I love making covers. I am such a geek. I love fiddling with the digi art, I love putting together concepts, I love knowing that if I screw up on the cover it is MY fault not an underpaid and over worked artist who is given minimal information about book they are doing a cover for.
  • Time frame. Instead of wasting my time sitting on pins and needles waiting for a YAY or NAY from an editor/agent, as soon as my work is deemed publishable, it takes about a day or two to format and do the cover and then put it up. Months/years vs a day or three… Yeah
  • More freedom to write what I want. I am not locked into a genre, so if I want to explore doing sci-fi stories instead of fantasy or maybe a zombie thing or two… I CAN without needing to ask an agent or editor if I should or not. I have trouble with that idea.
  • If I need to handle real life I can give myself more time. (like the past three or four months) I don’t have to ask for patience from someone who has their bosses breathing down their neck because their author hasn’t delivered yet. That would make me feel real bad.
  • It is fun. Just, fun. I love the community, I love the people I have gotten to know. I love the options. I love seeing what I can do.
  • I love waking up to see sales. I won’t lie. That is one of the coolest things. I woke up the other day after having a series of minor disasters (flooded basement, leaky water heater, out furnace in 30 degree weather…) and saw sales. And I geeked, it made me smile big. Reviews would be nice but hey you can’t have everything can you? 😉
  • Returns on sales. I get about 30% on every sale (for the .99 price range) from Amazon, I’d have to double check on the Smashwords sales. To my knowledge, based off of discussion with my friends who are trad pubbed, trad published authors get far lower percentage per sale than that. Which makes me very sad. You trad published writers work so hard for your publishers they should be paying you more per copy imo.
At this point in time I really don’t see myself pursuing a trad publisher or agent. I can do everything they can do for me, for the most part, and thats just fine and dandy with me.
Now that I’ve procrastinated enough 😛 I have a zombie thing to finish (and find a title for), Bastard Prince to finish and Crossroads and Crown of Bones to outline all before the end of Jan.
Hope you all have a good Monday.
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