Wordy Wonderland


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In between writing and publishing

I’ve been in an in between place recently, and I’m trying to make decisions, which I hate to do. My publishing experience hasn’t been bad, but it hadn’t really given me the feedback/reaction/interaction I was looking for. And part of that’s on me, since I’m not particularly active. Part of it’s on my publisher, who it seems sent out an email saying they’re closing (…I didn’t actually GET an email, I just saw it on Twitter, which is another bag of worms).

I like writing. My goal with writing was to write, get my stuff out there, maybe find some people who like to read my stuff, and write for them as well as myself. But my first two pieces didn’t get much attention (and I don’t know if it’s just because it’s my writing or lack of publisher push).

Part of me thinks I should just fade away and write just for myself. Part of me considers finding an editor, a cover artist, and publishing through Kindle Unlimited–which would get my work out there with limited overhead. Maybe that’s what I should do with the rights that are going to revert back to me

But a big part of me wonders if I should bother. The devil that says my stuff isn’t any good and no one buys it and no one cares. Right now that devil is really loud. So I guess we’ll see what the next year brings.


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Long Weekend Ahoy!

For those of you in the US and with gracious companies, this weekend may be extra long for you! So what are your plans?

Today I have the required picnic with my friends, which means sunshine (if the weather holds), eating too much, and playing corn hole (which will never not be funny). While it’ll be sad that I can’t spend the whole day writing (haha), it should be super relaxing. And all the food. Lots of vegetarian things, but also hot dogs and burgers and picnic salads and deviled eggs and *food coma*

Sunday will be relaxing, catching up on everything I was meant to do Saturday and grabbing a meal out with my mom.

Monday, while a good portion of the world is off, I’ll be working. At least part of the day. But also getting out (weather permitting) to enjoy some sunshine 🙂 and maybe sneak some writing in? I have some stories that need revised…and isn’t that what long weekends are all about?

In all honesty, I do want to take a moment to remember all of those who died serving our country. In my small town they hang small banners on the posts with faces of men who died in service to the country, all of young men who are from my area. It really brings home the impact and the sacrifice that was made. I hope we can all take the time while we gather with friends and family, to be thankful for those who have given their lives so that ours could be what they are today.


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How to Become a Famous Author

And Other Misleading Blog Titles

Warning: No mysteries will be revealed. This is mostly contemplation.

My ponderings don’t even dwell on the big-name authors like Steven King, JRR Martin, JK Rowling, etc. But within niche and smaller genres, how do authors become popular/famous/well-known? Whether they deserve it or not is another story, but authors are out there being well-known and purchased. How do they do it?

I’ll be honest, I think a chunk of it is luck. I’m not saying the famous author are hacks, but I also don’t believe that there aren’t other, possibly more worthy, authors out there who never make it big. (No, I do not think I’m one of them 😉 But I think there are definite steps to take to “make it big”:

  1. Write. I know, duh. But the trick is to write. Maybe not every day (that doesn’t work for everyone) but find a schedule or a goal and write. If you aren’t producing stuff, it’s really hard to get stuff published. Along those lines, keep to a set number of projects, and don’t start any others until those are finished. This may be aimed at me, most of all, because I get distracted easily. But that means a lot of stories end up half-finished and nothing becomes of them.
  2. Get out there. Talk to people on social media. Do blog posts. Make friends. Network. It’s an ugly, boring, (hated) word, but it’s important. Obviously you want to be genuine, but just being present (responding to people’s posts, making your own) creates an identity. Something for people to say “Hey, I like so-and-so, I think I’ll check out their next book.” Plus if you get a following, you can get the word out about new books. (Note to self…do this.)
  3. Have a watchful eye. This is sort of related to #2, but watch who is growing in ranks and see what they’ve done. Watch patterns in which titles/stories are popular and write there if you can. Note new publishers (if you’re not aiming for the big ones) and see what they offer you and if it’d be worth spreading your wings and possibly getting a new audience. (Not that you should just dump an old publisher if they’ve been good to you. But it doesn’t hurt to look.)
  4. Keep at it. Don’t lose heart. Yes, only five people bought a copy of your book, and you happen to know one of them was your mother, but if this is your passion, keep at it. You should be writing because you love it, not for the money. Yes, money would be a great end goal, but unless you’re earning your keep this way, remember that you started down this path because it’s your passion. Let the stories out and don’t be disheartened.

That’s all I’ve got. I know, nothing groundbreaking. Maybe I should have called this, “A Letter From the Author to Herself.”


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A Week of Contemplation

I’ve been recuperating from my rush to get my reading edits done and preparing for edits from my editor (which haven’t come in yet), so this week I took it fairly easy. Watched some TV (my friend turned me on to this anime called Love Stage, which is like super cute and hilarious, especially if you’re familiar with boys’ love manga), but mostly did some reading. And thinking.

Since the beginning of the year has been so hectic, my writing and editing has felt less fun and more…like a chore. And that’s not what I want it to be at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love polishing my stories to be the best that they can be! I want to see them pretty and send them out into the world. But I also wonder if I’ll hit a point where the fun is outweighed by the work. I think that would make me write boring stories, and I don’t want to do that to my readers.

So I’m starting to thin about putting out my stories through posting forums (fictionpress.com is the only one I know off-hand, feel free to rec others!) or do some sort of free/self-pub through SmashWords. Publishing through SmashWords seems like it’d be more work intensive, so that’s not likely to happen, but if I can figure out a way to make it work for minimal effort, I may go for it.

I guess I’ve just hit that part of my life where I’m re-evaluating things.


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Drama and tiny communities

There has been a lot of drama in the M/M (romance) community as late. I’m grateful that I can watch from afar and haven’t been involved, although it is commentary on my general lack of involvement in online things. But moving on…

One of the problems with the M/M romance community is that it’s small. So every little thing that happens causes waves of reaction that seems to reach every corner of the community. Many times while the original issue is a big deal, it’s probably not as big a deal as everyone’s reaction makes it seem.

Along those lines, because of its size, everyone feels the need to react, to give their feedback/thoughts, and announce where they stand on the issue. The internet (and social media) in general have made this happen even moreso. But ultimately it’s just a lot of gossiping. Did X happen? Yes. And yes, some people have a right to scream their emotions from the rooftops.

But the number of people directly involved probably wasn’t that big. And if you’re one of the parties screaming about X, then you’re probably more part of the problem. The solution? Don’t scream. State your piece, then move on. And if you aren’t really involved in the matter, just move on. Watch and listen and be there if your friends need a shoulder. But that consoling should probably be moved to a private medium (email/IM/chat) rather than clogging twitter feeds.

Now, I’m in no way saying you can’t/shouldn’t feel something about what’s happening. But just ask yourself if you really need to put your own two cents in. And if you have enough information about the subject to be PUTTING your two cents in. Are you taking sides too quickly? While you want to support a friend, make sure your friend has their facts straight as well.

I just think the community as a whole would benefit from not overreacting–or reacting too quickly–when events go down. Take a deep breath. Sleep on it. And then reappraise the situation.

That’s how I hope to handle things, should I ever actually be active during (or involved in) one of these events. And I suppose it’s a good rule of thumb for dealing with events in all our lives, but if you’re directly involved…I think there’s some leeway.

 


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Would you rather….

Saw this over at Words Read and Written and it sounded like a fun thing!

Would you rather read trilogies or stand-alones?

Stand-alones. HOWEVER, I do love stories that all take place in the same world, like Trowchester Blues, Bluewater Bay, Kim Dare’s Birds series, Tucker Springs, etc. They all stand alone, but they all tie in together too!

Would you rather read only male or female authors?

I don’t care. If all female authors or all male authors were to vanish from the Earth, I’d probably want the female authors to stick around, only because that’s who mainly writes in my preferred genre.

Would you rather shop at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?

If we’re just comparing ebooks…I guess Amazon, though I prefer to buy direct from the publisher for smaller houses 🙂 That way the author gets more money!

Would you rather books were made into TV shows or movies?

Movies for stand-alones, but TV shows for series. Stand-alones as a TV show would probably just be waaaay too much space for the creators to fill.

Would you rather read only 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

I’d LOVE to read 5 books per week. But realistically it’s going to be 5 pages per day…

Would you rather be a professional author or reviewer?

Professional author. Reviewing is fun, but I feel like I’m saying the same thing again and again after a while.

Would you rather be a librarian or a book seller?

Librarian. I’m too quiet to be a good book seller!

Would you rather read only your favourite genre or every genre but your favourite?

Lately I’ve been reading nothing but my favorite genre, so I’d probably go with that, although there would be books I’d miss reading!

Would you rather read only e-books or physical books?

Ebooks. 1. space reasons 2. always have it on me 3. they’re actually easier to read while lying down, which is how I do most of my reading!

How about you? Feel free to answer some or all of the questions above in the comments!


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Hollow Book, part 2…the exciting conclusion!

Last time I was showing my process of making a hollow book. It pretty much looked like this:

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It’s a long process of patience and being aware of when the blade is getting dull so you can replace it. Cut, cut, cut!

Once you’ve cut all the way to the bottom (I stopped just short of the bottom because…reasons?) then you apply glue all over the inside, and the top of the hollowed section, so when you close the book, the spare page covers any mess you made (like the lines and raw cuts on the above image). You once again protect the front cover by wrapping it in seran wrap. Then apply weight.

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After it dries, you open the cover, cut out a hole in the sheet you covered the hole with, and viola! You have a hollow book.

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For storing things. Like money.

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Of course there are lots of shapes and things you can do, but my skill isn’t up there yet.