Monday, June 25, 2012

#Row80 Decloration

Round three for Row80 starts July 2nd.  I've learned my lesson and will be rejoining the group.  I slack off way too much on my own.  I haven't set my goals yet, but that's ok.  Those aren't due until that day.  I've been struck with a new idea, so the goals will probably have something to do with writing out the short.  Right now I'm having fun researching different scientific and mythical debates about weather related turmoil, especially involving lightning.  Elements of weather combating for superiority.  A lightning maiden, limited to air and fire, jostled from her cumulonimbus station to the Earth below, which is alien to her.  No, it's not Thor.  And no, it was not inspired by Thor.  In all honesty, I could have slept through Thor.  This is more faerie and sprite type stuff.

So, anywho, there it is.  I'll be joining Row80 for round three.  Always & Forever is still up on the desktop, but now I'm going to go play with weather maps a little more for Elemental Strife.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Flight Plan

Yes, I've been avoiding all things writing-related as of late.  Everything about it was getting on my nerves.  I didn't even want to read a single thing in front of me.  I also avoided my writing pals and music.  So with a bucket (or two) of Blue Bell, I parked myself on the couch and went into a Netflix trance.  When the writing bug finally bit once again, my computer decided to let me know how abused it is/was.  At the moment, it is cooperating, but it's keeping me on my toes.  It hated the internet for awhile, but that was probably for the better.  I stalked a few publishers and chickened out before I managed to click SEND.  Thus, I'm still sitting here with 9 WIPs of all shapes and sizes.  If I had to, I could probably wrap up at least three, if not four.  But I seem to have misplaced my motivation.  I really, really, really, really wanted to have Always & Forever ready for release by August, since that is the 1 year anniversary of Where to Belong's release.  Admittedly, there is still a slim possibility that might be accomplished.  Yet, going by my recent productivity, I'm doubting it will happen.  Why is it so hard to get this sequel out?  Is it too much to ask for completing more than one WIP each year?

I've found another person to stand in as my editor.  That was encouraging.  Then I looked into the same self-pubbing thing I did for Where to Belong and realized I won't be able to repeat the process.  I know I can't blame the company I used for changing their packages and upping their prices, but it was more of a let down than I should have let it been.  Yes, there are other companies and programs, but that means change, and you know me and change.  I do have the goal to be, one fine day, published by Tor.  That will take much more work and perseverance than I am currently putting out.  But that's ok.  It's a goal.  I know I will have to push myself to get anywhere close to it.  That said, I'm still sitting here with those aforementioned WIPs.

I didn't find the answers in the bottom of either buckets of ice cream.  I have one more in the freezer, but I'm daring myself not to find the bottom.  Instead, and after finally turning off the TV, I took a serious look at my work.  In all reality, the only thing holding me back is me.  I like each WIP and want them all to one day be bound and waiting on the bookshelf for someone to discover.

I have a point.

My hubby and I managed to get down to Houston for Anna Bank's signing at Blue Willow Book Store.  She was with four other authors.  One had several works already out, the others were debut authors.  It was refreshing to hear them discuss their nervousness and excitement about the entire process.  I was reminded that it takes time, lots of time, to get a manuscript ready for anything that resembles publishable work.  Rushing it never helps.  I was also reminded of the importance of not locking myself away.  It is easy to hide in a project and ignore the rest of the world.  I've always been more of a wallflower than a social butterfly, so sitting on the sidelines pretty much comes natural to me.  Another reminder mentioned was the need to let inspiration run its course.  I didn't realize I was fighting it.  But I was.  It was encouraging to sit in that room with writers and readers alike and take in all the morale-boosting chatter.  Now, while I chickened out during the question and answer process, I still got around to visit shortly with Ms. Banks and got my copy of Of Poseidon signed and personalized.  It was the first signing I've ever been to.  I had fun.

The ride home was long, so I had plenty of time to think over my standing as a writer.  I might have figured a few things out.  The trick, as usual, is sticking to it.  I will follow through with self-pubbing Always & Forever.  It will follow in the steps of Where to Belong as much as I can possibly manage.  I'm approaching the editing a little differently, and I'm trying something new with the cover, but Smashwords will be my primary distribution route for starters.  Odds are, I am making things for difficult for myself, but I'm avoiding Amazon more so this time around.  While they work for many, and I really appreciate all their support through WtB, I am less willing to use them any longer.  I won't go into detail, and the problem is more my fault, but it's there.

As for the other WIPs, I will do even more to reach out to publishing houses to see them completed.  There are a few I'm stalking, and a few I'll steer clear of, but I'm learning.  The past few years of this hobby have been very educational and I can't ignore the changes and development happening in the industry.

I lost my faith in indie work.  I'm sad to admit it, but I did.  That said, I've rebuilt it.  There is nothing wrong with self-pubbing, indie-pubbing, or traditional-pubbing.  Each has its pros and cons.  Every writer has to decide individually which route is best for each WIP.  I would like to try all three at one time or another.  I can't stick my nose up at any.  There are good examples and nightmares in each category.  Trial and error.  The road to publishing is ever evolving, and sometimes, one has to make their own way.  Dare I say it's like ice cream.  No one flavor is better than the rest.  Some are made to go with cake or different toppings, while others are perfect on their own.  Mood even plays a big part in picking which bucket comes home.

There, I'll stop with the ice cream before I have to go dive into some in the freezer.

But before I close this post, I want to take a moment to point out a trilogy that I have fallen in love with.  The Lunara Series by Wyatt Davenport.  The first installment, Seth and Chloe, is available for free in all e-formats.  I'm haven't downloaded the others yet, because I turned into a reading zombie when I downloaded Seth and Chloe.  I even passed up a trip to Home Depot to keep reading.  HOME DEPOT!  But now I have lots of stuff around the house I need to catch up on because of my bout with self-pity, then I will probably be a reading zombie again.  Oh, and editing/rewriting zombie needs to happen sometime soon.  Always & Forever is screaming at me.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Uncharted

I didn't mean to go so long between posts.  It wasn't that I had nothing to say, I've just been really good at losing track of time.  This past week has been busy.  For me, not a bad busy; but for others, not so great busy.  We had a house full this weekend and made some new friends.  Kayaking and swimming happened, and lots of awesome food.  I pretty much dropped on the floor when the last guest left.  Colt and I watched two episodes of Lost and called it a night.  I slept in Tuesday morning in attempt to delay the attacking dishes and laundry.  It didn't help.  But before I could begin to tackle it, the phone rang.

My niece had some trouble at school that morning, and my sister was understandably upset.  I couldn't do much to help, but I still went over to her house and took her a chocolate bar.  Chocolate makes everything better.  Tuesday was a long day.

That means I get to the cleaning Wednesday, right?  Nope.  Some of Tuesday's drama spilled over and mixed with other developments on Wednesday afternoon.  My phone got a workout, and I managed to take care of the dishes, but the day was pretty much a blur.  Oh, besides the fact that I attempted to jump right into the advanced Pilates after not doing them for a year.  Yeah, that was dumb.  I'm about to go try them again, at an easier pace.

Thursday was 5th grade graduation for one of my nieces.  We had lunch at my sister's house and goofed off most of the day.  I got home in time to heat up left overs for dinner and finish what was left of the laundry.  I felt accomplished. 

A new idea came to me Wednesday night / Thursday morning.  It has been a good distraction.  I might try something new with it.  Maybe make it a short, or a novella.  It's still brewing at the moment, but I think that may be a nice change of pace.

Other than that, it's reading, revising, Pilates, and Lost for me.  Midnight grocery trips keep things interesting, and I some how manage to come home with decent food stuffs.  I was doing better with the whole 'eating better' bit, until today.  Yep, a whole bag of BBQ chips.  The saddest part - that's not a record for me.  But it has been a LONG while, so I hope I can get past that here soon.  Apples and carrots have been a staple.  Now I'm running low on apples.  That is a problem.

We're still planning on a trip to South Padre, but we're not exactly sure when we will be able to go.  That's ok.  It seems there is something every week from here on till October.  July was of the least active until recently.  The friends we had down this weekend have decided they'll be back in July.  I'm glad of it.  It's been awhile since we've all gotten together like that and just had fun.  We're thinking a drive-in movie and camping.  Whatever happens, it should be fun with this group.  They're all creative people.  There's no such thing as too many fun-folks.