Writing: Easy and Fun

Hey there. I’m back from Planet Migraine. It was interesting! While I”ve had several cluster headaches, and one HEADACHE of DOOM (2005, the year to measure stress by), I’ve never had a migraine. I experienced first hand the inability to make the words in my brain come out of my mouth. Good thing I wasn’t teaching, or registering students, eh?

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Were-humans continues apace. Sometimes I am so frustrated by my zero-draft. I know what I’m doing THIS TIME is exploring the world, the characters, the tone of the story. I’m still hoping I can get to what I’ve imagined this to be, but right now it’s…kind…of… BORING! With some awesome gothic small town description that makes no sense in the sea of boring.

Because you know, writing is easy like that.

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Oh, let’s just cut to the shoes. Because they are blood orange.

Snapshots of Fiction

There Were-Humans wants to be written in a series of snapshots. I write one scene, and then the next scene, which isn’t related to the previous scene, wants to be written. I guess my strategy will be to organize these scenes into some kind of continuity when they’re finished and see what I’ve got.

I wonder if this is a side effect of writing a short story using Scrivener.

Catherine

Window Shopping

While you can buy the Babycake boot in a classy black or a striking red, I prefer the compromise of this brown pair. The tooled leather reminds me of my current Danskos.

And while I can’t recommend this as a pairing for these boots, another unique article of clothing has popped up at the Pyramid Collection just in time for the holidays.

Alas, such frivolous purchases are not mine to make until the New Year. If you like, sometime I will tell you the hilarious story I heard yesterday of the college who paid a professor for a course she didn’t teach, and then decided it had to deduct that money from her remaining paychecks by the end of the year. It’s a knee-slapper. Let this be a warning to all of you to not assume that payroll people do their job accurately.

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Writing time. I has it. I should use it.

Catherine

Authentically Living Living Authentically

On James Frey, many notable authors have you covered. It seems that these writers may well be correct. There should be a business component to a writer’s education. We have some of this in genre fiction as well. Desperation or desire to publish will get writers to take less than stellar deals, rather than having their work not shown to the world. No preaching here. A writer has to decide what publishing is worth to them. That said, be careful out there. Use sites like Predators and Editors, one of the many sites to help you avoid stepping into steaming piles of James Frey since 1997.

That’s not what I’m talking about today.

It is difficult sometimes to remember why I started writing. The whole of it gets swallowed up in goals and deadlines, things that don’t work, revision, kind of the crafty bits. I know there’s not enough here to hold me. Believe me, I don’t need another thing to wear myself out on.

And yet, I am still here. What’s that about?

Continue reading “Authentically Living Living Authentically”

Weekend Update

This weekend, I’ve met a couple of goals. I’ve planned a trip to Las Vegas for me and the husband. We’ll be flying out and back the last weekend in January to stay at the Luxor and see a couple of Cirque de Soleil shows. After I get back to work on Tuesday, I’ll be taking Friday off to then fly out to a writer’s workshop in Vegas, although the details of that have yet to be quite worked out.

I also finished all of my employee evaluations, finally.

But I know, you’re here for the shoes. These ones strike me as very much the future was then, and I could see Jane Jetson or one of the women from Meet the Robinsons wearing this little number. They also come in red, but I like them in the blue. And where you can order them? This is Fluevog’s Dollface shoe, a steal at only $255!

No, I’m not out of groovy Fluevog shoes. That’s the problem, init?

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It’s going to be a really busy week as we register ELA students. I’m planning to get back tonight after Bible study and work on sending out this week’s agent queries. I have a post brewing about doing art (oh dear) and a goal to get a rough draft of Were-humans knocked out by Friday, so I can get that shaped into something that’s workable for Vegas.

As we sign off, we ask the musical question…is it a good sign that the agents are this quiet? Last time I did this, I received a lot of quick rejections, as well as requests for partials. This time, maybe people are more busy with more submissions and…Christmas shopping?

Gotta go feed the cats.

Catherine

Looking for Some New Tools

I’m looking for some recommendations, and I will do a serious search for these next week, but what I need is some sort of computer program that organizes a time line. I have a multi-generational interconnected series of books, and I need a time line of significant historical events interspersed with significant events in my characters lives. It seems to me someone out there must have made this possible.

I could also use good character exploration software. My guess is that the problem here will not be whether or not something is available, but what is good among what’s available.

Any suggestions you have would really help.

Catherine

Literary Live and Let Live

I am full of virtue. I have managed to wrangle some of MY work under control. Six more employee evaluations to write this weekend, and I am ready to register and roll next week.

I’m having a lot of fun posting pictures of great shoes. Without further adieu,

I’m loving these little olive and brown darlings. These also come in an attractive black and red. I see these with a nice 30s or 40s frock. If you have suggestions, I’m up to having my vintage bell pinged as well.

BTW, regrettably, I am getting no kick backs or discounts from Fluevog for bringing you their shoes. I am only getting the yumminess of looking at my favorite pairs of their shoes.

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Recently, there has been a little backlash about too much steampunk. Well, yeah. And while we’re at it, at some time or another, there’s been too many vampires, too much high fantasy, too many zombies, too many classic novels mixed with some sort of monster trend, a lot of fan fiction about books that copyright has expired on, and a whole lot of paranormal romance featuring women’s torsos on their covers.

Because at one point or another, these things have sold, what happens is the publishing industry banks on more of these selling. And truth to tell, some people can’t get enough of a certain kind of thing.

Yet, at the same time, publishers are looking for the next gamble, the next thing. What’s a writer to do? What’s a reader to do?

What you always do. Writers, write what you want to write. Readers, read what you want. Writers, don’t worry about popularity or commercialism. Readers, walk away from what you don’t want to read, no matter how tired you are of its effects around you.

Continue reading “Literary Live and Let Live”

Frivilous and Positive: Up With NaNo and Shoe Porn

1. Internet buddies, you are the best.

2. Mary Robinette Kowal, John Scalzi, Aliette de Bodard and Miranda Suri on NaNoWriMo. Just write already!

3. Mary Robinette Kowal is on a roll, with There’s Nothing Wrong with Being an Amateur Writer When You Write Because You Love It.

4. I’ve been meaning to share this for a while. Catrina Horsfield introduced me to Fluevog. This is some serious shoe porn for people who have some extra cash. One of my favorite pairs?

Freakin’ Mary Poppins, y’all!

There are so many groovy pairs there, I don’t know where to start shopping. Something for the Steampunker in us all.

All right. I’m supposed to be doing work. I’d better be doing some.

Breathing Again

Thank you, Amazon, personally, from me, for removing the book.

I think you may have done your reputation irreversible damage by first defending the book, and then removing the book. You might have done better by yourselves to actually have had an internal code. Now what you’ve done is upset every body.

I would also like to thank you for removing RapeLay earlier in the month, although I am surprised you didn’t see The Pedophile’s Guide as provocative in the same three-day period.

At any rate, thank you. No, I won’t be returning to your company. I find that among removing gay and lesbian titles as obscene, penalizing my writer friends who happened to work for Macmillan, making arbitrary free speech decisions, and shaking me to my very core yesterday, that I’m out of straws. You’ve used your last one.

I, for one, welcome our new Barnes and Noble Overlords.

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I promise you a very frivolous post next. Being this serious blows chunks.

Catherine

PS Lorna update. We are certain she will be out another six weeks, as she just had an obstruction removed, which should solve her problem. Since the surgery was major and abdominal, it will take a while to heal. But we are getting a competent substitute for her, so some of the burden will be lifted from our shoulders.

ETA: This is the best commentary I’ve seen on the entire subject. I agree with the author that what has been addressed is a symptom of a problem, rather than a problem itself. What happens next is the issue, and my guess is that people will assume that this is the problem addressed and go back to placid denial.

As I said at the end of my angry post, I suggested that as a society we don’t do the ground work to protect children. On the news this morning, there was abjuration to help my state’s Human Services division, who had ten percent of their budget cut, to help watch for abuse cases. Riiiigggghhhhtttt.

&#@& Amazon #&^(!!!

I just can’t get away from this today. It’s like touching a sore tooth. You know you shouldn’t touch the damned tooth, so you avoid it, and there you are again, touching the damned tooth.

So, I’m going to take a deep breath, and be okay with owning my disappointment and anger and triggeriness.

And thanks to all of you who have understood and offered support.

And apparently I’m going to be a little angry and bitter, but that’s okay too. My journal, my free speech.

An example of how the story is hitting the national news. There are several other places on the Internet essentially repeating the same story. Note that Amazon supported a similar book in 2002. Free speechers, no need to debate. Amazon’s got your back.

Even though they didn’t have mine. My very rational letter was pulled down from the web site. Although I understand that the decision of removal might have belonged to Phillip Greaves, paragon of free speech. (ETA: Livia Llewellyn let me know my letter is back up under Kim’s review, although many of Greaves’ response posts in that thread have been removed by Amazon about an hour ago. I will make updates to this post as things continue (or not) to mutate.)

The book is as of this entry approaching number 5000 in the Kindle store, making our pedophile guide writer a serious amount of cash. (ETA: Jim Hines tells me this is about $20. Thanks, Jim. That at least makes me feel better.) Good for you, Mr. Greaves! I’m sure my brother will buy a copy and see if there are new tricks he can learn. My dad’s dead, so there’s a copy you won’t be selling. Looks like you don’t need his revenue though. Not that peds are the only ones buying. Thank you also, gawkers, for supporting this effort. Maybe you can set up a foundation for misunderstood molesters or something with the proceeds.

And thank you, Amazon, for getting this guy’s back. I’m thinking you were in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t position as far as the general public was concerned. What a PR nightmare for you! I’m sure the money you make, however little, will balm the wound a bit.

I also understand intellectually why you did this. Emotional!Catherine, however, is making the decision to transfer all her business elsewhere. Oh look, I’m back now, after sending you the email about canceling my account. Hey, none of my books are making you any kind of this percentage. Enjoy. No one said you had to censor the guy. We were advocating that you don’t have to distribute the guy. Nicely done, on behalf of all of pedophilia victims everywhere.

I can’t sum up my feelings about this any better than goodconceited does. Because you know, he’s angry enough for me too. I was trying to convince you all that I could be rational and normal about this, I don’t know, to give us victims some sort of credibility. But for you all, it’s just another issue to toss around in a dispassionate kind of way. And the pedophile gets all the news of the day. Wonderful. Nice. Feeling really good about that.

After I get over my anger and pain, I’m probably going to do something constructive with this. Not that whatever we do will get half the attention or sell half the books that the pedophile book will. Because you know, we live in a society that will defend the rights of a pedophile to sell a how-to book on Amazon, but won’t do the work necessary to keep kids like the child I was safe.

Unless of course, Mr. Greaves, you aren’t a pedophile, but only write guides for them. That makes you a different kind of reprehensible, but I don’t want to slander you.

Catherine