Mercurial Rearrangements

In a much better place this morning, since the drive in wasn’t nearly as insane as it was yesterday, and I’ve had some munchies that have put me in a happy place.  It shouldn’t have been that way; I should have little depression going, because I had some rather depressing dreams that culminated with me going to place where I believed I’d interviewed once before, and trying to get another interview, and having to deal with some smarmy punk giving me the glad-hand all the way out of the building without telling me if they wanted to interview me or not.

After doing the Walk of Shame through what appeared to be a bombed-out T.J. Max, I took a left turn into another building, and then–darkness.  Lots of darkness.  As I walked onward, it became darker, and then everything was pitched dark.  That’s when I woke up because it almost felt as if I were pushed out of the dream.  Not a good feeling, mind you, and I laid there for a while trying to gather my wits about me before heading into the day.

Last night’s writing was, to say the least, interesting.  I finished the second of the two new chapters for Replacements, then headed in to edit the first of the new chapters.  I finished the edit, looked at the chapter that came before the new Chapter Six–and realized I’d screwed up.  The chapter that was before the new Chapter Six was suppose to come after the new Chapter Seven.


However, Scrivener is good for fixing screw ups.  What I did was move the note card that is the chapter from the front to the back of the new chapters, then relabeled them, changed the titles inside the chapters, and there you have it:  screw up all taken care of.  Now all I have to do is rewrite part of the new old Chapter Seven, because some of the things I said in that chapter I’d set up in the old new Chapter Five, and I want the follow up chapter to deal with what comes after, well, what comes after the end of this second new chapter I wrote.

I already have in my head how I want to fix that chapter, which I’ll likely do tonight after Project Runway, ’cause first of all, I’m about the fashion.  At this rate I’ll likely finish up the Replacements this weekend, then it’s a combo of finishing up some descriptions for Windows 8 themes, and maybe start an article before getting into the finial edit of Her Demonic Majesty–for which I have seen a set of possible covers.  That means I also have to get back to the designer and tell her what I think . . .

No, I’m not feeling down today.  There’s a lot going on, and it’s making me feel that I have some hope of keeping ahead of all this.  If I can get my cover finalized in the next couple of weeks, no reason why I can have my novel ready for publication by the first of May.

Yeah, a great way to celebrate the second anniversary of this blog, don’t you think?

Springing Ahead to the Unknown

Last night was Break Night.  I read up on Blender, I down loaded some content control software, and I chatted with people who needed chatting.  The last two days of work had been a pain in the ass, I’d finished Chapter Nine late Thursday night, and I needed a break.  So break I took.  Today, I get back into the novel.  Chapter Ten, Muse and Keith start having words, then shit, as they say, gets real.

Talia is so going to be disappointed.

Even though I shouldn’t, I’m already thinking ahead to the next story.  I’m guessing that at the rate I’m going I’ll finish up Suggestive Amusements in about thirty to forty-five days, and then it’s–what?  What’s next?  There is always a story right around the corner, no?  So what comes next?

That’s a good question.  Because, at the moment, nothing is sparking my interest.

I’ve been on a pretty good tear of late.  If I finish this new novel in March, that’s two novels written in five months.  Kolor Ijo was almost seventy thousand words, and I have no reason to doubt that Suggestive Amusements won’t clock in about sixty-five to seventy thousand words, either.  One hundred and forty thousand words in five months, with two stories edited in the between.  Not a bad output.  And if you pop the sixty or so thousand words of this blog from November through February on top of that, we’re talking a lot of words for the last few months.

Spring time is the time to get the self publishing thing going.  I need to come up with a cover, I need to get one of my stories fully edited and ready to go.  Just as we talk about writers who don’t do much writing, writers who don’t publish as much are just as bad.  You gotta get it out there, you gotta get people seeing your work.  I write for myself, but if I’m the only one reading anything, then I’m sort of losing track of part of why I’m writing.

This is the next part of the plan.  I’ve stated I’d like to publish four titles this year, and I need to get to that.  Otherwise–I’m not making progress.  I’m the shark that’s stopped moving forward, and it’s only a matter of time before I start going, “Glug, glug,” and sink to the bottom of the ocean to be consumed by hagfish.

I will start on Chapter Ten today, get my wordage in, then I need to start looking at things to help me get a cover together.  I would hope to make a cover that’s somewhat better than these gems, but who knows?  I could become the Gielgud of Bad Cover Art, which isn’t that bad of a goal if that’s what you set out to become.  I want something a little better, however, and I will guaranty that any cover I make will not have a dragon, a kilt, or anything relating to Scotland gracing the image; I’ll leave those to the other cover makers . . .

Once more I have a plan.

Now to make it work.

All the Tools of the Trade

Here it is, Thursday, and by this time next week people around the world will be writing their little fingers off–though I’m certain a few will be screaming at their computers, or on Facebook, yelling, “Why am I doing this?  Why?  WHY??”  Don’t worry if you fall into that later group; it’s really easy to play Throw Writer From the Train.  Let me look for some tall grass to cushion your fall . . .

Last night I was updating my NaNo Novel information on the NaNoWriMo site, and saw the information about uploading a cover for you novel.  I’ve done a cover before, and I thought, “Hey, why not do another cover?”  I mean, it’s not one I’d use if I sell the novel, or even if I self publish, it’s only going to be there for the duration of NaNo.  So I was on the Creative Commons Flickr, looking for something I could use.  I may look through for a few more things, but there are thousands of pictures out there, and that becomes something of a huge endeavor when you’re searching for the right image.

It’s the era of digital publishing, of self-publishing.  It’s not just enough to know how to write these days:  you are require to be able to edit and come up with ideas for promotion, and even do a cover or two when the need arises.  It’s not easy; even though I know a little about photo manipulation, creating a cover that makes your happy is hard as hell.

But it’s something that you have to know these days.  You have to.

I do my own editing.  I’ve had people ask me why, and it’s an easy answer:  I can’t afford to pay someone to edit my manuscripts.  I write novels, and we’re talking about two hundred, three hundred–or, for one of my series, around nine hundred pages.  Even at the cheep price of $2/page, you can see how I’m going to find myself deep in the checkbook if I pay to have someone go over my work.  It’s not that I wouldn’t like that, but . . . I’m just a poor, starving artist, and until I’m rolling about cash, I’ll have to be self sufficient.

Same with book covers.  It’s time consuming to find a picture you can use, and using software to create or manipulate an image, to get it formatted correctly . . . and then remember that the size of a cover for use on Smashwords is different that the size you’ll use for Amazon Kindle, and can become a bit of a headache.

Gone are the days when all a writer need worry about were their trusty typewriter, ribbons  pens or pencils  paper, and a fifth of Bushmills.  You gotta know how to use software, how to format an ebook, how to use social media for more than poking people, how to make covers, how to edit the hell out of your work . . . you gotta do it all.

You gotta be all the people in the band.  This is your Who Came First, and if you can’t step up and do the work, someone’s gonna beat you to the sales counter.  “I can’t do that” isn’t a valid argument these days, not when there’s so much open source software out there, and online tutorials showing you how to do things like re-size an image.

Yeah, it’s a tough old world, but writers are a tenacious bunch, and if anyone is going to figure out the whole mess, it’s us. Or you could sit around and make bunny dresses, then tell the world how things are so hard.  It’s your choice–

I mean, it’s not like anyone made you put words on a page, right?