Archive for December, 2006

Sunday, December 31st, 2006
New Year’s Eve and Day

Today is one of my dearest friend’s birthdays. I love this woman to death. Without her…well, I would’ve probably not gotten into near the amount of trouble that I got into *g*. But I also wouldn’t have had the fun and joy that she’s brought to my life. T, as always, I wish you much happiness on this very precious day. May you have many, many more joyous years to come. Happy Birthday!

To everyone else, have a safe New Year’s Eve and a Happy 2007!!!

Friday, December 29th, 2006
Mixed Bag

First off, dh added RSS feeds, so you can now subscribe to my blog. YAH dh!!! SWAK!

The lists and blogs over the last few days have been such a mixed bag of entries. A lot of people are switching to blogging schedules. (Can’t really blame them.) There’s been discussions on reviewing etiquette (why people flock to snarky sites), the state of the publishing industry (always uplifting…NOT), 2007 goals, used books destroying careers, and making a living via writing. (Most readers don’t understand that used books don’t count as sales for an author, but that’s a blog for another day.)

This has been a tumultuous year for a lot of writers. Between the lessons learned and the loss of book deals, several people are questioning the sanity of continuing. I’ve experienced both over the past couple of years, so I have followed the conversations closely. Some people are finally coming to the understanding that the only thing you have control over is the work. That’s it. Nothing more. Everything else is out of your hands. Sound depressing? It is…BUT it’s also extremely liberating. When I wrote RED, I knew there was a VERY good chance that I’d never sell the manuscript. It doesn’t fit neatly into a box and people tend to love it or hate it. Not many ‘in between’ emotions. Did I care? A little, but not enough to stop writing. See, I loved the book so much that it didn’t matter whether anyone else agreed with me. I feel that way about the urban fantasy.

Now maybe I’ve come to this point through the lessons I experienced this year. I’m not sure. But it’s definitely a better space to be in for my writing. I’m not saying that I don’t give a shit about the business. I do, but it helps to cultivate a little of that attitude. (wg) 😉

This brings me to the next subject that’s been discussed online, making a living by writing. I know I’ve talked about this before, but I’m approaching the topic from a different angle this time. Can you still make a living from writing, if your name isn’t Nora, Stephen, JK, Stuart or Patricia? Yes. You can. There’s a catch though. (Isn’t there always? *g*) Much depends on what you consider a living to be and what you’re willing to do to survive.

Back in the old days *cough* it was much easier to make a living writing for the epubs. The industry was new. There wasn’t a lot of competition. And readers were hungry for something different. (I believe the latter hasn’t changed.) You could easily survive on your earnings…as long as you didn’t count on them coming in on a certain date. Several writers I know still make a living by writing for the epubs, but you have to work a lot harder and much, much, much faster. The key is producing quality work in bulk. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it is possible. In addition to doing the above, you also have to be willing to write outside of the industry. (ie magazines, newspapers, technical guides, etc.) The key is to diversify and be prepared to work your ass off.

I don’t make what I’d consider a living from writing. Right now, I’m more at the part-time job stage. This has been my choice. I could’ve pushed to get a lot more written and released, but I didn’t want to hate writing. It was when I tried doing this a couple of years ago that I discovered that even though I wanted to be a writer for hire, I wasn’t. I didn’t have it in me to write consistently to the market. It bummed me out, but it was a good lesson to learn. It changed how I approached writing.

You’re probably wondering if I have a point to this entry. LOL! No, I don’t. Hence the title. *ggg* What have you been seeing on the web lately that has made you think happy/unhappy thoughts?

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006
Bountiful Holiday

I’ve decided to ignore all the flame wars that seem to have cropped up over the last few weeks and focus on the spirit of the season. It’s been a bountiful holiday here at the Summers’ house. Most of my family elected not to give me ‘book’ related items (something about me always asking for those type of things *ggg*). Instead, I received a TON of DVD’s, which is quite cool. It was almost an even split between musicals and monsters. *wg* I have hours and hours and hours of viewing entertainment ahead of me. 🙂

Dh surprised me on the X-mas front. He got me a new computer. YAH!!! Not that there was anything wrong with my old one, but it was a little on the ‘slow’ side. When we return from Japan, I’m going to get a new monitor. It’s going to take me a while to get used to the new version of Outlook and Word. They have quite a few more bells and whistles.

I’ve saved my favorite gift for last. My dh and I have played this game at several arcades and enjoyed it so much that he decided to get us a home version. What am I talking about? Dance, Dance Revolution, baby. If you’ve never had the chance to play on one of these machines, I have three words for you: Prepare to sweat. LOL! I love it. We spent an hour on the thing yesterday and were both drenched. Great exercise and even more fun.

I hope Santa was kind to everyone out there. What’s your favorite gift?

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006
Snatched From PBW, But the Sentiment is the same

I received some fun news this morning. Apparently, my book cover for Phantom Warriors: Bacchus has been nominated for a CAPA (scroll down the page) at The Romance Studio. Yah! I love that cover. 🙂 I’ll find out if it wins on Valentine’s Day. Now to get to the real topic of this post.

I’ve cut this part of my blog entry because I realized after dh read the entry that I wasn’t being clear and I didn’t want my words misinterpreted. With that in mind, I’m going to share a link I swiped from PBW. It goes out to everyone who visits my blog. I hope you view it in the spirit with which it was intended. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22nd, 2006
Expectations…They’ll Get You Every Time

There is a discussion that’s taking place on the Novelist Inc. list that got me thinking about the publishing business and our expectations. When I first published in N.Y., I had such high, HIGH, HIGH expectations for how things would unfold now that I’d finally made it into the ‘club’. Snort. I couldn’t have been more WRONG.

Shortly after getting my deal, and by shortly I mean before my books ever came out, I was semi-abandoned by my publisher. The reason I say semi is because of discussions I had with my then agent. Later, I found out that wasn’t the case, but by then my disillusionment was complete. It was six months before I could write a word. I thought for sure my career was over before it ever began.

Why was I in so much pain? Because my expectations had been directed to the outcome and not the journey. I was so focused on staying published by any means necessary that I forgot what I enjoyed about writing in the first place. It took concentrating on a new genre and walking away from my old agent to get my expectations realigned. Keeping my expectations focused on the work is an ongoing struggle for me, but one well worth the fight. The detachment from the final outcome makes handling the disappointment much easier. For the first time, I feel more in control of my career, my level of happiness, and my work. This is something EVERY writer must learn, if you are to succeed in the publishing business. There are no exceptions.

What expectations are you harboring that would be better directed elsewhere?

Thursday, December 21st, 2006
Should’ve Done This Sooner

I’ve decided to set the urban fantasy aside for a little while to work on my next Phantom Warrior book. I don’t normally like doing stuff like this, but my mind needs a vacation. I need to work on something that doesn’t plague me day and night. Something that I can play with like finger paints or silly putty. So for the next couple of days, I’m going to explore a different world. One that’s far less taxing. Hopefully by the time I’m done, the vacation will have triggered the creativity needed to push through the roadblocks in my mind that are preventing me from completing the urban fantasy.

What do you do, when the book just isn’t rolling out as fast as you’d like it to?

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006
The Weather Outside is Frightful

Well, not really, but it is chilly. I had to actually don a coat and gloves to go out last night. Made me feel like it was finally Christmas. We also managed to get the tree and stockings up last night. Yah! Better late than never.

I’ve spent the last few weeks wrestling more with the urban fantasy. Most ideas come to me as I’m falling asleep. Last night was no exception, but there was a catch. Instead of coming up with ways to ‘fix’ the problems in the current manuscript, I started ‘hearing’ the opening to the sequel. SEQUEL. WTF??? :-O Pretty nifty trick, considering I haven’t finished this book yet. Sigh.

Has this ever happened to you?