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What Writers Are

It’s four in the morning, or something like that, and having found myself sleepless — no, I actually don’t have any idea why — I’m at my keyboard banging out blog posts, and wanting to work on the current novel, but the mind is foggy from lack of sleep.

And something from a video I watched about strategies for making it indie is running through my mind.  The gentleman, who only writes books about how to make it in indie derided the “write a lot” aka “the brute force” or “shotgunning” strategy as “Sure, it works, but you have to keep writing.” Read more


The boy-child is at vacation Bible school mornings this week. This is good, as I was starting to look for itinerant entertainers interested in taking on apprentices. It’s good to start them early on such things, right? Anyway, the life of a temporarily single parent is no joke, and the real single parents out there have my utmost respect. This $&%# is hard.

Case in point: the younger one is rotting her brain (yeah, I’m not really happy about it, either) while I type this. There’s simply no other way – right now – for me to get anything done without it taking two or three times as long, and exhausting me completely. And even then, it’d probably get dropped for something more urgent.
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Shaking things up

It’s hard to believe I’ve been indie publishing as long as I have. Thanks to Sarah, I crossed over to the Dark Side as soon as Amazon opened the doors to the unwashed masses that had been kept out of traditional publishing by the oft-lauded gatekeepers. In the years that followed, I’ve made a pretty good living at it. However, it could be better and I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last month or so looking at what I do as a writer and indie publisher and what I need to do to increase not only my exposure but my bottom line.

The final judgment? I need to shake things up some. Read more


I haven’t paid a great deal of attention WorldCon this year: not my circus, not my monkeys. I must admit I’m very bitter with Nora Jemison. If she’d managed to hold off for another 24 hours with her magnanimous decision that she would, after all, grace the fortunate attendees with her participation in programming, I’d have been 50 bucks richer, instead of 10 bucks down (yes, 5:1 best odds I could get.) But other than that expected result, I haven’t paid much attention.  Apparently John Scalzi informed us that the ‘SJW’ did not in fact eat each other alive, but created ‘a field of programming that is interesting, educational, and representative of the current state of sf.’ Oh, and apparently ‘mostly everyone’s happy.’ Read more

The random element prompting you

Or, there’s always a way around the block…

When it comes to solving a problem with creating – whether it’s how to start, or how to go on, many artists will consult a random, outside element to give them something fresh and new to chew on, or to crystallize the possibilities swirling around inside their mind.

For example, writing prompts. Often one word, image, phrase, or question, that’s meant to get your mind moving, and must be incorporated or solved. Once the project’s underway, writing prompts can become strategies instead.

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How best to handle introducing new characters, new stories, and readers to one another? Well, my preference both as a writer and a reader is to get a sense of them, but not necessarily learn everything about them all up front at once. It’s a slow dance, a tease, a little here, a little there, and you get to know them, just like you do in real life. When you are introduced to a person in front of you, you might get their full name, or you might not. There’s formal introductions: “may I present Princess Hildegard of Aronia to you, Grand Duchess of Rexington?” and then there is: “so this is Joe, my plumber. He’s pretty good, if’n you don’t want it done fast.” With a wink and an elbow nudge. Read more

Quick addendum to Peter Grant’s Lessons

Three and a half years of my Author Rank in Science Fiction. It’s pretty obvious when I am publishing in quick sequence, and when there a long stretch of nothing.

At least the dips are getting higher, and not crashing back to the bottom anymore.