Nailing Jello to the Ceiling
Nailing jello to the ceiling: That’s a good description of my life the last while. As soon as you get one bit to stick, the next falls off. And you go through a lot of nails, for limited success. (I get my dive compressor- but I can’t use it, because a $3.90 valve got damaged in transit. We have three old vehicles, because one will inevitably break down. Only today it was all three. I thought I’d get the post done early so I could focus on finishing the next Bolg, so I can get to the edits for Changeling’s Island. Only we had a rare thunderstorm, and an 8 hour power failure as a result, the longest we’ve had since we left Africa. I have to melt lead, for sinkers and dive weights, which as I couldn’t write I thought I’d better do. Only my cobbled together drip irrigation had burst, and soaked the firewood (and this is a task I do outdoors, upwind. Not where it’s going to be in the grazing or garden either. I thought I’d do it on gas… no gas in an open cylinder, not worth opening for a small job… etc. etc.)
Of course, bloody minded determination eventually got some of the tasks done. When you’re determined, and ingenious, you can spread the jello out, freeze it, and get it up there at least until it semi-thaws and falls with a sickening splush down the back of your landlord’s wife’s neck.
And that, relatively briefly is what I wanted to talk about – both ingenuity and determination, and of course, the landlord’s wife’s neck, or at least its metaphorical equivalent.
Look, both writing and selling fiction are — to use the PC euphemism which will in come to mean exactly whatever ‘nasty’ expression it has replaced — challenging. In this case I believe it means f…ing hard, but yet we somehow succeed (at least until the ‘Splush’ moment). You’d have to be mentally challenged to do it . In this case that means barking mad or really stupid or probably both. None-the-less a lot of us are at it, holding the jello up, nails in our mouths and hammers on our thumbs.
The key here is not just bang them in faster (yes, that helps, more work out there helps) but to bang them in cleverer too. You look at freezing. Or large washers on each nail. Or extra gelatin. Part of that better nailing and freezing is making the story such that readers come and help you hold up the jello – picking an area that readers want to read, that is underserved. Of course in fashion of these moving problems then the issue gets to be telling them. Which, alas means social media. Which is a lot of work, and requires, long term effort and at least not alienating more people than you attract. Pricing too is another technique, along with ‘free’. All of these work, but none of them work alone. And none really work unless the jello is pretty well set (it’s a good story, and well edited and reasonably proofed).
Maybe the best answer is to climb into the attic (be famous already) and nail it to the other side of the ceiling.
Or we could just flip the house upside-down and hope no-one notices.
My own house-flips for the week –
Which is a good stocking-filler for younger readers, and includes a story by yours monkeyily. I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of the stories, the editing, and the effort the editors put into selling it. It’s a great learning excercise to look in on their web-page and see how they did it.
And of course a complete roof-ridge balance for me – Joy has been out three days. Thank you so much to the kind reviewers! Some people are more perceptive than I deserve.
As usual, pictures are links.
I hope you like our sunset this evening.
How to have it fall down splush… attack your landlord = the readers.