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Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Lessons learned from a trilogy: an interim report, and Kindle Unlimited observations

A few months ago, I wrote about an experimental trilogy, with which I hoped to improve my marketing dynamics and revitalize my writing career after some health-related doldrums.  The trilogy is “Cochrane’s Company“, and its third and final book, “The Pride of the Damned“, was published on Monday this week.  So far, it (and the trilogy as a whole) are selling nicely, thank you.

The Pride of the Damned - blog size 350 pixel

Dorothy and I have learned a great deal in the process of writing and publishing this trilogy.  Many of those lessons are works in progress, and I’ll elaborate on them in another article a month or two down the road.  However, some are immediately apparent, and I thought you might like an advance look at what we’ve either found out, or had reinforced by the market.  Some of the lessons are new to us.  Others are old news, but reinforced by current market trends.

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The Importance of Habits

So, first, an apology for missing last week – I took vacation from the 5th through this coming Friday, so I was basically in weekend mode on the 4th and 5th – which means I completely spaced any kind of idea of writing the post. My bad.

I’m also hitting a specifically female time of life which is making me spacier than usual as well as having less energy. The culmination of which is that it took 5 days of doing bugger-all before I started on some much-needed house cleaning.

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History vs. Reality

Lately, I’ve been reading C. Warren Hollister’s Medieval Europe: A Short History, since it’s a subject that I know pretty well (at a certain level, anyway) so I can read a few pages before bed, fall asleep, and easily pick it back up the next day. As far as the scholarship goes, it’s a bit… bizarre. The author seems to think the Battle of Tours-Poitiers took place in 733, which made me go, “huh?” because I’ve never before heard it associated with that date, and there’s a little whitewashing of some very nasty people, but that can be chalked up to having to cram a lot of information into a ‘short’ history.

And, anyway, I’ve moved to the point where I’m reading the book not for the facts, but in search of a spark. No, I don’t need any more projects; I’m rereading the information to help integrate things I already know, to draw conclusions that I never considered before.

Last night, I started wondering what future people will think of our era. I’ll try to stay away from politics, and so should you in the comments, but I can’t help wondering what will be put in the history books. Will people assume that we all thought the same way, or will the books skim over the last few decades with summary sentences like, “It was a chaotic time, with many factions fighting for control. Eventually, the ______ faction triumphed, and the conflict died away”?
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Keeping Love in Its Place

 

Note this is not a marital advice column.

You’ve heard the saying that you should kill your darlings.  Honestly, it depends on who your darlings are and what.  I don’t subscribe to absolutes in terms of writing advice. However I know there is a type of love that will harm your writing, something that falls under “killing your darlings.”

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Unreliable witnesses

“It’s all a question of point of view.”

Back in the dark ages – 1980’s in South Africa the BBC Radio News reported on a labor dispute/picket protest led by the ANC aligned organizers in a fishing town up the West Coast of the Cape. The picket line had been savagely broken up by the police with dogs (the BBC reporter of the time was a passionate promoter of the anti-apartheid cause, and as his media was not within the country could report whatever he liked without any form of censorship.) The local Afrikaans press reported on the incident too. There wasn’t a lot to report on from one horse towns on the West Coast, and the Cape Town Riot squad dispersing a protest with dogs was news, if not big news. The one set of media carried it from their point of view as a bad thing, and the other as a good thing. Read more

LibertyCon AAR and More

Real Life has intruded on the scheduled poster here in a most delightful way. He’s greeting his third child into the world properly. So since the blog goes on, even when family is coming first, I offered to step in with a few words.

Community is grand. It’s a beautiful thing. I came home from LibertyCon earlier this week exhilarated, exhausted, and enthusiastic about my writing again. It had been three years since we last managed to get to Liberty, and as I said to Rich Groller at the Kaffeeklatsch, I didn’t know how much I needed that until we were there and in the thick of it. Read more

Independence

Independent publishing — indie — is generally a great thing.  When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a writer to part with their publisher/s there’s no need to let the world know the just causes, you can just leave and start writing indie.

Or you can start out indie, anyway, and not have to suffer the slings and arrows of incompetent office staff and indifferent sales staff. Read more