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Posts from the ‘WRITING’ Category

How Will Publishing Look After Covid-19?

Let’s start with a singular truth many of us don’t think about when considering the publishing industry. It consists of much more than the publishing houses. There are distributors, like Simon & Schuster which is now on the auction block. There are the various contractors who work for publishers, including editors, proofreaders and even those who design the interior and exterior of a book. There are the bookstores and online merchants. Each of these have been impacted over the last decade plus by changes in technology, changes in reading habits and by Amazon and other online retailers. But nothing will impact them like Covid-19, thanks to actions taken by local, state and national governments. Read more

The fruits of persistence

This year, I decided I would write every day – and it didn’t matter if it was 5 words of fiction or 5,000, as long as it was every single day. No, I didn’t decide this on January 1st; that would have been far too convenient. I decided to do it on January 18th, right as I was in the middle of working on the pantry turnover project.

(Every year, I put a sticker on each and every item in the pantry. This way, I not only go through the entire thing, but I also get to see exactly what is still stickered from a year ago, and hasn’t been used yet. It leads to a month+ of interesting one-off meals, using up oddball ingredients, along with much lower grocery bills for the duration, organized pantries, and the sincere but unkept vow not to have so much “Oh! I want to try that!” that I never got to next year.)

This is relevant because this year I got a pack of gold star stickers for the pantry, and ended up with almost 500 excess gold star stickers. Having them right there, I resolved there was no time to start like the present, and put up the gag-gift wall calendar (shirtless men in kilts, with sayings like “Once you go plaid you’ll never be sad”), and started giving myself a gold star every day I managed to write at least 5 words of fiction.

For those of you rolling your eyes or laughing at the mental image, hey, writing may be serious business, but no one said we had to take it seriously!

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Execution: Violence in Action and Writing

Violence, and violent action, can be difficult to portray. Yet the ability to do so is a necessary part of the fiction writer’s repertoire. Violence is a part of the human condition. If we hairless apes have learned anything in the last 5000 years of existence on planet Earth, it is that violence is a part of the human condition. Thus it becomes us to study the best examples and see how we can go about doing the same.

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We also serve Martians (boiled, fried or wrapped in duct-tape and barbecued)

We also serve Martians!

We welcome free-spending apocalyptical looters and overlords with green skins. Come in and get a little something for the lovely tentacle-haired one in your life and your little bloodthirsty spawnlings, so you can go next time again!  Tasteful multi-armed T shirts in many charming garish colors inscribed with ‘Martian, go home’ in several now-extinct earth languages. Well-tuned decorative nose-flutes, with a full range of delightful nails-on-blackboard shriek tones. The spawnlings will love them.  Models of artistically dismembered of earth-native life-forms, commemorative ray guns and other humorous nick-nacks like the ever-popular exploding Sydney Opera House.

Please leave your war-machine outside. Anything you incinerate or vaporize, consider it bought by you. Read more

Story From The Start 4: Conflicts and Antagonists

All stories have a conflict in them. Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs Himself . . . there are lots of possibilities. Some conflicts are universe-shaking, others are far quieter. The English have a sub-genre of domestic dramas nicknamed “Aga Sagas” after the Aga stoves found in many homes, which gives you a sense that the stories are not about saving the planet from invading alien hordes.

Which leads to a question about your conflict? Do you have an antagonist or a villain? The two are not mutually exclusive, but you do not have to have a villain in every story. Some don’t call for it. Read more

Inktail: Preparing for Print

I’m doing something a little dangerous. I’m going to be making mistakes in public. I should probably wait, do all this privately, and then report back when I’m done, but… This is what I’m working on as a writer and an artist this weekend. You’re stuck with it. And, truthfully I’m going to give you more links to the resources I am pulling from than I am of my work itself this week. I’m simply not far enough along in this project to show my work. Although it shouldn’t take me long once I get plugging and playing with Affinity Publisher. Read more

Reading and writing in a pandemic economy

I was very interested to read how bookstores are coping with the challenges of a coronavirus-hit economy.  The BBC writes about “How bookshops are helping with isolation“.  I’m going to quote from their article at some length, to illustrate how innovation and enthusiasm can compensate for other problems.

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