Shameless Advertising

Just a quick reminder if you’re local to the Seattle area, FreeValley Publishing is hanging out at the Maple Valley Days Festival all weekend long. I took a quick tour today and there are some fun vendors, interesting food, live music, and a carnival. And of course, writers. Come out and see us.

Wednesday Writer’s No Cafe 6/8

I’m bacccckkkkk. Yes I have returned from the land of sun. It was hot. Not like I think I could wear a skirt today and not have goose bumps hot, but dear god I need water and is that really triple digits hot. For a break, I took the kiddo to SF for a day, tried to convince him he really did need his coat despite the fact that it was 92 at 10 in the morning at Opa’s house. He didn’t believe me. Guess who walked across the Golden Gate Bridge in mommy’s sweater with his teeth chattering? Yeah.

Anyway, I am once again not at Cafe. This is getting ridiculous. I am at yet another board meeting, this one to placate the membership who is angry the county has imposed new regulations on us. Somehow the membership thinks this is all the board’s fault. Sigh. Right.

I managed only a bit of writing on the road trip, big surprise there. But I am committing right now to you my semi loyal readers, I will finish my spy novel by the end of June. Since I need a new critique partner, I will be going straight to a beta style of edits. Who wants first pass?

If you’re local to the Seattle area and looking for something fun to do this weekend, FreeValley Publishing will be hosting a booth at the Maple Valley Days Festival. Stop by and see us; bored writers are dangerous, we might write more.

Weekend Workshop: Encouragement from King

It seems to me all writers get a little nervous sometimes. They wonder if they have what it takes. Do they have the desire to hoe what has become a very long row to get anywhere in this business? Do they have enough to sustain themselves? Do they have enough ideas to write ten books before anyone notices they’re publishing their little hearts out?

Or am I just a talentless hack who should hang up my keyboard before I get any further behind?

Once upon a time I would have thought it was just me who felt that way, but I know better now. Art is by definition a soul baring, emotional enterprise. And laying yourself open for others to judge cannot help but cause you to question yourself.

Have a few quotes from Stephen King, culled from his autobiography On Writing, apply them as a balm to your aching muse or save them for when the words are mocking you…your choice.

Large numbers of people have at least some talent as writers and those talents can be strengthened and sharpened. (18)

If a large number of people have talent, chances are good that you do too.

ambition, desire, luck, and a little talent all played a part. (18)

See a little talent. You only need a little. You just have to work at it. And be lucky. I’m hoping you only need the luck to be Stephen King famous and successful. I have much less ambition. I’ll be excited when my sales start to cover the cost that goes into the book and maybe a celebratory cocktail. LOL

if you write someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all. (50)

Oh, so the jerks just come with the territory, it isn’t personal. That’s refreshing.

Running a close second was the realization that stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit…(77)

When I read about a famous, successful author who feels like all he is doing is shoveling shit, I suddenly feel way better about my manure covered garden spade. And I think maybe I should get a bigger shovel?

The hours we spend talking about writing is time we don’t spend actually doing it. (144)

Point taken, oh wise one, I’m off to write.

In case you’re bored this weekend, why not check out OddMall in Everett. It’s the festival of everything odd, geeky, or weird. Not to mention FreeValley Publishing will be there and you can grab a copy of my book, Scripting the Truth, or any number of awesome sci fi, fantasy, or romance novels written by my compatriots.



Fiendish Friday: Cards Against Humanity

I’m traveling with the kiddo. Every year around this time we make the rounds, visiting family for our niece’s birthday, then seeing friends from when we used to live in California. Sometimes we tie it all up with a trip to Park City, Utah (more friends) before we head home. We’re skipping Park City this year for a couple of reasons, but largely because I need to be back home in time to get my cruddle together for Maple Valley Days. FreeValley Publishing, the author cooperative I joined this year, has a booth at the festival, and I’m working it.

So first stop on our trip was at my friend Missy’s. She lives by Sac and I can make it to her place in one shot, twelve hours, driving. Yes the kiddo can car trip that long, it’s amazing what unlimited DVD, video game time, and snacks will make possible. LOL. Missy has slightly older kids. They’re pretty self sufficient and they absorb mine into the fold when we get there. It’s as close as it comes for me, to two days without a kiddo. Generally we drink too much and hang out in the pool. We play Phase Ten when the sun goes down and drink some more. We cook. We eat. We usually end up clothes shopping, such a cliché, but I really like a store by her house and we don’t have one where I live.

This year Missy and co introduced me to Cards Against Humanity. You thought I forgot didn’t you? LOL. I have no idea how I managed not to play this game before. I’d heard of it’s existence. It just never happened. Well now it did. We laughed our asses off. And I have to say being a writer really helps in that game. So does a number of Moscow Mules. I love the fact that the game encourages you to be dirty. I am always at my funniest just on the verge of being inappropriate. Or maybe I’m deluded and I’m way over the edge.

So back to how being a writer helps: The card read out loud was….I got referred to HR for a situation involving (blank), (Blank), and allegedly (Blank).

I had a number of options in my hand and ultimately chose the following cards. The Care Bear Stare, Sean Penn, and 3 penises at once.

Now how would you fill in those blanks?

Uh huh. Think about it.carebear

I chose: I got referred to HR for a situation involving Sean Penn, 3 penises at once, and allegedly the Care Bear Stare.

Seriously, I almost made someone pee their pants laughing with that. You can’t prove the Care Bear Stare. You can’t. Some things are too much to admit.

What’s your fave Cards Against Humanity win?

Wednesday Writer’s Cafe 2/10

Greetings and Salutations dear reader. I have been busier than a one legged man in an @$$ kicking contest. Back in September I thoughtlessly told the current co-president of my son’s coop that if she couldn’t find someone to step up by January, I would consider being co president for the 2016-2017 school year. So of course by January she hadn’t found anyone, so I signed on. Then last Monday she approached the pair of us co-pres and asked us to step up now as she needs to pull back and the other co-pres just left. Um….my nicely staggered responsibility arc for this year just slammed into overdrive.

Earlier tonight I was accepted into the FreeValley Publishing cooperative. This is pretty exciting news. I now have access to a number of marketing events over the course of the year. I need to order more books. If you’re local to the PacNW keep tuned in, I’ll be posting about events. The first of which is NorWesCon the last weekend in March.

I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at cafe for a little prod of accountability.

– Research marketing locations for the next free giveaway for Scripting the Truth. Figure out the Reddit problem. Fine tune my categorization on amazon.

√ I abandoned the Reddit problem. They can kiss my @$$. Yes I am feeling a little profane tonight, I’m too tired to think of better descriptive words. FVP should help with marketing. Plus I just crossed the magical ten reviews line on Amazon. I can now take advantage of a number of marketing options. More on that soon.

– Write 2500 plus words per week on my 2015 Nano novel til completion. (Only another 5-6 weeks to go on that, I think.)

√ Done.

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ I need to do something for February. There’s a short story competition I was thinking about getting something together for but I just don’t think I have the time to make the deadline. See the commentary about being co-president. I didn’t even mention I’m still on the scheduling committee for this year. And on the board at the club. No wonder I don’t have time to work my writing career.

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ January was good. February is in the works. Less preparation for this month. I want to have lots of time to interact with the class because that first critique can really hurt.

– Edit my 2015 Nano Novel for 2016 publication.

√ First critique is pending. So far I’ve heard it’s not as good as Scripting the Truth and he knew who the murderer was ten pages after the body was found. Well bleep, bleep, bleep.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

-Non Applicable at this time.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ This got complicated. I should know soon though if N to P is going to happen. And then there’s this other nebulous maybe class, it’s messy. LOL. That should be my new tag line. My life is messy.

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either. Which leads me to …

√ I did good this week. There was one night where I spent too long at the table working.

– yoga daily.

√ yeppers. Only one 90 minute bout again. It’s hard to squeak out that much time. But soon the kiddo will be done with his two lego classes which means I will have only one morning a week that I need to be out of the house by 9A. That gives me some breathing room.

Breathing room. Sounds divine. God knows I could use some.