Tag Archives: humor

Marketing is a Necessary Necessity That Will Unnecessarily Necessitate My Necessities

“This is probably the most mature, astute novel of the last half century that I’ve just finished. Me want ice cream.”

Ifin I had my druthers, I’d write all of the time. Alas, knowing this is a virtual impossibility, I’m bound to taking care of all the other stuff that pops up. Of course, I’m speaking within the parameters of writing and its many aspects.

I spend an enormous amount of time on marketing. When I published my first novel, I didn’t realize this milestone was the easy part. With a thousand or so new titles jumping out each day, how do you get your work before the eyes of the public without this valuable tool?

All right, so I know I have to market . . .  what does this mean? Sometimes I wonder if there are as many ways to market a book, as there are books? I know I’m being a bit facetious but there are many methods to employ into your marketing scheme.

My day goes something like this:  In the morning, I’m ready to play. What’s the first game?  Marketing for Money. I try to limit my time to several hours in order to promote my books each day. What’s the next game? Depending on the day, it could be “What’s my Blog” or to keep my website interesting there’s always, “Name that Newsletter.” Every once in a while I’ll slip in, “Support my Short Story.” Then comes the time of day I actually get to work on my latest manuscript. I call this, “Recess.” When done, I usually find I’m satisfied with the day’s work and fired up for tomorrow.

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February, February Where Would We Be Without February . . . I Guess We’d Be a Month Short, But I’m Not so Sure it Would Matter

Well, here we are in February. The same place we are every year at this time. As a writer, different months lend themselves to a multitude of subjects to record on paper. March, April and May bring new life, the budding of flowers and trees, the chirping of birds and the lifeline we all love. For without it, the flowers, vegetables and trees would not experience this rebirth. I am of course referring to the sneezing, eye watering, snot locker filling and extra throat drainage we endure due to this lifeline, POLLEN! We huddle inside waiting for the green dust to exit. June through August lend themselves to vacations, family outings and a plethora of fodder in the surrounding foliage, to create all sorts of creatures and little nasties to highlight fantasy and science fiction novels.

September and October bring us the beautiful fall colors; November-Thanksgiving, December-Christmas, January, a new year and February . . .  well, February is kinda just February. There is Valentine’s Day. You know that made up holiday where couples feel obligated to buy cards, go out to dinner, pay twice the amount for a dozen roses as you would any other day. Do we really need a day to say, “I love you?” I think we’d be better served using the template for Valentine’s Day without spending the money but expressing the love every day.

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A Day Off, a Day Off, My Kingdom for a Day Off . . . Or Not

Each week I try to take some time off from writing to give myself a break and clear my head. I know this is a good strategy, but like an addict I start jonesing when I’m not happily tap, tap, tapping away, sending sentences across my virtual paper.

You have to realize my position as an author. I have two manuscripts going at the same time. The first is volume IV in my RISING TIDE series. I felt like I needed a break from this sequence of books, so I began a standalone sci-fi/fantasy novel to fill this sabbatical.

Because of my selfishness, I have allowed characters left in my charge to undergo needless trauma. They’ve been left hanging for an extended period of time. There are men and women in dire straits not knowing if they have a future–whether or not they are going to live or die, and even worse, what has happened to the one who holds their fate on the tips of his fingers.

There are characters in the book I am writing now, some in the very throes of destruction when I go to bed each night–that live in terror wondering, when or even if, I will return to give their life meaning. It’s such a struggle knowing I am responsible for the lives of so many; however, books must be written. This in and of itself gives me great comfort. I now know I am not alone. There are scores of concerned authors battling this injustice . . . I think I’d better stop right there. This is getting way too melodramatic . . . Nuff said.

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Sometimes it is, Sometimes it Ain’t, When it is, It Really is, When it Ain’t, it Really Really Ain’t

I’ve never suffered from writer’s block; nor am I the type to knock on wood after making such a statement. Knuckles against a wooden surface never did it for me. What I have been plagued with from time to time, I like to refer to as the “Slo-Mo Syndrome.” It’s closely related to the, “some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug” disorder.

Here’s how it works. You climb behind your computer on any given day. Pulling up your virtual manuscript, you bid your latest offering, “Good Morning.” Next, you begin to type. Slowly at first the words crawl across the screen. Your fingers heat up as the cobwebs fly from your ears, freeing your mind to spew ideas unabated to your awaiting fingers. On these days your soon-to-be novel writes itself.

When the “Slo-mo Syndrome” strikes, your day goes something like this. You write a fifteen word sentence; then something catches your eye. “Good thing I saw that,” you say. Before you know it you’ve re-written seventeen words from a fifteen word sentence. Once again you ask an unanswerable question of yourself. “How did that happen?” Multiply this scenario by however many sentences you can bare to write and who knows, you may end up with a paragraph you can actually use. Not bad for a full day’s work. So goes the “Slo-mo Syndrome.”

This message has been brought to you by a grant from the Confused Author Foundation.

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Use Your Writing Process or Process Your Writing it Doesn’t Matter as Long as Your Process Processes Your Processable Process

Have you ever given much thought to the writing process? I am going to assume the answer is no since it’s not something I ponder on a regular basis. Now, just suppose I found myself in a pondering mood; the writing process might just be something I would ponder at that particular moment. In fact, let’s say I’m in the middle of pondering that very subject.

Some authors begin their novels by establishing the plots and an overall rough outline of how the book will flow. Then again, others will forego the rough outline of the entire novel, expanding that into a rough outline of each chapter. There are many ways to structure your writing and none of them is wrong. Each author uses what works best for him or her and that’s how it should be. Me, I fly by the seat of my pants. When I begin a novel, I sit before the virtual paper on my computer screen. I commence to thinking, eventually coming up with a character and a task for this character to do. I write science fiction and fantasy so this individual could end up anywhere, his destination limited only by my imagination. After that, I’m in it with all four feet, adding characters–sometimes human, but usually not–developing a world and allowing the book to write itself. Whew! I’m working up a sweat just thinking about it. What it boils down to (and don’t forget the boiling point drops 1° for every five hundred feet you rise in elevation) is write how you like and don’t forget to have fun. Gotta go…an idea just popped into my head.

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In Order to Take the Temperature of the World, I Know Exactly Where To Insert the Thermometer

While taking a break from writing, I happened to glance at the news on television. What I saw could easily jump-start a vomit, but nonetheless, gave me an idea.

As you well know, the two subjects you should never discuss are religion and politics. I thought about this and decided it was a good rule to follow. I considered it again reaffirming my original position. I debated on these two topics with myself and concluded that I would discuss both in this blog.

Politics first:

George Washington was our 1st President. I imagine, it was about this time that corruption began to worm its way into our political system, and now, it seems this worm has grown into an anaconda the size of the lower forty-eight. I happen to live about 2 hours south of Washington DC. I have found in my travels, whether driving north or sitting in a metal tube thirty-five-thousand feet in the air; the closer I get to DC the lower my IQ drops. In one incident, perilously close to the aforementioned city, I was forced to pull my car over until I could remember how to breathe. Once the oxygen somewhat cleared my head, I made a hasty retreat and now avoid the area whenever possible. Nuff said.

Religion:

Lord, save us from the cesspool that represents us in our nation’s capitol, Amen!

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Thinking is Good, but Don’t Think too Much it Can Make Your Thoughts Way too Much to Think About Thoughtfully

Does a “what if” ever enter your mind? How about a “I never thought about that before?” or maybe just an errant thought from nowhere begins to bounce around in your cranium causing you to pause or maybe even chuckle. Fortunately, this happens to me all the time, bringing about fodder to keep to myself or share with the world.

For instance, American author L. Frank Baum, creator of the amazing story, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” instilled in me a notion that was intriguing but useless to the story. Now why this came to mind I haven’t a clue, but I thought about the wicked witch of the west. We all know that Dorothy dissolved the old biddy with water. This led me down another road. If the wicked witch of the west couldn’t tolerate water, this would mean she’d never taken a bath. Can you imagine the odoriferous stench emanating from this smelly winch? I guess that would explain her green color and the reason she was so mean.

In my own writing, I feel sure I put a bit of myself into most characters. This tends to have a good and bad side. I find in my own life I try to avoid certain situations, but allow the same situation to abound within a character adding a “how could he be so reckless” to the story. I think what I’m trying to say is when it comes down to it there is no need to be stubborn on top of stupid. We’ve all heard the saying, “writing fiction is harder than writing non-fiction; fiction has to be believable.” Always remember there’s a fine line between believable fiction and “way out there,” and it’s hard enough to get read without being so high into the clouds where only the migrating geese might take a gander.

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