In which I do not feel old.

Given that I still actively promote my YA works, I spend entirely too many hours on Tumblr.  With what I would average my 8,000+ followers age to be at around 19, I am in a considerably different demographic.  Happening upon the below graphic, I felt instantly better about my involvement as I am the EXACT average Tumblr user.  For all others, I am skewing younger by a few years, but for some reason the Tumblr data somehow qualified all of the hours I spend on the sight in a week day.

tumblr_n59zafEcS91skyln0o1_500What platform of social media do you spend the most time on?

 

RIP, Robin Williams.

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Yes, I know Robin Williams didn’t write this line, but his delivery of the words helped bring the scene alive.  It’s funny how actor deaths affect people in different ways.  Reactions came across social media in all forms – always sadness, but interesting to understand how one man could impact so many people.  To me, Robin Williams always brought such an indescribable energy to his roles and comedy.  There was literally no one else like him.  Dead Poets Society (among other films) were a success because of what this actor brought to his character.  RIP Robin Williams.

If you find yourself with similar suicidal feelings – remember, there is always help.

Potential cover ideas (Road Trip project).

 

Not that this is happening any time soon, but (yay Pinterest), I like to think ahead.  Although I haven’t landed on a specific title for my Road Trip/Widow project, these are the photos (to date) I’m looking at as inspiration for my book cover.  See anything you like?  Any I should automatically rule out?  Should I keep looking?

cover ideas

Motivation.

I found the below .gif and decided it was a very accurate representation of me at work.  Yes, I have a full time job.  No, I cannot support myself through my writing.  However, with increasingly regularity, the idea of staying at home and writing is one I could get on board with.  Damn my need for regular income.  Still, I’m hoping this frustration will lend itself to a new motivation towards my writing and financial successes as an author.

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On the daily.

 

What to do next?

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Mostly, I just wanted to use this .gif

I am putting the proverbial cart before the horse, but find myself fast wrapping up an edit of a project (Fates II, you continue to haunt me), which leaves me with the inevitable, ‘what do I work on next?’  With limited time and a few projects, I’m debating what my next steps are:

1.  Edit the rough draft of the Untitled Road Trip manuscript (that I finished in June).  Somehow, it doesn’t feel like I’ve had enough ‘space’ from the story.  So, I think it’s going to stay in the drawer a bit longer.  Although I want to publish it next year, I think the project needs a bit more time to percolate in my brain.

2.  Transfer the Fates project into Scrivener.  This will be a fairly heavy undertaking as I have no looked at the book in over a year.  Yes, moving things over should be relatively easy, but my guess is that I’ll find stuff I want to edit while I’m moving things around.  Also, I’m fairly certain the chapters (or at a minimum, the chapter lengths) need work.  This is probably what I’ll end up doing.

3.  Finish my Lucky Penny manuscript (stuck at about 35K words).  It would probably take until the end of the year to finish.

4.  Start another manuscript (most likely, Untitled Book Club project).

5.  Just write fanfiction.

6.  Do nothing but read and exercise.  Tempting, but no.

Ira Tells is Like It Is

I’d just say to aspiring journalists or writers—who I meet a lot of—do it now. Don’t wait for permission to make something that’s interesting or amusing to you. Just do it now. Don’t wait. Find a story idea, start making it, give yourself a deadline, show it to people who’ll give you notes to make it better. Don’t wait till you’re older, or in some better job than you have now. Don’t wait for anything. Don’t wait till some magical story idea drops into your lap. That’s not where ideas come from. Go looking for an idea and it’ll show up. Begin now. Be a fucking soldier about it and be tough.

- Ira Glass, Lifehacker interview

If you don’t listen or haven’t heard of This American Life, you’re missing one of the great radio broadcasts/podcasts in the world.  Ira Glass is the host/curator/reporter of the show and recently gave an interview with Lifehacker to explain how he works.  Not that anyone particularly cares how I work, but I’ve thought of answering the questions as well for this blog.  Anyway, above is an excerpt and if that interests you – try the podcast and reading the entire interview – you won’t be let down.

Book Review: Hidden (including spoilers)

Another book where the husband dies.

Another book where the husband cheated.

While I genuinely enjoyed the presentation of this novel (told through the vantage of the husband, wife and mistress), once again, I wonder why the husband in so many of these novels has to have some extracurricular affair.  And why it takes only his death to have this information come out.   Although no one in this novel is perfect (far from it), the concept of ‘did they do it?’ is a better presented storyline than most.  I actually feel terrible for the wife – not only is her husband dead, he’s also been emotionally (and physically) cheating on her for the past year.

The good?  Realistic experience of spouse passing (especially in the immediate after situations).  The supporting cast (who I actually liked a lot more than the main characters).  Given his chapters, the husband has a decent chance to be represented in the novel (rather than an abandoned afterthought).

The bad?  Awkward changes in narration.  Whiny characters.  Characters that are not distinctive.  ALSO, WHY DOES THE HUSBAND ALWAYS CHEAT?  Basically, I feel like this book is just a big #firstworldproblems adventure.  I wanted a little more substance (and need to inject some into my own projects).

Would I recommend?  …  Depends.  The dynamics of the book exist solely because of the love triangle.  In fact, if you take out the element of the affair, the book wouldn’t be able to exist.  Still…there is something there that kept me turning the pages.

Would I read another of Catherine McKenzie’s books?  Most likely, yes – if the synopsis was interesting.

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The thing is, I love the cover.

A copy of Room 702 now exists in the real world!

While writing Room 702, I always had a chapter written in another language in mind.  As I have zero language abilities (besides English), I wanted to find someone to write a chapter in something other than English.  After my mini writers retreat the fabulous Ms. Elena Sandovici (author of Dogs with Bagels, and speaker of five languages), I felt she could be the right person for the job.  I asked, and she said yes!  Now, given all the travel I’ve been up to this summer, I kind of forgot about this conversation.  So much so, that when I logged into Createspace and saw that (gasp!) the first print copy of Room 702 had been sold, I immediately went into a panic (why, I still don’t know).  For some reason, the book didn’t feel ready (even though it’s been out and available for months).  When I learned it was Elena who had the book and that she was using it to research where her chapter might fit in, I felt infinitely better.

Yes, I need a copy of my own, but it’s a happy thought that the one current copy in the world is with a good friend.  I look forward to her contributions to the book!

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Looks pretty, doesn’t it?