Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

It’s official: I signed a contract with Firedrakes Weyr Publishing this morning for HEX BREAKER. Stay tuned for release dates, cover art, and more.

I heard back from the producer who was interested in THE MATILDA MURDERS. She likes it a lot, but asked for some revisions, mostly due to the site requirements. Not a problem – I’ll get on it. And now I can dive into FEMME FATALE and SIDEKICK, knowing those site requirements.

Whew! Happy!

I received an interesting question the other day that I’m answering on the blog. The questioner asked if I do a lot of paid blogging jobs, and, if not, didn’t I think it would be a great fit?

This blog is MINE, not owned by some corporation. I consider it part of my business in writing, but also as a way to keep in contact with people all over the world, and shed a bit of light on one writer’s creative process and how I try to make that balance and fit in to the business of writing. While I’m not getting a salary for INK, I’ve landed some really cool gigs from people who found me through the blog, and, when you break down that money, it comes out to a decent amount connected to the blog. I also don’t want to put advertising on this blog (other than talking about other people’s stuff I like or having Devon’s Bookstore below) because I want this to be a restful place, not a place blaring with ads. In fact, I’ve dropped several blogs recently because I feel like all they want is my money, not mutual interaction. I know some people who have advertising on their personal blogs, but, honestly, for a buck twenty-five a month, I don’t think it’s worth it.

Most of the paid blogging jobs I’ve come across thus far have had three drawbacks, which make them poor fits for me:

–Low pay. I’m sorry, $5/post is insulting, even if it’s only about 200 words. Especially if I have to do research. It simply is not a wise use of my time. Even $10-$15/post is pretty slim. Some blog sites pay by the month with the chance of revenue share as well. However, if I toss out the revenue carrot and divide the number of posts by the fee, it often still works out to $5 or $10/post. Again, not worth the time and effort.

–Too many posts expected. A lot of sites want 1-2 posts per day. That’s reasonable for some topics, a little too much for others. Not every topic can sustain 30 posts per month. Some sites want even more. As a writer, I think it’s too much content expected, again, for often low pay. As a reader, if a blog has too many posts per day, I drop it because I don’t have that kind of time to spend on it, again, especially if it’s just trying to sell me something. It gives me a headache.

–I don’t want to be that tied down. Some blogs let you write ahead and schedule posting. Others don’t. I travel a lot, both for writing and pleasure. Although I’ll have a laptop soon, I don’t have one now, and, frankly, when I’m on the road immersed in a project, I’m not going to split my focus with something else. So that means I’m not as good a fit for a daily blogging gig as someone who works from home all the time without a lot of traveling.

I admire people who can sustain daily paid blog gigs well. I simply haven’t yet found the right gig for me, nor am I convinced it’s out there. Since the heritage recipe blog gig fell through, a couple of years ago, I’ve looked at several other blog gigs, but applied for very few. 1-2 posts a week I think is sane. 1-2 posts a day simply does not work in the way my life is currently set up, or in the overall vision for my writing career. I’d rather spend that time writing fiction. Blogging is not “easy money”. It takes dedication and skill. And when a company is paying you to present a product or a point of view, it’s different than when you’re speaking from the heart. So there are all sorts of aspects to factor in when considering a blogging job.

So, the photo call yesterday was . . .an adventure. Tuesday I stood on the curb in Chelsea with costumes and ironing board; yesterday, I did the same thing in front of the New York Stock Exchange. My life’s so glamorous. Yeah.

We had a good car to get up there – Ford Esplanade, which meant the ironing board fit in the back. But we were in one of the most security-conscious buildings downtown, full of government offices and no arrangements had been made for us – I just took my garment bags and plowed on through – the guard told me to open my bags and I said, “You open them. My hands are full.” It was that kind of day. We’re in a space under construction, with so much dust I was a Banshee With a Lint Brush all afternoon – and they tell us we can’t plug in. Now, we had a steamer, an iron, and hair and make-up had all their stuff that needed electricity. So they hand us a box of extension cords and we figure out how to run power out of sockets in the ceililng.

I’m telling ya, the glamour of Broadway.

The people for whom we were doing the shoot were very nice, and it’s for a good cause; it’s simply that there was a breakdown in communication as to what both sides needed, the time frame, etc. We got through it, we laughed a lot, and the photos are going to look good. I’m glad we had the actors and crew we had on it – I can think of both actors and crew from other shows on which I’ve worked that would have made it a nightmare. But we all had a sense of humor about it.

Hey, Jackie Kessler – the only mirror we had for the entire, six-person, in-costume photo shoot was the “Love Your Inner Demon” mirror you sent me when your last book came out. The purse-sized one. Thank goodness I always carry it with me!

Two Photo Shoots from Hell in one week. That’s a record for me.

We went to dinner at an excellent new Thai place on W. 49th St. The owner and chef hangs out in the front, you place your order, and she goes back inside and cooks it up. Everything’s fresh and delicious, and it’s very reasonably priced.

I agreed to work a show Saturday night, right before I leave for the Cape. Am I crazy? Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

Got home at midnight, checked the email and got my good news on the novella and the play. Now I’m going to have to come up with promotional “stuff” once we get a release date set. You guys will all have to help me with the marketing campaign!

Errands to run this morning, putting together the birthday present for one of my actors, then I have to finish the pre-Belmont article and work on the anthology story. Bet you dollars to doughnuts I’ll hit the “send” button tomorrow moments before I leave for the show.


I’m also meeting with a journalist – I’m the one being interviewed this time – and the Cable Guy is supposed to turn up to install everything so I get my channels back. I mean, please, they took away Sci-Fi and A&E – how’s a girl supposed to get by?


Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on May 30, 2008 at 8:03 am  Comments (13)  
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  1. WOOHOO! Congrats on the contract! I knew they’d want it! 🙂

  2. Whoo-hoo. Well done on the contract, and the good vibes from the producer.

  3. Wow, lots of exciting news since my last visit. Serious congratulations to you!

  4. Oh no, NOT A&E!!! Hope you get it back soon!

    Congrats on the contract! And the producers reaction: No surprise there. You’re one talented lady.

    Have a great weekend. 🙂

  5. Congratulations on the contract, Devon! How exciting!

  6. Congratulations on the contract! But, with someone of your talent, it is no surprise. *G* You don’t have A&E or Sci-Fi right now? Awwwww, I’m SO sorry.

    As for paid blogging, I never understood how anyone could make a living doing that. Not that I’ll ever know! *G*

    I hope your Friday goes well and is pleasant. Sending good thoughts and smiles.

  7. Congratulations on HEXBREAKER! Have a great weekend 🙂

  8. Congratulations on the contract! I can’t wait to see the next steps.

    Kudos on The Maltida Murders. You’re on a roll.

    ooh, what’s the name of the new Thai place?

    Have a good weekend.

  9. I’m just catching up here. What brilliant news. Many congratulations on the contract!

  10. Hey, Devon! Catching up again! Congratulations on the sale of HEX BREAKER! D:))

  11. […] this morning for HEX BREAKER. Stay tuned for release dates, cover art, and more. I heard back 4 girls’ slayings, welfare agency floods family court with abuse cases The Washington […]

  12. Congratulations on the contract! I am so happy for you- what wonderful news!

    I am intrigued by the tales of the photo shoots- would love to learn more but I know you keep some things private.

    Just now catching up with your blogs after being out of town- are you going to the Cape for vacation, or is that where you are moving?

    Hope to see you again soon…

  13. Catching up from my vacation: Wahoo on the contract!

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