Monday, March 30, 2009
Partly Sunny and cold
How to Deal with a Writing Saboteur:
Stranger: So, what do you do?
Me: I’m a writer.
Stranger: Oh, I love to read! I’ve always wanted to write, I have lots of great ideas, but I’ve never gotten around to it. What an easy way to make a living! All you do is sit around in your pajamas and make things up. I read all the time Would I have read anything of yours?
Me: I don’t know. What do you like to read?
Stranger: I read EVERYTHING.
Me: (reels off several of the names/titles/publications).
Stranger: You can’t be a REAL writer. I’ve never heard of any of those.
Me: Obviously, you don’t read that much or keep up with hot new releases.
There’s no need to be gracious to someone who tries to disguise jealousy with false enthusiasm.
Because if it’s someone who’s genuinely interested and excited about your work, the person will say, “Oh, I haven’t read any of that yet. Where can I find it?” THAT is an actual reader, someone worth the interaction.
Let’s face it, no matter how much any of us read, there will always be new-to-us authors. That’s part of the fun.
On to our regularly scheduled blogging:
It was really good to be offline for a couple of days. I think I’m going to have to do that more often, whether I’m working on a site or not. I checked email and visited a blog or two on Sunday after I got back, but that was it. Bliss.
I wrote an article on Friday morning before I had to leave for the job. I’ll polish it and send it off today.
The site job went well. The weather was great for the most part, so I got to spend time outside in the warm sunshine. By Sunday, instead of warm sunshine, we had cold rain, but that was fine.
Completed the assignment for Confidential Job #1, and will send it off this morning. It was fascinating. They’re giving me more challenging work lately, which I like.
Got some work done on CRAVE THE HUNT. I need to re-immerse myself in my Iceland trip to get the sensory details right for the Jain/Wyatt chapters set in Iceland – I think there will only be two, but it’s important to get them right. Coincidentally, negotiations have resumed about adapting one (or more) of the Icelandic myths for the stage, so I need to actually sit down and read that doorstop-weight of a book of the Icelandic Sagas over the next few months, taking notes – all 1800 pages of it.
Didn’t do any work on The Lucy Gothic, unfortunately. Mapped out a few other pieces. Had an idea in the car driving to the site for something – very strong opening scene, good characters, etc. The problem is that I don’t know why these characters are brought together or for what purpose. I’ve got a group of dynamic individuals in search of a plot, and, until I can figure out that plot, there’s nothing I can do, because it will just all fall apart. I jotted down some notes, and it’s put away.
Worked on a couple of outlines, which should be ready to go out the door this week. Went over a proposal I’ve got to submit today, and did the groundwork for another proposal I hope to get out this week. Worked on the newsletter — I’m combining March and April. I hope to get it out later today.
Also, once I got home, I managed to do some house-and-hearth stuff, including six loads of laundry and re-arranging some books. I’ve got some seeds to plant on Thursday, the next planting day on the lunar calendar. Someone moved in next door, into the apartment recently vacated by the Nasty Neighbor. I haven’t met the New Neighbor yet, but New Neighbor has a lot of bookcases and boxes of books, so I bet we’ll get along.
I re-read one of my favorite writing books, as fuel, one which I haven’t re-read in about two years. And was deeply disappointed. Whereas two years ago, although I didn’t find many of the techniques/exercises personally useful, I found the book detailing them fun and energetic. Now, I find it neurotic and filled with yet more ways to procrastinate. The words on the page haven’t changed, obviously, but where I am in my overall writing has changed a great deal. It’s interesting to see how much progress I’ve made on my own journey, but disheartening that I’ve “outgrown” this particular writer’s suggestions.
Read Colleen Gleason’s WHEN TWILIGHT BURNS, one of her Gardella Vampire Chronicles. I’d never read any of her books before. I enjoyed it – the contrast between Regency lifestyle and vampire hunting is strong. I like the characters a lot. I kind of felt like I was dumped in the middle of the wilderness without a map at times because it’s several books into the series. There were hints of what happened in previous books, so I think I’ve figured the overall series arc to this point, at least the basics; when I read the other books, I’ll find out whether or not I’m right. I liked the choice of not putting too much information about the previous books in it, and the way tidbits were woven in organically — I just felt I missed a lot. Part of it was reading when tired, but that’s the way it was. Characters are great, it’s well-plotted, the pace is good, the storylines are well-woven. All in all, I enjoyed it a lot, and I look forward to reading the other books in the series. The only thing that irked me was it’s yet another depiction of Lilith in a particular way. I’ve got a very different view of the Lilith myth, so every time I see this choice, especially in a book written by a woman, it puts me off a bit. But that’s a personal interpretation choice, which has nothing to do with the high quality of the writing. She’s got the right to create any mythology she wants (and she does it well), and it’s up to me how I respond.
I booked another job for next weekend, which will be tons of fun. Plus, the place I stay when I’m on that particular site has a fabulous kitchen, so I get to do some serious cooking along with everything else – there’s a great grocery store nearby, so I can stock up on my way in.
I have to be focused and productive this week, juggling my deadlines with client projects, but I’m looking forward to a productive week without too much paperwork B.S. I do have to have an unpleasant conversation with one of my editors at some point, but I’m being jerked around and I don’t cave to emotional blackmail; I’d rather get this sorted out sooner rather than later. I fulfill my contracts to the letter, and I expect the same from the other side of the table.
I also have to take my car in at some point for the state inspection. March is nearly over!
I will be offline on Wednesday, April 1. Not only do I loathe April Fool’s Day (the majority of so-called “jokes” usually have an undercurrent of cruelty to them, which I find inexcusable), that’s the day the Conficker worm is rumored to unleash, infecting millions of computers. And, since we know I can’t trust McAfee to do what I pay them to do and actually protect me, and since I tend to have computer problems anyway, I’m staying offline. This morning, McAfee is, of course, totally out of control. Again. And heaven forbid customer service or even the executive office can bother with the basic courtesy of a response to my numerous complaints.
When I return to the online world (hopefully, if the computer doesn’t self-destruct the following day as soon as I try to connect to the internet, which is a possibility), it will be the Sixth Anniversary of Ink in My Coffee. I can hardly believe it.
I expect to be online tomorrow.