Wednesday, January 2, 2019: Hit The Ground Running and Hitting Back at Those Who Denigrate Artists

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde

Time to hit the ground running. I have a few thoughts on that, over on Ink-Dipped Advice.

Friday wore me out. I had to take the car in (which wasn’t as bad as I feared). I spent time with a client, then had some running around to do.

I was also still spinning ideas for the online brainstorming session I had with Jackie Kessler, Deanna Rayburn, and Erin Cronican on new material for WOMEN WITH AN EDGE RESIST.

WOMEN WITH AN EDGE is a show with legs. Some of the material is evergreen; some is dated. It’s time for another show along the same lines that deal with topics relevant now. I have a few places I can test material, although there’s not a theatre on Cape who’d have the guts to produce the piece. Too right-wing around here.

But we brainstormed pages of notes, and I’ve taken it further. I threw some ideas into the Women Write Change forum as well on Monday, so I’m sure that will generate more ideas.

I want to write the first couple of monologues this week.

Saturday was unseasonably warm. I had another run to the store (because there’s always one more thing). We got the garbage to the dump (and the guys got their cookies).

I started playing with some more ideas. Because ideas come in batches. So it’s important to take notes, date the notes, and then figure what’s pulling hardest and where to put what.

Sunday I managed fourteen pages on an idea with which I’m playing — I think it will work. My two main protagonists are deliciously more complicated and manipulative than I originally envisioned. It will be interesting to see how they play off each other. A missing music composition is a big part of the story, too.

Worked on the proposal for the play set in Renaissance Venice. With that, and the anti-gun violence play, and the two women authors play, and WOMEN WITH AN EDGE RESIST, that’s four stage plays and three novels releasing this year. Minimum.

We’re pushing the Jain Lazarus re-release back to 2020. It doesn’t make sense to do it this year. That way, in 2020, the third Gwen-Justin book releases, the third Nautical Namaste releases, the fifth Coventina Circle releases — along with the first three Jain Lazarus. Those are all outlined — it’s a case of writing/revising.

This year, I’m scrambling to get BALTHAZAAR and DHARMA out on schedule — last year was just too much. GRAVE REACH will be in good shape in a few months, and ready for edits. And we’re still trying to figure out if the Justice by Harpy trilogy can come out this year.

Plus, I want to make room to have at least one stand-alone a year.

I’m posting this on Monday, so I have no idea what my Eve and Day will be. I’m determined to make them good. I’m determined not to teeter at the edge of the abyss I usually find myself on every New Year’s Eve.

I have worlds to build.

Social media has just been depressing lately. I know I need it for the books and the writing. I enjoy genuine interaction, and I’ve met some great people.

But there’s too much viciousness. And too much whining.

You want to be a full time artist? Then you have to rearrange your life and put the work first. You can’t do it all and have it all. If you want to be a part-time artist in order to have a more balanced life, fine, go ahead. But don’t whine at those of us who made the choices and put in the work about “not having time to write.” You are CHOOSING not to write. You are CHOOSING other elements in your life over the writing. And they are your choices. So own them.

I’m also tired of being attacked for earning money from my work. Loving my work does not forfeit my right to earn a living at it — provided I’m willing to put in the work. I am. I do.

Those who aren’t willing to put in the work or believe getting paid for art and craft is “selling out” can go to hell. Because I have stuff to do and can’t be bothered.

And all these attacks on artists as not being smart or who shouldn’t have opinions or participate in political activism? Those who make their living in the arts tend to be smarter and more committed than those around them, or they couldn’t do it.

If you think artists are stupid, if you attack them for being intelligent, articulate, and committed to building a better world, yeah, you can go to hell, too.

I have no time for these jealous, petty morons. People who attack artists generally do so out of spite, because they hate that artists have the talent and the skills and the work ethic, and, most importantly, the COURAGE to put it all on the line.

I’m not arguing with them. I’m not “debating” with them. Let those who are only in it to cause trouble and spread spite twist in the wind.

I have art to create. I have work to do. I have a world to change, one story at a time.


Published in: on January 2, 2019 at 6:15 am  Comments Off on Wednesday, January 2, 2019: Hit The Ground Running and Hitting Back at Those Who Denigrate Artists  
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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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