Here are a bunch of graphics on t-shirts from two companies (here and here), tho they look like they are probably the same company. Regardless, I have spent mucho green this afternoon on tees for me and as gifts for others. It was about time for me to stop ALWAYS giving gift cards. It will freak my friends and family out--yeah, that's right. I'm unpredictable. Oh, yeah.
In an effort to keep this blog more reader focused, I am going to not wax lyrical about writing on this blog any more. I will have plenty of opportunities to alienate readers after they read my fiction, no need to start before the fact.
(in whiny child voice) But I really want to wax lyrical! When will I get to wax lyrical?! (stomps foot)
I will still talk about writing some but mainly about self publishing--in general as well as what I'm doing specifically. I figure that is of more interest to writers and not so much readers. I could be wrong, in which case I have just made it more work for you, the reader. (Sorry.)
Please mosey on over to the blog if you get a chance and take a looksey (no, I didn't just say that).
No new Writer Kate Madison news other than I am revising Empty. A working draft should be done by April. Then to the editor, the lovely Joshua Essoe, who is so good at his job that I will probably have to be on a wait list for awhile.
I have also been thinking a lot about a hacker girl story but I want to finish Empty first. Focus is not my strong suit so I am trying super duper hard at it.
I was just catching up on the nano mail and read this great pep talk by Chris Cleave, author of Incendiary. It's a great message so I thought I would include a snippet here. He's answering the question 'what keeps you motivated':
The answer to this question is always changing for me. When I started writing as a child I just loved the work of making good sentences and paragraphs - of playing with language. Later I was motivated by provoking strong reactions in the people I showed my work to. Then there was a bad time of several years when I was motivated by a desire for a certain kind of glory or glamour, without thinking too hard about what that meant. I think you need to get through that stage pretty quickly.
After my first novel was published I was motivated to bring injustices to light with my work, and to help people concussed by bad TV to find real life interesting again. That had a kind of grandiosity to it, though, and I found that my writing improved when I learned a little bit more humility. Then, after my second novel did well, I was motivated for a long time by fear – the fear of not being able to do it again. What cured me of that was rediscovering my very first motivation – the love of working with language and character.
I’d say that is what motivates me now. I simply enjoy sitting down in front of my screen and exploring my characters. I like the mental work of solving the problems of plot and structure. I like exercising my freedom to write as I please, for readers who have the freedom to read as they please. I like not needing anyone’s permission. I try to remember how lucky we all are to live like this. I see it as a temporary state of grace and I find that very motivating.
What a great journey. It spoke to me because I find myself going through versions of all three places multiple times a day. It can be difficult for me to stay in a state for too long. My mind does it's best to play tricks on me and psych me out. I try to not to listen. But it is, after all, my own mind. Hard to ignore your very own thoughts.
Nano is kicking my but this year. I am definitely more productive than ever but I think I might need to keep working on multiple things at once so as to not ever get too attached to any one thing and then be soooo afraid of messing it up and making the wrong choices. It's not the most productive way to work. But there is a 'slowly but surely' rhythm to it. I guess that will have to work for me. For now. Hopefully, this will all be a little easier in a few years when I'm not such a baby writer. Then again, maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.
Okay, so I just wrote a short piece that will be included in an ebook by Rymfire Ebooks that has different authors talking about writing about zombies. I'll link the title when it comes out. And, yes, these words most definitely count towards my nano count as they will in fact be published (tho not by me).
Let me know your thoughts:
Forget pretty vampires, dirty zombies rock!
Unless you don’t consume any books, tv, movies, or video games (in which case, we have very little in common), you have probably noticed that zombies are steadily rising in popularity as of late. They aren’t a ‘new’ fictional phenomenon by any means, having been around for roughly 50 years. But compared to fictional vampires, they are the younger brother of horror monsters.
I’ll get to the vampire/zombie connection in a second. First, I must mention the movie ‘28 Days Later’. This was the movie that really modernized the zombie for me and made it a truly horrifying monster that I could identify with because honestly, the slow moving zombies of the Romero days seemed silly sometimes (except in The Walking Dead- but only because they have great makeup and can apparently walk softly). I had nightmares for three weeks after I saw 28DL and my family to this day loves to come at me fast with a rabid, shaking head and zombie growl just to freak me out. Yeah, I know, weird way to show love, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Though neither vampires nor zombies are new, the rise in popularity of zombie fiction is a pop culture answer to the uber popularity of vampires in the last decade. Vampires went from being scary monsters that need your blood to live (blood that you, in fact, need to live-hence the conflict) to sparkly, sexy, human-loving beings. The fictional vampire was wrested from the horror genre and put on a pedestal in the romance genre, instead.
Also, there is the science angle—it is way more believable in the age of SARS and H1N1 that a virus or neurotoxin or the like could get loose and wreak havoc on the human population. Some are surprised this hasn’t happened on a massive scale, yet, given our huge population growth in the last hundred years as well as the rise of globalization. Such an occurrence makes much more sense to most people than a population of vampires that descend hundreds of years back from a guy in Transylvania.
This cultural archetype of infection is so strong in fact that there are vampire stories that are basically vampire zombie hybrids. Their monster isn’t the debonair creature of the night (vampire) but also isn’t the tattered clothed, gray creature who may or may not have all of their limbs and can’t seem to form words other than ‘Arggghhh’ (zombie). They lie somewhere in between. You see variations of these hybrids in the books ‘The Passage’ and ‘The Strain’.
Personally, I’m writing zombie fiction right now because it is just plain fun. The breaking out of the traditional archetypes for our fictional monsters has made the possibilities very exciting and interesting for me as a reader and now as a writer. It’s wide open right now. Readers are enjoying all kinds of different zombie stories like the (instant classic) braided story of ‘World War Z’ as well as the numerous ‘zombie journal’ shorts popping up everywhere. I’m exploring a different angle as well that you will be able to read about in my upcoming novel ‘Empty: Zombie Evolution Book 1’.
Hopefully, everyone is getting in the scary fun swing of things. I'm going as a zombie this year- so original, I know. But it just feels wrong to be anything else when I am writing a zombie apocalypse romance. My characters would feel betrayed. Wait, did I just type that out loud?
Huffingtonpost.com has a great 'zombies' link today http://www.huffingtonpost.com/culture/ . It's actually just the culture section but on the homepage it says zombies with blood dripping. Way to get in the season! And they have lots of cute zombie written articles. How can one not love it??
Okay, so, yeah, writing, um, I'm supposed to be doing that, right? Well, as of tomorrow, Nanowrimo begins and my output had best explode or my head very well might. I have put up a nanowrimo word count graphic so y'all can keep me accountable. Kick my butt if I'm not performing. Give me a lashing. I will have deserved it if I get behind. I will say 'thank you may I have another' if said lashing event does occur.
I will be writing and finishing- Yeah, that's right, I said it!- finishing Empty. I am not sure that will get me all the way to 50k words tho, so I might write some other stuff that I have been working on for my other pen name to fill out the wordcount. Or I can start on the Empty sequel. I have part of it mapped out but it still needs some tinkering. And I figure I better wait till I have the Empty manuscript written anyway in case a few surprises spring out of me as my fingers are flying.
As I mentioned on twitter, I will be using Scrivener- I am pretty much sold on this program. The digital notecards on the cork board feature alone got me. But being about to rearrange by drag and drop instead of lots of cut and paste. That is pretty sweet.
Well, that's all I got. I hope everyone has a scary time tonight. Protect your brains!
Amazon and Apple are my hot and hunky suitors vying for my technological heart.I go to bed at night with my iphone and Kindle (and my husband-but don’t tell Apple/Amazon).They are my can’t live without devices nearest to my heart.
Of course, if we’re being honest here, Microsoft is also there as the dependable, lifelong friend who has unrequited love for me and that I want to love back but he just doesn’t do it for me. So we’re only coworkers/friends. Bc I can’t really live w/out my netbook either.My trusty little writing tool.I love touch screens for everything but writing.Typing on them is a pain.A real keyboard is much more efficient.So, yeah, Microsoft will always be my work husband.But while I have been having lots of fun dates with Amazon and Apple, they are both wanting a commitment lately.How is a girl to decide?
I have had an iphone since ’06 and a Kindle since ’07.I am also a pc girl and have had a netbook since ’08 (and regular huge laptops since forever).So when the ipad came out I of course was in love… but not enough to buy.Because, well, I have an iphone, kindle, and netbook.Not really sure what I would need it for. And the price wasn’t (isn’t) in the impulse buy range for me.
I love Amazon and buy all my books there and am a prime member and buy all kinds of non book items and get free shipping.I recently started buying music at Amazon bc some of the songs were 20-40 cents cheaper and they have this doohickey thingy that will automatically put it in my itunes for me.
All my music (until recently) and app buying has been through itunes (Apple).The android phone explosion was never enough of a lure to get me away from the iphone.
Enter the Kindle Fire- a cheap tablet that is what I have been looking for from Apple but not getting.I am firmly committed to buying my books from Amazon (have you tried to browse in the ibookstore-it sucks!) and am somewhat committed to buying my apps from apple bc I love my iphone.But it looks like the kindle Fire will be like merging my kindle and iphone and taking out the phone (which I rarely use- I am a texter).
It’s a conundrum.$200 is impulse buy for me.But I would have to populate the apps with new purchases.But I could read all of my amazon ebooks on there.
If I add in my opinions of the companies’ behavior in regards to publishing the last couple of years, I tend to lean a little Amazon.Apple made an ego play in 2010.And to publish directly with them and have better rankings in the ibookstore, you have to own a Mac.So I bought a used Mac last month and have uploaded a couple of titles under one of my other pen names so that I could get things going on that end.A lot of work for the non-mac-owning indie publisher.I know smashwords will do that all for me but who wants 6 months old, disorganized sales data.When compared to Amazon and BN, smash is the right place, right time little guy.Hopefully, they will mature into a big guy soon bc I have high hopes (excellent accounting backend and audio selfpubbing would make Smash downright sexy).
Ok. So, writing this out hasn’t really helped me to decide anything.You lovely readers have basically been my therapist couch.Thanks so much for listening.I will keep you updated. Sorry for the long post.