A Song for the Internet Trolls

Mean People Suck

A song for internet trolls called Thank You Hater! by Clever Pie and Isabel Fay. (HT to Gareth Michael-Skarka for the link.)

    Mood: Hah, hah, hah.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Hah, HAH!
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Hah.
    In My Ears: Hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah.
    Game Last Played: Samurai vs. Zombies
    Movie Last Viewed: Indiana Jones marathon
    Latest Artistic Project: A gold bead. Yep, I made a bead. And other assorted hilarity.
    Latest Release: “Don’t Ignore Your Dead” included in Don’t Read This Book for the Don’t Rest Your Head RPG

The Beast That Binds

Sephiroth Avatar

I’ve been blogging on-and-off about writing and publishing for a while now, but… as it turns out… I have some new things to say. So, there’ll be a few posts in between my usual craziness that’ll posture and ponder the current sad state of affairs.

And sad it is or can be. Change is uncomfortable in many reaches of this industry, from the newly published to veterans, from those who are still learning and those who teach. There are a million different scenarios depending upon what an author’s goals are and a billion more ways to get readers. BUT (and this is a big “but”) as varied as these situations are, the key difference between those who will make it and those who won’t are the authors who treat writing like a business.

I titled this post “the beast that binds” because, for anyone who wants to treat publishing like a hobby or a career, money is that terrifying creature. Publishing is a term that reflects a business process where an author produces a product with an intent to sell it to as many people as possible. Now, I know some of you may balk at the term “product” because a story is more than that. Sure it is and I’m of the mind that you have to have faith in art as ART in order to create whatever it is you do.

But here’s where I feel the problem lies — when an author stops believing that. How many times have I heard: “Oh, I can write better than ‘X’ who sold a zillion copies of books.” Or, “I can’t write as good as ‘X’ so if I pursue this I’m coming across as a pretentious jerk.” When you create a product to sell, you create YOUR product. You’ll never write just like Steven King because you’re not. Steven. King. Sure, go ahead and write better than [author of choice here]. But isn’t that subjective? Do you have as many rabid fans willing to pay money to buy your books? To fund your career?

It’s not glorious. It’s not pretty. Money is the cold, hard reality that gets in the way of just about anything we want to do. Anything. But here’s where a lot of authors differ. For some, money is everything. For others? Not so much. Those that are have a reputation of being a hack or a charlatan. Those who don’t? Fools. The question of when money factors into any author’s equation is a personal one, but I do know one thing: Yoda was right. Do or do not, there is no try.

Sometimes, that just means you have to keep trying.

    Mood: Pulp-y with a side of OJ
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: In recovery. (SERIOUSLY.)
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Walk.
    In My Ears: Screaming dust bunnies
    Game Last Played: Battle Nations
    Movie Last Viewed: Indiana Jones marathon
    Latest Artistic Project: A gold bead. Yep, I made a bead. And chainmaille. And…
    Latest Release: “Don’t Ignore Your Dead” included in Don’t Read This Book for the Don’t Rest Your Head RPG

Need Help Planning a Terrarium

Pictured above is Rimmon, also referred to as the kitty of dooooooom. Rimmon, and his brother Zakar (Both named after Mesopotamian gods, btw. Because really, aren’t there enough Fluffys and Marshmallows and Patches in the world?) are PLANT DESTRUCTORS. Doesn’t matter what the plant is — dead or alive, spicy or not — they will eat and/or smash, rip, and tear it into oblivion. I’ve tried well, almost everything, including the soil-less plants, too. (I’m about to try those again, though, and may have to resort to this thing called “iron” to guard the darn thing.

Pictured at right, is what I just bought. (Habitat Design, by the way, is pretty tremendous. A little on the pricey side, but I really like a lot of their art pieces. I wound up getting the terrarium from Fab.com over a month ago, and Habitat Design is the only place I found where it’s currently available.)

ANYHOO… Now that I have said fortress of plants, I need to figure out what kind of plants to put in it. My thumbs, they are not green.

Wanna help? *gives readers doe eyes*

    Mood: The future is SO bright I have to wear shades.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Why bother measuring?
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: I was… lazy. *sob*
    In My Ears: 1000 Words by Noriko Matsueda and Takahito Eguchi
    Game Last Played: Samurai vs. Zombies
    Movie Last Viewed: Indiana Jones marathon
    Latest Artistic Project: A gold bead. Yep, I made a bead.
    Latest Release: “Don’t Ignore Your Dead” included in Don’t Read This Book for the Don’t Rest Your Head RPG

Joy through Cutting

The Tick Weapons Lab Avatar

Bradbury’s death yesterday affected me on a deep level that is hard to put into words. His work resonated with me through both educational aspects and what I know to be excellent writing; great characterization, social commentary with preaching, and word conservation. The news of his passing is like a telescope into my past, a reminder of what matters, and an example of what ripples effect Work has on people. In this case, the public. In your case or mine — who knows?

But there is something to be said for his commentary about joy in writing, how he never “worked” because he loved it so, so much. Brainpickings.org (a site I highly recommend by the way) chose some really great Bradbury quotes. This line in particular is a gem: “The joy of writing has propelled me from day to day and year to year.”

So how do we get to joy? For me, it’s by cutting, because when I’m unhappy with my work I know it’s not anyone else’s fault but mine. Some of these things I have to manage and sometimes it does takes a week or two to snap out of it. I’m pretty good about righting myself back to center. Believe me when I say that none of the bullshit matters. More than anyone, for reasons I cannot say publicly, I know that there is nothing more important to one’s own creativity as the UNCONDITIONAL LOVE of Self — wherever you can find it. I get that through the freedom of DO and CHOICE.

To be free, to truly find “the” purest connection to my Work, I have found the following to be very (wholly) diseased:

* Talking more about writing than actually writing

* Being jealous of other writers

* Not having the proper equipment/time to write

* Wasting time on negative energy, toxic people, or self-doubt

* Worrying about the state of the publishing industry

* Internet Popularity

* Worrying about what other authors think

* Unnatural stress over bad reviews

* Not having a support group

* Writing as a pyramid scheme

* Putting your future as a writer into someone else’s hands. (YOU CAN ALWAYS WRITE, YOU JUST MAY NOT EARN THE MONEY YOU NEED WHEN YOU NEED IT.)

* Believing that an editor or publisher is “out to get” writers

* Not paying attention to contract details

* Engaging in writer’s avoidance behavior

* Thinking that “because So and So said X about writing” it’s true and applicable to your own Work

* Writer’s Platform (The Work MUST come before the Marketing)

* The belief that one’s own Work as a Speshul Snoflake or Precious Baby-Jesus-Child

* The laughable idea that no other writer shares your fears or insecurity about your own Work (Trust me, babycakes, they do.)

Other faux beliefs include that:

* you’ll never be as good as “X,” that you can write better than “X,” or that you have to write like “X” <--BE YOU. * you have control over your own mortality * you have Time to waste, or wait * making money off the Work makes you a bad Writer because we have to SUFFER for our ART (Otherwise it's not really Art) * because "X" was successful writing about [genre, character, topic, etc.] you can easily replicate that success * you DON'T HAVE TO READ * you have to get paid a certain rate to be concerned a real writer. (Pro writers get paid, folks. That’s really the only thing that matters.)

* you DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO LEARN

* writing about advice on how-to-write makes you a good writer

* being a douche bag won’t come back and haunt you

* there is no such thing as an -ism (sexism, racism, etc.)

* you have to have a specific writing environment

* you have the authority to look down at anyone else because YOU are CTHULHU’S GIFT to WRITING

* there is only one way to write

* your career is a linear progression of success and fame based on age or experience

* you’ll ever be popular or rich as an author

* YOU HAVE LIMITATIONS.

Tabula Rasa.

    Mood: Watery. Very… watery.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I’ll say enough when it’s actually enough. And it’s not.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Housework. UGH UGH UGH.
    In My Ears: A fan. Because it’s going to be hot. And I’d rather be cool than hip.
    Game Last Played: Battle Nations
    Movie Last Viewed: Indiana Jones marathon
    Latest Artistic Project: A gold bead. Yep, I made a bead.
    Latest Release: “Don’t Ignore Your Dead” included in Don’t Read This Book for the Don’t Rest Your Head RPG

Readers! Ask Your Questions about My Vampires for New Hero Launch

The New Hero


I am excited to announce that the New Hero anthology from Stone Skin Press will debut on June 20th.

To celebrate the release of New Hero, edited by Robin Laws, I’ll be participating in a online blog festivale of literary goodness on June 20th. I’ve hinted that my vampires are different from those you might have read about before. You may have also seen an image of him on the New Hero cover illustrated by Gene Ha.

Now, I hand the reins over to you. Help me come up with questions or topics to promote the launch of this anthology! What do you want to know about “Fangs and Formaldehyde?” Me? The writing/editing process?

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