Friday, August 26, 2011

Flood Zone!

It turns out I live in a flood zone. My wife and I went to visit my mother.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Light blogging and fifty percent chance of showers

I haven't gone on another one of my long hiatuses yet. I'm doing a critique for Deadly Prose. The manuscript is fun, and I hope it does well in the publishing jungle.

Meanwhile, I may have some exciting news soon, but I don't want to say for sure until the details are finalized.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Susan R. Mills has started blogging again at A Walk in My Shoes, One Step at a Time!

I learned a lot from her blog, and even from the long period when she stopped blogging. I shouldn't read too much into that, since I've done the same thing, but I will anyway.

For a long time she posted three times a week. Every post was well thought out, and about something all writers should be interested in, except when she talked about her personal triumphs and those of her friends. She always found an appropriate picture of shoes which was related to her post. And she did all this in addition to her regular writing, rewriting, and other forms of online networking. How did she do all this without burning out? Well, she sold her children on e-bay.

Actually, I think she did burn out, at least partially, although I can't say for sure how much writing she got done while she wasn't blogging. Building a platform is important, but you have to pace yourself.

Look at Marcy of Mainwords. She has lots of great content, and she's teamed up with another blogger to critique the first page of a different author's manuscript each month. She gives herself a little break sometimes though:

Under the category of 'whatever' she says:

"when I get published...
I am so going to get me a new washer/dryer unit. One that doesn't make that horrific high pitched, grating, whining noise that mine does when I first start it up (I'm thinking belt. You?). And when it's done drying? There will be NO annoying buzzer that shoots through my skull like a laser. Like I really need a buzzer to tell me my stuff is done drying. Hello? The dryer stopped. I got the clue. Thanks."

Of course there's an art to that too. You make it personal but not too personal, knowing what not to say. People who like your writing voice enjoy these posts too.

So Susan, if you feel like you're pushing too hard, just post a picture of a single shoe. Accumulate a bunch of pictures of sexy shoes with legs in them, and nobody will mind if they're not related to your posts. And dry humor is good, but sometimes dryer humor is even better.

Of course they both have a lot more real and regular content than I do, but I think we can ignore that, or at least I can.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Am I too cheap to buy something intangible?

Apparently not. I've been known to subscribe to monthly online services. And even pay my electric, cable, and phone bills, or at least let my wife do so! And yes, I've gotten to the point where buying a book for three dollars or less to read on my iPad kindle app is preferable to going to the library when I don't happen to feel like it, especially when I see the e-book on Amazon and haven't checked my library yet. I feel bad for the librarians though. I hope nobody gets laid off because I'm paying less in fines.

Of course your big six mainstream publishers want you to pay ten dollars or more for many e-books, rarely less than four. Thus my financial support for indy and self publishers. While I would still love to have an agent and a major publisher, for the first time publishing on Amazon aka Konrath seems better than a desperate last resort to me, because I can imagine I might buy my own book if I were someone else, provided I price it at three dollars.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

You can't read the whole library!

So, if you like the library, you have more good books than you can possibly read, right? Sort of. I like science fiction, a rather small section of the library. Plus, I'm rather picky. If I read the jacket cover and the first couple of pages, and they don't hook me, there still may be a chance I'll enjoy it, but ordinarily I won't go on to find out. Life is short.

Of course you can get books through interlibrary loan, of go to libraries other than your local one. We're getting less and less convenient now, and in the former case you can't read the first page either, unless you visit Amazon.

Also, old library books may be dirty, or smell funny. It never used to bother me.

I gather it's not too hard to get books not from Amazon onto my Kindle, but so far I'm too lazy to fiddle with it. Any e-book three dollars or less is worthwhile for avoiding hassle and indulging impulse gratification, I've come to feel. It's convenient to be able to carry around several books easily, in case I lose interest in one. And my iPad is it's own book light, convenient for reading in bed next to my wife with the lights out. I know they have book lights for that with clips, but they will probably work better if I have an extra hand grafted on.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I pad into iPadland?

When I first got my iPad, one of the first apps I downloaded was the kindle reader. Many Amazon e-books are free, more than you could read. Amazon has set up a 'most downloaded' list for the free books, if you get tired of browsing a sea of mediocre free uploads. It doesn't help as much as you would think, most of the books in the top 100 aren't something I would read.

Why buy a book when you can get it in the library for free? And paper books have many advantages. They aren't so expensive when you lose them or they get stolen. You don't have to recharge the batteries. And because paper books in bookstores and libraries are mostly by major publishers with many people involved, most of the absolute dross gets filtered out.

So tomorrow I'll explain some of the reasons I'm using my kindle app more and more.