Writer Transforms?

Lately, there was an upsurge in the blogging, because there are 2 or 3 places where I started trying to blog.  The cycles by which they are processed are not all the same.  Then, there were some more good experiences and some bad experiences which happened around the same time.

A few months ago I read a great article posted online by someone else who described a common process for professional writers.  He wrote that personal development and professional development actually go hand in hand.  Many writers noticed this – whether it is the down side of being confronted by a personal shortcoming or area where more personal growth is needed or the upside of learning new tasks and exploring new terrain.

Recently, the combined effect of good and bad aspects of the same situation has really reminded me of this.  Hopefully I will ‘break on through to the other side’ [yes, I mean like the old Doors song more than cemetaries or Bau Haus’s Bela Lugosi’s Dead…FYI: Bau Haus actually accepted female and male students, which was a big improvement for women, but because they did they were swamped with applicants beyond what they could accomodate.]  If so, then, there may be hope of getting writing contracts for books with major publishers and actual advances.

Writing is one of the professions where it is said, “Unless you really are one; don’t do it.”  This is based on the idea of a profession being ‘one’s calling’ and is a reference of how competitive it is.  A toddler just screamed in the background.  The difference between not having children and being a mother [Nannies are different, they may know anyway] is realizing that the child does need to be taken seriously but might have screamed because the 25 -30 old man father with him tried to get him to use a utensil to eat his food, or may have denied him a something or tried to take away his beverage container.  It is true, that some of what parents and babies put up with is fair and it is also true that when one is 25 no one sane and reasonable acts like it is OK for someone to force your drinking cup out of your hands but at the same time, adults do still act like: if you’re in the office where no drinks are allowed then don’t drink there, you know?  Perspective.  With me it is about changing in such a way that I become comfortable with the query-book-proposal-contract set of procedures.  20 years after first writing a novel length manuscript and I feel like I still react to it as if someone has taken the baby’s teddy bear at the wrong time.

Another Demon of the 21st century unearthed!

Writer beware!!  Here is a real demon for the beginning author.  Authors Den advertises itself as a great place for new writers and then pays for the ‘free site for authors’ by linking the person to a store that does not even carry the beginning author’s book!  Demonic, in no uncertain terms, for undermining sales and all efforts at real success!
I found this today!  This only works for the big people who have been able to get their work picked up by a major publishing house and can drop another few grand on advertising as if it were just instead of spending the extra money on a jacuzzi.

I feel horrible!  Small press and Kindle author with PRT – that’s Pre-Release [as in book release] tension.

Foreign Living – not all the same: Middle Age? – who, me?

Life in Germany or midde age?  In truth, I can remember back to many years where I felt I did not even normally need to worry about ‘social exclusion’ because I ‘never was in, nor was I in any immediate risk of’ being severely socially isolated.  Since moving to Germany at age 42, I have spent more time ‘by myself’ than I have during all of my life up to 2010.  Luckily, I am not alone all the time, and I have always felt that I have needed about 4 hours per 24 hour time period ‘on my own’ or ‘by myself’.  There have been years when it was hard to get that much time-space.  Since moving to Germany, I have really had the opposite problem.

Now, there are also age related issues.  Most middle aged and older people found that it became more challenging for some reason, once more mature to be socially included as often and as easily as one wishes.  However, part of that is an illusion.  Much of the inclusion that occurs during youth has to do with being given no choice and relying on social systems which seem natural to a child but really are manmade social structures that are anything but spontaneous to adults.  I think part of ‘the issue’ are the emotions associated with that change in awareness.  As many women have said for a century: “I might like to get a job just to be socially included.”  Some kids might say, “You mean I only met people because I went to school?”  Everyone learns to socialize.

Part of what gives me hope also makes the situation somewhat mentally painful whenever I have had a tough time socially.  Many times in my life, at various ages, I had no problem socializing at all.  I made my first friend outside the family as a 2 year old, you know…I am not socially devoid of normal skills.  I don’t expect everyone and their Aunt Martha to like me, although it would be OK if they do…Last time I checked I had committed any serious felonies or anything like that that typically brands people as ‘to be avoided’.  It is definitely true that only speaking the native language somewhat makes it way harder.  It is also true that all the extroverts can clap their hands together and say: See, another introvert rots in a self created Hell!  because I haven’t socialized so much that I feel like a whore even though I didn’t have sex or even snog.  I am not an extreme introvert at all, but have had the lifestyle of one for …this is the 3rd year of this actually.  There has been some relief, people who have kept in touch notice that I’m actually still whining about 1) not having a boyfriend or new husband, 2) social challenges and 3) I probably want more money.  Luckily, my first language is the 2nd language most spoken around here, making it easier.

In truth, I only lived ‘by myself’ for 4 months once before the age of 37 years of age and quite frankly I had intended to not ever live alone.  Luckily, since my son does live with me 50% of the time [half custody deal] it isn’t ‘just me’ all the time, but the idea was that there would be at least 3 of us living together and 2 would be adults and not someone else who I have given birth to, maybe a husband even though that is “traditional and not the way I grew up”.

Living as a foreigner is a bit odd, in itself.  It is sort of fun.  It is sort of just hard and a drag.  However, in this case, if it weren’t for the fact that my son isn’t really a foreigner in this country, we wouldn’t be living here.  Germany is quite all right in many ways.  I am not surprised that in some ways I like it and in other ways I really don’t.  Some of it actually is the social nature of the nation.  However, a bit of it is the town and a bit of it probably is ‘me’ and the rest of it is just…I don’t know.  I think there is ‘what I need to be happy here’ but the trouble is that I am not accessing it all properly so that I am still seeking to return to a condition where being happy is my standard of normal.  Fortunately, I think ‘the worst’ has passed and I am a bit less miserable but mostly I just stopped complaining after the first year even though it only got slightly better since then so far.  My son has heard me whine  more than everyone else.

Unlike other periods of my life in which I ended up lonely for way too long or much too mentally and emotionally painfully – it usually followed having been jilted by someone I had agreed to stay attached to for decades…only to get dumped soon thereafter anyways…Not exactly happily ever after there…fortunately they came to an end…up until the difficulty of the years in Germany the worst had only lasted 12 months or fewer before…and solutions ranged from a sibling or a boy or girl who lived next door playing with me for an hour or two to a romance lasting years and friendships some lasting days, some months others years…Unlike back then, however, while living in Germany I have spent more time online by far than I ever had before in my life.  Sometimes I think it is a lame excuse for trying to have any semblance of a social life long distance and other times I feel as though it works.  A few contacts are even also local – which is more how the young people use it, I have heard…but it made it so that I have seen and heard at least now and then little snippets about people who I have known during other phases of my life…including people who I had thought cared so much that I have to be able to include them in order to have a real wedding rather than an elopement style of wedding – I have only had the elopement style so far…but when one finds one’s old friends and gets the impression that they aren’t glad and haven’t cared much for more than ten years one has to question why I had felt I would have needed their presence to have a ‘real as in standard’ wedding service versus a ‘real but elopement style’ wedding service.  Creepy.

Miriamspia's Blog

http://angiesdiary.com/publishing/which-market-should-i-write-for/  I recommend people cut and paste that one and read it.  It was simultaneously depressing and inspiring which I have also noticed is often the case with a lot of the rock n roll music we get nowadays.  Sometimes real life is the same way.

One reality that came up was how in creating artwork sometimes what is one’s personal favorite is not the same as one’s most popular work.  Now, as an author, I don’t know yet, because I am still in PRT – Pre book release tension.  The author who’s work is in the article has written fantasy goblin stories even for adults and even though it wasn’t just a session of Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition, in which goblins often figure as important enemies of all that is civilized and human.  In 1st edition D&D they seem to have been devised purely to justify human aggression…

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How to position one’s work – how to find the readers

http://angiesdiary.com/publishing/which-market-should-i-write-for/  I recommend people cut and paste that one and read it.  It was simultaneously depressing and inspiring which I have also noticed is often the case with a lot of the rock n roll music we get nowadays.  Sometimes real life is the same way.

One reality that came up was how in creating artwork sometimes what is one’s personal favorite is not the same as one’s most popular work.  Now, as an author, I don’t know yet, because I am still in PRT – Pre book release tension.  The author who’s work is in the article has written fantasy goblin stories even for adults and even though it wasn’t just a session of Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition, in which goblins often figure as important enemies of all that is civilized and human.  In 1st edition D&D they seem to have been devised purely to justify human aggression, especially by ‘the good’ rather like saying that robbers only exist so that cops can have them to go after.

However, I have also made some paintings, nothing like Teri Barnett or Luna Estelle – as they are called on Facebook, but even my son doesn’t prefer my favorite of my own paintings.  I find it odd to accept the reality that my favorites could end up however popular and some of my work that I don’t even think is very good could end up being super popular.  “Funny how life is, isn’t it?”

This is also yet another case of:  “It’s not just me.”  Things like this have happened to other creative people.

Right now I feel like I want to write for readers but the issue of communicating with both readers and other writers can at times become confusing …I read a blog about this.  Someone figured out how to take on even more work in order to blend the two together.  It made sense but did not strike me as appealing to do but that the results could be good.

Truth be told right now what I have to offer as far as completed manuscripts is rather diverse but ever since I found about Nancy Holzner Conner writing a Home Buyer’s Guide as well as series of urban post apcolyptic zombie fiction I felt..well, given perspective.  Right now there is an urban novel about fictional crime where there is a team solving the problem rather than just one sleuth – in that respect it is more like a TV show script except that it is a novel…but it is contemporary and based so near to real life that people who like ‘real life’ will probably like it.  Then there is an actual nonfiction little philosophy book coming out for people who really want to relate to real life with depth but who also like to take the bull by the horns so to speak and to get on with the business of living.  Beyond that there are some short stories and one is leading a humble existence as part of an anthology to raise money for a children’s hospital.  All of these titles can be found at Uranian Fiction and elsewhere.

An Adventure in Indianapolis is currently available to Kindle owners as an ebook and those who want hard copies are welcome to place pre-orders with Alethia Publishing.  The more they know you want it, the better it is.  As a heads up: they are now truly different versions of the same book as Alethia provided another edit of this contemporary urban novel.

One of the great truths of real friendships and books is that readers can get into the minds of others.  People also like a good action story.  An Adventure in Indianapolis has a flexibility towards this which resembles real life.  There is leg work, and brain work and team work and individual activity involved.  The novel follows all of these and major endeavors towards the plot are brought back together by team meetings which so many adults with work experience are familiar with.

Terrifying yet again

Those of you who read this blog are aware that there has been some yard work recently.  Today, one of the neighborhood cats curled up in a location created recently – reformed recently, by the yard work.  Once again, I went out there, and tried to be friendly.  I got a ‘weird vibe’ and slowed way down.  The cat looked at me – noticing me noticing it noticing me noticing it.  My intentions were typical: I wanted to pet it and get to know it a little better if it would let me.  Instead it reacted to me the way a lot of men who are not really hostile but are really horny and friendly get reacted to by women in bars.  It glared at me and then took off, as it were escaping a real creep or at least a real danger.

Even the most innocent of humans will sometimes get this kind of reaction…it also sometimes happens to nice men who aren’t even trying to just laid but women still react to them as if that is what it is…the reason of course, is because of how often that is what it is but for some reason women can’t always sense motives with total clarity.  Maybe, I’m reading too little or too much into it; maybe the cat just didn’t want to be petted by me when it doesn’t know me that well but was content to curl up in a little corner of my present territory.
Speaking of territory, one of the new German neighbors set a jacket on something in my area of back yard and I reacted to it very intensely; I almost felt slightly sick because when I thought it through I realized it was probably not anything to worry about but I felt encroached upon and like ‘who the H is that guy and didn’t his mother teach him about proper boundaries?’ and thoughts and emotions like that.  I could have just mentioned it but as it seemed pretty safe and OK when I thought it through I just rode out the emotional wave and let it go.  I’m sure you all know what I mean, when you realize you may be over – reacting.  Sometimes we find that we were not over reacting at all, but other times we have.
Speaking yet again of territory:  In Indianapolis, the I465 is the highway loop around the city and nearest suburbs.  This region has been kept clean from certain types of criminal activity at least most of the time.  In An Adventure in Indianapolis, some local villains have an idea which would encroach on this specially gaurded turf….by imposing a meth lab into the city.  Naturally, the Sheriff is not the only one who is against this.  Frustrated that he has some idea of who is guilty but unable to take action, he turns to the Mayor.  The new Mayor quickly learns that unelected, lesser known but reliable office staff who have worked there for decades know just what to do.

For everyone who loves ‘everyday heroes’ and urban fiction, this story brings together mental activity and foot work in a create tale of how teamwork solves a crime.  Intended to please a broad audience, rather than a niche genre, An Adventure in Indianapolis offers another look into the Circle City.

Whose Fault Is It If Your Book Doesn’t Sell?

Whose Fault Is It If Your Book Doesn’t Sell?.  This is one of those truths that seems to ‘hit me’ in more than one way.  Like everyone else, I realize that a bit of extroversion, meeting and mingling with people and spreading the word and seeing what is around by seeing what is around are all good ways to find new items and also to spread the news about my own work.

It is also true, that like so many of you, I was given very double messages about sales and marketing.  I was told that advertising and marketing are crucial but that they are the hand maidens of the Anti Christ and that only minions of Hell work in sales.

As an author with a couple of books getting ready to hit the market, this made it so that I really had to “run the gauntlet” so to speak about ideologies, ethical factors, and question the lessons my parents taught me.

The reality as I see it after careful and somewhat thorough examination is that:  there are realities about sales which are more like your neighbors friendly dog or fuzzy the bunny than like demons from the 8th abyssal layer of Hell.  When motivated purely by greed or when hating the project – there are the demons.  The main problem is really that many of us have some fear of the leg work involved and might be a bit shy.  Also, as consumers and customers: we love it when we get what we need, want and find items we really like.  We also tend to hate it when we are about to bathe or watch our favorite show and some punk sales person shows up trying to get us to buy something we don’t want…and then we teach the working sales person what demons are really like by treating the person as if what s/he has done by coming to our door this way is worse than if s/he had just gone and committed armed robbery or prostitution rather than interupt our daily routine marketing bookmarks or ice cube trays or something.

As far as I can tell, that’s what it’s really like.

Is it You or is it The Thing?

Everyone in life faces challenges.  One simple matter is to determine whether or not a problem is caused ‘by oneself’ or by something beyond one’s self.  In many cases each of learns as we grow to make this distinction.  Often enough, it is clear.  There are also cases when it is not.  When it is not clear, people can spend energy figuring out whether or not it is caused by the self or not.

In working life, one of the difficulties is confronting when a situation is one’s fault but the truth is not that pleasant.  Perhaps one has to put great effort into overcoming a certain limitation.  In my own case, many years of my life – mostly before age 35, I noticed that I could make it so that I would get details correct in many work environments as well as on tests, but that I tended to be much more high strung because it actually took a lot to make myself get certain types of tasks correct whereas there were many other tasks which came much more easily.  It is also true that people often have some strong negative emotional reactions to have to do something exceptionally unpleasant or difficult – sometimes even though that is needed.

It is also true that there are times when ‘the problem’ is actually not the self, but really is coming from the outside world or other people.  In such cases, it helps to know that and to at least release basic self-blame for circumstances beyond one’s own control.

Each of us has our own unique adventure through life, and that includes all the cases of ‘what is me, what is because of others?’ and through repeated checking we can find out more …and sometimes find out how to gain more power and control of some aspects of life and also to just let go over those cases where it isn’t us.

Early Autumn – yet again

For everyone who has lived a few years in a row, the seasonal changes come as less of a surprize.  Hard to believe, once one really knows, that in reality, if one doesn’t know what’s coming, the changes may be a real surprise.  Despite the standardization of spelling two centuries ago there remain some words which can be spelled in more than one way.  Most of the differences have been organized by nation, with England taking one version and the Americans using the other.  I cannot speak for the Australians or Canadians because I really don’t know about their cultures very much.

Right now, the reason for all kinds of frantic canning, and pickling and all kinds of behavior designed to save some of the over abundance of harvest season for other times of the year comes to mind.  Locally, and without being one of the farmers – I don’t even have a little garden going, this year I have had: fresh strawberries, fresh fig-like or prune-like fruit, and apples…so far.  There is more going on than that, but there you go.

It is weird that in February it can hard to even find anything edible around here and right now free fresh food is literally falling off the trees on so many levels…but either charming or just factual or disgusting that all the free fruit is reproductive material from the trees.  …Living off of horny fruit trees seems bizarre at best.

Ehh, a couple of days after saying yes to a real book contract, and getting a rejection on a bid for a paying serialized version of a long story …like so many of the other authors, I am considering how to deal with reality now.  Meanwhile, not wanting to waste my life, I have been out there today and some chickens and a cow noticed me noticing them noticing me.  I’m not sure what to think: I mean that would be enough for most people under 5 years old – just the event with the chickens, you know?  …Throw in a few toy blocks or something and its like wow, big day, or something.

Seasonal Change – Rating: Noticeable

This is completely different.  The truth has changed.  It is now dark before 9pm.  That doesn’t seem all that weird except that I have weird feeling, almost as if I am just imagining it, that relatively recently it was bright out for so long that I thought I might be losing my mind…not to worry; it isn’t like that anymore.  I feel really different.  Face palm – so do all of the plants so why be surprised that so do I?

Note to writers:  I finally figured out what happened.  When writers write in large volumes it is possible to start to skip entire words rather than only letters and not notice at the time, which seems totally insane to nonwriters but for those confronted with over 10,000 words weekly …for a few months on end, this becomes believable.

I felt way better about stuff like that once I heard Neil Gaiman admitting that after he has written it, sometimes the way his mind goes he doesn’t even know anymore – I mean some of the time, how much he wrote, or what it was called or maybe he does know it was called and that he did that one but has forgotten all about chapter 7 character X, until a fan brings it up at a live event by asking a question he can’t even answer…Or he can, but not until he puts the pieces together…Like D&D gamers remembering what happened in some of the character’s lives after a day at a job in real life.