All posts by Barb
Posted by Barb on 27/02/2017
Words of wisdom, writers on writing, something to keep your minds busy while I’m away! 🙂 Have a great Sunday!
Like Delilah Dawson said in this very inspiring series of tweets – there’s no top of the mountain when it comes to writing/publishing. Even if I write the bestselling-est of bestsellers, I’ll probably write another book after that, no matter what. The writing, for me, is something I have to get out and process and create. It’s going to happen anyway. I need to write. Would it be great to get billions of people to read my books? Hell yes. But those are the possible perks, not the targets.
Burnout is a kind of creative constipation. You get tired of doing it. The work feels only like work. Clarity seems impossible. The stress outweighs the joy.
You’ll hit it. You might hit it early in your career trying to get published. You might hit it in the middle of your career after all the business baggage has been slung over your shoulders. If you’re me, you might bump up against it again and again with the standard peaks and valleys of the authorial life. I periodically run parallel to burnout like someone running alongside the ocean — if I turn my head just so I can see the shark fins, I can see the rippling lines of a threatening undertow, I can see the SURLY OCTOPUSES OF ENNUI THREATENING TO ENROBE ME IN THEIR TENTACLES AND DROWN ME IN THE BUBBLING DEPTHS OF MY OWN LASSITUDE.
Question is, what do I do about the OCTOPUSES OF ENNUI?
As my nemesis Jaye points out, you’ve got options. Nab a new hobby. Take up yoga or meditation. I like photography, as you might see with my Macro Monday experiments. Take a walk. Take a vacation. Have an adventure. Vent frustrations with fellow writers (seriously, this can be a huge help). Punch a punching bag painted to look like the politician of your choice.
All of those are good at scraping some of the barnacles off.
Authors as a group tend to have a “don’t rock the boat” attitude. And with good reason; rock the boat, and the captain kicks you out.
But if you say nothing, nothing changes.
In this business, as in life, no one is going to just hand you anything. Because none of us deserve anything. You have to work hard, and fight for whatever you can get. Fighting for something when the outcome is uncertain is a scary thing. That’s the definition of bravery.
So many writers come to class with one question dominant in their mind. “How do I make a living from this?”… it saddens me that it so often overshadows the more relevant questions of “Why am I writing” and “What am I saying” and “How do I keep it honest.”
– Celine Kiernan
I really want writers to start thinking like long-term professionals. Learn copyright and don’t sell all your rights to a traditional publisher.
And don’t only sell your book in one store.
And have more than one or two products to sell.
You will be stunned at how small, seemingly below-notice cash streams can add up into larger numbers over time.
So today was fun for me, as I said at the top, because two new cash streams started up just today. Two in one day.
In my world, that’s a fun day. (grin)
Posted by Barb on 26/02/2017
Movies time. Caramel was on my to-watch list in 2007 when it came out, but eventually I decided to pass. Then I saw it at 3/5£ in London and saw it was from Nadine Labaki, so I bought it. Now, I personally don’t go to beauty salons or even wax myself (and certainly not with caramel, LOL!), but it was interesting to see the stories of those Lebanese women. I probably wouldn’t have liked it this much 10 years ago, but now it’s part of my World’s Movies collection.
I seem to favor female directors, although Nadine Labaki is the only one who also acts in her movies (at least in the two I’ve seen). I started in the 1990s with Mira Nair, then early 2000s with Nancy Meyers (whom I even saw at some screenwriting event and wanted to shake her hand for What Women Want, The Holiday and Something Gotta Give) and Gurinder Chadha (Bend it like Beckam, Bride and Prejudice), then 1970s daughters Zoya Akhtar (Luck by Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhadakne Do) and Nadine Labaki.
In March I have another Gurinder Chadha and another Mira Nair in the to-watch pile, along with other world’s movies (but I haven’t checked the directors of those). In the meantime I rewatched Where do we go now and I shall leave you with the neat song from this Lebanese-but-Bollywood-inspired movie. Have a great weekend! 🙂
Posted by Barb on 24/02/2017
And the reading month is over, phew! By the way, for the first time since I got it in 2011, Kindle Keyboard a.k.a. KK died on me in the middle of a story. Battery dead. I guess I intensively used it! 🙂 Now it’s all charged up again for the trip, when I hope to finish the novel I started in January and then move on to other things.
So this week I’m adding the second POV to the novella rejected by TOR. Hope to finish before I leave so I can take it with me and check the typos while I’m traveling. Also that the story flows, since I’m currently not really cycling. I’m simply adding scenes from notes that I took when I sent it out, so I’ll need to re-read it all in as few sittings as possible.
In March I’ll also make sure to fill the Worldcon 75 Programme Volunteer Form – as soon as I’m certain I can have that week off in August, that is. And maybe I’ll do some other online workshop, while writing the next book.
A couple of writerly links! Take the test to see if you have author potential! I don’t because I’m a writer, not an author, LOL! I think Authors are those One-Book-Wonder who are everywhere. But saving your docs outside the cloud and outside the PC is a good idea… I lost a novel to a floppy disk in the 1990s, so… always have more than one copy! 😉
And beware of the new scam of sensitivity readers (along with the other ones)! Me? If I write about something I don’t know, I ask an expert to check it. I certainly don’t pay anyone to tell me if it’s politically correct or not. There’s also the thing that this “censorship” goes mostly for YA and children, and I don’t write in those areas…
Fiction readers* often have to tell hard truths.
And we often piss people off.
And sometimes we miss getting something perfectly right.
And we get bad reviews because someone doesn’t agree with us.
If we write what we are passionate about, what we care about, what makes each of us happy, what other people think should never, ever matter.
Write your own story. Get it out to readers and write the next story.
Keep learning, keep having fun, and keep writing new stories.
You do that and trust me, none of these scams will even tempt you in the slightest.
*I think he means “writers”, but you get it, don’t you? Don’t waste money on scammers. Happy writing! 🙂
Posted by Barb on 22/02/2017
Posted by Barb on 20/02/2017
REDEMPTION – A Many Lives Standalone Story
“One of the best books I read this year. A tightly-woven tale of what it means to be redeemed by love ★★★★★” – Margo Bond Collins, NY Times bestselling author.
From New York Times bestselling author, Laxmi Hariharan, comes REDEMPTION the much anticipated next standalone story in the Many Lives Series. For fans of Nalini Singh and Christine Feehan. Experience a thrilling paranormal romance where shifters, vampires and immortals fight to save those they love.
Read REDEMPTION free in KU * 99c for limited only * here http://smarturl.it/RmptionLH
When differences threaten to tear fated mates apart
I submit to no one—not even him.
Not till I was taken
Now a terrible emptiness tears me apart. For,
Will I see him again?
I never needed anyone
Then I met her, a cage fighter, my shifter. Mine.
The one I must protect
Now I want her. In my life, in my blood.
Her, only her.
Reclusive designer Mikhail Anton blames wolf-shifters for his memory loss, refusing to accept the signs that he is immortal. On meeting Leana Iyeroy, a cage-fighter and shifter, Mikhail is drawn to her in ways he can’t identify. And when vampires threaten Leana, he must acknowledge his abilities to rescue her from certain death. They must team up to save their city– before their differences destroy everything they love.
Posted by Barb on 19/02/2017
Because I caught 3 on Facebook (the first, by Holland, and the last two mentioned here) and don’t know how to embed them in WordPress… I found a link to the first eight videos of European countries trolling the new US president. Add to these Finland and Slovakia and even Modor (which you LOTR fans can probably appreciate better than me) but you probably won’t find Italy. I don’t think they have enough sense of humor. But if you find it, please post it in the comments, thank you! 😉
Of those countries, I’ve seen Amsterdam in 1998, most of Switzerland (lived there 1973-1978), some of Germany. The Scandinavian countries are already on my “To visit” list, I’m not sure about Eastern Europe or Portugal. But I should really drag my ass to Belgium since it’s the other country of bandes dessinnées (Franco-Belgian)! 😉
Now I really look forward to going to Finland for the Worldcon! 😉 I better start looking for a hotel, and maybe book a couple of days in advance so I can have a look around. The other Worldcons had things to do before the actual convention, but they were in places I already knew.
And I think next year it’s in Dublin… no, wait, 2019 – Ireland, here I come! 😀 And I don’t even need to renew my passport… I think I’ll stick to this side of the pond until I’m back to full health. Besides, there are corners of Europe I haven’t visited yet… entire countries, actually… since I go always to the same! 😉
I still hope to get to Iceland for the Northern Lights – hopefully at the end of this year. I might even manage a small group from Italy, besides Techie Bro. A number of friends seem interested to come with us, yay! 😀 But next trip is to the US for a couple of weeks.
Then I better stay put, recover and organize my summer trip to Worldcon… Aging sucks! 😦 I’ll do more intercontinental trips next year or later… Have a great weekend! 🙂
Posted by Barb on 17/02/2017
So, it’s a reading month and I’m telling you that I look forward to going back to writing! 😉 I’m a slow reader and it tends to send me to sleep, so… I hope from next month to read a little less and write a lot more and maybe watch a movie or three, since my pile just went up again!
Tor rejected my novella (after almost 2 months) and I’m quite happy about it because I can order a cover to a wonderful artist () and add that second point of view I had in mind to turn it into a short novel… not to mention writing the sequel, so I already know what I’m writing in March! 😀
And a new title is out, Quests Volume 1 that contains the Path of Water and the Path of Air with cover by the awesome Shafali Anand. The paper version when I have more time to work on it, be patient, thank you! 🙂
I would also recommend to keep an eye on Mysterious Kemet – Book 1 by S.R. Anand (I wonder if they’re related? 😉 I’m sure we have the same cover artist!) which will go on my TBR pile as soon as I get home in March. I also hope to invite the author on this very blog then (I mean after I read the book)! 🙂
From a friend’s blog, a new series of how to… for indie authors! 🙂 So if you’re just starting up, you might check these – the posts will keep coming, I’m told! 🙂 How to claim your title on Amazon Author Central, how to add social media buttons on Goodreads, and so on…
Also, if you’re a bestseller, watch out, Amazon is making sure you are – not my case, but I’ve seeen plenty of “bestselling author” labels that made me wonder… I’m glad someone is checking that those labels are hard-earned and true! 😉
And a good article on how to seek help the right way. You might do like Indie Author 1 and ask the wrong question to the wrong person! 😉 I know Indie Author 2 and I heard his plea, which reminded me of my shelved historical – shelved because I don’t like the story anymore, not just because beta-readers didn’t think it fit the “historical novel” mold.
I also stopped looking for beta-readers unless I write something for the first time or something I’m unfamiliar with and want an “expert” to fact-check what I did. Or maybe I’ll ask the cover artist to read the whole thing. But for the Quests books, for example, I sent out to betas only book 2 and 3 (book 4 comes out next month and I sent it directly to the editor).
Why? Because in one case I had a young male’s POV and even if he isn’t really human, I still needed a male’s perspective. And about Book 3, I was afraid I had gone too fast in the second half, and thanks to faithful offline beta (*waves at B-Abby*) I managed to balance it.
A couple more writerly links: why persist as a writer in times of such heinous fuckery (by – you guessed it! – Chuck Wendig) and how to keep writing through times of great political upheaval (by Chuck’s guest Kameron Hurley). I’m not giving up, and look forward to get back to writing, but I’m tangled into reading this month! 😉
Have a great week… Happy writing! 🙂
Posted by Barb on 15/02/2017
Posted by Barb on 13/02/2017
Okay, I had time to watch a movie during the weekend, so I finally finished the box set my sister lent me in December. The last to watch was Elysium, which wasn’t bad, but again it sees a future with no middle class, while I still think we might be headed to a middle-class-only society. I know it doesn’t look like that but if you check that Quantum Run page, there is hope in the future! 😉
I’m going to quote a sci-fi author (from the Finnish Worldcon progress report):
I’m also confused by the fact that such a large part of recently written science fiction is very pessimistic. It worries me particularly that in SF aimed at children and young adults, dystopias have become the popular and most frequently published subgenre. I myself am naive enough to believe that we would feel better if we could read about a future that is worth living in. I’m also naive enough to believe that we currently have all the information we need to create such a future. Why, then, do so few science fiction writers nowadays describe this kind of alternative? This remains a mystery to me but it would be nice if more writers were to even give it a try.
– John-Henri Holmberg
I agree with him. Time to write more optimistic futures! Even if the present is so bleak. Last week I was asked which sci-fi worlds I like to escape to, and since I’m old, I gave original Star Wars trilogy, original Star Trek and original Battlestar Galactica… and then this week I learned that Richard Hatch is gone too.
So I’m posting his autographed photo from Torino Comics 2012 when I was very busy being Happy Fangirl Barb with Terry Moore, but also got to meet him. In case you’re a newcomer, you can read all about that here. I hadn’t posted the photo back then, so here it is now.
Anyway, it is well-known that I don’t watch TV anymore. Apparently da Muse went to the Italian TV for his next movie (coming out today in the US, next week in the UK) but I didn’t see him either (but then, I didn’t even see him when he came to Rome to shoot some scenes last year, LOL!).
Hope this weekend to watch another movie, if not, well… March! 🙂 Have a great weekend!
Posted by Barb on 10/02/2017