Archive | February, 2020

How about we support one another?

15 Feb

So there’s a publisher I’m not at all affiliated with who, on her blog really likes to remind us how superior she and her publishing house is. You can guess by my tone how impressed I *really* am.

Read as sour grapes if you desire.

I like to read what other people in the industry have to say, but I don’t like the drama so I try to stay out of it. Recently, this publisher complained and stated many prospective writers are ‘lazy’ and we shouldn’t expect publishers to teach us how to write.

Well, no Sh*t, most publishers send back a form rejection and most common little ticky box after “doesn’t do it for me” is some variation of “learn to edit”. If I ever find my Binder O Rejection, I might blank some info out and you can see what I mean, but I’m still unpacking. (Literally; figuratively unpacking might make for scarier reading than Dreams of Mariposa). No, short of someone with a legit email saying effectively, “Bahahaha… we’re cool, post the whole thing” I won’t tell you who did what. Professionalism, I dunno.

I had no idea how bad a writer I was at sixteen and seventeen. Actually, I knew it wasn’t great but I was also deemed a talented artist (drawing and oil painting; I still am terrible at sculpting), although my fundamental understanding of anatomy was based on the posters in the weight room.  I knew but the depths of my understanding of my suck was limited.

I got more praise for being creative as opposed to technical. I still tried. Not saying the internet wasn’t a thing when I was in junior high and high school – it was, but it was still kind of a thing for rich kids. I learned to write, sentence by sentence, going to writing classes, mostly working on that series I finished in high school but decided to work on single, stand alones before a dropped a 5 book series on someone’s desk. I could go on about being the adorable science fiction and fantasy writer go getting in a room full of older, literary types, but that’s another topic altogether. The short answer is, although genre fiction may embrace tropes literature besmirches, prose is prose. Not saying certain genres are more likely to be experimental than others, but my sentences don’t magically become run-ons because I switched from Westerns to Thrillers.

Now, getting those early rejection letters are hard, but I know why I got them: I didn’t know what I was doing. I could be here forever thanking the people who were willing to hurt my precious feelings to teach me how to improve. Not just in writing, but in art, sports, you name it. You could call me a lot of things: a hack, a silly little girl, someone goofing off into escapism. Lazy wasn’t one of them.

There were some amazing writers and editors who tolerated my less than brilliance. What I distinctly remember are the assholes. Like, instructors and editors angry that a teenager was taking a class, that I’m here to write ~romance~ or whatever, and could I just kindly shut up? I mean, blame sexism if you want but half of them were women. Now, submitting to a publisher is non visual, and they had every right to judge me based on the work I produced. But when go to pitch sessions in person, and you get sized up and written off before they look at you, let’s just say, 30-something me is not impressed with how they handled barely 20’s me.

Call me stupid. Call me wasting my time. Don’t call me lazy when I switched a shift and have to leave early to catch a bus to go make that tip money to afford the next class. Don’t call me lazy when I’m working multiple jobs and a student, taking what classes I can and self-teaching the rest.

If someone’s willing to be butt in chair, hashing out even a short novel, I don’t think that’s laziness, even if they don’t understand what makes for good prose.  I can’t speak for everyone that’s excited and they sent it off before it had a chance to breathe and be refined. It’s like, being proud off a piece of linear art before you know the proper anatomy. You fake it, you fool most people, and you and your art teacher smile because you have no concept of where biceps inserts, and it’s hilarious now after I don’t even know how many anatomy and kinesiology classes.

It’s nice to have access to and ability to improve your life, and I am not going to besmirch anyone for having access to more resources than others. There was a time when I didn’t know as much as I do now, and if I continue an attitude of life long learning, I’ll look back to now and acknowledge many things I was yet a novice. As a reader though, who likes reading local authors, indie books, small presses; I’d rather read a rough book with heart and character than a perfectly polished editor’s dream devoid of soul. Also, if I know someone’s a jerk, I’ll find a way to read it for free, if I read it at all. Personally, I’d rather ‘bad’ material fade into obscurity as opposed to discussing it.

That isn’t to say I won’t be criticize, and I will probably hold you to the same standard as the author who had ample resources – just because I’ve never been to Ireland or Wales is no excuse for me to not have done my research in Tower of Obsidian. I’m saying not everyone who’s learning how to skate is going to make pro, or even get a scholarship.  I know it’s weird to compare writing books to athleticism, but a big part of athleticism is being a better athlete than you were before, and helping others succeed, nay, if coaching, surpass you at your peak. Sports are character building, and we all agree what poor sportsmanship looks like.

So be nice to your waitress, they may one day decide what size IV needle you get.


Back to Work

9 Feb

Went back to work last Monday, which coincided with the Launch Date of Dreams of Mariposa. There will be a Book Tour starting March 2, 2020. If you or anyone you know is up for participating, please go and sign up.

Didn’t go anywhere, that wasn’t to say I wasn’t tempted to hop in my car and boot it someplace, but between the pets and a family member being injured, it was kind of important for me to be hanging around. I might be able to go for a trip in April, but the other person has a few things in limbo, so it’ll be last minute and impromptu – kinda like my last vacation last year.

Wrote, edited, quite a bit; goofed off with oils and water colors less than I wanted – nothing to show, because I’m not particularly proud of anything but I am starting to remember the stuff I used to know. I was drawing more consistently, so my art’s generally improved but I’m leaning more towards ‘I product less crap more consistently’.

Writing wise, I gave myself a bunch of goals for different projects, only one of which I hit, with Rogue Healer 3 at this point at about 63-65 K (I cut out a large segment, I’ll probably use slivers of it as a flashback but I’ll figure that out later) but I did get quite a bit done on the novella, which was nice but it’s still kind of percolating and I’m in no rush to deal with it. My goal is to do a rewrite of a novel and send it of to the publisher in March; it’s one of the earliest novels I’ve ever written, I think it’s salvageable.

Fitness wise, I broke my exercise bike last week, but it looks like a piece that can easily be fixed. I was mostly consistent, but like I said, it was kind of important I was around for a family related issue, so I’m not gonna beat myself up for not being 100% on target. The Achilles tendon on the right foot is still acting up a little bit, but I find if you focus on what you can’t do you’re miserable, and there was plenty I could do, so I focused on that. Lots of weight lifting and swimming.

So here’s some February Goals:

Water Color a Few Covers for Shorts (which I *think* I’ve got the code done for). I can make some really lousy covers in paintshop, might as well learn to paint and make some basic covers.

Get Garnet and Silver: A Faerie Tale ebook formatted. Honestly I’m probably gonna have to bite off and hire someone once I’m convinced it’s good. I’m not worried about messing up a little code for a short, but, a novel? That’s just annoying.

Ink Map. I’m one of those people who whine they never get good at inking, and then go months upon months without inking. Considering we’re supposed to launch Witchslayer’s Scion in April, I better get on that.

Rogue Healer 3 to 90k. This is doable. I’m only doing 1.5k a day and I’m on track. I could go faster, but I have other things that need to be done.

Chimera Rough: Percolate! Brain, do your thing! I find doing things non-writing related help; mostly mindless things like swimming laps and hiking. Honestly though, I’m going to hit a hump with Rogue Healer 3 (very similar hump with the novella, TBH) typically, the way to beat one hump is to hit another hump.  While I’m at it, finish that novella.


So the first week of February’s done but we get a bonus day. Doable, right?