Sunday, June 26, 2011

Radio silence

Rather than have people think I stepped down a manhole and disappeared, let me post very quickly and very obscurely. One of my close family members has had a mild stroke and is in the hospital. I've been staying with her. I'll probably not be posting here for a while since I don't have internet access in the hospital and I need to be available pretty much 24/7 for her at the moment. Other family members spell me occasionally while I run home and shower, change, wash clothes, and so forth.

I do have a couple of spiral notebooks with me. In the evenings after she's settled down for bed but before the light from the windows fades, I write write write write write. It helps keep me centered.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Priming the pump

I got an idea for a new book on the way home from work. I think it'll be fun to write when I get around to it, but it's not ready to write yet. I have an idea, not a story--certainly nothing resembling a plot.

By the time I got home, though, I had worked out the main character's problems and how he's going to attempt to solve them. So I sat down and wrote 1,500 words. Now I'll set it aside for a few months or maybe even a few years while my subconscious works on the story and I finish other projects.

So why did I write those 1,500 words if I don't plan to continue right away? I do this a lot and it has several purposes. The main one is just to remind myself about the idea in case I forget. Also, gets my brain thinking about possibilities. And when I do come back to it, I have something to build on.

I'll probably throw out everything I've just written. But that's okay, it's just an idea.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thought for the day. Er, week.

As my use of Twitter goes up, my blogging goes down. Or maybe I've just run out of things to say that take more than 140 characters. That would explain why I haven't written any short stories for so long.

Still not finished with Bloodhound. As I recall, I had the same problem with Bell-Men when I was writing it, only I rushed the ending and had to rewrite it later. I will not rush the ending this time.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Proud member of the non-sequiter society

I'm thinking today might be some kind of official catch-up day for agents. I had two responses to queries I sent so long ago I couldn't even figure out which book one of them was about. They were both form rejections, not much to my surprise.

I've got a bad headache (although not as bad as it was, since I took some aspirin about two hours ago) and as a result I can't concentrate on anything more difficult than this Edward Eager book (Magic by the Lake, not one of his best). I'd planned to finish work on my novella edits--I swear I've put more hours into the edits than I put into the original writing--but I can't do it tonight. I'll have to finish tomorrow after I get home from work.

I'm wondering if it would be foolish of me to take a walk downtown, where I could buy a Nutty Buddy ice cream cone. I think a Nutty Buddy would help my headache. No, dammit, it's after eight and the store's closed. Dammit.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I now have a contract and a set of edits to work on. In fact, I've been concentrating on the edits all day and I'm only halfway done. I shouldn't have been so hasty with my email.

I've decided to name my self-publishing "company" Rain Daisy Books. Rain Daisy is the name I picked out years ago for my farm, when (and if) I can one day afford some land. What do you think?

And for those of you who are curious, it looks as though we've decided on Blood and Ashes as the new title for Blood and Taxes. Thanks, Cate, for your comment that helped me come up with that title!

I bought three paperback books yesterday. I need more hours in the day so I can read more and still get all my other stuff done.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Help with titles

I'm so bad at titles. I got the word the other night that Etopia Press has accepted the sequel to The Taste of Magic (which is still slated for release next month!), but they don't like the title. I was awfully proud of the title, Blood and Taxes. The editors like the word 'blood' but they aren't too keen on the word 'taxes' in the title, which I guess is understandable. Any suggestions for better titles? I told my editor I'd give her some possibilities pretty soon.

In related begging, I'm also trying to come up with names for a little self-publishing outfit for Evil Outfitters. I figure I might as well do it right, and Lightning Source and the ISBN people both require a business name. Any suggestions? I want something memorable but not goofy or overly self-important. So I can't name it after a cute fuzzy animal the way I'm tempted to.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

When is impatience justified?

I know publishing is a slow process. I'm an impatient person, so I always remind myself that I'm being unreasonable to expect agents and editors to respond within days of my emails.

But sometimes I'm not being unreasonable. For instance, once a manuscript is accepted, I feel I should get A) a contract and B) edits if applicable, and I should get them in a timely fashion--within weeks for a contract, within three or four months for the edits. I'm not dealing with gigantic New York publishers here, where the waits will be even longer (and even then I'd expect the contract within weeks).

So I just sent off a couple of thisclosetosnarky emails to two editors. Both editors accepted manuscripts from me last October. I have the contract for one but no edits; for the other I don't even have a contract. At this point I'm frankly starting to regret signing the contract for the first manuscript, since I suspect the editor has lost interest and has moved on to shinier projects. And since I have no contract for the other, if I don't get a satisfactory response within two weeks from the editor, I plan to pull the story. Because ridiculous is just ridiculous.

(And don't even get me started about the wait time for Apex Magazine, which is getting close to a year, when I know whatshername is going to reject my vampire story instantly.)