What a difference a year makes

One year ago this month, my sister’s company hosted a Christmas party at the Silverdale Yacht Club. We had dinner, drinks, there were even gifts handed out to the employees.

This year, that company fell victim to the Great Depression II, and no longer exists. She’s unemployed.

One year ago this month, I was actively seeking traditional publication for my novels. I was convinced (by the people I had surrounded myself with) that it was The. Way.

This year, I’ve seen the light. I’ve realized what a ridiculous notion that is for me as a writer – for anyone who is a writer. To focus so narrowly on that as your goal is to do your art a disservice. Now I’m in control, answerable to the only entities that matter – Readers.

I don’t know what December 2009 will bring, but I know what I’ll be doing when it gets here.

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Nipples on the Bat Suit

Earlier today, while talking to Lori and Pete, I likened literary agents to Nipples on the Batsuit, which drew an instant response from Pete that went something like “We DON’T talk about the nipples on the batsuit!”

So naturally I had to.

Speaking of other things that don’t make a whole lot of sense on the surface, I was going through the search terms that wordpress tells me folk have been using to find Castle Debacle, and some of them are way out there.

Zombies and sex are a common combination that lead folk here. Though why anyone in their right mind would Google “Sex with zombies” makes me shiver.

Anything and everything to do with Firefly, specifically the Reavers, bring a lot of traffic here.  Honestly, as Pete suggested, we should just blog daily about Firefly and watch the hits roll in.

Another one that makes me shake my head: Why Pangea Doesn’t Exist.  Where Pangea Went.  Um . . . . hello?

Or one that made ME go Googling: Species 8472.  That one comes up a lot.

Gorram. Another Firefly reference,  Gorrammit.

Some of them are simply looking for a good Tea, while others clearly just want to snog the undead.

So far, no one’s come ’round here wondering why there are nipples on the Batsuit though.

Dream a Little Dream With Me

Okay, so it’s too early for Free Drink Friday – but just because Pete’s not around doesn’t mean Lori and I are asleep at the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Actually, I had a dream last night that really bugged me, and I thought to myself “Hey, self, why not mention this dream on the Castle and see how people interpret it.”  I’m not into the meaning of dreams myself, so much. I believe they’re just your brain on vacation, entertaining itself while your body sleeps. But obviously things on your mind during the day can bleed into that entertainment.  I also believe that as writers, we’re already so creative, our dreams can be particularly bizarre for no apparent reason.

And this one really bugged me.

I was driving around town in my car, and for some reason (very much out of character for my beloved car) it was handling terribly. Every time I tried to TURN, even though I was turning the wheel, the car wouldn’t turn.  I’d be driving along, waiting to reach a particular street, come up to it and start turning the wheel – which felt like pushing through gravel – and the car would keep going straight.

I could stop the car, and get honked at by other drivers, but I could not make any turn.

My car handles like a dream, so it’s clearly not about the car. I’m sure there’s some metaphor in there about my lack of control, or inability to change course. Or perhaps I really just want to drive through gravel, naked, while eating pie.  I dunno.

What do you think?

Free Drink Friday; What Day Is It?

This is all I have the capacity for today, so enjoy:

It’s a Brand New Day

Have you seen my keys to the brand new Austrailia?  I know they’re here somewhere . . .

Free Drink Friday; Pass the Rum!

I had a long dialog all typed out, about the changing economy, the changing state of entertainment in general, the publishing industry compared to the music industry, and how it all relates or doesn’t relate to us as both Writers and Readers. I even outlined an idea that I’ve grown fond of, that others around the industry are quietly talking about, that could be the future of Publishing.

Then I remembered – no one ever wants to discuss it.  I’m not sure if it’s discomfort, taboo, denial, or what, but I’m too tired today to care. Maybe tired isn’t the right word – but I didn’t want to use Weary or Disconnected.

Actually today, Disconnected is a perfect description of my current state of mind.  I’m alone in the office today, and normally people would still be coming in and out asking for things, the phone would be ringing, and I’d still be busy – today, I’m not.  And I wasn’t yesterday, either.  It’s dead quiet in here, except for the music I’m playing, and I was getting a lot of writing done, until today.

Today I feel completely detached. Somewhere between lost inside my head and totally out of it. My WIP is coming to a close, and as per my norm, I’m in flip-out mode over it.  Seems whenever I reach the “almost ready to bring it all to a head” point, my brain begins a slow, oozing meltdown.

But this post isn’t about me.  It’s not even about anything serious, since no one likes those topics, obviously.  I’m just curious –

Have you ever become so engrossed in something, so completely absorbed and taken by it – be it a novel, a movie, a mood, a thought or idea – that you experience a total disconnect with the world around you?

Ever find yourself in a crowded room, with no consious awareness of what’s going on? Ever bring yourself out of that mental state and look around, feeling a bit lost like you’d just been on a long vacation and you’re the only one who doesn’t know what’s been going on?

Did you like it – or did it scare you, just a little?

Free Drink Friday; Mirror Mirror

I’ve admitted this before – I watch Top Chef and Project Runway. But this isn’t about them, just about something one of the judges in Top Chef happened to say last season that made me think more about certain things.

So, if you’re at all familiar with the formats, you have contestants who are faced with a challenge every episode, and during the course of these challenges they sit in front of a camera one at a time and talk about the challenge, about each other, about themselves, etc. Most of the time they’re dissin’ on the competition or whining about the challenge. Loads of times they’re mocking the other people, mocking the judges, mocking the public in general.

It can be very telling. And I wonder sometimes if they realize how they’re coming across. And so did one of the judges last season when he was grilling the final group of contestants — who at the time were whining about how each of the OTHER ones had been acting in the kitchen — he looked at them and said “You realize these interviews are your opportunity to portray yourself as the professional Chef you all hope to be, don’t you? Is this really the image you want everyone to see when they think of you?”

That’s not a direct quote, by the way. I can’t confidently recall his exact words, but the meaning was clear – and it’s one I’ve been pondering myself more and more lately, and it’s what I would put to you if you’re reading this. (if you’re not reading this, feel free to skip to the bottom).

What image are YOU putting out there? On the internet, in blogs, in public. What image do you want your readers to have of you? What do you want them to think when they finish one of your novels and wonder what the author is like who could come up with such a brilliant piece of fiction?

If you’re flitting around the web, leaving pieces of yourself here, there, and everywhere, do you own your words? Are you being true to yourself and who you are, regardless of where you go or what you say?

Forget what your Mom might find while she’s hunting down recipes for brownies this holiday season — what about your potential fans?

How would you like them to see you?

Free Drink Friday; Bathroom-Break

Okay, so I haven’t posted in a few Friday’s, I know. But look – it got my partners in crime to post 😀

Anywhoo, I’ve made a discovery this week that kinda surprised me in a way, but it shouldn’t have, not really.

There I was, writing my brains out in my current novel – putting out more words per day than I even thought I could, having a great time (even though I did stumble and had to delete 15,000 of those words to get back on track). Only then, right in the middle of my forward charge, I had to stop writing completely so that I could prepare for – and then perform – an art show over a three-day period.

For several days prior, and then that whole 3-day period, my brain had to switch gears entirely and stop being a writer for a little bit.

Well that little commercial interruption is over now, and on Tuesday I sat down to pick up the novel again, and found . . .

Myself sitting there, staring at the screen.

My momentum was gone! My power surge had fizzled! My brain was taking these half-hearted little stabs at the plot and pacing and coming up short with each attempt.

Frustrated, I finally realized I had to fix this somehow and pulled out a pen and notebook. Once I cracked open that pristine, fresh notebook and started jotting down bullet points of the novel with the nice black pen, my brain’s writerly gears began moving again. Suddenly I could see the problems, and the easy ways to fix them all, and the story exploded once again in my mind’s eye and I was back in the saddle!

Praise Jeebus, I was writing again 😀

And I still am, since this novel is a big’un and not near done yet. But I’ve learned my lesson. Even if I’ve got a full plate, I have to at least keep a notebook handy, and jot things down. They might be notes of what already happened, or questions to ask myself about plot issues. Whatever it takes to keep that novel forefront and fixed in my conscious and unconscious minds.

So, have you derailed lately? Do you need a good slap in the ass? Give you Muse some spurs. Whatever it takes.

Just. Do. It.