Thursday, February 4, 2010

The return of the jabberwok or when you wish avan a tar

Hey there boys and girls in Blogland,

The photo above is not, of course, me. She is a German born actress with an Irish last name, probably recognizable to most of you from TV. The reason for her photo will be revealed a few paragraphs down. Patience, please.

Are you still out there? I promised myself yesterday ('cause who else cares, really) that I would blog today since it has been so long since I last posted. Last year, to be exact. Well, boys and girls I didn't fall down the rabbit hole and while I haven't exactly been painting the roses red, I have been busy. After taking most of the month of December off to fight the annual Christmas wars and traveling through Georgia for nine days post Christmas into the new year and decade, I've been reading novel after novel and writing scene after scene in my dragon book. Why read so much?

Oh ho, you are saying, I see where this is going. Its going to be a blog about books, maybe leading into one of her writing discussions. Yup. So, if you want the latest news about my silly or serious activities, family or dogs, or pet peeves and political rants, check facebook for the post of the hour. Flickr for photos. If blogs about writing and books bore you, go knock on somebody else's cyber door.

Okay, now back to readin' n writin' for the rest of you. I'll try not to ramble too much and trip over any mome raths. But, you know how my mind works, so read on if you dare. If you have any pink cakes or caterpillars who are willing to give you a puff on their hookahs, go ahead and indulge. This will take awhile. Ready. Here we go.

I've read a couple dozen books since I last posted because:
1.It's been too friggin' cold this winter, even in Florida, to want to be outside much.
2. I just plain like to read, especially lying down under a blanket and late into the night and while eating and in the car...oh never mind, you get the idea.
3. I very much agree with Stephen King when he advises that to be a good writer, you must read what others write. At least an hour. Every day.
4. Everything I've learned of any importance in my life that I didn't learn from my dog I learned by reading books of my own choosing.

If you come to my house you will see thirty feet of floor to ceiling bookshelves filled to bursting with books and yes, Virginia, I've read most of them. Admittedly, most are dusty on top from lack of recent thumbing through and my lack of interest in housecleaning. Indeed, I suspect that in the dust mite multiverse, I am a goddess, having provided billions and billions of the little fellas with a generally undisturbed habitats. Lately I've been buying a whole lot less paperbacked and hard backed books, uploading them via Amazon's Kindle books to my iPhone. I am saving trees by doing this as well as bookshelf space and I can read a page or two spontaneously anytime anyplace anytime. Even better, I don't skip to the end of the book and ruin it for myself. I am reading books that turn out to be VERY long since I have no idea of length when I order them, books I probably wouldn't buy if I saw their heft and gi-normous page content at B and N. These books are both entertainment and research. I gain not just facts but tips on story crafting from the reading experience. Thank you Stephen.

Now, the segue into writing:
Somebody asked me the other day, "Who do you write for?" I gave my standard answer. "I don't write for anyone in particular, although I'd be glad for the entire world to read my stories and poems. I don't write for myself, either. I write because I can't not. The characters and their stories keeps dancing through my poor cluttered head and they want out! They want, need, and insist on existing in print. Once that's done, they leave me in peace. They seem to know that that's the best I can do for them: giving literary birth. I don't mind the conception, gestation, labor, or birth process. But, once they're hatched, they're on their own. Like Mama Sea Turtle, I'm off, flapping my flippers through the depths on a new adventure.

I don't write to become rich which is good since I have made very little money with my first two books. I'd like to have some more money, you understand, not to be filthy rich. Just enough to be secure. But, while I immodestly believe that I am a good writer (or write good), I also know that I am unwilling and perhaps even unable to make promotion of my works my full time day job, which is what it would take to sell them in any significant way. The people who have read them seemed to like them, its just that most people don't know they exist. Or so I tell myself.

I am not going to beat the weeds and bushes for agents, publishers, and editors willing to take a look at my stuff. I am not good at begging favors or networking for the sake of self promotion. I hate public speaking, and as my mother would say, "Pushing myself forward". Not that there is anything wrong with those things. That's the way the business works. I was trained as an actress. I can fake it, act if out. But I don't want to. The role of self promoter gives me insomnia, panic attacks, migraines, IBS, acid reflux, sweaty palms, and a desire to jump off the end of the world.

"What would I do with fame anyway?", I ask myself. Couldn't walk the Mutley Crew down the road with me wearing mismatched clothes and no make up without worrying about somebody bothering me, right?

What I would like, though, is to be taken a little more seriously by acquaintances and friends as a writer. For, I am a writer, a serious one, even if I don't continually blow my own trumpet in peoples' ears about it. I write a lot. I work hard at learning the craft. At not just continuing to do the things that come easy but stretching to learn those that don't. In doing a thing over and over until I get it write. (Having pun?) As Mark Twain said, "The difference between the right word and the wrong word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."

I don't know how long it is going to take me to finish my current project: my first full length novel, which is a fantasy for young adults and adults. I've got 220 pages on paper in the first draft thus far, and it will take as long as it takes to tell Tim's story. As long as it takes to edit, edit, edit. I dunno what I am going to do with it when it is finally done; self publish, small press publish, or actually send it out to some mythological publishing guru who might actually read it somewhere out there in the great beyond if I can figure out where and whom that might be. The publishing industry is changing so much so quickly that it is hard to project anything right now. Indeed, the old ways may be going extinct, like the dodo did did, and be gone tomorrow. The big box bookstores may no longer be available to sell traditional books much longer, either.

I do know that I am going to utilize Kindle and Podiobooks or whatever updated version exists. And yesterday I heard about a really interesting new idea: people utilizing avatars to attend business meetings in their place. Now, this I could do!! U betcha. Sit at my computer in my dusty library/home office in my jammies or sweats, writing the script while my amazing avatar negotiates my contracts, does my promotions, and my witty brilliant speeches for me. I even have an idea for my avatar.

Think Gerri Ryan, the big eyed blond pictured at blog top, "Seven of Nine", on Star trek Voyager and currently seen as Tara Cole on the terrific show Leverge. Tall, blond, and beautiful (Ja) with miles of leg and tiny waist, terrific in body suits. Positively assertive. Just like my inner wanna be self. Pay no attention to the little scruffy woman behind the screen ladies and gentlemen, just listen to Nancy's avatar, buy the book, you'll love it and anyway, resistance is futile....

But for now, (insert sigh) blog over. I stepped on a mome rath and I have to clean it up before the floor gets too sticky or one of the dogs eats it. So TTFN, Live Long and prosper.

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