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Archive for July, 2012

Stepping out of my comfort zone, chatting with some very cool people

I’ve been told to “build my electronic presence” for whatever that means.  I’m already on Facebook, Twitter (JAPITTSWRITER), Livejournal, Google + and I have this blog.  I also blog every other week over with the fine folks of Genreality.  I’ve been interviewed on a dozen book sites and have guest posted in a few other places.  If anyone wants to share any social media magic, I’m all ears.

In an effort to increase my presence into new and uncharted territory, I’ve met this amazing woman — Gaye Ann Bruno.  Gaye Ann is not a shy person, let me tell you.  She knows exactly what she wants out of life and is not afraid to talk about it — anywhere, anytime.

I met her through my good buddy, Ken Scholes and I’m very glad for the introduction.

Gaye Ann has a full-time day job, like most of us, but on the side she runs this very popular podcast called Between the Sheets.  It gets like 60k downloads an episode or something crazy.  Gaye Ann and I hit it off on our first phone call and she decided to have me on the show.

I was a little nervous.  I’ve listened to a few episodes and they do NOT pull any punches.  As the name may clue you in, one of their favorite subjects is sex.  Gaye Ann and her fellow podcasters have no problem discussing any and all aspects of not just sex, but relationships and anything that happens to pop into their heads.

The cast is amazing with Gaye Ann Bruno, Lisette Azar, Durga McBroom-Hudson, Erica Spera, Sandra Valls  (all Facebook links).  They can be found at BETWEEN THE SHEETS podcast

Anyway, here’s the podcast where I’m interviewed about my newest book, Forged in Fire.  Be advised this is very much, oh, dear god, not safe for work or small children.

They riff for the first part of the show on some interesting, but explicit material.  You’ve been warned.  My interview shows up around the 21:30 time frame.  I loved the episode.  I’m just a little overwhelmed in parts.  You’ll probably figure out when.  Anyway, have a listen.

I think they totally rock.

 

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Dedication to the cause or just one more load of laundry

One of the funny things about being a writer is that we are all human (so far).  We have normal lives with needs and wants.  Someone has to do the laundry, someone has to pay the bills, buy the groceries, wash the dishes, mow the lawn.

If you’re very lucky, you have a partner who will help out , pick up some of the load.  Sometimes you let the dishes soak in a nice hot sink full of water and promise to get back to them in a day or three.

See, if you are a writer — and I mean that dedicated individual who gets your words in religiously — then you have a handle on all this.  You juggle your life with panache.

If you’re like me, however, you run hot and cold.  I can be so face down in a project that I can’t hear a smoke detector going off (been there).  I’ve had week after week of 2.5k word days, 15k – 20K weeks where I wrote like my hair was on fire.  I was singing and the words were flowing like magic.

Then there are other times where no matter how much time I set aside to write I always manage to fritter it away.  One more load of laundry is a common refrain in my old writing group.  It’s short-hand for a time wasting activity which seems to have redeeming value.  Of course the world wants me wearing clean clothes.  It would be silly to think otherwise.  But that’s a trap.  It’s a trick the mind plays when you are blocked.  Sure you can do laundry, but throw in a load and write.  Don’t bother to fold anything, dig around in the laundry basket for three days if you need to, but put words down as if you were a dedicated professional who had deadlines and a plan.

I gravitate to lots of extra-curricular activities including little mindless games off the internet (Plants vs. Zombies),  reading (which aligns with laundry, trust me), or just reading Facebook for a few hours so I feel like I’m keeping up with my friends, peers and fans.

I can squander an entire evening I’ve set aside to write with the greatest of ease.

And it takes me weeks to notice it when I’m in a funk.

Like almost everyone I’ve ever met, my mood cycles through highs and lows.  When my biorhythms are low (or you know, just marginally depressed) I don’t write.  It doesn’t make sense logically and it doesn’t fit my work schedule, my world view or my deep desire to be a professional writer.  Professionals do the hard work.  They juggle faster.  I have this issue so totally under control on my day job that it’s second nature.  I can be in the worst funk, barely able to look another person in the eye, but I can deliver what I need to deliver for the day job.

So, why do I let my writing lapse when I’m in a funk?

Self-preservation is a key factor.  No day job, no food, no mortgage.    No writing, especially when I’m not under a deadline, just means a delay in the dream of going full-time, the dream of multiple series running concurrently, the dream of fame and fortune.

See, fame and fortune are a pipe-dream.  Those who succeed at that level are a rare breed.  But it’s good to have a goal.  Good to dream big.  If I don’t meet my goal, I’m only disappointing myself, and when I’m depressed, I’m already not my best friend.  Luckily my depression tends to be light.  I don’t totally shut down like some people I know.  I feel really lucky for that.  But it’s enough to knock me off my game, sometimes for weeks.

This blog post is the wake-up call for this round of malaise.  I’m seeing the forest and the trees again, and I’m starting to realize just how damn near useless I’ve been.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve been doing interviews and book signings, PR work and planning.  Everything related to writing except actually creating new story.

I’ve committed to finish reading a short story collection (which is totally rocking) and a novel (which so far is also excellent) before I can get back to my own work.

I get in my own way.  I over commit and I do not do justice to the career I so desperately want to foster.

So it’s time to wear a ratty t-shirt and the kilt in leiue of jeans and a button down.  Time to set aside the frantic distractions and get down to brass tacks.

I have two book signings this week and a Science Fiction Writers of America reading to co-host, but after that, and some sleep, root canal and maybe paying the bills — I’ll get back to the novel.

Any second now.

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Blogging at Genreality

I’m not sure if you folks are familiar with the blog site Genreality, but you should totally check them out.  They have a regular cast of bloggers who talk about all aspects of the writing life and are multi-genre.  I love the voices here.  Starting today I’m going to be blogging here every other Wednesday.  I have posted my first regular blog post here.  You should visit and see all the cool people over there.

I’m trying to blog more here and elsewhere, so this is a good way to keep me thinking along those lines.  Having a regularly scheduled gig makes it more like  a real job, where people have expectations and you have a deadline.  Deadlines are a wonderful thing for an author, let me tell you.  There’s always another load of laundry, a sink full of dishes or cool blogs to go read, but when you have a deadline, you become laser focused.  Keeps me on my toes, I can tell you.

So, let me know what you think of this new post, either here, or in the comments section at Genreality.  Let me know it’s worth my time.

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Uruz

The wild ox; strength and power.

Ansuz

Creativity; words, music, and art.

Othala

The troll cross; wealth and prosperity.

Sowilo

The sun; energy, honor, guidance.

Fehu

Personally earned or lucky wealth and prosperity.

Jera

The harvest; patience and promise.

Raidho

The chariot; journey and travel.

Note: This is not the real book cover.