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Archive for August, 2012

Close friends, family members, and the Boyfriend–especially the Boyfriend–know that I have a problem.  I like to think myself as strong willed, determined, with a good head on my shoulders. But this good head on my shoulders has an off switch when it comes to books, particularly when a chance comes to acquire books.

I’m not sure how to explain it.  I’m a sucker for those Sale bins at stores and book stores alike that hold nothing but the books nobody liked for a few dollars.  MUST BUY TWO.  Used books at Hastings… for a dollar with the purchase of one other book? SEVEN.  My school particularly likes putting unwanted textbooks on a table with a sign reading, “Free.”  Mostly textbooks about college help for reading and writing, a few on applied calculus, and some poetry pamphlets.  I know I took at least twenty.

This. . . habit is also inclusive to the digital world.  When I received my Kindle, my first course of action was to visit Amazon’s Kindle/ebook store and download every possible book that was free and sounded remotely interesting.  It didn’t matter if I would never read a glossary on the insect world or certain fairy tales of the Sanskrit, this was a vast pool of information and fiction that I could own!

And that’s another problem I face.  There is a large percentage of books that I pinch that I do intend to read.  Books that like to stack themselves into large piles in my room and trip unsuspecting passersby.  However, I lack a certain will to read.  Starting my senior year of high school, I just haven’t read that much, which is a real shame because I enjoy reading.  The process has become similar to writing.  My exhausting life has left little to no time or energy to pursue such interests.  So often, I am forced between reading or writing.  And it’s hard to find time to do that between working, sleeping, schooling, studying, laundry, eating, driving, sleeping again, napping.  I’m forced to choose and unfortunately, the essentials of life get in the way.

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As a prospective/hopeful author, I often find myself researching various websites and publishers, deciding between traditional houses and independent publishing.  I’ve found myself leaning towards the latter and thus looking into the eBook and Print on Demand market.  Publishers I’ve considered are Amazon’s CreateSpace and Lulu.  Both have their upsides and their down.  Lulu is quite user-friendly with a lot of help and support and they love blogging about the writing world.  It’s a great indie publishing writing community, very welcoming.   One article drew my attention, It’s Never Too Soon to Become an Author.

It’s an interesting article, nothing particularly significant.  It draws examples from Anne Franke and Christopher Paolini.  I have to commend Lulu for their attempt to draw customers of all ages.  I’d always love writing and started writing this massive six book fantasy series in junior high.  Funnily enough, Christopher Paolini was my inspiration.  I’d been reading the Inheritance Cycle (trilogy, then) at the time.  Even though Chris had help from his publishing parents, I wanted to be the child prodigy that wrote bestsellers at the age of fourteen.  Well, here I am at nineteen, barely scraping at my current project.

No matter.  I am ambitious and determined.  The indie publishing market is growing and I want to be a part of it.  As much as I love Lulu’s community, I do believe I’ll turn to Amazon.  But I haven’t fully decided.  I need to finish the damn book first.

Also, here is an article from the New York Times on indie publishing, The Joys and Hazards of Self Publishing on the Web.  Also, enjoy a picture of me.

As an after thought, 15 Signs Indie Publishing is for You.

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I follow various writing communities on Twitter, mostly for the tips and tidbits on writing, networking, and publishing.  I find it interesting to read articles and quotes that draws perspectives from many other writers, editors, and publishers.  One specific company-slash-group is an account called Writer’s Digest that reminded me of a less user-friendly version of Jon Winokur’s @AdviceToWriters.  They had quotes, articles.  One particularly tweet interested me– something about blogging and networking.  I clicked on it.

Apparently Writer’s Digest has an “online university” where you can take various classes on how to blog correctly for nearly $200 a course.

Rip off.

Ridiculous, no other explanation.  It’s absolutely ridiculous.  I mean, I can understand freelance writing classes– those can be expensive.  (I can easily recall one author’s personalized writing workshops that were pricey, but understandably so).  But this Writer’s Digest University… I don’t know if I would call it a scam.  Rip-off?  Yes, definitely.

I did a brief browsing through their “course list”.  “How to Build Your Blog Boot Camp” lasts three days for $199.  Then, “28 days to Your First WordPress Site” lasts 28 days for the same price.  Definitely a rip off.  I mean, using WordPress doesn’t take a particular know-how.  And WordPress provides countless tutorials, and the interface is very friendly.  Hello– speaking from experience.  This is my first WordPress site.  I’ve had it a little over a month.  No problem.  Blogging?  So long as you hold an air of professionalism, blogging is easy.  Networking’s more difficult, but you can EASILY find FREE articles that give you pointers on how to do that.  You don’t need to pay two hundred bucks for common sense.  It’s a rip off and it angers me beyond words.

If you’re a writer getting out, new, starting out, be careful.  Don’t waste your time with that sort of thing.

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So in my numbing schedule of work-eat-sleep-repeat, I’ve managed to exhaust my muse for my 2011 Nano story, thus enabling me to pick back up on my fantasy project.  To do so, I decided to read the 35,000+ words I have so far, starting from the beginning.

My reaction to my work was utter disappointment.  I’ve stopped myself from reading it after suffering through about a quarter of it.  It’s crap. I think so.  I have no idea what made me think it was brilliant to begin with, other than the concept.  I’ve told my friends as such–who have utterly lied to me about its supposed greatness–and they cannot seem to fathom my sudden vehemence with my own work.  They still insist on this nonexistence genius.  I cannot, will not believe it.

Once I consider, though, I realize, it’s not bad, not by any means.  Just, when reading it, I realized how I could make it ten times better.  I don’t know if that stems from my habitual habit of being vastly too critical of myself, wanting to always improve, or if it’s normal for any writer to always look at something they’ve written and just have this urge to make it better, that it could be better.  Probably a mixture of both.

It is understandable, then, you see, for me to be so frustrated that once I’ve finally figured a way out of a fictional dead end with certain mechanics of fictional magic, I am now filled with this fiery, insatiable need to rewrite at least half of my 35,000+ words.  Rewrite or serious editing.  I keep telling myself that the latter half is written much neater and needs no such attention.  But, who am I kidding?  Might as well rewrite the entire thing!

This is why I never see progress.  I think it’s somewhat odd though.  With my 2011 Nano entry, I never/have not felt as though it needed to be rewritten.  If anything, I feel as though I should retain that style and continuously express it with other things.  My problem was and is, however, the actual art of retaining it.  I am stuck, stuck I say.  And this perpetual state of exhaustion and grumpiness from being partially employed does not aid in this conundrum either.

I end with this article I chanced upon to help your writing not become as stagnant as mine.  These writing tips I have seen essentially with any other tip sheet for writers.  Even though I do not entirely agree with these continuously expressed guidelines for writing, I do like how the author explained each point.  So here’s, the 10 Mistakes’ List.  Also, the image above does not belong to me, neither does the quote expressed inside of it.  Both are from A Knight’s Tale, and I took the liberty of editing it into one convenient photo for gawking.

“The first draft of anything is shit.”  — Ernest Hemingway

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Because I am nonsensically ambitious, and because Lulu was hosting a special for 100 free mini business cards at moo.com, I am getting business minicards, with six different designs.  It’s not much, but it’s pretty nifty, in my opinion, for free.  Only paid five dollars for shipping.

Now, it just takes forever for them to arrive.  I’ve got two weeks, I believe?

But, I’ve got a new camera.  So I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go on this planned photoshoot to design the cover for my fantasy book project.  Perhaps that is ambitious of me as well.  Knowing my luck and procrastination, though, she’ll probably be off to college for the semester before I finally have the time to do anything.

Meanwhile, I’m stuck in post-apocalyptia and unable to return to fantasy until I sort out a silly magic issue.  Also, have an article on Publishing Lingo, because I have an increasing headache that makes it difficult for everything else.

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