Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Growing Up

Have you ever seen that commercial where older people say things like "when I grow up I want to build homes." or "when I grow up I want to write a novel."? 

At first I just laughed.  "Hey, you old farts, you are grown up," I say.  But wait.  Are they?  Really?  How many of us are "grown up?" 

What is grown up? 

I used to think growing up meant leaving Saturday cartoons behind, or no more sneeking the last of the ice cream out of the freezer before someone else beat you to it.  When I was a kid, I thought grown up meant staying home and crocheting in front of the TV (my mom), sitting in front of the heater with an old afgan thrown over your legs, while everyone else in the house was burning up (my grandmother), but most of all, and the most feared part of growing up was laughter seemed to vanish out of old people's lives (my dad).

I left home very early; the age of sixteen.  I had big dreams of a big world, and I knew if I stayed where I was, I'd never see any of it.  I'd never live my dreams.  And I told my mom on the day I left, I'd never grow up. 

Have I?

Well, if grown up is those things listed above, no.  I still love cartoons.  I still sneak the last of the ice cream out of the freezer before my hubby can.  I like to crochet, but only because it frees my mind and lets it wander over story ideas, plots, and characters.  But unlike my grandmother I hate the heat.  HATE it.  Rarely turn on the heat.  And I laugh.  I mean I don't run around laughing like a brainless idiot, but I'm a pretty happy soul.  I've even noticed since my hubby retired he laughs a lot more, too. 

What's the meaning of this post? 

Think about it.  When we're kids we have imaginary friends.  As writers we've just taken that a step further.  We still have imaginary friends, but we create their worlds, their problems, kill some off, kiss off others, and love them all.  We play make-believe on a daily basis. 

I think I was right when I told my mom I'd never grow up.  My body may be grown, but in my mind I'm still that little girl who loved to make up stories to entertain my friends.  I still love to take down the huge dictionary from its pedestal and find words I've never heard of then try to figure out a way to use it.  In place of the paper dolls I played with as a kid, I now have a character board with photos of famous and some not so famous people to serve as the face and body of the people wandering around in my head and on the computer screen.  

And  I'm happy with me.   

Friday, March 26, 2010

Time to poop or get off the pot

I guess I've spent enough time in that comfortable corner I've placed myself in.  One of my publishers has decided not to place their books into Ingrams and Baker and Taylor, so brick and mortar book stores can order them.   I understand their reasoning, but I want to be able to walk into my local B&N or Books A Million or... and find my books on the shelf.  I'll still write for the publishers I'm working with now, but I want more.  I guess it's time to place butt in chair and try to write a book good enough for the likes of Deidre Knight (my dream agent).  It's time to grow.

As much as I love my ebooks and trade paper books, I'd like to walk into my local RWA chapter meeting and be able to show them my latest and have it be a mass market paperback.  I've noticed the different reactions between trade and Mass.  People seem to be more excited for those authors who have "made it" with the mass paperback.  While trade seems to be more of, "You're getting there."

I want to "Make It." 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Shape of the World

Sounds like a huge topic, huh? Only for some. I'd like someone to explain to me why some people deem it okay to steal money from me and other authors. They think nothing of downloading my books off of filesharing sites for free. The publisher receives no payment, so I, the author, do not get paid for my work.

I've been asked/told:
1. "How hard can it be to toss some words on a screen and send it on to a publisher?"
2. "It only takes you a few weeks to write these things."
3. "You make plenty off of readers. It's no big deal if a few people get a free copy here and there."

1. You think it so easy, you do it. If it were easy a lot more people would be published.
2. A good book can take anywhere from four months to a year to write. And many authors work more than 40 hours a week and stay up late into the night getting a chapter right. Then get up at dawn the next day to get some words written before they go off to the day job.
3. The only writers who get rich are the big name authors. Those of us who are just starting out, or are what is known as mid-listers, have to keep the day job just to pay the bills. And it is a big deal. How would you feel if you worked for four to twelve months and someone took your paychecks? Hmm?

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Yes. I'm tried. But oh what fun I had getting there. EPICon went well. I met a lot of great people and made a few new friends. I lost a few pounds from running from one spot to another. Woohoo!!

As soon as I can I'll post photos from the conference. Sad to admit, I didn't get one photograph taken, so any shots I post will be from others who did.

Now I'm going to play the name dropper game. ;)

Holly Jacobs is everything you've heard and more. She's so much fun to be around. The trick is to find space to be around her. She'd come to a public place and find a nice quiet place to relax, and moments later she'd be surrounded by her fans. I snuck her away for a dinner at a local out of the way restaurant where they had a zydeco band. Hey, she said she wanted a taste of Louisiana. LOL I wish you could have seen her face when the music started. It made my night. Oh, yeah, and the food was good, too.

I managed to sit and talk with Debra Dixon of Goal, Motivation & Conflict fame for an hour or so. No, I didn't pitch to her. (She's with Belle Books) I've been too tied up with EPICon plans to really get anything written this last year. I did talk to her about an idea that's been floating around in my head for a while. But mostly it was just two girls enjoying a chat. If you get a chance to meet Debra, do. She's a sweetie. I'm still trying to figure out how I got lucky enough to get that time with her.

Deidre Knight was there to give us all a workshop on promotion. I'm still heartbroken over the fact that I was running from one thing to another and missed the workshop. But at least I did get to meet Deidre and have a few words with her. If you're ever in the same room with her, leave your nerves at the door, and go talk with her. Turns out she's fairly human and quite easy to talk to.

Louisiana's own Deborah Leblanc gave us two workshops. Marketing and Promotion & When Everyone Says You Can't. Who says you can't be entertained and taught at the same time? Wrong! This self-professed Cajun Woman kept us laughing while making us think on our own. What could we accomplish if we just stop listening to others tell us we CAN'T?

C. T. Adams had to cancel. She came down with the nasties and didn't want to give it to those of us at the conference. We were disappointed, but understood. Maybe next year in Va, C.T.?

Now, I'm going to sleep for a day or two and then try to get caught up. I have a few books waiting to escape. But, I promise, I'll be here more often with words of no wisdom.

I've missed you, my friends. I really have.