Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Gone Sporadic

THIS HAPPENS from time to time. After blogging twice a week for most of this year, I now feel the need to dive into a fresh project that is going to keep me writing fiction (as opposed to writing about writing fiction) for the foreseeable future.
   In keeping with what I recently said about sharing news of works in progress, I won't go into detail on what I'm working on. Just know that I am writing, and I trust you are doing the same.
   This ain't goodbye. As nuggets occur to me in my work, I'll surface from time to time to post them here on the blog. And when I do, I will tickle the social media to let you know I've posted something fresh. But the twice-a-week time-release capsules are going  into hiatus; I need to spend this creative time ... well ... creating.
   If this blog has been useful to you, or if there is something you've been wishing that I'd comment on, I hope you'll write it in the "Comments" section below. It will be a help to me when I come up from air from the fiction.
   In the meantime, strength to your writing arm.
   Now ... go craft something amazing.

Friday, August 8, 2014

FRESH ON FRIDAY: The Best Buck a Writer Can Spend

MANY THANKS TO everyone who downloaded my free ebook earlier this week. I'm looking forward to hearing what you thought of it. And now I'd like to recommend that you spend 99 cents to purchase another ebook.
   No; it's not one of mine. It is The Complete Works of Mark Twain.
   Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the man who wrote under the Mark Twain pen name, was easily one of the more extraordinary individuals of his time. In a period when most Americans never traveled more than 200 miles from the place where they were born, Clemens participated in the California gold rush, visited Hawaii, took part in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land by way of Europe, married a wealthy woman and had four children with her, spent many years in Europe, made a trip around the world, and built and lived in two fabulous mansions. 
   He also lived with great tragedy, losing virtually everyone he loved. He convinced his younger brother to join him in the riverboat trade, and the younger Clemens was killed when a boiler exploded. His wife and all of his children except one preceded him in death, and the one who survived him did not particularly care for him. 
   But it is writing, and not his life, that makes him essential reading for aspiring novelists. In an era in which American novelists were expected to write like Englishmen, Twain wrote about American characters, using the American vernacular, from an American point of view. Kurt Vonnegut believed him to be the only saint of American writing, and William Dean Howells called him "the Lincoln of our literature." And whether you are reading this right now in America, or Australia, or Germany or Paraguay, there is a lesson here; readers love a fresh voice that shapes and echoes their perspective.
   So ... no plans for the weekend? Read Twain. Be transported. And be inspired.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

TUESDAY TIPS: Free Ebook -- PIRATE HUNTER 8/6/2014

WE'LL KEEP THIS short and (hopefully) sweet. Pirate Hunter is free on all major ebook platforms Wednesday, August 6th.

Please download a copy and tell me what you think of it! Comments section is below ...

Friday, August 1, 2014

FRESH ON FRIDAY: Accountability?

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM SAYS that, if you want to reach a goal, you should share it with people, so they can help hold you accountable.
   I'm not sure that's the best idea with a novel.
   For one thing, some psychologists say that the whole idea of sharing-to-motivate can backfire. If you say you're becoming a novelist, people who love you may praise you for doing that, and the gratification that results can play a trick on your psyche: in your mind, you have already accomplished what you are being praised for, and so become less inclined to actually write the book.
   At the other extreme, people in general have no idea how long it takes to write a novel. So if you share your goal and, four months later, people ask how you are doing and you say you only have three chapters written ... the look they give you may so discourage you that you give up the entire idea.
   And finally, writing a novel is an intensely private act that results in a very public outcome. Oftentimes, inviting others into that extremely private space just somehow seems wrong. I know that, on those rare occasions when I've been able to keep the news of a novel-in-progress to myself, I've been happier in my work.
   So ... are you writing a book? That's great.
   But you just might want to think before you go sharing that news with all and sundry.