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Showing posts from January, 2016

Guest Star: Not Ready For Prime Time

Today's Guest Star post is from Sela Carsen, romance writer and the newest Underlord with the Literary Underworld. She has some wise words about being ready to publish - i.e., not as soon as you think. -ekd


I read a post this morning from a young writer who couldn't understand why no one was buying his book. Pricing was certainly an issue, which he fixed, but he was still puzzled.

I clicked over to the book and read the "Look Inside" feature. Ah. I saw the problem.

He's not ready.

Every author I know wrote for years before we even considered putting our work out for publication. We acknowledged that our first works were not up to par. Their quality was not at a professional level and not ready for publication, but we kept writing. Not publishing, writing. We spent years learning our craft: plotting, characterization, word choices, sentence structure, pacing... honing our most basic grammar and punctuation skills.

And finding your voice? For many of us, that's…

Snippets

ME: I cannot believe he ate all those cookies.
MAN: What?
ME: There are several chocolate chip cookies missing this morning.
MAN: Well, I had a few.
ME: James!*
MAN: They were there! I thought they were for the family!
ME: They were not for you!
MAN: Who were they for?
ME: The Relay team! We have a meeting! I bake for meetings!
MAN: There wasn't a note or anything! You know, the cookies were just sitting out there looking all delicious, and there was no note or force field or magic spell protecting them so...
ME: That's what I forgot. Next time I need to cast a magic spell over my cookies. How many did you eat?
MAN: Four.
ME: James! That means Ian didn't eat any! You have less self-control than a teenage boy!
MAN: You should've cast a spell.


SCENE: Boy has just completed his nightly shower, complete with musical renditions from the late 80s.
ME: One of these days I'm going to record you singing in the shower.
BOY: Okay.
ME: And put it on the internet.
BOY: And I…

I married a werewolf

SCENE: Getting ready for work after sleeping on the couch last night. The reasons for this will shortly be made clear. From behind the closed bedroom door...

MAN: *sleepy cry of protest*
ME: *enters bedroom* Problems?
MAN: You went away. Why did you go away?
ME: I did my best, dear. But I gave up about five a.m. and slept on the couch.
MAN: Why?
ME: I can hang in there through snoring, and the CPAP makes interesting hissy sounds. But when you started growling and humming in your sleep, that's when I gave up. The couch is not comfortable, but at least it's quiet, and I got to say goodbye to Ian.*
MAN: Growling?
ME: Seriously. You're a werewolf now?
MAN: Am not.
ME: Are too. You were growling.
MAN: I can't help it! I was asleep!
ME: Growling! I knew it. I married a werewolf. I should have known when you were writing your series that it was autobiographical.
MAN: Andrew is not a werewolf.
ME: Honey, he's a werewolf.
MAN: He is not!
ME: He's a shapeshifter who turn…

Snippets, Buffy edition

Boy: Can we watch another episode? Me: No. Boy: Why not?  Me: Because it's 3 a.m. Boy: Oh crap. Me: Yeah.  Man: *snore*

Boy, watching evil ventriloquist episode: "Uh uh. Boarding the train to Nopeville."

CHARACTER: Well, we didn't get a busy signal, so we know she wasn't online. BOY: Huh? ME: *press pause* Okay, back then when you wanted to get online, you had to dial up through the phone line. BOY: Wait, what? ME: *long technical explanation* BOY: Why didn't you just use wifi? ME: Okay, let me start again.

The Buffy Binge has now reached season two, "Innocence." Boy says he now understands why everyone says Joss Whedon is so mean to his characters.
Me: I told you it got darker. Boy: And they delivered. Me: Right between the eyes.  Boy: And then they all went home to kill themselves?

Me: What is taking so long? Boy: I'm getting a snack! Me: Again? You're missing Xander/Cordelia kissing! Boy: And I walk slower.

Upon watching Angel...

BOY: Ye…

Hobbies at which I suck

I have pretty much one inescapable talent: Choosing hobbies at which I suck.

I love to hike. I am the world's slowest hiker, and was even before my health issues. I used to weight-train before the Knee Incident, but you'd better believe I'm not posting my lifts. We won't even get into my "dancing."

I played the cello from second grade until midway through high school, and still have my cello (albeit in grave need of repair). I was a terrible cellist.

I learned the basics of piano from my mother, a virtuoso classical pianist who has performed at Carnegie and Tanglewood. The apple fell very far from the tree.

I like to do needlework, and color, and decorate cakes, and keep plants, and various crafty things that help keep Michaels in business. I suck at all of the above (and I'm so slow on needlework I still haven't gotten to Boy's Christmas stocking by age 17). I have the creative heart of an artist without the... what's the word... talent.

Suck…

Dear Joss Whedon

You're making my life difficult, and not in the usual leaf-on-the-wind manner. (Too soon! Too soon!)

We're in the middle of a Buffy rewatch, which doesn't really count as a rewatch when Boy has never seen it. Well, technically that's not true. A few years ago I tried to introduce him to the ways of the Buffster, but it seems I tried a little too early. He couldn't relate to "high school as a metaphor for hell" when he hadn't been to high school. He gets it now.

It was fairly simple up to the end of Season Three (which was just as awesome as I remember). But now we have the complication of Angel. It's a good show as well - it had its stumbles, but it's a bit more mature, a bit less black-and-white with its morality and has some interesting and complex storylines.

There's also mega crossovers.

And this is where you're making my life difficult. How do we handle it? Do we watch all of Buffy through (uck) Season Seven, or do we stop and wat…

Go home, Amazon, you're drunk.

In early December, I ordered a gift for my stepson. Time went on and it didn't ship, and it didn't ship, and it didn't ship.

Finally I got an email that said it was backordered. By now, I knew it was far too late for the item to arrive in time for Christmas. Therefore, I replied with my wish that the order would be canceled, and the money restored to my account. We offered our apologies to my stepson, and waited for the refund so that we could order a replacement, belated, Christmas present.
Imagine my surprise when I got an email this evening that stated the gift has actually shipped. Even better, the tracking shows that it is estimated to arrive on December 28. Oh really? Does Amazon now ship via The DeLorean? Or perhaps they use a TARDIS to deliver packages.
I guess we'll see if the gift finally shows up, or if I get my refund instead. Either way it will officially be the latest present I've ever sent a family member. Probably. Maybe.

Happy (17th!!) birthday to the Boy

It's that day again, the Epiphany in which I became a mom and boarded the rollercoaster.

I already wrote about how my Boy came into this world, and the requisite newborn picture, and a few years ago I did the Life of Boy photo slideshow on Facebook. What else can I say on the occasion of his birth, considering that he doesn't read blogs or Facebook because "that's for old people"? (What a mouth.)

I remember when I turned seventeen. It's got this misty fog all over it, because it was a long time ago in a galaxy far far away and there was about half as much of me and a whole lot more energy and brainpower. I'm pretty sure there's a picture somewhere...

My friends threw me a giant surprise party, and yes, it was a real surprise. The official plan was eating out at a restaurant with my family, but I was staying after school to donate blood. Yes, I was very excited that my seventeenth birthday fell on a blood drive day (NERD), because I was finally able to…