publishing

Writin’ Update (No Turkeys Required)

So, November 30 has come and (almost gone) and I did not reach the 50,000-word mark to win the #NaNoWriMo challenge. However, I have nearly 40,000 words of a first draft that I will turn into a fully formed book someday soon, something of which I can be proud. The first draft of “Exit Oasis” will be finished before New Year’s Eve and, hopefully, a real book will be done by early Spring.

On another note, several months ago I was asked to submit a short story to an anthology assembled by a friend of a friend and he liked it. That book, “Losing the Map” by Jim Corrigan, Editor, is now ready for purchase/download. Jim put a great amount of work into this during some difficult times, and the fruit of his labor is outstanding. I’m proud to be a part of it. My small contribution was fun to write. It’s a fun piece inspired by a crazy diner conversation about two years ago. Someday, it will appear in a novel in a different form, but the story stands on its own for now. The theme of “Losing the Map,” was, loosely, travel, and since I never take the easy or most direct path… well, my story comes from the fringe.

I encourage you to check it out, whether by ordering the printed form or the E-book, not only to ready my insane ravings but also to read some pretty good stuff by a good group of writers.

Here are the links:

Booklocker — http://booklocker.com/books/7792.html

Barnes and Noble — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/losing-the-map-jim-corrigan/1120832500?ean=9781632635952

Amazon — http://www.amazon.com/Losing-Map-Jim-Corrigan/dp/163263595X/

If you do read “Losing the Map,” please let me know what you think and, if you like, spread the word.

Cool. You can get back to your life now.

 

Are writers crazy… or courageous?

Are those of us who write — with the purpose of being published and read by strangers — out of our minds?

I ask this of myself many times, since writing, fiction or not,¬† is hard enough. Unless you’re already under contract, your the one who gets to decide when the project is ready for public consumption. You have to put the word out, market yourself, tell everyone and anyone about your book or store. Brag.

Lunacy or abject bravery?

You write a book and bark out, “Look at me! I made this! I wrote a book!”

You’ve never heard the sound of crickets laughing?

“Well, I know you don’t know me, but I promise it’s good! I mean, hey, it’s on Kindle so it has to be good!”

Well, that’s way too many exclamation points, someone said.

Piss off!

Then someone reads what you have done — wife, father, friend, complete stranger — and you realize that you just exposed yourself and your precious creativity to the outside world. That you want the reader to like the book is an understatement. You want the reader to love it, almost as much as you want that person not to hate it, because if they do and they’re part of your inner circle, you’ll get an awkward but polite smile and a halfhearted pat on the head. If your reader is a stranger…look out.

Many believe that the hardest part of writing is the re-writing, the editing. I say it’s the promotion. The selling. It feels so good during the writing process (at least it does for me), why ruin things by having to get out there and grind away at trying get other people to read your most personal work? What are we, a public service? Who cares if anyone sees it? Is it all about money? Ego?

No.

Whether it’s romance, pulp, sci-fi, fantasy, chick lit, satire, literary fiction, sports, current events, SEO-heavy web content, biography, articles, blogs or even advertising copy, there is still one common thread, one reason for it all to exist: Telling a story.

We as living, thinking creatures have told stories since cavemen drew on walls, since writers and painters worked under the weight of poverty and never finding fame until their bones had turned to dust. Storytelling is an effort to relate or elicit emotional responses, to find out that we’re not alone in our thoughts or fears and that there is something connecting each of us.

I plan to continue telling stories to anyone within earshot until I turn to dust, crazy or not.