Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Long weekend

Hey All,

Sorry for the disappearing act!  We've had quite a time here at Casa Kelly.  Family issues.  And my 10 month old son cracking his head so hard that there was a big horrifying squishy bump on his head, which might have been, according to the doctor, a skull fracture.  Then, running around getting X-Rays, MRIs . . .  Long weekend.  Tense.  Very tense.  He's at that age where he's pulling up, standing on his own, trying to find his balance and doesn't have a clue that he can get hurt.  

Good news is that all tests came back perfectly fine.  Not a problem in sight.  So I can breathe easier now and get back to the daily grind . . .  

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Like I needed this. Damn you Athena.

Another book.  Yeah, I know.  Don't exactly need another distraction from current secret project.  But this one.  This one came fully formed, like Athena bursting forth from Zeus' head, fully grown, armed for battle and with a war cry on her lips.  And it's good people, really frackin' good.  And unique.  Like, horrific dark, gothic, erotic . . .  That's all I'm saying.  It gives me goosebumps and freaks me out in a creepy-crawly way.  

Kind of weird that I've creeped myself out.  And that I like it.  Hmm.  

Off to write notes, maybe even a proposal.  (Okay, so I already have the first ten pages done).  Heh.  Yanno, just to get it all out while it's fresh.  Bad form to ignore the muse when she plays Hephaestus, cleaves your head in two and makes a book come out . . .

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This & That

First up -- It's Steampunk Week over at Heather Massey's Galaxy Express!  And there's a great interview on the subject with Colleen Lindsay.  Check it out.  'Tis cool stuff.  And thanks to Colleen, I've added D.M. Cornish's Monster Blood Tattoo, among others, to the reading list 'cus, hey, anything that grips a reader enough so that they read it in one sitting and then re-read it, must go on the list. 

Been thinking of titles, and I've got two really awesome possibilities for Book 2 in the Charlie Madigan series.  Also, I am loving how Book 2 starts off.  Let's just say we jump right in and get down and deadly in the first few pages.  :D

Oh, and I finished up a volunteer critique I did (along with my fellow 2008 Golden Heart finalists) for Brenda Novak's Auction for Diabetes Research.  It was fun!  The auction winner asked two really great questions that I'm going to pose here to you all soon.

That's it for now . . .    

Monday, September 22, 2008

Looking ahead

I'm a goal setter.  I like to have a plan.  Now that I've sold and met that particular goal, I spent the weekend thinking a lot about where I want to be in the next five years.  How many books I'd like to have sold.  Series I'd like to write.  That sort of thing.  

I have no intention of spreading myself too thin.  I know my capabilities and limits.  I am very comfortable writing 2-3 books per year.  I can do that without stressing myself and without rushing the final product.  I'd like to work on two different series.  Perhaps in the same genre.  Perhaps not.  That depends on whatever work I end up selling (hopefully) beyond my Charlie Madigan series (the series I am writing for Pocket).  

The options are endless.  Debut authors can sell a second series before their first book comes out on the shelves.  In May Maggie Stiefvater sold SHIVER (which sounds amazing) in a two-book, significant deal to Scholastic, and her first book, LAMENT with Flux, won't be released until October 1st (or thereabouts).  These are both YA.  A few other authors come to mind here, too . . .   Some authors like Rachel Vincent have a few books out on the shelf before jumping into a new genre (YA) and blessing us with more of her wonderful imagination.

My point here is that there are so many ways to approach one's career that it can be overwhelming and confusing.  But, for the most part, I know how I want my career to proceed.  I've had years and years to think about it, to decide what is realistic and doable based on my abilities.  I study the market.  I see how other authors manage their careers.  Of course, all that being said, no one's experience is or will be the same.  Plus, things are always changing.  It helps to have folks in your corner to guide you.  Your agent.  Pubbed friends who have been there, done that.  The most important thing to me is being able to write what I'm compelled to write, what I really want to write, and to be able to share my imagination with others.  And eventually, hopefully, one day make a living doing what I love.
    
Do you guys plan ahead, set goals?  

Okay, enough of my rambling . . .  I have yet to have my second cup of coffee.  And I need to get back to work -- can't sell anything else unless it's written!    

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Brainstorming

Just had lunch with Jen where we stuffed ourselves, chatted about books, publishing, and other career-related stuff.  We also brainstormed.  I can't tell you how helpful it is to bounce ideas off someone and to "think out loud".   To get a slightly different perspective than your own.  It can lead to things you might never have touched upon otherwise.  It can create a ripple affect. Whether or not you end up using the ideas that come up, these sessions always get the creative wheel spinning.   So, that being said, I'm off to write!  Good day.  :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some of my work

Ha!  And you thought I was talking about writing.  :)  It's a rainy, surprisingly cool day.  I'm in a reflective, rather pensive mood this morning and have been staring at one of my clay sculptures.  So, I took him down off his perch and snapped his pic.  I give you Bucephalus.  Well, my interpretation anyway.  He's old.  I sculpted him about 8 years ago.

  

Monday, September 15, 2008

Warning: Sappiness ensues

Writing is a solitary endeavor, this we all know.  But, for a lot of us, that actual process would not be possible without support and sacrifices from others.  Talking to Colleen the other day about the Hubby, what he does for a living and how much he travels, reminded me of the sacrifices he has made to make my publishing dream come true.  He works.  A lot.  So that I can stay home to write, raise our kids and work on my degree.  And sometimes, it's a struggle to make ends meet.  But he's always had my back, always believed in supporting me and my dream.  He wants me to do this.  He wants me to succeed.  When I look back and think on the many years that we've had together, I just can't believe that I have someone like him on my side.  He gets it.  He gets me.  He's one hell of a dad, and it doesn't hurt that he's smokin' hot either.  ;-)  It's my ultimate dream to one day be able to take over the financial reins and support him -- to allow him the opportunity to rest and explore his dreams. 

Occasionally, he skims through my blog.  And, yeah occasionally, I have to embarrass him.  Consider this one of those times.  Hi honey!  :D

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dear Mister Coffeemaker

What has happened to us?  In the years we've been together, you've always been reliable and hot.  But now things are getting . . . lukewarm.  When we first met you stated quite clearly that with proper care, we'd last forever.  I believed you.  I even left my old MC for you.  You won me over so completely.  And I've done everything right.  Why aren't you hot for me anymore?  You know how much I like it like that.   Do you want me to go and find another, younger, hotter Mister Coffee?  Is that it?  It's like you don't even care anymore.  I'm sorry, I can't keep doing this every  morning, trying to make the relationship work, hoping that this time things will be different.   I'm gonna have to let you go.  But it's not like you care.   I hate you for this. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Life's too short . . .

. . . to deal with negative people or those who stress you out.  And while you might have a few of those in the family tree or at work -- those you can't exactly walk away from -- you can distance yourself, or not get involved in their drama as much as you might have in the past, or just accept that some are not going to change and let their negativity pass you by instead of giving it permission to eat away at you.  But really I'm speaking more about energy-sucking acquaintances, those who feed on stress and negativity, those who thrive on drama and gossip, and will often create it just to get their fix.  If you can, part ways with these energy-suckers.  Just don't go there, you know?  Distance yourself.  Move on.  Or don't get involved if you know deep down it's going to be a strain.     

As a creative person, being stressed-out can completely stifle you.  It's counterproductive.  It becomes more than personal when it starts interfering with your job.  You find yourself thinking about the source of your stress constantly and actually caring too damn much about something you have little control over.   The one thing you can control, however, is how you allow others to affect you.    

I'm lucky in that I  have a terrific family and great friends.  But everyone faces negative feeders, or those who expect you to treat them great, but in return do not do the same for you.  Those you have, time and time again, given the benefit of the doubt and have perhaps made more than enough excuses for.  So, I have vowed to try and surround myself with positive people who get what relationships and living is all about.  Who actually treat others the way they want to be treated.   Simple concept, eh?

And I have a question now that I ask myself every morning.  "How do you want to live this day?"  It reminds me that life is too damn short to spend hours  stressing out or being pulled under by someone else's issues.  Ya know?  I'm not talking about those you care about.  If my sister is suffering, I suffer with her.  I'm just speaking about negative folks who don't truly care about or respect the relationship they have with you.  

I don't want to get to the end of a precious day and realize I wasted it all on stress.  I have better things to do with my time.  :)  

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Posts to bookmark

Or cut and paste.  Save for when you need them.  They are just that good:

Wicked smart Colleen Lindsay has been posting a "Pimpin' Your Book" series.  Ever wonder about ARC's, the difference between marketing and publicity, the financial ins and outs of bookstore events?  Check them out:






Monday, September 08, 2008

The view outside my window

I present Spidericus Bigassicus . . .

English Translation:  Big Ass Spider

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I'm a guest blogger at Fantasy Debut!

Just a quick note before I'm off to do my evening writing.  Tia Nevitt of the fabulous Fantasy Debut asked me last week if I'd be interested in doing a guest post on one of my previous blog posts about 'switching gears' or letting go of the aspiring writer mentality and moving on to that of contracted author.  

We expanded on the concept a little and I'll be posting on her blog from time to time to give an insider's look into the milestones I'll encounter as I work my way up to my release date.  I hope you can stop by and post a comment!  Needless to say, I'm a little nervous and hope folks enjoy the read . . .  

Dealing with reviews? Make a video!

I got this via my author friend Kay Cassidy.  So funny.  It's author Brad Meltzer's way of dealing with some of the not so great reviews for his book, THE BOOK OF LIES.  The ending comment from the grandmother almost made me spew coffee all over the keyboard.  Check it out.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Still in my jammies

Been writing all day.  :D   Must stop.  Work-out.  Shower.  And eat something other than Oreo Cookies and Cheetos.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Writers, need a web designer?

Websites.  Are they important?  Hell yes.  As a published/contracted writer, having a website or a blog is essential in today's internet world.  Even an aspiring writer benefits from launching that blog or website early in the game.  So, today, for those thinking of going with a professional designer, here's a list of designers who've created some pretty nice writer websites.  And for those planning to do their own, take a look at the designer's portfolios -- they can be a great source of inspiration and ideas.


As soon as I receive my cover art (and I'm given the go ahead to make it public), I'm planning to hire a web designer to incorporate the design into my website to give it a more streamlined look.  Feel free to add to the list in the comments section.