Spring in the Pollen Belt: that enchanting sucker-punch combo of beautiful new growth and microscopic spores cabable of knocking fully healthy humans flat on their backs. Who needs alien invasions? Come to the South in spring. You will find a land lush with azaleas, dogwoods, and graceful Live Oaks. In college towns like mine, perfectly tanned, disturbingly similar young women, ages 18-24, with shiny long hair in short floaty strapless dresses decorate vast college lawns like ornaments on Christmas trees. And yet, within weeks our cars will be coated with a disgusting snot-green layer of pollen so thick you can, and will, write "wash me"or worse on strange vehicles. You will suffer migraines that might send you to the ER, or you will at least strongly think about it. You will ingest every painkiller known to man to make it stop, but it won't. Prescription, non, doesn't matter. Your eyes will be so raw and red everyone will think you spent the whole night crying. Pollen season... er, spring, that is... is the the real reason Jack Daniels was invented.
This is all my way of explaining why the beautiful, creamy white daffodils blooming right outside my studio door and I have a complicated relationship. And why my Sunday is complicated too. On Friday, those daffodils made me cry from my first sinus-induced migraine of the season. Maybe not them, specifically, but they're good representatives. They're beautiful, and I love them. I look forward to their arrival every spring. And yet, I've spent the last thirty six hours flat on my back in a dark room because light and motion made me nauseous. I have crap to do, Daffodils. And yet you don't care. Spring has no pity. At least next month is April, and I get to make TS Eliot's "The Wasteland" jokes : "April is the cruellest month...." insert stupid statement making fun of Great Dead Poet's Greatest and Least Understandable Poem.
Just what have I done...hmm. ROW80 Sunday demands accountability: Two more writing days after my last update. 2434, 3175, 2112, and 183. One of those days I pulled two shifts, so two of those chunks were actually in one day. Also, the 183 kind of doesn't count- I think it belongs with the 2112. So yeah, that's two days.
What did I read: Jason Lett's Inevitable, which I very much enjoyed. Finished Catherine Fisher's Incarceron. Did I mention Jenna Black's Glimmerglass? Also Renee Carter's His Eyes and Cindy Bennett's Heart on a Chain, both refreshing YA journeys into Realism. Jason Lett's book and these last two are both Indie releases, and I'm not kidding when I say they were my favorites. Something's happening to me as a reader. I think I mentioned this in an exchange with Claire Farrell and Stacey Wallace Benefiel. If you're into Indie reads at all, you know that they often break the rules in a way that I've come to find incredibly refreshing. I've long since found being Indie liberating as a writer. What I'm shocked to discover is the depth to which I've been conditioned as a reader by traditionally imposed standards. I'm frequently finding traditional releases kind of stale. I will gladly trade a typo (the biggest gripe against Indie) here and there for a truly innovative approach to storytelling, or voice, or narrative perspective. Caveat: Not all traditional releases are stale, nor are all Indie release innovative. I'm currently reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and I'm loving it. At any rate, this is a huge topic. I'll have to address it further in another post.
Publicity/Networking Stuff: A spotlight coming up with IndieParanormalBookReviews, which I think is the very first Indie site I ever joined back in the day. Very exciting. I did this giveaway thing. I sent out emails to the winners, so if you didn't get an email, please contact me again. No reader left behind! Also, I have something in the works with our Indie friends over in the music biz. Does it strike anyone else that there's some cross-marketing potential there? Indie music audiences are roughly 16-35 (and older, true), and very e-savvy. Plus I know a lot of musicians personally who carry Kindles on the road- they're so easy to pack. That's not the same as audience, that's true, but what I'm getting at is that we have some built-in allies over in music land. And I know a lot of ebook readers who are truly passionate about music, too. Many writers post playlists to go with their books, or at least mention the bands that inspired them. And Kindle does have an mp3 feature. Seldom used, but still, it's there. So I have something in the works called "Rock Your Kindle," and that's all I can really say about it now, except that if it works, other interested parties can play too.
That, and it helps to be married to a record label exec. :)
Finally, I think just maybe I'm making headway on a cover for Book 2. Early beta responses have been in favor of a title change. I have to agree with them. I love being able to just Poof! change the title if I want. Gifts will soon be available in print form through CreateSpace, and the digital copies will be available as second edition. There will be a "sneak peek" chapter for book 2 added on, as well as an "if you liked this book, check out Jenny Pox by Jeff Bryan" section. And maybe, if I can swing it, my Rock Your Kindle promo. But everybody's at SXSW, and I'm not sure I want to hold back the release. We'll see.
Ok, so that was epic. Whoops. Pray indulge. Hope everyone has a good week.