Friday, October 28, 2011

The Collected Wisdom of (Imaginary) Madmen, Part 1

I have a thing for madness.

Fictional madness, mind you. (I harbor no illusions about the romance of the real kind.) I like a clean dark cut to my mad characters. They're quickly replacing the villain and the wicked good as favorites in my fictional worlds. But most of all, I love what they say. Funny, profound, and a good dose of wtf- the collected wisdom of madmen (and women.)

Tonight (Fringe Friday), I've collected some of the more bizzare and funny and wtf sayings of Dr. Walter Bishop, one of my current favorite fictional madmen. I actually have a quote from him pinned to a quilt on the wall in my studio. When I can't/ don't want/ know it's impossible to write another word or have a worthwhile idea ever again, I look at my scraggly Walter Bishop index card and read:

"I know what it is like, to not feel equal to the task that is required of you."

Of course, the mad doctor was talking about saving the universe. Two universes, actually, and I'm just trying to coax ideas out of hiding and into the harsh light of day. But still. I've found it to be a surprisingly helpful index card, scraggly or no.

So here is some more of the collected wisdom of Walter Bishop, twizzler and slush-o guzzling scientist who as good as destroyed the universe, but would give anything to bring it back:
1. "We're all mutants. What's more remarkable is how many of us appear to be normal."
2. "There is so much to be explained. Until it is."
3. "Do you know what you're putting in our bodies? Death! Delicious, strawberry flavoured death!"
4."Well, we're all victims of our own gene pool. Someone must have peed in yours."
5. "When I mentioned that the poison would kill me within the hour, did either of you happen to notice the time?"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Big Reveal!

I can't believe how many times I've said this over the past few days, but it's true today more than ever so here I go again: Thank you for making the Blog Tour de Force's Masquerade tour such a huge success! I've lost count of how many bestsellers lists BOTH books have hit this week, and that's all thanks to you! Here's just a glimpse of what I mean:

Both books, Gifts and Darkness, are #5 and #6 in The Smashwords Top 100!!!!

Gifts of the Blood is #1 in  Paranormal  Romance, #3 in Overall Fiction, and #2 Overall YA/Teen.

The second book, Darkness in the Blood, is #1 in Fantasy: Romance!

None of this would be possible with out YOU. As a tiny way to say thank you, feel free to grab the specially designed book mark on display above. Check the "Masquerade" tab on the nav bar for a full sized version. If you have not, for whatever reason, gotten your codes or you've had trouble claiming them, please get in touch with me at vickikeire (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know. Please put "Masquerade" in the subject line, and I'll get you sorted out asap!

And now, it gives me great delight to announce the winner of my grand prize package. Here's how I did it: I gathered all contact info (name, email, notes, etc.,) into an Excel spreadsheet, gathered from my website and from my review sites. I used that to make sure I sent everyone the right book codes and that I got the right info off to the IBC. I entered the total number of Excel entries into Random.org and matched the number it gave me to the corresponding contact info.
The winner is Elizabeth W.! I've already sent an email, so please get in touch with me asap so I can get your physical address. Yay! Clap! Stomp! And a thousand thank yous!

Please stay tuned to the main IBC Tour de Force site for the Kindle winner announcement. As soon as I know who it is, I'll announce too, of course. They also have all the mystery bloggers listed. Did you guess who masqueraded here? A lot of you did! In fact, I think we had the highest numbers of correct guesses. The fabulous Belinda Boring, also known as The Bookish Snob, graced us with her presence last week. She did such a great job. I swear I woke up with a book tour hangover the next day. And who could forget The Cabana Boys? As promised, here you go, Belinda! The first ever Cabana Boys Bloggoddess Award! Enjoy, Belinda, and thanks, readers and writers alike, for everything!

Monday, October 24, 2011

ROW 80: Late Update

I had a great book tour this past week, and it kept me from checking in on time. (I know, I know, bad bad me.) It was one of those rare occasions where business and pleasure really did mix, because I had a hella good time. I'm still not finished getting in touch with all respondents (if this is you, please be patient, I will get to you, I swear!!!!) because responses were so overwhelming. But I met a lot of fun new people and authors, and this happened:
#1 Teen/YA SF Fantasy: http://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1024/popular/0/any/any
And also, this:
# 3 Romance, Paranormal: http://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1171/popular/0/any/any
And this:
#9 & 10 Fiction (That's the whole store, apparently) http://www.smashwords.com/books/category/57/popular/0/any/any
How fun is that?
While all that was going on, I did manage to get some writing done, mostly because I'm under the gun with a new series making the rounds with entities of interest. (DC workshop people may remember my Chronicles of Nowhere series?!? Yeah, that!!!!) I really should have kept better track of the word count, but with the tour it's actually easier to look at the before and after, then average the difference. So if I averaged 10,000 words over the course of two weeks, then I hit the ball park of four 1500 word days, I think. (Plus I edited). I've started using spread sheets more to keep track of book review blogs and reader responses, so maybe I'll try and do that with word counts.
I also read Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It's a really great book, if a little bit strange. I would not call it YA, and be prepared for good madness. Beyond that, I loved it. Five stars, for sure.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Welcome to the Masquerade!

Welcome, welcome everyone! If you’re in the mood to party and maybe do a little guess work, you’re definitely in the right place. We’re having a Masquerade party and as you can see, all 12 of us authors are wearing our masks and excited to meet you. I’m giddy to be here over on Vicki Keire’s blog today and gush about her book Gifts of Blood. Who am I? *fixes mask to make sure it’s in place and doesn’t reveal my identity* That would be telling but please, see if you can guess and I talk a little more about Vicki.
Do you like to swoon? Do you like finding books that instantly grab you and suck you completely in? Then thank goodness you’re here because Gifts of Blood … is THAT kind of book. From the beautiful cover and enticing blurb, I opened it up on my Kindle and fell in love. Was that my heart breaking for poor Caspia and her brother Logan? So young to face such challenging times but you know what it whispered to me? Strong heroine and you ALL know how much I love those. Caspia has a gift – she can draw the future and I was wondering if she’d ever draw up a tall, dark and delicious (Yep, you guessed right. I LOVE those too. *winks*) What she in fact draws worries her but down right TERRIFIES her when he shows up in real life. Who is he? What does he want? Will he make her SWOON? Hahaha that would be telling and just this once … I’m NOT going to tell you. *grins* I know, I’m a stinker!
But I can tell you this – comment today and through the IBC Masquerade event and you’ll receive your very own ecopy of Gifts of Blood. Yep, for FREE!! But please, don’t stop there because all 12 authors are giving away their books and if you’re like me, you can’t possibly resist. Reading is an addiction! I know I’ve read Amber Scott’s latest release, Soul Search and I have one word for you – SWOON-A-RIFFIC. *leans in a whispers* And here’s an even bigger hint of who I am – I’ve read Lacey Weatherford’s The Demon Kiss and Vance Mangum could possibly be one of my favorite characters .. EVER. These two books are up for grab as well as many more so have fun!
Vicki's also giving away an amazing prize pack to ONE lucky winner and that could be YOU!! 
1. For the Coffee Goddess in us all: Hand-roasted and hand-ground coffee from Vicki's local Bookstore of Wonders and an insulated mug
2. From the Winter Festival: A custom-designed rose quartz necklace
3. Abigail the Cat: Just kidding. It's illegal to send cats through the mail. I'm shocked you even suggested it. So here's the next best thing: a soft-as-cat's-fur, light orange scarf to keep you as warm as Abby-cat would. Plus no feeding or vet bills!
4. For your inner prophetic artist: a moleskine journal like the one Caspia uses when she draws the future. You'll never run out of paper in the middle of a prophecy again! Or you could just, you know, write in it. 
5. Because we all deserve surprises: A $25 Amazon gift card, so you can buy your own!
BUT WAIT! After you comment - feel free to read some of the reviews Vicki's received. See why everyone is buzzing about Gifts Of Blood and why the VERY NEXT THING you do when you receive your copy is to snuggle under a warm blanket and read to your heart’s content! Head over to these review blogs and leave a comment for your free e-book, and increase your chances to win that gift basket! Tell us your favorite Halloween candy when you comment on a reviewer's website, and Vicki will send you limited edition badges and bookmarks, too!
1. The Wonderful Miranda at My Eclectic Bookshelf: http://myeclecticbookshelf.blogspot.com/
2. The Awesome Stacey Mac at Flippin' Fabulous, A Reader's Record: http://areadersrecord.blogspot.com/
3. The Lovely Karen at The Slowest Bookwormhttp://www.theslowestbookworm.com/

4. The Fabulous Taylor Lee at Taylor Lee Writes: http://taylorleebooks.com/%E2%80%9Cgifts-of-the-blood%E2%80%9D-by-vicki-keire-life-death-and-love-with-an-artist%E2%80%99s-brush/
5. The Magnificent Bree at The Magic Attichttp://theawesomemagicattic.blogspot.com//
Commenting on their blogs wins you a free ebook (plus other goodies!) and increases your chances of winning the gift basket! And don't forget to stop by the IBC's page, to register to win that FREE KINDLE! 
Make sure you leave your email along with your guess as to my true identity in the comments section! Every comment gets a free e-copy of Vicki's book, Gifts of the Blood, and enters you in her drawing! Just for fun, if you tell us what your ideal Halloween costume would (or will!) be, she'll send you a free e-copy of the second book in the series, Darkness in the Blood! And make sure to stop by Belinda Boring's blog for a chance to pick up her swoonworthy Cherished!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blog Tour de Force: Masquerade is Here!

It's Finally Here! A Week of Fabulous Authors in Disguise:


And a whole week to load up your ereader with FREE COPIES of each book pictured above! Don't have an e-reader? Not to worry! This your chance to WIN A KINDLE. (Plus there are all kinds of ways to experience ebooks: on your phone, pc, laptop, psychic messages... ok, not that last one. Pity, really.)

Make sure to stop by our other authors as the week rolls on:
  • Augusto Pinaud--"The Writer"
  • Rachel Thompson--"The Evil Within" horror anthology
  • Maxwell Cynn--"The Collective"
  • Belinda Boring--"Cherished"
  • Jackie Chanel--"Change of Heart"
  • M. Todd Gallowglas--"First Chosen"
  • Elena Gray--"Widowmaker"
  • Amber Scott--"Soul Search"
  • Jeremy Rodden--"Toonopolis"
  • Lacey Weatherford--"The Demon Kiss"
  • Ann Charles--"Dance of the Winnebagos"

So remember, party people: The long-awaited and highly anticipated Blog Tour de Force starts today!

Sunday Update: Masquerade is Here! (almost)

Lots of crazy ups and down this week as far as writing goes. Some progress, lots of frenetic activity because the Masquerade Tour starts tomorrow (eek), and some realizations.

1. The writing? Two days of meeting my goal of 1500 words per writing day, and two days of editing. But since I set a goal of at least three days of writing, even with the editing, I fell short of goal once again. We're two weeks in, and if this trend continues, then it's time to reevaluate this round's word count goals. I hope that won't be necessary, but that's the beauty of ROW80- flexibility. My reading goal is to finish the new V.J. Chambers, Toil and Trouble, about which I'm very excited. Hopefully I'll have a little more time towards the end of the week, after....

2. The Masquerade tour starts tomorrow, which has been keeping me really busy. And really nervous- blog tours, eek! The whole week-long tour is set up like a virtual costume party. I pretend to be one of twelve other authors on the tour, and one of them will pretend to be me. So on the 18th, one of the other authors will be here, pretending to be me. (I'll be doing the same for another author, but I'm not telling who.) Of course, he/she will drop subtle hints in the post, and everyone who guesses the real author behind the post gets to enter to win a Kindle. Even if you don't guess correctly, every commenter gets free ebooks and is entered to win my gift basket. Check out the "Masquerade" nav bar above for deets. So, yeah. It's been a lot of fun, but also just ... a lot.

3. Without getting overly dramatic (who, me?), I made some resolutions about my writing and the direction I'm going to take it. I know I'm not the only one in the Indie world feeling vaguely adrift these days. I didn't really get it before when previously published writers harped on how amazing it felt to be in control of one's work, career decisions, etc. Having never languished in publishing limbo, it seemed like a Cadillac problem: surely a little annoyance, a little difficulty, and some waiting was worth having a legitimate press's stamp on my book, right? And despite having sold over 10,000 books with little help, part of me craved that. But you know what? Creative limbo can be a soul-sucking place. This is not an anti-anything rant. Publishing takes time; I get that. But unless I've actually signed my name on a dotted line, I'm not bound by anything to anyone. I'm free (as is any writer) to self-publish, to shop my ms around, to wait, to do whatever. If I want to write my new novel in crayon and fold each sheet into paper airplanes and launch them from the top of Haley Center, then by God, I can. (Do not try this as home. It is fun, but has extremely limited distribution range.) That freedom- the idea of it- is worth a lot.

So basically, I'm sick of waiting. Look out world: previously hoarded but awesome manuscript is on the way, and although I'm not sure exactly how I'll decide to present it, it won't be via paper airplane. Ok, off the soap box. Wherever you stand in your writing endeavors, hope everyone has a good week. And pop in on Tuesday to win free books and fabulous prizes! 


Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Pop Culture of Pure Pissed Off

This is, imo, a perfect pop song*. It's also subversive as hell. To paraphrase: "All you other kids with the pumped up kicks (better/harder/something you'd didn't WORK FOR), I'm armed (and sexy, ahem,) and I'm coming for you. Hope you run fast." (interp. mine) Now, why do we care?

Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks from Foster The People on Vimeo. (This is on AUTOPLAY, which works just like an iPod- just press the icons [like STOP] w/ your cursor to control things!)(*so does D, to give credit where it's due. This whole post grew out of a conversation w/ resident musicologist and silent label owner DCT.)

Music has always had the ability to respond with lightning speed to changing times and attitudes. A quick survey of 20th C. music charts reads like a pop culture thermometer of cultural unrest and change. Let's just peek at the '60s: between '64, the bosom of the peace/love/hippie movement, to '70, after Altamont, when the Hell's Angel's beat the cr*p out of the hippies at a Stones concert, marking the end of an era:

1964
The Temptations, "My Girl"
The Beatles, "I Want To Hold Your Hand"

1970
The Temptations, "Ball of Confusion"
Beatles remnants George Harrison, "My Sweet Lord/ Isn't it a Pity"
and John Lennon, "Instant Karma/ We All Shine On"

(And just for fun, 1970's Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Run Through The Jungle")

So we move from sweet I-Love-You, Do-You-Love-Me songs to some WTF is going on, questioning God and the afterlife, and Vietnam tracks.

Fastforward to today, and our not-so-recent past:

Cee-Lo Green: 
2006, "Crazy;"
In the vein of The Temptation's "Ball of Confusion," "Crazy" has a lot of the same WTF feel, that just-before-the-market-crashed, we've-been-at-war-with-who-for-how-long-now, everything-feels-messed-up-but-I'm-having-a-hard-time-pointing-to-exactly-what, dizzy-sick-I'd-like-to-get-off-the-merry-go-round-right-now feeling. I was feeling it. So were a lot of us.

2010, "F*ck You."
Um, yeah. Short, sweet, and to the point. I remember hearing this for the first time and thinking, "Well, somebody had to say it. Took 'em long enough."

I guess my point is that I'm seeing more focused, more overt statements of pure pissed off leaking through popular culture. Newspapers, magazines, blogs, other forms of internet writing- they've (we've?) always been able to respond to the cultural pulse as fast or faster than music. But how entertaining is the news? I mean really. Since we're all friends, let's risk honesty. I get the New York Times in my inbox, and no way do I read it nearly as often as I've played the above song. Fiction, like music, entertains. And since the warp-drive ability of push-button publishing, we writers finally have the ability to respond as quickly as other entertainers. That, to me, is severely sexy. And powerful. Potentially. If we want to step up. If not, then fine. Just think of it as slightly edgier entertainment. I love "My Girl." In its way, it's a perfect song. But you just can't crank it like you can the Creedence, or even "Ball of Confusion," or even popsters like Cee-Lo.

Which brings me back around to Foster the People. Let me be clear: I think these lyrics are meant to entertain. (The fact that I even have to write that is kinda ridiculous.) And they do. Entertain, that is. But with an edge, for those with ears to hear. That is all.
Lyrics: 
Robert's got a quick hand
He'll look around the room, he won't tell you his plan
He's got a rolled cigarette
Hanging out of his mouth, he's a cowboy kid
He found a six-shooter gun
In his dad's closet with in a box of fun things
I don't even know what
But he's coming for you, yeah he's coming for you

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet
All the other kids with the the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet

Daddy works a long day
He'll be coming home late and he's coming home late
And he's bringing me a surprise
'Cause dinner's in the kitchen and it's packed in ice
I've waited for a long time
Yeah the slight of my hand is now a quick pull-trigger
I reason with my cigarette
And say, "your hair's on fire, you must've lost your wits, yeah"

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet
All the other kids with the the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet

Run run run run
Ru-ru-ru-run run run
Ru-ru-ru-run run run run
Ru-ru-ru-run run run ru-run run

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet
All the other kids with the the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet
All the other kids with the the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet


Oh, and since I've spent an entire blog post analyzing them, buy their album & stuff here!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Amazingly Prolific Indie Writers

So I'll be having my 1 year Indieversary in a few months, and naturally, that's led to some pondering. One thing I've been considering is how success can look so different to so many different writers in this new literary landscape. Some count it in individual sales; some in royalty checks. There's also sheer volume of works produced, or having a hardcore fan base, no matter how small, or the prestige of being picked up by an agent or publisher or even just knowing you wrote, to borrow Hemingway's highest praise, a "damn fine" book.

I thought I'd share a list of damn fine (imo) writers who manage to produce books at a pace not possible before ebooks. They write like mad fiends. Although I'm not sure how they do it, or even if I'd be capable, one thing I do notice is that they don't spend a lot of time or money on self-promotion or platform building. It seems (from the outside looking in) that the emphasis is really on the actual writing. I love that. I long for it. I wish I could produce like these writers- sometimes as much as a book a month. Or more. And I happen to think they're all damn fine. (It's been a Hemingway kind of day. Storm. Tree. Don't ask.)

Oh, and I just noticed they all use their initials instead of first names. Maybe that's the secret. :)

B.V. Larson: 
I am a huge fan of his Seeker series because it's YA PNR. No surprise there. But he also writes acclaimed SF and has a lot of Fantasy fans, too, although I haven't really dug into his Haven series. Here's the parade (and I think he's got more out now):

V.J. Chambers: 
Possibly the first Indie I ever read, and certainly the first to make the light bulb go off. Now I know her as a friend and an amazing writer, even though I still go all fangirl on her sometimes, which has got to be annoying as all hell:
And oh mah stars, this post just got a hella lot shorter, because when I was uploading these books covers to make swank slides, I saw THIS:
What rock have I been living under that I missed her new release??? I have longed for this one since I heard the first pitch months ago- warring magical mobster families, and a magically transmitted virus, a complicated boy named Bryce, and a kick ass heroine named Olivia. Really, I was going to include at least one more writer (S.A. Naoeole, author of the Grace and Gossamer series), but I'm off to Amazon 1-click. Damn fine evening after all. Damn fine indeed.

Monday, October 10, 2011

(Almost) Rainy Days and Mondays

It's a dreary Monday here, complete with almost-chilly weather and an annoying sort of half-drizzle that forces you to carry an umbrella that you probably won't have to use. I love this kind of weather. I think I was born to live in London. Or Seattle. Except I hear they have snow.
After my lukewarm, no progress, completely lazy weekend and subsequent fail of an update, I'm sitting here with a steaming Chai Latte trying to organize my week. I used to do this in list form. More and more it's taken on esoteric internet formations, like the blog and group Google calendars. Looking back over the update I scrawled last night, I must have been tired or discouraged or extremely lazy or all three. I also didn't read Kait Nolan's check-in post closely enough. Having a ROW80 accountability partner is a stellar idea. I am therefore writing this second update/organizing post in the hopes of finding a Twitter sprint partner of my very own. (That's # 4, if you want to skip down.)
1. Free reads: I'm putting up a "free fiction" section. Why haven't I done this before? I've got short stories and outtakes floating around out there anyway. Time to collect them all in one convenient central location for your reading pleasure.
2. Website: A static landing page for my site/blog. I've watched as several of my friends/ writing buddies have done this, and it seems to make their digital lives a little easier. I'm all about the easier these days.
3. I'm cooking! Easing back into it, actually. It's not about liking or disliking; it's just that I'm so out of practice. So I wind up staring blankly into cupboards at dinnertime, wondering what manner of magic I'm supposed to perform. That's when the siren call of take out is strongest. But! I'm taking baby steps. Right now that means following simple recipes to the letter, or using pre-packaged ingredients. (I just heard my foodie friends choke a little.) But that's ok. It's a process. Once I get used to the kitchen again, I can get back to baking and making my own stock. And anything beats takeout three or four nights a week. This weekend, I actually made pizza from scratch instead of ordering it! And the fam ate it. Crazy.
4. ROW80 accountability: I am looking for a ROW80 partner interested in doing Twitter Sprints- 1k/1h specifically. I'm the kind of person who works well with a schedule. I also have a family that needs me for things (see #3), so carving out some dedicated sprinting time would be ideal. In the short term future, MTThF are probably best. The after-school, before-dinner shuffle of 3:30-6 (US Central) is probably not so great. Plus I am not a perky morning person. Just not built that way. But! Flexibility is a wonderful thing, too. I don't want to be so ironclad that I refuse to do a sprint just because it's not noon on a Tuesday.
5. Masquerade tour: Coming to a blog near you mid-month! Twelve authors, six days, prizes prizes prizes, a chance to win a Kindle, and a free ebook from each Masquerade author for everyone who leaves a comment on his or her blog. Actually, this is drawing quite close, and I hope you all drop by my three sponsoring book review blogs:
Karen at The Slowest Bookworm
Bree at The Magic Attic
Stacey Mac at A Reader's Record
to say hello, give me your support on my first multi-author epic book tour, and win one (or more) of my books if you haven't read them already. Plus did I mention prizes?
6. Prizes! That's the other thing- I get to design a book-themed gift basket. Now I love gift baskets. I love them almost as much as I do cake walks. But usually I'm on the winning end. It's been interesting finding book-themed prizes. So far? Coffee stuff- that's easy. Mugs, hand roasted beans from the Bookstore of Wonders here in town, and of course a Starbucks card. Then there's jewelry. There are two necklaces in the book, so I'm meeting up with our resident bead lady to reproduce one of them as faithfully as possible. If I could, I'd give everyone their own Abigail the Cat. Instead I think I'm going to settle for an Abigail-hued scarf or throw blanket of appropriate softness. There's more, of course. Stay tuned while I construct a "Masquerade Tour" page on the nav bar up there.
Out of Chai Latte. Off to whisper sweet nothings to my Kuerig while it makes me more. May you all have fabulous Mondays, or something like!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Busy Brief Update

October's gotten really packed already, to the point that I'm just trying to hang on to the goals and commitments I've already made and ride it out. How does that always happen, and so darned fast?
This week: only two writing days and one editing day out of four total. (Ok, ok, that's a fail.) (But I swear I will find my groove.)
Other goals: Reading-  check. The business of books- so very check. Lots going on there. An upcoming tour; impending release; new project and another tour immediately following. There's the Masquerade tour with eleven other authors that has me so excited I just don't even know. And I get to design a gift basket! Squee!
So that's this week- mostly a resolution to balance things better. Although I have doubts. When I get close to a release, I always wind up switching days for nights as I slip into vampire hours. But I suppose the month of Halloween is a good one to slip into vampire hours, if I must.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Um, What? Progress? Look! Pretty Pictures!

Progress? Already? As in, I'm supposed to be making some?
Bwa ha ha ha ha.
I am. Making some, I mean. Progress, that is. Spurred on by "I want" and "When when when" and even (huge gasp) TEAM ASHEROTH emails, Book 3 is being born.
Team Asheroth? Seriously?
Um, ok. Back to progress. Which I'm making. 1500 words 4 times a week. Except for now, because I'm writing this check in and not my Beautiful Baby Book 3 (BBB3). So I'm going to get back to it- I am in the midst of  one of those aforementioned 1500 word sprints. I realized it was check in and stopped, which Asheroth did not like at all. (Although he *loves* having a team.) So I only have to make three more days between now and Sunday to meet goal. Along with those other two things I'm supposed to be doing. Which I'll go look up as soon as I'm done with Asheroth.
Or rather, he's done with me.
And now, because I feel like a slacker of a check-er-in-er, and also because I'm very visually oriented, here are some images that have inspired some of the events in Book 3: (also, just 'cause they're pretty):
Thanks! Have a great rest of the week! Soon we shall all be absolute dervishes of productivity! Or something like that. -V

Monday, October 3, 2011

That Time Again

Whoa. I cannot believe how fast that break went. I think time speeds up when people are on break. Someone should do a scientific study and make a lot of money off it. I won't even charge a finder's fee. Or thinker's fee. Or whatever.

So now it's time to state my goals. Mine are pretty simple, really:
1. Write 1500 words 4 times a week.
I've tried doing smaller word counts for more days and it just winds up annoying me. I think I must be a HMW- High Maintenance Writer. I have to find the perfect atmospheric song, lock myself in my studio away from the house and people in general- yep, HMW. So I should take advantage of it and work those words once I'm there.
2. Editing: I can substitute 1 day of editing for one day of writing. Last round the editing got out of hand. I know it's important, but I can't let it take the place of forward progress. So, I can edit all I want, but I still have to get AT LEAST 3 writing days in.
3. Continue to read extensively in my chosen genre, but this round, I'd like to actually do something about it.
Reading is my One True Superpower- one of the few reasons I am genuinely thankful I went to grad school. (I also think I might have a bit of a problem. But there are worse vices than books, for sure.) Since I read a lot anyway, maybe I'll start a halfhearted book blog on the side. Not to become a black belt blogger or anything, but just to do something constructive with all those books. (Plus maybe get some luscious ARCs). So- post at least one review a week, hopefully on The Halfhearted Book Blog (omg- did I just really name it that?), but if not, then here or Goodreads will do.
4. WIP goals this round include Book 3 in my trilogy, Blood Redemption, an as-yet unnamed novella, a serial, and a collaborative project I'd at least like to get off the ground. I also have SNIs dripping off me like sweat at the 4th of July potato sack race, but I'm learning to take what I think I can do and divide it in half. Or even thirds. Everything after that is a nice bonus.

This round I'm going to try something different: implementing rewards! For HMWs like me, positive reinforcement really helps, so I'm going to give myself weekly rewards if I meet my goals. Nothing major. It may just be doing nothing- literally nothing, as in, "Go ask your father, I'm staring at this wall for the next two hours." It may be buying ridiculous virtualities for my secret shameful addiction, The Sims- little pixelated fur coats and glowing mohawks and butlers named Sarumon. Maybe one day a good movie will happen, but probably not. But at the end of Round 4, if I've been a very good little HMW, I'll get some undisclosed fabulousishness.

That's all for now! Like all of us ROW80ers, I reserve the right to adjust these goals as real life happens. Thanks for stopping by, and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else's goals are this round.

We Have Winners!

The 1K Followers Contest ended at midnight! Rafflecopter, after consulting with the infinite wisdom of Random.org, picked four winners. They are:

Grand Prize: The Indie E-Library of Awesome goes to Wendy Watts
Runner(s) Up: Hand-screened T-shirt & journal goes to Valerie Williams and Courtney Edson
Honorable mention: $10 Amazon Gift Card goes to Daniel Tribble

I'll be in touch with the winners by email to work out the details of prize sending and receiving. Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks to all of you for stopping by my blog, or saying hello on Twitter, or nudging me on Facebook to say, "What? You're playing that stupid game again?!?"

(Yes. I'm playing that stupid game again. Curse you, FaceBeast! A plague on all your houses!)