String Theory Rhapsody

I saw this video today on String Theory, done to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s quite geeky, so I decided to share with it with you in case you, too, find geeky things entertaining. And besides, who doesn’t like Bohemian Rhapsody parodies?!

Ch-ch-changes! Publishing is broken…

As I sit back and type this, I feel like an adventurer in a brave new world. The publishing world is changing in ways that may or may not be for the better.

I’ve spent the past two decades being told that traditional publishing is for ‘real writers’ and that indie-publishing is for ‘losers’ who ‘can’t get a real publishing contract.’ But with the world diving ever long into eBooks, those ideas are morphing, and honestly, as an author, I’m not sure where I stand on this debate.

I read an article today in Forbes that dealt with both sides of the argument, and brought up some interesting ideas I hadn’t thought about. Something to think on, anyway.
I thought I would share: Publishing is Broken. We’re Drowning in Indie Books and That’s a Good Thing by David Vinjamuri.

You suck. Do better.

An interesting conversation took place in an online writing community this morning about entitlement and self-improvement. I’ve seen many a beginning writer sit back and throw a woe-is-me party.

“But I can’t write every day! I have ________(kids! work! crochet class!)______!”
“But you don’t understand! I’m poor! I can’t possibly improve my craft through writing conferences, critique groups, books, fill in whatever excuse you like here!”

There is nothing wrong with having a family, having a job, enjoying extracurricular and enriching activities. There is nothing wrong with being poor either.
But there is definitely something wrong with using excuses as a reason why you can’t meet your dream. Before someone who wants to write begins, he/she needs to ask him/herself, this:

What is your dream?

Neil Gaiman said it best in his speech, “Make Good Art!(Which if you haven’t seen, you MUST go see, no matter what your dream may be!) If your jobs and decisions aren’t taking you towards that dream in some way, then you’re going to struggle reaching your dream.

I spent 3/4 of my life dirt poor. The kind of poor that makes one wonder about where food will come from next or whether or not we can make the rent. And it sucks. Adversity is so difficult, but it is something one can overcome. Langston Hughes did it. He didn’t stay in Harlem and cry about how hard it was. He educated himself. He worked very, very hard so that he could overcome the obstacles in his way. J. K. Rowling did the very same. She relied on government assistance for a long time while she wrote and wrote, all the while a single parent, so that she could achieve her goals and dreams.

No one said it would be easy. There will be days when you scream. Days when you cry. And days when you give up. The difference is that when those days come, you shake yourself off and keep writing. Keep going forward.

My husband had a very succinct way of putting that this morning. He said:

“You suck. Do better.”

He followed that up with the statement that those words apply to EVERYONE. Everyone has room for improvement. If you don’t try to improve yourself and your situation, then life will be quite difficult and dreams will feel unattainable.

My husband and I are very fortunate. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t know this. But part of the reason that life has been fortunate to us is because we worked hard, which allowed opportunities to reach us that otherwise would not have. My husband’s employer would not have sought him out for his amazing job if he hadn’t worked hard previously to build his skills and better himself. Opportunities can and will pass you by if you aren’t looking for them, if you aren’t working toward them.

No one is going to walk up to you and say, “Let me give you a billion dollars and fulfill all your dreams.” If it were that easy, more people would be doing what they love for a living.

If I want to achieve my goals, self-improvement and self-reflection are necessary. They aren’t the enemy, folks. I am where I am as a writer because of adversity. In spite of adversity.

But still, I suck. I will do better.

Down to the Nitty-Gritty

I’m down to the nitty-gritty on updates to the site. Setting up all the social media pages and linking them here.
Hopefully I can finish it in the next day or two so I can get back to writing!

NaNoWha?

Authors get asked fairly often whether or not they support NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. I decided to write my take on the entire thing. Feel free to read it and comment on it with your own two cents by clicking here. (You can also hover your mouse over WRITING and click on NaNoWha?)

Site Rebirth

After getting hacked, the site is back. Slowly but surely I am redoing it.
It’s not finished yet, so please be patient. Thanks in advance.

-Raven

More Revisions than I know what to do with

I took a break from Don’t Call Me Daughter to work on revisions of Amaskan’s Blood. I needed the break from it–the words were beginning to swim.
I did finish hard-copy revisions on AB though, so now to actually do something with the revisions.

My hope is to have one novel or both to the beta readers by October. Wish me luck! I still have some unpacking to do… :/

Revisions

We’re about 85% unpacked.

I also finished hard-copy revisions on Don’t Call Me Daughter. Yes, for all that I’m a techie, I still do revisions on printed paper before inputting them into Scrivener. So now I just have several hundred pages of edits to put in and a reorganization of the novel’s order. I’m glad I have a good piece of writing software. Otherwise, the rearranging the order would be more of a major pain than it will already be!

DCMD Update while aflood with boxes!

Despite being sick and aflood with boxes (still!), I managed to finish Don’t Call Me Daughter. It’s way too long, yet I felt like I wrote it very compactly. Still, I need to cut a good 100 pages from it.
The printed manuscript weighs more than my laptop! Still, another book down!

My Secret is Coffee Shops (writing, writing everywhere!)

Despite all the boxes and chaos of finding a place to live and moving into it and out of temp housing, I managed to get some writing done in the past month.

In fact, I finished Amaskan’s Blood! Now to edit the beast. It’s currently sitting at 308 pages in length.
My secret has been coffee shops. They are everywhere in Seattle. You can’t go a block without one. Being able to people watch while writing is inspiring. Wrote two short stories about the characters that visit my local haunt. Maybe I’ll post them up here once they are out of rough draft stage.

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