Thursday, April 23, 2015

Flash Contest!!

Guess the significance of this photo and win a book of your choice. Hopefully one of mine though.


First one to comment with the correct answer wins!



Monday, April 20, 2015

Lightbulb

...or How to Cure, or at least Smother, Writer's Block


It’s been a slow, dry spell. Muse has fled and the sugar-sweetness of your newest manuscript is like sour cherries, devoid of inspiration.

It happens to all writers. The day when the Voices move on leaving you flopping in the sun like a fish out of water.

Remedies follow:

First, a routine. Yes, punch in a time clock and follow it without fail. Let nothing get in your way. Pick a time and write. Or at least try.

Since Life has a way of interfering with our Voices, pick a reasonable time and try for a daily word count. My routine is something like this:
  • In Chair at 9 am
  • Stay there for two hours with minimal research time. I set a timer to keep myself from wandering Jamaica looking for surnames—stuff like that
  • In Chair at 1 pm. Two hours then a break. 

All of the above is subject to change. Mostly I write for longer than 2 hours or go back to it after 4 pm for blogging etc.

Second, talk with them Voices. Pick a character. Have a conversation, see where they want to go with their life. Let them unload on you about their problems or past history that causes them to act the way they do.


Non-writers make me laugh and not with a lot of humor. “What's hard about it?" they ask. "You sit, you write. All too easy."

Writers know the truth:
"Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." - Gene Fowler
"To say that a writer's hold on reality is tenuous is an understatement — it's like saying the Titanic had a rough crossing. Writers build their own realities, move into them, and occasionally send letters home." - DAVID GERROLD

And last:
Q. How many publishers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. Three. One to screw it in. Two to hold the author.

Keep writing. Otherwise the Voices will make your head explode. You know it's true.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Not this Time

...Or why A to Z challenge just isn’t possible this year.


It started in 2010 with 100 participants and grew exponentially every year since into the behemoth it is in 2015. I participated in 2011, 12, and 2014. Loved it. Absolutely Loved It.

But, Holy Smokes, the time it takes.

Reading the blogger posts of the participants enriched my writerly ways. Making new friends and viewing the world through their eyes was like standing on their front porch and seeing it for myself.

But there are only so many hours in the day and evidently, my organizational skills suck.

And so, I am not participating this year. But I will check the list of those who ARE participating from time to time, visiting my friends and making new ones. 

But I’m not posting or commenting 300 plus times like last year.

Thanks for peeking at my blog. Love having you and expect a return visit.


****

I take great pleasure in obscure accomplishments. The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America accepted my request for membership.

My peers know what it means to me. *Doing a Major Snoopy Dance*




Wednesday, April 1, 2015

IWSG - Blogs. Huh. Yeah.



IWSG—Insecure Writers Support Group, coming together on the first Wednesday of every month for a virtual pat on the back. 





Blogs.
What are they good for?


Sorry. Couldn’t resist. 
Actually, the answer is: It depends.

What do you like to see? What do you read?

Advice is great. Unless said advice is info you mastered several years ago. I like marketing information, publishing, or sales. But how to research literary agents, publishers, and write a query? Eh, not so much.

Agents and what they are looking for. Yes, especially their personal blogs. They get into the meat of their likes and dislikes. But then confusion can set in. One said she liked contemporary fantasy but not urban. Uh...okaaaay?

Cover reveals or new releases. I do read them and sometimes I buy, but I’m more likely to see the novels at  BettyBookFreak .

Personal stuff. It’s crazy, I know. But I like blogs that occasionally post personal stuff when I know and enjoy them as a person. They must be a blogging friend. Otherwise, it’s like a stranger accosting me on the street with their problems. Don’t Care.

So what do you like? What do you read? And answer the question:


Blogging. Huh. Yeah. What is it good for?

 Absolutely...Everything

* * * * 

Insecure Writers Support Group: The Final Frontier.



These are the continuing voyages of the Ninja Captain, AJC. His mission, to explore all new writing venues, to seek out new authors and new blogs. 

To boldly go where no blogateer has gone before.

Monday, March 23, 2015

How to Switch Publishers

...or, Going Self-Pub




When my publisher went out of business, I had no choice in the matter. I had to find a home for my books.

Musa Publishing informed its authors on February 20th that it was closing its doors. On March 1, all publishing rights reverted to us. So now, what to do with my books?

Submit to another small publisher. I never seriously considered this venue. 

Small presses are great. Loved mine for example. But, since bad ones plague our business, research is paramount and I didn’t have the time. 

Besides, I was already half-way to self-publishing so why blindly look for another small press like a desperate petitioner.

Self-Publishing. I’d tested these waters with Out of Magic so I wasn't totally naive. Only 95%. Luckily, I had help in the form of KMDwebdesigns.com.  Kelly Shorten and Michael Mand were a part of the Musa team and we are all very familiar with our relative quirks. I highly, highly recommend their services.

I bought the cover photos and Kelly re-created them perfectly. KMD formatted the interior for print and e-book.

I had an account with KDP and Createspace. I named my publishing company Shamira Publishing and moved through the various decisions on size and marketing. I bought my own ISBN for print but let KDP chose the Kindle versions. For now, I’ll go with Amazon as my only format. I sold a dozen or so at B & N etc and wasn’t really impressed. Besides, Amazon has all formats available for Nook and Apple so why bother.

Wilder Mage and Mage Revealed are live, print and e-books, joining my first short story, Out of Magic in that self-pubbed goal. 











Amazon - Wilder Mage

Amazon - Mage Revealed




Nothing is permanent in this life. Especially computers and business ventures. 


But good friends are forever.


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