Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Okay, let's try this again

Okay, let's try this again. I started to write this great entry for Joyously Prolific, and about 800 words into it, I realized it would make a better Vision article. The article is now 1586 words long and sitting off to the side where I can go over it again later.
So . . . what shall I talk about instead?

Russ will be home in a couple days. He hasn't been here since January 2nd, so it's going to be very nice to see him again. We talk on Skype most nights -- sometimes with video when he has a good connection at a hotel. That helps us both. The cats come by so he can see them, too. The funny thing is that the video looks very much like the communication's video on the old Space: 1999 episodes sometimes. We live in a science fiction world.

Anyway, we have plans to visit a wildlife refuge, discuss our new big project, and generally just enjoy a little time together. A week is not long enough, of course, but it's what we've got. Russ has classes to teach during that time, too. So it really isn't going to be enough time, no matter what.

And I admit that the closer it gets to Russ coming home, the more trouble I'm having staying focused on anything at all. I need to get some work done on Vision, but I just keep bouncing off of it. Very annoying. I'm surprised that I got the article done. But then, again, I wasn't trying to write an article, so maybe that's the answer.

I guess I'll go try not to work on Vision and see how I do.

It's a plan.

Not a good one, but a plan.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I have discovered Flikr

Okay, I knew it existed before now. But all I ever saw of it was a kind of dull looking page with a picture someone would point me too, and a lot of writing around it. Boring.

Then the Cornell Lab of Ornithology pages pointed out their Flikr group. Groups? There are groups? I went and looked around.

Oh my.

Don't go there if you don't want to have serious photography envy. And camera envy. I want one of those lovely DSLRs. Oh and the $1600 lens I saw one of them uses would be nice, too, of course. (grin)

The groups are fun. I've found ones for my two favorite Wildlife Refuges and one for Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. You can imagine me frantically searching through years and years of pictures looking for just the right ones to post.

It's nice to start looking to photography again, especially since spring is more or less here. I've also been sitting out at the dining room table with my old computer where I write through the afternoons and take pictures of the bird feeders outside the window. Well, not of the feeders themselves, but the birds who show up there. There's quite a range of guys from little chickadees to large doves. I've been getting 300 to 400 pictures a day. I usually do multiple shots in quick succession, since the birds are so fast and you can't just wait for the right pose or you'll miss it.

I plan to go for walks down toward the river if the weather ever looks like it's going to be both warm and not rain at the same time. I have done a little bit of around the block stuff. (Did I just hear thunder again?)

Oh and writing at the dining room table -- that means no Internet and a lot of words. My little fantasy book is over 30k suddenly. So it's all going well.

Unfortunately, that's the window where the AC unit has to go. Can I survive summer here with out AC? I really don't think so -- though I do have a smaller unit I could put in my office. Hmmmm.... have to think about that. Of course, then it would be too hot to sit in the dining room and work.

We'll just have to see what I can come up with.
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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I am not Forward Motion

I am the owner of Forward Motion, and I set the rules for Forward Motion, but I am not the site. That may sound odd, but there are aspects of this that some people don't seem to understand. Forward Motion for Writers has a very specific focus: To help people reach professional publication. Because of that, the site doesn't deal in writing-related material that is not specifically aimed at that goal. We don't post fanfiction. We don't promote self-publication. Neither fall into the realm of professional publication.

That seems simple enough to me. There are other sites that welcome fanfiction and self-publishing. There are other sites that are absolutely against the world of professional publication. Forward Motion's boards cover things that will help many writers, no matter what their personal goals, because we cover a lot of the basics from grammar to world building. We also cover the steps it takes to create a publishable manuscript, from editing and critiquing to query, synopsis and cover letters.

Sounds fine so far.

But just because I run a site dedicated to professional publication doesn't mean I can't have interests outside of it. If people look at my site, they'll find several free stories, all obviously self-published, like the NaNo book and several short stories. I am doing a story on Twitter right now, in fact. I have even been known, in the past, to write fanfiction.

Now here is the problem. People assume that because I run Forward Motion, that I have to be absolutely totally and forever against anything outside of professional publication. It's not true. I do maintain the rules on the site because that is what the site is about -- working towards professional publication. I, personally, think that self-publishing is rarely the best answer, but only because most people leap into it without a clue. Once someone understands what they need to do to be successful at self-publishing -- which means everything from writing well to actively pursuing marketing -- then it's a different story. It still might not be the best answer, but at least the person knows what to expect.

That still comes back to me and the site, though.

Think of it this way: If a person runs a site about how to play professional baseball, that doesn't mean he wouldn't enjoy playing baseball out in the park on Saturdays. It wouldn't stop him from pursuing a career in the minor leagues. The site does not define who he is; it's just something he provides to help others.

Oh, and if someone says to you that Zette is totally against this or that, be sure to check with Zette before you write her a five page letter explaining how wrong she is. People have been claiming I have said and believe certain things for a long time now -- some of them saying such things so often that I've started to wonder if it isn't a purposeful attempt to discredit me. A simple check of my personal site will show that I can't possibly be totally against self-publishing, right?

I am not Forward Motion.

We are all looking at the new world of publishing and wondering which way things are going to go from day to day, let alone for any time in the future. The world of ebook publishing has come down firmly in the realm of professional publication, with companies that work in the same basic ways as many small presses -- with regular submissions, editing and marketing. The ebook world has reached the point I said it would a decade ago -- that ebooks are now just one more regular type of edition: hardcover, paperback, ebook, audio book.

I had not seen how self-publishing would become such a big industry, though. I never expected so many people to accept that having a book in their hands was enough, to be honest. But I also had not realized the trouble the traditional publishing houses would have because of the economy. And the Internet -- of course -- has changed everything. I'm open to change. I like new opportunities like ebook publishing.

So, don't make assumptions and don't assume that something you've heard is always true. There are very few people in the world who are really that one-sided.
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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Art for the day

I thought I would share a little art work for the day. Click to see larger versions.
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Saturday, April 03, 2010


I generally wear out a keyboard every year or so. But tonight I found something that made me laugh. This is page out of story probably written back in the mid 70's and it was done on a typewriter. The holes in the manuscript? That comes from the keys hititng the paper so hard that they poked holes in it. I really pounded the keys back in those days!

The story is hopeless, by the way. I think there might be a plot hiding in there but I'm not really convinced of it. And the angst -- aaaaiiieee. And we'll not even talk about the head-hopping where I have no clue who is thinking what.

I'm sure it all made some sort of sense at the time. (grin)
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Twitter Story

I have finally started posting my Twitter story here:

This is an experiment in limited space. Since nothing can be over 140 characters per line, it seriously constrains you to choose words carefully. I thought it would be fun to try, so why not? I have the story written. It will take about 20 days to post, I think.

I'm thinking about doing another one afterwards. We'll see.

My other projects are all going well, but slowly right now. I can't seem to get into the idea of 'April' yet. I've been working on the stories, but in a scattered sort of way, hoping that something will kick in and I could just get some writing done. So far it's not going very well.

The weather here is better at least, so I have the least bit outside the house a few times over the last few days. Your screen stuff out there and everything -- and the birds are back which is nice. And right now I'm writing this by talking to the computer to some interesting little experiment. I don't write well by talking aloud, but I have used this for reading notes from books and it works really well. In fact, that might be what I do with part of the afternoon. I have a book sitting here on the desk that I want to take some notes and this might just be the day to do it. Especially since I can't seem to get focused on anything else.

Maybe I do need something different to do like the note taking. I would take one more thing off my desk, too, which would be a good plan.

So this is just one of those little periods of time where I find myself restructuring what I'm working on. I have a couple ongoing projects that I work on anyway, and they've been found so far, and I don't have the big project going right at the moment. At least not in writing, who I am working on something else it's taking a lot of my time. And yes it is writing related, just not exactly writing itself. I also have a couple of the people in with me on it, so it's been a lot of fun to work on.

Go check out the twitter story let me know which of think. And maybe next week we'll be in to a new writing project --or caught up in one I've already started -- and be ready to talk about it!
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