Monday, March 14, 2011

Laurie's Journal

Well, it’s been a head-spinning week in more ways than one. The tragedy in Japan left me glued to the TV and internet for the better part of three days (so far). The destruction, loss, and disruption of lives is incomprehensible. The one-two-three punch of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear emergency left me wondering how much more they could weather. My heart goes out to the Japanese people, those living in Japan, and nation in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy. 

Stares at blank page. *blinks* Where do I even begin? *wild, stampeding herd of thoughts and ideas flashes in front of my eyes* OK, girl, steady. Just dive in and start typing.

Actions I've taken as a writer. Where am I? What am I doing?

Well, one of us had a tremendous leap in her career last week, of course. And while Sharon is off and running on what promises to be a stellar journey, and Donna is kicking out some really amazing contest material, I’m, well…a bit stalled. No, it’s not writer’s block. I don’t really get that. It’s more like I’m in this very new, very strange place with three giant Kirby vacuums all trying to suck me in and I’m getting pulled this way and that way and every which way but loose. Huh? you say. Yeah. Those vacuums are named: Traditional route? E-publish? Self-publish?

OK, full disclosure. The siren song of self-publishing has been calling to me lately. Loudly. And sweetly. I have a peer who’s had huge success in that arena, and the thought of skipping over the next round of rejections, and waiting…and waiting…and waiting…holds a lot of appeal. The idea of ME having control over my cover is exciting. The thought of ME setting my own timeline is liberating. The prospect of never being told again that “you can’t tell a romance entirely from the male’s POV” is seductive. So, yes, I’m saying the “self” word. I’m entertaining the idea of DIY. Still. Entertaining is not the same as marrying.

Because there’s this other little writer on my shoulder that says, “Wait!” What about your investment in contests?—your finals, places, and wins! Your last two RWAs? Your other memberships? All in the name of chasing the paper dream. Was it all for naught? Do you reaaaaaally want to give up on the traditional published author’s dream?  At least consider e-publishing. You haven’t really even tried, and that market is so much more receptive to SFR.  Faster track to publishing and dedicated traffic and all that jazz. Plus the prestige of being a [insert e-publishing house name here] author. Do you reaaaaaally want to have to admit you’re self-pubbed?

*Whew!* Yup, I’m in writer’s purgatory. But, thank you. Good to get that off my chest. I’ll keep you updated on this drawing-and-quartering experience in future journal posts.

New authors, cool web sites, great resources, great workshops, great online sites!

Wowie, zowie, yes! I’ve stumbled on some fantastic resources this week.

Rules for Short Fiction Writing
If you are one of those who can’t write anything that doesn’t turn into a 100,000 word epic, this link may be something you’ll want to see (via Liana Brooks blog, just click the link in her post).

Writer's Knowledge Base: Search Engine for Writers
A search engine tailored to writers! This is so excellent it boggles the mind.

And on the entertainment front, if you’re into SFR, you might like this muse-prompter from
Nobody Told Me Battlestar Galactica was a Romance

The Squeeze
Writers are sponges when it comes to soaking up writing tips and tricks. Here's where we squeeze out our sponges for the week.

Woot! Cool stuff! This #Twitterdinosaur discovered the excellence that is Tweetdeck  – a cool way of seeing and managing your tweets, and also TinyUrl –a site that will shrink down your monster links to teeeeeny little manageable, non-letter-space gobbling ones. Yes, I know. Probably laughable to most of you who find these a part of very basic WWW life, but in the event there are some other social-network-challenged writers out there, check ‘em out.

Also, Dropbox!  A program that automatically updates and saves the files you designate…and makes the available across all your computers…for free! Yep, jaw-droppingly squeeable, simple to install (even for dinosaurs) and the “f” word too.  *hugs her Dropbox*  Umm, okay that sounded questionable. But seriously, click the site and play the info video to learn more about it. I was tweeting to someone whose dog stepped on her keyboard and deleted an entire 50,000+ word manuscript.  Dropbox saved her manuscript and saved the day.  It. Is. Amazing.

The latest buzz. Submission calls. New publishers. Industry changes. Inspirational sayings or quotes for writers. And our take on them.

Well, by now you know what I’ve been chompin’ and stampin’ to tell you for over a week. Sharon’s earth-shaking news broke last week! (Earth shaking? Hey, you don’t suppose…naw.) Having a two-book deal with Tor is tantamount to tracking down the Holy Grail, especially in this economy. Sharon, as our Aussie friends would say, “Good on ya!”

And in other news, they think they’ve found Atlantis!  Yeah. Again. *g*

Great Quotes: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."
-Henry David Thoreau

Books we're reading and mini-reviews. Writers must read voraciously. Sometimes we find gems in the literary universe or sometimes certain elements of a book really speak to us (and our muses). Do we know about book giveaways? A big debut? We'll dish on those.

Reading. Yes, well. Next topic?

Events, conferences, cons as well as Facebook, Twitter and blog events.

Our 25,000 Hit Celebration came to a close last night at midnight.  Thanks to all our loyal readers and to all those who opted to become new followers of our blog.  We'll start our drawings this week from among the followers for our Pick Your Prize giveaways. Stay tuned!

Ping Pong
We'll comment back to our co-bloggers on things they've posted on their journals.

@Donna: Totally enjoyed your Mission Success Journal. No bookstores in Utah? Who knew? And I grimaced a bit at your comments on the sedentary writer’s life. Touche'. I really need to get on that “break a sweat every day” program. It was a New Years Resolution.  And it’s now March.  Time to get serious.

@Sharon: You are a leaf on the wind. Can’t stop the signal. Look out ‘verse! (Firefly moment.) Yup, still reeling from the blockbuster news. Yay you, Sharon! So exciting. As one of your CPs, I feel like I have a vested interest in Ghost Planet, of course. Can’t wait until the world is treated to this utterly fabulous Science Fiction Romance! *sigh*  Must wait. 

Meanwhile, our readers can check out some of the offering and snippets on the Sharon Lynn Fisher site.

You know. The last time I shared a blog with other writers, they all got published and left me in the dust. Oh no! It’s happening all over again. I gotta get busy!


  1. Know exactly how you feel on the 'to self-pub or not' dilemma. I fill the time between submissions with researching the indie route. Still sitting on the fence.

  2. We didn't leave you in the dust. You're doing fantastic with the contests and I see big things in your future. Slow and steady is your course.

  3. It is a tough decision for sure. I cam see why some want to SP, and can sympathize with how difficult it is to keep banging your head on a wall. At some point you need to question if it's still the right path to take. But, at the same time, not all SP is quality work. Bad writing hurts all writers, and especially debut authors. If a reader's been stung on several poor SP books, will they continue to trust their hard earned cash to another Debut author?

    I don't know if this will help, but here are two articles to think about:


    Juts two viewpoints to consider. ;)

  4. @Pippa There is a lot to think about, isn't there? I'm fact-gathering now and then I'll make a decision in the next week.

    @D L Aw, thanks. Truth is, it's probably my fault for not being as aggressive with submissions like you all were. And it is kinda cool to have all your co-bloggers publish, but I really need to do something about my status.

    @Angela Thank you! I'll read both of those articles as part of my research. I do appreciate it. Knowledge is power and all that. I do want to go into this--or not go into it--informed. :)

  5. It is a dilemma - self pub or e-book publisher with the possibility of print with many of them. I think if you had a bank of novels to offer after the riproaring success of self-pubbing your first - I'd feel more confident about that route. To build readership and following you need to maintain momentum. No use not having another book to offer once that first has flown. How long will people wait? Will they remember your name. You, Laurie, have OP - I assume almost ready to fly, Draxis too I suspect so you're in a prime position to go either way. As I said, its a hard choice.


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