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Bone Walker, Drollerie Press

Bone Walker, Coyotecon, and Maynowrimo continue!

This past weekend I sat in as sort of unofficial moderator at two different Coyotecon panels, “Writing Mental Illness” and “Young Adult Speculative Fiction”. That was fun all around, and gave me a chance to interact with a few folks I hadn’t before. Those transcripts aren’t up yet, but if you go over here, you can see the transcript of the first panel I participated in, the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Fiction panel. And all of the available transcript panels can be found here.

Meanwhile, Joely Sue Burkhart’s sister event of Maynowrimo proceeds apace. My goal for it is to hit 200 words a day on Bone Walker, minimum. I’ve skipped a day or two, but the math works out nicely still to have me on track! As of tonight’s writing, which was 504 words, I’m just over the 29K mark and 30K should be breached this week.

Things discovered in the process of writing Chapter 10: Christopher’s middle name is Michael, Jude’s middle name is Alicia, and Warders can find anybody who lives in their city. And I do mean anybody, if they look hard enough. Especially magically. Good to know!

Gosh, May’s feeling nice and productive so far. I’m doing pretty well hitting my old daily goal of about 500 words a day! Let’s see if I can keep that up.

Bone Walker, Drollerie Press, Mirror's Gate, Vengeance of the Hunter

More CoyoteCon and status update-y type things

Today’s Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Fiction panel went swimmingly if I do say so myself, and as soon as I have a link to the transcript, I shall post it here! There was quite the turnout, not only of Drollerie authors but of one non-Drollerie author as well, Lucy Snyder, whose urban fantasy Spellbent I think I’ll have to be reading now.

Meanwhile, tonight’s Maynowrimo performance was not quite as awesome as yesterday’s. But I did throw words nonetheless at three total books!

Bone Walker: 238 words into Chapter 10, just enough to push me up over the 27K mark for the book. 30K is possibly doable by the end of the week.

Shadow of the Rook: 277 words into Chapter 3. A Faanshi chapter, the first in this story so far. And now I’m all “oh RIGHT Faanshi and Julian and Kestar! I really like these characters! And their story isn’t done yet either!” Shadow is hovering around 14K at the moment.

Mirror’s Gate: Only 79 words here, on Chapter 2. Mostly I was too distracted by the other two books, even though I’d also opened this file. Book’s now around 4K.

All told that’s 594 words, which is still above my old quota of 500 a day, so it’s all good!

P.S. I picked up a couple new followers on Twitter today, so if you folks clicked through to see this post, hi there! Hope you’ll hang around for more.

Bone Walker, Drollerie Press, Mirror's Gate, Shards of Recollection, Vengeance of the Hunter

CoyoteCon reminder, and status update

Do y’all know how weird it is to be able to actually say “I’m on a PANEL”? ‘Cause, y’know, it is!

I’m sure it’d be weirder if it were a big-time physical face to face type convention, but you know what? A virtual convention is still pretty damned awesome. And tomorrow–okay, today, since it’s after midnight now and that does technically make it today–I will be participating in the awesome! I’m in on the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Fiction panel at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern, along with several of my fellow Drollerie authors and Spellbent author Lucy Snyder! Come by and say hi and listen in. Details on how can be found over at CoyoteCon’s site.

Meanwhile, I’ve been having great fun participating in the CoyoteCon word wars. Like those run by , they’ve been doing wonders at making me get used to throwing words out onto the page on a regular basis again. Today I was feeling particularly ambitious, and managed to add words to not one, not two, not three, but FOUR of the works in progress! Go me!

Bone Walker now stands at nine complete chapters, and those of you who are fond of Elessir may find yourselves going WHA WHA WHA? at the reveal about him I drop at the end of Chapter 9. Muaha. No, I won’t be posting it.

Mirror’s Gate started Chapter 2 as Yevanya reacts–badly–to seeing someone she thinks is her dead husband Aleksandr, and over in Shadow of the Rook‘s shiny new Chapter 3, Faanshi reacts to realizing OH HEY she did something severely, hugely game-changing, about which I will not be elaborating because it’s spoiler-rific for the end of Lament of the Dove. Trust me on that ‘un.

And, I threw another hundred words or so into Shards of Recollection, which is still sitting in Chapter 1, but every little bit of progress counts!

All in all? This has been a good day.

Drollerie Press

My post for Maynowrimo, on motivation

Those of you who’ve seen the Drollerie Blog Tour posts I’ve done may recall my fellow Drollerie author, Joely Sue Burkhart, with whom I appear in the anthology Defiance. She’s also the author of Beautiful Death and several other works from Drollerie, and she has a new work coming out from Carina Press this year. That’s a lot of undiluted awesome for one author to be packing–but Joely took it up another notch by hosting Maynowrimo this year, her answer to Nanowrimo, in which participants can set their own goals for writing projects. She’s doing this in conjunction with Drollerie’s event CoyoteCon, and there’s already quite a bit of lovely community action going on on its mailing list!

One of the things she’s doing for Maynowrimo is highlighting writing-themed blog topics all throughout the month of May. And this post is my contribution to those. Joely gave me free rein to write about whatever I’d like, so long as it was writing-related. That’s a whole lot of territory, though. So I’m going to narrow it in and talk about one thing in particular: motivation.

Which is to say, how you keep writing even when you have a rejection list as long as your arm, and you’re certain you will never, ever sell a word as long as you live.

I realize that it’s easy for me to spout off about this–after all, I’ve sold something. But here’s the thing. Even if you do make that first sale, this doesn’t get you off the hook for maintaining that motivation. If you’re an e-pubbed author like me, you may well be secretly wondering if you’ll ever have anything in print. If you’re actually in print, if your books can be spotted on the shelves of brick and mortar stores, you have to kick it up another order of magnitude–because now you have to worry about how well your books will sell, and whether your publisher thinks they’re justified in buying your next two or three books. Writing and selling one novel is tough enough. Writing and selling enough novels to maintain a regular income? Even tougher.

So how do you keep yourself going, no matter what stage of the process you’re at? For me, a lot of it is what I hope’s a healthy mix of realism, optimism, and sheer love of putting words together.

I need the realism just to remind myself that you can write the tightest, most cohesive novel ever, and chances are still pretty high that you won’t get published. You still have to do the work to find a publisher who’ll take it, or an agent who’ll do that work for you. This means you need to find someone who will not only see a potential sale in your work, but who will also be passionate enough about it that they’ll want to convince other people to buy it, too. And since a great deal of that passion is fundamentally subjective–no two people are going to have the exact same reaction to the exact same novel–it’s a lot like trying to start a romantic relationship. It’s probably not going to work unless you and your agent/editor have the basic click.

And although it’s a tough thing to do, I try to give myself permission to fail. Sometimes this means permission to not get any writing done if the emotional, mental, or physical stresses of day to day life are sapping my creative energy–like they often do. Sometimes this means the bigger permission of not actually ever getting a book into a physical bookstore. Realism says that sometimes I simply won’t be able to write, and that I may not ever have a mass market paperback with my name on it, or be nominated for a Hugo. And you know what? That’s okay.

This is where optimism comes in. Optimism says, “Okay, these hundred or so books over here that you plowed through last year because they were just that awesome? You can write one easily as good as any of those. Go for it!” Optimism says that the important part of this whole process is trying. My chances of accomplishing the publishing goals I have aren’t big–but optimism makes me remember that they’re also not zero, as long as I write the best novel I can and do the necessary work to get it into the hands of the people who need to see it.

Last but not least, there’s the love of writing in general. I am a voracious reader, and I read so much just because I love stories and I love books. I read what I find fun–and I therefore want to write the sorts of things I’d find fun to read. It helps, too, that I come out of a long history of online role-play, so I’m very used to characters in my head demanding to have their stories told and not shutting up until I do something about them. The simple act of creating those stories is just that fun for me. The possibility of getting them into other people’s hands, people who might in fact give me money for them, is just icing on top of an already pretty delicious cake.

As with anything pertaining to writing, your mileage will of course vary. Writers, solitary creatures that we are, come in countless variations; what works for one of us is by no means guaranteed to work for anyone else in our number. But I would definitely encourage all of my fellow writers to try to work both realistically and optimistically, and most importantly to write stories you find fun. That’ll go a long, long way to keeping you going even when you’re not sure if anybody else on the planet will read a word you wrote.

Don’t discount the value either of commiserating with your fellow writers. We may all be naturally solitary by virtue of our chosen craft, but I guarantee you that we’ve all suffered the same pangs of doubt. There’s great virtue in venting your frustrations to sympathetic ears–though be sure to let them vent back! So this is my invitation to anyone reading this post: vent! Let me hear your frustrations in keeping your work going. And if you have tips to share on how to keep your spirits up and the words coming, share them with your fellow writers!

Thanks much to anyone who’s read this, and thanks again to Joely for Maynowrimo and giving me a chance to sound off!

Drollerie Press

CoyoteCon and Maynowrimo are GO

If y’all have been following the news from Drollerie Press lately, you may already be aware of this–but just in case you aren’t, we’re having us a month-long online writers’ convention called CoyoteCon! It’s just like a physical convention, with panels and guest speakers and everything, but this convention doesn’t require you to shell out hotel and airplane funds, and you can participate from the comfort of your own computer. All you need to do is hop over to our site and register for the hosted chat sessions you’re interested in, and we’ve got quite a few.

Many Drollerie authors are participating, and we’ve got guest speakers from other publishers or agencies coming in to chat with us as well. We’ve even got scheduled word wars sessions, for the most dedicated writers among you! Go check the site for more information.

Meanwhile, my fellow Drollerie author Joely Sue Burkhart, a.k.a. , is hosting a related event she’s calling Maynowrimo! Go check her site for more information on that, especially if you’d like to sign up. I’m participating, with a hard push to get as much of Bone Walker does as possible. And watch this space for a post from me to come on Tuesday, as part of her series of guest posts on writing-related topics!

May’s shaping up to be a lot of fun at Drollerie, and we hope you’ll come join us!

Drollerie Press

Join us at Drollerie for Coyote Con!

So my editor came up with an awesome, awesome idea: holding a virtual writers’ conference, in a series of organized chats, all throughout the month of May! We’re calling it CoyoteCon, and a whole lot of my fellow Drollerie authors will be participating. We’ll even have several important guests from elsewhere in the publishing world–look out, for example, for a guest appearance by !

Go check the link for details, people, and I hope you’ll be able to come by in particular for the panel I’m participating in on the 9th, about urban fantasy and paranormal fiction. Gosh! I’ve never been a convention panelist before. *^_^*;;

Registration’s free, but since these are organized chats you’ll want to sign up to get your slot for the ones you’re interested in! There should be giveaways involved as well–more details on this as events warrant. Hope to see a bunch of you there!