Anyone want to share an opinion ?

So tonight a very good friend of mine sent me an article to read – 10 things to know about query letters. Simple math shows that following 10 steps to succeed is much more efficient than following 12 steps to recover from failing.

http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-10-dos-and-donts-of-writing-a-query-letter?et_mid=600305&rid=234867001 is the link for those that want it.

After reading and realizing that I have done all of those things, I kept circling back to the “experience” section. For all intents and purposes I have none. Something I have mentioned before ,but unlike last time this time I have what cold be a simple solution.

Go get some!

Obvious I know, but maybe I should be specific. I have written several short stories. these all are related to the book, things like explaining what a monster called an Ekmmu is, or details about how one of the characters named Jeff was hurt and had to retire. These stories were fun, but in the end, they broke focus from the protagonist, and to be honest if I tried to put all the side thoughts and actions into a single book, it would be 400K long already.

so what I am thinking about doing is self publishing the short stories, both separately and as a collection. People that read them would have a little more insight when the matching sections come up but it wouldn’t ruin the book for them. People reading the book (because I have to assume that it is going to be published) could if they wanted more details go read the short stories.

so is this a shameless cross over and annoying? or brilliant if I can do it ?

does self publishing a book taint me as a writer/author ? or does it give me experience and make more desirable to agents or publishers ?

does all of this reek of my needing to stop driving an old jeep with an exhaust leak ?

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Logic is for whimps.

I am always amazed by all the illogical things that actually work, and how many logical things don’t.

I have been trying to connect with new people, expand my knowledge and learn from their experiences. This is to both help me as a writer/author and as a human being. I knew this task would be difficult, between the fact that one of the groups of people I am reaching out to tend to be exploited already, and the generally creepiness of the internet (and how disappointing it is that the loudest segment is the perverts and scammers)

I sought out on Craigslist some deaf people to talk to about (thru email) the experience of being deaf, in all of its forms. Most of the time I was hoping to compare what I have been told and what I imagined against reality. I think I ended up with 6 replies (not counting the 24 “Hi I’m [18-24] and horny” replies. Of those 6, I did get 1 person that is answering my emails and both confirming what I had been told, and giving me some new insights (my original source was born deaf, this person had late adolescence onset deafness) I was hoping for 4 or 5 points of view, but it is pretty clear to me that there is a reason people do not trust the internet and I suspect some have doubts about me. I am still in hopes to find a couple more people I can interview by email, but am ready to accept just the two I have.

Logically, in a world with text, email, instant messaging, Facebook and such, we should be better connected to our fellow human beings than ever. In truth, even with all of this electronic communication we are less connected than ever.

On the publishing front, it’s been 22 hours since I sent out my query letter, and no one has filed a restraining order! I’m taking that as a good sign.

The scary Four letter word

I have my letter all ready, have obsessed about it, re-read it, reviewed it

its concise, to the point and I hope a good representation of my abilities as a writer.

I would compare this to picking the pretty girls at the bar and trying to buy them a drink. The only difference that I can see, the pretty girls won’t make you wait a week to 2 weeks before they kick you in the nuts.

So of all the words on my screen (almost 200 of them if you count the menu options and other such prompts) why is the one that scares me the most the four letter one “Send”

I know when I push that button, I will take my first baby step down this path. I know that the odds of my getting rejected are some where around 99.9998

but if I hit ‘Send’ I am committing my self to really really trying this.

I think I need some liquid courage.

I would ask what ya’all think, but I have noted a lack of replies to posts. so pushing that button and doing this falls to me – 100%

Mock up Book Cover.

Daily discovery.

It’s funny how often it’s the little things, the minutia that is where the truth lies.

My example of this, when I was shooting with a young woman trying to get an elusive shot for my mock up book cover, I had also asked her to make a video. The plan was she would take a towel, put it over her dress, covering it completely and then do a small phrase in ASL. It was based on one of the scenes in my book where I introduced a character and show his humor. She took the towel and the way she chose to cover herself with it made me realize instantly that I had the setup scene wrong. I had described her as having pulled the towel with the opening behind her, then needing her elbows to hold it up. Because I thought/believed that ASL took both hands, this would cause a comedic scene where she is trying to not let her friend into the room, not let him see her naked and somehow trying to communicate using only her ASL. But the way my young model covered herself, then used her ASL made me realize the scene was wrong, or at least needed to be fixed.

It’s almost masochistic but I actually like these moments. The scene would have carried, no one would have caught it other than people that actually do ASL, but I would rather get it right then to know that a real detail is wrong.

Strange Self Discovery of the Author’s Ego

I have been interviewing people (mostly deaf, but some others as well) because of my firm belief in accuracy. Put another way, if I want the reader to be able to believe that things like Demons and Witches can exist in our world, then I need to be sure that the parts of the world they can touch, smell and see are so real that they don’t have to suspend all belief, just stretch a little bit (maybe a very little).

All that said, that’s not what tonight’s blog/rant/update/whatever you want to call this is about. [If anyone wants, I will be happy to go into more detail about the fantasy approach I am using]

I have been analyzing what people say against what they do, and in doing so realized very quickly that often when I am talking, people will often tell me what they either think I want to hear or what they believe, but not what they practice. The specific example for this is unimportant, but it did bring up the question “do I ever do that?” I suppose if I am going to hold the mirror up to strangers, it’s only fair that I glance into it myself.

Sadly I found I have been growing an ‘author’s ego’. I am not sure that is what it’s really called, I am so green to all of this, it could be that it’s the norm, and I am just overthinking things. But what I am calling the “author’s ego” is that strange combination of euphoric high when someone read and likes my piece against all of the games my head starts to play when someone does nothing with my piece, mixed with just enough strength to deal with those that really hated my work.

I can deal with rejections “this story is gross” I can deal with acceptance “this story is really good” (both reviews from 2 readers of the same short story) going to my writers group has leveled my nerves for both. It’s the people that read (or asked to read) my work and say nothing. I can, to a small degree think “they are busy” or even “they maybe don’t want to hurt my feelings”. The latter is the problem, I would be less hurt by a harsh criticism of my work then I am of utter silence. It’s too easy for my mind to play the “they hated it so much they couldn’t even be bothered to say they hated it” game. Like a lot of writers & authors, I would be willing to bet my own criticisms are far harsher than anyone else’s.

To me this is interesting, and something I will need to work on, impatience can cause perceived apathy, and our perceptions are everything.

Another Day closer

I have been multitasking today, this normally means screwing up multiple things at once, but today I seem to be doing everything right.

I did all my character Bio’s and am going to re-edit a couple of them, the characters need a little more punch, One reader has already said “I could give a care about ” Honest, it’s not exactly what I wanted to hear.

I have been coordinating a shot for my mock book cover. I have to admit that this project is promising, although asking a young woman (who is younger than my youngest boy if she has short dresses and stockings is a little odd at best) but if I can catch the energy, it will be great.

And after another glowing review of the short story Ekmuu I am feeling psyched. I am considering putting it up on the site as well, but I am not sure, its 5 pages, so it’s too long to make a post of.

Mostly because with all of this achieved, I can get back to the actual second book.

If I were to have one complaint about this whole publishing process, It’s that it pulls me away from what I like to do in order to make what I have done already work.

Encouragement in all Forms

_164 Kirata coupleYesterday I was talking about how some of my younger friends really have gotten behind my book project, and while still in the planning stage, it looks like this weekend I will be able to get the pictures for the mock up book cover.

I am not sure if being a writer trying to become an author is bringing up all these feelings of insecurity, or if they are part of my twisted psyche but its strange how discouraged I can get at times when I ask someone to read something and they either cant or it take a long time for them to do it. The reason for this, if I am 100% practical, is that the people I ask have jobs, families and hobbies that all keep them busy, so reading my work is not a top priority.

So it’s always a HUGE ego boost when someone does read it and likes it, especially when they have constructive feedback. Today one of my young assistants indicated they would like to see one of my short stories. The one I wanted to show them is a three page story called Rakasha. It’s the touching story of an a$$hole biker that is on the run from the cops and hides out with what turned out to be a tiger demon. Graphic sex references, Drug use references and a scene where one naked person eats another (as in cannibalism, not sixty-nine)

Defiantly some thing that’s would be at least PG13. So before I let the assistant (who is all of 15 years old) read it, I asked the parent to read it first.

Getting told that it was a very good and entertaining piece from someone that only read it to decide if their child should I am taking as a compliment.

I debated about putting it up here for any of you to read, but so far no one seems to like reading the PDF’s up here.

[I have linked the story in question in case you want to read it as always comments appricated]