The Printed Excerpt

I found this thing at Barnes and Noble the other day. I thought it was pretty cool.

IMG_20180217_160739053.jpg

It’s a printed excerpt from a book that comes out in March. There was an author headshot and bio in the front and then several pages of the book.

I have never seen one of these. I do like the idea. I think they would work great as marketing materials at an author fair or maybe an author table at a convention. They’re nice looking and could possibly get someone to pick up at least part of a book and carry it away with them to be read later in a less hectic environment.

mhmm. yes.

 

 

Advertisements

Toy Collection 7: The First

Or one of the first. Today isn’t a movie toy. This one is from my babyhood. Mum stowed it away for a long time and gave it back to me some years ago. It is mushed and its fuzz is worn thin in places, but it brings me great joy to still have it.

IMG_20180208_210054.jpg

And yes, most of the scratches on the ottoman under the toy are from the bratty cat child rocketing back and forth over it. We should’ve named him Blur.

I know I haven’t done a toy collection post in a while. Fear not; I’m far from running out of subject material on that front.

Quitting But Not Quitting

I decided to stop taking outside submissions to NightLark. That’s the publisher I started a year or so ago.

For the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve been back and forth on whether I wanted to keep it going. I took the holidays off, read a submission or two and thought about picking it up. Every time, something stopped me.

There have been many frustrations, a lot of them with myself. I’m not assertive enough. I’m not that great of a salesperson, really.

In the end, I decided it wasn’t worth the time or frustration. It just wasn’t. Life is too short, and I have too much that I want to do, creatively.

I will say that running it has been, by far, one of the best learning experiences for me. For real. I did things that I never would’ve tried with my own work.

I do still plan to use it for my own books, but for the foreseeable future, I’m not taking on any projects from other authors. The website is staying up with occasional updates. The books currently listed there that aren’t by me should disappear here in the next few months.

So yeah. Still writing. Still recording. Just not handling anyone else’s business.

The Podcast

I don’t know why I insist on doing things that give me mini-panic attacks. It’s like I can’t help myself.

I started a podcast. I’ve been thinking about doing so for several months. It’s called Authors Read, and if all goes as planned, if people actually want to be on it, it’s going to consist of authors reading short excerpts from their books.

I’ve been working on the first episode on and off for the last month or so while I’ve been tweaking my whole recording environment and process for the audiobooks. I made the mistake of doing the first episode myself, which kicked off a fantastic downward spiral of nitpicking of every little thing. Sometimes I wish my perfectionism actually resulted in perfection.

Anyway,

Here’s the link to the episode on Podbean

If you’d like to be on it, the contact form is at this link.

The podcast isn’t on itunes quite yet, but it should be once they appprove it.

Emerging from Hibernation?

Hey-o! I have been SO lazy lately. The urge to curl up in my house and hibernate until spring is real and true.

But I did finish a rough draft manuscript today, so yay! It was my nano project, and this version is complete at about 71,000 words. Yeah, it’s kind of short. Most of my stuff is. That’s okay because it makes it easier for me to wrangle.

I questioned my decisions a lot during the writing of this thing, especially toward the end. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

For instance, there was one point in which I was really on the fence about whether a character should die. The death would make sense during the course of the story. But I couldn’t bear to kill that person off, and then I felt bad about not killing them off. I wondered if I was letting my feelings get in the way of what the story should be.

Then, with another character that actually did die, they did so off camera. They were just kind of found dead. Should I have done more with that? It made sense in the story, for the body to be found, given the chaotic situation that was going on at that time. If this story happened in real life, such a thing would be entirely possible if not probable, but books aren’t real life.

I’ll have some time to mull things over before I circle back to edit this one.

 

IMG_20180123_223243 (1)

Sad Kitty Tomato is Sad

 

Movie: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Have you ever had one of those days that technology just wants to smack you around a bit? That’s been my whole day, battling uphill against the stuff not working, and as I type this, there is an internet outage. I actually have to use my phone as a hotspot to post this. I also can’t play Destiny 2, which displeases me greatly.

But enough whining. I have a movie post! I haven’t done one in quite some time, but I feel strongly about this movie.

Valerian is based on a French comic book that I never heard of before I watched the movie. It’s also directed by Luc Besson, the same guy that directed The Fifth Element, which is one of my favorite movies. Here’s a quick description from IMDB.

valerian

“A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.”

Like The Fifth Element, Valerian is colorful and funny. The action scenes and the special effects are very well done. The characters aren’t as endearing as the ones in The Fifth Element, but they have their merits.

The acting was mostly decent. All in all, the movie was exactly what I hoped it would be: butt-kicking, fun scifi.

I might need to check out the comic book.

 

Back on the Audio Horse

Okay. I started recording a new audiobook today. I made it down to my chilly, makeshift sound studio and got the thing done. I still have to edit it, of course. That’s always the far bigger thing.

I think I lost my narrator that signed on for Destined for Darkness. The book was supposed to be finished by the end of October, and she has vanished into thin air. That’s the 2nd audiobook narrator I’ve lost.

Look, cats and kittens, if you want to get into audiobook narration, that’s fine and dandy. There isn’t much of a barrier to entry for auditioning. Know what you’re getting into so you don’t waste someone’s time getting involved in a contract that someone will later have to beg ACX to cancel. That’s not fun. It causes delays and is, in fact, quite annoying.

shame

Given that I don’t have thousands of dollars to drop into audiobook production (it typically runs about $200 per finished hour), this is going to come down to me, myself, and I getting ‘er done.

So I’m working on Beneath Oceans of Sky right now. Then when/if…no when (it must be when) that’s done, I’m going to work on Love and the Dark and/or The Blood of Guardians.

I figure one chapter at a time probably won’t be too bad. I just need to make sure that I edit each chapter before I start the next one so I don’t have 1000 hours of editing ahead of me at the end of recording.  *shudders to think*