The fabulous Kate Tilton, friend to authors, invited me to participate in #K8chat, her weekly Twitter chat for people interested in publishing, writing, and reading. Find us on Twitter from 9 – 10 p.m. Eastern tonight (1/16)! We’ll be discussing writing workshops and critique groups and how constructive criticism can improve your writing.
I’m thrilled to be joining the wonderful folks at the Pub(lishing) Crawl blog, where I will be blogging once a month about topics of interest to readers and writers. They were kind enough to invite me to join their ranks this year, along with new members Janice Hardy and Adam Silvera. I have had the pleasure of hanging out with several of them in real life, and even more often on Twitter, so I think this is going to be a great experience.
Check out Susan Dennard’s flattering welcome in today’s blog post, and enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of my books in any of its available formats: hardcover, eBook, or audio book!
Wow, it has been a long time since I last blogged! Sorry about that. See, I’m under a deadline on a Secret Project™, and I have to focus most of my writing time on that these days. I should be able to pay more attention to the blog in February, when I’ll try to catch up on the many posts I’ve been meaning to write, including some TV, film, and book recommendations. I also have some other things I want to try out this year to mix things up a bit. Oh, and I have some late e-mails and miscellaneous tasks to take care of too. Next month, I promise!
But I didn’t want to leave an old post up on the first day of a shiny New Year, so here we are. I used to do those year-end recap posts with the number of words written in the last year, stories sold, milestones, and all that, but I haven’t for a while. I don’t track things that way anymore, and it takes too much time at the end of the year to add all the numbers up, which feels kind of like doing taxes. (Ugh, taxes.) Looking back, overall 2013 was very good to me personally and professionally. No complaints. And I’m looking forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead in 2014.
I also don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but recently I’ve been trying to cut back on doing too much. I’d like to do more of that—more of less—which is difficult because I like helping people and doing interesting and different things, and I consequently have trouble saying no; however, in order to reserve more time for my family and writing and yes, even give myself a chance to relax once in a while, I’m limiting everything else as much as I can. Apparently time management requires you to concentrate on the things that are really important to you instead of trying to cram in more, and there’s some room for improvement there.
But… I do still have trouble saying no.
Happy New Year! Best wishes for a successful and memorable 2014.
Actually, I have told this story, but I haven’t blogged about it before, so that hardly counts, does it?
The last time I wore the T-shirt in this photo (given to me by my friend Dan, who I have to thank for introducing me to Doctor Who back before most people in the U.S. had even heard of it!) I stopped in at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Harlem. I ordered a couple of donuts and a bottle of Vanilla Coke, my poison of choice at the time, and had this exchange with the clerk, a Desi man, as he rang up my purchase.
Clerk: You should know better than that.
Clerk: Eating this. It isn’t good for you.
Me: Okay… Why do you think I should know better?
Clerk: Aren’t you a doctor?
Me: No. I was going to be. Do I look like a doctor?
Clerk: I thought you were with the World Health Organization.
(I suddenly remember the shirt I’m wearing and consider trying to explain it.)
Me: It’s just a shirt!
And that’s why this T-shirt went into a drawer and I haven’t worn it until now. Today, many more people know Doctor Who, even if they don’t recognize the Tom Baker-era logo. Or Tom Baker, for that matter.
Happy anniversary, Doctor Who! To celebrate, I’m disappearing into my writing TARDIS to get some work done and avoid spoilers this afternoon. Thanks to Fandango, I have to wait for the special to drop on iTunes, and I’m planning to watch it tomorrow with friends and family.
vworp… vworp… vworp…
One of the most common pieces of writing advice we often hear as beginners is “Write what you know.” But what does that even mean? And is it actually good advice?
If I had taken that suggestion literally, my first novel would have been about a man in his late twenties with a day job as a media coordinator at Lifetime Television who was writing a novel about the action-packed world of file transfers, video conversions, and women’s programming. Riveting. Perhaps readers would have been drawn in by the rich cast of characters based on my wacky co-workers, friends, and family–who I’m sure would have been flattered to be included. You see the problem. Worse still, my second novel would have been exactly the same, and my third…
I read fiction for experiences completely different from my own, to see with other people’s eyes, so why should writing fiction be any different? I love science fiction and fantasy because in the right hands, an author can make the impossible seem real.