by Christine | Life, Observations
I’m so thrilled that I’m carrying a camera with me everywhere. I had the great good fortune to speak at the monthly Orange County Chapter of RWA last week. Here’s me with the WANA folks that came. I was so happy to see them! From left to right – Jenny Hansen, me, Tameri Etherton, Kate Wood, Bethany Lopez, and Debra Kristi, all of whom are kick-ass writers and bloggers, so please go check them out. We have Kristen Lamb and the We Are Not Alone group in common, so it was doubly nice to see them in person.
The WANA gang at OCC RWA 1-12-13.
As you may know, we here in So Cal have been
bitching whining upset about the cold temps we’ve been going through. A couple of weeks ago there was ice – not only all over my poor basil, killing it dead, but even in the streets. Here’s a photo of the partially-frozen gutter water. Hey, to a San Diegan, this is way cool stuff.
Ice in the gutter outside my office, about 9am.
The other day I tried to explain to someone my unreasoning hatred of palm trees. I couldn’t convince this guy from Ohio that palm trees are pretty dang useless. I mean, they don’t provide lots of shade from the sun, and they don’t give us anything to eat. And when they’re planted with a pine tree of some sort between, it causes a synapse interrupt for me. As in, these trees do not compute. (Don’t talk to me about date palms. Would you eat dates from a palm tree grown in Los Angeles? Yeah. Didn’t think so.)
Do the palm trees look out of place, or is it just me?
I guess there’s no changing the whole palm-tree thing now. I’m just a few decades too late. Are there trees planted in your neighborhood that just don’t go together? I’d love to know!
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by! On Writer Wednesday, Marian Lanouette will be here with her latest release, so we hope to see you then.
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?
by Christine | Life, Observations
Well, the title isn’t entirely true. I do get the internet on my phone, but there are some places I can’t comment, and I find it a lot more tiring to deal with Facebook and websites on my phone than on my laptop.
So technically, in the laptop-connecting-to-the-internet way, my family has been without phone service and internet for the past week due to an unfortunate snippage of wires in the attic while hooking up a ceiling fan to electricity. (In my hubby’s defense, there were a LOT of non-essential wires from the previous owner’s alarm system. Shoddily done in the attic and sprawled all over. Plus, it was 90 outside – well over 100 in the attic.)
But as I’ve been in and out of reality anyway while on pain meds, I haven’t really missed it (with the exception of the blog posts I wanted to write). I’ve read close to two dozen novels at this point but haven’t reviewed them. I find I’m slowing down more, I’m learning which emails I read and which I really don’t, and paring down my email groups accordingly.
I also am learning what I miss, twitter being one of them (and the ability to easily do research the other one). My first day out of the house this week was Wednesday, and I headed to Coffee Bean and the free WiFi…and reconnected with the good folks at #MyWANA. I even did a couple #1k1hr rounds, which kickstarted my writing again.
The really interesting thing is, no one at the house is overly-itchy about not having internet. Hubby has been valiantly sitting in the ugliest sauna ever (our attic) while painstakingly tracing wires and connecting things up (we now have a landline that works – in our closet), and yes we’re checking our cell phones to keep on top of our email, but other than that, we’re all pretty loose about not having it. Which frankly is something of a relief.
Of course, the boys are back at Moorpark College, so they have WiFi there. And the Hubby has gone off to Coffee Bean without me when he really had to have connectivity. But there are no overt signs of withdrawal, and that’s all to the good I think.
The last time I went a week without the internet was a couple of years ago, when we went camping for 10 days and I deliberately left my laptop at home. And now that I think about it, the week prior to losing internet I found I was sitting too much and staring online (not writing, not yet) and that wasn’t good for the incision, even when I did use an icepack. So not having internet this past week has allowed me to read more, nap much more, and begin to write (at Coffee Bean) and continue to write (at home) and, most likely, has helped speed the healing process.
I really wanted to get a wine blog posted today, but I was writing on the novel yesterday and I didn’t feel good about bringing empty wine bottles to Coffee Bean. I will do my best to get one written today at home, and post it tomorrow. For as I mentioned to my dear friend Maria, while I’m not drinking wine at the moment due to the drug consumption (and the fact that it tastes bad to me currently), I do have empty bottles sitting on my desk, waiting for their moment in the sun.
At this point, I think we’ll have connectivity next week. If, after this weekend the hubs can’t figure it out, he’ll call a friend of his that’s a phone guy.
So, that’s my week in a nutshell. When was the last time you were without Internet? Did you do it deliberately, or was it accidental? Are you one of those people that checks their smartphone before you go to sleep, and is it the first thing you reach for when you wake up? I’d love to know!
by Christine | Life, Writing
Okay, so last week I whined about being Alone in the Publishing Wilderness. As a writer, I didn’t want to have to do everything (marketing, blogging, facebook/twitter/etcetera) all the time (I still don’t). And I got a lot of response from others feeling pressured, and overwhelmed, by all that goes with publishing. As I’m ramping up for the release this year of my second novel, I’d really like to get this whole writer-marketer thing down to where I’m comfortable with it.
In the past week, I’ve learned five important lessons about the publishing world, and myself, that I thought I’d share.
1. I don’t want to be a publishing dinosaur. As much as I’d love to hide in my cave and just write, I tried that. Didn’t work. (Well…I got a lot written, but slowly – it was the beginning of my career, what can I say? I didn’t work HARD enough.) Now I’ve got a day job, learning new stuff – I can and will learn the new publishing stuff, too. It’ll keep me nimble, lol.
2. Reading others’ blog posts informs me, broadens my horizons, and gives me a few chuckles. The mere act of reading someone else’s thoughts gives me more opportunity to empathize (or get angry on behalf of – depending), strengthening the human connection. Gives me food for thought and conversation with the family and the boss. (Good conversation is RARE!!!) Plus anyone that provides belly laughs is my friend for life. And you never know where the germ of a story idea will come from.
3. I am not Alone – I am a Modern Author/Warrior. Kristen Lamb’s latest post finally explains it to me to where it’s palatable. I’m really looking forward to the nify armor! Plus she and the other MyWANA teams totally rock, and I keep forgetting to keep them at the front of my mind. If you’ve noticed the #MyWANA hashtag, or all the derivatives, but haven’t understood it, see her video for a full explanation here.
4. More Blogging is a Good Thing. Just like More Cowbell (my new favorite blog). I enjoy blogging, I like talking about wines and recipes and every now and then, my writing. Kristen Lamb tells us to set aside time to do our blog posts in advance and schedule them accordingly…well, yeah, okay, I can work on getting organized. (Kristen also says that if we make our bed every day, that it will eventually lead to a clean house. Haven’t noticed that one working yet…)
Maybe I’ll start having guest posts once a week. Takes some pressure off, you know? Plus, after reading this fascinating article about 12 blogging mistakes from the guys at SEO MOZ, Irealized that perhaps search engine optimization IS something I need to learn.
5. Content is Still King. Whether you’re writing a novel, short story, blog post or grocery list, content is still king. The only thing that’s better than strong, solid content is LOTS of it. (Hence more blog posts. And the masked guy in the corner, fingering his whip every time I stop typing on my latest manuscript, lol.) I read Bob Mayer’s post this week on the secret handshake of successful digital publishing – and it restored my faith in content.
Other places to go for more inspiration:
Bob Mayer’s post on Platform, Product, Promotion is something every writer needs to read.
JA Konrath provides thought-provoking tidbits on A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, and his latest post is one of my favorites.
Piper Bayard and her partner, Holmes, always have interesting (and funny) stuff to pass on to us real people. Love this post on the Guinea Pig Diaries!
On a General Writing Note: I LOVE Savvy Authors. It’s a free site (they also have a paid site) and the posts are always informative, no matter where you are in your writing career.
So, that’s what I’ve learned this past week. What are some of your favorite blogs to visit for inspiration, or a chuckle? I’d love to know! Please feel free to include the link in your comment so I can check them out!