"Wherever men have lived there is a story to be told." Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Looking for an Agent?


There is some really good information and things to be aware of at http://www.sfwa.org/beware/agents.html

Check it out!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Information Overload


Do you ever feel like you're getting too much information from every direction, and most of it is information you don't need and didn't seek out? Not only do you have the information you have to absorb in relation to your work, but there's the twenty-four-hour news on TV and the endless commentary designed to suck you in. And of course there's the mail. Every day you're bombarded with newspapers, magazines, advertisements, and a lot of stuff that goes in the garbage. If you're like me, you'll try to read the newspapers and magazines (after all, you paid for them) but there is never enough time in the day to do more than scan the headlines and maybe a paragraph or two of content. The magazines build up on the coffee table and you flip through them, looking at the pictures, stopping to read perhaps one or two articles in their entirety.

Then there's the internet. It always amazes me how people seem to be able to keep up with numerous blogs and websites, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and dozens of other blogs and websites that aren't even their own. They post to these other sites, too. There are even some people who post their daily activities as they do them, nearly minute by minute. And when you open your email, it is filled with more advertisements and newsletters that you could probably unsubscribe to, but you're afraid you might miss something.

Tell me, is anybody getting any work done? Has the world beyond my realm somehow figured out how to get more than twenty-four hours in a day? I would say, clue me in to this phenomenon, but I don't think I want more hours in a day. It would mean more newspapers and magazines I'd feel obligated to read, more websites I'd have to visit daily, more blogging, more emails, more comments to be made on Facebook. And, heaven forbid, if I had an extra hour in the day, I might even start twittering.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You Gotta Be Hardy to Live Out Here


Seriously, enough already. It's April 16th and I still have drifts in my back yard (that's snowdrifts for those of you below the Mason-Dixon line). And, believe it or not, but I had a fire in my fireplace yesterday. The furnace went out so I didn't have much choice. A fireplace is something you just don't want to NOT have when you live at the 5800 foot level. Of course a fireplace doesn't even help when winter drags on so long that you run out of wood.

I looked out the French door about a week ago, despairing that winter would never end when I spotted a patch of little yellow and purple crocuses struggling through the cold soil next to the house. My heart fluttered for just a moment while a little prayer went out that the frost wouldn't kill their fragile buds. The crocus face the south, so they get what little sun manages to slip through a crack in the clouds. (The poor plants on the north side of the house think it's still December.)

But the sandhill cranes came home several weeks ago, and today I saw that my brave tulips were forging upward (through the snow). Bless their hearts, they do this every year and almost every year get their heads frosted and stunted. I really wish they would just cool it another week or two and stay underground where it's safer. Maybe they're just as anxious for spring as I am. But the robins made a comeback and the trees are filled with blackbirds just singing up a storm. Hmm, maybe I should blame this snow on them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Google Book Search Settlement

Claims have been made that Google has violated the copyrights of "Rightsholders" by scanning in-copyright books without permission and displaying excerpts. A class action lawsuit has been filed by authors and publishers and a settlement has been agreed to. If this is the first you've heard of this, you might want to do a "Google Book Search" and see if you have a book that has been scanned by Google without your permission or the permission of your publisher. If you do, then you have three options: Opt out of the settlement, do nothing, or Opt in. For more information you can visit http://www.googlebooksettlement.com

Monday, April 13, 2009

Finishing the Rough Draft


The first or "rough" draft is always the hardest when writing a novel, and it's always a relief to get it finished. I just finished the rough draft of my suspense novel (which has taken me a ridiculously long time to finish) and now the fun part begins, the polishing. Some people hate this part, but I always enjoy it because now I feel I have something to work with and improve upon, and I know my characters better than when I started.

It's always great fun to be getting on the home stretch and seeing light at the end of the tunnel, and to see your creation come to fruition. It's nice to be able to bask in the accomplishment for awhile before the next really hard part comes: marketing!