The Magic of Elsewhere

Sometimes, I think my writing life echoes the Dr. Seuss book “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Would you write it on a train? Would you write it on a plane?

Would you write it in a car? Would you write it near and far?

I can write it here or there. I can write it anywhere!

I’ve written book chapters and short stories just about everywhere. A big chunk of Deadly Curiosities was written on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean. Most of the time, it’s not nearly that sexy. A lot of times, I can picture the hotel room where I wrote a story or chapter whenever I re-read it. Which means that a lot of my stuff reminds me of Hampton Inns.

I wrote the short story No Reprieve at my vendor table at last year’s Origins. I wrote my alternative Sherlock Holms story for Baker Street Irregulars […]

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When to Ignore the World’s Best Advice

We’ve all heard it a million times: BICHOK. Butt in chair, hands on keyboard. We’re never going to finish our novels without those two simple steps, repeated over and over and over again.

But sometimes, even the world’s best advice is meant to be ignored.

I recently finished the most disruptive, disruptED three months of my writing career. In the course of promoting DARKBEAST, I completed more than thirty blog tour posts (along with maintaining my own social media). I traveled to two major conventions. I made another dozen appearances at bookstores and schools. I traveled to New York for a business meeting with my editor and the marketing department.

(The three months of disruption weren’t all work-based. I also traveled to celebrate landmark anniversaries with family, and I enjoyed my usual autumn re-awakening of the cultural season — plays, orchestral performances, lectures, etc.)

Every day that I was […]

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Back to Basics, part II: Organizing Your “Writing” Time

Last week I began the “Back to Basics” series with a post on general recommendations for ways to “Be a Writer,” from work habits to convention comportment, to ways of looking at the world. This week I want to begin to delve more deeply into specific aspects of the creative process.

One of the comments to last week’s post came from New Guy Dave who said “Lately, Butt in Chair has meant sending out novel queries, subbing short stories, and catching up on critiques for folks I’ve exchanged novels on. All writing-related, but not generating any new words. Time for me to refocus and make BIC = productive writing.” And recently I have fielded a number of questions on Facebook and in emails from people wondering how much they ought to be trying to get written in a given day or week and how much editing they should be doing […]

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Time Management II: Switching Gears

After my last post, somewhere in the maelstrom of fury over my critique of writing while listening to music (:roll:) someone asked me to follow up with some thoughts about switching between my academic writing and creative writing. I’m going to take a stab at that today, and I think it best to think of in 2 ways, one concerned with (again) time management, and the other with a shift in mind set.

Writers are jugglers. They have to be. Whether we’re making their living solely from their scribbling or whether writing is part of a multifaceted professional life, we spend a lot of energy on keeping multiple balls in the air. For some, each ball is a different writing assignment, for others one ball is a novel, while another is a 9-5 job, and another still is some other kind of commitment entirely, family, say, or coaching little […]

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I feel this is a writing-related post.

I have been blessed with excellent teachers in my life, one of whom is Pat Dixon, my high school photography teacher. I’d always liked photography, but his classes were inspiring to me, as was he.

As he still is, as a matter of fact.

I’ve been idly working on getting prints up over at Deviant Art (though frankly if you want to buy some you should go through me and not them; it’s cheaper and, er, I get a much bigger cut… :)), and, as frequently happens when I’m working intensively with my own photography, it struck me that I’m actually not a bad photographer. For some reason that always surprises me. At any rate, I said something to that effect on Facebook, and that I’d kind of like to pursue photography at a professional level, but that I don’t dedicate enough time to it.

Dixon threw my own words […]

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