Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Social Media, Progress and Amen

When you are a writer, they say you need to have a web presence. Makes sense since your job is pretty much to make sure the entire world knows you are selling wonderful tales of (insert genre here) that they will want to read over and over. If you have fan they will want a way to connect with you and even possibly engage in banter if you allow them. Also, your agent and publisher need to make some bucks from investing in you. Promotions, tours, and maybe one day having you get on NPR or Charlie Rose is what they strive for and they are not wrong.
This means I keep toying with signing back up for Facebook. While I am no fan of what it perpetuates, it really is one of the easier ways to stay in touch with those we love that live near and far. It also allows you to cultivate a nice fan base which is crucial when you chose to embark upon a creative endeavor. Or just want to self promote. Shamelessly of course. :)
While I have this blog, I have been remiss about keeping it up. Part of the reason is the actual novel and the query letter, more on that later, and the other part is I have not had much to say. Even if I did, sometimes I didn't think it is blog worthy. But perhaps I am wrong. Allow me to share such minutiae.
My son now has a thing for navel oranges and tangerines. This was brought about because my husband and I have decided to no longer eat sugary sweets or potato chips. No big deal you think, but in our house Trader Joe's Hawaiian BBQ chips were filed under food group. Oh the shame...I also have high cholesterol that has not seemed to budge with diet or exercise which made food changes necessary. So far, so good. We have a lot more fruits and veggies in our diet and as pescetarians I am embarrassed we were not eating this way all along. I admit my exercise sessions seems sharper and I feel better and less sluggish and not as easily irritated. Inflammation in my body is lowering I gather and that is a very good thing considering heart disease really loves the paternal side of my family. So that is that.

I have been reading a very clever and funny book by Margaret Atwood called The Penelopiad. I don't always enjoy when an author chooses to retell a story, all those damn vampire/zombie/Jane Austen books please just stop already. But this one, from the point of view of Penelope with of Odysseus from The Odyssey is marvelous.
One of the reasons I picked up her book is I had read an author's story about how she could not figure out what was wrong with her own fantasy genre book. After putting it in a drawer, she went and got hold of a bunch of different fantasy novels and read. Just read. To see what was missing in her own book and it was an eye opener.
Now, I follow Neil Gaiman's "rule" of read everything you can because you cannot create worlds if you don't understand how the actual one and the ones created by other authors exist. The one thing I have NOT been reading was fantasy for fear I would end up incorporating someone else's idea in my book or seeing something similar to what I wrote was there and freaking out.
Foolish and silly.
Off I went to the library and looked high and low for many a book, but most of the first in a series was missing so I grabbed me a good 'ol stand-by, Margaret Atwood. I think for my next read, brace yourselves, will be "American Gods". The one novel I have avoided the whole time I have been working on my book. Which leads me to the next thing.

The query letter is done. Yes, done. Yes, I screamed with joy. Pure, unadulterated joy. I am not ashamed to say this has been exhausting and liberating. Yesterday, after much struggle I decided to read the back of a few famous novels for inspiration. It was when I read the second one that the clouds lifted, birds sang and ten thousand pounds of pressure left my brain. Once again, I have Neil Gaiman, along with Terry Pratchett, to thank and their novel Good Omens. The synopsis on the back of the book is probably one of the best I have ever read and I am indebted to those words for breaking me out of my block. The gentleman I have hired to critique my letter may hate it or love it or think I am insane, but for me it is progress. Can I get an Amen???

So there you have it my dears. Though if I was on Facebook you would know all this already without all the filler. :)


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