After three years of working, I finally get to cross off another goal on the publishing bucket list -- The Amazon Orange Sticker status.
Better than that? My daughter's reaction.
Whenever aspiring writers ask me for advice, I tell them they should 'listen to the voices' in their head.
Lenny, Rebecca, Trixie, Bishop, Ferd, Chidi -- they're all voices that eventually made their way onto the page and there's a hundred (thousand?) more behind them, waiting for the same chance. Strange as this might sound, I'll often find myself fighting with those characters/voices as well.
Whenever I tell people such things, half think I'm crazy, the other half gets it because they too have voices in their heads waiting, fighting, etc. for their stories to be heard.
But what's not often spoken of is that one voice more than any other plagues me, just as I'm sure it stalks many other people as well.
That voice's name is Doubt.
Well, I finally did it...made my first ever Instagram post.
Yes, I am officially an old man.
'So why the picture of a sprinkler head and an exposed water line?' I hear you asking (because I need you to in order to make this post work).
For starters, I've had a lot on my plate with prepping for the L.A. Times Festival this coming weekend, getting words written, blah, blah, blah. Suffice it to say I wasn't thrilled with having another distraction to pull me away from the eternal 'Publishing To Do' list.
Readers of my Lainey Grace book won't be surprised by this, but my frustration vanished once I got out in the yard and started digging to find the source of the busted pipe.
In just two episodes, a couple of my favorite players are gone and both from silly mistakes.
Haven't written about my super-fan nerd status of the CBS reality show Survivor, but yeah...big fan.
I've been watching since Survivor first aired when I was a senior in high school. I've applied several times, had an interview to be on the show once when I was in college - (at that time, they told me I was literally too skinny to physically survive. I wouldn't have a problem now, CBS!) I still think it's the best reality show out there and hope it continues for another 34+ seasons because it's different every time.
Reading through various comments on the Survivor Facebook page, it seems like many people aren't fans of the returning player seasons, but I don't mind them.
Or at least I didn't until these last couple weeks when my faves got voted out.
Let's dig in to see who is left and where I'm going for my Final 4.
Listen to enough writers, filmmakers, artists, etc. and you'll find a prevalent theme that releasing your work into the wild for the masses to judge is a terrifying venture. Suddenly something you've labored over and poured a piece of your soul into is out there for the internet trolls to potentially find and deride at their pleasure. Worry about such a thing long enough and you'll never release anything.
Today, I want to show you the positive side of releasing your creation into the wild and what it means to see it resonate with others.
When it comes to film adaptations, I love to read the book first to get a feel for the original vision, then go see how closely the screenwriter either stuck to it, or if they at least nailed the vibe. Man, when those two things hit....music, baby.
I was a freshman in college when I saw the first trailer for Peter Jackson's film adaptation of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Lost my friggin' mind, yo. He rocked that entire trilogy and even with the extended 3+ hour director's cuts, I wanted more of Middle Earth.
...and then we have the, erm, blatant expoloit--I mean, Hobbit trilogy. What the heck? That didn't need to be three movies, dude, as clearly evidenced by this good ol' animated Rankin Bass version. **To be fair though, I'm still grateful for a) This incredible scene of the dwarves singing Misty Mountains Cold, b) Martin Freeman rocking the Bilbo role, and c) All of The Cumberbatch.
We all have that friend who insists the book was better than the movie. (And, let's be honest, I'm probably that guy). So what gives? Why does it seem so difficult for Hollyweird to get it right more often than not?
'Cause it's harder than it looks, friends.
This has been the hardest year of my life, friends.
(**Note: This post has a happy ending, so I promise it's not all doom-and-gloom, people).
So 2016 was the worst, huh, Galv? Not that first year in Chicago (05') when you were literally starving, about to be evicted, had zero friends in the vicinity, and woke up (on the floor) to dead cockroaches by your face every morning?
No - 2016 has been worse,
To be fair, some of this year's general suckiness was a slow descent off the tail end of 2015 with the hospice care and eventual passing of my mother-in-law, so I suppose I can't place all the blame on the last twelve months.
Having said (written?) all that, this year, and an amazing little show called Hell On Wheels, has taught me one inarguable fact...
I'm still here.
I suck at honey-do lists.
"Honey, can you Glue the broken arm on the kitchen chair?"
I've done it twice and it keeps breaking...think maybe we should just get a new one?
"Honey, can you change out the broken lightbulb?"
There's still three working...
"Well, can you at least--"
Sorry, darlin', there's readers waiting on books! The Salt awaits!
Some of my reasoning for general suckiness at ticking off items on the honey-do list is our house is a natural disaster zone. With two kiddos under 5, it doesn't matter what you do all day, a whirlwind of Little Miss and her toddler sidekick have dealt destruction anew by 8:30 p.m.
But my wife has recently crusaded we should be better.
Thus, my honey-do list.
Yesterday, I decided to tackle item #5,341 - Clean the lint out of the dryer vent line.
And that's where things got interesting...
A few years back, a couple friends of mine suggested I consider coming to GenCon with my books.
It's hosted in my home state (Indiana) so I'd heard of the con before, but knew it as more of a gaming convention rather than a literary festival or con.
Still, they persisted. My good friend, Nick, even sent me an oh-so-subtle exhibitor application link for this year's event, so I decided to opt in. Figured it'd be at least worth a trip home, even if the venture failed.
It did not. :)
Back for more! In my last post, we discussed how I screwed up my debut novel's cover, then doubled down on the sequel.
Here's the thing - cover design is just one part of the process.
You can have the most gorgeous covers in the world, but if the editing isn't there and the story doesn't hook your reader, then what're you left with?
In this pt. 2 post about where I screwed up, I thought to share with you why I made some changes to Salted and (hopefully) made it a better, clearer read for all of you.
(Hint: I have you awesome reviewers to thank for the advice too!)
So...you ready for round 2?
Author. Actor. Rascal.