First Cup of Coffee – June 2, 2022

Updates in general – THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING is done except for the epilogues! which I’m really enjoying writing because they’re great touch-backs to the original Twelve Kingdoms trilogy. And other stuff…




Transcript
00:01.14
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone. This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Um, delicious. If you’re on video. You’ll see that it’s a little bit breezy here this morning today this Thursday June second six two 2022 for some reason the transcript. Has trouble with numbers. Um, so I’m trying to enunciate them better. We’ll see if that helps. So yeah, it’s um, a coolish morning I am outside and we make it rain today. Which would be most welcome. Ah definitely has that? Um, it feels like being on the pacific northwest coast or even Southern California or San Diego you know a? ah. Cool beach day. It’s some just amazing. How distinct that moist specificific air is when it makes its sway over to us.

02:56.64
jeffekennedy
So, things are going well yesterday was a good day. A good writing day I did finish the actual story woo I finished the actual book. Um, climactic scene and all of that. I felt like I had not stuck the landing on it. Um, and I I don’t know I felt like I that there’s this inning there that I could find that was remaining elusive but Carien read it and she likes it. She thinks it’s great. She had only like one suggestion for expansion. So we’ll see I still need to go back and revise about the last. Well it was 83 pages that I wrote now it’s going to be more because I can sort of tell you guys where I’m at. I am at Ninety Thousand five hundred and five words which astute listeners astute and regular listeners will recognize as being well beyond my estimate but we knew those epilogues were going to be long right? I finished the first epilogue and it is almost 3K words they may all be. About 3,000 words but Carien loves it so far I’m actually really loving writing them. So yesterday I wrote 3,226 words. That’s what I did in my 3 hours and when I get to the point of. Revising yeah see now I’m up to 91 pages that I’m going to have to revise. Although I think that the epilogues will revise pretty fast but it’s fun. It’s really fun because um I don’t want to spoiler anything for you guys. But. I don’t feel like this is a spoiler because it’s expected. But if you want to know nothing cover your ears for a minute because the none epilogue is our intrepid heroes returning to castle Ordnung and so I get to have a scene with. Ursula and it’s um, it was just really fun to write an extended scene with Ursula again heroine of Talon of the hawk the high queen I hear Jackson inside wanting to come out shall. We let him come out. He’s been good lately. I’ve been letting him go free inside the sacred garden hold on no that wasn’t him must have been hearing things the um house across the way and where our houses are spaced out pretty distant but over that way has um.

08:35.72
jeffekennedy
Children I know two small children and one of them when she is running around and playing sounds very much like a cat to me I think it’s partly distance. But you know that? ah. But says something that I hear that as a cat I’m sure Jackson was happily inside extracting treats from his puzzle box that’s been a a great thing have um genie mom to think for that one. And she’s also been featuring the bonds of magic audio books on her listen up review site. So I appreciate that. Thank you Jen although I don’t think she listens to this podcast so she won’t know that I thanked her. I was amused with myself yesterday in the blog posts that I wrote which ended up being a fairly log blog post too. But I felt like I had things to say and telling that story and looking up Brianne Merritt my my old nemesis who never knew she was my nemesis and was my nemesis for no good reason. Other than that I was jealous I was a young and jealous 18 year old alas not always the wise and zen woman you see before you now or. Here before you now. Ah I am saying that ironically I hope you know that. So um, let’s see so yeah, epilogues are going to be long but I am getting through them. Um. My friend Kelly Robson who checks in with me every day on writing stuff and ask me if I thought I was going to be done yesterday I was like no way. But I finished the first epilogue got part way through the second I got like. five pages into the second and the first one was ten pages. So yeah I kind of know where this one’s going so we’ll see um and then I’ve got two more after that maybe by tomorrow I don’t know. Going to write her coffee this morning and buy flowers for the wedding for Megan’s wedding so that’s exciting and I feel like I should be talking about more writing and industry stuff and my mind is a blank.

13:54.52
jeffekennedy
But in a good way. Um I was maybe supposed to do something for SFWA yesterday. There’s this author coalition call that occurs on the first Wednesday of the month so now that it’s June. It was yesterday and it’s at 11am my time and I I probably mentioned this before but a lot of the people on the call. Just do not seem like they have anywhere else to be because I spend a really long time talking about stuff and I feel like I am a. 1 of my failings as a human being is that I am impatient and I have to reign in my impatience. It is a constant struggle for me, you guys to rein in my impatience. But. It’s um I think it’s because I tend to do things pretty fast and in concentrated ways and when other people don’t do that. It robs me wrong. You know like the um, the grocery store clerk who like. Vaguely checks out your stuff and stops to talk to people and gets distracted and then you know some something goes on over there and they’re like oh ha ha ha ha and you’re like could you just fucking scan my groceries or at least I’m like that I don’t say that i. I rein in my impatience. So. But yeah, um, I’m not subjected to many meetings that I don’t control anymore which is great for me right? That’s one of the great benefits of having the ah career that I have at this point I love. Not having to attend meetings um you know like you do in corporate life all of the meetings that I attend are almost all so like None of the meetings that I have now are all things that I am invested in hearing about. They’re either about my favorite subjects me my books and my career. Um, you know so meetings with like my agent or my editors or things like that or they are SFWA meetings. Wow I felt like hair in my face. Flowing around from that breeze I think I washed it this morning and I can’t do anything was it.

19:15.96
jeffekennedy
So some randomness for you. But so like this call I do feel like it’s good. We have somebody else. Michael Capobianco who is a long time and very able volunteer at attends those calls anyway. But. I attended once a couple months ago because I had a specific issue bring to bring up to the other writers organizations and Capo as he is fondly known said that SFWA has two seats on this call and that he thought it would be great for the SFWA president to attend and I think it’s a great idea too. But when it comes to the execution yesterday I was I was writing hot I’ve got to finish freaking this book I didn’t say that well did I got to finish this freaking book freaking finish this book. Um, and. I just did not want to stop to be on this call. So I I was bad and I elected to not do it I’ve been doing more of these things in this last week or so and I think it’s just because I really needed to like taking. Entire days off of checking my sifwa email I I do think it is self- preservervation and I am we’re technically on hiatus to recover from the conference and so forth. So I was like you know what? I’m just going to be on hiatus and. Focus on the writing so that felt good. Um I need to finish paying bills and yesterday I finished early enough that I spent a couple of hours balancing the finances and I’m still crunching royalties. I have to finish crunching for Amazon and for my website sales and then pay bills. So I may get that done today. But the other thing I’m doing today big excitement in my world is I am going to in-person yoga with my favorite yoga teacher first time since. Pandemic. Um, she’s been doing like Zoom yoga I’ve mentioned that a number of times on here and doing recorded sessions by Vimeo and I have found I just do not like the combination of screen time in yoga it like makes it be not yoga for me. So she’s doing these classes that are simultaneous virtual and in person I think this is the future right? We’re all doing this right? The the hybrid options. So but I get to go. She’s opened a new yoga studio with another guyhoo I really like and I’m gonna go do freaking.

24:49.76
jeffekennedy
in-person yoga. So yes, mother I will be going into town and back twice today. She’s been laughing at me that how much I’m going into town because you know for so long I almost went nowhere but um so it works out. On Thursdays with it being writer coffee day and yoga day because this is the yin yoga class that I really like at four o’clock and as I mentioned I was chastised by the massage therapist for not maintaining my own flexibility. So. I need to get with that birds are so happy this morning I don’t know if you can hear them in the background but they’re just chipping away so pleased at having this moisture in the air. It really brightens them up. Dear, big excitement in my world was. We had our septic septic tank emptied yesterday and got it’s it’s kind of absurd how you can be proud of these things but got an a plus rating on our maintenance of the septic tank. So I did not. Know that it makes a difference if you use a disposal because this guy who’s ah I mean he was really like a classic cowboy type even had a cowboy hat dressed like a cowboy talked like a cowboy but he was great. He was efficient and very sweet. He accidentally ran over. Of our cactus um sort of we have like this center thing which we call the center thing I don’t know if there’s a name for it. But you know like our driveway goes around the center thing and we have a bunch of cactus planet in there and he ran over one of part of one of them with those big tires and he felt really bad about you. Brought me out there to see it and he’s like I try to be careful but I can’t always feel and there really is not much of a lip there and and he tried and he wanted to knock a hundred dollars off of the price and I felt I felt bad about that I was like oh I don’t think it was a hundred dollar cactus and in fact it’s one that we. Planted with a paddle from another cactus cactus are ridiculously easy to plant and propagate if you are interested. Here’s our botany section first cup of coffee. All you have to do is take one of the paddles use um tongs like kitchen tongs. But you know like if you have a neighbor with a cactus or you see a cactus somewhere where someone won’t mind you can just take a paddle like from the bottom you just take that and you lay it on the ground them done I’m serious and and they will root themselves. You know, put it in a hot spot.

30:31.20
jeffekennedy
Hot dry spot. But then so this ah and and it’s too bad because it was blooming all these beautiful pink flowers. But um, he is like well I I feel bad about that. So I I’ll give you a discount and he said you know it’s was like $300 to have the septic tank. Um. Cleaned and everything and he said let’s just make it 200 so I wrote the check for 250 because I thought yeah and he did great work if I still took some of it the the discount discount for my squash cactus. But anyway he said that we didn’t have a crust in there but we won’t think too hard about the crust but he said um, you must not have a garbage disposal and I sorry to answer and he looked at me and he said or you don’t use it very much and I said I do not use it very much. Um. First of all, it doesn’t work great and second of all we compost a lot but he said yeah if you use the garbage disposal a lot that really affects the septic tank and you get this crust in there who knew you know it’s like you buy a house with a septic tank and they do not. Give you instructions you could see the birds zooming around behind me. They’re very active. So yes, I’m it’s always good news to know that your septic tank is in good condition. I’m always hearing it seems like about people having septic disasters everybody out here is on a septic tink. My mom said she didn’t know I was on septic and it’s like um you know live eight miles outside of santa fe depending on which way the crow is flying and we are not on seur where. We are our own water system and everybody has septic. So um, let’s see those have been random thoughts right? What else? Oh I’ve got almost all 3 covers for the covenant of thorns books they’re going to be super cool. You guys this concept I just love it and we’re just going ahead and doing all 3 because she sent me all these options for the first one after I you know I told you I got that sort of like um shiver of delight at seeing one that was a like really different kind of concept. And so when I said I want this one and she said oh that’s my favorite too which I always feel like is good sign if the artist loves that one best then? you’re onto something right? So then she sent me a whole bunch of choices and I was like I loved them all and I made Darynda look at them and she loved them all.

36:05.26
jeffekennedy
But I picked out 3 that I think worked great for the progression of the trilogy and so we’re just going ahead and doing that So that’s awesome Huh You guys are gonna love him all right? Well I think that’s it for me. So um, yeah I’m gonna go do my thing. You go do your thing I Hope it’s a great thing and I will talk to you all tomorrow bye-bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 24, 2022

On rewarding ourselves for hard work, getting the thing you want, even if it’s frivolous. Also, I’m delaying the release of THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING – sorry! – but not by much.




Transcript
00:00.00
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:28.16
jeffekennedy
It’s actually my second cup of coffee today is Tuesday may 24th so right I to double check who’s trying to give you guys like a little bit of scenery. Um, later this morning because this is actually the second podcast I’ve recorded I recorded the first one and then the more I thought about it the more I thought I’m not ready to talk about all of that publicly. So I it’s the lost podcast recording and. This is the second one for the day.

01:43.80
jeffekennedy
Ah so I apologize for no podcast yesterday rest assured my mother already gave me a guilt trip about it and I was just wiped out yesterday I was exhausted nebula conference was fabulous. And exhausting and trying at times there were a lot of things that were wonderful about it. There were some things that were very difficult about it. Um. And I very much appreciate everybody who has reached out and offered support. Overwhelmingly people have been really supportive and you all are awesome I appreciate that? Ah, the nebula conference went very well. All things considered. We did not look like the Airmeet interface at all. In fact, everyone was looking forward to being able to set it on fire once the weekend was done our um own created system had been much better for previous years. So next year looking forward to doing a hybrid conference seeing a lot of people in person and we will come up with a different system for the conference. None thing that was funny about air meat was that if you were. Logged into the system. There were I mean it was very pretty It looked nice. But if you were in there and a panel hole started. It would suck you into the panel which we began to refer to as wormholing it was we turned out to be prescient. Because those of you who have been able to watch the nebula awards ceremony. It was live streamed. It was recorded. It’ll be available if it’s not already. Um I loved the nebula award ceremony Kate Ristau um knocked it all the park she deserves so much kudus kudus. I know somebody who used to pronounce it kudus and there I accidentally said it that way. Kudos for all of her amazingly hard work ably assisted by LD Lewis who handled the technical direction Kate just pulled it together amazingly and. So for those of you who saw it you saw that we had recordings from Neil Gaiman coming in as a time traveler and with references to wormholing. so so yeah the wormholing thing where even if you were like at.

07:21.10
jeffekennedy
None of the virtual tables and having conversations with somebody you got worm holed into their into ah the panel or into office hours which were supposed to be private that was really charming at none where it was supposed to be like a one on one thing and you’d get 50 people. Sucked in there and when we came back to Airmeet and asked them to fix the problem that they seemed to believe it was a feature and not a bug that this is like oh but this is how you get participants to your panels. It’s like no the other charming. Not charming thing about it. Was that it would wormhole you into whichever panel started first. So even people who had particular panels for that time slot like saved on their schedule. Um, it would still wormhole you into which everyone started first. It was an abysmal system. Um. We are um, conference project manager Kathleen Monin who also did an incredible job. She was compiling a document of all of our technical problems that I can’t remember exactly but she had it entitled something like. The flaming garbage wreck that is air meat so we are not pleased with Airmeet. We paid a fair amount of money to use that flaming garbage wreck. Ah, but our staff was amazing. Kate Baker, Terra Lemay, Becca Gomez Farrell all rocked it people put in a huge amount of work. Um, and it was you know yeah exhilarating and at times we got very emotional. Some difficult decisions had to be made and now we are in recovery mode. So on Friday I finally decided when I ended up getting sucked into some things early on in the conference. Realized that I was just not going to be able to get storm princess and the Raven King uploaded by Friday this Friday so I apologize to all of you who have been waiting on this book I appreciate your patience I’m sorry I pushed it out two weeks um new release state is June thirteenth to all of you who preordered you would have gotten the notice from Amazon if you preordered on Amazon um, it probably won’t take me that long to finish knock on wood. But i.

12:59.50
jeffekennedy
Thought well if I was gonna push it out I might as well give myself a little bit of leeway. So 1 thing I can do is once it’s done I can just push it live right? then early. Ah or I can just wait for the for June thirteenth what do you guys vote for let me know what you think. I not sure it manners. Yeah cool breeze where it’s not supposed to be very warm to do. It’s gorgeous this morning but we’re maybe gonna get rain today which would be nice. So um. Assistant Carien did read storm princess so far and she really loves it really loves Ryan’s redemption arc so that’s awesome and I am close to finishing I really am I think I was just tired. Um. Just get to that. Um, creatively drained point right? and so I’m probably going to ease in today by starting my out loud proofing and then finish it off. Um, so yeah, I’m I’m getting back to it. Yesterday I just did nothing I thought I was gonna work yesterday but I was just so wrung out and completely drained from the conference and all that happened so I just took a day off. And I went and of all things went shopping David and I went shopping for this rock fountain that I have been watching and when I get it I did buy 1 when I get it installed I will share pictures of it. My mom asked me to share a picture I was like oh I forgot to take None at the shop. Um, but they’re really cool because they’re natural rock and you dig a basin down in the ground and then there’s a grate that goes on top of it with smaller rocks on top of the grate. So the water spills down over the rock and goes back down into the basin to be recirculated so it really saves on water and there’s a lot more water um, stored inside so you don’t risk burning out the pumps. Ah. With the wind. We’ve been having my other fountain the wind keeps blowing the water out of the fountain and then my pup dries out overnight. Alas, so those of you who have been listening to the podcast for a long time know that? ah.

18:33.30
jeffekennedy
Ah, my mind just went temporarily blank there. What do you know? What do we know about me. Um I don’t know oh that I’m a big believer in rewards that when we’ve been doing a whole lot of work going to a tremendous effort. That it’s very much important to to reward our subconscious selves to give ourselves a treat the benefit of something that is desired and so. We went shopping for this fountain. Finally I’ve been wanting one for probably 10 years at least and I’ve been saving up for it. It’s gonna cost a little more than what I wanted but you know how you can do the thing where there’s the thing that you really really want. And tell me which you want what you really really want. Um, you have this thing that you want and it’s more expensive than what you want to spend or what you feel like you could spend so you get the the quasi thing you get like the next. Quality down or several qualities down or smaller or not so much and then it’s not quite satisfying because you always think about the thing you know it’s like well I really wish I would have had this one that I didn’t settle for this one I was. Seeing someone sharing over the weekend. Terry Pratchett’s theory of poverty. It’s probably not his but this is what he wrote up in a book about the poor man who buys the that a good pair of boots costs $50 and that but the man only makes $38 a month and so it’s very difficult for him to pay $50 so instead he buys the $10 pair of boots but those wear out in a year so in a year he has to buy the $10 pair of boots again and. And it’s nicely written it. You know it’s from ah None of his books and it goes you know into the downsides of the shoddy pair of boots that wears out but the person who can afford to buy the $50 boots can wear them for None ears and never never wears them out or you know wears them out only after a very long time and so in the end they spend less money because they can afford to pay more upfront and this is a way that we talk about that. It’s very expensive to be poor.

24:15.28
jeffekennedy
And that’s not a perfect analogy for what I’m doing because obviously this is a frivolous purchase. This is not something that I need to make it to work or to keep a roof over our heads but it is um, it’s a special tree and and it was. Felt important to me to reward myself for for hard work and I am wanting to reward the people that that worked with me on this too. So I’m have that in in place ongoing. So. Um. So yeah, um, sort of getting back into the groove now and she’ll be able to get this book finished off and starting the next one is my plan quite a lot happening. In June next big thing for me is my friend Megan getting married in less than 2 weeks and I need to get my act together on the flowers for them.

26:47.80
jeffekennedy
And let’s see. Yeah I I do need to make a plan there and then hopefully I’ll get that fountain installed in like the next week they said so that’ll be exciting I won’t maybe we’ll do a special. Podcast by the fountain. How exciting is that you know don’t say that we don’t have fun here at none cup of coffee.

27:49.20
jeffekennedy
So let’s see what else. Um, this is why I did not do a podcast yesterday because I am I feel so much better today and my brain is still feeling pretty empty. So I can’t even remember. Much in the way of specifics from the conference over the weekend. Um, there was just a lot of really great programming and I learned a lot from people my own panels went great and yeah, there were just a lot of magical things about it. And I’m very much looking forward to doing the hybrid version next year and yeah, so I think that what I will do is go ahead and get in and get to work and yeah. I hope that you all have a wonderful Tuesday that your week is going well and I will talk to you all on Thursday take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 20, 2022

Exciting events for me today and this weekend – I get to interview Mercedes Lackey! – and more and extended thoughts on building an author platform, what’s most important, and being aware of how others do it.




Transcript
00:02.95
jeffekennedy
Ah, good morning. Everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:31.61
jeffekennedy
Didn’t mean to make that extra loud clang. Ah, but you know what day it is say it with me Friday woo Friday may um, something who knows may none yeah. None nebula weekend yay kicked off with some mentoring last night that was really fun. And um, yeah yesterday was my mom and stepdad’s wedding anniversary fifteenth wedding anniversary of congratulations cannot believe it’s been fifteen years that going to that wedding feels like yesterday and yeah, so they were going to celebrate last night but then turns out that stepdad Dave has an infection in his leg still from that accident. So we had to be on antibiotics. So my David had a good idea. Um, and we had door dash send them dessert from the bakery so that they at least got to have a little treat I thought that was such a great idea feel free to use that. Um, um, so let’s see other things I’ve got I don’t think I even opened up where I am on the let me do that. It’s not going as fast as I want it to. But None is is good I have somewhere in the neighborhood of None None or None words to go? Um, none of you even responded. To me yesterday saying I was going to kill all the characters off. Apparently you guys just like didn’t take me seriously I’m gonna do it I swear ah I almost don’t have to kill them off because they’re all about dead right now. Wouldn’t take much really? So if I’m figuring on that about the last ten thousand words are going to be the epilogues which is what I’m hoping for that means I have like None to None words to save the world.

05:56.15
jeffekennedy
We’ll just see we’ll just see what happens a nebula conference panels are starting Today. No hummer and there’s one I want to watch at 10 my time I’m on 1 at 2 30 you could still register if you want to. Um, be part of the conference programming is great. Lots of good stuff happening tonight I get to interview mercedes Lackey Grand Master very excited about that little hummingbird. So panel at two thirty is about combating misogyny and romance Cecilia Tannis our moderator so that should be great looking forward to that looking forward to doing this reception and interview tonight. Lots of good stuff going on tomorrow award ceremony tomorrow night um I sent the trailer to my friend Megan Mori who is getting married in a couple of weeks that I have to deal with flowers for her wedding which. I really want to do I just um, need to do some dealing on that trying to figure out the best way to do that I know what I want to do I’m just trying to figure out the best acquisition method. So um, yeah. I get to see her next Wednesday she texted this morning and we will go um, scope out the site so I can make my nefarious plans. Ah, and then she will buy me a drink afterwards because she’s awesome vaway I sent her the. Yeah bu award ceremony trailer because she has been um, sort of my what do I want to say not objective ear. But um, she’s the person who is like. That I can tell things too that I could tell the secret things to because she’s not involved right? So you know like when you have an Nda and you don’t disclose stuff. You can’t disclose to you know anyone that where it’s gonna go anywhere but you know. Between her and I it’s the cone of silence on many many things so she knew what I went through and so I sent her the trailer and she said I have 3 words with for you and she did them in a separate text each line Neil fucking gayman amen amen sister

11:25.79
jeffekennedy
so um so yeah right now I’m in that kind of weird limbo state of getting this conference done feeling a little tired getting this book done. Looking very much forward to havingbbing the conference behind us as much as I’m looking forward to having the conference and then I will see what happens. Um, as far as getting this book out getting it finished. Ah what I’m hoping is. That I can like get that ending down today and I don’t know if I’ll work on it any over the weekend I’ll see how I feel see if it’s better for me to decompress or not. But if I can get the ending finished out between today and tomorrow. Or tomorrow Monday and then to a couple of long to sound running out of time month I really need to get that ending done today. Don’t I so that I can then have a couple of days to do my really pound words on those epilogues. Fortunately I know pretty much what those epilogues are going to be I just need to get them done and then have a little time to revise and improve not a lot of time to prove. Maybe I should push this release date I have to figure out what is the last day that I can push that release date.

14:29.77
jeffekennedy
I’m torn on that it would make things easier if I pushed the release date give me a little bit more time to get this proofing done in everything. Um, but then I also feel like maybe I can do it so I’ll figure out what is my. Drop dead day to push that release date and then you know if I do push it’ll be like by a week nothing big so um enough about me. What do you think about me. ah ah I did want to talk a little bit about author pal. Platform stuff because I blogged about it on Wednesday and received quite a few notes about it with people saying that they really needed to hear that so I thought I would talk about it a little bit more on here. Hummingbirds do not worry about platforms and I feel like I said should switch by hanging baskets because this one is so much happier than this one and this one’s really getting battered by the wind is it that I just need to move it in some but it’s symmetrical the way it is. I don’t know or I can move it over there so author platforms not hanging baskets. Ah so. For those of you who did not read the blog post. Although I’ll try remember to link to it if you’re interested. It comes from the term author platform comes from the early 90 s when. The internet was kicking into gear and people really started looking in terms of sales platforms on the internet and and reach and in the beginning author platform really applied to nonfiction books. It was in order to sell a nonfiction book you kind of wanted an author who was a perceived expert in the field a celebrity. Ah you know what? I’m saying um, had a following this. That’s part of why this is related to the early days of the internet because. People gain these followings. It was sort of like um Instagram influencers only with blogging and the early bloggers would gain these followings you know and and I remember you know like there were ones that I would follow every day like um, dous.

19:49.47
jeffekennedy
Don’t even know what she’s doing now haven’t looked at her blog in a long time but they gained these huge followings they had these enormous platform. Well so you have to think about things in terms of the New York people and especially the agents. And editors especially the young and hungry ones who are looking at building their careers and being able to sell the house and the salespeople on publishing a book and. 1 of the things that they want and sometimes I will see um agents in particular um will have in their submission materials tell me about your author platform tell me about your social media platform because what they really want. Is these people who already have none or hundreds of none or none followers already that they can target this book towards and you be say to yourself if you are a I don’t even want to say savvy. Um, but if you are following this line of thought to its logical conclusion and it is something that the newbie authors ask all the time is like well if I am a debut author and I have not yet done anything. How am I supposed to have a platform of readers already and. Is it that what the publishing house should be doing well my child this is one of the things that changed with the internet was these publishing houses figured out that they didn’t necessarily have to do all of that expensive and. Splashing of coffee up for the on themselves. That’s why get for getting worked up that they realized that they could make the authors do this especially because they did have authors coming to them with substantive platforms already right? so. It it really was a major change and and how how the business went about selling books because now they could sell books through social media and they really wanted authors who already had social media platforms. Well. You you can see the catch 22 here right? Ah and so that became the push for many authors to begin establishing their social media presence. You know, have your website have your Facebook page have your Twitter following ah before you even sell that debut book.

25:27.90
jeffekennedy
Because to back up a little bit on what platform is if you are not a celebrity or an Instagram influencer or a noted expert in dog feces bull feces. Ah, then what does it mean for you to have a platform. What what it is is. It’s your reach. It is ah who you can and let me get the exact definition here hang on. Okay I found it. And this is not me this is Jane Friedman’s definition which I believe I paraphrased but I linked to her article on it. She has a really great write up on author platform. It’s in the blog post if you go to that you’ll find it. But um. I am finding hint finding it. Okay, so an author platform is an ability to sell books because of who you are and who you can reach all right? So who you are may not necessarily. Be anything right? If you are not a noted expert in bovine feces. Male bovine feces. Ah, but who you can reach is a different thing now a lot of New York would love to have the person who comes with their ready-made. 0 followers. Whatever but do you have to have this no and the point that I was making in my blog post is the way for fiction authors to reach people is through their stories. And so the best way that you can build your author platform is by writing more writing more books writing more stories ah getting that work out there. That’s the most That’s why that’s why everybody says and I’ve been hearing this for decades now. Eep. And it is true that the very best way to market a book is to write the next book. Ah if you can write a series because writing sequels is great for marketing that none book but the more books you write. And I’m going to add this I didn’t say this in the blog post but this is why I’m always emphasizing craft and improvement over marketing efforts write better books get better at what you’re doing and as you get better. You will reach.

30:59.13
jeffekennedy
More readers as you write the things that move you you will reach the people who are moved by the things that you write. You don’t have to change up the marketing things as much as you need to get those stories out there that will actually reach people that’s. Ah, different kind of reach than the salespeople and marketing people are thinking about but that’s because they are sellers of widgets not creators of stories so something to think about. The other thing to keep in mind is that there are other ways to create reach and that is networking in the community being of service to people being helpful to people. Ah, but also the. The success people know this right? This is not a secret that the more you can build your platform your reach the more it will bleed into everything that you are doing So This is why there are. Members of the writing community who claim to do things out of the goodness of their hearts ah and present company accepted because I really do do things out of the goodness of my heart Actually, that’s not true I mean I wouldn’t do this podcast. Only. The goodness of my heart or only because my mother requires it I do it in part to increase my reach right? It’s It’s a way for me to do that. That’s why we do our social media things right? And that’s why it’s important to do the ones that you enjoy because. The more that you come across authentically the better it is but like somebody who for example, puts on a huge conference for self-published writers and says I don’t make any money off of this. Um, I’m only doing this to help out other self-published writers. Well great, but you know what else they’re doing is they’re increasing their reach even if somebody is not making money off of a thing. It’s because they’re investing in the platform. That will enable them to make money later. So a lot of um I don’t know the success community will will employ that kind of language where they will attempt to legitimize themselves by saying that.

36:25.89
jeffekennedy
They don’t charge for doing a thing that they’re not making money off of it and you know, okay, great, but just because someone isn’t making direct money off of a thing does not mean that they’re not benefiting from the thing. So and I’m not saying that they shouldn’t benefit for it from it but be aware of that because there are those who will do any and everything to draw attention to themselves and including bad behavior. Because in a way that’s why they say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity which isn’t really true, but there is a kernel of truth in that because the more people who know who you are the broader your reach. Bigger your platform so on that note I am gonna go in and get to work I hope that you all have a wonderful Friday a wonderful weekend if I see you at nebula conference say hi to me. It’s totally online but there’s lots of virtual chat rooms and that sort of thing. And I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 9, 2022




Transcript
00:01.38
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:15.63
jeffekennedy
Today’s Monday may ninth and death sorry for the incredibly awkward intro I’m so in a slightly different position and I realized I couldn’t quite crane back to reach the chimes. Alas. If you’re on video you might be able to see behind me this light might not be great. But I have my clematis is blooming beautiful pink blossoms. Yay.

00:45.73
jeffekennedy
Yeah, so everything’s bright and shiny here a little bit cool breeze blowing this morning but um, getting the cool in supposed to warm up later today wind again today. Alas, the wind. Um, hummingbird battle little Hummer um I don’t remember what I was going to say the hummingbird distracted me what’s something to say it. What was it. Who knows it’s gone thinks bird.

01:26.79
jeffekennedy
But so yeah, like all thoughts have fled my head I’m trying to think of what’s going on here wendy oh I know what it was I’ll share it on the show notes I posted it to social media before but I think social media hates me have you guys been noticing this. Like I post stuff to Facebook and Twitter like even pictures and original content with no links all the things I’m supposed to do and like I get likes but nobody’s commenting maybe nobody has bandwidth to comment. Maybe we’re all just so fricking fed up with everything that’s going on. Um. Like trying to relying on law from the seventeen hundreds to inact current law I haven’t ranted about that on here I feel like we’ve all heard enough elsewhere anyway. It was the um fire incident report from the fire that’s up near Las Vegas New Mexico about an hour north of here I was looking at it just to see because they they may have to add back to weight the city of Las Vegas New Mexico not Las Vegas Nevada but still the fires coming real close and they’re. Having to evacuate people from the surrounding towns. So in a way. It’s not funny. So it’s one of these funny, not funny things but I was looking at the report and it said that the drought exasperated by the high winds and warm temperatures I think that maybe not everybody who saw it got why I thought it was so funny because it should be exacerbated. Not exasperated. Um and I thought was really funny. Who knew a drought could become as exasperated as we feel so um, yeah I don’t know take humor where you can a lot of people have had to evacuate. It’s really not wonderful. Alas. Um I had a good weekend felt like a busy weekend I I had 3 SFWA meetings on Saturday publications team nebula planning board meeting. So ah. That sort of took up the middle of my day before that I just hung out though and read.

04:03.73
jeffekennedy
Um, I’ve been debating about whether or not to talk about what I’m reading because I am oh see even if I hint about it. You guys will guess. And I just don’t know if I want to say anything on here I know that’s coy if I shouldn’t bring it up at all I’m gonna set that aside and think about if you’re on video you might see my cool new barette this is exciting stuff right? Look it’s like a a phoenix or a heron. Got in at a local story here in Santa Fe so um I don’t often buy myself little treats like that and that was a nice nice little gifty for myself. It’s important to reward ourselves I don’t know if I’ve talked about that in a long time when you’re. Especially when you’re working your creative self very hard and wanting to um you know make the money to buy like groceries um paid mortgage and rent or all of those sorts of things I had a um, a. Ah, decent, wake up call yesterday I was um, insensitive to some newer writers in a way that I really tried not to be and it didn’t occur to me but 1 of the girls was saying that she hadn’t been able to find any good writer conferences in Florida and I said well what about NINC? Novelist incorporated which has their conference in St Petersburg and she was like what that’s 20 minutes away from me and she ran off to get it and then she set back a picture of her face when she read the membership qualifications for NINC because ah. Desert Ravens are busy this morning too. Ah because you have to be a member of NINC to register for the conference and and I’m a member and it was it was like a no big deal for me to become a member. But the membership qualifications are steep. She’s like I just published my first book I have nothing yet and it’s um, they they are they are steep There’re lots steepers than so than SFWA’s. But NINC was formed by kind of a spinoff group from rwa that felt like there were too many um wannabes in the organization and so they made it steep because they wanted it to be.

06:43.32
jeffekennedy
Like writers who were more advanced in their career and so I did say to these cows I said you know it took me a long time to to and I forget I do forget how much water is under the bridge for me. You know, maybe that’s part of the champagne problems. You know you get to a point where you you’re focused on what you’re you know eyes forward what you’re trying to achieve next what you’re trying to do and you don’t always or at least I don’t. Always take that moment to look back at how very far I’ve come and and I think it that’s ah it’s a good reminder for me, you know that those um those membership qualifications were easy for me to make they’re not easy for everybody. Especially when you’re first starting out but it it that reminds me of a conversation that we’ve been having at SFWA and and I feel like it’s okay for me to talk about this because I’ve been talking about it openly with a bunch of people but there is um in. I can’t maybe I’ve even talked about it on the podcast before forgive me forgive me if I’ve forgotten. Um I should say I did spend a couple of hours revising on the book yesterday I’m getting a little bit worried about finishing it on time. This is probably also right on schedule and. Yeah, so my brain is really focused on the book which is like really great that I’m like trying to finish this book at the same time that nebula conference is ah coming to a peak but everybody else is doing way more work than me at this point so that’s pretty awesome.

08:34.89
jeffekennedy
So yeah, there’s an interesting thing in the science fiction and fantasy community where they talk about um, being a professional writer which is very important. That’s part of our mission I’m totally behind that and then they talk about stuff being fan based. And it’s interesting to me that the science fiction and fantasy community. Really they talk about fan run conventions fan awards the romance community doesn’t talk about fans in the same way even though like the Rt convention was all about readers. And there are other conventions that are reader conventions but we don’t say fan in and the same way that science fiction and fantasy community does and there is occasionally someone will say things. In Sifwa like we want this to be a professional panel. Not something that seems more fan based and and 1 of the frequent. Um. Disparaging remarks made about Rw a that confused me for a long time was they would say well Rw a allows fans to be members. They don’t it’s not a professional organization like Siffa is because they allow fans in and I was like everybody in our w a is I mean you. You want to be a writer That’s why you join.

10:14.14
jeffekennedy
So this finally struck me the other day. It was like you know when you enter a community and you um, don’t always know the jargon and 1 thing about sifway is that it’s an old enough organization that there is arcane lingo. And there is a lot of stuff that are like unwritten rules and ever since I’ve been on the board I’ve I’ve been the force for no unwritten rules and there are other people who are fortunately on my same team with this but it’s like um if it frankly in in my world. If a rule is not written down It’s not a rule. You can’t expect people to abide by unwritten rules if it’s such a god damn fucking important rule write it down. You can see why everybody loves me. Um.

11:11.20
jeffekennedy
So we’ve we’ve run into this before where we’ve had like people violate unwritten rules and then everybody’s like oh censure them. They’re bad and wrong because they broke this this rule I’m like how were they supposed to know it was a rule and they’re like well everybody knows. I don’t know. It’s like this insular community thing part of the things we’re working to change and it has changed a whole lot just in in my type. Um, but so this like suddenly the lingo was illuminated for me an epiphany. Now I understand scrambled eggs! If you don’t get that joke you haven’t been listening to this podcast long enough. Ah, um, if you want me to you can ping me and I’ll explain it. But. It yeah I will explain in here. Um, but I was testing my theory out with someone else. I said you know this has occurred to me that when people say in SFWA say that something is fan-based as opposed to professional they’re referring to aspiring writers. As opposed to established writers and and she looked at me and she’s like well yes why god so that’s why when they were like hurling this accusation at RWA a allowing fans in what they mean is that they rwa has no bar for membership. And if you’re an aspiring writer with no cred whatsoever. You can join so somehow I don’t know it would be wouldn’t you sociologists out there I would love for you to retrace this history of how this became a thing of calling. People who want to become writers fans I mean in some ways I could see the trajectory right? because all writers start out as enthusiastic readers right. So okay, I’m gonna touch on this thing that I’m reading. Ah I don’t I don’t want to annoy certain people is my hesitation here. Um, somebody yesterday when I we were talking about something else entirely. But when I was chatting with some of these girls.

13:41.81
jeffekennedy
To answer entertain me that they always make me happy and they um, we’re talking about something I’m not even gonna I’m gonna dance around it as much as possible tippay tap. And I said um yeah, and I said I try to keep my mouth shut about that and this other girl said um well that she had she had gotten in trouble with with somebody for saying something and you know and she said that she was you know afraid for her career that they could really hurt her career. And I said well I’m not afraid but I do try to keep my mouth shut on some things because I am aware you know and they said well if we you know unless people like you tell us, then? how are we supposed to know and I’m like yeah I know I try to walk this line but sometimes I just. Give my opinion and say yeah I don’t think that you need to be involved with that. Ah, and then I do my little zipper face. Um I am aware that my babblings here are anywhere that in so that I am. Even though I say opinions my own that I do also representative what to some extent and I don’t want anybody to think that. My opinions are Sifwa’s opinions and so I I try to be careful. Also I’m careful about what I say on record and I said that to these scos and it’s hard because it’s been pandemic but you know I said you know it’s a standing thing. Buy me a drink you even wouldn’t have to buy me a drink because odds are I’d already have one at the bar. Um, and I will tell you in person anything you want to know it’s just I don’t want stuff in print where somebody can come back and say you know did you slam this person. You know? because even though I’d say well I think they deserve it. Um, some things are with it. Some things aren’t so so anyway I’m doing a reread of a series that I read first. It’s it’s pretty extraordinary. Really this was one of the first books I ever bought on my brand new kindle back in the day and I’m not going to give a year so you guys can’t sleuth out what I’m reading but um because I know how y’all are, but and I loved this book.

16:28.70
jeffekennedy
Love this book and I love this series until I felt like the series kind of went off the rails so that could be any number of series right? Um, but yeah I I remember I got that Kindle for Christmas from my mother. They were very expensive then. And thank you mom and I bought 3 books and this was one of them. You know, bought them on my kindle you guys it was like ah the angels were singing. It was the best thing and 1 of the best things was is that at the end of this book I had to read the next book and I could read it immediately and all your kids out there who don’t know what it was like when we didn’t have remote controls. Um, there were so many times when you. Had to wait so long to get the next book in the series and and not because it wasn’t out because you couldn’t find it anywhere. Um, you know doing things like in our library alone. There was no online ordering of any sort dinosaurs roamed the earth you had to watch out so that you didn’t get. Eaten by the tyrannosaurus rex on the way to the newsstand you know you could ask your local bookstore to order it but sometimes they couldn’t get it sometimes they wouldn’t get it if it was romance sometimes they would be like yeah um, so. So it was a miraculous thing. Ah and I’m sure younger people get really sick of older people waxing on about the amaze mean amazing things about technology. But I think I’ve told you guys this that i. Said to my grandson he was doing something on his phone and I said you know there was a time when we only used those to make phone calls and he goes ah I know everybody tells me that was like you okay, fine kid that’s but it’s true. Ah. But yeah, being able to buy that second book was yeah angels wept so now I’m rereading the series and it’s just interesting to read it with my lens now because when I first read that I was not writing fiction or I was just. Beginning to dabble in fiction. And yeah, it’s it’s interesting to reread it? Um, yeah, and that’s all I’m going to say at this point I’m not Goingnna talk about what my trigger was to start reading this or other thoughts. Maybe I will later.

19:10.80
jeffekennedy
And no know um did I have a point in bringing that up now who knows who knows Jeffe do you have a point about anything question and well so let’s see god so this week’s going to be intense working on this book. Getting it done. Um, the revision going fine. That’s weird. Ah this is a weird book doesn’t do I say this every single time don’t I um, but yeah, this is a different kind of book. I don’t even know what more to say about it than that I mean the revision is going fine but I keep worrying that I don’t even know what I’m worried about on it. It’s just um. Not following the trajectory that I expected I ah somebody asked if my last week I made the reference to the Groundhog day loop no I’m not doing that with lean on right I had I almost wish I had it’s too late now. Because that would have been an entertaining thing to do but no, it’s more that they they’re making incremental progress but it is you know how when you’re trying to figure out a relationship like that. You know you just do a lot of retreading and falling back into bad habits. So anyway, it’s moving forward I’m I’m making progress on this revision I think I have something like a hundred pages still to revise and then. Maybe be longer. That’s this is my concern is it’s looking like instead of being the 95000 words I wanted right now the beats are looking more like 102K fuck me. So yeah I could always push the date out I could. You know, extend the release date by a week but I really want this release in may get that money in may um, maybe that’s not as that important we shall’ll see so anyway I’m gonna go get to work instead of babbling on about it. Hope you guys are ready to kick off your Monday have a good week and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 21, 2022




Transcript
00:00.33
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Um, delicious. 1 thing I like about these chimes. The outdoor chimes is that they ah the tone lingers humming in the air like that isn’t that lovely today is thursday. April Twenty first back out in the grape arbor as those of you on video will note and yeah, we have had such high winds so it’s a combination of things. The recent high winds are blowing in the. Tumblewes which we have copious numbers of because we had a robust monsoon season last summer and with all that robustness comes lots of brain means lots of plant matter that springs up and so. Have lots and lots of um I don’t want to say dead. It’s it’s like cured vegetation. It’s part of the natural cycle because it dried out over the winter and the tumble weeds are that’s part of their thing is they are made to tumble which means that when they cure they easily pop up off of their. Roots and or so I don’t even know the mechanism but there’s some sort of suffering there and then they tumble cat scattering their seeds and people are always surprised by this. Um I decided to move slightly so you could see the flowering crab Apple tree. A little bit better of you but people most people are surprised by this when I tell them that tumbleweeds are not indigenous to the American West They are an exotic which is part of what makes them so pernicious. Ah David was commenting on this the other day. Both of us being child. Childs children of the american west me growing up in Denver Colorado him up in Northern Wyoming Buffalo wyoming and he was saying something he likes watching westerns which I really don’t but neither one of us is much into western kitchen at all. And my contention has always been that is because the western kitchen has very little to do with actual life in the west and so he was commenting about the the wren is up here talking to me he was talking about how western movies.

02:48.54
jeffekennedy
Don’t accurately portray the west at all I was like yeah I know right? and you know we were talking about the tumbleweed thing you know you cannot have a western movie without a tumbleweed tumbling across a road and yet those are exotics. Ah you know say with horses horses are not indigenous to North America they’re they’re an old world. Species ah horses only made it to the american west because the spanish conquistadors brought them. Ah you know so the whole idea of people get very caught up and the romanticism of the wild horses you know and saving the wild horses and oh you know that’s. Part of the natural land to have the wild horses and it’s like well actually no horses double weeds introduced not part of the american west at all and now me with my walled garden here in Santa Fe New Mexico um ah the winds are wafting the tumbleweeds over and piling them up so I actually took a few moments to ah de-t tumbleweed the background but there’s a whole bunch over in this corner. Um, actually you could probably see it if you’re on video if you look over towards the bird bath over there. See all of those tumbleweeds piled up in there. This garden was clean before this but no, it’ll it’ll stop eventually. One would hope I bought. My hanging plants for this summer I’ll show you guys those see look that oh beautiful beautiful petunia baskets sitting there. Um on the floor of the gray harbor because we’re it’s supposed to freeze Saturday our frost free date is may like May twenty second it’s our last frost. And normally it’s not that late. But I called my favorite nursery the other day and what was it Tuesday I called them to find out when they were going to get their hanging baskets in because they have the best ones best ones best price are they beautiful you know and said why’t you gonna get them in and she said oh we’re already almost sold out I was like fuck I was afraid of that because they they do this every year like they don’t have them don’t have them don’t have them and and then all a sudden they’re greenhouse that grows them just a little ways away from here sends them all and. There is like a secret signal you guys that I do not know I’m signed up for their newsletter. They don’t ever send their newsletter They don’t update their website I mean in many ways got to love them right? How do people know so she says come today.

05:35.43
jeffekennedy
So I actually took time out of my day on Tuesday even though I had like other things going on and did an emergency trip to the nursery and bought all of my hanging plants which I’m not going to hang in because it’s going to freeze on Saturday and so I will have to bring them. Inside is this what everybody does I feel like there is I’ve been here that’ll be 13 years in August and I feel like there’s still this Santa Fe mystique that I’m kind of missing out on that I don’t know how things work. And if I do find out of course I will not tell you guys because then I will be in on the secret and you will not get to know. So something that’s been on my mind actually hold on a moment I changed my mind I was going to do something but could wait these need to be watered. But I don’t have to compulsively do it right now. My coffee is hot I shall chat um, ah, total aside but I don’t know grace if you are keeping up with the podcast probably not but Grace is just having a shit year. You guys Grace Draven my bestie and I was chatting with her some yesterday. Ah, send her some love the woman needs some love. It’s not her it’s her family everything in her family is just like go on topsyurvy. So um, go on my mind. So I’ve been thinking about. Volunteer ethic being current president of SFWA Science fiction and fantasy writers association. Um, it’s a volunteer job. Some people seem to be surprised by this It’s a volunteer job. Yeah I do not get paid. In fact, our whole board of directors is a volunteer board of directors because we are a five zero one C Three charitable organization. We cannot pay our board of directors because when you run a charity and you get. Tax exempt status for running a charitable organization. 1 of the stipulations is that the people running the organization cannot be using the charitable funds to line their own pockets.

08:12.38
jeffekennedy
And for those of you who were not around in the 80 s and 90 s when some of this shit went down you go there were what was it Unicef. There were a couple of high profile cases where the. People who are on the boards of directors of these really big charitable organizations were taking most of the money to enrich themselves and the rest you know, very small percentages were going to the. Charities or the people they purported to be supporting siffa exists to support writers and the genre and the genre community and volunteers are our lifeblood. We have a few people on staff. Ah, and we have a few people that we contract work out to occasionally. But for the most part it’s run by volunteers and we recently had a deal where um, a volunteer demanded to be paid a whole lot of money to. Continue their work and and I’d explain that we can’t do that and and the person became very upset with me and accused me of trying to bespirch their reputation by it I don’t know what? all. And and 1 thing this person kept saying was when I volunteered for this position I understood it would be paid and so I had an you know an in ego montoo moment where I was saying you know you keep using this word volunteer and I don’t think it means what you think it means um and it. It’s been on my mind obviously because this was a difficult situation but it’s it’s interesting to note that maybe is the volunteer ethic not as strongly understood in younger generations now. Um, I know that it’s always been a thing where the volunteer ethic is very strong in particular families I think people either learn it in their family or they don’t and I also know that volunteering comes from a place of privilege and this is something I’ve talked about um, a great deal. Especially with you know, helping marginalized people become more involved in some of these organizations where you know those of us who can afford to volunteer huge amounts of our time. Um, you know you tend to get really privileged people running things and you don’t always want that situation right.

10:56.75
jeffekennedy
We don’t want that situation but it’s a delicate balance. Um, you know I think we could argue about whether I can afford to volunteer this as much of my time but I also grew up in a family where we volunteered a lot of our time. Um, whether we could afford it or not now. Obviously we always had that level of privilege where we weren’t worried about a roof over our heads and the example I often think of is you know like the single parent usually a single mother who is working you know sometimes a couple of jobs. Plus single parenting her children and every moment of her day is crammed with things that she must do ah and and we could talk about that you know, maybe you know parenting in a way is the ultimate volunteer job right? You you don’t get paid to be a parent. And you you give everything to it. Um, it’s it’s kind of an obligation. You can’t walk away from it but 1 of our other volunteers that we were in a meeting yesterday we were thanking her for sticking with it and she’s like oh I’ll stick with it. She said. That’s the midwesterner in me, we do not give up made me laugh. But these things do come from our our raising right? Whether or not we believe in in sticking a thing through all the way. Ah. Whether we volunteer time. Um, my family was always very politically active. Both of my parents volunteered a whole lot in politics and sometimes volunteer positions lead to jobs like my mom. Um, after she was widowed when I was only 3 she had money supporting her from the air force from my father’s death but she couldn’t you know she she needed things to do she needed to occupy herself and she began volunteering for a political campaign for those of you familiar with Denver history. She. Volunteered on Dale Tooley’s campaign for district attorney and after he was elected. He offered her a job sometimes it works that way. However, it’s not it’s not a direct line. Um, and maybe this is like an inside thing that. People who are coming at this system you know again, the mystique how do people know when the hanging plants are ready. How do you know whether or not maybe you’ll get a job. Um, and I know that it’s partly our responsibility to.

13:45.98
jeffekennedy
To clarify these things for the community to let people know how this stuff works. Um, one of the things I talk about often about volunteering for civil and volunteering for anything in general is it does a few things. It. It allows you to participate in the organization in a way that being a a member doesn’t you you get to know people because you’re working together with people on stuff. It’s just part of how I don’t know life and humanity works. Ah you network with people people know who you are. So that when you come back to people and say hey will you help promote my book they they you’re not coming to them from out of the blue back to the hanging baskets. You know it’s like I feel like I need a friend at the nursery um I need to make friends with somebody there. Who will slip me the news. The hanging plants are in not that I’m obsessed people. Another thing that volunteering does and I have said this out loud to a number of our volunteers who have apologized for. Lack of experience or for messing something up as I will tell them. It is not a big deal because part of the point of volunteering is you get to practice new skills and your life isn’t on the line. You know your mortgage isn’t on the line. If you screw up you screw up and we fix it but volunteering is a great way to to try out new stuff. Ah, but I this seems to be coming up against some of the. The other ethics lately about people deserve to be paid for their work which is yes, yes, absolutely people deserve to be paid for their work but we also rely on volunteerism to make a lot of stuff run so we can’t pay everybody. We. We are not allowed to pay people even if we ah had the money the infinite funds to do it. We are not allowed to do it because I Rs and and every once while someone accuses me of using the irs as an excuse. And it’s like yeah, no, this is a thing. It’s a real thing and as president of the organization. Um, it falls to me and the board of directors to be fiscally responsible for how the organization is run. So if we lose our tax exempt status. It’s my fault.

16:31.41
jeffekennedy
So sometimes I have to be a hard ass which I don’t like being but there we are. But I talked some time ago about um, people you know, requiring everyone who works on a convention to to be volunteers not paying anybody. And how that leaves out the marginalized groups that leaves out our single mother who can’t afford to volunteer her time. She’s got to be bringing that money in and this other writer came to me and said well do you think that this one guy who runs a convention is. Privileged because I don’t see it I think he’s working class and I’m like okay well yeah, let’s take him as an example. Yes, he’s working class but he’s also single um has a full time job has a partner has a house of straight white male you know playing on. Un easy mode as John Scalzi says and yeah there’s privilege to that I have a lot of privilege I mean even though sometimes I feel like I’m piecing things together from you know month to month day to day and you know subsisting on. Writing income probably subsisting is the wrong word because we obviously have a pretty nice life but a lot of this is what we bought from working from many many years but I also come from families who are well off and and we have a safety net that a lot of people don’t have. So I’m going to continue this tomorrow because I want to talk more about art and business and so forth, but those are my thoughts on this today and I might go and ask some of the younger people what they think about volunteering and you know I can’t tell if I’m running across. Particular people who have not run grown up with a volunteer of ethic in their families or if if we’re not communicating well intergenerationally or what have you so we shall see but. Ren up above me again. Hi actually I think that’s a little Bush tip. Ah, anyway you all have a wonderful Thursday and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – March 29, 2022




Transcript
00:00.12
jeffekennedy
Ah, good morning. Everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee and with a cat if you’re on video you may have seen the tail go by and here he is. Ah, he jumped up on my desk right? as the camera was going live Jackson say hello to everybody I don’t know why he takes he has to be up here right now except that he’s been very much into loving lately. And so now you get to see his but because that’s how a cat shows their love now you’ gonna sit there. Okay, he said right there she’s sitting off to the side now you want see I left my office door open because David’s taking a bath here. We go. We can have first cup of coffee with a cat. Yeah cats don’t like coffee. So today is Tuesday March Twenty Ninth hope you all are doing well, it’s a rainy Tuesday here in Sara Fe I don’t know if Jackson’s thinking that maybe he wants to go out already. You want me to leave him in the photo range there. We go, you can see the back of his head. Um. Yeah, sorry I’m thoroughly distracted by the cap visit. That’s why I get for leaving my door open. So let’s see. Um, yeah, wick’s going well for me so far hope it’s going well for you I did get my 2000 words yesterday. It’s it’s interesting. It’s um. Much easier to get them on Monday after a couple days rest and then harder towards the end of the week so I have to see is um, is 2000 a day really sustainable I sure hope it is because I don’t want to slow down more than that. But I do have to abide by my. Own advice right? find out what your process is and own it there. He goes going on his merry way. So that was special day though. It doesn’t that mean something the cat comes to visit. You. So probably not the households where you have lots of cats that come and visit you all the time it seemed like I had a few things to talk about today and now I don’t know what any of them are all right um.

02:44.62
jeffekennedy
So 1 thing I do know I want to talk about is I mentioned. Um well I guess ah was on Friday when I was talking about the set changes in membership requirements and I mentioned the story about how my. My story Pearl got published in 2 different magazines almost at the same time by accident. Um, and I mentioned that it was the second time that that happened to me and the. First time was in this wyoming wildlife magazine which was the magazine and is still the magazine for ah wyoming game and fish. So I was living up in Wyoming at the time and I worked for wyoming gamon fish I was working in the lab there as I was finishing my master’s degree because I was cutting bait getting my master’s and going to become a writer so I’d started writing essays. But still had to finish writing my master’s thesis and I had I was sending out essays places all the time. Yeah, and I talked about this some on Friday I think yeah that I had um. You know my ping pong method where I would send a story out I would have it at 3 places at a time which looking back on it I was really proud of my I’m really proud of myself that I did that it was a good way to do it by. Treating it like ping pong as soon as rejection comes in you send out another you, you deemphasize the importance of a rejection. All a rejection is is noticed that you need to send it out somewhere else. Um I’ve never been able to. Subscribe to the what seems to me overly perky advice like when people say every rejection you get put you that much closer to publication. Um I I never really got that one but it was a. You send it out. They send it back I could get behind the ping pong thing and I had my list of publications of the order that I wanted things published in organized um I sorted by different criteria.

05:31.22
jeffekennedy
Um I didn’t always know what I was doing for instance I did not understand I mentioned this on Friday when I was talking about trying to get that science fiction story published I didn’t understand the arcania of the science fiction and fantasy short fiction market. Which I now understand much better than I did then and yet I still find it. Um, arcane I guess I’m glad I’m a novelist. There’s it’s a very particular community. The short fiction market and I did not understand then. That there were ah the the qualifying markets that would qualify you for SFWA membership and people would submit to those first because that would be more likely to make them SFWA members and really it’s supposed to be that they paid pro rates and. Take this moment to do ah a little bit of a plug for so what? because what we’re doing is now that we’ve changed membership requirements. We’re creating a much more comprehensive scorecard for marketplaces that will take into account many more things than whether or not they pay per rates. Because just because a marketplace pays what we consider to be and really we need to change our lingo I need to do that too minimum pro rate minimum pro rate is ¢8 a word which is like you guys rock bottom I’ve talked about how you know like. And back in the day the glory days I got paid a dollar a word, a dollar a word and we’re calling minimum pro rates ¢8 a word that is a little bit differentlayer. Um, but I don’t know what voice that was so. We need to take into account the fact that even though marketplace may pay a sense a word that that doesn’t necessarily put food on the table right? which is really our goal we want writers to be paid. Professional rates. We want people to be able to make a living from their art and their craft. So. There are other things about marketplaces whether they are open to submissions. There are some marketplaces that say they’re open to submissions. But really, they only take. Stuff that they solicit or that come through agents not necessarily bad but it it is a factor in is this something that a writer can access. Um you know, like what kind of commitment. Do they have to to bipac.

08:20.78
jeffekennedy
Um, how responsive are they? what are their contract terms like how soon do they pay a market may promise to pay a minimum professional rate but drag their feet forever. They might try for right? Scraps. So these are all things that we want to take into account and we’re going to end up giving different markets scores and you know like the more they pay the higher they score they get. But also there’s other scores in there. And this short fiction committee has been working really hard on this and they’re amazing and eventually I would like to expand this out to novel markets and so forth and you know like even. Online retailers. What score would we give Amazon I mean we make the money there which ends up being like the make or break right? but responsiveness can be lacking although we do sapwa has an Amazon Liaison who has been very responsive I can email her and she has replied quickly. So so that’s something and that’s good to have for when we we saved that for when we need to escalate things. So anyway, um. Here I was back in the day sending out lots of short fiction pieces and to all kinds of markets and so I had sent the I had sent an essay to Wyoming wildlife and I don’t think I’d realized it at the time. But. Actually I was no longer working for game of fish I had been working for game and fish and was no longer because I had gotten this job as an editor writer with a petroleum group because I was building my writing chops and but the editor of the magazine Chris Madson didn’t realize that. And they had this policy where they did not pay department employees for articles and so imagine my surprise when David brought home the magazine because all employees got a free copy. Got a free subscription. And here was my essay by Jeffe Kennedy least correct by line this time called bullets and it was about me learning David teaching me how to shoot a ah gun which I didn’t want to learn how to do? Um, so.

11:01.67
jeffekennedy
Not only did they not pay me but I had no idea I was going to print it and this is this is an example of not a great marketplace right? because they and this happens sometimes magazines just they edit your story and they don’t tell you anything about it. So I ended up having to go to like the higher ups in game and fish and be like you know. Basically they stole my story and Chris Madson had to apologize and pay me I did get paid I don’t remember what I got paid. It may have been a dollar award because I was bringing out like all of the industry guns. They’re you know fighting for those rights even then right Um, and part of the concession part of the I know to make it up to me. Which I thought was funny so there was this guy who was um, his name was John Kennedy no relation unless it’s like way way back was I don’t remember what his title was but he was one of the higher ups in the agency part of it was is he said that they would agree to publish. Like 2 more essays from me to make up for this and so all I had to do was like send the ideas to Chris Manson who was like really pissed that he got called out on the carpet for doing this. It was a shitty thing to do. He should have never done that in the first place but he was really mad to get caught. And that he’d made the mistake you know I think he thought I was an employee so he could just publish it and do whatever the hell he wanted so you are all storytellers I assume or you would not be story. Readers. You would not be listening to this podcast I bet you can guess where this story is going. Yes I I never published another thing with that magazine I sent Chris all kinds of essay ideas and he ignored ignored me entirely and I had told John Kennedy that this would happen and he’s like oh I don’t think so but he also didn’t care once he dealt with the problem and came up with the solution. He um, moved on with his life. Um, but it’s interesting because it’s one of the ways that um. Publishing I’m trying to think of um, the analogy for this though but like every industry takes advantage of the creators as much as they can. We know all these stories about you know, like the um, the movie companies.

13:53.25
jeffekennedy
Having their stables of actors and controlling their actors lives and you know you see the biopics on that like about Judy Garland and that sort of thing we know things about like the record companies and how they use the talent and try to control the talent and. The same thing happens in the publishing world traditional publishing from short fiction markets to the publishers who don’t put the books out in the world. They they will take advantage of the creator as much as possible. And it’s not It’s not always malicious and in fact I think a lot of them would would protest me saneness and I may get protests about this because they will say no that they. They love their writers. They love their creators without their creators. They wouldn’t have content and they understand this and they know this but the thing is is that they are also in business they are doing this thing because it’s a business for them and so yes, they need the content and they love the content but they’re not. Doing this out of the goodness of their heart now I will caveat this that there are some short fiction markets in particular that and even some small presses that are doing in out of the goodness of their hearts. They’re also struggling because they yeah you know there but there I’m not being articulate, um, a lot of them are struggling because they’re trying to do their best but they aren’t necessarily um, doing as well as the cutthroat ones which is ironic right? So what’s the what’s the solution here. What are we talking about? ah. I think it’s that being your own champion that you just have to be ready to fight for yourself. Um, you know if we go to the the rock band example one of the things that we we can see in the movies that we know that happens is that the rock bands get out there and they’re. They’re partying I mean it’s a really difficult schedule. You know they’re going from place to place and they’re clock shifted and they’re partying hard and they’re encouraged to party and very often they are. Everything’s deducted from what they’re making I have a. Friend who dated a member of Dokken remember them back in the day and he like failed to pay taxes for a lot of years and he got levied these enormous fines and blew all his money in.

16:38.41
jeffekennedy
Much later was like living in his mother’s sewing room. He had nothing left. So the thing is is that you don’t there’s never an excuse to not be smart about your business practices and I think that the business minded people know this about creators is that creators. Are not necessarily business minded. We don’t want to be right? But if we did. We’d be in business right? But you got to learn, you’ve got to be ready to fight for your rights and you have to be ready to you know to get mean with people you know and not all of us like to do that either. But you have to keep in mind that if they can take advantage of you. It’s usually to their benefit to do so my nose is so itchy today. That’s why I keep pausing I’m sure it’s like the allergy thing getting pollen itches. So you know I guess the other message I have here is that I didn’t have any way to leverage Wyoming wildlife or wyoming game and fish after that point once I had signed that agreement. There was no no further penalty. And really I didn’t have a whole lot of leverage to begin with other than threatening to expose them. You know it was ah that’s often. The only recourse we have against these groups or companies or corporations right? is. To make them look bad to threaten their sales. That’s the only thing they really care about getting fish is a government agency so it was a little bit different there. Um, but ultimately they have the ability to resist and so. That’s what we have to do as creators. That’s why we have organizations like se to be able to band together to create that leverage and to support each other so that’s and death the sermon I suppose. Ah, yeah I don’t think I have anything else to talk about today I hope that you all have a wonderful Tuesday and I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – March 25, 2022




Transcript
00:00.00
jeffekennedy
Good morning Everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy Author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy here with my first cup of coffee.

00:14.93
jeffekennedy
Ah, pretty wonderful Today is say it with me friday. Woo happy Friday everyone March Twenty Fifth hit ah blast Friday in March of 2022. Amazing I just feel like it’s going fast could be just me. It just me.

00:50.50
jeffekennedy
So let’s see where are we with things I feel like I’m still doing pretty well with the new plan of 2000 words a day although caveat. Um. I did not hit my two thousand yesterday. However, I’m still on track for the week and I feel like it’s still good. Um I had a lot of distractions yesterday and that was my own fault I let myself get distracted. Um, alas. I think part of it was the new schedule maybe oversleeping some but also I was taking my attention off of the writing and dealing with other things. Um. And I guess I could. There’s no reason that I can’t talk about it because one of the things we’ve been working towards for a very long time in SFWA is changing the membership requirements and in some ways you could say that I’ve been working towards this hm. For how long wait I can find this date hold on I know I don’t have to tell you to hold up I’d tell you to hold on. Okay I found it I’ve been working on this for almost ten years since 2013 how do I know this. Because ah my very first science fiction short story was published in September of 2013. It was a story called Pearl which is no longer up for sale and the reason it is not up for sale. Is because it does not have a happy ending. Although I love this story but I talked about it with grace at one point and felt like it was just not on brand for me because it doesn’t have a happy ending so I took it down and i. Have this idea someday of expanding it in my spare time into a longer story with perhaps half ending I don’t know I don’t know if it would work sometimes I think about maybe I should just put it up again with the warning but then it gives away the ending who know. Let me know if you have thoughts anyway, it was very interesting. Um, so this is like you know 2013, 2012 I don’t have notes on when I first wrote it I had to look up the publication date of it. So I wrote.

03:37.46
jeffekennedy
This story and up up until then I had been writing essays and well that’s not precisely true I had written some other things. Wow what’s the order of this. Okay I found it. This makes much more sense I have been working on this since 2008 that’s when Pearl was first published. Um, yeah I wonder where these folks are now. So anyway. That makes much more sense because I knew that I had started shopping my fantasy romance novel rogues pawn the book that became rogues pawn um in about 2007? Ah so but I had written this story first I know it was the first science fiction story I ever wrote and then the fantasy romance novel I started writing later but you know how these things go with try and get them published. So this was back in the day of sending out. Um. Well, it wasn’t paper submissions. It was via email. Um, excuse me but email was funkier then it was not as seamless I don’t even remember what system I used was it outlook already by them. I know I was using word perfect. So I wasn’t using Microsoft anyway, that part doesn’t matter. But um I did have my website I’d had my website since um oh like 95 I built my first website myself. But you know from my first publications and so forth. So anyway, I was always multiple submissions gal I’ve been a believer of that from the beginning I’ve never thought that I’ve always thought that that was bad for the writer. It’s it’s in favor of the publication I even gotten an argument with the editor once but I have um I would have a rule that and this was my ping pong rule I’ve talked about it before because I sent out lots of essays and short stories and I would have everything out. At 3 places at a time and as soon as a rejection came in I would treat it like ping pong and pop that one back out I’d have it all ready to go like where I was going to send it next. So always at 3 places and I kept track of this on spreadsheets I was using excel.

06:21.30
jeffekennedy
So I would be ready to go with you know, like the next place but I would also track like how long a place had had it so and here what I was terribly newbie writer I didn’t know much about the science fiction fantasy community. I didn’t have any friends who were writing in that world. Um, so you know now I know more than I did them but I had the story out parole to ah. Ah, magazine called Abyss and Apex and I also had it to a place called Aeon and Aeon accepted the story to rejoicing and I contacted Abyss and Apex. And I you know, emailed them and said you know and and this is what I did all the time when I would have something accepted is I would contact the other places that had it and I would say you know this has been accepted by this other magazine. Um, you know wanted to let you know can you tell me. Tell me the status of yours because then I would like if a couple places accepted and I would pick which one I wanted because the power lay with me then right and I think actually I’m going to modify this little bit. On abyss a and apex I had inquired much earlier yes because I’d had it for a while and they had said let us check. Let’s let me check on it and then never got they replied then but then never got back to me again. So when eon this is right. Then when Aeon accepted I set my standard of you know this has been accepted elsewhere. So I have to withdraw which is how I got an argument with this one editor at a literary magazine at a university because I sent her my you know. Sorry this has been accepted elsewhere I have to withdraw it notice and she wrote back and she said well you know we don’t condone simultaneous submissions and you shouldn’t have done that and I wrote her back and I explained I said you know having that policy. Ah. Makes the assumption that your time is more valuable than my time he said and it’s not fair to writers. This is a ah predatory practice if you know publishers even then you guys baby Jeffe I was you know fighting for this kind of thing but you know I was also working a job as ah, environmental consultants and.

09:07.87
jeffekennedy
You know it was I knew what fair business practices were so she wrote me back and she said you know I never thought of it that way we’re changing our policy so Jeffe fighting for writers rights way back when. So and then she ended up publishing one of my essays the following year. So you know it always works to communicate with people don’t burn those bridges stand up for yourself all of these wonderful take home tales. So anyway, Aeon publishes my story and they are you know. Wasn’t too rousing response but you know we also 2008 we barely had social media I think I joined Facebook in 2009 I’m pretty sure my Twitter was 2009 so you just didn’t know back then. And that was that was a good and bad thing. You know sometimes you knew how you know and I don’t know you wouldn’t get the say you didn’t have the same sense of whether or not something had been received. Ah, but then one day I get this email saying from abyss and apex. A kind of blistering email from this editor accusing me of playing her false and she’s like you double published the story you published it in Abyss and Apex and Aeon at the same time. So it turns out Abyss and Apex had published my story without. Telling me I’m serious reader I I mean it’s amazing and it’s not the only time this happened to me it happened to me with another magazine too. They’d never sent me a contract. They’d never sent me edits they published it. Um and it had gotten great review. Ah, but unfortunately. And actually it might have been Ian who contacted me about it saying what the hell was is also in abyss and apex who also had not paid me I mean all of these things and I was like I know nothing about this so the editors thrashed it out between themselves and it turned out that. The editor at Aybss and Apex was you know, horribly chagrined and embarrassed and said that she’d had a breast cancer scare and this had fallen through the cracks and I don’t know I mean how could they’ve not corresponded with me ever. Well so what it turned out was that I had contacted them with an email. Address that during this long time that they had had it had gone defunct and they had like sent the contract to that old email address I never got it I never responded. Um and so that was how it happened when I told my friend Kelly Robson this story

12:01.46
jeffekennedy
She who knows far more about publishing short fiction. She was like wow that’s really unfortunate because apparently abyss and apex had a much higher profile this is ending up being a very long story but you know Eon At Least well corresponded with me. I don’t know so anyway, um, Aeon was not on the list of SFWA’s approved markets so SFWA has had this thing forever where they have this list of publications that pay professional rates and are. There are approved markets and you could qualify for membership if you sold a certain number of works to an approved market. So I had Aeon was not on this list Abyss and Apex was which is partly why Kelly says that so. There was this thing on this sip well website because I wanted to be a member right here I have my science fiction story I was already a member of Rwa and I contacted the office as it said to do about getting my. Market added nobody ever replied to me. It was very frustrating and I wasn’t able to join SFWA until like 2013 or 2014 when I sold my first 3 book deal. So. For me for a very long time I have not liked how the SFWA handles their membership requirements and this has been you know like I was added to the short fiction committee and I was like why am I on this committee when I first joined them they said well because you were. Mad about that whole thing with ion and I was like oh yeah, but but by then I was writing all novels and I felt like I didn’t have a lot to say about short fiction. Um, so anyway, this has been an effort for a very long time and yesterday we. Sent out the email with we had a big bylaws vote we changed the membership requirements. This is something that started with Cat Rambo’s presidency when I was first on the board of directors and Cat wanted us to be able to admit. Um. Game writers and we started talking about how to admit, comics, writers and graphic novelists and the problem is is that all of SFWA’s membership requirements were predicated on word count like you these different categories and myriad categories for you know, like if you.

14:49.95
jeffekennedy
Had a piece that was this long and how much you got paid per word for that and for a long time. Um, you know like the flash fiction writers were very upset because they would get paid plenty but their word count wasn’t enough to qualify. So then when we started looking at. Membership qualifications for game writers. You know where they might not have that much actual prose it got murkier and then when we started looking at for comics, books writers and graphic novelists. You know. They might have very very few words and they might be in like little speech bubbles and how do we count that we’d also had these sort of archaic rules in there about the english language requirements and. You know we’re supposed to be an international organization and why are we talking entirely about english language and so by the time Mary Robinette Kowal was in office. We’d really come up hard against the comic books and graphic novelist thing because. She really wanted to get them admitted to the organization and and the figuring out how to fit them into the membership requirements was just incredibly sticky. So she said okay, we’re going to do a 2 hour work session. And all of us who were invested in this and I don’t know there were maybe six eight of us on this call and we go got on Zoom and this is a couple of years ago now and we decide to th thrsh this out you know and so it’s like okay we’re going to finish this call. We’re going to if we have to be here the whole time if we have to go long. We will. And we’re going to figure out how can we do this and we ended up coming up with this incredibly dare I say elegantly simple solution where we change the requirements to be based on the catalog of work and so now in order to be a full member if you have. Made $1000 from your catalog of work then you meet the membership requirements. It doesn’t matter how long the work is it doesn’t matter in what medium the work is produced if you’ve made $1000 you’re in associate. Is a hundred dollars and you know and it’s funny and something that we did in tandem with this was we were changing that whole qualifying markets list which is big change for people and applies very much to those short fiction markets.

17:35.62
jeffekennedy
And what we’re doing instead is we’ve created a market scorecard where we go through the different publications and we give them basically a grade so it’s a it’s a big change. It’s a big change within the community and a big change for us and I feel like it’s an enormously positive one. Um. But yesterday there were a lot of questions and I was kept going and answering them I felt like I needed to I had to go to Mary Robinette cause we hit 1 snag and I was like do you remember why we did this and so I was texting with her later on the day and. Said I can’t believe there’s so many questions because people are like well what about poetry and what about this and what if I do x y z and I mean a lot of them were good questions but it’s like so many questions and Mary Robinette that was like you don’t have to answer them all. That’s like I know. But so anyway. I got distracted yesterday. That was all a very long way of saying that. But I’m hugely happy about this? Um, achievement I’m really happy to have gotten this out there. It’s very funny because when we put together the press release on this. Our communications director took out I’d put in a thing about acknowledging Cat Rambo and Mary Robinette koal on their contributions as the administration on this and they um. And she wanted to take it out and I said no I think it’s really important because we’ve been working on this a long time I want people to know that we didn’t just make this a spur of the moments decision and I also want to acknowledge their leadership on this and yesterday I saw this tweet where somebody thanked Cat and Mary Robinette for making it possible for them to join and cap very graciously said. Don’t forget current president Jeffe Kennedy and theel just liked it. She didn’t like it thought it would be nice of her to reply because I said thanks cap you know. Thought it would have been nice of her to reply and be like oh my bad and thank you too Jeffe but now she didn’t so I guess I’m I’m chopped liver. Ah funny how those things work isn’t it. But yeah, it’s a big accomplishment. A lot of people worked on this who have not gotten acknowledged. And I’m super excited. Super excited to to sort of open these gates that were very rusty and creaky and did not work. Well, it’s also going to be a huge benefit to our staff that’s going to be much much easier for them to review. Membership.

20:18.66
jeffekennedy
So that there will not be newbie writers out there whose emails are never replied to again. Oh that’s the angel singing on that note I’m gonna go I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I will talk to you on Monday youall take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – March 22, 2022




Transcript
00:00.00
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee but I left the spoon in it’s a good thing that I noticed that. Before I sipped today is who knows Tuesday March Twenty second I could show you guys this little spoon for those of you on video. It’s um, make sure it’s the right way up. It wasn’t I think people used to collect these things. But anyway it says um Denver engraved. It’s a little like a little baby silver spoon I like it because I could do just a little dollop of cream I’m pretty sure it’s real silver and it’s got a um indian head. I would say native american head but this is clearly like fantasy indian somebody’s conception of the thematic ah ideal of Denver was this ah I don’t know. I mean it’s really kind of funny because if you could see him on video like there’s ah, an ear piercing and a necklace that looks considerably more maori than any native american who lived anywhere in the Colorado area. Definitely an artist’s fantasy. But then in the bowl of the spoon it says Denver and so I kind of like it. It’s it’s a nice little petite spoon I should probably sell it melt it down for silver just because it’s a little bit heinous with the fantasy indian chief on there but um. I like it I was some I think my grandmother’s might have been what if my great aunts. There were a lot of Maiden Aunts among the Kennedy family.

02:06.52
jeffekennedy
So um, today is a special day because I know something that I rarely know about my own podcast but today is episode 700 whoo ah, a little while back I was trying to figure out how many episodes I’d recorded and I believe Laura Darnell was very helpful with that and telling me exactly how many there were I got a little confused even though I do keep it on the spreadsheet of course um some of them were like 2 parters. Mostly through my own technological ineptitude. So but now I figure out a better way to keep track and I believe that today is officially 700 so kind of cool and and I even made a note to myself to remember it. And say something. Other people know like how many episodes they’ve had I do not well clearly I do know more precisely I should say that um, when I first started doing this lo these what five years ago honey how time flies. Um I started keeping track by seasons. Um, so I did um season one you know and and then where I started season 2 I started over so season 2 episode 1 whereas other people do it numerically which is probably wiser and I did not keep track of dates for that first season I had 80 episodes in that first season and I know I started like sometime around July. Probably look at it on buzz sprout. But do we care that much. So anyway I should probably like put the years on these that would be helpful so this is season 5 so we know it’s been five years and this is 2022 last time I check. I’m just gonna tap these in here right now. Sorry if this is boring.

04:26.31
jeffekennedy
Yeah, so season 1 was 2018

04:35.29
jeffekennedy
Pretty amazing. How so. I was just noticing I keep track of that on my goals spreadsheet because I have a spreadsheet for everything and as no say ah I have not updated these goals in a while. Um right. I have goals for 2019 2020 and then clearly I did not do it for 2021 and 2022 so I guess I must have moved on to other things but I should probably like. Revisit that and see which things I’ve already done and which things I need to do always good. Okay, there now. My spreadsheet’s a little bit neater for at least today I get to do. On the kingdom of thirst podcast today being interviewed on that so that’ll be fun and it’s um, cold and snowy morning here in Santa Fe more snow. It’s nice. So yesterday we got quite a bit of rain it rained whilst allll the day i. Did get my sweet pea seeds planted before the rain started so that’s that’s ideal that’s like the ah the gardener’s nirvana right is if you can get things planted right before a gentle soaking rain and the sweet pea seeds are great. That’s part of why you can plant them early because they can withstand the frost. So um, yes I saw again Laura Darnell who often comments on stuff was nice to hear from her she um, had not been familiar with sweet pease. How is this possible. Ah, you know like I said I follow I was talking about this yesterday anyway, you know I follow my grandmother again my grandmother with the anus indian spoon I follow her gardening advice. My mom often says that the green thumb skipped a generation that I have my grandmother’s. Gardening ability my grandmother beautiful garden but my grandmother would plant sweet peace seeds in Denver on St Patrick’s day and so I do the same or more or less st patrick’s day is the trigger and I don’t know she did it exactly on.

07:03.64
jeffekennedy
And soak the seeds and buttermilk overnight like she does. But boy you know all, but you know my even my mom complaining that she did not have ah a very good garden. She I always thought she had a great garden and my aunt. Um, they we always had sweet pe. And and my mom would cut the sweet piece and bring them inside and they are. They’re so fragrant. They’re beautiful and they’re fragrant and um, they bloom for most of the summer so so yes if you are not familiar with sweetpeas. Go get you some I’m Laura I hope that you will share some photos of yours. My mom can’t grow them in Tucson. It’s just way too hot as but you know in Laramie Wyoming they were great and I don’t know. Kansas City maybe they’ll do better in like the spring and the fall might get a little hot for them in the muggy part of summer since Kansas City really does that muggy part of summer. So um. Yesterday was good day. Got my um 2000 words we got the Jeep into the mechanic have to do a little bit of work on it but it should be certified for David David to drive it for lyft and uber today. And he already has a scheduled ride for tomorrow. Did you guys know that lyft is doing a real scheduled ride thing. Um, it’s it’s really pretty cool because you know how like on uber it offers you the scheduled ride option. But then it’s not. They don’t actually schedule a ride for you. They just like send out a call for a car at that time because uber is so freaking wedded to that algorithm they do not want to budge off the algorithm. So this is something that has cropped up in the last couple of months where lyft has asked. David sent him a message through the app and asked him if he would like to accept a scheduled ride for this address at this time on this date and he can opt in or not and then the first time we were like what is this? What is this strange creature and. It was someone in our neighborhood who needed a ride to the albuquerque airport. So the at once he confirmed we’re like okay try it. Why not once he confirmed then it said okay you know be online on the app like 15 minutes before this time.

09:52.81
jeffekennedy
And he did and then it directed him to the pickup and and he drove the person down to Albuquerque so it’s it’s a real kind of scheduling and it’s it’s great and he’s gotten one for like you got a request for like may fifteenth. Um, so. You can you can actually plan ahead and I think it’s just so smart of lyft to be doing that because it’s what we all want you know uber keeps trying to force us to bend to their their algorithm I think they think that they’re going to be Amazon and may and enslave us to the algorithm. But. What they don’t realize is that the reason that we become enslaved to the Amazon algorithm is because Amazon makes seems really really easy for the consumer. They give us exactly what we want in exactly the way we want it. Ah. And uber is not doing that they they want their algorithm to work and they want us to you know be and trained to it but something like that like actually being able to schedule a ride and have a car show up. And exactly the time you want it to show up. Um, uber doesn’t want to do that. So interesting. So sir David’s already got a ride scheduled for tomorrow so he’ll be back in action. We still don’t have word on the camera. Ah apparently Usaa was taking down to their. Approved storage facility in Albuquerque which is an hour away and this is new. This is new because we’ve had Usa a for a long time but you know they’ve gone public now and things are different. Things are changing which is unfortunate because I don’t I try not to resist change for resisting changes sake but some of these changes to sa a I feel like are not positive.

12:13.11
jeffekennedy
Then also it adds time so we shall um we shall see apparently whether or not the car is totaled is still in question I mean obviously it’s in question but different people have weighed in Darynda’s husband owns. Um. Body shop and he looked at the photo and said he doesn’t think the car is totaled so he said unless there’s damage. You can’t see which is possible. So so why she’ll find out and. Got my nails done yesterday I went with yellow mom isn’t that funny I was kind of thinking yellow anyway, my mom and I were talking about how we’re like into yellow all of a sudden I think this is like how fashion trends happen I always think of William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. Predicting the trends before they become a trend is yellow. The next trend you heard it here first on first cup of coffee. So um, yeah, otherwise I’m I’m feeling like. And maybe I say this all the time my business to do list is very long at this point and some of it’s because I’ve broken things out into smaller tasks. Ah but like i. Need to upload the audiobook for bright familiar I have to register for a couple of conferences I still owe spreadsheets to someone because I was crunching her. You know like how she does her writing over the course of the year um I’ve got to set up a preorder of. Gotta put some books on ingram because I didn’t do it. Yeah, bright familiar and gray magic I didn’t put on inggram and I’m just gonna have to bite the bullet and do it um make a preorder list for a polyon I had to update a bunch of books and I need to reupload them I go. Ah, the faro gal gals a blog post for March and now we are March Twenty second I really got to get that done. So I’ve still got figure out a plus marketing I like I don’t know what is time who am I but. I don’t understand why I’m like not well I guess I do kind of understand why I’m not getting to all these things but it’s annoying me that I’m not getting to all these things I should look at my at those goals right? Um, which.

14:54.58
jeffekennedy
I Do have these different categories like revivifying the to do list minimizing the tasks that float for a long time god. That’s an ongoing thing so I won’t examine this list but maybe that was meant I need to um I need to figure out ways to get to some of this. Stuff that maybe you know maybe it’s partly being president of sfwa that like those hours that I would spend doing business-y things I’m spending a lot of that on SFWA things.

15:32.64
jeffekennedy
So um, what else because I wrote down those things to talk about. Maybe I don’t have much else to talk about. Yeah, maybe I don’t it’s interesting talking to people about conferences I’m sorry we’re not doing nebula conference in person. Ah the board felt very strongly that it was too much of a financial risk. I wanted to do it but I wasn’t gonna go against what the rest of the board wanted and it made things easier in a lot of ways. Ah but I was texting yesterday with Mary Robinette Kowal and. For for a funny. It was actually very funny because someone asked a question in the sifwa slack that had to do with last year’s conference like how long the panels were going to be up and because we’d kept the recorded panels up in the nebula airship. And somebody they asked how long are they going to stay up because they hadn’t finished watching all of them and I was like oh that’s a really good question even I do not know the answer but let me talk to the team and find out what everyone is thinking because I was a part of the events team last year and and. Then this text pops up for Mary Robinette and and she answers the question she says um, let’s see if I can find it here. Well she said we told. So she just texts me out of the blue and says we told panelists that we would leave nebula panels up for 1 year and I was like and I said god is that you and she said verily it was I and it turned out that she. Had notifications set on that channel and so it had she didn’t even remember she had had it because I know she doesn’t monitor slack closely and so she’d gotten a notification on it and answered the question for me and it was just it was just a funny thing. You know like. It goes in here and comes out there. So then we text it back and forth for a little bit and I was catching her up on just she’s very good about checking in with me on whether or not I’m being aggravated by being president and then she asks me for background stuff on some of the.

18:16.39
jeffekennedy
Ah, stuff that we’re dealing with and it’s um, it’s very kind of her. It’s very supportive of her. We one of the things that we have in so well which is a semi-official role is the role of past president and the past president I mean we have lots of past presidents. But we have. Usually each president designates 1 person to be their past president advisor and she is that for me and she’s good about checking in with me and just like doing the are you taking care of yourself thing because 1 thing about having been president before is you know that some of it can be aggravating and stressful. So at any rate I said well um, you know if we get to see each other in person again. We can do a a long drinking binge and I think it’s gonna be I told her I think I think I’m gonna go to chicon at the end of August. Um, world con in Chicago but I think that’s the next time so but at least there will be that time so that’s one of the things I have to do is register for that conference and I’m gonna register for world fantasy convention which is in New Orleans and November so I’m committing. And committing to things du but Don it’s exciting all right I’m going to go and get going on my things I’m gonna try to get some of this shit off of my to do list but this is my resolve wish me luck. And I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take him bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – February 24, 2022




Transcript
00:00.58
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author fantasy romance and romantic fantasy. I’m here with my first cup of coffee. This is also my first cup of coffee since I returned home. Um, so it is especially delicious.

00:27.00
jeffekennedy
Ah, today is Thursday February 20 fourth I am Back. Ah you know I was drinking hotel coffee hotel Starbucks what do you guys think I think that the Starbucks at hotels I know they’re legit. Or supposedly legit Starbucks but I don’t think their drinks are as good. Yes, like if you go to a real Starbucks store I feel the same about grocery store Starbucks but I got brevey lattes at the um. marott laxs where I was staying and the it’s it’s just amazing like making this with my own half and half breve latte is you make it with half and half instead of with whole milk or 2% or what have you. Those tasted so watery. They were so watery I don’t believe that it’s they must not like use all half and half or something like that cutting corner skimping who knows ah oh this reminds me sorry I got pause. I didn’t want to forget I wanted to take a picture of the bird wing marks on the snow so we got snow last night. It was lovely just see snow I was I’ll tell you my traveling trebiles I was very happy to get back home. Um, but when the birds. Wings hit the snow. It makes a mark that looks like claws looks like claws except that there’s too many of them because there’s like well put the photo on the show notes. But like 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 yeah likes. Six five so it’s like alien ah marks what’s really cool. So always fun to see the tracks of the critters who have been out there. So um. My travels were good I came back a day later then I had planned I was supposed to fly home Tuesday afternoon and and be here all day yesterday to finish up the copy edits and revisions on great magic. But. Actually united messaged me before I even left which I thought was interesting when did they message me. Let’s just look because I do find this really interesting I mean this is better. This is way better than the bad old days where you have no ideas.

03:14.82
jeffekennedy
So they messaged me on I guess Sunday no I left on Sunday they must have messaged me on Saturday why doesn’t this have a date stamp. Let’s say if it shows on my phone I have my um phone texting you know, connected. To the computer which makes it easier to type. It’s a little bit more invasive but I’m willing to make that one concession. 1 case. It’s beginning so Saturday so on Saturday um united text to me and said. Winter weather across the rocky mountains may cause disruptions to your upcom united flight including delays or cancellations in case, your travel plans are flexible. You may want to consider flying on a different day or connecting in a different city at no additional cost I shouldn’t paid attention to the different city part. I could have checked my rebooking options but I thought well I’m just gonna go so I went and then on I clicked away too soon had no trouble getting there on Sunday which was really my primary concern I thought I needed to be there and all of that so then on monday. They texted me and said that they had canceled my flight from Denver to Santa Fe on Tuesday because of severe weather conditions. So like they knew more than 24 hours ahead and they let me rebook and we were in the midst of getting a tour of a hotel. By the sales manager because why I was there is for the sfwa nebula conference and we were looking at hotels for 2023 as well and so we went to a bunch of different hotels and got the tours of them saw the facilities and let me tell you it was a lot more tiring. I expected it to be um, but so we were in the middle of the tour and and I to apologize for my inattention sort of trailing along but I could rebook right there on my phone I felt like I should do it right? Away. So it gave me a rebooking option for early Wednesday morning and so I was like okay hope hope that’ll work and it was supposed to get me in by like twelve thirty yesterday still going to Denver um, it was kind of funny cause it. Kept trying to swap out like later options I’m like no no this is this is the option I want and it wasn’t terrible. My flight left l a at like 7 a m so but I also did a backup flight on southwest.

06:02.71
jeffekennedy
Because on southwest you can cancel like 10 minutes up to 10 minutes before the flight so I did a backup flight on southwest that would have left l a at like 9 connected through phoenix and into Albuquerque. And gotten into Albuquerque at like 3 in the afternoon and David would have had to drive down to Albuquerque to get me so I waited until I was like on the playing in l a and it looked like everything was good to go and then canceled my southwest flight I kind of. Wanted to wait till I got there but I I would have missed my um 10 minute window so I canceled the southwest flight from my plane and got to Denver and Denver was very snowy. And everything was looking good I had a fairly short layover. Got um you know was there at my gate and everything and then they said they had a maintenance problem low oil and they needed to check into it I was like ah so I went ahead and did it again and made a backup flight. Reservation on southwest leaving it wasn’t it would have left a lot later in the day I think it didn’t lead to like 5 it was my only only other option again going down to Albuquerque but it would have been better than if you know because united didn’t have any other flights to Santa Fe that day. That was like okay well I really don’t want to spend another whole day in night in Denver so I made the backup flight again and we ended up going. We got on up on the play we were like half an hour late forty minute hour late forty minutes late and david picked me up in santa fe and once I landed in santa fe then I went to my southwest app I mean it’s really nice to have these phone apps and be able to do this I went to my southwest app and canceled that flight and amusingly enough when I went to that flight did this like big red flag warning on it saying warning your flight due to you know. Conditions weather conditions beyond our control beyond our control. Your flight may be canceled or delayed and you could rebook and by the time it was pretty nice when I landed the wind was sharp but by the time we got home. Um, the wind was really picking up and by. Like five o’clock it was storming away here. So I was glad that um I like feel like I sort of wove between the windows there finding my windows of opportunity.

08:45.57
jeffekennedy
So yeah, my copy editor sent the edits on gray magic they were there when I woke up early Wednesday morning in my hotel room. So I was able to download my document and then I went through the track changes on both flights but did take me both flights to go through them. And then once I got home. We stopped for euros on the way home and then once I got here I spent another couple hours I did trek my time on it. Um, my my start to finish for yesterday is like really. Wild cause it’s like I spent over 10 hours from like when I started when I finished but my I started at like seven thirty Pacific time so it’s a little bit of an artifact there. Um, but 4 hours four and a half hours it took me to do all the copy edits and then I went back and I did. Revise those last 52 pages I believe it was that I had written yeah 52 pages and I did find stuff that needed adjusting. Nothing horrible. But. Stuff that I was glad I had a chance to fix.

10:03.40
jeffekennedy
And then sent it off to the for matter last night and he sent it to me this morning at 7 so I’ve downloaded those and looked them over. It looks great. So now I’m gonna upload and gray magic is ready to go very exciting. Um. And take you all for all the excited notes that you’ve been sending me that’s um, really lovely. You think there’s a cat tearing things up in the other room hold on cats are happy to see me again but also running wild. So um, that it was it was interesting being in Los Angeles we toured some hotels in Anaheim also out near um studio city. Yeah, so it and it was good to to be in person with some of this. So what people um. People I’ve not seen in in the flesh since pre pandemicdemic and so we had good meals together and good conversations and did a lot of planning and now I am sort of in catchup mode I am not goingnna write today I was. Definitely tired. Um I finished on Friday I guess I probably haven’t reported since I did my podcast Friday morning I you guys know if you listen regularly that I woke up very early Friday morning. And that David was like I know you want to get this done. You buy as well. Just get to work and I finished my um yeah finished writing it at about 11 am and sent it off to my copy editor or proof reader and got ready for durinda to visit. And she came to visit. She got here about um six I think yeah so I don’t remember now because it feels like a long time ago. What? all I did that Friday afternoon but I I took care of a lot of things and picked up the house that sort of thing and. Got ready for my trip and we watched Ionia together that was fun. She had never seen it and so that was um I really like the storytelling in that and I thoughtreda would appreciate it too. We’ve been taught we were talking about breaking the fourth wall.

12:35.39
jeffekennedy
And how that can be an effective way to tell a story and then um Saturday morning we got to sort of chat over coffee hang out and chat was very leisurely morning and I had a sifwa board meeting which we got done really fast that was great and. Then we went down our panel at the jean-cockto. It was interesting trying to do the hybrid which is like what we’re focusing on for the sipqua nebula conference for 2023 trying to do as hybrid as possible maximizing. So there are definitely tricks. That I learned but you know like having 3 of us there in person with some people in the audience and then 2 people zooming in it made for an interesting balancing act they did show us the screen with the faces. Of the other 2 people but it was down here and it was very much tempting to look down into their faces as we’re trained to do right paying attention. We look into their faces but the camera was not down here. The camera was up there across the theater pointed at us. So I was having to remind Darynda and Emily and remind myself to look up into the camera when we were talking I’m sure that this is like what the newscasters learn seems like this was in broadcast news and maybe some other things but it’s like you have to learn to look in the camera and. And it’s something that I feel like the younger people are better at with selfies because it’s the same thing that when people do the selfie. It’s tempting to look down at the image of yourself and you you have to look up at where the camera is and it’s the same thing on here I tend to look at myself. But I really should be looking at the camera so that you feel like I’m looking at you. It’s a funny thing isn’t it technology. So um, after that joined in I had a wonderful lunch and then we went out. To Melinda Snodgrass’s house and she taught us her plot break method. Although we didn’t get as far into it as I would have liked um and Darynda left I think around six thirty we got there at 4 she left at six thirty and they were just like sort of launching in the phase 2 and I was kind of thinking. Oh sure I stay longer than I was like I knew I was tired my brain was tired I was out of words. Um from finishing the book and I I said oh you know actually I should go home now too and so I went hope and I actually went to bed.

15:22.41
jeffekennedy
Pretty quickly got up early Sunday morning flew to Los Angeles and gal and didn’t started meeting up with people. It was funny because people started coming in and then. Ah, of us were there for Monday touring the different hotels to check things out and then it started to Peter off again. Um on Tuesday until um, it was like I was the only one left leaving on Wednesday morning because of my delay. But um, yeah, it was interesting. Interesting to see how all these different hotels had responded to both how they responded to covid and how they represented how they responded to covid because one of the questions we asked them and it was a little bit of a test question. Was what challenges had they faced with the pandemic. Um, which you would think would be a pretty standard answer and our executive director Kate had posed that question and I kind of felt like well what are we going to learn from this that we don’t always already know like we know what the challenge is the pandemic were. But it was funny because like 1 gal said none at all business is usual and it’s like okay so this place they’re just going to like take that party line and they’re going to lie about it. Um, and other places gave different levels. Of honest answers. So I think that it it was a good litmus test for like what will it be like dealing with this hotel. How direct and honest, will they be with me. so um so yeah that’s that’s been my last few days I’m I’m still feeling tired. It’s hard to say if I’m tired from it. It was remarkably exhausting going to see these different hotels I’m not quite sure. Why maybe just that paying attention and moving from place to place hard to say um. On top of traveling. So yeah I’m still feeling a little tired but I’m gonna get this book uploaded yay and maybe do some businessy things today but also kind of kick back and relax today. So um. I know my mother’s very happy to have the podcast back again. Hope you all are happy to and yeah, glad to be back into my routine and we’ll see how things go from here so Monday February Twenty Eighth release of gray magic. It’s actually going to happen.

18:09.61
jeffekennedy
And they said it couldn’t no you guys have all been like we know and we’re happy to wait and I greatly appreciate it. Um, yeah, so and otherwise I will um I’ll be back here tomorrow to talk to you so I hope you all have a wonderful thursday. Um, and yeah, talk to each 1 you all take care bye bye.

Jeffe’s Top 5 Writing Resources

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re sharing our Top 5 Writing Resources. Charissa and KAK have already shared some excellent ones. Mine are below. But first, check out this great fundraiser sponsored by Romantic Fantasy Shelf. It goes through January 6, 2022 and the response has already been amazing!

Jeffe’s Top 5 Writing Resources

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)

Charissa mentioned SFWA’s Writer Beware already, but I feel – as the current President of SFWA – that I should recommend the entire organization. I’m clearly biased, but I think SFWA provides all kinds of tremendous resources for writers. Go check it out! 

First Cup of Coffee with Jeffe Kennedy

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my own podcast! Four days a week I chat for about 20 minutes over my first cup of coffee about being a career author. I talk about my own process, the ups and downs of that and my career, the business side of writing and occasionally industry gossip. I even answer listener questions!

Synonym Finder

This is my absolute favorite paper resource. Mine is falling apart. Forget the thesaurus, every writer should have the Synonym Finder!

David Gaughran

Whether or not you self-publish, David Gaughran is an amazing and generous resource. His books and free newsletter are chock full of up-to-date information. Highly recommend!

Friends

I can’t link to this one but… Get you some author friends and nurture that circle. They are the most invaluable resource you’ll ever have.