First Cup of Coffee – September 23, 2022

I’m running on fumes a bit, but I’m nearly done with this book! Ruminating on choosing titles from earlier in the alphabet, picking Dedications when you’ve written a lot of books, and good news from Amazon!

First Cup of Coffee – February 25, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. So delicious. Ah so today is say it with me Friday woooo boo. Beginning of the weekend for some of us always worthy of celebration. February Twenty Fifth last Friday of February February went fast didn’t it. Time is just really speeding up again. I think ah, some storm has broken here along with morning we can catch Stevens and it’s um, it’s not. Actually warm but I went out to put water in the fountain for the birds and it’s um, you know feels very springlike. The sun is nice and warm. It’s um, you know like a real field of 33 but the sun is intense. Worming and spring like and the birds are singing. David says you can’t trust the birds that they don’t know but they they definitely think it is so um. Yeah. Ah, ah, how are you guys. But I’m definitely um I’m not going to write today still so that will give me a whole week. Well more or less. It’s a week off of drafting I did spend Wednesday you know doing copy edits and.

Polishing those final pages of grey magic um, and yesterday I was tired I did not get through all the business things I thought I might I had cut through a few so today’s just gonna be a businessy day and kind of kick back day I also do not have obligations this weekend. Well 1 meeting but it’s a regular Saturday meeting. So not a lot of things and on Sunday I’m going Megan and I have church. My friend Megan Mulry have I told you guys this it’s but I probably haven’t because I don’t mean to be offensive but we started calling that calling it that um well back in the pandemic probably like a year ago when things were on lock down here and the only places we could meet up were outside and so we would bundle up and go to places like um santa fe h q santa fe brewing headquarters where they had the fires I’ve talked about it before that cat fire is set up outside and we could drink champagne by the. Camp fire and it would inevitably be on Sunday because that was when we could that it was just a good day for both of us. Um, and we would usually meet for like you know at like 11 or 1 or something like that and a lot times we’d eat. You know we do brunch or that sort of thing. But um, we just start calling it church because it was always on Sunday we’d like um you up for church this weekend’s like yes buying awayfuse some people? Um, but you know what do you expect from. Ah, Daoist my church is outdoors and yeah I don’t know how lawsu felt about him spirits probably did not like them. He’s not racing and hunting maddened the mind I can imagine what he thought about wine. Have to look back through the surus. So anyway, looking forward to church on Sunday I’m gonna get some laundry done and I’m gonna get a bunch of stuff done. In fact let me write down something I need to start putting my taxes together I thought I’d better. Write that down.

Ah, so yeah, um, one of Amazon’s things and again this is like only Amazon is they flag errors. What do they call it quality. They call it something like um. Ah, quality issue brought about by the fact that so many people were throwing up absolute garbage and to like I’m sorry kindda unlimited I know some of you get mad at me because you feel like I don’t love kindle unlimited and reader. I do not love kindle un limited I think there’s a lot of problems with it but because so many people are putting out so much crap because you can kindle unlimited lets you just row, whatever well actually to be fair kdp allows you to throw up whatever crap you want so Amazon decided well they’d better start. Putting out start doing quality notifications. So and so if I go to my bookshelf I get this thing saying 1 or more of your books has quality items I need to be addressed and then you view the items that’s so gray magic because I uploaded it yesterday. Um, they even have on here last audit on and its bots it spots doing the audit they found that one of the links isn’t working so we’re actually gonna fix it and Karrene researched and the link is weird like sometimes it has the series title in it. Or not on my website. Whatever the other one is one from fire of the frost which I’ve been trying to ignore all this time. But since we’re going to fix this link I said well would might as well fix this. And it’s a typo in Grace’s story um which a reader reported I know a reader reported it because there’s like a suggested fix. Um, readers darling lovely readers. Please don’t report these quality control these quality issues to Amazon I know that people feel like they’re being helpful I know some people are compulsive editors. Um, it’s not helpful because and so this one in particular I closed it. But I could tell you what it is and when I sent it to Carine. She even said people really need to get lives. So if this was you I’m sorry but you do need to get alive. It’s not that we don’t love you but tell you what this correction is so it’s a typo.

And it says um, her shyness is but a shield once she lowers it you will understand why I love why I love her as I do only it says one she lowers it one. She lowers it instead of once she lowers it so this person. Corrected it reported it to Amazon as a quality issue all virtuous like and now Amazon has been pinging me about it every time I open my bookshelf even though I try telling you I wasn’t goingnna fix it. There’s an option to say we’ll not fix and give a reason and I’m like because it’s not worth it. To reformat the whole book for 1 stinking typo a really minor typo I told grace about it and she was really aggravated so we’re gonna fix it now because since we have to fix. That other link which Amazon did not catch interestingly enough it’s it’s random which ones they catch. But um, yeah I know that a lot of authors have started putting a note at the front of the book saying basically typos happen. Errors happen apologize for any if you notice something please contact me at this email address. Please don’t report it to Amazon because apparently if you have too many in there which doesn’t happen to me or hasn’t yet. Crossing fingers knock on Wood Amazon will actually take the book off sale I’ve um, seen people having their like their mayup fantasy words. Be reported to Amazon as misspelled words.

Craziness people craziness along those lines though I did see um the passive voice reported that Amazon is suing a couple of the big companies that provide fake reviews on Amazon. That interesting. It sounds like and I will link to the article in the show notes if I remember but it was on the passive voice so you can find it. Um, it sounds like. I thought at first maybe it was gonna be like some straw broke the Camel’s back but it sounds instead like Amazon has been investigating for some time and apparently they now I’m gonna have to find it so I can share. Okay I found it. So. It says there were a couple of interesting things in here. Um their lawsuits aim to shut down 2 major fake review brokers app Sally and rebatist. Um. Who helped mislead shoppers by having their members try to post fake reviews in stores such as Amazon ebay walmar epsey this legal actions one of the Amazon’s comprehensive and proactive efforts to ensure a safe and trustworthy shopping experience. Bum Pom bum bum um so it says um Amazon strictly prohibits incentivized or fake reviews which we knew and uses a combination of machine learning technology I e bots and skilled investigators to detect and prevent and remove them. Old investigators. Um says in 2020 Amazon stopped more than 200000000 suspected fake reviews before they were ever seen by a customer 200000000. That’s unreal ah, nefarious industry has emerged in recent years in which fraudsters facilitate fake or inflated reviews in exchange for money or free products. Amazon’s legal action comes after an in-depth investigation into these review brokers which taken together. Claim to have more than 900000 members willing to write fake reviews fake review brokers attempt to hide their activity and evade detection of course because it’s illegal and against terms of service. For example, the fake review site app Sally sells fake reviews for his lose $20.

And instructs bad actors to ship empty boxes to people willing to write fake reviews and provide apppsalally with photos to be uploaded alongside their reviews. The fraudulent scheme run by Robbaist will only pay people writing 5 ive-star reviews after their fake reviews are approved by the bad actors attempting to sell those items. So and we know that there are authors out there who’ve done this too. Those books that have like all 5 star reviews and they and they all sound weird I mean. That’s why I kind of laugh at skilled investigator because it’s pretty easy I think it’s easy to spot a fake review because first of all a book will have entirely 5 star reviews which nobody gets up. Even Stonehenge has like 1 ne-star reviews for not enough rocks with this is true. Um, sorry I’m still amused by Stonehenge. The fake reviews will say things like um. And don’t know if I can even recapitulate it but you can just tell that the person hasn’t read the book. Well they’ll say things like you know this book captured me from the beginning and is an excellent story. Yeah I mean it’s just you could tell that the person is written. Thousands which they have of these reviews. It’s um, yeah, a nefarious ecosystem has sprung out but it’s just amazing people. People will people right? so. Um, yeah, that happened I was going to talk about something I’ve had this little note out for myself for a little while I noticed I think I mentioned a while ago that I had been watching the expanse and I’m into season 2 now I’ve slowed down recently. Guess because I didn’t have a lot of brain cells. Well I’ve been out of town and all of that but I was noticing because it I think they brought them in at the end of season 1 but anyway in season 2 there’s definitely a storyline about the the martian marines because the expanse. Tells the story of like an intra-sollar system war and so the big players are earth Mars and the asteroid belt. The people who lived there and the martians have marines and I saw.

A couple of reviews on it bitching about how the leader they call her gunny. What is it I’m not good with military titles. Um, it’s like what if she’s the leader the gall in charge. Um, anyway, there are like male and female. Marines right? and the the leader gunny I think it’s like technical sergeant something like that is a female and I saw people bitching on there about female marines and it put me in mind of this writer I used to know a guy. Ah, guy who had been in the military and was writing about military things and he was writing about soldiers being in um, suits what’s what’s the word I want here people you know the um Mechanized suits. So basically. They were fighting aliens and so they were inside big shells I Want to say avatar type things but that’s not it. They would actually put the soldier the person inside the suit and they would operate it and they would have much more strength and yo shell kind of thing and they were talking about how? um. The smaller guys would fit better in the suits than bigger ones and so it had kind of shifted things because of you know it was no longer the brawniest guys but the ones who could better fit in these suits and so I’d read this and I um I asked him I said well why don’t you have any. Female Soldiers. You should you know why aren’t there female soldiers in these suits and he said oh no, that doesn’t work that way and I said well but it would work that way because women tend to be smaller than than men overall and you could put female soldiers inside the suits or you know by or. Not by um, androgenmous I’m not I Still not my words are not backup. You know, but anyway you could have people that are not very large, very masculine soldiers who are inside these suits and I said you know why? not female soldiers. And he said well because you can’t take women in combat and I was like excuse me and he said yeah you you know women aren’t able to withstand you know, just physiologically physically are not able to withstand combat and I’m like yeah but you’re putting them inside these big metal suits I mean let’s just leave that aside you know the whole strength thing. Um, you know you’re you’re putting inside these big metal suits right? It doesn’t matter what kind of physical frailty you have and he said no, you don’t understand the reason that you can’t have females in combat is that the men will not will be distracted because they’ll be.

Totally focused on protecting the females and not on the mission objective. Let’s just take a moment. Okay so the men are so just like biologically driven to protect the females to the point where they ignore. The mission objective I just I can’t even with this reasoning and he was very sincere about it and he got kind of aggravated with me you and he said well you know I’m not the guy you think I am I’m not that guy I was like well you know that walks like a duck and quacks like a deck i’m. God saying um yeah I want and there were so many things that you know how it goes you want you sort of continue these conversations in your head and this happened several years ago and I still continue in my head you know like the things I wanted to press him on which I wasn’t gonna do because. Didn’t want to get everybody else aggravated but it’s like um why why aren’t your soldiers better trained to pay attention to the mission objective. Why don’t they trust their fellow soldiers who are in these big mechanized suits to handle their own ship this whole thing of. Males protecting females is so obviously wrong I mean it’s it’s a wonderfully idealistic and romantic notion. Sure yeah it’ll be great if males protected females but the reality of it is is that’s not the case. Um. Did you know that a woman is far more likely and I don’t have the percentage at my fingertips to be murdered when she is pregnant than at any other time in her life. There was a recent study on it where they went back like over the last hundred years of data and they showed that pregnant women are. Disproportionately likely to be murdered and almost always by the father of their unborn child. So yeah, don’t tell me that men are biologically programmed to protect women. Don’t tell me there can’t be. Female marines in space I’m just I’m so tired of this I’m just so tired here I am in my weak feminine shell and ah so anyway, that’s my rant. The day. Um, and now I’m going to go off, get some things done I’m excited to crunch through this list. Wish me luck I would really love to get a bunch of stuff off my list here. Um yeah so I hope you all have a wonderful weekend whether it’s time off work or not.

And I will be back here on Monday we will be having a partee. We’ll be having a party um for release of grey magic yep if you have ideas of something you’d like me to do on the podcast for release day I’m happy to do it. I read I never nobody ever says I want me to read makes me think that nobody wants me to read but I don’t know it’d be fun to do like q and a I don’t do this live I don’t know if you have ideas send them my way. And I will talk to you all on Monday take care bye-bye.

First Cup of Coffee – February 7, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Ah, so good. Okay, so alert listeners ah may have heard in the sound of my voice watchers may have noted that I’m back to my morning watte. I started doing it again yesterday. Oh and it’s um, it’s everything. So um, I’m gonna talk a little bit about the. Insulin resistance and intermittent fasting. So if you have trouble with body image stuff or eating disorder stuff tap out for today or closures for a few minutes. So 1 thing that I did over the weekend was I did some research on stevia and whether or not. It really causes an insulin spike and I found um a number of studies on it. There’s a lot of disagreement because there are some studies that say yes, it does and others that say no, it don’t and but I found a double blind study that seemed like it was really well done. Well controlled and they found no impact on blood sugar or insulin from stevia and then I’m still doing the intermittent fasting I’m still doing the sixteen eight I’m getting great effects. So I might i. Um, down about £8 already and which is fantastic and I feel better. A lot of you may know that I start doing this because grace does it grace drven and she’s been having such great effects with clearing brain fog and sleeping better. You guys I’m sleeping so much better. It’s really interesting. Um, yeah so I’m feeling energized feeling good. Um, that’s um and it’s it’s very doable for me. So if you haven’t heard me talk about it before the sixteen eight fasting you basically fast for 16 hours and you eat during an 8 hour window um and and in general you can eat whatever you want I’ve been doing some other things too I’ve been ah I’ve tried to cut out all added sugars from my diet done.

I’m having very little added sugar which is amazing because I have a sweet tooth but I don’t miss it when I have a real sweet craving I’ve been doing what 1 doctor suggested and I have some raspberries or blackberries with some whipped cream just actual heavy cream that I’ve whipped up and put a little. Vanilla extract and I find makes it taste fabulous. Excellent sweet dessert adding more fiber to my diet raspberries have great fiber so and things like ah. I made my own refried beans yesterday I should include my recipe because a case anybody cares, you guys may not keep care. You’re not here for the recipes. There’s a bunny on the port portal. That’s why I keep looking at hey bunny. Um, oh yeah, refried beans. So yeah I make my own refried beans because we both love beans refried beans. We live in New Mexico but David can’t do spicy stuff. He can’t do anything that’s too acidic or too spicy and um and. You know, like even the really good organic grief fried beans. Just don’t do that well for us with just never feel good after eating them I think they use weird lards um, so this recipe I’ll just tell you guys and be only for the people who listen? Oh no better. We have the transcript now right. So what I did was um, heated some olive oil do the extra virgin olive oil in a pan and then two fifteen ounce cans of organic pinto beans rinsed and you cook them in the ah heated olive oil and just keep mashing them up as you cook them. De gal whose recipe I found she added tomatoes. But um, none of the belladonnas do well for David so I didn’t add tomatoes instead I added some um cumin I added cumin and salt. And some chopped up cilantro at the end. My mom would not like that if she were here I would not add this cilantro for her and they turned out great and then I made some Jasmine Rice I toasted some sunflower seeds and I sauteed some mushrooms. And mix those all into the brito mix with. We have 1 thing. That’s great about New Mexico is that we have local tortillas and so I have local tortillas that had no added sugar. You.

1 thing they do to try to do is cut down on refined carbohydrates. But if you can find like a refined carbohydrate that has a lot of fiber that helps counteractive. So these have good fiber in them and and put some cheese on there some cheese and avocado. They were really good burritos. I mean you all could spice it up if you live with people who can handle spicy stuff. But um I find I don’t miss the spicy stuff I’m happy to to eat stuff fairly bland for for David that’s an easy one for me. You know my mom used to make this wonderful pork green chili and we can buy amazing green chili here and then you put the green chili on top of the tortilla ah top of the burrito. That’s really good too. So anyway. um um I was just really pleased with all that I’m really happy with the results grace said told me that the stuff she had read she and I have read some so slightly different stuff but that it would take about six weeks for the intermittent fasting to really have an effect. On on the insulin resistance and so forth and I’m hitting about five weeks now and I can really tell a difference. So now I am even though I am outside of my window. it’s it’s not it won’t be my eating window until about eleven thirty this morning and it’s still eight fifteen I’m running a little behind. Um, but I decided to go ahead and have my half and half with my coffee and my stevia and see if I can. And and not eat anything else. They say you could have a small amount of half and half and cream this may be more than a small amount but I’m gonna experiment with that because I really love my morning. Latte. So we’ll see what works. And I did you weeks and weeks of and and I want to say uncamp uncontaminated. But that’s not fair, unacceorized coffee. So anyway, um I need a signal. Like an an all clear for when I stopped talking about content morning stuff. Maybe they just tapped out but I I am ah very aware that for some people. It’s very difficult to talk about anything that has to do with governing eating or or weight loss or so forth.

So let’s see um, busy weekend I did a workshop on Wednesday afternoon after a bunch of SFWA meetings. Lots of SFWA meetings but they were really good SFWA meetings. They were really productive. You know we have just an amazing board and just. Fantastic people who are members of sofa I mean they just really are wonderful people. We have fantastic volunteers. Yeah, and so the board was um, we had some really thoughtful discussions about a couple of things on the table. Ah, but talking about nebula conference this spring how we want to handle that and people have just such great thoughtful input I’m really grateful grateful for them and then taught the workshop in the afternoon I had 4 people in the shop. With me and then some people came in online and it was they were sort of on this little laptop far away. So I couldn’t really see who was there unless they had like their big name across and their camera off. So I knew a couple of you who were there and when gal said that she said. At the end when I was doing q and a and I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name but she said I have coffee with you every morning and I thought that’s so lovely. It’s it’s one of the maybe unexpected ah consequences ripple effects of doing this podcast because. You know for me I put it here and I send it out and unless some unless people send me comments. You know I don’t really know who’s out there who’s listening or reading the transcript now that we have the transcript and she but you know so then I run into people when I do stuff and they say oh yes. And listen here coffee your podcast and I drink my coffee while you talk and I love that? Um, maybe I’m just in a gratitude mood this morning but I’m I’m grateful for all of you who listen in and and say lovely things to me. So then oh yeah, so where there’s a girl in town who is the editor of Galaxys Edge Leslie Robin and Leslie and her friend Ava who is headed up to Kevin J Anderson’s all stars writing workshop retreat deally. She was in they were both in town and sort of um chips passing in the night ava just happened to be driving through Santa Fe on the way to Denver color springs sorry from Tucson to Colorado Springs and and Leslie was remarkably in town.

Got something in my eye there I had to go deal with it. What was a cat hair. What why Why? try to hide the fact how do I get cat hairs in my eyes I don’t know how do cat hairs get everywhere. 1 of the great mysteries of the universe. So um, let’s say I was talking about the weekend. Oh yeah, and so Leslie was really fun. We all went out to dinner afterwards and had a had a great time. And then yesterday I did my I didn’t stay completely unplugged but I stayed largely offline I did take care of a few things on the computer I also cleaned out the closet of doom which looks much better now. It’s. I mean it’s not like I’m not gonna show it to you guys. This is the closet my office because my office is technically a bedroom I guess like did I suppose our houses are big enough where they have rooms that are dedicated offices is that what I’m trying to say and. This one is technically a bedroom. Although it has things like you could see behind me like it has this power strip and stuff. Of course I have my desk set up so I can look out the window which I think I’m I’m weird that way. So it’s like a bedroom closet. You know, like as the clothes rack and at everything but I also have a. Bookshelf in there and a file cabinet and keep my coats in there. There’s a higher shelf but it’s um, full of things like writing books and copies of arcs. You know like I have a lot of my own books. You know like these couple of shelves are all my own books. But. Ah, that one’s like various arcs and copies of things that I’ve kept like 1 copy of a lot of magazines when I used to do a lot of magazine writing and that sort of thing poetry also lives in there for no good reason other than the fact that I don’t access it as frequently as other books. I.Ah rearrrange my office to mostly have the books that I can see while I’m working being the books that inspire me the the ones that I’ve loved so they’re out of order so there which would really upset the librarians among you I’m sure but I used to keep. Like all the books from a single author in one space which is logical but finally I decided it’s my office in my study I had a friend who didn’t like to call her writing space an office she called it her study and I tried it for a while and I always revert to office I I felt like I care. So.

I have the books from those authors that I love most within eyesight and within an easy grab reach. So so why am I talking so much about this about the closet of do. It’s just really was an accomplishment. It did take me mostly the afternoon I pulled everything out. And it’s got all my mailing stuff in it. So now. It’s much better organized I did throw a bunch of shit away. 1 thing that was striking about it though is how much of the shit I have from conferences. Both that I’ve received from conferences and then I give away at conferences a whole lot of that stuff is swag is stuff that I would hand out and I guess I could mail it out now. But it’s really funny to look at that stuff and be well I mean. 3 years ears three years out from having you know, almost two and a half years since last time I was at a conference. What was last one I went to was world con in dublin right? 2019 which is amazing to think about because that was a long time ago now right? and before that. When was the last comfort you know a lot of this stuff was for like the the reader conferences and I don’t know it’s a bunch of silly shit. So I threw a lot of things away a lot of it has just started to feel ancient to me now like I had a whole bunch of those. Um. Karina wine tumblers. plastic wine tumblers it’s like okay that’s I’m not keeping I threw away threw away a lot of k karina stuff sorry karina people but it’s like I just don’t have much identity with that press anymore. So that was good. You know how good purging can do so. So yeah, now, everything’s much more accessible I threw away a lot of old phone cases because I guess I was keeping these phone cases with the idea that they would maybe fit some other phone but 1 thing they do is they make sure that like the phones are all different all the time right? So you don’t. Like why am I keeping these old phone cases stuff like that. so so yeah that felt like a ah productive weekend to me where are we at on the book I have two weeks to finish this bloody book and. I don’t want to influence how you guys feel about it I do think it’s good book. It’s just um, taking a lot and I know I say this every single time every single time when I’m finishing a book I’m at 87000 words I only got a thousand words on friday.

But at least I got a thousand words I think today I am gonna start going back and revising from the beginning. Um I on Friday I figured out some solutions to some things which is good and I have been mulling at the back of my mind over the weekend. We talk about that a lot you know like. Even when you’re not actually writing you’re still percolating on the book and I know some I’ve figured out some things I just had to think more about Nick and Gabriel and how they would handle this situation. You know I think I talked about this some on Friday but it’s funny how like you can have this conception of how the story will go and you think you could be able to just type it out but the story doesn’t always cooperate that way. It’s like no one doesn’t want to do that. Maybe other writers can do that. But I can’t so so yeah, looking at our progress count spreadsheet 87000 words I think I’ve got about 18000 to go I do know how. This book is gonna end I mean or more or less I mean there are some things I know some things I don’t so so yeah I think I will start back at the beginning so I can get I’m having a little bit of trouble with Gabriel’s character arc at this point. Um, what I want him to do. Is not what he’s doing I should probably just stop fighting that right? Gabriel’s always been an interesting character to me. He’s and I know a lot of you love him. Ah, he’s always kind of taking his own roads. You know Nick takes her own road too for that manner. Is probably why they’re so meant for each other. So anyway, um, the big dramatic thing I want Gabriel to do he is refusing to do yeah so um, we shall see we shall see how it goes and so wish me luck. I do have a really open weekend next weekend and depending on my progress this week I may work through the weekend and just try to get her done. Get her done powder river litter buck if you have been to Wyoming or no wyoming things you will get them and. Oh yeah I don’t have time to talk about anymore I should make myself a note my my aunt sent me an article from the new yorker that was in there in the fall. Maybe people talked about it I usually miss most internet curvefuffles I don’t I curate very heavily I will only things that bring me joy and.

But she sent me this article that it was ah it was confusing because it was a review of a book and the book was about how Amazon has changed publishing and then apparently the book had a lot of things wrong in it and the author of the article who was discussing the book. Pointed out some of the things that were wrong in the article but then also had things wrong that they said in the article and I couldn’t tell if they had like pulled that wrongness from the the book from the source material and not fact checked it in which case I’m really surprised that. New yorker didn’t fact, check these things like for example, those some of you will know and I won’t go on too long because I’m about out of time but like they said that Kdp was Amazon’s publishing program where authors get paid by patriots if it’s like well. That’s just factually, not true you that’s there’s you know and I’ll I’ll talk well ah really quickly for those of you who don’t know kdp yes is Amazon’s program where you can go in and self-publish but where you where authors get paid by page reads is kdp select and that’s. Where people can subscribe to Kindle unlimited and read an unlimited number of books for their monthly fee and authors are paid by patriots but under Kdp you also sell books and my aunt had asked me. She said she was curious about my experience with Amazon and i. I don’t do kimda unlimited except for occasional experiments. So I mean it was just not correct and and misleading and and I wonder if it’s deliberately misleading because you know the new yorker tends to be 1 of those um remaining. Outposts of literary snobbitude where they also trotted out the um debt like half of self- publishing authors make less than $500 and I think they just said less than $500 I think that was like full stop so reader listener. I make more than $500 on myselfpublished books. Thank you very much I know you do too some of you who are listening so anyway it was aggravating. Um, if you want me to I’ll put a link to the article. Although I hate to give them clicks but it it was a puzzling article I I wrote back to my aunt and said well that was a. Whiplash over read you guys should read it and tell me what you think? Okay, anyway. I’ve bowed on long enough when I need to be writing so I will um, talk to you all tomorrow you all take care bye bye.

Knowing When to Stop

Kindle ranking #2A little while back I mentioned that monsoon season was starting in New Mexico, bringing all that metaphorical and literal goodness to my life. Such a rain of blessings, indeed! Carina Press put Rogue’s Pawn on sale for 99 cents (through July 19, if you haven’t snapped up that deal yet) and it was featured on Book Bub. Amazing results in that it hit #2 in Fantasy Romance. Right behind Dean Koontz, which had us all scratching our heads. Turns out he’s doing more romance and less horror these days.

Still – me and ol’Dean, yanno? Such a major rush to see this book ranked so high.

Br765aqCEAAwF4XI saw this go by on Twitter this week – Henry Miller’s set of “commandments” for himself on getting his work done. I’d never seen it before and thought it’s so very smart.

One aspect I like best here is that he made this list for himself. Who knows, in today’s era he’d maybe have put it up on his blog. But then, he’s clearly addressing himself. I particularly love that he forbids himself from adding more material to “Black Spring.” There are a lot of great nuggets here – the acknowledgment that “creating” doesn’t always feel like it can happen every day, but work can. To work with pleasure and not make it into a chore. The one that really struck me, however – maybe because I’m not sure I’ve seen another writer encounter this – is #4: Stop at the appointed time.

I’ve discovered this is really key for me. We all have the bad days, the tooth-pulling ones. Where every word feels hard-fought. On the worst ones, I don’t get my wordcount and that bothers me. I’ve discovered, though, that sometimes that happens. Sometimes the story needs to cook or I just don’t have the mojo that day. If I’ve put in the diligent effort, I try to cut myself the slack and let it go. Usually the next day is much better. Sometimes I’ll have several days in a row like this and I just have to chip away at it.

The reverse is the true glory. The days that every writer lives for – when the words pour out in a rush, as if from another place, and I only have to type as fast as I can to get it all down. On those days, it can be VERY tempting to keep going. Especially since I usually have time, because I got the wordcount fast and easily. Often I go over on those days by 100 or 200 words.

And I find myself thinking, why not go for an extra 1K?

I used to do this, but I don’t let myself anymore. Which is why I’m fascinated that Henry Miller apparently set this rule for himself, also.

It’s important for a working writer to learn to write through mood. In essence, you can’t let the bad days get you down. I think it’s equally important not to let the good days carry you away. Inevitably, if I milk that flow and push for extra words, push past the appointed time, I incur some damage.

I’m not sure why this is, it just is.

(Okay – I suspect it has something to do with breaking an agreement with my subconscious self, but that gets into complicated territory fast.)

What kind of damage? Usually I’ll trigger a crash and then I’ll get a run of days of shortfall. So much so that, in the overall scheme, I’ll end up behind my timeline instead of ahead of it. Totally not worth it. It would be interesting to know if Henry encountered the same thing.

So this is my rule for myself now, too. I stop at the appointed time or at my wordcount goal and call it done. Has anyone else encountered this? Either in an artistic pursuit or some other arena?

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Ask the Readers: How Do You Feel About Interference with Reviews?

Master Of The Opera Act 6 (eBook)Here’s the cover for the sixth and final episode of my Master of the Opera e-Serial. The first one comes out January 2 and the series finishes with this one, on March 20. What’s cool to me about this cover is the opal ring. It’s EXACTLY how I described it in the story, which is just way cool to see. You can see about all of them here.

So, this is Ask the Readers week in the bordello – where we ask you all those questions we *really* wonder about. Imagine yourselves up on the panel at the front of the room and we’re sitting in those crowded-too-close conference chairs.

Hie on over there for my long-winded question.