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 28, 2022




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

00:14.42
jeffekennedy
Ah, excellent. Today is Monday March Twenty Eighth last week of March Twenty Twenty two um yeah I had a busy weekend. Um lot of different things mostly like non writing related. If you’re on video you will see I did some office rearranging. It may not be obvious to you mostly? it’ll look like that you have a wider perspective and that’s because I moved a printer cart that was on the far side of my desk. Over to underneath the window on that side the east window because I no longer need to have and it’s this has been the case for a long time I’m no longer limited by the cable on it. It’s a wireless printer which I seldom use anyway. And for some reason last week I started thinking about this more I wanted to be able to see out my window more and put the monitor against blank wall instead of having the monitor block the window. So this way I will be able to see the birds being merry. So as a result I am now farther away from this wall behind me so and you could see my bookshelves so that was something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Got that done this weekend. A lot of little things done like that and it was very beautiful weather especially yesterday and I got out into the garden and big news baby learned to use a chainsaw so one of the things that I have discovered about. Landscape here sort of landscape maintenance and the desert southwest when we moved into the house there had been landscaping done xeriscaping um xeri- not zero- I’ve seen people write it as zeroscaping which is just a level of I’m going to say ignorance that just amuses me I understand why people make the mistake and yet there’s a big difference between xeriscaping and zeroscaping.

02:45.36
jeffekennedy
And now I’m totally gonna have to fix that on the transcript anyway. So there are these yucca that are planted in clumps and so it turns out that yucca over time they sprout new greenery on around the edges. But the center of the clump can die off especially in severe drought like we’ve been having but I think it’s also a factor of age and some of this might have been like original landscaping from when the house was built you know and now we’re um, coming up on I think we passed 25 years anyway actually we’re coming up on 30 years yeah 30 years since the house was built I used to live in a a nineteen oh six house so I always think this is like a brand new house. So. This had been something that I’d been noticing for so the last couple of years was that we had these sort of dead clumps of yunk yucca in the middle with the greenery around the edges but they were kind of being smothered by the old stuff. And I thought okay I need to dig this out and I was talking about this with my friend Megan Mulry who I saw yesterday we we went to see the lost city I’ll talk about that. Ah actually all I could say about is he it was great. Was so great. But I was telling her about my my yucca travials and she was sympathizing because it’s like you know I’m using the big rake the heavy rake you know, sort of digging it in there and inking pulling and some of the dead stuff will come out but then there are these bowls these very deck. Trucks that are at the base of it. You know that are like I don’t know um I’m showing it with my hands I’m trying to think of how to describe that I mean we could just say like ten inches across and they’re surprisingly dance I commented to David that. When I’ve seen things about you know, like the native americans having woven stuff out of yucca if you’ve ever been to an exhibit that has shown that kind of thing where they show all the different stuff. You know the baskets and the you know tunics and all of this stuff that they’ve woven from yucca fibers and I’d always kind of wondered. How do they get that much now I know because it’s like these things are just compressed fibers and you could sort of draw out the fibers and everything I was kind of tempted to play with that and see um a reader I’m not going to. But if I were someone who did spinning and weaving.

05:34.14
jeffekennedy
It would be interesting to play with that stuff. So anyway I had tried like cutting some of it hacking at it now this is gonna work so I asked David to show me how to use the chains up. Yeah. And he helped me some he doesn’t quite have the physical strength or endurance really anymore to do a lot of that because it’s a lot of work even with the chainsaw I you guys my back is sortidated but shoulders are sore um I knocked off around two and went and took a shower because my allergies were also killing me where. Our junipers are just full of pollen and probably hear it my voice like a gust of wind will blow and you’ll just see this huge cloud of pollen flying out of it so I went and showered off all of the pollen and then just. Read for a little while while I before I went to meet me and for the movie but up to the movie. Ah, you know I stood up and I was like oh I stiffened up a little bit during that time. So I got it part of one clump I got at. Very worst clump. So I’m gonna sort of do this by increments. This is one of the things that I am learning to do is not to try to do everything all at once. So now I can get at some of these It’s just kind of it looks messy and unsightly I don’t know. If a lot of stuff I leave if I think it’s part of the natural progression of plants. So I leave stuff over the winter. That’s the other thing I did was I raked up a whole bunch of stuff from over the winter I cleaned out in the secret garden our first just in time for our first daffodil to bloom i. Clean that out Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning our death bill had popped open so crack open the window here. It was almost warm enough to sit outside this morning can move out to the secret garden soon. So I’ll put the. Brand new daffodil on the show notes and let’s see so the lost city lost city of d. It was fabulous but can I say it was fabulous. Um, it was. The exact right amount of homage to romancing the stone and with a blend of new invention. Um, the arc was fabulous character arcs ah.

08:23.85
jeffekennedy
I really loved I mean the the nods to romancing the stone were amazing and and like the very best moments from romancing the stone but then also Sandra Bullock has her character take. Agency in a way that Kathleen Turner’s character didn’t always have and that’s phenomenal and then um, Channing Tatum he’s just great I mean I don’t know that I’ve ever really been a huge fan of Channing Tatum but he um. He brought a a depth to a character that doesn’t have a whole lot of depth. He really just and he’s got this comedic sense. They really played off together. Well apparently they’d considered Ryan Reynolds for the role and I love me some Ryan Reynolds and I thought he was great with Sandra Bullock and the proposal I loved that movie too. But I don’t know Channing Tatum was perfect. Perfect for this role. Ah, he plays her fabo esque cover model. They make one fabio joke in there which was. Ah, good fabo joke as opposed to all the tired fabio jokes and and they they had some interesting things to say about romance and so you tune out if you don’t want any spoilers at all I won’t. Spoiler anything important but I’m going to tell you a little bit about the movie Sandra is obviously a writer and very smart and her she’s a linguist and historian and so she’s written these books about this character who’s an archaeologist. And she’s she’s in mourning because her husband died and she’s also conflicted I want to I don’t want to say completely bitter. She. She doesn’t want. She’s an introvert she doesn’t want to go leave her house. She doesn’t want to go out and do this book tour stuff you know coming up with a plot arrangement for her to be wearing a hot pink sparkly Jumpuit in the jungle is is fabulous I mean it’s just It’s great and for them to have it end up in shreds around her very shapely figure I was looking and Sandra Bullock is 2 years and one month older than I am and she she’s looks amazing I realize this is her job. But.

11:09.57
jeffekennedy
She looks amazing. So um I thought was very funny because when she goes out onto the stage where channing Tatum is also going to appear as her cover model for her books dash. Um, and. You know she doesn’t want to do it anyway and her editor or publicist says I think she’s our editor you know tells her not to use big words which I think is funny because I think I’ve mentioned here that my agent tess asked me not to use big words on occasion. So I mean there was some. There was a nice interplay there of of these things and Sandra Bullock says at 1 point how like her linguistic history books never sold and now she writes schlock and jenning tatham says something to her about that which is great because. He’s also you know obviously beautiful. There is an extended shot of his naked ass gonna tell you guys right? there and and it was it was fine fine with a capital maybe in all caps fine. I’m gonna have to fix that on the transcript too and he’s um, not a super smart guy. He’s not a super intellectual or educated guy and he gets stuff wrong and she corrects him on stuff. But he’s also this very nurturing caring person. Um, and you know they play it for comedic effect. But he’s also just kind of you begin to appreciate him. As along with Sandra as the movie goes on and at one point she says something pretty sharp to him about basically being a brainless model and. And he says something to her later about that you know like not knowing who he is and yes, what he has tried to do and it’s it’s this wonderful mirror of of her. You know that like he he tried to be a serious actor and. Couldn’t make it and but he could make it as this cover model and so that’s what that’s what he’s doing and and he says to her about not to call her book schlock because she you know he said you know talks about.

13:55.66
jeffekennedy
The enormous amount of pleasure that it brings to people and how meaningful it is so it’s just all really well handled. It’s um, the romance is handled in exactly the right way with a certain level of um. I what’s what are the words that I want with delight and affection and respect. But at the same time going in for for the full romance. So yeah. And there’s there’s a really wonderful epiphany at the end about about mourning and about what’s meaningful and yet it’s still funny. so so yeah enthusiastic thumbs up weld done Sandra Willock well done chenning day. Ah. Red Pitt is amazing. He’s in it for a surprisingly short amount of the movie. Ah, but it was great. So um, um, excuse me. So yeah, it was um, it was good weekend. It was productive and was while. Oh and I did something else I did tell during I was running a little behind for no good reason I slept a little long still getting used to that. Um, even though I went to bed plenty early. So also been watching Bridgerton this weekend I through 3 episodes of Bridgerton really loved how they handled in episode 3 the Anthony’s backstory and all of that at Aubrey Hall I thought they’re doing a great job in some ways. Almost better than the books showing his um trauma from watching his father die that is not a spoiler. We know that about Anthony um, and and the way that any hint of that sends him into a panic really well done. And I love love the cow playing Kate and I I like the um you know making Kate and eda be East Indian I think that is a nice um, folding in of diversity I’m I’m perfectly good with it and I think. Kate has just the right amount of self-protective rigidity for the character and dignity a lot of pride and dignity on Friday evening I went to a reception. Um.

16:45.58
jeffekennedy
That was put on by Ucross Foundation Ucrosss foundation does writers residencies and when I was a baby writer sometime back in the mid 90 s I did a residency at ucross for two weeks and I think I mentioned this on the podcast before um, just amazing, just incredible. Couple of weeks of my life. Ah pivotal for me as a writer I would say transformative and just in seeing myself as a writer. So the ucross board usually meets in Santa Fe because the founder. Who originally started the cross foundation raymond planck had a house here in Santa Fe before he died and I believe the board still meets here. They they fly in and they usually bring in some kind of guest. In this case, it was a poet M.L Smoker who I very much enjoyed meeting. She was lovely. And enjoyed her reading very much and they also invite like local fellows people who have been you crossfellowship recipients in the past. So you know free food open bar, interesting conversation with people. Um. It was funny though because I did talk with a few people. It’s a very arty crowd very artsy as you may imagine and when I mentioned they were asking me what I was up to now you know and I said oh well I was mainly writing fantasy novels and that I’m the current president. Science fiction and fantasy writers of America they were just all oh that’s nice, but I may be um, adding the lip curl there but um, yeah, totally not impressed. Not interested so speaking of genre. Related prejudices there. We go so the more things change right? Ah there’s a new director of the foundation and I should have chatted up with him more but you know like what does it matter I think that’s like maybe a thing we do when we. Imagine going to like reunions or to in some ways that was a reunion right? because like they knew me when I was a baby baby writer you know and hadn’t didn’t have my book yet and um, not. You know, just a few publication credits and was working on something totally different which is why they probably admitted me if I’d been working on genre fiction. They probably would not have given me the fellowship which is you know, interesting to contemplate but you always think you know you go back and say look look at all these.

19:34.60
jeffekennedy
Things that I’ve done and then they’re like totally not impressed. I was like okay well you know everybody’s got their um goal posts. You know like we’re all playing on different fields with different goal posts that. Meaningful to us and I think that’s what’s important is that the goalposts we’re shooting for are meaningful to ourselves if you are always aiming for the goalposts that are meaningful to other people I think you will not be happy. So on that note I’m going to go. Work on the storm princess and the Raven King I’ve been rereading the eras of magic books so far so reread the long night of the crystalline moon and I’m partway through the golden griffin and the bear prince which is good because I’m encountering details that i. Need to incorporate so that’s my project right? Now you all have a wonderful Monday hope it kicks off a fantastic week and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.