First Cup of Coffee – February 26, 2024

Sharing the OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL super exciting news today on NEVER THE ROSES, the book I sold to Tor. I’m explaining the Publisher’s Marketplace lingo, how foreign sales work, and why creatives can’t be thick-skinned.

First Cup of Coffee – March 10, 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 full confession. Um, first of all today is Thursday March tenth. That’s not the confession. But I’ve already been sipping on the coffee. So I sat down here once already to start the podcast. Staring at my face and the video screening here and I was thinking I look so tired I look so tired and washed out. What’s you know What’s wrong him? Well I feel a little droopy this morning but well I look really washed out and then I realize I forgot to put my makeup on I’d like totally skipped. Putting on makeup somehow so I had to like go back and actually put on the the up how is your day going but I don’t know why I’m spacey today I slept a long time last night. And woke up about 20 until 6 didn’t get out of bed until after 6 because I was just so sleepy I was kind of you know when you wake up and you kind of do the dozy thing kind of dreamy thing which I really enjoy. But um, yeah, feeling sleepy this morning and then. Like forgetting to put on the makeup. Don’t know how that happened the coffee is definitely pricking me up. We have a big winter storm coming in. It’s like this is we’ve had more winter in the last couple of weeks and we have all winter. Um, ah my bath is also kind of stiff I might have a little bug That’s what I get for doing things like going into movie theaters and being around people here. We are like figuring out the whole being around people thing again. Without masks because New Mexico lifted the mask mandate a couple weeks ago I don’t know if I mentioned that so yeah, everybody’s running around exchanging germs again of all varieties now. So. So it goes. Um I I don’t feel terrible just um, clearly not all together with it today. So yeah, we’re supposed to start getting snow around five o’clock tonight and it’s already pretty overcast I thought we were gonna have a kind of a nice day until then. But.

Yeah, the storm’s really coming in and they’re saying we’re going to get 4 to eight inches of snow which will be lovely and David is cooking cooking us vegetables. He’s playing with the the new. Food processor that we were gifted. It’s um I don’t know if I mention it’s this very fancy breel food processor and so like 1 of things has has on. It is an adjustable slicing blade. David’s been watching Youtube videos and making all kinds of great things. He make chicken pot pie. So now he’s slicing like cauliflower and broccoli and sweet potatoes very thin and roasting them so that we have healthy snacks to have around what a good man huh. So he’s been busy doing that and it smells good in here. So but I don’t mind the snow but I wonder if it’s making me a little bit. Um hibernatory that my friend Kelly Robson asked me the other day if I was hibernating. Ah, because I said I’d slept a long time like over the weekend and she said are you hibernating and I so I don’t think so because it actually feels like spring here. But now I’m having to walk it back because yeah, maybe hibernating. So. I did not have a very productive day yesterday writing wise I kind of tapped out early on. Um, it could be just still the ramp up because I’ve already written twice as much. Um, so far this week in the first 3 days this week then I wrote all of last week or the week before I mean you could see it’s like doubling each because I was editing and so forth. So you know like the I had um, 1392 and then. 33 17 and so far this week I have 65 16 so I suspect I’m in that phase of building up my writing flow again. That’s a thing about taking time off. I I recognize that it’s good for me to take that time off and refill the well and all of that kind of thing. But um, it sure does break up that flow.

I should like look at some of the athletic stuff some of the exercise physiology stuff when I was in grad school I there were a couple of people in our department one in particular who was very interested in exercise physiology it Was a zoology and physiology department was one of the great things about the department was that there were people working on all kinds of different stuff and so you learned the smatterings of things so I know a lot about like reintroducing endangered species and like managing wildlife populations. And so you know evolution of kidneys and also exercise physiology and this one grad student worked a lot with the olympic athletes down in Colorado springs and I learned a lot. From that you know this whole you know how do you deliver peak performance at the time that you want to? how do you manage the training and I think that there’s a lot of metaphors that are adaptable to that I think it works in the same way. I think that the creative flow works very much in the same way as the as the physical stuff. It’s never clear to me how much of what we do as writers or creators. Is directly linked into the physical but there’s definitely parallels. So so I know that I really pushed hard to finish gray magic. Broke some of my own rules and you know like rode over the weekend and did all of those things and got it done and maybe I didn’t take enough time off between because you know I’m definitely feeling this week like I had I thought okay I’m coming back this week and I’m coming back strong and I did come back strong Monday I got over three thousand words Tuesday I only got 24 23 but I still met my milestone goal so I was still on track for the date I wanted to do. And I’d had to stop early on Tuesday and then yesterday I don’t know yesterday I was distractible I did not have the focus again and I only got five seventy six so I’m just kind of wondering do I need to like take more days off just and not do stuff.

Or do I need to like maybe maybe I just need to start doing little bits. You know, um, like today go for a thousand words maybe I’ll try that. That’s something that I often recommend to people doing something like nanorimo national novel writing month. Instead of going immediately for like that 16 67 per day that you need to make it for all thirty days of the month start slow and ramp up and then go to more than the 66 16 67 I don’t know if anyone’s ever taken in my advice so I don’t know if that actually works we need to do a study. We really need to do some actual controlled studies. That’s the scientist in me wouldn’t that be fun just to see and and it’s hard to tell because everyone’s so individual. You know like my mantra find out what your process is and own it. Um yet I feel like I’m constantly reworking what works for me while finding out what my process is and so forth. So but clearly I’m not back to my. 3000 words per day schedule and I’m kind of revisiting and I’m sorry if I do blather on about this a lot because I think I do talk about it. You know how often do I really sustain 3000 words a day well de kuiller here. Bunch of them out there blue scaled coils what we have here 1 2 3 4 5 six seven and there’s the lookout coil. There’s always one that’s gets up on something high and plays lookout. We just bought a coil block but we haven’t put it out there yet. David picked that up yesterday. It’s like a block of compressed seed that we put out on the ground for them so need to get that out there for them. So anyway, um, I’m wondering how often do I really do I’ve been talking about that a lot this year how often do I really do 3000 words a day and maybe I need to revisit that that maybe I thought that that was a sustainable productivity for me 3000 words a day five days a week but I’m I think I’m actually not sustaining that level very well. And maybe I need to ratchet it down which um, nobody wants to decrease their productivity. But if my productivity decreases itself then I’m in the same place right.

So um, yeah, so we’ll see we’ll see um, it’s hard to tell like how much is refractory period and how much is just needing to build up endurance again. I kind of like this idea of doing maybe just sort of reframing my goals I think I’ll try that and report back see what you guys think because 1 thing that happens like a lot of people can do the 50000 words in in November for Likech. Na no rhymo. Ah, but then they crash and and that’s what I’m looking to avoid is is the crash I want that sustainability. No, so so let’s see what else is going on. Oh I should so back up a little bit and say that I’m also groping a little bit trying to find the threads for this fourth book of the series and that’s another thing too is that writing. The final book of an ark is just always harder. You’re just pulling all the threads together instead of spinning the threads out you’re bringing them together and I’ve heard somebody else’s you’ll use the metaphor of landing the plane you know that like taking off is. A lot of work. But then you’re flying flying and flying and that’s like relatively low of investment of effort. So says we who do not fly airplanes so we don’t really know but landing the airplane. There’s a lot involved in landing landing the airplane and getting everybody safely there. And you know like George R Martin very famously has not finished his series of um, a song of ice on fire and I don’t know if he will. Everyone’s well somebody asks me? Well I’ve talked about this before when I when I see George. Ah, at events here in town. No I do not ask him about it nobody does because we’re his friends and we don’t want to torment him. But when people ask me if I think he’ll finish I have to say I don’t know I mean I I do not know if he will. I think there are a lot of things in the way I think that there are reasons why for instance, some Brandon Sanderson very famously recently put up a kickstarter because he wrote like 4 novels during pandemic and put up this video about it which i’m.

I have complained in other places given my thoughts on on how he chose to do that and I will not say it here but I did have problems with it. No what I I am going to say something because he went. At it in this I think well intentiontioned way where he was kind of playing a joke and he was saying you know you know pandemic’s been hard and people have been asking how he’s been doing and that he’s been very close mouthed about it at. That he finally wanted to come clean and he pulls out this big stack of paper and says I wrote 4 novels since pandemic started and he does give some interesting data where he shows like what percentage of his time was devoted to various activities before the pandemic and. How much sense and like well for me, it was certainly true I’ve talked about it here that without traveling to conferences without doing all of that stuff I did not get tired from traveling and I had a lot more. Concentrated time just being here at home and focusing on writing and it did make a difference and and it did for him too. He ended up spending more time with family and you know a miniscule bit on conferences and stuff and he was able to write these novels and fantastic. Great for him and he is so popular that from this you know he said he was doing a kickstarter to publish these 4 novels this entirely new series I didn’t watch the entire video because I did get irritated with him and I’ll tell you why in a moment but you know he’s. Made something like $15000000 from this kickstarter to publish these novels. Ah, he hasn’t made it yet. That’s in pledges so you know with kickstarter you only get the money once you deliver the product. So but I mean he’ll probably deliver. And I wanted to add the caveat that Brandon Sanderson this is how I got there in the first place got his start because he finished Robert Jordan’s fantasies series wheel of time. So Robert Jordan had started the series I don’t remember how many books in he was. He was getting old I don’t remember if he had a chronic disease or whatever. But at any rate Robert Jordan picked Brandon Sanderson to co-author I don’t I’m I’m talking about something I don’t know tons about I don’t know how it worked I don’t know if Jordan had it outlined and Brandon.

Wrote it or whatever. But anyway, that’s oh graish bird hit the window ah startled me the cleaning ladies are so good about cleaning the windows. But now the the birds are hitting them It’s always this kind of light this time of year they get so um. The birds are so restless you know, excitable huh sorry about that hope it’s okay, I’m sorry act to check. Well it was alive but it’s really stunned so i. Wrapped it in a towel to keep it warm while it recovers and put it up out of the way. So a predator won’t get it. We’ll see if that makes it I need to get some of those window decals there I put it on my list to buy some I set it up on the. Bench outside the window here see if it’s gonna be okay, it might not I think it’s a Jubi too ha the cycle of life as my mother says the cycle of life is killing me. Okay, so sorry focus. Um, so yeah, that happens where people you know hire someone to finish their series for them and I kind of wonder if George won’t get to that point. Although I kind of don’t see George doing that. So anyway, ah my problem with the way Brandon and Sanderson went about that and I think that it was just not ill intentioned I don’t think it occurred to him how this would come across. I think it was just he was excited to share this thing and he thought it was a funny joke to play this way but it really fell flat for many of us because there are so many creators who have really struggled during the pandemic have struggled with the anxiety and the difficulty. Of dealing with all the things and there are a lot of people who have not been able to create and so for him to very smugly throw down his stack of paper and be like I wrote 4 novels was um, it was a little much. And so so yeah I thought that that displayed a um, a distressing callousness towards other authors. Um you know and that was probably just oh birdie’s gonna be okay.

It’s sitting up now. It’s sitting looking out at the little hood of the tall there. So yea. Yeah, all right must’s just been stunned a happy ending. We love happy endings excellent. So yeah, that was probably a lot of different stuff I’m feeling per year now. Coffee helps. Maybe maybe it was just ah, still sleepy. So anyway, I’m going to see about getting some work done I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday if you have interesting. It doesn’t have to be interesting if you have data on like what how you think this works with like getting back into producing and refractory periods and so forth I’m I’m interested send it my way. Yeah. So yeah, have a happy Thursday and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.