First Cup of Coffee – February 18, 2022




Transcript
00:00.18
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy and here with my first cup of coffee ah greatly needed. If you are on video. You will see. It is very early here. It’s just now six o’clock am and I can see the sky beginning to lighten out my east window sun is coming. It’s not here yet. So yeah I woke up early and I woke up I woke up at four I went to bed kind of early I went out last night with my friend Megan. Oh I should have said wait wait sorry say it with me today is Friday woo. Almost forgot February eighteenth so so yeah um I went out and saw my friend Megan Mulry last night we had a lot of fun. We had drinks and dinner and it was it was lovely. And and I came home and went to bed and woke up woke up at four and I out and I thought I would go back to sleep and David got up. He woke up. He wakes up a couple hours. You know every couple hours at night and takes more medication because without it. He can’t sleep and so he got up and I was laying there and I thought I was going to go back to sleep and he came back in and said um he said I just want you to know that if you want to get up and work. You won’t bother me and I said well. I go back to sleep and he said okay and so I laid there and I was like wide awake and so I was like oh I guess I’m awake so I got up I thought well I can get a jump start because I’ve got this midday today deadline which it’s nice that he’s aware of that too. I so I guess I’m not going back to sleep and he said um, he said well if he said I’m not surprised. He said if I were you I would be wanting to get to work on that stuff too and I said yeah I guess you know me better I know myself. So. If you are on video. You can see look It’s an orchid. This is my first orchid rebloom I posted the ah photo of it of like the flower stock. Not long ago but look.

02:47.49
jeffekennedy
Kind have an actual orchid rebloom from my trader Joe’s orchid. Um i’ never got one of these to bloom before and so isn’t that cool. So I’m just got put it here. I’m just gonna like hold it next to my face because I’m so excited. Okay I will can I just sort of move it into the frame here. But well we don’t want to interfere with the coffee drinking. So um, let’s see on the book Grey Magic not quite done I’m at just shy of 103000 words I think I am on the second. To last scene. Actually I think it may be the third to last scene. So. It’s not the penultimate scene. But what’s is there a name for a third to last probably not probably third to last means not done yet. Was so um, so yeah I I worked I did my 3 hours of writing yesterday and I slowed down I did really well at first I got a had a good first hour a great second hou second hour and not so great third hour because I just ran out of juice. So I only got a little shy 2500 words yesterday, but still still. that’s that’s good as Darynda says we’ll take him um and then I was I thought well. I only have you know like 500 words to go to hit my 3000 so I thought well I’ll go rest and so I david was out driving and I got my reading chair and I’m just about done with Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. the transcript really hates her name I think it’s very interesting which names the transcript can absolutely handle. It’s like if you’re famous on google then. Transcript picks it up right away. Um like jennifer lopez owen wilson no problems at all my name. No Juliet Marillier? No. Darynda, it hates Darynda these are things I’m having to fix now I’m gonna have to go and fix all of them for saying all those names. Um, so where was I before I went on that tangent writing oh I was reading daughter of the forest and so I I read for a couple of hours and I thought I might nap but I didn’t I think I’m keyed up finishing this book I’ll probably.

05:28.30
jeffekennedy
Crash once I finish but um, yeah, so then I thought so I read for like an hour or so and then I came back to it and looked at the manuscript I thought well maybe I’ll try and put in another hour at least try to get these 500 words and I looked at where I stopped I was like. Got that big nope out from the creative self. So. It’s like okay, no.

05:56.54
jeffekennedy
Um, so up and at it early today. Um, figured I might as well go ahead and get the podcast out there. So my mother will be happy if nobody else and I don’t know if I have much else. Say um, Megan and I had fun talking about that friendship article that I talked about earlier this week on the podcast the one in the Atlantic and I’d say I think I mentioned on here that. 1 thing I treasure about that particular friendship was I sent her the link and I said here’s your homework assignment for us to discuss and she said on it and not only did she read it. She had like notes she had read it on her phone so she had all these highlighted sections and so we went through disgust and. It was very interesting because um, she and I are about the same age and so you know it was just read all the article the essay written by the woman who is about our age and yeah, so we we had a ah wonderful time discussing those things people were we got that. Who went to Harry’s roadhouse and we sat at the bar and got there at 5 and it was nobody was in there. We’re like oh it’s good time to get here and then it just got busier and busier and busier and she told me that um, New Mexico finally lifted our mask mandate. So. People seem to be very excited celebrating and so forth.

07:37.39
jeffekennedy
Yeah, um, you know I know that we’re conflicted on that right? you know it’s once I was vaccinated and and we didn’t have to wear masks for a while the mask mandate was lifted. You know and then we had to start wearing them again because of all the people who. Um, are not vaccinated and also the vulnerable. So yeah, it’s just um I own a messy situation I hear so many conflicting ideas about it. But I have no problem continuing to wear my mask. Um. Guess we’re requested. We’re required and if somebody wants me to have it on around them I’m happy to do that. So well 2 years hu birth bird just flew by my window dawn is coming but surprise Birdie’s up flying it already because if you’re on video you could see it’s still quite dark. So um, let’s see so yeah yesterday afternoon I just kind of went into a little mental stupor and it was nice. It was very nice i. Read for a long time and Jackson came got on my lap this morning David got to see how I taught Jackson to get his weight that he’ll get on the scale and sit when I tell him to sit David was all impressed. So now I’m really tempted to try the fluent pet thing. Don’t know if I you’ll Mary Robinette Kowal has been doing fluent pet with her cat and I’m I don’t know if I want to or not I’m tempted and I’m not I kind of don’t want the thing laying on my floor that I sound like my mother. So yeah, this is a random collection of disconnected thoughts because this is where my brain is at I’m brain empty. Yeah, just got to finish this book right? Darynda and I were having a conversation. She said that she was feeling like um she had kind of a ah moment of epiphany now I understand scrambled eggs I should probably refer explain that. Um, if you’ve taken any of my classes or particular classes. I. Use this cartoon that I think I found in the new yorker but it um shows people eating it sort of like an outdoor cafe and it says um breakfast at epiphanies and there’s somebody going now I understand scrambled eggs and so.

10:29.56
jeffekennedy
I love that for explaining what an epiphany is one of my little jokes to myself. Oh you know I’ll come back to Darynda I would say remind me but you can’t I’ll do my best um, it was really fun doing my Reddit. Fantasy ama the other day because a lot of the people there had read my books and a couple people asked me questions um or mentioned things about my influences and it’s the first time that I’ve had a reader. Um. Just like somebody who doesn’t know me well just from reading my books pick up on one of my little inside jokes to myself. She said oh I knew this because you you named this character this and I figured that was an homage to this other writer and I was like it totally was but I didn’t expect. Anybody to ever figure that out. You know it’s like I put these little things in to amuse myself and then it’s kind of delightful when somebody spots it these little easter eggs. So anyway, during this been stressing trying to finish writing her book. And she said that it occurred to her the other day that I’m gonna have to fix her name all through this text now. Um that it occurred to her the other day that why was she being so upset why was she. Feeling so ground under by this. She’s like I have the best job in the world I am doing the thing that I love to do and I said it’s true and I have to remind myself of that too. Ah, and I said well some of it’s just it’s human nature because this is our job. And when it’s your job and it’s your work and you have deadlines. It’s not like just playing. It’s not all you know, romping through the the meadow and plucking words it’s um, it. It’s nose to the grindstone. I mean that’s that’s that’s what work is about um and I said but at the same time I have to remind myself and and she was thinking to remind herself too that you know this is what we wanted. We chose this and it’s still way better. Then another job I was like you know you could be out there doing asl translation which you know american sign language she is fluent and certified and all this kind of thing but I guess that could be really difficult work and she taught for a while and she was like yeah or I could be teaching kids who don’t want to learn.

13:17.22
jeffekennedy
You know? So it’s it’s that thing of reminding yourself of your blessings I think we just tend to focus on when things are difficult. Um, but it’s still a pretty awesome job and and all of this. For instance, on this book. You know I’m the one who set this deadline I definitely want this payout so that’s why I wanted it by like February twenty eighth so that I’ll get that amazon money that means I’ll get it at the end of april and if i. Missed that 28 if I did even a couple days later then I wouldn’t get it till the end of may so you know it’s like wanting to pay that mortgage and everything but at the same time the the actual pressure the how am I ending this book. Do I need. 2 or 3 more scenes to to end it well to please all of you to please the reader to please myself. It’s um, you know that’s that’s all internal pressure I could just it’s kind of funny because as I’m coming up on the end of this book. I’ve seen several places where I could stop if this were not book 3 in the trilogy I would see places that I could stop um because I get accused of riding cliffhangers and when. When we see that kar will say you know people keep using that word and I don’t think it means what they think it means so I was like yeah, it’s having an open-ended. Story is not the same thing as a cliffhanger. Um, but there are more things to tie up with the book 3 in the trilogy and. I’m definitely gonna write another book in this world I know what it’s going to be about as you guys read gray magic you will know what the next book will be about too. You’re goingnna see that but what I’m trying to figure out at this point in time I’m trying to figure out a couple of things. So this trilogy and I think I asked this before and some of you gave me feedback but I’m going to ask it again. This trilogy has been nick and gabriel for all 3 books and there’s going to be other romantic pairings. In the next books. Um, and I don’t know if it’ll be just like one couple per book or what or 1 couple over several books I’m deciding. That’s 1 question. Um.

16:03.51
jeffekennedy
The other thing I’m thinking because that’s the romance convention is you know once like these 3 books have been Nic and Gabriel’s povs back and forth next book would go into another couple’s pov right? and I’m kind of. Entertaining branching out and doing multiple povs because there are more epic adventures going to happen and I’m considering adding multiple povs into the ensuing books. So that it would like maybe the focus would be on the romance between some other people but I’m wondering can I go back to Nic and Gabriel’s p o these because I’m not sure I’m entirely ready to leave them What do you guys? think about that i. I tend to not want to deviate from the structures that I set up I feel like that’s part of the promise like in the first book I’m saying here’s the structure. It’s gonna be do dual pov. So then if I go into the next ones. For instance, so here’s another question right? book the next book should it be book 4 of bonds of magic or book one of a new trilogy I think there’s arguments for both I don’t know what to do I’m not gonna make decisions while my brains this empty. But. These are things I’m trying to figure out but I’ll be interested to know what your preferences are I’m kind of feeling this thing where I want to branch out into multiple povs. There’s ah another book that I started a couple years ago um we didn’t really get anywhere with it on submission. This is the science fantasy I’ll tell you guys that um and I told Sarah agent Sarah at the beginning of that our talk at the beginning of the year then I finish it and she said well maybe we could take it on submission again. Because it’s been two years and there’s been a lot of turnover in the editors and stuff and she said if you’re gonna write it anyway. So I’m thinking about that 1 doing multiple povs because that one would really lend itself I want to do that. Like maybe this is like where my I don’t usually talk about muses I don’t really believe in the muse. But I’m feeling like this is where my storytelling yen is going could be interesting all right.

18:45.51
jeffekennedy
I am going to actually get to work if you’re on video you can see that the sky out my window is beginning to lighten. You can see the ah the silhouette of Sandia peak out in the background that deeper blue against the lightning sky so rise and shine. Here we go I hope you all have a wonderful Friday whether it’s your actual end of work week or not and that you have a great weekend and next week I don’t know if I’ll be doing podcast or not. We’ll see so um. But next time you see me this book should be done if it’s not, we’re all in big trouble but all right you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – February 3, 2022



Transcript:

00:00.37
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Oh and I didn’t even sip from it because I started thinking. Ah, excellent today is Thursday February Third Twenty Twenty Two 2 3 two zero to 2 hope you’ll are working on those manifestations right Um. Love goes out to Grace darling this morning. She posted a Facebook that she’s dealing with medical emergency with Mr Draven and so far things are are okay-ish but sending her good thoughts and sending him. But that’s. I did talk to her last night and this morning. So um, she’s holding up. She’s holding up but she could use support. Um, so here we are. Thank you all for the kind messages about the transcript. I believe that it’s recording the transcript again today I don’t see it doing it I’m gonna pause. Well, it’ll be an experiment. It seemed to me like last time it showed me that it was going to do the transcript but maybe it just doesn’t automatically I may have to toggle the settings. So all in all, it wasn’t too painful. Um I did edit 2 things. First of all, it spelled Jeffe J E F F Y I noticed that the um auto captioning on Instagram does the same fucking thing. It’s not Jeffe with a y like family circus. Jeffe with an e thank you? What was the other thing. Oh it didn’t handle the numbers well because when I said something about it being 2 2 2022 it did like um T O O T O and then I don’t know it it barfed it up. So I had to fix that other than that I didn’t really read it. It exported it allowed me to export to text and I changed the text wrap. Um and for using the formatting and text editor and then I just pasted it into the blog post. So um.

02:33.10
jeffekennedy
So Yeah I know a few people read it and and seemed Happy. So Apparently it was at least Semi-coherent. It doesn’t add as many periods as I think there should be so something about the pacing of my speaking. Does weird things with grammar which is not surprising to me at all because like grammar is just so not my thing which is probably surprising because I I do write very clean I should be specific. Punctuation is not my thing. Um. I Do not have strong opinion opinions about Commas Periods Semicolons colons most of them I do know how to use most of them I choose not to I know some people have like a passionate a love affair with semicolons I don’t understand. How you can have emotions about punctuation Frankly I like to sneeze there That’s God punishing me for not having emotions about punctuation Apparently Commas Commas I Actually do not believe there are real rules about commas people try to make up rules about Commas. I Think that’s why people and love the Oxford Comma because it’s like a Comma rule that they understand It’s my opinion I know that a lot of people don’t agree with me but it’s like all the other Comma rules seem to me optional because it’s always like well except and when and. Some people say you just put a comment in whenever you would have a natural break when speaking and other people say no, that would be wrong. Um, like I said I don’t care I almost never argue commas with copy editors unless it’s a situation where I really want that. Brief break before the next phrase.

04:32.67
jeffekennedy
So um, what else What’s going on. Got my three thousand yesterday it was really nice because I got a thousand before I met up with Duranda we start meeting up again. Um, she’s logging through that book you guys. She’s working away on it. Oh I did successfully um, move the release date for gray magic it is set now for February Twenty Eighth I can’t move it again or Amazon will come to my house and. Take away my cats and paint a big scarlet letter of some sort I was trying to be with either there but I I don’t know what letter it would be. It would be like um shirker or something a scarlet s on my garage. It’s funny because and and I’ve mentioned this but Amazon is the. Only retailer that punishes us for not for moving our release state when we have a preorder and they’re like to main turn or good customer experience. So they’ve backed off on the strictness of it so they let me move the release state for gray magic to February Twenty Eight and I did get the scolding notice saying we let you do it. You pushed it again. Oops you did it again and but we are not going to punish you this time. But if you do it again. You won’t be able to do pre-orders for a year and you’ll lose your pre-orders which is. Point that dund is in and she says um that she does not care because she’s not gonna do any preorders for which I don’t blame her for some people you guys I just looked at this and like it stopped recording again and I have no idea. When it stopped I’m gonna have to like glue my eyes to this countdown I don’t know if there’s I don’t even know what I did this time. It’s weird it’s weird I don’t know why it’s doing this and I I have no idea. Where I was what I was saying um so we’ll just bullet point. The recap here. Ah I wish it was an easy way for me to look back at what I was doing without like having to stop and splice. But I can’t. Um, anyway, you’ll hear me talking about it but storm princess I’ll set that new release date I realize for gray magic I have to still do the description and get the tagline to revven.

07:19.94
jeffekennedy
Because the cover’s still temporary. You know it’s just funny. You know like all of these little things. All of this businessy stuff. It’s been great for me to finish my words earlier in the day because then I have the whole afternoon to do business and that makes a huge difference. Today. However, reader will not be 1 of those days because I overslept I slept till six thirty and so I have not written any words yesterday before I met Duran I think I said this already but I already got a thousand before I talked to her and so then I was done. Um. By like noon which is ideal. Yeah I was done by 1130 and that’s just um, checking make sure the clock is still going. Um, that’s just the best. Oh if I could do that every day I would be very happy. Um. But so it goes not doing rider coffee today because we’re doing rer coffee dinner this evening. Also we got a fair amount of snow and it’s very cold. So everybody’s tucking in this morning. Oh. And then the other thing is is I do have a link now to the workshop that I’ll be teaching on Saturday I’ll be teaching it at beastly books here in Santa Fe but they’re limiting the attendance to 6 in person people. Um. And I think I said this before but because I don’t like talking to an empty screen. It’s the worst I really like to if I’m teaching I have to be able to see pay faces and okay I’m pausing I wonder if my previous pause was when I sneezed and I forgot to unpasuse. Or it didn’t quite unpause. You know how like if you’re in a Zoom meeting and sometimes it like mutes without you realizing it because there’s the keystrokes I didn’t move the keyboard today I should have but we won’t keep pausing I’m getting too free with that pause button. Ah, but anyway the workshop will be streamed online live so it’s going to be at 3 p M mountain time on Saturday February fifth so if you want to um, join the in and watch it live then you can ask questions and stuff. And I am talking about writing cross on romance or crush on yeah romance with you know sff so I will try to I just got that link yesterday late yesterday I was gonna put it in the blog post by I didn get them time so please um, share share with your friends.

10:09.33
jeffekennedy
It’s free and could be a lot of fun. It’s always more fun if there’s more people there. So um, I’m going to make myself 1 more note getting free with that pause button resume fun. I swear I have got I’m not gonna pause this time but I will tell you guys on my to do list I have 1 2 3 4 pause 13 141516 17 eighteen I have 18 items under business. I categorize my to- do list in an an attempt to balance my day I don’t know how well it works. Um I have some things I put timing on I try to keep sifus stuff to 30 minutes to an hour a day um it doesn’t always work out that way I try to do like an hour on finances every day and then I have doing the blog post and pointing. You know when posting it and then I have appointments and and business. And then household I also have a household and then promo which I really need to I always end up like moving I’m supposed to spend 30 minutes on promo every day not counting podcast promo and I haven’t been doing that and I really need to um. Really need to get that a plus marketing figured out on Amazon I have like Tiktok videos to watch on how to do tiktok not participate in pick Tiktok. It’s um, yeah, just sometimes feels like more more than I can get to. However, the good news is is I got. All of the royalties crunched for January paid all the bills yesterday got those funds dispersed. So that’s always a good thing. Get all that stuff sent out but that is 1 thing about my unplugging on Sundays I could tell it’s really good for me. But. It’s like a lot of times on Sundays I was doing all that business catching up and but and I ended up having so many meetings on Saturdays now that I’m not getting all of that business stuff done on Saturdays but you know like last Sunday I didn’t go online at all and i. Went down to tomayall with my friend Katie Laden and we did spa and lunch and it was all very relaxing but it was like there were a lot of things on my to-do list that didn’t get done how how do you how do you handle that you know right.

12:57.87
jeffekennedy
I guess you face the fact that some things on your list aren’t going to get done. Um I sometimes feel like I need a second assistant because Assistant Karine is very busy and so she hasn’t been able to get to everything anybody want to do anyone want to figure out Amazon fucking a plus marketing for me. That would be awesome who would pay you I would pay you anyway, let’s see what else Um, but but bu boom but boom I think I was not paused for very long because there hasn’t been that much elapsed time. Have a sifwa board meeting this afternoon. Um go sif what hasn’t been too bad but I I feel like I’m getting behind on that stuff too. But I don’t know. Got to prioritize the writing of the books right? That’s just just how how it goes. Um, that’s 1 thing that I’m thinking about with this new project Sarah was asking me about timing about it and I was like okay fortunately.

14:16.49
jeffekennedy
Fortunately I think that um if if all goes well it should be lucrative. It should be worth my time so that will be ah hopefully I mean that’s sort of that that will be the go. No go at this point I think is whether or not. They agree to what Sarah suggests we ask for because it will take a fair chunk of my time and if that happens then we will come up with a code name and and I need to talk with Sarah about how open I should be about. Um, um, and with this other gal with how open I should be about what I’m working on because we know I’m a blabber mouth right? I’d like have to talk about what I’m working on.

15:07.60
jeffekennedy
Dinner tonight I mentioned with the writer coffee people. It’s going to be with George R Martin will be there and there’s a gal in town whose name I’ve forgotten but I will know it tomorrow and I will tell you guys about dinner. So that should be fun even though it does mean leaving my house in the cold and snow sacrifices must be made so okay, well I guess I don’t have tons of stuff to say today and I do have tense to do so I think I will hop off. Slightly early apologize for like bloopers again, what is with this week I blame all the twos the twos and threes what do you think I mean well the first one was on January thirty first but clearly something is like. Going backwards or forwards retrograde or andterot grade or dorsal grade. Oh I should mention that um I have been watching the expanse and you know what? and this is a whole huge topic. So maybe I’m not leaving quite yet but it’s been very interesting to see ah a good instruction in storytelling. To see how the screenwriters adapted the book to the series and if you are interested in tightening your stories and amping up tension conflict and action. What I suggest you do is read Leviathan’s wake no I always want to do that leviathan’s wake it’s leviathan wakes by James I say Cory Ty Frank and Daniel Abraham read the book. It’s it’s a it’s a book worth reading. Ah. I could quibble some choices but you know we can always quibble some choices they did a great job writing this book it very interesting to me one of the things I objected to about the book is they went with this kind of noir tone and it takes place in the belt which is like a very blue collar place of that. Asteroid belt around Jupiter and saturn sort of in those outer planets maybe just around saturn and lots of miners and workers and that sort of thing and they call them the belters. So. It’s a really wealth out out world and very interesting that way.

17:46.83
jeffekennedy
But because I think it’s because of the duwar theme There’s like tons of references to prostitution and it’s always female, always female prostitution and I think it’s because like they have this very noirre detective and so they’re like sort of ran with that theme. But very interestingly in the adaptation to the series. Um day they took out a lot of that there are occasional references to sex workers. But it’s handled in a much more I don’t want to say woke. But. It’s handled much better and there’s references to both male and female sex workers and even a moment where which I aim why wouldn’t anybody tell me how adorable Amos is love that actor where he says it’s honest work. It’s good work and it pays better than other work and I thought oh yeah, but my point and I did have 1 all evidence to the contrary is that it’s fascinating to see I think I do think you should read the book first because then it’s really interesting to see. What they did putting it on the screen. 1 thing they did was they condensed characters and I noticed this happens quite a bit I think that happened with a song of ice and fire becoming game of thrones and I think it’s a good lesson for writers. It’s. You know why did you bring in this new character when you could have used this other character and that’s what this existing character especially secondary characters. In fact, almost entirely secondary characters. So it’s fascinating to see how the show did that. Also. It’s really interesting to see the ways in which the show created tension where there was not tension in the books. So like within the initial Crew Holden’s crew is pretty much a happy crew to begin with but the show. Has initial tensions there and I think it’s to keep that conflict and interest going to to make it exciting I’m learning a lot from it because I tend to want things to be happy in my books and I don’t introduce tension between characters as much as. Like these screenwriters do so definitely worth studying that kind of thing besides which it’s a really well done show and fascinating to fascinating to see very enjoyable so all right.

20:27.25
jeffekennedy
On that note I’m really gonna go start getting some my shit done I Hope you all are getting your shit done too and I will talk to you all tomorrow morning you all take care Bye bye.

Scraping Under Those Deadlines

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is whatever is on our minds. Which is always dangerous to ask. We’re all busy people, so I’m going to bet we all have about 10,000 things on our minds, all bumping and jostling for priority. Come on over to learn about how I’m living dangerously!

Jeffe’s Five Tricks for Juggling Multiple Projects and Deadlines

004This time of year, all of my flowering vines blossom, like an end of summer special treat. They’ll be the first to go when we get a frost, so they are all the more fleeting for that. Transient and precious.

Speaking of which, Dear Author is giving away three copies of Ruby.As of this writing, the giveaway ends in 36 hours, so hie on over if you’re interested.

I’m over at Word Whores, as I am every Sunday, come holiday or foul weather. This week we’re looking at Juggling Multiple Projects & Deadlines: How to Do It Well.

Does Writing Faster Mean Cutting Out the Art?

001During my travels last week, I stayed with a friend of many years, Kristine Krantz (aka KAK). She blogs on the Word Whores with me and also writes fantasy. We met via the RWA online chapter FF&P, sometime back in the vicinity of 2009. We became critique partners and friends.

At that time, we were both in the same place – shopping these fantasy novels we’d written and hoped to sandwich into some pre-cut genre somewhere. Though my path was hardly a straight-line – no A-ticket Cinderella ride for me – mine has gone faster than hers. She’s still “pre-pubbed” or whatever euphemism you’d like to slap onto that vicious purgatory of waiting for the market to catch up to your genius. I know this is a hard place to be, because I’ve been there. Another friend and sister Word Whore, Allison Pang, who I met at the same time and in the same way, also shopping a like novel, did manage to pull the A-ticket and full Cinderella ride.

(The moral of our three paths, by the way, is that none is strewn with rose petals and nobody, so far as I know, has received a sparkle pony life companion.)

At any rate, (I’m sure by now KAK has scanned ahead to find out just what the hell I plan to say about her) KAK invited me to stay at her house while I attended the Lori Foster Reader & Author Get Together. This turned out to be an unexpected delight because we spent many hours on her delicious screened back porch, overlooking her park-like back yard, while we worked on writerly things and talked.

There’s something truly restorative about rambling conversations on writing and publishing with like-minded friend who’s as keenly interested in the minutiae as you are. Though we see each other on IM, the conversations only go so far. I also realized, as we talked, that I haven’t been updating her regularly on all of my “business.” It’s a funny thing – as you get into dealing with Published Author World, you tend to talk most to people in the same tangle. I don’t *think* I ditched my pre-pub buddy, but we’ve been working on really different things. And, as you faithful readers know, my life has been moving really fast lately.

In fact, she FINALLY (hee hee hee) completed a monstrous revision of her epic fantasy novel. “Revision” is probably a misnomer because she really wrote a whole new novel with the same world and characters. I feel quite a bit of guilty responsibility for this since I was the one to give the crit that triggered the massive rewrite.

She says she doesn’t blame me.

But it took her a long time to do this. Meanwhile I’ve been working fast. It’s nice for her to be able to do this, because she has the luxury of time right now. We know you pre-pub authors get sick of hearing this from us – we got sick of hearing it, too – but writing before contract is REALLY different than writing for contract and under deadline. We know it’s not nostalgia-worthy since being in that hem-tugging, please-see-me stage of publication wears on the soul, but having the luxury of time is something we look back on fondly. Also the lack of expectations.

KAK and I had this conversation. She mentioned that she’d noticed me blogging about writing books I sold on spec and how it feels different. I said, yes, that it feels like another kind of writing altogether. For me it means:

  1. I have to form a plan ahead of time, because selling on spec means I sell the concept and THEN write the book. This is not a natural pattern for me.
  2. Writing a story you’ve “pre-sold” to an editor creates this lens where I feel like I’m writing FOR the editor. That person is very firmly in my mind, because they are now the primary recipient of my story. I haven’t decided if this is good or bad.
  3. There is a firm external deadline. I have to plan ahead – by a year or more, in some cases – to ensure I have the time to write and revise the way I want to.

This last is crucial because, as I rambled on the topic, KAK nodded and said, yes, you write faster and cut out the art.

Which I’ve been mulling ever since.

Because I don’t think that’s true. I can totally see why it would seem that way. There is certainly not the time to lovingly tweak and polish every bit. There is, also, a definite sense of creating a product that fits a particular expectation (see #2 above). However, I don’t feel like I’m cutting out the art.

Maybe this is self-delusion, because I really HOPE I’m not cutting out the art.

I definitely have not managed to short-cut the suffering. Writing a book faster is no less painful than writing it slowly. It’s more that I am more efficient about it. Some of this is experience. I know by now where I’m going to bog down and how I’m going to feel about it – and I’m quite a bit more ruthless about pushing through it. I don’t have time to wander for weeks through the Enchanted Forest (see last Friday’s post, if you have no idea what I’m referring to). I’ve BEEN through that stinking forest and now I just take the direct – and sometimes arduous – path straight through to the Fountain of Story.

I think it’s less cutting out some of the art and more knowing how to pack the art in there. Like really experienced travelers can pack for a two-week trip in 30 minutes and not forget a thing. You just get good at it.

Mainly because you have to.

Speaking of which, I have a novella due on Saturday and just shy of 9K to go to finish.

See you on the flip side!