First Cup of Coffee – June 6, 2022

I finished the book! Also, it turns out I’m fascinating – or have fooled people into thinking so. A rundown of the wedding weekend involving drinking lots of champagne. And a bit on ISBNs and book platforms.




Transcript
00:00.64
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance, here with my first cup of coffee.

00:30.60
jeffekennedy
Ah, ambrosia today is Monday June sixth six six Twenty Twenty two enunciating my numbers. Ah so here we are another week um I feel like I feel like I didn’t have a weekend even though it was like lots of partying. Um, maybe because there was lots of partying I didn’t have by usual downtime. Um, the good news is. Good news is have I shared the good news with you ah is that I did finish the book. Ah yeah, pretty exciting I finished it Saturday morning. So I um I could. Tell you if you want to hear the details on Friday I actually had a really big I had the biggest word count week last week then I have had all year a little shy of 17K words for the week and then on um Friday I got almost 3K words and finished that third epilogue barely squeaked into the fourth and I wanted to be done so will then Friday once I was dead writing David and I went he. Helped me ride errands and we took the flowers over to my friend’s house we get in Charlie’s for their kind of rehearsal dinner that night so that they’d have flowers there and then took the rests of the flowers up to the house where the wedding would be at and. We um, and then ran a couple other errands for a few things I had left to do and then Friday you know and then I came home and turned around and went back to the party and was there all evening. Drinking champagne I drink a lot of champagne this weekend which is my favorite thing to do one of them without doubt. But um, definitely a lot more drinking than I have been doing so now I am back into the motive. Sobriety and careful reflection. But it was fun. The party Friday night was super fun. One thing about my friend Megan is and I’ve known this about her from the very beginning is that her superpower is gathering cool people together. She is.

06:13.38
jeffekennedy
Is like flawless taste in human beings and she picks out really interesting people and brings them together. So it’s it’s like the perfect party because everybody you you talk to is fascinating in some way and. What was really funny for me was and I mean you’re all out there listening to this podcast. So maybe you knew it already. But I don’t regard myself as being a terribly interesting person. But um, it was really gratifying to me. You know, having conversations with people and and them going. You are fascinating. Really you? Okay so party on Friday night was fun and then I got up Saturday morning and I finished the fucking book. Um I think it took me. Was just looking once and I none to finish it? Yep and yeah, so got it all done with then um, had to do a couple more things that I was making for the wedding ceremony itself. And then I went down to edit loretto and met up with ah ve begin and a bunch of other folks because they were staying in it loretto and we had a pool party at which I joined on champagne because I needed to and then. Stayed there too long because I was having fun and came home showered turned around raced back to the wedding. Got there in time to scatter rosebuds and then um, wedding ceremony was lovely. Very brief exchange of vows. And they um had their friend married them. Someone else was supposed to and she got sick covid. Well no, that’s not true. She got sick with cancer and um, can’t be around people because covid ah so their friend got ordained in the universal life church. And married them and yeah it was like less than 5 minutes ceremony and then then the partying commenced and it was just a fabulous party at which I drink a great deal of champagne and had wonderful conversations. Um. Yeah I think I ironically enough I think I sold a lot of books because people are like oh in fact, people were coming up to me at the party that I talked to at like the pool party say well I went back to my room and I googled you and.

11:52.30
jeffekennedy
You are famous I was like I don’t know if I’m famous, but my one thing about my name. Jeffe Kennedy is it does come up very high in search results because it’s reasonably unique and you guys know I hate that you should put a modifier on unique either. It’s unique or not um. I should say it’s rarefied. It’s it’s quite unusual unusual to the point of being unique in that I don’t think there are any others but that could change there are other Jennifer Kennedy’s but. Not at all surprising there. So um, I’m I’m sore why am I sore I think like wearing high heels and standing around talking and all that hefting champagne. Um, so yeah, so before we’re saying oh I bought po your books so that was really lovely and then on Sunday morning I was feeling fairly rough even though like Saturday night I got I was home by like 9:30 but um, you know. After a day of it and so then Sunday morning. Um we were meeting at the on the patio at the gruway tasting room which is champagne it what got there at 10am and I Firstly I said Charlie got up to kiss me and I said um I said I’m not sure whose idea this was at the morning after your wedding at 10 am we needed to drink more champagne and he said well if you’re feeling like I was this morning what you need is hair of the dog. And I’ve never believed in hair of the dog but I actually did feel better once I started recommencing with the champagne so we had champagne and pastries and they had the patio rented so we just sat there and enjoyed. A lot of people were leaving for the airport and um, you know so they kind of came and said goodbye and we’re going and and then there were a few of us left of we decide to go get some lunch. Because the pastries weren’t not enough when needed actual food. That’s the thing about the wedding too is it was catered and there are all these wonderfully delicious little snack bite things but you know it’s like you don’t ever eat a full meal so we um.

17:25.17
jeffekennedy
To Harry’s roadhouse for lunch that was fun and it was just me Megan and 3 of her friends from various points in her life. So it was really funny talking to people you know the conversational gambit was okay so how do you know me good and Charlie and I was the local friend. From Megan’s writing days. So I I occupied a very particular Venn diagram niche of a lot of people. She’s known from various points in her very interesting life. so so yeah it was um I guess these it was really um, it was fun. Ah just sort of very wide variety of people but like I said all interesting. Ah there was a very funny point at the lunch when. And we got to sit out in the garden at Harry’s if you guys know know it if you don’t it’s a lovely garden and but it was good. Solid food I think we all needed like some you know, hearty food roadhouse food. You know what? I’m gonna go blow my nose I’ll be back. That’s better. Um, oh yeah, so so be proposed a toast. By this point, you all be will be relieved to hear that I ordered iced tea a couple of the others ordered ordered margaritas and I was just like I need to stop so I always drinking iced tea. Gel to my left was drinking a coke but we did the toast and one of the gals said you know to old friends and new and one of the girlss started singing you know, make new friends… and I and another gal chimed in immediately. So you may sing along if you know this make new friends but keep the old one is silver and the other’s gold and Megan and the other gal. Who both grew up in New York City and did not go to girl scout camp ah were’re looking at us and exchanging looks in. They’re like what is this this thing that we’re like how can you now know this song and it was it was a funny moment. So. You can report to me out there if you know this song or not we would sing it and around so it was really It’s funny that I started singing reflexively without thought you know because you’d you’d sing it as make new friends.

22:57.64
jeffekennedy
Make new friends and it sounds really pretty when you get everybody singing it in around like that and I think it’s also good. Philosophical advice. So so yes, now plans are afoot for getting together in various places. 1 couple who is there has bought a house in Uruguay. That’s incredibly beautiful from the way they were talking about it so it would be fun if we get to go do some things now that I am at least quasi. Friend in the circle I don’t know if I if I stick or not. But um, it was it was fun to be part of that for the weekend and it made me nostalgic for wishing that I could get do something like that. You know to get friends. Together from across across my life experiences. Um, yeah when I I mean that’s kind of a cool thing. It’s it’s too bad that we only do that for like weddings and funerals right. So um, they all went to go do some touring around to do some gallery stuff and I came home. But it’s like now because I did um, get laundry started I needed to do laundry the house was in chaos between finishing the freaking book. And um, doing the wedding flowers in all of this and after math of nebula conference I was just things were out of order and I needed to get the laundry done I needed to just get things picked up. You know. Low Hummer so I came home I finished the laundry it was exciting I finished paying the bills I finished crunching royalties. Ah so for those of you out there who are waiting for royalties for me I will pay those out today. I. Got the most pressing bills paid but I didn’t do the paypal stuff yet. So I will do that so I’m kind of on top of my tasks I have 120 pages to revise I believe is the final count. No 120 pages um to revise of the most recently written and I would love to get that done today. Do you think I can I think I can I think I probably can um, knock on wood. Oh.

28:36.16
jeffekennedy
knock on chimes I can’t even reach the wood. Oh well. Ah I think it shouldn’t be too onerous. Yeah and that will give me all day Tuesday and Wednesday to do my out loud proofing and I don’t know if I had if that’s enough time. But. It’ll have to be um I could also do the thing of reading backwards. But I’m not sure that’ll work. Yeah I’m gonna do the out loud proofing. So um, now is going somewhere with that. So have to send it for formatting Wednesday evening Thursday I have you know to get it all uploaded and I’m going to do some stuff business wise ah I have to buy more isbns isn’t that sad I think it’s sad I bought a whole bunch. But I started in 2016 and I I squandered them at first because they always tell you that you need a different isbn for each format and I thought I needed a different isbn for each retailer and. You don’t like you could just do one for each ebook. So I squandered a whole bunch of the beginning and I tried to take that back and it won’t let me so so yeah I bought None isbns for $1000 because the more you buy it once the cheaper it is but. It’s still a significant investment and I don’t know if I’ll buy a none this time or not I’m trying to decide but they should last longer because I’m smarter. It’s true that Barnes and noble wants you to use a separate print isbn for them. Then for the print isbn on other sites and I don’t do it because it pisses me off because you shouldn’t have to so um, so yeah, I’ll do that get those things uploaded I’ve been wanting to do a revision. Of rogue’s pond. The cover’s almost ready and that’s not on fire. That’s not an urgent thing but um, corine’s been reading it and sending me notes. So that’s good. It was interesting because the scene that I want to cut she got to it and she said it was not. As long or as sexual or as dark as she’d remembered and I wonder if that’s just because since then we’ve read other books that have like gone deeper and darker and more sexual. Ah, but I’m still going to.

34:10.46
jeffekennedy
She agrees she that that I should still remove it and I know that a couple of you suggested that I put it at the end as like a deleted or optional scene. But I don’t think I’m going to because. Think people are bad at voluntarily looking away from stuff and I don’t want people to read that at the end and then be annoyed but maybe I’ll post it somewhere I don’t want to leave them with that taste in their mouth. That’s not a good place to end and you can’t trust people not to read it at the end right. I mean I would. so um so yeah lots of businessy things to take care of this week once I get this. We’re vision done with oh and I’ve got a meeting this afternoon with Ael who’s talking about creating a new book platform. And I agreed to talk with her and she said it might take like an hour I was like really ah, really, but I would okay, um, but the thing is is I’ve seen so many people try to create new book platforms and. You know it’s like the new good rate. So the new library thing and I I warned her I said I’m probably not going to be I’ve seen a lot of these things come and go and I just don’t know but she’s really, um, she’s a fireball she makes things gets things done. So um. Least I could do is talk to her about it and who knows maybe she’ll make it happen. So so that’s my plan for today could be kind of a long day. But then yeah, maybe not? we’ll see ah and then next week I get to go on my writing retreat and so that’ll be exciting. Ah, go? Um, next tuesday week from tomorrow. So that’ll be good and probably getting started on book four I was really hoping to rogues paw at least revised before I dug my head into ah book 4 of bonza badic or maybe it’ll be. Like the new trilogy. It might be that some new thing. Well you guys think should it still be bonds of magic or should it be a new thing you decide? No actually I’ll decide but you can vote all right on that note I shall go and you all have.

39:06.16
jeffekennedy
Ah, great week and great Monday I believe you can have a great Monday and I will talk to you old tomorrow take care bye bye.

Fish or Cut Bait?

I’m in Denver for the #RWA18 National Conference. I think this sculpture of the dancing ladies is particularly appropriate.

This week’s topic at the SFF Seven is Why do you abandon a project? What would make you (or let you) finish it? Come on over to read more! Also, a new podcast episode below: First Cup of Coffee – July 15, 2018.

On Becoming a Sociopathic Writer

002In the mornings, we get up at six o’clock, get dressed for the gym and leave the house via the garage. This means that, blearily stumbling about as I’ve been – not a chipper morning person – the moment we hit the button to raise the garage door is my first real sight of the day.

This time of year, it’s right at the onset of sunrise and what a spectacular sight it is.

There’s something about the dimness of the garage, the way the heavy door lifts, with its cranking motor, that reminds me of a theater curtain – that unveils the large screen of this.

The outside comes in and steals my breath away.

It’s an amazing way to start my day and I treasure that.

I value so much about my daily life and am truly blessed to have it. Our daily routine is dull by most standards. Most days I don’t leave our property except to go to the gym. I love each phase of my day, from the kitties walking across my pillow when the alarm goes off to ensconcing myself in my reading chair at night with a glass of wine. The sun shines, flowers bloom, rains fall, the sun sets and rises again. It’s a good rhythm. A long-term cycle.

All through this, my steps seem to be set by the words I lay down in whatever I’m writing. I mark the passage of time by the change of seasons and the accumulation of word count. Writing a novel is an exercise in this kind of patience, I’ve found. For long periods of time – days and weeks and months – the the project continues. Every day I add a little more and track my progress. But it’s incremental and I can’t worry about it feeling like it’s taking forever because it takes as long as it takes.

That’s one of the keys to understanding novel-writing. Patience, persistence and endurance.

Until, suddenly, I’m near the end.

That’s where I am now. On Tears of the Rose, Book 2 of The Twelve Kingdoms, I’m at 84, 502 words. I’d originally thought it would end up around 85K, but once I dug in, once I judged the pace and length of Act I, in fact, it became clear that the first draft would top out around 98K. Writing about 2,000 words per day, as I am now, that means I’ll be done in a week.

And I’m filled with all kinds of odd, restless energy.

It’s as if, now that I can see the city on the horizon, I’m no longer satisfied with traveling 65 mph. I want to go faster and to hell with a speeding ticket. I want to drive all night, just to get there already.

I’m filled with impatience for everything else.

News articles – from frivolous to searingly serious – irritate me. People post jokes that I find facile, ridiculous or even infuriating. Every Facebook and Twitter post I see seems to elicit a snarky response from me and I have to stop looking, because I’m afraid I’ll lapse and actually type one of these comments. Even pics of cute baby animals annoy me.

It’s like I become a total sociopath.

I sometimes think that if I were a full time writer, I would take myself and my last 15-20K and just lock myself in a remote cabin or beach house somewhere. Which I find bewildering, because I love my beautiful, peaceful home and the life we have in it, with our lovely daily rhythms.

Somehow, though, this process of completing the book – which means the ending, because I write my stories from beginning to end, no jumping about – absorbs so much of my thoughts and mental energy, that I snarl at anything else impinging on it.

Also, I’m pretty sure I write a post like this every time.

You all are lovely to put up with me, really.

On Being Done – In So Many Ways

3_27 2Jackson has figured out how to get up inside the TV cabinet. He’s still not sure why we stare at that screen, however.

So, the Good News? I finished the book!!!!

(Cue screams of joy from fans and various expressions of relief and eyerolling from family and friends.)

The Bad News?

Wow, am I tired!

Not really physically tired, just emptied out. It’s really amazing, this writing-a-novel thing – it really does feel like running a marathon. (Or so I presume, not being the kind of gal who has EVER run a marathon.) Even working at a measured and even pace, by the end it feels like I’m creating an enormous soap bubble. Every day I add a bit more air, expanding it, steadying it, letting it grow larger and larger. And in the final days, I detach it from my wand and it floats away, leaving me hollow.

It’s a peculiar feeling. It’s like I have no thoughts at all.

If I could – and maybe one day when I get organized about this writer gig, I will – I’d plan for a week-long vacation post-deadline. I’d love to just go hang by a pool somewhere, order drinks from cabana boys and let myself gradually refill.

At any rate, that’s all I’ve got in me for a blog post today. I looked at my long list of very interesting potential topics and my writing brain did that thing like when your car battery is nearly dead. It kind of started to turn over, sputtered and went quiet.

Somebody send cabana boys. Stat.