First Cup of Coffee – September 22, 2022

Discussing my revision process today, how it works for me and what I learned about it in writing this book regarding revising with more than two POVs. Also a tidbit on what NOT to do with review requests.



First Cup of Coffee – August 26, 2022

More on critique groups and workshops, how to tell if crit is toxic and what to do about it, critique during the drafting stage vs during revision, and my extended analogy of shaken baby syndrome and how it applies to early drafting.




Transcript
00:03.15
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:14.70
jeffekennedy
It’s actually my second cup of coffee I have had a morning people. Ah I will tell you that today is just say it with me Friday woo which is good and bad I can’t believe it’s already friday. August Twenty sixth and if you’re on video. You’ll see that I’m recording inside I recorded one podcast already outside in the grape arbor and it was a really good podcast I mean I I feel like I can say that now. Because um, well I feel like I can say it because ah it’s gone. It’s lost forever I kept getting these weird alerts as I was talking and they were annoying.

01:09.73
jeffekennedy
So so this morning. Ah yeah I don’t know why I kept gaining these alerts they were annoying me apparently the alerts meant that I all know that my part of the podcast wasn’t recording and. Since I’m the only part of the podcast I don’t know it’s I mentioned yesterday that Zencastr totally changed their thing while I was gone and now it’s messed up charming. So I’m re-recording. Here it is 10 in the morning normally I like to have my podcast totally done uploaded before 9 and have an hour of writing done by now and here I am recording my podcast I was trying all the recover backup things on it and had spent like an hour and finally I thought well. Better to just rerecord so the lost podcast ah I felt like I said some really good stuff all right anyway, I’m trying to let that go move on with my life I am going down to. Ah, Bubonicon this afternoon going to Albuquerque so I’m on the timeline and so so I’m basically screwed I’m also really fussing with this camera that is the exciting news that.

02:43.70
jeffekennedy
My aunt for my birthday gave me this New Webcam and so I only use it when I’m inside I tried using it outside yesterday and spent way too much time getting that to work. Um, technology here. So this is on my monitor now. So. So. It’s a lot better and it’s pretty isn’t that if you’re on video. It’s pretty so anyway, um, I wanted to address some things. Hopefully I’ll talk about them. Well so add ons to yesterday I appreciated the many comments I got. There were some wonderful insights and glad that my rambling made some sense so continuations from yesterday I realized that I’d never explicitly answered. Um. Or finished a thought I suppose I should say on toxic crit because I do get asked that a lot when I’m mentoring or doing author coaching and it it’s hard to know when critique is. Harsh versus when it’s toxic. So and and the answer is probably not a perfect one because the answer is is that you just have to know you have to sense it and I will explain so.

04:20.10
jeffekennedy
The thing to keep in mind is that when people give critiques they are not always um, they don’t always have your best interests at heart. Ah, people are jealous. People are competitive. People also have lots of their own shit going on in their heads that lead them to ah vent that shit in um, ways that are not great for you. Some people don’t have that going on but you don’t really know. So with a critique. Ah the rule of thumb but still applies for this that you give it 24 hours or 48 hours or a week ah to to sit and to let your own emotions attach detach. From the thing once your emotions have detached then you can come back and look at it and you can see are these my feelings or are they coming from somewhere else because you are always always always going to have feelings. Nope I’m gonna sneeze hold on. You’re always going to have your own feelings. About critique and that’s just that’s way it goes. It’s natural. Um, we all secretly hope that somebody will tell us that what we’ve written is perfect and transcendent and if you’ve asked someone to give critique. They’re always going to find something to tell you about it.

05:51.37
jeffekennedy
And sometimes it’s painful to hear and that’s just natural. That’s part of the process. But sometimes what they are telling you is not well meant they don’t have your best interests at heart. Um, their own poison has come out. And leaked onto the page or into their words and and it is quite literally toxic to your creativity. So that’s the thing to keep in mind um, give that waiting time and then if. After the waiting time you still feel. Ah, okay, so now I’m paying attention to these alerts that are popping up and it’s telling me it’s having problems saving the local backup which is new and irritating. And it’s entirely possible I’ll lose this podcast too. We um 1 thing about this though is once I stop it I cannot come back and um restart it. So I’m just gonna keep talking and. We’ll see what happens so um, okay, so keep in mind that as a creative and we know that you’re creative or you would not be listening to this particular podcast I know a lot of readers listen to this too for insights into the process. But.

07:26.55
jeffekennedy
If You’re a writer if you’re a creative you are you have intuition you have emotions and feelings. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to write the things you write. So You have to learn to trust those feelings and you have to learn to divide out your own feelings. Of you know things like um, chemical imbalances anxiety emotions that are coming from other places like dealing with family drama or things like that from what you are intuiting.

08:03.44
jeffekennedy
That’s coming from the person giving you the critique. So Not always always easy, but this is part of being a human being right? So we have to find ways to separate our real emotional responses. From those that are coming from other sources. So You know like feeling fear and anxiety about May may not mean that you need to fix a situation. It may mean that you have a chemical imbalance that needs Addressing. Or it may mean that you are anxious about this other situation and it’s bleeding over into this thing right? That’s part of being human so you separate these things you learn to divide it out So That’s part of what the waiting period does is that lets you separate your feelings. Just receiving critique in general from your feelings about that specific Critique. So Then what you do is after that waiting period You know you clear your mind and wait till you’re in a calm space and then you take a look at whatever notes you might have on it. And this is what I did I was in a cri group I’d been unhappy for a number of months I was never thrilled with the critique I was getting but I thought well you know I’m trying to move up to a new level this I’m trying to learn a new thing working with different people.

09:33.99
jeffekennedy
So I was really giving it the old college Try. So I come back from a particularly disheartening session I’d been working up a new book that I was going to go on submission with with my agent and I’d come away feeling really disheartened. From this crit group Session. So This is another sign. Um, ideally you should come away from crit sessions feeling excited and feeling like you know what? you’re gonna work on that is like oh okay I have insight I have inspiration I have ideas I’m gonna. Go forward with this if you come away feeling crushed. That’s a clue that’s a clue that that something’s gone Wrong. So Then what I did was I let that week go by I looked again at the manuscript. Some people are printed it out and made notes. And I looked at my own notes that I had taken as they were talking and as soon as I looked at the notes particularly from a certain person I just felt bad I felt that toxicity again. So That’s how I knew and I took those pages and I. Burned them which made me feel much better and sometimes that’s what you need to do as it seems dramatic but you have to clear that shit out of your life and out of your creative process. Ah, and I also burned my own notes on it and separated myself you know and then I went on.

11:10.14
jeffekennedy
To sell that particular book in a 3 book deal. So you know I feel like I I trusted my own intuition and I trusted what I was trying to do so That’s that that’s how you know if crit is toxic. Um. And in the end it comes down to if you feel like it’s toxic if you feel like it’s not benefiting you then that is the truth. Um, the only way that this can turn out badly if you don’t take people’s crit is you run the risk of of not becoming better. You run the risk of becoming someone like and this usually happens to very advanced authors who begin to believe that they are the best thing ever. You know like um, you know seeing an interview with Anne Rice once where she you know said well believe me, no one edits me and she was hugely successful I mean she was making tons of money. But arguably her books needed to be edited at that point in time and you know maybe she didn’t feel that way I mean obviously she didn’t feel that way. Maybe she was happy with the level of success that she had you know who am I to say she should have had those books edited. That’s that’s the only risk you run. You know, otherwise it’s if you decide that you’re not going to take critique from someone. You don’t have to trust yourself, it’s it’s your book. It’s your creative process. The other caveat I would throw in there is people who.

12:45.91
jeffekennedy
Ah self-published books that aren’t ready to be self-published. Um, you know if you don’t listen to the feedback you’re getting you run the risk of putting out a book. That’s not ready, but you have to sort those things out for yourself. Um. You are the one who will care most about your work always always ever. So another point that someone made and I’ve forgotten your name so apologies. But someone commented that it makes a big difference if it’s drafting versus revision and this is absolutely true. And one of the things that prompted yesterday’s podcast S.L. Huang’s essay on Tor dot com about writing workshops particularly science fiction and fantasy writing workshops. A lot of times what they’re doing is they are working at a drafting level and bringing those ideas to the group and workshopping them and yes critique at that level is very very different than if you are doing critique of a fully. Complete work that you are now at the revising process for some people that pressure of the critique workshop works really well yesterday I referenced Mary Robinette Kowal.

14:13.47
jeffekennedy
I happen to know that her process is very much crowdsourced. She works with a group of people who read as she writes and she retools as she goes. Um Andy Weir wrote the martian that way too. Some people love that collaborative process. And Mary Robinette comes out of a theater background and so she’s very used to a collaborative process and that really works well for her. Ah and she had commented that you’ll like after. Ah, Clarion I don’t know if it was clarion. But after a workshop like that that she had not written for a couple of years and it was because she was absorbing um to me that’s I don’t know I think that’s a sign that your creative process got a little crushed but you know I can’t speak to. You know she’s very happy with her results and she’s doing well so you know own your process right? It’s different for everyone. The thing is for many of us including yours truly the drafting process is a very fragile place to be and it is easily damaged. So if you are doing a workshop like clarion or Taos toolbox or something else where you are drafting and you are involving people in the process very early on debt can be can be difficult and note that.

15:40.57
jeffekennedy
With that kind of intensive workshopping. You are also not getting that 24 hours 48 hours one week of buffer to come back and evaluate instead you’re coming back day after day after day and getting crit from those same people. So the toxicity can build up. Um, and. So my favorite analogy for this which is content warning here I call it shaken baby syndrome. So if you don’t want to go with that analogy if that’s upsetting for you tap out now. But I find it a really useful metaphor because. When you have a new draft when you have a new story. It is like an infant. It’s um, brand new to the world. It is fragile. It’s also very easy to love your new baby.

16:34.22
jeffekennedy
And it’s It’s a wonderful stage of the process because you have this infant you can hold all of it in your Arms. You can hold it close and cradle it and it needs you and and you need it and then there’s this pure. Imperfect love between you and the new Baby. The new baby idea. But the new baby is also helpless. It is not able to feed itself. Its Bones aren’t formed yet. It can’t walk. It can’t grasp things on its own. Um, even it’s It’s a little skull. The bones aren’t hardened yet to protect its tiny Brain. Ah. It’s a vulnerable little baby and it needs lots of nurturing and this is what we do with the new story ideas we cradle it and we hold it and we feed it and we we daydream with it it naps and we nap a little bit with it and it’s.. It’s a very important part of that initial idea ah later as that story grows up and develops legs and is able to go out and like do things on its own. Ah it’s tougher. Right? Your your children grow up so you want to think in terms of who do you trust with your infant baby Idea. So if you take that infant and you hand it to someone who is the equivalent of a college.

18:08.42
jeffekennedy
Admissions person who job it is to decide whether or not that baby is ready for college and you hand them this little infant they’re going to take that child and they’re gonna hold it up and they’re gonna shake it. You know, but bla. But that’s where shake and baby comes in. Ah I know it’s gross, but it scrambles the idea right? And also they start demanding all sorts of questions right? They they want to know they ask this baby. You know what about this, you know and how do you know about? What do you know about Calculus and you know like what sort of public service have you taught. And of course it’s an infant. It can’t answer. It’s not ready yet and when they hand the idea back to you and they say well this isn’t any good. It’s not ready for college. It’s you know tap talk can’t walk I mean I were dribbled. Ah, it’s not good enough. Well of course it’s not good enough. It’s not ready for college yet. It’s not ready to put through that level of examination and when you get this baby back. It might be irreparably damaged and what you do then? So what you want to do with your infant baby ideas is you want to think in terms of. Who do you trust to hold your baby. Ah, you want someone who loves you and by extension loves your idea you want someone that you can trust to take it and nurture it. You want the fairy godmother for your infant idea right.

19:42.57
jeffekennedy
You want the fairy godmother who will take it and give it magic who will give it ideas and say ah I think this child will be a genius I think that this child is going to grow up to bring love and light to the world and. Let me give it my blessings let me give it what it needs to grow up. These are the people that you want to share your brand new ideas with and if you don’t do that You run the risk right? so. This is my extended analogy On. Um you know who do you involve in your critique process at what point you know later after your baby has grown up and it’s a teenager and it has become insolent and difficult to deal with that’s when you send it off. For the college admissions interviews and when it comes Back. You’re like okay so you’ve got to go back to summer school or you know you need to improve your ah physical conditioning. Whatever let me let me help you with this so that eventually your child your book Your story. Can graduate from college and go into the world and deal with the slings and arrows arrows of professional life. So on that note coming to try recover what I can of my morning try to get something done before I head down to Bubonicon If you’re going to be there say hello.

21:15.75
jeffekennedy
And otherwise I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye-bye.

First Cup of Coffee – August 18, 2022

More on time management and my delightful discovery on managing my To-Do List with less – even no! – mental and emotional anguish. Also a bit on finding errors in books as young reader and what I learned from them.




Transcript
00:02.62
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:15.70
jeffekennedy
Heaven.

00:21.36
jeffekennedy
Um, today is Thursday August eighteenth um closing in on the end of August it’s a lovely rainy ish morning. We got some rainy rainy in the night. So. It’s a little. Damp and cool out here this morning I was going to come out and light the mosquito candle to sort of fume me gate before I came out here but I forgot so I see them hovering about wonder if it would help to light it now. Or shall we just stick it out as what comes and lands on me I suppose I better light it I’ll be right back all right? Probably a good thing I did that because as soon as I came out here about 5 of them swarmed my head. And 1 already bit my ankle. So I knew they were thick this morning because they were gathering on my bathroom screen as I was getting ready because ah mosquitoes are attracted to light I don’t know if you all knew that but mosquitoes follow light and they will come in towards the cities and stuff. Um, and they will light candles wet. So one of the wicks just went out. They’ll ah gather on the screen outside the window. Don’t go into the light Carol Anne

01:54.31
jeffekennedy
Well 1 wick is going anyway. So here we are then um, let’s see so I’ve Writer Coffee today. We’ll be heading for that.

02:11.60
jeffekennedy
And lots of stuff to do lots of stuff to do both today and tomorrow busy days tomorrow evening flying to Tucson oh my allergies are going too.

02:28.18
jeffekennedy
Paused just in time to spare you the explosive sneeze. Ah so um, so yeah, yesterday was good day I got a lot done I got everything done on my to do list.

02:45.34
jeffekennedy
So I mentioned on Tuesday that um, there are so many mosquitoes hovering around here I mentioned on Tuesday that ah that my friend Megan had been talking to me about a new way of doing to do lists.

03:02.98
jeffekennedy
So For those of you who have listened to me for a long Time. You know that I am a hater of Mosquitoes actually do Mosquitoes are like the only living creature I will gleefully kill trying to light this other. Wake again.

03:26.82
jeffekennedy
I think it’s not going to happen now at lights and goes out. Oh well. Um to do lists so those of you who know me well know I love my spreadsheets and I I do still love my spreadsheets. And in fact, one of the things Megan was talking about was like that this guy whose name I forget but I linked to in the last podcast and I’ll link to again recommends like a physical to do list so you could cross things off I get just as much joy from deleting and taking it off so I have a to do list. That’s um, a series of running columns that with dates on it. Um, my current to do list. Well I could tell you because I’ve got it up. It’s one of the first things I open in the morning go away ski to.

04:23.98
jeffekennedy
Okay, there sorry folks, not wanting to show me well this doesn’t seem right? Oh there we go. Okay, that was it was being funny. There’s something about this touch screen the way it does things. It like splits stuff out in a way that I don’t love. So ah, yeah, it mine goes out through I think it’s set for light end of the year we don’t need to spend a bunch of time looking at this. I think I have it going out to like January. Yeah December Twenty third oh no past that why is this doing this It’s been so weird all right now we’ve spent so much time on this that I need to look wonder if this is like being out on the internet. I don’t love that Microsoft office makes you be online I’ve got it scrolling out for like through March April ah, ah, okay, it doesn’t matter ah easily through April um.

05:41.25
jeffekennedy
And I have certain things that I put on it every day. Um that I haven’t um, sort of scrolled out um in an order to try to get some balance to my days where you you all know I’m a fan of working incrementally. Ah, so I work I try to move things forward a little bit every day so like I work on finances every day I would try to do like half an hour on that I try to spend like an hour on Sifwa and then stop it doesn’t always work out that way. But. You know so I have it divided out into things like um like the podcast is on there or the blog. Um business ah household things like that or if I’m teaching a class I need to remember to like go in and deal with. The class that day so ah mosquitoes mosquitoes. So um, it’s I’m always.

06:51.18
jeffekennedy
You know I do think that everything is an editorative process. So I’m always refining how I’m doing things and with the to-do list I mentioned this on Tuesday that you know there are those things that just slide down that I always move. From one day to the next as I don’t get to them and the thing that Megan said to me that was such a revelation was to keep an ongoing list but move it off of that daily list so that you don’t have this feeling of failure when. You move those things to the next day and the next day and the next which is really what I was doing and I was ending up with like especially under business or something like that I would have like 20 things and I knew I wasn’t going to get to all of them. In one day I knew that wasn’t even possible. But I knew that I would be able to um, maybe get to them. You know I always had this idea. Well you know like if I have time. This is why I’m gonna get to them and I had them arranged in order of priority. Well that meant the ones at the bottom of the list were just. Like some of them had been moving. You know from day to day to day since the beginning of the year easily possibly before and it did have more of a mental and emotional impact on me than I realized because.

08:25.24
jeffekennedy
Taking those things off of my list created this immense sense of lightness and relief. So now I have my ongoing list that’s on another worksheet and I have to figure out um a method or a schedule to. Go to that ongoing list and bring the things over to my current list. But so I’ve been putting since since I returned so just um, well really tuesday and yesterday but still I put. On my list for that day. Only the things that I thought I could get done that day and needed to get done that day and it and I did I got them all done and it was wonderful. It felt great. So. I’m going to try to keep doing that so I have quite a bit of um Erin stuff and so forth to do today and tomorrow because as I said we’re flying to Tucson tomorrow night. So I have things to do to get ready for that. Um, birthdays my aunt’s birthday. My stepdad’s birthday. Ah so and writer coffee I mentioned that yoga I’m going to try to go to inperson yoga this afternoon I’m committed to go.

09:59.29
jeffekennedy
Um, we will see tomorrow if I make it but I really really want to go in pro person yoga today. So I’ve kind of got my schedule figured out for that. So ah, there’s like I don’t there’s so many mosquitoes around I just can’t even.

10:18.42
jeffekennedy
They must have really burgeoned in the night. Ah so let’s see what else? Yeah I mean this just really has made a difference and I think that um what I need to do is like.

10:36.81
jeffekennedy
On the weekend or on Friday go through my ongoing list and put things on the list for the following week because one of the goals is to try to not move things from one day to the next to try to have it be only on that day and then ah. This one just dive-bombed me there.

11:01.98
jeffekennedy
You know have only on that day. What you think you can get done I have considered not having lists at all. Um, but too many things drop through the cracks if I do that? Yeah so I think. This will work I’m excited for this? Um I’m excited to see how it works on a weekend when I’m not traveling as I am for the next three weekends in a row. But after that if I have only a couple things on the weekend that I really need to get done. Then I will um yeah I’ll see I’ll see how that works and maybe that’ll help free up my weekend somewhat I oh I was I just about say oh you may have noticed when I mentioned my to do list I don’t have writing on there. Um. There are certain things and maybe this is telling that I do every day that are not on the list exercising getting my words in I think because those are givens those are just part of my routine. They’re part of what I do first thing in the morning I don’t have other things on there like eating something so tickling my face now there was a time in my life when I had myself so scheduled that I did have on there.

12:33.39
jeffekennedy
Like eating and sleeping grooming when I was really trying to get maximalia fishing efficient at my time but um, no now I only have the things that I want to try to move forward every day.

12:53.69
jeffekennedy
So um, so yeah, I’m really excited about how that’s working. It’s amazing to clear out the list for the day and then I delete that column at the end of the day when I’m done and shut down the computer then I’ve done for the day if it’s great.

13:11.20
jeffekennedy
Um, so I found one of the things that was on my list yesterday was to pick up my office which really needed to happen because it drives me crazy when my office is all messed up and I did get that done and I found. A note from a while back on something I had meant to mention and that was um and I can’t remember what made me think of it originally, but it was a. An interesting insight I was thinking about errors in books inevitably There are some and I was just thinking about when I was younger particularly when I was a very young reader and really starting to pick out and glom books on my own. And I remember in particular um, reading him McCaffrey’s dragons of pern books and finding mistakes I remember finding a continuity mistake and I nearly wrote to her about it. And now I’m glad I didn’t because it’s like now I know that authors hear about their continuity mistakes all the time and but I was so surprised that there was this mistake like where she um called a character 1 thing in 1 book and then something else in the next book.

14:45.73
jeffekennedy
Um, and then the other thing that was so interesting to me is like when they would do that teaser chapter at the end of the book and when I would get the actual book. Some of the words were changed. It wasn’t the same and.

15:02.56
jeffekennedy
And I was astounded by that and and I was young at this point. Um, probably I don’t know 1112? um and really starting to maybe I was learning at school some but also just starting to really analyze stuff with a critical eye. Really. Thinking about the text I was reading and putting it in context of the world and what those character those those mistakes revealed to me was this epiphany now I understand scrambled eggs I suddenly realized. That authors are human beings and I realize that this sounds kind of silly right? but you know of course authors are human beings. But that was I’ve realized now that many people never do quite realize that um you know that whole Kresley Cole thing. When I talked about you know someone dealing with health and family issues and how hard it it is to be creative dead and it’s like my most listen to podcast listen to podcast ever because um. Somebody like shared it to a bunch of Kresley Cole fans who were frustrated. She hadn’t come out with the next book which I believe she’s come out with since but several people commented to me. That’s how I figured it out like where were all these listens coming from and they said oh you know that they’d never really thought of it that way and and I understand because.

16:35.67
jeffekennedy
When you love books when you discover books they are these magical things and realizing that somebody created them and that that person is a human being who has health issues and who you know may be unhappy. You know that they’re not like. Some angel who just emanates books discovering that Anne McCaffrey my idol had made mistakes gave me great insight seeing how she changed those. Teaser chapters into the final version of the book gave me insight too on how a person might change things and she didn’t always change things the way I liked them? um. I did have some of that syndrome where we liked the first wave that we see things and tend to wet ourselves to that. Um, but I don’t know she also smoothed it in a way that um.

17:45.55
jeffekennedy
That’s hard to explain but it gave me lots of insight into our process and I was fascinated by that so I had wanted to mention that. And I don’t think I have a whole lot else to say today. Um yeah, all of my news happened on Tuesday yesterday was good day I am past 60000 words on shadow wizard. So that’s coming along well excited for that. Thank you for all the pre-orders on that one I hope that you all love this book and ah I think on that note I’m just gonna go get to work getting hour done before I go to ride coffee and I will talk to you? All you all take care. Bye bye.

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.

First Cup of Coffee – May 16, 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.

00:28.10
jeffekennedy
Delicious. Today is Monday may sixteenth and I am indoors for those of you on video you might be able to tell it sound wise too. We had a gorgeous gorgeous weekend. I’ve got lots of gardening done I am a happy gardening camper and last night we got a backdoor cold front. Um, which brass means it comes from the east. So almost all of our weather comes from the well actually every direction but east um. Northwest south ah, every once’s while we get 1 backing up on us from the east and I posted some photos I’ll put one on the show notes of the hermit’s peak fire near Las Vegas New Mexico not Las Vegas Nevada and we’ve been very fortunate. Even though we could see those smoke plumes from our house. It’s it’s actually quite close as the crow flies as the interstate drives. It’s about an hour but that’s cause it’s weird from here. You have to like actually go to go north on I 25 you have to dip south and then you wrap around. But otherwise like I can see the smoke flu plume from my office window which faces east so we’ve been very fortunate that we’ve had these beautiful clear skies with you know that smoke plume you know every once’s will take get really big really soon. Pop up and I’ve been reflecting on how lucky we are well last night we had all the windows open and that back door cold front came in and lots of smoke this morning. So. It’s also still kind of a pretty cool breeze coming from the East. So. Indoors I am I was just reflecting as I was saying my author of spiel that I wonder if I should change what I say do I even know what I write this has been my thing I’ve never known what I wrote but I just wrote a blog post for the. FaRo gals the fantasy romance gals. It’s sorry I think a gen x enough that I find like the whole file row thing really kind of funny the the eliason of ah you know it’s ah sorry some of that’s from french the eliding. Of of 2 words to make them and to to shortened words I try to keep up with changes in language I’m always interested in changes in language. But yeah anyway I did a blog post for them.

06:14.92
jeffekennedy
Which was way way overdue and and it ended up being like 450 words and I sent it to one of the girls till the set time the set and said that there is no reason on earth why that took me months and months to write. But so it did and. It was on epic fantasy romance. What is epic fantasy romance and basically I was saying well that’s what I write is epic fantasy romance. So just now as I was starting the podcast I was thinking huh how come I don’t say author of epic fantasy romance. Maybe I should because that way I don’t have to like say. 12 different things. Ah because I do think it pretty much all falls into epic fantasy romance.

08:04.32
jeffekennedy
Well thinking that there are few exceptions to that. But I don’t know I don’t know.

08:27.88
jeffekennedy
So yeah, actually it was a great weekend I had 2 meetings both quite short nebula conference is next weekend. So our Saturday meeting was the final nebula conference meeting and. After this things will be considerably better. Looking forward to the conference itself I hope everybody else really loves that the programming is gonna be great. Very excited for everyone to to see it. Ah. Had a meeting yesterday afternoon got to be on a Zoom call with oh I don’t know Mercedes Lackey Larry Dixon Connie Willis just another Sunday in my household doing rehearsal for the ceremony. All pretty pretty cool. So um, other than that like I said did I did a lot of hanging out on Saturday that was nice. Did a lot of reading. Still working my way through this reread of this series and now I’m going back and rereading some of the novellas long way that I never got to before It’s very interesting on book 5 it’s interesting. To me to see at which point I fall off a series as a reader book five I am I remember the beginning of I am quite certain I did not finish it. Um, none of the ending. Like from I should have looked to see where it was that I bailed but I I know I didn’t finish that book and I remember being and and this was I was looking when it was and it’s it was like about ten years ago see I’m craftily not giving you the exact date. So that you can’t figure out what I’m writing some of you might be able to anyway, if you know me, but it. Um yeah I remember. Not being happy with the beginning of that book I’ve been unhappy with book 4 and I was unhappy again with book 4 and I I rant it to d ringa about it because that’s her job to listen to me ran. But also it was in a.

13:52.68
jeffekennedy
By way of studying. You know it was. It was very interesting to me the ways in which a crucial part of book 4 did not work for me and it’s very funny in book five I could say the author. Assiduously addressing certain things that had bothered me about book 4 so I think I must not have been the only one who complained because she is almost being ostentatious about some of the things like ah ah. You know, um I feel like I’m gonna give too many details but Leslye Penelope who has wonderful podcast. My imaginary friends I haven’t listened in a while but I assume she’s still doing it. Um, Leslye had talked about. Revising a book and realizing she had forgotten about the dog. This is a thing and and Darynda and I were talking about it too because you catch these things on revision where you realize um, did somehow the beloved dog got left behind. And nobody gave it another thought for the entire rest of the book. It’s 1 reason why a lot of writers don’t put pets on their stories because you have to make sure that they are fed and then somebody goes to feed them and stuff and so there was a little bit of red conning in this book about. Heroines cat and I know I complained about this before with Seanan Mcguire that I kept getting really anxious about the cats until finally she liked and I knew I must not have been the only one because she created in the October day series. She created a next door neighbor who had a key who like if the heroine didn’t show up. At feeding times she would just go feed the cats. It’s like yeah, we all wish we had to have in this case in book 5 there was a bit of rec conning where she like says something about oh good thing that we had a house sit to be there for a couple of months to feed the cat and it’s like oh. but con the house center hu but I mean it it happens if if you forget about these things if you don’t have a good editor if you don’t have a good beta reader to say somebody needs to be feeding the cap. Ah or sometimes it’s like. You put in these details these great character details like a piece of jewelry and you make it be like this thing. Oh she never takes it off right? Great detail, wonderful thing until the writer forgets and somehow.

19:20.74
jeffekennedy
She is never ever wearing that piece of jewel bit again for the rest of the book. So you’re going back over it and you’re like reading your first pages and she’s like admiring her. Well so this was another thing in the book that there was an engagement ring an incredibly valuable engagement ring that got forgotten in several different ways. And it’s like oh admiring her incredibly valuableu engagement ring which you know like she loses an arm when it was the arm that the engagement ring was on. It’s like oh did somebody go back and that ring it’s easy to forget these details. Um and your reader. We’ll notice because and we could come back to this thing that I often talk about where I think you cannot conflate the process of writing with the process of reading because a lot of writers do want to. Say things like well one of my least favorite pieces of writing advice if you are bored the reader will be bored too. No no, no sometimes writing is boring sometimes it takes a long time. Well it almost always takes a long time and going back over details like that is. Meticulous and difficult and tedious tedious is the word I want but your readers are reading this book in 4 to 6 hours so they’re going to remember that. Cat and they’re gonna remember that ring. Ah you know if you take a year to write a book. Of course you’re gonna forget those things so some of that is just having time to revise and I realize that I am very much a black pot in this case because I am well. I did finish my revision on storm princess I revised a bit more on Friday I added more words this week I need 15000 words and I think I I should be all right on this. This is a little bit of I diversion here. But oh I won’t well. Let’s look it up. It means I have to open a few different documents though. So please have patience while we work because I have several different excel workbooks that I have open on any given day. And excel won’t let me change the order of them so I have to open them in order because I am persnickety that way and so the progress count workbook is the third one that I open because it start from the left. Don’t.

24:51.92
jeffekennedy
Ah, so yeah, I’ve got 78000 words I’ve got somewhere in the neighborhood of 19000 little shrive 20000 to add. So if I can get those fifteen thousand this week that would be awesome and then I can fill in the last. Thousand beginning of next week and have time to do my out loud proofing so you know I did this myself in um, dark wizard for those of you who have read dark wizard. There is a. Point at which so so this is part of the writing process is especially when you write the way I do as a gardener or write for discovery you discover things as you go along. So if you don’t want to be this isn’t very spoilery. So I don’t think it’ll matter. But if you don’t want to know anything about dark wizard and you haven’t read it yet tap out now. Ah, but she wears this copper bracelet right? That’s in the shape of a snake and it has little fangs on it and she uses that to keep herself from thinking about Gabriel because she doesn’t want him to be able to find her. With his sorcery. So as I was writing along I’d gotten to the point where she was on the run and being really really careful. Not to think about him so that he wouldn’t be able to triangulate her position and. I thought oh well she needs something to to remind herself and I’ve used this device in a couple of books I also gave it to Stella in the heirs of magic book books so she loses the habit after she falls in love I’ve like I like doing that. But it was something that I taught my stepdaughter to do because my stepdaughter would suck on her too littlest fingers and they got all shriveled up and so she would put a rubber band around her wrist and every time she wanted to suck on her fingers when she decide she wanted to write the habit she would snap the rubber band. And that little bit of pain is just enough to start teaching you to break that habit. So I ah gave that to Nick as well in dark wizard that she would have this bracelet to poke the fangs into her wrist and it kind of sometimes she does it hard enough to draw blood or you know don’t think about it because she’s. Obsessively thinking about him of course. So then I had to go back and layer in when she decides to get the bracelet and you know dug it out of virtualry box and that’s just a few lines you know like oh she’d gone and found it and dug it out of her jewelry box and all of this.

30:29.72
jeffekennedy
And it was all really cool and I had written like up to midpoint of the book and given it to readers to read and so forth and I was going to stop there I’d given it to page Sarah I was going to stop there but then i. Start and I was gonna move on to something else and I just couldn’t I just had to keep writing this book. Well I had to keep writing this book but I totally forgot about the bracelet. So upon revision when I went back over the whole thing. It was like oh guess that. Copper bracelet she never ticks off got taken off at some point. So then I had to go back and and weave it through and when somebody has a familiar or a pet I do the same thing. And go back and make sure that that it’s accounted for in our daily lives we have so much complexity that we’re we’re not even aware of all of the things that that we are responsible for that. We do just for daily life. It’s a level of complexity that we can’t replicate in a character in a book because it’s a boring amount of detail but you have to be aware of which details are critical ones I do wish that more authors would include pets in my work. Because very very few people do not have any kind of pet so we accept this about our characters, especially these kickass ones that are out you know like running all around the world fighting evil and so forth. But in reality if you want to portray someone who is I don’t know a pretty much standard person in some ways there are going to be pets with animals are a huge part of our lives. Many good reasons so I didn’t mean to get off onto that whole thing. But that’s how it is here at first cup of coffee I had a couple things that I was actually going to talk about but I’m almost out of time something else I was thinking about. This is kind of a short thing is wanting to pay attention to also especially for female characters is do they have friends and especially female friends.

36:05.66
jeffekennedy
And if they don’t have female friends but why not ah a woman who has no female friends is and and I have known women like this who are sort of quasi friends but some women are. I don’t even want to go into all the reasons why I think it is but some women are not good at being friends with other women. There’s like always a layer of well I’ll say competitiveness there and it’s it’s a problem and sometimes it can manifest in stories where you have. A woman surrounded by men all of her friends are men you know like lovers and so forth and it’s like why aren’t you why is it she relating to another woman and sometimes an author will like implement a best friend. Oh this. This gal is ah is her best friend Leon she’ll say oh you know my best friend but if she never has actually an onpage conversation with her best friend it makes you wonder if well maybe that girl doesn’t think the heroine is her best friend because she ain’t there for her right. she’s just um she’s just a prop I think this is somewhere where there are a lot of reasons for it but the bechyll test is very useful. It’s supposed to be a test of. Of female representation and stories I think it came from gaming created by Allison Beckel but it’s are there it’s It’s a very very simple test is there more than one female character. Ah do the 2 female characters have 2 or more. Have conversations with each other um without men present that 3 are not about men and it’s amazing. How many stories fail to meet that test and I would definitely encourage any writers who want to have. Well-rounded female characters that they have conversation with their friends about things that are not about men and without men present because women’s lives are rich and full without men being in. That we have to say that all right on that note I’m going to get to work. Wish me luck and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 8, 2022




Transcript
00:00.80
jeffekennedy
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 the fabulous Darynda Jones author of oh ah, you up the thing. Ah paranormal mystery. Young adult straight mystery yeah lots of things I tried to get her to do a trime for you guys and she was like I it it has to be like dy me do delivery. So I am here in. Fabulous portalis and at the home of Doinda Jones and she’s already started making it into a museum. You guys. So like when you tour where Doundda Jones lived and created her works There’s like the dog gates against the guest bedrooms and it’s just like visiting the sacred bedroom of Abraham Lincoln yeah and yes Jane Austen Jane ahusten there. You go here, you go um. And so I stopped at the hydration station on the way from the hotel and got my rather I said like grande-ish size but this feels very would you like I got an americano because it’s like because if I get an espresso. It’s like not enough to keep drinking right. This whole because Dorinda does a lot of the same ah intermittent fasting that I do so she understands we understand each other. Yes, we do so this has like you know enough that I could sit on that for a while and she had stevia for me and. And then a tiny tiny bit of c cream just to like cut that edge right? So what are you drinking? you have your I am also drinking americano but I have sugar you have sugar I actually picked sugar and and show them your fabulous cup. Winter so you have to describe it because some people are only on audio. Oh okay, so it is a very sparkly dairy sparkly travel mug with the winter soldier star that he has on his shoulder and then the back has the words. That the you could say to him that would control him that heck that he had to break they had to break and the in the so do we not dare say them out dare say them out loud but right you want to control him with yeah I mean who wouldn’t so dear listener Doinda has a thing.

02:39.16
jeffekennedy
Before Sebastian stands I do she stands I stands the same. Those things you didn’t need to know right? right? Probably feel my so and I’m trying to figure out why am I so much whiter than Torenda I mean am I that. We’re sort of sitting side by side and I feel like I look very white in this light. That’s very pale, pretty very pretty well. Well thank you so we’re doing the Jack Williamson lectureship and we went and did that thing last night. Listen to Connie Willis interview Walter John Williams and then went to dinner afterwards that was fun. Yeah, did you learn anything I learned a lot about Walter that I didn’t oh yeah and in his career this very interesting, very interesting. He’s he’s had a very long and. Up and down roller coaster career which it seems like all writers to right? right? Yeah yeah, but yes, it was very interesting and I also went to so Connie Willis’s daughter is a criminalist in San Jose California so I went to that yesterday afternoon and listened to her talk and that was. Ah I learned so much about her daily. You know what does a criminalist do and daily life and and the the stuff that they do in the lab and the different types of evidence. It was very cool. So are you gonna weave any of this into Absolutely yeah, you just don’t know how or where yet right? exactly she gave some really good tips on ways that they found criminals that you know that I have not seen there was 1 in particular that I have not seen in the book yet. So I’m like I’ll be using that. So can you share are you is it secret. It’s it’s well it involves a fitbit put it that way they use technology a lot phones fitbits anything. They can get their hands on and she said whatever you do it doesn’t matter if you delete it. It’s still gonna be in your phone so they have caught many a criminal. By getting their phones and restoring recovering deleted pictures and that sort of thing because so just because you you think it’s deleted. It’s not and computers are the same It’s never really gone. So it’s true that that’s like Facebook and Amazon and all of that they like.

05:09.18
jeffekennedy
Save everything forever. Yep yep, it’s there forever. So if you commit a crime don’t take pictures. Don’t take pictures and don’t wear your fitbit and don’t wear your and. Ah, ah and I want you guys to know I had to connect with Darynda’s wireless in order to do this podcast and you know how like there’s the joke out there where people say oh you should name your your wireless network like Fbi Surveillance fan so that you can like make your neighbors paranoid. Guess what during this wireless network is called but it is because you just couldn’t resist I couldn’t resist this is sunny I just found it. Funny. It’s been that for oh gosh probably 10 years and I won’t tell you were her wi-fi password just in case. But it’s on brand also so I feel like I have to level up to met to match like your level of being on brand my commitment your commitment to the brand. Ah.

06:13.86
jeffekennedy
So so what are you working on these days during actually let’s talk about I want I know you’re working on several things but let’s talk about your revisions on the third book the sunshine yes because I think a lot of people. You know, a lot of writers listens to the podcast as well as readers and but there’s always this perception speaking of like up and down and that kind of thing that like you know what is this your sixteenth published book. No, this will be 26 26 how did I lose track. Well, that’s because you’ve got the self post you I had the different stuff. Yeah, yeah, yeah, all the. And a young adult that was a long time ago. Oh I was a trilogy and yeah, so yeah, yeah, so so yeah, 26 books now and you’re working with your wonderful editor at St Martin’s but it’s been It hasn’t been a path strewn with rose petals. No, but. So. It’s so funny because I got very used to my first editor was Jennifer Inerlin who is now the president of St Martin’s and she’s busy and she’s busy and so I went to another editor so I got used to Jennifer’s editing style and she had a certain way and she would just write. She wouldn’t do line edits. She would write me up. An editorial letter and you know we were good and it’s kind of like a marriage. Yeah, you get really in sync with a particular view. So and and so I was very used to that then I went to another editor for 1 book and I wasn’t edited at all and I was like no. I’m not no book is perfect I mean they just isn’t I don’t care who you are your book’s not perfect and so I you know voiced my concerns to my agent and so she taught to Jennifer and now I have ah another editor and I’ve had her for 3 books now Alexander Seahlster and she’s amazing. Um, but we do there are things that she thinks of that I just wouldn’t think of and and it’s very interesting. It’s been very interesting and things. Like word choices that I wouldn’t have thought of like I couldn’t use should I say this is it okay to say I think it is because and because it’s interesting how and and yesterday I talked a whole lot oop sorry I thought I muted to my mother um hi mom. Ah now you know what? a. Whenever I’m saying oh there’s my mother awake and texting me. Okay there we go um and now I lost my train of thought so what’s oh because I was talking yesterday about being generation x right? and you know and things change and you try to be good about being aware and not becoming.

09:05.24
jeffekennedy
That grandfather where everyone says you know in my day my day I know what we called it and it’s like well yes grandpa is a racist but you know that was the time he grew up and you don’t want to be that person right? But at the same time stuff changes rapidly you know and like what feels like. An okay word to use even a year or two ago is now people are like oh wait a minute. Yeah you so use it and so I was really surprised at 2 of the words that she took out and I didn’t even tell you my bizarre story about writer coffee. So okay, so she had me take off thug and hoodlum. Hoodlum I got because that’s clearly hood. You know racist that sort of thing but thug I was like why thug. So I go to writer’s coffee last Saturday and lo and behold what are they talking about. Thugs the word thug which comes from faugy. Yes, yeah I did not know this at all I didn’t bring it up I thought I thought this is a sign from god ah god are you listening or you know like or the technology on your smart. This is true. Yes, it. It’s all out there and. Yeah, and how it came as ah, the british used said as propaganda against indian gods and nice or East India yeah yeah and yeah I didn’t even know that I was like oh well, no I get it and all those. Yeah, although still, it’s um, you know some of these words are so old and I don’t know but you know’s you you don’t want to hurt anybody. So it’s good to learn these things and take them out but then it’s like um, you know trying to lense these things from your vocabulary can just be just very interesting experience. Yes, so I so I have to tell you guys that duringda’s table has cup holders. You see this I can like set this into the the little cup holder. You would think that’s what it is. You know what? it actually is. It’s this is like for gaming or something that this is poker. It is for those little. Ashtrays all way back in the day they would put these little disgusting likes and clearly we don’t have them but we do have the the poker and I was noting that I was fidgeting with this that the poker things. I just thought it was a really pretty table. We used to have game night. We didn’t we never played poker but we used to do game night. So it’s it’s a beautiful table I mean do you know what what it this no I don’t I think it’s all fake. It was not that expense really I don’t know this looks um that has very nice woodgraen. Yeah.

11:50.73
jeffekennedy
It’s pretty though I just thought it was pretty. It is pretty. It is pretty and it has cup holders. I mean it’s kept up seriously yes, according to my grandkids those are cup holders too. So okay, though that that’s probably says a lot about my mental age right? There? No I actually when I bought it I thought they were cup holders. Did you all I did and then somebody told you yeah somebody was like no those were for those little extras. Oh learning every day learn stuff every day. Okay, so so you ended up having to take words out and then it’s just you know revising people often ask about the process of revising this and so. How would you describe your process I should have tried to ask it with a straight face joined that jones how do you describe your revision process. Ah gosh I I don’t know I just go through the notes and so Alex my new editor she does line edits as well as some editoria. And editorial letter and so I just did the line edits first and went through everything and tried to fix everything and again things that I wouldn’t even have thought of and um and then went to the letter and. What’s my process I don’t know I was curious. Do you like begin at the beginning of the book or do you well with the line edits I do right? just go straight through those try to get those done as much as possible. Um, and i. For the most part I try to accept everything because I figure. Well if it just threw her out of the story or whatever. Um, every once in a while I’ll be like I’m gonna keep that you know instead to fight for your joke. yeah yeah I do fight for my choice because that’s a thing. Like like I have a lot of jokes and and she will take out some and you were known for for your humor. Yeah, and so and every once in a while I’ll be like oh I got to put that one back in I’m sorry sorry I just like it. You can’t kill that darling kill that darling. But. Um, yeah, and and it’s funny. We were talking about how editors um you know like they’ll be reading something and maybe they have to go off and do something else or go to a meeting or they go have lunch or they you know sleep get a phone call or get a phone call. Whatever and they come back to it and it’s kind of like It’s almost like they kind of forgot what was going on to force and because sometimes the the notes will be really out of the blue and you’re like what Linda come I always wanted that when and sometimes like beta readers will do that too because they’ll be like well but you never said.

14:40.50
jeffekennedy
You know, like why he had the thing or something where did the thing come from and you’re and go back and you’re like here it is on page 10 right? where I say why he has the thing. Yes, yeah, it’s like maybe they just and and you look at it and you think well do I need to add to it. Do I need to explain? yes. Here’s why he has yeah to make it more sadly address something to get be a attention. Yeah, exactly? Yeah, but but sometimes you know it can be hard I I try to tell people this that it can be a real challenge to. No matter where you are in your career knowing which critique to take right and we were talking about this sum to last night about people telling you how to fix it? Yes, so a lot of times it’s like an editor or a beta reader whenever they’ll know something’s wrong not quite right not necessarily wrong but not quite right something didn’t hit him and then they might offer a way to fix it but a lot of times that’s that doesn’t fix it. That’s it’s that’s not the right way to do it. So you’ll like go back and you’ll think oh, but if I add this line to paragraphs before then that makes more sense so you you have to figure out the best way to fix it. It’s like they know something’s not quite right, but they don’t know what and sometimes they can’t even describe it right? right? right? because they’ll say well I just. Don’t sympathize with this character you know and and I think it’s because because he his hair is the wrong color. Yep, that’s that’s like a stupid example, but and you’re like no no no I know it’s not the hair color that’s bothering you but something is making you feel unsympathetic. Yes, yeah. Yeah, exactly exactly it’s so it’s like this detective exactly you have to really and that’s why to me revisions take so long because you have to sit there and kind of think about. Okay, what is the real problem here. You have to try to get in your reader’s head or whatever and try to figure out that’s that’s one of the hardest parts isn’t it to try to. Because you have the book up here right? and so you know exactly and it’s like how do I get it to what they know exactly and then even then you know readers make things their own right? right? Oh absolutely It’s it’s always um, interesting to see how some. Readers interpret the books right? Yeah I talked some in you and I chatted some about um Jennifer L. Armintrout’s most recent book and the whole kerfuffle around that you know and all of those readers saying that you know they were upset about.

17:25.32
jeffekennedy
I don’t even know what it was but like something did we talk about this. Maybe it was what someone else did you? you know like this one that just came out in her. It was like the war of 2 queens. Oh so yeah, no, we didn’t talk about that. no I was thinking yeah yeah did you follow that at all no oh well no onefuffle oh yeah well all of these readers or some readers. Some very loud voice readers unlike book talk got very very upset saying that I don’t know it had something to do with like that there was some kind of emotional infidelity and they were really upset with her and calling it the deal breaker and and Jennifer said in like 1 of her reader groups that they were reading it wrong. And and they got very upset. You know you can’t tell me how to read and all this which true. Yes, yes, but then some other people who read the book said but actually they were reading it wrong. But so it’s like interesting. Yeah, interesting. But I mean that is a thing you just can’t it I mean do you think there is a thing where readers are rating it wrong because you can go both ways on this. Well it but also to me if there’s more than you know. more than 1 person. yeah more than 1 person got this impression. Yeah, then I don’t I don’t can you read a book wrong I mean certainly we get like reviews where people like get actual details wrong right? You know like exactly the names. Yes, or. Or they’ll say things like you know I hated the part where she killed the dog and you’re like but actually she didn’t kill the dog but that is absolutely yeah, something went wrong. There. There was some discondent but but yeah, readers. And and it’s interesting if you go back and read something that you read a long time ago. Have you done that? yeah and you know like something you read when you were like a teenager or oh yeah, any say anything leaked to mind and done that well ah I hate talking bad. So. I am you can fudge the details. Okay, okay, well, okay, we’ll do that so I am a huge very particular vampire series fan. Well, that was absolutely huge. Um and I remember when I read the first one I read the first one on it. First came out and I left it I loved everything about it and and for the most part and everybody kept talking about how badly written it was and this is the book I think it is to start with a t yes, that’s okay and they kept talking about how badly written it was and I was like really.

20:13.98
jeffekennedy
Well and I was still new I was still writing I wasn’t published yet or anything and I didn’t get it and so you know now after having I think it was probably about two years ago I decided to reread it and I was like wow it. It really is better. still a good book. you know it was still a good book it was an enthralling book. Yes, and I still loved it and I still love it and I love her and I love what she did. Um, you know I she got hundreds of thousands of teenagers to read. Yes, who then became our readers. Yes, yes, yes, who had never read a book in their lives. I met many of them and then went on to love all things jealousy. Yes yes, so we are. That’s interesting because I have not gone back and read that but I I was really floored I had a very difficult time getting into it again and um, yeah. And well you had’t told me that yeah and I was like I feel bad I mean I a lot of people say there aren’t there’s books are not badly written right? and I I have set that I’ve said that on record on as well yes yeah well that I said that people do not read 800 pages of. Bad writing right? So it’s it’s not actual bad writing it’s something else. Yes, it’s um, that it doesn’t fit a particular aesthetic or style yeah style. Yeah, so what? So what was. What what about it? Would you say was badly written I would hit you wrong because now you’ve got this editor brain. Yeah exactly and I just it feel like it was written which this was her first published book right? and it was the first book who among us would not go back. Right? change. Absolutely our first publish but it was a first book. You know? And yeah, yeah, I just would you change things in your first post oh absolutely yeah oh I would change so much I can’t even yeah I I never read my books. I would change stomachma I cringe I’ve I’ve thought about that and I don’t know if you and I have talked about it but you know like my first published book was or you like full novel was rogues pawn. The first fantasy romance and covenant at thornance that Carina did and we’re trying to get rights back now and so now I’m wrestling with that. It’s like if I get my rights back and I self-publish it do I do you want to go back through it. You know because part of me really does yeah, but also I think it might be such a gargantuan effort right? that we.

22:53.58
jeffekennedy
It’s not worth that you and and put that kind of time into it when you could be yeah when I could write new things. Yes, producing new work. Yeah, yeah, exactly I don’t know would you? Oh that’s such a good question if I got the rights back to first grave first grave I would change little things little things like word choice. Yes, word choices I feel like Charlie I was trying to in that first book I feel like I tried too hard because and and in some ways you’ve talked about and I’m interrupting you. You’ve talked about that like in the early days you would go in and layer in the humor. Yes, in a way that you now just do as an organic part of the writing exact. But then it was much more deliberate. Yes, like joke deliberate. Yeah and I was trying to write funny beef people kept telling me that I write funny. So I thought okay well I’m gonna do this I’m gonna you know work I’m gonna write funny god god damn funny on purpose. I wasn’t doing it on her and um, yeah I I and I feel like I just I tried too hard and I overdid it and I and Charlie comes across to me, especially early in the book. It’s very unsympathetic because she’s um. When you write humor. You can’t be little. You can’t belitle other people and I don’t know because then it just becomes cruel. It’s Chris cruel. Yeah and I don’t know that she was necessarily doing that but it it almost is that’s on that edge there to where it was just a bit much and I would change that. I would I think I would go back and change it I haven’t looked at that book of mine I take that there’s a lot of problems with it structurally yes, see that would be way more massive a bigger undertaking and I don’t know that I would do that I saw. Somebody recently recently like last year or something like that reading it because this is part of it is like when people discover your work now they go back and the like back less them. Yes, bless you? you? Yes, thank you but they go and read your entire backlist and I I kind of cringe because I’m like. Go all the way back exactly? Um, but I saw somebody like you know, showed up in my tweet search. You know where they mentioned it. They didn’t tag me it. It was totally my fault that I looked but they were talking about oh reading coil thorns by Jobby Kennedy so excited and then. But she was talking about how it like she got whiplash going back and forth between the whimsy and the horrific aspects of it and it’s like I think I didn’t balance it well I didn’t know what I was doing right? right? right? So learning and yeah.

25:44.57
jeffekennedy
And I I wanted those things in it. But I think yeah, it’s um, it’s that refinement it’s getting the blend right and right now yeah so yeah, absolutely so that’s probably enough time. Do you have anything else. You want to say no. No nothing to say nothing and we’re gonna try get a little work done before we go off to the readings I already got some writing done this did you? Yes, it’s you I know such a good I makes you look bad. Well 1 thing that Walter was saying last night when Condy was asking him about. You know process someone does he write and all of this and he’s like that he writes like 500 words a day and does it like at 1 in the morning and he just works for a couple hours and otherwise he pretty much like naps and naps and eats and and eats and I was like how do I get this writer’s life. She asked what his favorite part of being a writer was and he said the hours and it was like this does not match my life but I but doesn’t match your why I just’s like what we’re doing it fucking wrong. We’re doing very wrong, very very wrong. Walter’s got the right idea I guess he also has like. The enormous backlist and is as his riches that he lives off. Yes, yeah, still where we have to figure this out. Yeah, we’re to work on that with all right? So we’re gonna go work on that. Um, lovely seeing you all I forgot to say that it was Friday we forgot to do the chair dance. I didn’t even say what the date was so let’s do it now today is April Eighth and it is you’re gonna say it with me do the chair dance. What is thisjule. It’s Friday it’s like Friday they ah so you are the wonderful weekend. And I will talk to you all on Monday yall take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – February 17, 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. Well ambrosia today is Thursday February seventeenth one day from deadline not that we’re counting. Okay, we’re totally counting. Ah yeah, getting there on gray magic I’ve got. About 50 fty-five hundred words to go I passed a hundred thousand words yesterday. Um, yeah, and so I like I’m down to the last couple of chapters and we’ll see how they go. Um. Yeah I I did get over three thousand words on it yesterday and I hope to get at least that many today so that I can have wind it up tomorrow and have a little bit of time to revise before I send it off. I only have to revise I’m guessing. Well let’s see that’s that’s how much it will. It is at this moment I know a lot of you don’t know worktown you know a lot of authors we work by work count because it depends you know people will ask me how many pages is that. And so I work in word and I use like standard one inch margins 12 point times new roman double space industry standards people will try to argue with me that those shouldn’t be industry standards and it’s one of those things like okay. Yeah, and there are a lot of things in this world that necessarily shouldn’t be but are so that’s still industry standard. That’s how I turn in all my manuscripts. Um, so that’s three hundred and seventy pages and I am guessing. That I will have in the neighborhood of 400 pages total when I’m done and so that means that I could go back over I mean do we know I guess we can see it’s. Guessing what it would cut it also depends on how much white space is on the page right? How much dialogue there is or as opposed to like really dense paragraphs. That’s why page county isn’t a really great mark for progress although readers of course use that. Ah.

02:44.56
jeffekennedy
So I’m gonna have something like 57 pages to go over. Although that’s probably not accurate because I have um I’ve been going over them so far as I’ve been working. Yesterday I had three lattes I’m cranking it. So um, yeah I could tell I’m tired I’m getting mentally tired but this is a push but then. Once I get this done turned in by about midday my time then I’m gonna do a little bit of cleanup around the house where things have been falling apart and then Darynda Jones arrives tomorrow evening in the flesh. She’s skin spend the night and then on Saturday we will do our panel for at beastly books that’s in the show notes she emily ma and I will be in person at the Jean Cocteau theater and it’ll be streamed. I think live streamed and some other people joining us via Zoom zoom. Yeah I was just thinking about something else like I won’t talk about it yet I’ll talk about next week and then we will then do into and I can have a nice lunch. She’s vegetarian these days so we’re going to um Sweetwater Kitchen here in Santa Fe which is great has great. Vegetarian choices and then we’re going out to Melinda Snodgrass’s house to learn about plot breaking very interested to learn her technique so it will be a um, a convivial weekend once I set this book aside then I will be able to just sort of enjoy company and peoples. And then Sunday morning I fly to Los Angeles where I’m going to meet up with a bunch of the SFWA people who are working on the nebula conference. We’re gonna do our site walkthrough and I will be there Monday and Tuesday coming home Tuesday evening so we’ll see how about. Podcast on Monday day Tuesday I um I might see if people want to some of the people who are there want to come on the podcast with me I might not do it. We’ll see because this is also going to be a little bit of a mini break for me. So I’m gonna set all those things aside and kind of um.

05:17.10
jeffekennedy
Try to kick back and rest my poor strained brains. So then yeah I get home Tuesday night and the plan is then to who knows of we have to find the correct date. So then I should have copy edits back for Wednesday so I’m going to do copy edits on Wednesday which will really only take me a couple of hours so that should be a good um drained brain activity for me and then upload on Thursday so I do have some time I mean I just have to have it uploaded by like. 5 p m on Thursday so I’ll have time if I want to do another full read through I could and then although I already have several things stacked up for the plane people have been asking me for various things that I promised to do and. So I may work on some of those things on the plane or at the hotel and yeah, and then we’ll see on Thursday and Friday we’ll see how perky am I am I might start storm princess I might just wait until the following week and then release stays the following monday. Monday the Twenty eighth and I don’t know if I mentioned here but I have officially surpassed the pre-orders for bright familiar. Thank you very much. Yeah I have more pre-orders for gray magic than for bright familiar which I think is a testimony to the the building. Interest in the series. It’s really gratifying. It’s just fantastic folks I I appreciate all the support and I have to tell you guys this really cool thing so there was someone who was in town a little while ago. And he bought a copy of dark wizard in print for be from beastly books and it was one of those things where I think he bought it to be nice. He did it to be nice to me. He did it to support beastly books. Um, he is a. You know a guy who’s really heavily into finance like Bren’s a hedge funded and this sort of thing and I really didn’t expect him to actually read the book you know because you know you do these things you do these things to be nice sent me an email you guys. I’m not guess say who it is because I don’t know if he’d want me to but listen to this email. He sent me yesterday. Um, you know nice things nice to meet you in Santa Fe thank you for being so welcoming I at last had time to read Dark Wizard over the weekend and I was so impressed.

08:01.68
jeffekennedy
It’s totally not my sub-genre and would never consider reading the book if some one gave me a plot summary but it is so well executed and such a page-turner I was really sucked in and despite myself I want to read the rest of the trilogy. What really amazes me is that you have such an extensive bibliography. You must be writing very fast but the quality is so high no idea how you do it isn’t that nice. It’s I’m just ah, just thrilled I mean it’s it’s so wonderful to hear something like that I you know love all of my readers and all of you guys are so awesome. But. Winning over someone for whom this is not their genre is um, is there a better feeling I don’t know and such high praise. So one of the and and I did answer him and this isn’t. Something I talk about extensively maybe not all the time. Um I did share some stuff with him. And I don’t know maybe I do talk about it more than I think I do but I kind of hesitate to go there because it sounds kind of woo woo. But I mean first of all. I’m sorry I should clarify that I’m talking about how do I write fast and of course I don’t write as fast as I want to you guys hear me bemoaning that things aren’t going as fast as I want them to go especially right now as I’m like brain drained on finishing this book. I don’t know why I have to go into the the high whiny voice I say that so writing fast and producing quality. I think the first thing is is that you have to decouple the idea that working slowly produces higher quality and this is something I’ve talked about a whole lot. This is really ingrained in us I think it gets ingrained at us in school. The idea that you must slow down that you must be working very slowly in order to produce high quality is just really pounded in us over and over again. Um you know like they tell us that on taking tests you know.

10:41.33
jeffekennedy
Slow down you know and give yourself time to think and go back over it. Um, all of these kinds of things. Ah I have a lot of complicated ideas about this I wanted to mention sort of as a sideline here that we watched marry me with. Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson and enjoyed it. It was very cute. My nail tech yesterday I got my nails done yesterday. Very important at least it was relaxing my nail tech yesterday said that ah she liked it? Okay, but she thought that Jennifer Lopez just played herself. She thought Owen Wilson was great but that Jennifer Lopez was basically Jennifer Lopez and I was like yes, but you know is it she always with basically oh she is um, but there’s this line in the movie that comes around because Owen Wilson is a math teacher and he says. If you sit with the problem. The answer will come to you and so so there’s part of this this idea of slowing down that you give yourself time to think about it. Um, and I don’t think. That it’s necessarily true. In fact I think it’s often not true that this idea that slower work produces higher quality. Certainly we’re all familiar with the idea that if you rush through something. You are more likely to make mistakes and so I think that this is sort of developed as the the opposite face of that if rushing causes mistakes therefore not rushing will eliminate mistakes is that actually true though. Because there’s something else going on here, especially when we talk about problem solving and creative work is that our brains don’t necessarily work slowly. So if you’re really wedded to the idea of you know we’re basically biological machines. Um. You know? and so all the wet work up here is what’s doing the work den sure you can still look at it this way because ah the way that neurons fire the the movement of electrical activity through the brain is incredibly fast. Thought. Is incredibly fast. Um, yeah, we can think about this in terms of um, you know like is thought faster than the speed of light and I think arguably it is right I don’t know why I have to mess with my hair and scratch my head while I’m thinking. But.

13:29.60
jeffekennedy
It helps with that biological wetwork in there. Um, but then there’s something else involved and this is where I get into the woow woo thing is that I very much believe in the creative subconscious and I know I’ve talked about that because I have that as part of like my author coaching and mastermind stuff and I you know. Productive creative I always forget. Do I do Um, yeah, productive creativity and I very much believe in accessing the subconscious that stories come from. From a place that is beyond conscious thought. However, you want to think about it. You know if it’s um, you know another world or who knows we don’t really know and in many ways I don’t think it matters. The thing is is that our creative subconscious. Offers us this incredible wealth of storytelling of problem solving for all kinds of things that we don’t have to plod through in a conscious way. In fact. The more that you can remove that conscious control the more you can get that subconscious to flow so in a way this still fits with the line that Owen Wilson used and I guess this came from a comic that was discovered at San Diego comic con on a table which is. Really fantastic that that’s where the story came from I saw it on Twitter and’s I was like this is your reminder to finish your comic or your story or whatever because here it was like on a table at Sand Diego Comic Con and 2019 I was there I didn’t see the comic but somebody picked it up and then it became this movie. Very cool. That’s kind of trusting in the serendipity of the universe too. There are these things that move beyond what we can control and understand but they work in our favor this this is like Taoism this is like the flow of the tao right. So the more you can get out of your own way the more that this can work for you and so this is how Owen Wilson’s line has the other meaning if you sit with the problem. The answer will come to you. You’re not sitting there with your brows furrowed demanding. You know trying to calculate doing the calculation in your head or something like that you allow it to come to you and that’s much like storytelling and this is why.

16:14.72
jeffekennedy
You know if we go back to talking about learning in school about taking exams and so forth working your way methodically through the exam might work for some people know what your process is and own it. But for many people if you. Are in tune with yourself if your mind is clear and you’re going to an exam you can look at a problem and the answer will come to you and for me I I learned to never go back over the exam because if I went back over and changed the answer I would in. Inevitably change it wrong. It was second -guessing myself is just like always bad and I’ve learned this about myself know what your process is um, a lot of writers talk about that when they get stuck when they slow down when the story isn’t working. That they know that they’ve made a mistake and that means that they need to go back that they’ve gone down a blind alley and they need to go back and figure it out. Um, for me, it means that I need to peck away and keep going because if i. Change my mind if I go back. That’s second guessing myself and I know for me that second guess sing myself is always wrong. So for me, the ideal is to get that creative flow and and I spent and this is sort of the part I don’t always talk about but um. I may have mentioned from time to time that I spent a lot of years doing martial arts um like more than 15 years doing kung fu taichee bag washingi various martial arts forms um various kinds of meditation and. I did a lot of work to kind of clear the garbage out of my mind. Um and be able to sort of sit with myself in silence to eliminate all of the distractions and overthinking. To get out of my own way that was something we talked about a whole lot getting out of your own way and so I think that’s part of why I can do what I can do and it and david has said it. Yeah because we did that together and he’s like yeah you know you’re just really good at. Clearing everything out. It’s sort of like having that nice open pipe with all of the garbage gone and just letting that story flow in and I don’t no matter how I talk about it here. It probably sounds like I’m laboring over it. But ideally I get to the point where it just comes and I just type.

18:59.58
jeffekennedy
But comes in when I get to the point where I’m really really thinking about it. That’s when I slow down and I think I I get in the way of the story so that wasn’t necessarily what I had started up talking about today or planned to talk about today but I won’t get my own way. Same as here on the podcast. Um, yeah, so wish me luck I’ll be back here tomorrow morning hopefully feeling good about things and yeah, you guys all have a wonderful Thursday good luck. Um. Doing whatever it is. You need to do take some time to to clear your mind and just silence all the distractions you all take care bye bye.

 

First Cup of Coffee – February 14, 2022




Transcript
00:00.00
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy who even knows I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Ah, ah oh the angels sing. Ah today is Monday February Fourteenth happy Valentine’s day to all of you. Um I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s day and it’s it used to be painful when I was single. I think it’s one of those holidays that like if you are in a relationship. You really don’t care that much. It’s like ah and or every day is valentine’s day depending on how sickening you want to be ah. But and if you’re single and don’t want to be It’s painful I think even if you’re single and you do want to be It’s painful because if you’re happily single. The other three hundred and sixty four days of the year and then valentine’s day rolls around and all of a sudden you feel like all of your choices are called into question and yes I’ve been that soldier so it’s um, apparently spring here. It doesn’t. Necessarily feel like spring. Although the dates are getting longer nights are growing more warmer. Sorry um, this is how my brain works. It’s chock full of like song lyrics and especially from broadway musicals at any rate. The sun is warmer. The days aren’t that much warmer but the birds the birds have decided it spring. So now I’m looking out my window at the portal and there are finches that are trying to make sort of this top spiral of. Wisteria vine up in the corner of the portal work for a nest and I just don’t think it’s gonna happen I don’t know they’re very determined I have did say to this is like totally off topic. But that’s what you guys have to. Are used to hear it first cup of coffee I got this suet because the Bush tits have been coming through Bush tits are adorable. There’re these tiny little birds and they come to in the flock and they cheep madly. You mostly know they’re there. Could you hear that cheekki deede d dede and they’ll just swarm to suet and so.

02:45.42
jeffekennedy
Been I’d been seeing them around so I grabbed a suet for them at the grocery store. You know like 1 those ones with chock full of meal worms and brought home and I could not find our little suet feeder bracket. This is like part of my life I don’t like to talk about is the fact that here we are back to Valentine’s day every day is Valentine’s day been with David for 31 years Love him. Best partner in the world in so many ways the band cannot organize shit to save his life. Ah, and when we moved into this house. There’s this workbench in the corner of the garage. And there’s this one relay long side and then a shorter side and so I said oh hey, why don’t you take the whole long side for your tools and I’ll take the short side for my gardening bench. Okay so David is one of these people was it is it a man thing it might be a man thing. So. When he sees an empty space. He doesn’t think oh that is the empty space where x thing normally lives or there’s that empty space that Jeffie keeps open on her gardening bench so that she can actually do gardening bench things. No he thinks. There’s an empty space where I can set my shit down I know that we have a suet feeder bracket. It is buried somewhere I I eventually he kicked me out of my gardening bench you guys he kicked me out and I I went without protest he he had like this brilliant plan. Brilliant plan. He’s like oh if you moved your gardening supplies out back then I’ll have room to organize the rest of my tools reader. He did not organize his tools I don’t care I took all my I just like fine. Took everything that could stand the elements and I even have a little bin out there to put things in there’s a couple things that stay inside like wedged in the corner. Ah and now the whole thing’s a disaster. He always thinks that if he can get my stuff out of the way that. That will like magically solve his problems hope springs eternal right? Anyway, that’s a digression that I did not mean to get into but anyway suet feeder could not find the bracket thingy so I like wedged into the wisteria vine where it’s pinned against the post. And and it was great and the Bush tits came and they were merry and all was well and then yesterday the suet gone stolen I think coyote stole it little fuckers. So I I bought I went on Amazon and bought one I’m supposed to come tomorrow and so.

05:32.82
jeffekennedy
I know I know you all care. That’s my um saga of the suet feeder. Um, birds are what in the nest. It’s actually nice to hear their spring songs. Valentine’s day halfway through February ah, okay, so. I did work all weekend I may be slightly manic and punchy I don’t actually I feel good I’m I’m feeling fine I made it almost all the way through my revision I did slow down Friday Saturday Sunday I did not get too many as many pages but I was also adding a lot of words so it. It felt like good work. It didn’t feel like bad slow work. But yeah I definitely slowed down. Um Friday 35 pages Saturday 30 pages yesterday 27 pages so I’ve made it through. 333 pages of 344 written so far I am a little shy of 93000 words like 11 pages left to revise right? Um I’m guessing at the 13000 words for those of you who not familiar I figured that by where the beats are so like where my f 1 word count is where my midpoint word count is at 2 climax. At this point I think I’ve made it through actually I think I’ve written all the way enough to be. Um, act 3 climax let’s see because I figure x 3 climax no not quite so act 2 climax I was figuring was going to hit somewhere around 92500 words I’m sorry scene 7 words at Ninety Two Thousand five hundred words transcript is going to hate all these numbers. The transcript is not handle number as well. Um, and then x 3 climax will be at about 95000 words and then partly because this is third book in the trilogy and this is the way it’s working out those are dramatic beats. But I’m going to have a couple of chapters of resolution of things that need to be handled are not necessarily big dramatic beats but they’re really important for the story in the world and for setting up the next book I’m definitely gonna be writing at least one more book in this series. Probably a lot. Which I know makes you guys happy. So yay who knows when have to figure out that storm princess comes after this. So um I had a point. What was my point. Oh.

08:21.72
jeffekennedy
So yeah I worked Saturday Sunday doing all that revising adding a bunch of words. Yeah, so you know like last week even though I was totally revising the whole time I um I wrote almost 7000 words last week which is a lot if I’m just revising. So I’m clearly adding deepening and yesterday I added another 1500 so making it. So yeah I’m I’m guessing I’m going to end up somewhere around 105000 words. So yeah, I’ve got like 13000 words to. Write and polish this week can she do it probably probably I’m at least I’m feeling energized so that’s good thing and I know more or less what it will be about all good things. Um, so I actually have notes look at this I have all kinds of notes things that I wanted to mention to you guys? Um, currently reading Juliette Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest Jeffe you haven’t ever read Juliette Marillier’s Daughter of the
Forest before why? no. You guys I have not why I don’t know she was like never on my radar I don’t want know why and then when the mark of the talla came out I got a um hair flip starred library journal review and. They compared it to JJuliette Marillier and so I bought Daughter of the Forest then which I think came out like 2000 and was you know and I’ve tried it I know I’ve tried it a couple times over the years and totally bounced. It’s very interesting. How my attention has changed I don’t know if it’s pandemic I’ve I had bounced off Thorn before too and this time just dove right in. So what is it I don’t know. Ah, but anyway I you know sort of been looking for my next thing to read. And let’s see what had I just finished reading I think I was talking to you guys about it. oh I read a a couple of things um oh I finished reading abandons and deaths that was fun and then I read a couple of things that I didn’t love so I won’t mention them although I like them enough to keep reading for what it’s worth I read this one story that.

10:58.51
jeffekennedy
Heard people talk and talk and talk about it a while back and now I haven’t heard much of it since and it was just very math. It was a fairy tale retelling I must be on a kick and because um, daughter of the forest is also a fairy talele retelling right? of um, is it what was it the swan prince. Something like that. You guys will tell me ah I just can’t think of it right now. I I have brain I’m like reasonably articulate but then other things it’s like no I have no brain I would say a sofa meeting on Saturday and. Was trying to think of a word and I couldn’t come up with I was like you guys I oh I screwed up someone’s name. Oh. It’s so funny because it’s Nathan Lucas I know Nathan Lucas’s name and it’s there on the Zoom only had it backwards so it was Lucas, Nathan which I guess was a relic of his day job and and I called him Luke and I’m like why the. Talking my call Luke and I I felt so bad and and they were all laughing at the um like really guys. It’s just words anyway. I’m enjoying daughter of the forest I will talk about it more later there is a thing I really want to talk about today absent of digressions. So there were some conversations I saw lately about um, Kindle unlimited and just to remind for those of you who don’t recall or don’t know Kindle Unlimited is Amazon’s subscription reading service so you pay your fourteen ninety five a month and you can read an unlimited number of books that are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited it’s also called kdp select from the author publishing side. Um, and it was very interesting listening to these gals talking about sort of their struggles with. Getting readership getting page reads someone was complaining that they’d gotten negative royalties and you get negative royalties because Amazon lets people return your books and they were upset saying you know that it’s not fair that readers shouldn’t be allowed to return books that they’ve read which. You know it. It is a problem and I occasionally get my books returned and there is a pattern where you could see people working their way through your series I saw someone else commenting on this where you could see them see a book gets bought returned next book in the series gets bought return next book in the series gets bought in return. And there are readers who will freely admit that they do this that they buy and return books because they don’t want to have to pay for them and yeah, it sucks that they’re allowed to do this. But if you are taking advantage of the kindle unlimited ecosystem. This is partly.

13:49.51
jeffekennedy
What you get, you know everybody loves Kindle unlimited when it’s paying big bucks for page reads but it does teach readers that they can get books for free and you know sucks. But that’s there it is um. 1 thing that I think people have to keep in mind authors have to keep in mind is that these people who do this are a minority the ones who do the read return read return there. There are some they freely confess to doing it. they’re they’re freeloaders they’re just always going to be that way. Most of my readers buy my books even the people who get the arcs of the books then go back and buy the book. They are awesome. They support authors these people that won’t pay for books. They’re gonna pirate it or figure something out. They’re just um, you’re never gonna convert them. They’re they’re just sort of like the. The crowd of humanity sorry but you guys are it’s a shitty thing to do. Um, you’re basically saying that you don’t value what the author did. That’s the next step in this. Okay, so there’s the. Unrepentant people who just won’t pay for books ever because they’re shits. There are the people who do buy the book and feel like it wasn’t worth it and they’re going to return. It. So some of these um authors were saying that they would never ever do that that they would never return a book. But one of the things that the Kindle unlimited ecosystem. Also promotes is this minimum viable product idea that a lot of people because a lot of authors because it is a free thing. That they they don’t go for the same quality because you know that’s that’s the big marketing push right? is that you say oh you can read this book for free. Why not? Well if somebody buys the book and reads it and thinks that it’s. Not worth it that they shouldn’t you know that it’s um that they’re disappointed in the book. Then yeah, then they can return it and that’s part of our society right? You buy something and you think it’s not worthwhile. You don’t want to keep it. You return. It. Some of that’s writing a book. That people want to keep and reread. Um, it’s not easy I know it’s not easy, but that’s the thing so then the other thing that I wanted to talk about and I’m kind of running out of time because I digress too much. But I think I can get through it is.

16:38.40
jeffekennedy
Some of these girls we’re talking about how en kinddle unlimited you come up with a different pseudonym for each subgenre in its I was thinking about this because basically what they’re doing is they are wanting to communicate this is the trope that you want to read for free that is. In fashion or whatever in Kindle unlimited and I mean yeah, it’s um, it’s a marketing approach know you’re taking they’re taking advantage of the Amazon algorithm but I wanted to give some history for this because in publishing. Um and in reading and writing that. The the brand of the book or story has always been associated with the author’s name right? Readers follow authors. So when you talk to readers about who do they like to read and and this is sort of like. How it was before kindle unlimited right? You know that people would always talk about. Oh you know I love Grace Draven’s books a little shoutout for my bestie I love Grace Draven’s books I’ll write I’ll re day think Grace Draven writes we all have our favorite authors that way our bookshelves are full of authors that we love to read their book. We love their voice. We love the kind of story. They tell now there was a. Huge push for a long time especially in like the early twenty ten s maybe before that I mean it’s been true all along where the publishers were really trying to establish themselves as the brand um harlequin is one of the few who was successful at this where you would read. You would pick up a Harlequin category romance because it would promise you a particular kind of story experience and readers almost didn’t care who the author was they would after a while follow certain authors but it was like oh you know I love harlequin blaze you know and they remembered and you would. You could get a mail to you. You know, get your harlequin blaze every single month. That’s a particular kind of branding right? But for the most part publishers have not been successful as establishing themselves as the brand of the book because readers are never going to be oh. I love harper voyager books I’m going to read every harper voyager book I can get my hands on right? Just doesn’t happen. They’re going to follow authors, readers associate stories with authors except now with.

19:15.29
jeffekennedy
This camillailla unlimited working of the algorithm and I don’t know if Amazon wanted to do this on purpose I kind of think they didn’t but basically you’re you’re getting people to follow the algorithm you’re getting to follow the subgenre trope. You’ll like. Monster romance monster romance is great but you’re getting all of these readers who want to read a monster romance and you have all of these authors using pseudonyms for their monster romance books and then they may have I mean there are people who have like 5 6 7 pseudonyms for all of these subgenres that they write. So do you see? What’s happening is these authors are no longer creating a loyal readership to their brand to their name. Um you as the author that is the biggest most critical piece. Of brand marketing that you have um and it’s it’s being set aside to pursue the algorithm to try to get the reads in the category. Um, and that’s that was what all of these little notes were about because it it occurred to me just occurred to me and I feel like I almost want to write like an article on this because I think it’s it’s not good for authors. You guys, you are. It’s like authors are voluntarily giving into this handing over the branding to a publisher because. In many ways. Kindle Unlimited is now the publisher right? So now this branding is happening in these little subcategories and it no longer matters who the author is because everyone wants to just jump in and take advantage of. Whatever hot trend. It is that and I and I chimed in and said you know this is I write as myself for everything I know I’ve been hinting at that. Maybe I’m going to do this new new project that would be under a pseudonym. We’ll see because it would be a real departure for me. So far that hasn’t happened. Um, but even then it would probably still be Jeffe Kennedy writing as because for better or worse I have a strong brand associated with my name and I’m so glad that I have that and someone was even saying to me. Um that they were. I got this great cover and I’m going long sorry I got this great cover for Prisoner of the Crown. That’s been translated into Czech and the cover for it is oh my god Orgasmically gorgeous.

21:59.30
jeffekennedy
Which is so great because the us cover for it sucks. Donkey balls I’m sorry it does I hate it and it’s better than the first one they tried to give me but so I was just sharing this with some of the gal saying you know here’s my beautifulful cover and you know here’s what the us one was and when the gals commented she said well. You know that us cover I would pick it up because your name is on the cover but otherwise I would not whereas the Czech cover I would pick it up. Not caring who the author is and that’s what we want right? We want to get those new readers and win them to our author brand with the story inside. But. That was part of what kicked off this thinking and I’ll put the Czech cover in the show notes or you know on the photo on the podcast. But um, I’m I’m really interested to see how the transcript handles Czech what do you want to bet. It’s check (it was! I fixed it everywhere else). Um, yeah so i’m. Um, excited about that cover. Um, keep in mind that you want those readers who say I would buy that book because your name is on the cover and because they feel that loyalty to you. They will buy your book and they won’t return it because. They’re loyal to you and they want to keep your books lots of thoughts for this Monday wish me luck on getting this 13000 words and change plus revised this week that’s gonna be interesting I think I can do I can I think. I will um, talk to you all tomorrow you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – February 11, 2022




Transcript
00:00.67
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first iridescent cup of coffee.

00:19.58
jeffekennedy
We just gotta take a moment to say for that today is say it with me is everyone ready. It’s Friday Woo Whoo um whatever day of the week is an actual Friday for you. I hope that you can take a moment to celebrate the existence of fridays.

00:47.12
jeffekennedy
Ah, today is 2/11/2022 lots of twos and ones today seeds and soil we’re working them hope 2023 really is the manifestation right. Ah, so um, yeah here we are here we are then I I have a little bit of a tired at this point it was funny Lexi Chantal hi Lexi who often listens to this podcast. Messaged me last night and asked me a question about something. Um, what date I preferred for an event and I was like I had absolutely no, no fucking clue what she was talking about frankly and I said remind me what this thing is. And she said you know this thing that you asked me to put together that you assigned to me for SFWA so I was like oh that thing my god had totally dropped out of my brain although I will argue that that is um, successful delegation. And successful trust in your volunteer that you can hand something off and never think about it again until they ask a question about it which unfortunately I told her that I would participate in this thing not unfortunately I’m happy to participate Lexi. It was just funny. Because right now I’ve got I’m trying to get better at compartmentalizing because I am fighting this ah you know what? our deputy executive director Terra Lemay calls it the curse that being president of SFWA makes you lose a book a year whichever whatever that means. Ah, book for every year that you are president a book. Um each year that you would have write written and didn’t I don’t know anyway, I’m I’m fighting this particular I don’t want to call it a curse. What is it. It’s a um. Dire prediction I’m trying to fight this because since I write full time I should be able to do this. But what I find is that it it has to do with mental bandwidth because you all know that I I always go back to the. Picking cotton thing. You know that writing isn’t picking Cotton running an organization like SFWA isn’t picking Cotton um, and and I have family who picked cotton my.

03:35.86
jeffekennedy
Great grandparents were sharecroppers in North Carolina Scottish um known and even my grandparents didn’t pick Cotton but you know my my grandfather worked in a furniture factory. So I mean there’s hard labor and and I will often freely invite it or not tell people that the hardest job I’ve ever had in my whole life was being a cocktail waitress that was the worst that was the most grueling work and I am so glad. I have the education and intelligence and privilege and all of those things that I was able to make my living in ways that was not being a cocktail waitress because I got paid way better for doing way less work. But. Ah, it’s one of those fundamental unfairnesses of the world. Tip your cocktail waitress as well people. Um they they seriously deserve it anyway. I probably went on a couple of different tangents. There. So let’s see not picking Cotton ah, but. There is a thing of mental bandwidth that mental bandwidth is a thing and one of the things that I’ve discovered is especially the way I write a book I mean I I know I’m fortunate in that I write a book pretty much from beginning to end and then I hold the whole story in my head. But. Holding out entire book in your head especially as you get into the final week of writing it is um it it takes up a lot of mental bandwidth right? It takes up there. There’s a little finch that just landed on my window ledge and is peering in at me. Ah. What that was a sign from the universe little redfinch and the blue birds of happiness are outside so all as well. But 1 thing I’ve discovered is that being president of SFWA. Does require a certain amount of of mental bandwidth as well and I’m trying to get better about compartmentalizing and I was talking about this with Kelly Robson the other day because she was talking about. Ah. How much of she feels like writing occurs in the back brain when she’s not actually writing and she’s had a very difficult several months here and she’s been grieving and she said she thinks that maybe grieving was taking up a lot of that. Um you know that back brain and she wasn’t um.

06:18.92
jeffekennedy
You know it was like the well wasn’t refilling and I can see that I don’t think vine’s the same way because it’s not grieving but I told her I’m really trying to figure out ways to not think about SFWA stuff when I’m not doing SFWA. Or getting distracted by birds now. There’s a ah flicker out there. Very beautiful flicker big bird I like looking at the birds because they are merry you get points if you get that reference. So. Um, compartmentalizing. It’s a big thing because the and in some ways I’m doing better because the book is edging everything else out so yesterday. Oh I haven’t even opened my um oh well I won’t but well hold on. I don’t have to tell you to hold on but I do anyway pause. Okay, so yesterday went faster than Wednesday did Wednesday I only made it through 32 pages though I added over 2000 words Yesterday I added 1300 words and I made it through 59 pages which was better. But that means I’m on page two forty One of 3 34 they have gone up you alert readers will notice. So I’ve got 93 pages left on this revision I’ve got. Ninety Thousand four hundred and seventy nine words so 15000 words to go which theoretically I can get done next week 15000 en thousand work week 3000 words a day does it give me any time to revise so I may do some work over the weekend. Sort of see how I feel but yesterday required you know some adding of words and still some pretty intense mental work and there’s still 1 thing that I’m trying to decide even woke up this morning thinking about it which is that. Back brain working on the story. You do want that to happen but I was thinking about where I could if I need to put this thing in if it’s important to the cascade of the story. I’m not convinceded yet. But I won’t sit here and think about it while you guys are watching and listening I’m I’m gonna let it go for now I’m not gonna revisit it this morning I’m going to come back to it and decide. It’s breaking me that I’ve got like this.

09:03.49
jeffekennedy
You know what? this is this little poofy thing on my sweater for those of you on visual. It’s because I don’t ever lay flat to dry right? when you wash your clothes when you’re supposed to lay flat to dry I put them on hangers and hang them. We have a big 4 poster bed and I hang them from the struts on there but everyone’s want to get like this poofy sleeve thing. What I’m wondering is I know my mother lays some stuff flat to dry but does anybody else in the world actually lay stuff flat to dry I mean if I had everything that I’m supposed to lay flat to dry. When I do Andrew was actually laid flat to drive and it would like I would have to have them I anywhere’t know all over the floors and stuff where does this come from who has a place where you can lay stuff flat to drive I know that that’s a total digression but I’m wondering these things. Let me know if you have an answer very important question. So anyway, um I did get that work done yesterday and then I was just depleted I was brain dead and I more or less took the entire day off of. Stuff with stuff I answered a couple of emails but I just had to have an afternoon of doing not much at all I mean like I emptied the dishwasher and we went for a walk. We went for a walk in the outside it was. It was nice enough to go. Walk outside so that was pleasant and I don’t know I didn’t do a hell of a lot else I’m reading I’m reading um J D Robb’s Abandoned in Death which came out on Tuesday and that’s really fun because I fintished – fintished? – I finished a work. Um, um, we’ll just see how this comes out on the transcript I’m doing a pretty good job of not editing too much although I do have to go through and fix names because it’s not right if names are wrong. There is some profound wisdom for you. It’s not right if names are wrong, but you could. Mark that down make a tattoo of it ofsh my brain my brain is empty you guys ah so anyway, um, what was I even saying fit to oh I finished reading Intisar Khanani’s Thorn and I loved it. I really did it is um, especially because the romance is not only slow burn but it’s.

11:47.94
jeffekennedy
Barely there but it’s really earned by the story. Um I appreciated that the way that the story flows and it’s really one of the big divergences between the way she did her goose girl retelling and I did because mine of course has sex. Because my stories always have sex and hers. Not only doesn’t but it barely has that romance it’s it’s implied that the romance will come later. There’s the beginnings of it I guess. And but I do feel like the way the story goes that’s some you know it I do think that it makes sense and I I think it’s a gorgeous book I think she did a beautiful job of writing this book. I loved it. Um I do think it’s funny that um one of the. Faro fep gals Lisette Marshall like her books a lot or was it her that that some these gals have conversation Stephanie Prater SL Prater and Coleen Crowley, Vela Roth, Maria Zuniga – hope I got that right? anyway. Ah they were having this conversation about authors who have sex in their books also address other bodily functions whereas other authors who I you know I I don’t like to use the learn word clean because it drives me crazy. But. Ah, have off the page sex or no references to sex at all also tend not to reference bodily functions which I think is an interesting insight because and they were I saw it because they mentioned me I think lizette mentioned me. Because they were joking about how dark wizard opens with Gabriel and his aggressive peeing. You know he arrives on the land of his enemy and the first thing he does is is pee on it and and I think that’s funny because my characters do. Have bodily functions of all kinds and I think that’s very interesting that those of us who write on the page sex also are more willing to embrace more willing or we’ll leave it at more willing that that within text we also. Discuss the body in all of its many functions. It’s enticing or not whereas in a book like Thorn. There’s um, almost a.

14:35.50
jeffekennedy
I’m trying to think of what the word I want is the the characters become you know I mean they’re very rounded and real characters. But they become almost avatar-like in a way in that they don’t seem to have human bodies other than where. Injuries are concerned. There’s not much else about their bodies and even the injuries were I don’t know like a step removed and I think it just has to do with like where we where we root ourselves. It’s it’s more of ah of an intellectual. Approach. It’s more in the head or in the spirit even as opposed to being rooted in the body I know that Grace Draven writes much more rooted in the body like I do that something that we have in common. It’s. Just an interesting thing to think about so let’s see oh. So then I finished thorn fat I should do something I realized I hadn’t noted that I’d finished thorn. And started reading abandoned in death on my spreadsheet and I don’t like it if I get my dates behind very important things. so um so yeah it’s really It’s always fun to read Nora she’s she’s good for especially when i’m. Drafting this intensely It’s really good for me to have these really competent writers in my head.

16:16.12
jeffekennedy
Sometimes people ask me if I worry about what I’m reading leaking into the story and I don’t I think I’ve talked about it here before once or twice but you know people who plagiarize other works are doing it on purpose. The. When they say that it’s subconscious or inadvertent. That’s an excuse we we are what we take in It’s a way of refilling the well. Um, yeah so I read abandoned and deaths quite a bit yesterday afternoon. Did a few things. Not a lot. Not a lot and we watched oh you know what? we watched Little Miss Sunshine had not seen that I think since it came out back in 2006 and I did not remember that Steve Carell was in it I mean it’s ah it’s a great cast. Um, you know Alan Arkin and Toni Collette who I love I think she’s amazing and I’m not gonna be able to think of his name. He wasn’t as good as it gets it might come to me but also Abigail Breslin she got you know was nominated for best supporting actress in that movie. She plays a little girl paul danow is in that but Steve Carell plays Tony Collette’s brother who tried to commit suicide and I was thinking. Well how did I not remember that and it turns out that Steve Carell was kind of a nobody and. 2006 he was a relative unknown in hollywood and but that same couple of years and it took him 5 years to make the movie and it it said that the producers and directors were a little hesitant who cast Steve Carell because he was so unknown but then by the time the movie came out. He had just won um maybe an emmy for his first year in The Office season. 1 of The Office and and also 40 year old virgin had come out and so he’ had like rocketed to superstardom. So I just think that’s really funny. I have to figure out the name of the guy Greg Caner you guys probably all knew this you were probably all shouting it at me all right? So ah yeah, I’m just going to get back to revising today at least now I’m into the stuff that I wrote more recently let’s just see. Yeah I am I am now into the stuff that I wrote three weeks ago so it’s much more alive in my head which is good and bad. Ah, it’s good to have that distance get that distance from the charm of recent composition right? But also it.

19:10.53
jeffekennedy
Feels more um, alive does that make sense I’m not going to search for more words I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to think of or maybe it was the day before what is time who am I trying to think of what’s the word for like if you leave school. And it’s like well not ditching and is it. It’s was it dropping out or was it skipping um being delinquent I was really having a hard time if only you guys were there too. Yeah, a little speaker on my desk and tell me these words when I need to think of them. But anyway so we’ll see we’ll see how far I get today. We’ll see how I feel I may work over the weekend to give myself buffer time and then I will probably take the following wake off see like I’m learning. Um, trying to learn anyway. I hope that you all have a wonderful Friday I hope that you have a wonderful weekend whether it’s time off for you or not I hope you are productive I hope that your brain delivers the words that you need when you need them. And I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye-bye.

First Cup of Coffee – February 10, 2022



Transcript

00:00.18
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:13.68
jeffekennedy
Ah, so good. So much happier having my full latte. Ah, just the best. Just wondering if my husband was going to turn off that timer. Maybe you guys couldn’t hear it so today is Thursday February tenth. I don’t know how it got to be February tenth something to do with the passage of time I imagine. Ah. Ah, this morning though I was trying to think she trying to remember if I was thinking is it today. The eighth or the ninth because I had some yoga classes I bought that expired on like the 8 and I was thinking oh I think either way I’m ssol. It’s too late and. But lo and behold I’m like two days too late. It’s been too late for a while I’m definitely getting punchy with book brain at this point if you haven’t figured that out. Um revision is preceding apace on Grey Magic. Maybe apace is the wrong word. What does apace even mean apace at a pace apace. I just start thinking about Ted Lasso and how they start getting into that. Um, oh I can’t remember what they call it. It’s not cognitive dissonance. It’s um I to look it up semantic satiation I think that’s so cool. So anyway. Um, yesterday I mean it was really good work that I got done yesterday. So I did not come away feeling frustrated. However, on Monday I got to 70 pages on Tuesday I got to 80 pages of revision. Yesterday I got through 32 pages so I am on page one eighty two of 3 27 but yeah, it didn’t feel frustrating because it was something that I I needed to fix and. I think it’s gonna make a big difference. It’s funny because a lot of what I’ve been revising so far up until yesterday had been stuff that I’d written before Christmas which just feels like forever ago to me and then now i’m.

02:48.17
jeffekennedy
Revising the stuff I wo and wrote in that week after Christmas but I came back from Christmas and I had lost my thread in the story and it’s one of the downsides of the of my process is that you know I tried not to go back and edit. You know, always pushing forward. So so 1 thing people ask a whole lot is like how do you keep yourself from endlessly. Ah I’m also out of words I have to tell you this. My brain is no longer generating the words I need um. But how do you keep yourself from just cycling over and over again in the same bit because it will keep people from finishing books. It’s it’s actually one of the major problems problems 1 practices that keeps people from finishing books is they keep retooling what they’ve already written. And sometimes you just have to push forward so my general policy is to push forward is to keep writing more and and I still think it’s good idea I had to sneeze there. Least I figured out the pause button so you don’t have to hear me sneeze. So um, yeah, it’s um, it’s kind of perfectionism if you keep going back and retooling what you’ve already written you keep editing second guessing yourself. It’s It’s a lethal practice. It’s that’s why my initial word that I chose was problem because it usually is problematic. Um, however, there is that point at which you do have to go back and revise and so were I just second guess myself which I try not to do because that’s part of. Trusting in my own process I would say that I wish that when I resumed with the book after Christmas after nearly a week off at Christmas that at that point I should have gone back and revised from the beginning to get my place again. Who knows if it would have worked but it’s not necessarily a terrible thing. So what I discovered as I was revising was and I think I actually hit it on Tuesday that I hit a particular scene where there was a new development something occurred. And I realized as I was going over that scene that nobody had asked the questions that they should have asked that it it was a big gap and you know how you’re reading a book sometimes and you’re and you hit those things and you you wonder because you’re like.

05:40.74
jeffekennedy
How come nobody’s asking this question why this is like the thing that would be at the top of their minds. How come nobody has said anything. It was one of those things. It’s like there’s no way they would have not asked those questions immediately. So I wove in all of that stuff and and. I don’t know slightly spoilery. It has to do with stuff that happened in familiar witch or magic in my novella that’s in um, fire up the frost I wanted to say under our winter sky my brain you guys mush ah fire the frost. So. I knew that because that’s a novella that not everybody who’s been reading this so far the series so far might have read I wanted to there. There were pieces of information and that that I needed to bring into this story so I spent a fair amount of time I think on tuesday. Weaving in those bits and I can tell you where I’m at so far because people always seem to be interested I have overall in this revision I’ve added nearly 2000 words and I have cut 1500 words people always want to know how much I cut for some reason and I’ll tell you why I ended up cutting that much I’m at 89000 words on this book now which unfortunately may mean that I still have 20000 words to go by a week from tomorrow. But we’re not gonna. Overthink it. Ah I may end up working through the weekend. Ah, but there we are so I ended up reading all of this stuff in asking you know having the master these questions setting up all the stakes. It really did need to happen there. Ah, particularly because and I was I was a little bit surprised by this that I hit it yesterday in the chapter that I am currently revising this is correct. Yes, this is correct. It’s at nearly midpoint where they have a conversation about this. And it’s funny because I thought I just left it out entirely I didn’t remember that I had written the scene where they discussed this issue and it’s too bad because it’s a really cute scene between Nick and Gabriel but. It was absolutely the right thing to move it up to put that issue before act 1 climax right? Where all the stakes need to be set. This is a big stake and and it just makes more sense for the story. So ah.

08:29.81
jeffekennedy
My nose is running hang on there I’ve got my handy Kleenex I should put it over here all right? So um, it was funny hitting that scene and being like okay well I did build it to talk about it I didn’t leave it out entirely. But it came me too late, but it was good so that was that was a big chunk I ended up cutting like a 1500 word 1500 words out of that and I but I put it my out text file. That’s how I partly how I keep track of what my net gain is. The project so I should probably specify that when I say I have added 2000 words. That’s a net so that means I’ve actually written like now look at this. It could do let’s just do a little formula in here. So not only have I gone to these pages. Oh but I’ve written like 4000 words over 4000 words this week so oh man it’s not not shabby. So yeah, a net king of 2000. So um, that fortunately gave me room to add in a scene that I had taken out or not done I had it’s it’s a choice that you make it’s do show a scene a particular event in real time or do you have 1 of the characters summarize it for the others. And in my draft I had had the scene take place off the page and Gabriel summarized it for Nick and I thought yesterday especially because I cut that chunk and I’d been thinking all along I really need to have that scene happen in. Real time and it’s one of those things that you know I know I’m always second -guessing other writers and and I think that’s part of how we learn how we decide things but it’s tempting to have. Some things happen off page and be summarized because it feels like you’re picking up the pace and maybe it does pick up the pace. Ah I know that my books tend to have slightly slower pace than many. So. So yeah I mean it’s it’s a choice. And it is something that ah you know like you don’t have to hear the whole conversation and ah books that are really quickly paced will will do that but my personal opinion is that most of the time.

11:15.36
jeffekennedy
when that when I’m reading a book and something occurs off the page most of the time it’s something I I would have wanted to see I wanted to to experience real time. So I will often default to that. Especially if I’m um. Ah, when I’m revising like this and I’m like well I think I had it occur off page because I think I realized that I’ve kind of forgotten to put it in and I thought oh well I don’t really have time but then I I could so I hit this part. Where I could see that I was groping that I was groping for the story and and maybe that was a sign that I should have gone back at that point but there are even like a couple of paragraphs in there that were nothing paragraphs and. Wonder if I could read them to you just in case, you guys are interested because I don’t think that it would be spoilery I haven’t opened the document yet but it was interesting to to come back to it and see. That I was just like not but that I was groping for the storyline. It’s probably the best way to put it and it’s funny because I made myself a note yesterday to talk about this where I said can stop groping and I looked at that this morning and I think I’ve mentioned many times. I’m famous for leaving myself notes that make no sense so can spot groping was actually not a helpful note from past Jeffie but I I did figure it out. So maybe it was hopeful. Ah 2 and some of this stuff in the outtakes. This is a great line like I just saw this one and I I might have to put it back in with a shiver she acknowledged his double meaning silvery column and black as the dark side of the moon that was her wizard I really like that one after. Find a place to put it usually there are multiple opportunities. So true. They had this really great conversation that I’m gonna have to find some place to put it I could try and put it in earlier when they first discussed this issue. But the emotional tenor is all wrong. So I don’t know so let’s see if I can find this bit just oh I didn’t really keep it intact.

14:04.53
jeffekennedy
Yeah, all right nevermind after all that I won’t be able to read it too but it was just a couple of paragraphs of me like going. Okay so what happened that evening and what should have happened was this seat was this thing and instead I was like oh but then they were tired and they went to bed. But I mean it was almost that bad. So anyway, yesterday was finagling all of that and getting it into place and it’s 1 thing about it is is that. I knew that this scene had to happen that this conversation had to happen that Gabriel summarized and I’d even made a note saying that he needs to get this piece of information from the conversation. But um I I moved it up. It also increases the. Emotional tenor of the story because yeah I had a remark I don’t want to spend a lot of time looking up stuff while you guys are sitting there twiddling your thumbs but um.

15:21.91
jeffekennedy
What’s funny. You know like even though I cut sometimes I don’t keep all of the things in there. But anyway Gabriel sort of makes this mental observation that ah he’s not letting it know just. How emotional this amount was for him and it’s like or Jeffie maybe this is the difference between showing and telling sometimes telling is useful for pacing in particular that you can just summarize things and say oh this thing happened but the showing is when you have the. Emotion on the page instead of Gabriel thinking oh wow that was really emotional instead. You have the emotion on the page. So um, yeah, that was all a very long way of of talking about what I’m doing but hopefully that is useful for those of you who. Find that who are who are writing and so forth or thinking about those things and I always appreciate hearing from the rest of you who don’t write but are still interested in how the process works so the upshot is that I have. Hundred and forty five pages to go and about 20000 words to write maybe 15 to 20000 I’m not really sure ah deep cleansing rests. It’s still doable and and I do have some wiggle room at the end there. Yeah, my. My copy editor proof reader wants it by a particular day but she’ll cut me slack if I don’t make it although I need to get it to her by like Midday my time on the eighteenth because she’s in Hawaii so she could start in the morning. And Darynda Jones Ms Darynda is going to spend the night on the eighteenths and then I have a whole bunch of stuff on the nineteenth the during this coming up to be part of a panel. I believe I have a board meeting on the nineteenth which I don’t know what I guessre will like have to twiddle her thumbs while I do that and then um, a meeting out at Melinda Snodgrass’s house. Where we’re gonna learn her how she does her plot breaking which I’m as I mentioned eager to learn and then I fly out Sunday morning to go to Los Angeles for the nebula conference site visit walkthrough. So there. We are then.

18:07.47
jeffekennedy
Um, and clearly this is all that’s on my mind right now. Yeah, it’s always like this you know getting coming down to the wire I’m finishing a book. No matter how much time you have. It’s just um, brain eating consuming. So um, on that note I guess I’ll go devote what remaining brains I have to to working through the rest of this and yeah, few good thoughts for me, you all have a wonderful. Thursday coming down on the short end of the week tomorrow is Friday so um so yeah you all take care and I will talk to you tomorrow bye bye.