Monday, March 13, 2017

On Hiatus



At present family and work need more of my time, so I'm going to put the blog on hiatus until I catch up. See you when I do.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Whole Story

With the upcoming release of Disenchanted & Co. in French I've been getting some e-mails about when I might be returning to traditional publishing. Let me shed some light on the subject.

It took me four years to sell my last two traditionally-published novels. I had to leave the publisher I had worked with for fifteen years in order to get them published. Once I finally secured a contract, I also wrote a free promotional e-book, created a blog for the new series, solicited the cover quotations, took a booth at a national convention where I spent three days selling myself as well as the books, had countless giveaways, sent out review copies to anyone willing to read them, and did a (for me) huge amount of self-promotion in order make the new series a success.

I didn't resent any of it, as I think those books are among the best stories I've ever written. Shortly after the print publication of the second novel, however, I started to go blind. I did have to deal with that, which I think everyone can understand took priority over continuing the self-promotion.

When I finally recovered from two eye surgeries, my publisher indicated that sales of the books would not support any new releases in the series, and I was out of a job. I failed. I was finished.

That sounds like the end of the story, but for me it was just the beginning of a new one.

As I've always preached to you, I didn't give up. I went about finding a way to still work as a professional writer. It took some time, but eventually I succeeded. Three years later I'm employed full-time as a freelance ghost writer and copy writer. I've carefully built a list of terrific private clients who employ me regularly, treat me with respect, give me enormous creative freedom, and pay me quite well.

I'm really happy, too. I no longer have to deal with anything but the writing for the very first time since turning pro back in 1998. I realize now this is what I should have been doing all along, so it's actually a wonderful thing that I failed so miserably.

Some readers feel angry or frustrated with me for not doing more to deliver new books under my byline, and I'm sorry about that. I know many of you are supportive of my work, and for that I will always be grateful. If I ever publish under my byline again, it will be for you.

That said, I need to make a living, and (just like everyone else) I want to be happy in my work. That means writing stories and copy for my clients instead of my readers. So for now, I hope you will understand and be supportive of this new chapter in my writing life.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Marching On

Time gets away from us, doesn't it? When I'm working I hardly have any awareness of it, how much has elapsed, the hours I spend in my writing space, etc. On those occasions when I'm in the zone I forget time altogether. The dogs often have to remind me that it's the hour for our walk, or to start dinner (they get fed when we eat, but they always want theirs early) or even when I should be in bed instead of at the computer.

I've always been like this, which is why I have so many calendars and planners and such. Without them I'd be entirely clueless as to the date. It is Monday, right?

I have no idea what happened to February, but it's poofed, vanished, gone. Last time I checked the calendar it was February 24th. I woke up this morning and it's March 6th. I can tell you I spent the last week of February and the first week of March building, fine-tuning and mapping out a new universe for a client. At the same time I've been putting together my series notebook, ordering research books, and getting settled in for the long haul, writing-wise. In the process most of the personal stuff I had planned for February poofed on me, too.

Back in January I started working on a tote to take to the county quilt show and share some new ideas I had with my sewing sisters. I had basically a month to get it done, and I didn't. So I took the unfinished work to the show, and got teased for being overly-ambitious. Still shared my ideas, which was thing most important to me. I might start working on next year's show project as soon as I finish this one, though.

Despite the inexplicable time jump from February to March I got the important personal stuff done: the family and the dogs are cared for, the house is relatively clean, and the laundry is under control. I'm almost ready for the next visitor. Sometime today I need to go grocery shopping or we're having soup and sandwiches again, but other than restocking the pantry and the fridge, I'm good to go for March.

I used to beat myself up for not finishing things according to plan. Only when I realized that I will always plan more than I can actually do did I stop smacking myself over things undone.

Time marches on. Yesterday (and really, it seems like just yesterday) I brought my youngest home from the hospital after a nineteen-hour labor with a midwife supervising the delivery. This past week she flew to Washington DC for a science conference. On her own -- this because she's not a newborn; she's a grown woman. Between these two events in her life and mine there were twenty-three years, but from my POV it might as well be twenty-three minutes.

Time does not wait for you to notice it. It is a perpetual army of moments, indifferent to you and on the move forever. Our lives and our time here are finite, so make the most of yours.

Friday, March 03, 2017

WFH Op

Looking for ghost writer work? I spotted this op over in the paying markets forum at AbsoluteWrite.com:

"I'm looking for a ghostwriter, for a 30k words story, the payment is 0,025 USD per word. It should be satirical in nature and containing some fetish scenes. If interested, please write an email to: dirtysecrets@mailfence.com , with a short sample of your work."

As far as the info goes it's a little sparse. If that comma in the payment is supposed to be a decimal point, then the job pays $750.00, which is not bad. I'd e-mail first, confirm the rate and ask any questions you might have about the genre and details before you submit. Satire can be a lot of fun, but anyone who is uncomfortable with writing fetish material should probably skip this one.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Gerard

According to a family statement in comments at his blog, Gerard Vlemmings, the host of The Presurfer, passed away suddenly last Saturday, evidently from lung cancer.

Over the years here at PBW I frequently credited Gerard for the links I swiped from The Presurfer and his other site, The Generator Blog. I started reading his blog way back in 2003, and have visited The Presurfer almost daily ever since. He was not only hugely popular, but a terrific gentleman with a truly wry wit. Now and then I was able to contribute a lead to him for his blog to pay him back for all the interesting links he passed along to his readers.

I always counted on Gerard to be part of my morning. He never failed to deliver something interesting and thoughtful to my day. He was a genuine online treasure, and I will miss him more than I can express.

Safe journey, my friend.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Quilt Show Pics

I had an amazing time at this year's county quilt show. I saw so many beautiful quilts, talked with their incredibly talented makers, and got some wonderful ideas for my own work. Kat went with me one day so I got to show off my kid to my friends. I think I completely recharged my creative batteries too, always a great thing.

We also had fantastic luck with the show raffles. I won two: a huge basket filled with yarn and pattern books, and a adorable ceramic purse stuffed with fat quarters, sewing tools, and a journal:



My daughter was the big winner with this lovely wine rack filled with fabric, patterns and even two bottles of very nice vino:



It's also a little funny -- none of us drink -- but the bottles will go to friends who appreciate wine. Kat generously gave me all the fabric and patterns, so I'll have to make her something neat.

With fingers crossed that this slideshow embed code works, here are some of the pictures I took of the show quilts (Added: the embed thing isn't working for everyone, so here's the link to open it in another window: http://s259.photobucket.com/user/LynnViehl/slideshow/2017%20PBW/Quilt%20Show%202017):

Friday, February 24, 2017

Off to the Quilt Show

I'm taking off today to hang with some of my quilter pals who are in town for my favorite county quilt show, where I invested in this for my daughter:



The Quilting Goddess smiled on me, too, as I won a door prize:



It's so cool -- I don't own a pin magnet, and I've never made a rag quilt. Free fabric, too.

I'll be back on Monday with pictures of the show -- until then, have a good weekend.