Monday, March 31, 2014

The Best Laid Plans

2014 was supposed to be my year, wasn’t it?  I had so many plans for myself.  Now March is drawing to a close and most days I feel worse about myself than ever before.  In some ways I blame the weather.  Every time I craft plans for myself, things I want to accomplish, it seems that it snows or rains again.  How nice would it be to string together three nice days in a row?  Money also continues to be a worry; I was overdrawn at the bank this month for the first time in over five years.  My lack of income was always a concern but somehow I managed to keep a positive balance despite having no steady job after December 2010.  I’m sure things are going to be dodgy money-wise at least through my birthday, which is no longer the financial windfall it was once upon a time.  The older you get, the less people care about you.  That’s the honest truth.  I literally cannot afford to buy Heart Trouble even though it is now available in paperback.  I do hope that things can eventually turn around, that at some point I can recapture my previous sales success in publishing.  I am trying to finish two different books, and I have another idea in the queue.  I just don’t have much confidence in my writing anymore, which matches the fact that I’ve never had any confidence in myself.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Paperback Writer

At long last, Heart Trouble is available to order in paperback form.  To be honest, I cannot afford to buy a copy of my own novel, which should tell you something about the ups and downs of being a writer.  Heart Trouble was not one of my longer novels, and it is a quick read.  But it also marks the point where I changed my writing style and tried to branch out into some different territory.  I’m not sure when it will be available but it is up for ordering, and that is the important fact given my long wait time.  Then again, publishing tends to move at the speed of a glacier, and the only way to have a book available immediately is to print it yourself.


http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Trouble-Tommie-Conrad/dp/1440571457/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1395666617&sr=8-1&keywords=heart+trouble+tommie

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Adaptation

My last novel was written in twenty-one days, which may or may not be a statistic worth repeating.  With the current one, however—I am 23,000 words into it—I find myself being a lazy writer, not having added any text for the past three days.  I think my lack of initiative may be the result of several different factors:  indifference to my last two books, lack of attachment to my current characters, or perhaps a loss of my writing inspiration.  I can clearly see my hero and heroine, the progression of their relationship and its ultimate endgame, but I don’t think I’ve been happy enough lately to give anyone else’s story its proper conclusion.  I have grown increasingly disenchanted not with writing but with lip service. I have eagerly been anticipating the paperback of my published novel for months now, as I have plans in my mind to promote it to a magazine with a large readership and wide coverage.  As the months pass, it seems increasingly pointless: if the book is ever printed, I will ship it for review, but it becomes a question of timeliness; will anyone care if the book is a year old by that point?  Have I missed my chance to make a big push and have people by the book?  I know all authors—all people, really—must multitask, and I can do it as well (or as poorly) as anyone.  But it’s very difficult to accomplish your goals when you have so much on your mind.

  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cover of Darkness

Regular readers of this blog will remember that I wrote a 72,000 word novel during the first twenty-one days of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The turnaround time on this novel was not so great—it took me three months from completion to publication, which admittedly is shorter than most publishing lead times.  I was lackadaisical when it came to editing, holding off on the business of revisions until January, nearly two months after it was complete!  I at least have a valid excuse for the slowness of the rest of the project:  snow.  The weather has made it very difficult—make that extremely difficult—to get to a decent internet connection and upload my book.  I also struggled with crafting a cover.  I’m still not one-hundred-percent happy with the covers of “Dark Horse” or “Cover of Darkness”, but you get what you pay for.  And employing myself as a graphic designer is certainly economical.  I have no clue if the novel is any good, but I enjoyed writing it.  As always, readers, I leave my success in your hands.






Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Dangers of Procrastination


Call this particular blog a cautionary tale.  I completed a novel for NaNoWriMo back in November and it has been mentioned extensively in this blog.  For most of the next two months I did very little editing before jumping in feet-first in January.  As usual I was fairly happy with what I had written:  generally speaking I only change words and restructure sentences during the editing process.  After two-and-a-half edits, I was ready to publish.  I styled and began the upload process.  Herein lies the problem; due to the poor winter weather I have been unable to venture out and get everything done at once.  I have to travel to the public library in order to achieve a suitable internet connection.  I first began production of the books nearly two weeks ago, and while I completed the e-book in two sittings—I plan to redo the cover at some point—the paperback remains in the queue, with a cover that also needs to be edited amongst numerous other items on the checklist.  This experience has taught me that my focus needs to be on producing and promoting product in a timely manner.  Yes, the book needs to be a quality product, but it shouldn’t be a burden that consumes too much extra thought outside of giving the finished item some promotional muscle.   Lesson learned.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Songs for Sale


I’m never quite sure how to frame a blog that’s little more than a sales pitch, but I wanted to put it out there for anyone who didn’t know, or hadn’t bought a copy, that Heart Trouble is available for 1.99 on Amazon for the entire month of February.  I’ve posted the links on Facebook and twitter several times, and I will now post it for anyone who might have missed it or is interested in the e-book.




Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cabin Fever


I am not even sure when I will be able to post this blog—that’s how bad the weather has been.

People are fond of saying that the summers are warmer, and that the years are heating up until the point that the polar ice caps will melt and we will all need snorkels.  I can’t find any evidence of such an occurrence. This is undoubtedly the worst winter I can remember in the past twenty years.  In the winters of 1993 and 1994 I can remember missing plenty of school due to the snow.  Even the interstates were shut down due to the inclement weather and poor conditions.  While we have yet to experience (thankfully) the two-foot blizzards of snow of my childhood, this winter has been interminable.  It got an early start, snowing before Thanksgiving and seldom letting up since.  Christmas was thankfully free of anything heavier than a dusting.  Then the Arctic air swept down from above and put us in an icebox.  For most of January it has been the same pattern: cold, snow, brutal cold, snow, more brutal cold, more snow.  I have never been so eager for warm weather in my entire life.  It is difficult in these conditions to find the motivation to do anything.  Lately I have been trying to keep busy but there are only so many episodes of Dallas you can watch and only so many pages of a book to read before your eyes get tired.  Whatever else has come to pass due to the cold weather, one truth remains:  I picked the absolute right time to grow a beard.