Despite how busy and strange this month has been, I still managed to cross the Camp NaNoWriMo finish line for the fourth straight year in a row! It's hard to believe I've been at this, in a constant and dedicated fashion, long enough for it to theoretically be a college degree. This is, by no means, to say that I feel like I know everything about How To Be A Self-Published Author: that'd be impossible. I will say that there are probably a few secrets lurking in the practice of surrounding yourself with people and experiences which make you happy and/or inspired. (For the curious: those current experiences, for me, include watching the entirety of Twin Peaks, attending a community theatre performance of The Hound of the Baskervilles, helping a friend move, picking blueberries while there's still dew on them, and stepping up my artistic noodling away from the written word.)
Those of you with a sharp eye may notice that I've changed the Arts & Crafts section of my website and removed my link to my DeviantArt gallery, replacing it with an onsite one. Not only does it make it easier for you all to see my art, but it helps pave the way for my secondary creative venture: an arts and crafts storefront called Gifts of Awen. Some of it is related to Aviario, but a good deal of it will be more inspirational and metaphysical in nature, focusing on the intent of creating magical and/or peaceful art for small spaces. My first project for Gifts of Awen is a series of artist cards dedicated to the seven chakras. Here's a peek at the first two, which I completed last night:
My goal is to also create postcards and other prints of these, along with other small art designed to help people find insight, inspiration, and a moment of peace in a busy, cluttered world. Commisssions will also be available through the site: I have several slots currently open. If you would like to see what else I have up at the moment, I'd be honored if you'd join me over at the storefront. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will also see pictures of new pieces as they're completed and posted! This may also mean the return of The Author's Oracle ... only time will tell. For now, I'm headed back to my creative corner to chip away at The Proper Bearing and work on some more illustrations. I hope you all have a lovely week!
I'm not sure about the rest of you, but for me, the new year is the start of a new cycle: a time to refresh, take stock of what's ahead, and change anything that wasn't quite working for the best. This year, I'm not only applying that strategy to my home life (I spent the weekend rearranging my living room, to great success), but to my life as an author - if you haven't yet, please have a look around at the changes I've made to my website! It's now even easier to order both of my novels in the format you prefer.
Since change moves in ripples, and things elsewhere in my life are shifting, my writing schedule has changed, as well. Here's where you'll be able to find me during any given week:
Mondays: I post the theme for #2bitTues on Twitter, and do rounds of my other social media: Patreon, LinkedIn, Google+, Goodreads, Facebook, etc. (Links to follow me can be found on the home page!)
Tuesdays: It's #2bitTues, which means I encourage fellow independent authors to share lines from their current work-in-progress (WIP) on Twitter! I'll also do most of my catching up with other folks there.
Wednesdays: Updates to this blog will still happen on Wednesdays. It's also a writing day!
Thursdays: I participate in another Twitter game, #Thurds, do some writing, and kick back with a fellow indie author's book.
Fridays: Writing day again! The biggest change is that my newsletter, Friday at Charlie's, will only be going out on the last Friday of every month. This way, I can provide more content and take up less space in the mailboxes of my Friends of Aviario.
Weekends are for writing, and much-needed time off. I have loved ones to spend time with and a world to enjoy and be inspired by, after all!
That's all for now, friends! Until next week, I hope you all find reasons to smile!
Wondering when to expect certain content from me, or what #2bitTues is? You're in the right place!
Monday: I post the week's #2bitTues theme on Twitter for participants who like to choose & schedule their tweets in advance. This is also the day I do most of my promotional legwork for my debut novel, From the Desk of Buster Heywood.
Tuesday: I spend most of Tuesday on Twitter because it's 2-Bit Tuesday! This is a sharing exercise similar to #1lineWed with one big difference: the weekly theme is completely optional. Writers are encouraged to share lines from their WIP (work-in-progress), as long as there are no promotional links in their tweets. I started this weekly tradition six months ago, and it's grown into a community of supportive authors that I'm proud to be part of. Come and join us: even if you aren't an author, you might discover a new favorite!
Wednesday: Mornings are for Welcome Wednesday, when I greet my new followers on Twitter.
Thursday: I update this here blog and share links to Twitter and Facebook.
Friday: I send out my weekly newsletter, Friday's At Charlie's Bar, to all my Friends of Aviario! You can sign up for it here: I share little tidbits and news that you won't see on my blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
Of course, there will be links and other amusements on my Facebook page on any given day of the week... please be sure you're following me there, too, so you don't miss anything!
It's already beginning. As I sit here, this blog post is being fueled by a mixed bowl of Cocoa Puffs and Fruit Loops. I am still in my pajamas. My fiancee, the Super Ferret, is on a mad dash to the store to buy Doritos, Mountain Dew, and quick frozen food that we can eat on our already-existing stockpile of paper plates and other "fine china" so that we might exist on minimal food preparation. My sister calls this NoNutNo (No Nutrition November), and aside from setting the lofty goal of one home-cooked meal a day, I may have to admit, she's on to something.
Welcome to National Novel Writing Month. Only the words matter. I should be noveling right now, but there may or may not be posts for Between The Lines. There will likely not be any Friends of Aviario emails. #2bitTues will be happening with a vengeance.
I'll see you all on the other side. With most of a novel.
Now that you all have that lovely little earworm in your minds, hello, readers! I hope you've all enjoyed your last few weeks as much as I have. From The Desk of Buster Heywood is officially a week old, tomorrow, and I have to say, I'm very proud of our protagonist. I had said previously on Facebook and in my newsletter that the novel would be available in print by tomorrow, but I have a few tweaks that I want to make before I submit the file to Lulu.com. I'm hoping that you'll be able to buy it in ink-and-paper and enjoy that lovely new book smell sometime next week.
This week, however, I would like to talk to you about desks, since that's a word you've been seeing a lot...
so that I could work on the novel wherever I happened to be. Handwriting became my preferred method, and having to work without a desk turned out to give me a brand new, far more effective system of writing and editing. You can be sure, though, that as soon as we moved into our current apartment, the desk was returned to its former glory. I'm sitting at it as I type this, surrounded by books which inspire me, pictures of loved ones to encourage me, and a few of my other creations to remind me why I'm here. (Look closely: there's a clay maquette of Buster perched on the right side of the second shelf. He needs paint, but he's paying attention and making sure I look out for typos.)
As far as what's in my desk, per Cameron's theory? Inside its drawers, you'll find a copious amount of office supplies and organizing doodads ... because Staples and I have a very co-dependent relationship. My fiancee may stage an intervention if it gets any worse. There are also scrapbooking supplies, a few photo albums, sketchbooks both full and blank, and of course, a few small items that are too precious to keep anywhere else. My desk holds one, long love letter to creativity, with just enough organization and discipline to keep it all from exploding into chaos. If you ask me, that sounds just about right for a writer.
What's your creative space like? Or, if you can't have one right now, what would the perfect one be?
Hi, everyone! I apologize for the lack of post this past Thursday ... not only has life been hectic, but I am trying to push and get 30 Days of Aviario ready, so that I can build my mailing list. I am behind in my short story deadlines, but that's something I can work with ... I am still hoping to have From the Desk of Buster Heywood published on Smashwords by September 18th. In order to get things moving, however, I am going to have to put this blog on a hiatus until the book is out.
In the meantime, I encourage you to still follow me on Twitter, where I will be continuing to help #2bitTuesday grow: this week's optional theme is "Temperature". To keep myself sane, I've been taking short breaks by indulging in the following things. Feel free to check them out, if any strike your fancy!
As a follow-up to last week's post, long story short: I'm starting a new Twitter hashtag. If you want more details, read on ....
inAs of last week, I was still waiting to see the Romance Writers of America's response to the open letters and other feedback regarding their poor choice in RITA finalists. Last Friday, they posted their official response.... and missed the mark, entirely. RWA chose to say it was a matter of censorship, when in my opinion (and the opinion of many others who commented), the issue was one of taste and ethics. It has also been pointed out that the current nomination guidelines do not have a single thing to say about the content of submissions.
I'm not a romance writer, so it is far easier for me to say that I am done associating with the RWA, even in so small a manner as participating in a hashtag every Wednesday. I do, however, still love the thought of authors being able to collectively share their content, so I am starting up an alternative for those who are like-minded. I will be officially "kicking off" this hashtag on August 18th, and anyone who wishes to join in is most decidedly welcome.
Here are the guidelines!
Yep. That's it. Share and share alike! I also like to round off my day by posting a piece here on my blog that's a bit larger than Twitter will allow ... so feel free to adopt the practice yourself, as well! The aim of #2bitTues is to build a supportive online writing community where authors can share what they're proud of, and help others get the word out about their own projects. We're just in this for the love of the written word.
See you on Tuesday!
I have plenty of things in the queue for this blog: writing playlists, reviews of writing-related books, an anecdote or two about the road that's led me to Aviario ... but right now, my focus is on something big and exciting that I have in the works: my mailing list! I'd ask you to join it right now, but the fact is: it's not ready yet, and this post's purpose is to tell you exactly why.
I know I have a lot of casual readers on Twitter and Facebook, but I want those who join my mailing list to get something beyond just the "first scoop" on what's going on. I want to get to know them, since my readers are so important to me. Beyond that, I want to give them something special. That's why it's going to take a while to prepare, and I hope to have it ready by the end of August.
Subscribers to my mailing list will receive a series of emails called Around Aviario in 30 Days. It's a projected collection of 30 short stories about the inhabitants of my tiny Connecticut city: its past, its present, and some of the more supernaturally inclined inhabitants ... the ones other residents refer to as "Those People". Some of these stories will take place outside the town lines, but will still have relevance at some point in the city's timeline. Think of it as a sort of game: finding out where each story fits into things as the books come out!
With that bit of exciting news, I'm going to get cracking on these stories. In the meantime, please enjoy yesterday's #1lineWed excerpt, and I'll write to you all again, soon!
.... or, alternately, "Where've you been, Ang?"
I'm surprised that it's only been a little under two months since you've seen an update from me ... it feels like it's been much, much longer. Alas, a victorious April session of Camp NaNoWriMo was not quite in my destiny, but moving to a new home was! After a good deal of interference on the part of Life, the Universe, and Everything, only a few more boxes remain, and the last seems to contain my sense of how to get my routines up and running smoothly again. Next week, I'll make the penultimate post in the Rainbow Editing Method, and then from there ... well, who knows what I'll find to write about here?
As for my books, I'm more than 3/4 through the first draft of my second novel, In The Cards. Poor Buster here has been waiting very patiently for me to finish typing up my edits of From the Desk of Buster Heywood. I'm also getting active on Twitter again: watch out for me on #1LineWeds, #amwriting, #amediting, and ... well, in general! Thanks for checking in, and I'll see you again next week for more fun with the Rainbow Editing Method!
First,let's start with a writerly update: For The Desk of Buster Heywood is complete! I finished it in late October, and took a break from it to start the next novel of Aviario, In The Cards, for National Novel Writing Month. Then, of course, the dreaded holiday season was upon us, and now I have been away from poor Buster and his perils long enough to edit with fresh eyes. I am almost through my first round of editing, and hope to have the ebook version available soon! To thank you for your patience, I have two shiny new excerpts up on the Writing page.
Now: let me talk just a little bit about social media. As those of you who've been with me thus far know, I am primarily a Twitter and Tumblr person, and have stayed away from Facebook for a few years now. I know I have addictive tendencies when it comes to the more social functions of the internet, and Facebook has all the hallmarks of being something I could easily lose hours to.
Unfortunately, it's become the norm for authors to have and rigorously promote their own Facebook pages, and use these as one of their primary sources to find and court their readers. I would prefer to do that via this very blog, since it seems more intimate and personal to me... but the world of self-publishing is what it is, and over the last couple of months, I have been grappling with the concept of a necessary evil.
I also realized that re-establishing myself on Facebook would be a fantastic opportunity to do something I've been horrible at recently: keeping in touch with friends, both old and new. While in an ideal world, I'd spend hours on the phone or write them lengthy letters to catch up, my current job doesn't afford me much free time. So small sound bytes of social media will have to do. I was self-conscious about this, until I realized that most friends, in the true sense of the word, will not care if you only have a few seconds to say hello: only that you still do.
So, I'm pulling myself up by my digital bootstraps and wading back into the tides of social media: but for the moment, I'm only going in up to my knees. I have a novel to finish editing, after all.
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