From Apathy to Determination

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From Apathy to Determination

I wrote about apathy earlier this year because I couldn’t bring myself to write at all. I was just fed up with everything – a crappy family situation and other things not going well. I rested, I reevaluated, and I nearly lost my full-time job because of burnout. The family situation hasn’t improved, but my writing determination has. I went back to Far Flung – my work that was an online serial, but which I haven’t updated in quite a while now.

I looked carefully at it, and I took in some new inspiration. I played a bit of No Man’s Sky (I’m one of those chumps who preordered, sigh), I read the Legacy Fleet series by Nick Webb, and I started reading The Expanse by James S.A. Corey. Suddenly, Far Flung took over my consciousness again, but I found I din’t want to continue the serial without some better incentive. I simply don’t blog enough to get many readers – I find it too difficult to make good blog entries often, and I type too darn slowly. But if I had something real to show for my work – say a book on Amazon – that might be just the kick I need to revive both Write, or Else! and TCC Edwards dot com.

Just like that, I started writing. I took on Far Flung, going back to the beginning and editing the story. I’m now expanding what I already have, with the goal of producing a book between 300-400 words. I’ve set a goal to finish this draft by the end of November, with editing to follow after that. I’m considering the Inkshares program to get it edited and published.

Just as suddenly, other projects showed up on my radar.

IWSG, a group I love being part of, has a new anthology in the works. My writing group is starting another book. Writers in Daejeon, a city not too far from mine, want me to join their book. And I still have to get something on my blogs, darn it!

I have my fingers in all of these. I have a draft for IWSG in the works, but it’s a trainwreck right now. Editing it into something I’d actually want to submit could take too much of my attention away from other jobs.

I wish I could work faster!

Unfortunately, it’s looking more like I’ll scrap the IWSG project in order to keep the most important things going.

Funny, huh? I went from writing nothing to taking on more than I could handle. It’s a shame – I really did want to be in the anthology with the other IWSG folks, but I have to do a bit of project triage here. The last thing I want – the very worst thing that could happen – is to get too frustrated and find myself unable to finish the book. I need a book out there – a real novel, with my name on it, properly edited, produced, and published. I need it as soon as reasonably possible.

So that’s where I’m at! Working away on this novel and trying to keep my social presence both online and with my writing group. Having to choose carefully what I take on and in what capacity. Deciding what to do with these blogs I pay for.

Honestly, writing itself is the easy part. It’s all this decision-making and figuring out that some things just aren’t going to work that gets difficult!

#amwriting – The Busan Writing Group Releases Convergence

I finished editing and formatting an ebook for the Busan Writing Group!

Last year, the Busan Writing Group released Nothing Too Familiar, an anthology put together from the works of group members.

Convergence is the second anthology from the Busan Writing Group, and includes writers living in Seoul. With me again in this edition are Micheal Geer and Stephan Viau, and we had Amber Corrine, Clare HartwiegSarah E Lakin, Spook Larsen, Caitlin McGrath, Jonathon McMullen, Rachel L McMullen, and Aisling Mooney with us as well.

This time around, the only theme we gave authors was the keyword convergence. These stories were all submitted during workshops with the Busan Writing Group, and feature works from authors in Busan and Seoul. The stories were critiqued and edited by workshop members, and then I compiled them all into both print and ebook versions.

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The ebook is at this Amazon page. All purchases go toward making the Busan Writing Group even better and providing more opportunities for writers in Korea.

STORIES:

– Monochrome by Amber Corrine
Set in an alternate reality where growing up becomes a little bit more “colorful”, a second person narrative about a woman struggling to find out if the world is more than just grey.

– KO·VERGENCE by Caitlin McGrath
One woman grapples with the challenges and expectations of learning a new language, along with her role as a traveler.

– Stepping Into Rivers by Clare Hartwieg
You can’t really go home again, but the people and the way they make you feel stay with you always.

– The Door I Chose by TCC Edwards
One young man’s choice leads him on two divergent realities, yet somehow the two possible paths keep crossing.

– Monday by Spook Larsen
This story is not about Tuesday through Sunday.

– Integral to the Plot by Jonathon McMullen
Two agents find out that truth is very much stranger than fiction. You really can’t make this up.

– My Brother’s Keeper by MA Geer
Sometimes a stranger just wants to chat… sometimes….

– The Plant, Author Unknown
In Korea, the conspiracy theories are true.

– Think About Coffee by Sarah E Lakin
Some people will do anything for a caffeine fix.

– The Landlord by Aisling Mooney
Is this expat teacher going crazy, or is her landlord coming in while she’s away?

– Le Plateau Platonique by SA Viau
Fires never stop the jazz in Montreal, not until one cold winter night.

POEMS:

– Brick Making on Calvary by Rachel L McMullen

– Every Day in ESL by MA Geer

 

 

#IWSG February 2016 – Funding a Writing Group’s Publication

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The Busan Writing Group’s Publication from 2015

The Time Has Come Again!

The Busan Writing Group is publishing another collection.

When we did this last year, it was for one simple reason – so that we could rightfully say that we were a serious writing group that published. It was a good experience, and I’m glad we did it – it’s probably the biggest reason or group has increased in membership.

However, one thing it certainly didn’t do was earn money. Okay, well, none of us expected to make much, but we had hoped to break even at least! We lost money – we paid for a 50-copy print run, and we couldn’t even sell all of those! As for the ebook edition – I think we’ve had all of one confirmed purchase…

How embarrassing!

Okay, so a lot of this is part of the nature of the beast – we are a group of amateurs, no one really knows us yet, etc. etc. But there is no way we can ask our contributors this year to pay for the privilege of being in another collection that nobody will buy.

I’m also going to make an ebook again – the writing group members all have friends and family overseas, so an ebook makes a lot of sense for easy sharing and selling. I have to admit, though – I’m less enthusiastic about formatting and arranging it this time. Getting people to buy an ebook is often harder than getting them to pay for a print copy!

So we have to fund this.

Kickstarter, Patreon, begging at local bars – we’ve considered a lot of different ideas. THe current idea involves running a special event at the same bar that hosts Words Only and other spoken word events. If we can get a crowd of people who regularly do slam poetry, comedy nights, and reading events to pay a small cover charge for a fun , night, that money could pay for a limited run of prints.

#IWSG, I’d like to know:

Have you done a group self-publication before? Do you have any ideas for funding a project like this?

 


 

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Current Project – Far Flung, a Sci-Fi Serial

Yes, it will get updated soon, I swear…

Hey, somebody published me. How do I get the word out?

SOCIAL MEDIA

It’s an odd thing, tooting my own horn.

I’ve been reaching out to the other authors in eFiction’s July issue. Coming this Friday, I’ll be posting reviews of the works in that issue.

It’s got me thinking about how to spread the word about the publication so that more people see the work by the other authors and myself. I also want to stay modest – I know eFiction is pretty small potatoes in the vast online writing arena.

It is good, though. eFiction and it’s companion magazines seem to sell rather well, and feature authors both seasoned and new. Most stories read quickly, and are nice easy reads – and it’s this aspect which really propels an online-only publication to success.

I’ve already bugged all my real-world friends about it. Most of them won’t touch ebooks. I think some people don’t consider me actually ‘published’. I’ve focused on self-publishing and online works – some won’t consider me a true author until I have a crisp Random House or HarperCollins trade paperback with my name on it.

How to convince them to buy this magazine? How to get more people to give it a look?

I’ve been looking over Twitter, trying to find some hashtags I can use or groups where I can announce my publication. I’ve also signed up for Absolute Write so that I can let folks there know. I’m always looking out for more places.

How about you, readers? How do you get the word out? Any tips for newbies to shameless self-promotion?

Hope you’ll leave a comment or two.

Happy writing!

Busan Writing Group, June 17 – Pitches, please!

This week we looked at pitches for stories – the 250-word summary of a story that a writer has to compose to get the attention of agents and publishers.

The Busan Writing Group first took a look at pitches written by one of our members. The stories looked awesome – some of them were ones we’ve run through our critique process before. The main difficulty with the pitches was the complexity – there was a lot going on, and it was difficult to boil down the most important info into 250 words.

We then looked over the most popular choices for Pitchapalooza 2015, over at the Book Doctors. Popular votes from readers favored the weird and offbeat. The key to gaining votes seemed to be setting up a weird or creepy situation right at the start, or to present an everyday situation and then have a quick twist that makes it weird.

Last, we looked over the winners of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. These winning pitches were simple and to the point, clearly outlying what to expect in the story. When weirdness entered into these pitches, it was clearly integrated – we found we could easily understand how the unusual factors really affect the characters. This was key to any appreciation of the pitches – for fantasy or sci-fi elements to mean anything and sell the story, we have to know what those elements mean to the characters who have to deal with them.

My general takeaway from all this:

It’s damn hard to simplify a story and get the most important details across in a meaningful way. However, that is the exact skill needed for a great pitch – the skill of delivering major plot points, along with how they affect relatable characters, in a quick, simple way.

Easy to see why it’s so damn hard, huh?

 

Image from http://www.theinfluencebusiness.com/

A quick post about the Busan Writing Group

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I met with a few fine folks in Busan last night – folks who like writing. As always, it was very relaxing, very laid back. We all had good comments on each other’s work, and there was no pressure at all. I’ve also come to love the way we handle submissions – we share work on Google Drive, and each member can either comment online or print stories and write notes on the paper. It allows everyone to read stories and do some brainstorming alone, and then refine those comments when we get together.

It’s totally awesome when we meet – my creative instincts go into overdrive, and I always feel so smart when I can offer decent commentary. It’s a great boost to the ego, and a great motivator to keep writing and sharing.

There’s no substitute for a good writing club – I think every writer needs one. If you ever happen to be in Busan, come look up the Busan Writing Group – we’ll be happy to have you.