Back on the Horse

Blog No. 341

feb8c38c8b7694fc264dcd440f4b1cac-bugs-bunny-bunniesIt’s June, again, already. I’ve been working hard to keep myself from slipping this summer and, while I’m not where I wanted to be, I’m doing better than I have been in some years (maybe ever). I originally wanted to get the first draft of a 90 to 100 thousand word novel written by the end of August, giving myself a goal of 20 000 words a month. I am not on pace for that right now. That sounds bad (believe me, it does to me too) but things aren’t quite as bleak as they seem. I’m at just under 25 000 so far (20 000 behind my goal) but I spent all of May reviewing on Christian‘s new book.
Really, Ben? It took you a whole month to review Christian’s novel?”  Yes. But it’s a whole novel and whether he asked me to initially or not, I did an entire edit.
Why forsake your own writing for Christian’s book?” Because it’s the partnership that we have and he not only gave me an edit for Neon Heart, he did the cover for me too.
If he didn’t ask you for an edit, was he mad that you did one for him? I mean, it took you a month. I’d be mad.” No. I don’t think so. We went over some of the things I pointed out and he seems to be appreciative of it. When I review, edit, or otherwise go over another authors writing, I do my best to be constructive. I want their book to be the best it can be. Continue reading “Back on the Horse”

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I’ve Discovered Something

Blog No. 339

oyikbyiOver the years since I’ve been writing, I’ve had a regular summer slump. I’ve mentioned it on this blog (probably a hundred times) but I’ve also talked about it with other authors. Most of the time people explain it away with good weather and lots of activities, but I feel the need to point out that (since I am a basement dwelling hermit) the good weather does little to change my day-to-day routine. Part of the problem is that the day job gets busier (and the usual schedule gets tossed in the trash due to lots of special rentals and yearly occurrences. Another part is that, yes the weather is nice, so there are more events. Some are ones that I attend, and some are just fun to go to. Some are neither and I’m just there to support a friend, but I do that willingly. The thing that seems to really throw me off track is the dreaded other half of writing. Editing. Continue reading “I’ve Discovered Something”

One Month Later

Blog No. 337

20190504_152520The Neon Heart has been out for just about a month and I’ve sold at least 70 copies. I say at least, because I have 18 left in person and there are 12 out in the wild (currently at Biblioasis and Anchor on Huron Line). I know some of those have been sold, but it’s a bit like Schrodinger’s books. Until I get a report from the store and/or a payout, I can’t say for sure if they exist or not. Considering that I printed 100 copies for my first run, I did pretty well for a month. I’m going to have to order more. The only problem is the money. I was supposed to recuperate the funds from those first 100, but somehow, that never happens. You get bits of cash for one or two sales. You deposit some, but hang on to a bit (because you were going to take our cash for whatever anyway). In the end, you tend to get some of the money back, but never the amount that you put in. So, when it comes time to order again, you are still digging into your pocket for the funds. Usually, it takes longer, so the sting isn’t so pronounced. Continue reading “One Month Later”

Up-Up-and an Update

Blog No. 336

20190427_133939Welcome to May. I’m not sure how we got here, or what I’ve been doing for the first four months of the year, but here we are. Somehow, things have happened. The Neon Heart is out and thanks to being able to meet up with Christian and Elly, I’ve gotten some of the first draft of the novel done too (thought I’m not sure what it’s going to be, yet). I’ve had a bunch of events, but the usual onslaught that starts in March and runs through June, didn’t happen. I did have a busy April, but March was light, and so far, the rest of my year is the usual one or two events a month. I’m not complaining, but events usually means book sales. Still, I am plenty busy and the more time I can spend writing, the better. I suppose, like most things, it’s a balancing act. Continue reading “Up-Up-and an Update”

Two in Two Days!

Blog No. 334

20190413_115444_hdrI forgot how fun it can be to go to an event and actually sell some books. Don’t get me wrong. It’s work. It’s making sure everything is organized and packed ahead of time, getting up early and piling everything into the car, finding where you are supposed to go and where you can (or can’t) park, then carrying everything to your table, sitting there for eight or more hours, packing it all up, and heading home. Most of the day is spent sitting at the table, greeting the people who wander by, giving the same pitch over and over again. It seems like no big deal, but it can be exhausting. When you have two events in two day, in two cities (though it’s easier when one of them is in your home town) the fatigue is magnified. Those days can feel like years. Sure, it can be fun and when you go year after year, you make friends, but the one thing that helps more than anything else is getting the first sale and keeping the momentum from there. Continue reading “Two in Two Days!”

The Neon Heart – Release

Blog No. 333

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The Neon Heart is out! It’s official, it’s available, and it has a very loud cover. The book took me a lot longer to finish than I had hoped. It is a lot longer than I had planned too, though. The initial idea for the series was to capture the crowd that wants to read, but doesn’t have a lot of time. I got a lot of good feedback from people who bought No Light Tomorrow just to be nice, but ended up finding it approachable and really liked it. I figured, why not make a fun, fast paced book, at a non-intimidating length? They’ll eat it up. They did not. The Thinking Machine sold okay, but it did not have the monster sales I had hoped. It was, however, a new book that I could bring to events and advertise. For The Neon Heart, I changed gears a little. I listened to the feedback from the people who did buy the last one. Thinking Machine was too short and felt rushed. They loved the format, though. With that in mind, I let the story in Neon Heart drive the size. Now I have a book two in the Novella Series and it is the best thing I’ve ever written. Continue reading “The Neon Heart – Release”

Off the Top Rope

Blog No. 331

20190323_213357_hdrYou know when you go to the doctor and they ask you about your drinking habits? How many drinks do you have in a week, sort of thing? (Once, my doctor told me that he was taught to triple whatever his patients tell him). I never know how to properly answer that one. It varies so wildly that I have to look at months in order to get an average. I can go for three months without having a drink, but if a friend is in town (maybe one from Owen Sound) that number could be six beers plus a-pitcher-and-a-half in two days. Add to those drinks, two late nights, and things get groggy. Don’t think that I was only out drinking, though. My good friend from my video store days had tickets to wresting and invited me along. It was a first for me, but it was a good time. Those wrestler folks do some crazy acrobatics. It’s certainly fun to watch. Continue reading “Off the Top Rope”