Monday, July 25, 2011

A Whole Month's Worth of Stuff - In One Post!

Wow. I have tried and failed at my last three attempts to post something. Not because I can’t figure out how to schedule posts (which I can’t, they say they’re scheduled – then they sit there as the scheduled time passes right on by), but because I cannot seem to write a post.

My mojo has left me.

I’m not saying I’ve got blogger’s block again, that never left me. No, instead, I’m saying that I can’t seem to write a coherent post. I’ll write them, read them, then delete them, deeming them unfit for humans to read. I’m finding this whole blogging business to be a big mess of confusion for me, and organizing my thoughts into a single, cohesive narrative is hard.  So I’ll just post a few notes.

On Writing

I think I’ve outlined a tentative plan for what I’m going to try to accomplish this summer on the writing front. I wrote quite a bit over the weekend and feel appropriately smug about that.  I can thank the heat for my burst of activity. It was too miserably hot to do yard work, which can take up a great deal of my weekends.

On Reading

I finished up Cindy Borgne’s Vallar, a fun read that I hope others check out. Then, quite by accident, I started reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I intended to read A Dance with Dragons but I was out and had some time to kill and had to thumb through my Kindle library on my phone. I’ve been building it up for a while now. I’ll see something I know I want to read go on sale and I’ll pick it up. If the big publishers ever catch wind of my buying habits once books get under $5 then watch out. I’ll be broke.

Anyway, I’m a third of the way through this new book and am committed to seeing this through. I like the premise. Now Jim Butcher’s Ghost Story comes out tomorrow. That means I’ll probably push back George R.R. Martin’s epic another week as a result. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait a bit longer to find out how much almond milk noble Tyrrion drinks over the course of 1000 pages or so.

Funny, I remember when I used to read science fiction exclusively. If I saw this reading list of mine as recently as a year ago I would have flogged myself for it.


I’m still having thoughts about self-pubbing something. If I can handle the formatting I think it may be two works set in the same universe that are shorter in length. A novelette and a longish short story. Combined I believe they’ll be between 20 - 30k words long. Hopefully folks won’t feel robbed if I ask them to hand over cash – who knows, if I can do it, I might throw in some artwork as well. We’ll see, my plans in this area are pretty nebulous. I have a strong inclination to send stuff out via more traditional places. But I think I can use the education this will offer. Especially if I plan on putting something novel length out there soon.

On the Weather

How hot was it last weekend? My dog, er, my larger dog, has a bell she rings when she wants to go outside. This weekend she got in the habit of ringing the bell, then once I opened the door she would stick her head out, put a single paw on our deck, and promptly decide it was too hot and back right up until she was inside again. I agreed with her. I also learned she can hold her pee for a really long time. Good girl.
Barking is awesome. You should try it.

The bad side is that she usually goes outside to bark at stuff, she discovered that she could now bark at everything from inside a cool, comfortable place. Our bay windows look out over the neighborhood so she has a great view of all the stuff that pisses her off. She barked at the mailman, the movers down the street, the ice cream truck, a cat, a dog, another dog, a bird, my neighbors, and at least half a dozen things I couldn’t figure out. On a side note, my dog barks really loud.


I’ve been thinking of putting a real photo of me as a profile pic. Everything I have online is a sketch, The one I’ve been using on blogger is also my Facebook profile. I have a Thor sketch I use on twitter, an Astronaut sketch on Goodreads, even a batman sketch as my work email avatar. So, the hidden face of Rusty may be revealed to the world soon. Everyone hold your collective breath.


Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I loved The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms. I pre-ordered The Kingdom of the Gods; that should be a great read too!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You're right - too damn hot to go outside. Some days, I hate the south. Don't feel bad you don't have a photo up - I did during my blog tour but took it down. Maybe I'll put it up again. Probably by next March. And your ramblings make sense to me - what does that mean?

Summer Ross said...

Wow- alot to digest. Yay for writing because it was too hot to do yard work- I love it when that happens, but usually its because of the cold :)

Rogue Mutt said...

Your dog sounds like the one we used to have at home. She used to ring a bell when she wanted out and had no qualms about barking at anything at any time.

I'm going to keep my bulldog avatar. What sucks is I usually like to go outside and write on the netbook but since every day in July has been 85+ with high humidity I haven't gone outside once to write all month. Lousy weather.

Laila Knight said...

It's always good to feel some sort of smug satisfaction over your writing accomplishment. Hey, somebody has to. :) How many books do you have stored in your Kindle library now? How do you find time to read them all? There's no reason why you can't try both venues in the publishing sphere. All the books you have stored are a testament to the fact that ebooks are selling...just saying. Anyway, from how Alex raves about you, you should have faith in your writing. Your dog is cute. What is she? My dogs are the same at barking. We live in a corner house. They get to see everything. OMG, I would love to see a real picture of you!

KarenG said...

I used to have this problem with scheduling. Until I realized that after you put in the scheduled time and date, you must click "Publish post." Don't worry, it won't publish until the scheduled time! Your dog is so cute!

Rusty Webb said...

My damn dog (little one) jumped on my keyboard just before I hit post and managed to delete my whole message. Stupid dog. I know he did it on purpose.

Sandra - Well, I am loving the first one. I'll probably get the rest as well.

Alex - As much as being hot in the summer is lame. I'd much rather it be 95 than 20 outside. Come January every year, I wish I was further south than I am.

I don't know what it means that you understand me. Probably that you work well with children.

Summer - I won't do yard work in the cold either. Or if it's wet, or in the morning... the list goes on and on for me.

Rogue - I like the bulldog, shows personality.

Laila - I'll take those questions in order. 1) I have seven in my to be read queue. That's a lot for me because I don't like to plan more than a book or two ahead, and I also still like to purchase physical books too, of which I have a larger pile of books to read. I'm nearly out of hand with this. 2) I don't, that's the problem. I don't read as fast as I used to. Don't know what happened. I used to knock off at least two or three a week, more if I was really into a series or something. I still purchase like I read that many now. It's now more like one a week, longer if it's a big book. 3) Lucy is a Great Pyrenees, she's the best dog I've ever had.

Karen - I've only tried a couple of times, but I thought I did that. I'll be extra sure that is exactly what I do next time.

julie fedderson said...

I think if anyone saw my reading list, they'd believe I was heavily medicated. In the past two weeks, I went from Geek Love to Creep to Seduce Me at Sunrise. Embrace the madness of genre switching. It's too hot to do anything else, anyway.

Christine Rains said...

The heat is horrible. If I didn't have air-conditioning, I would have melted and evaporated by now. It took me a long time to get a photo of myself for my blogs and such. If I could get away with using my son's photo as my author picture, I would do it. He's so much cuter than me and is bound to sell way more books!

Regina said...

I haven't read any of those but have heard of Vallar. Thanks for letting me know what you thought about it.

Rusty Webb said...

Julie - I certainly misspoke when I said I used to read SF exclusively, I should have said I never read fantasy. For a time it just worked out that way, then later it was, in a backwards sort of way, a point of pride for me. Go figure.

Christine - Well, I have hundreds of photos of myself, and I'm pretty handy with photoshop, if I feel so inclined, I could put out a much improved version of myself. What good that would do is beyond me. But knowing I have the power makes me feel better.

Regina - Well, A Dance with Dragons I believe is the highest selling work of fiction this year. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms got a lot of genre praise this past year, Vallar is an indie sci fi story set on Mars.

Danette said...

Sometimes inspiration for blogging can be dodgy. And frankly I find those that have a format to them often boring so that's no help either (not all but some-- well most). One of the bloggers that I think is interesting includes research she does as a writer... I keep wanting to include stuff like that but most of my stuff was done early on and now I am just too busy writing it to go back. Maybe I should. It might be a good refresher course. But then it was on Quantum Physics... think I'd have a lot of readers?

Trisha said...

Cute doggy!

Blogger block is perhaps a little of what I've got so far. Oh well!

Read a scathing review of A Dance With Dragons on Michael Offutt's blog. ;)

Michael Offutt said...

I enjoyed reading Vallar more than I'm enjoying Neil Gaiman's "American Gods". Gaiman is so boring. I'm halfway through the book and there's been lots of meeting Gods but they haven't really done anything interesting. Just talk and have the guy "Shadow" be non-plussed that he's meeting yet another deity. I guess I wanted more fireworks...dunno why. Maybe I've been conditioned to it.

Rusty Webb said...

Danette - I tend to agree with you, although everything I hear is that you must have a theme. Seems so limiting. I don't think John Scalzi or Tobias Buckell have themes, they write what they feel like.

And I don't think research is ever wasted. I've posted on Quantum Mechanics a few times myself. Awful posts I did. Yikes.

Trisha - I read Michael's post about it. For me, that series will have to go completely off the rails awful before I would consider not reading it. I don't care how bad the reviews get, even from Michael, who I tend to agree with more often than not when he reviews something I've already read.

Michael - Speaking of which, I keep trying to think of something of Gaiman's that I truly adore and I can't think of anything. American God's is my favorite work of his I've read, but I didn't think it was so amazing as to garner the sort of praise it gets. But then again, award winning novels rarely move me the way they should. I think I like less literary minding works.

Andrew said...

Darn, I have more to say here than I have time for, at the moment (about to head off to Skywalker for LotR pt 2).

In whatever order I think of things:

1. My blog has no specific theme other than what I say in the header. Basically, it's about whatever I feel like writing about. That may or may not have anything to do, specifically, with writing, although it oftens relates in some way (at least in my head).

2. I've never been specifically sci-fi or fantasy. I grew up on both. Stephen Donaldson was one of my favorite authors through high school and college probably because he wrote both. Not a blend, either. Hard core sci-fi and high fantasy. Of course, I read lots of classics, too.

3. I like American Gods, but it's not my favorite Gaiman work by any means, although I would like to get the new anniversary edition with all the bells and whistles (and the (I think) nearly 20,000 additional words). I thought Anansi Boys was better. However, I really enjoyed The Graveyard Book. I'm actually going to read that one again, if that tells you anything.

4. I don't get much reading done during the summer. The kids don't leave me much time for it. I've sort of had to quit buying books, because I have a backlog that goes back years and years, and my wife started getting upset about the stacks of books everywhere. heh

5. Going back to blogs, maybe I should start renting out my topic list. I have 4 posts in draft form, at the moment, and, at least, another half a dozen topics on my to do list.

Andrew said...

I'm sure I left things out that I wanted to say. I'm sure I have things to say about barking and dogs, but it's time for me to dash.

Stephen Tremp said...

I'm thinking that old game show withSoupy Sales where the real one at the end stood up. What's the name of that show? Most people are wondering who the heck Soupy Sales is.

Teresa aka Journaling Woman said...

Um Larger Dog is a smart cookie. I don't blame her for not going outside to bark. I'm barking inside and it's much more comfortable.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks again for your help with the synopsis. It went from total suckage to great in just a few not-so-easy steps.
Oh, and I'll take the twenty degrees, thanks.

Aleta said...

Well, I'd say that was a very organized blog post :)

George R.R. Martin vs Jim Butcher ~ decisions, decisions and not enough time in the day. I've read George R.R. Martin's books. I don't have HBO, otherwise I'd watch the shows. Interesting stuff there. I read a couple of Jim Butcher's by accident and enjoyed them, but I was caught up in the middle of the story and knew that I missed alot.

We have a bell on our doors for our dog too. I'm about ready to take them off the door, because the dog wants to make music. Much like your dog, she looks outside and stays inside.