There are a lot of people who don’t want to climb the ladder one rung at a time. They want jetpacks and the ability to shoot straight to the top.
I think there’s a definite down side to too much success too soon. One of the things about climbing the ladder is that you’ve seen the view from every step along the way. You understand the full A to Z of the situation, instead of seeing only point A and Z.
Now, I know some of you might think I should be used to my ‘so-called highly-connected writer life’ by now, but there are moments I still get weirded out, for lack of a better phrase. There are moments I’m completely numb with shock.
Oddly enough, I’ve found myself becoming something of a basis for a formula. Want to establish a name in the business? Start an ezine. Build up your credibility, get your name out there, do the blog thing and attract plenty of attention.
It’s funny when I start hearing murmurings like that. “Look how she did it – just copy her.” Funny. The big difference is, I never planned it that way. I had always hoped that Spinetingler would be something I’d be less and less involved with, over time, instead of being busier and busier with it. In fact, that’s why I argued against it. I feared it would detract too much from my writing time.
Don’t believe me? If I’d wanted the name recognition from Day 1, I would have used my writing name on the Spinetingler editorial credits, instead of a version of my married name. With the first issue being primarily a contest issue we didn’t have many regular submissions to choose from, so we filled it out with a story I wrote, but I very specifically kept my stuff out of the ezine for the rest of the year. Instead, I’m sending stuff out elsewhere and facing rejection letters or external editing, just like everyone else.
And so is my husband, I might add. He’ll have a story coming out in Mouth Full of Bullets in their March issue. He could have just put it in Spinetingler – made an executive decision, since he has ultimate authority – but he didn’t. He sent it out.
It’s important. I know the angst of getting a rejection letter. And I have to write them. I never feel smug, superior or particularly happy about sending those out.
Something I have to do later this week over Cozy Noir, btw…
One of the most surreal moments for me at Bouchercon was seeing a quote from Spinetingler on the back of an author’s bookmark. Amongst endorsement from Steve Brewer and Midwest Book Review, there we were. What the hell? When did this happen?
I had another weird moment recently, and it did get me wondering about the value of a name. I’ve pondered that in reference to author blurbs on books and what impact that has on readers and purchasers. Some insist none.
The standard line is that the endorsement is more valuable in the industry, for getting publishers excited.
I’ve maintained that blurbs are all about helping an author overcome their own insecurities.
Now, it’s funny, because people are starting to ask to use my name on stuff. And that’s weird. Those are my “HUH?” moments now. Like when people say they read my blog and I have to bite back the Why?
Funny thing is, I put up the Bruen blurb here just yesterday, and already received two comments from people about it. Do blurbs matter? Do people notice? Well, it would seem they do.
It’s still just a bit bizarre to think of my opinion having any weight to it at all. Even in reviewing, I believe it’s just my opinion. I try hard to be impartial and objective, and fair in my comments. To be able to back up any criticisms or quantify them in some fashion. But also to note what is an opinion and just give the readers enough information to decide for themselves if the book is for them.
I have company visiting today. Life will start to shift back to normal schedule tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Tribe has done an interview I think you should take note of. Murdaland came out to try to carve a new niche in the business, and it isn’t easy to start a magazine in this day and age. This is a good way to get a perspective on what it’s like to be the new kid on the block, and if you’re looking at publishing venues for your short fiction, this is definitely one to consider. It’s also one to consider supporting. I have to say the print quality of the debut issue is excellent.
And we writers have to appreciate people who are opening new doors for us.
Uncle Charlie. Need I say more?
Mildred, 93, was despondent over the recent death of her husband Earl,so she decided to just kill herself and join him in death.
Thinking it would be best to get it over with quickly, she took out Earl's old army pistol and made the decision to shoot herself in the heart since it was so badly broken in the first place.
Not wanting to miss the vital organ and become a vegetable and a burden to someone, she called her doctor's office to learn her heart's exact location.
Since you're a woman," the doctor said, "your heart is just below your left breast Why do you ask?"
Mildred hung-up without answering.
Later that night Mildred was admitted to the hospital with a gunshot wound to her knee.