X Marks the Spat
Uncategorized / July 28, 2016

I managed, with my usual aplomb, to find myself in the middle of a discussion that turned into a mild argument– on Twitter. It takes extreme talent to argue on Twitter and I don’t advise it. Better to admit my inadequacies and move on: I need far more than 140 characters to really get my teeth in a topic. However, the point isn’t the dispute, but the subject of dispute. We were discussing gatekeepers and whether or not indie writers should have them (or writers in general). I’m going to set forth my reasoning here (in far more than 140 characters or even 140 words), but I would love to hear from you as well. Comment here. Knock me up on Twitter (although I do expect help raising the baby). Send me an email if you’re feeling a bit shy. I’ll put all my contact info at the bottom. Do I think that big publishing houses have too much control over what we read and they tend to be directed more by the almighty dollar than the best in reading material? Yes. Not all of them, all of the time, but a significant enough amount to not ignore it. Do I…

Being Real
Motivation Monday / July 26, 2016

I am starting to see the effects of my ongoing experiment to be a Real Writer (and Real Person). First, I’ve acquired one of those day jobs. I like day jobs, as a general concept. It’s something new to do and it provides endless fodder for my writing. But it cuts into the writing time itself. I’ve tried getting up earlier. I’ve stopped rewatching Galavant on loop at night. I even do a little less housework. I’ve learned that I can’t get in huge word counts in any one day any longer, but who needs to do that anyway? By writing 1k-3k a day, I can finish a book in two months or less. Maybe it’s just because there are so many stories in my head trying to get out that I feel the pressure to write faster. I think being limited in my writing time actually improves my writing in the long run. Second, I’ve attempted some marketing. I attended an in-person convention (in disguise) and have actually pressed my books here and there. I’ve noticed that it works better when others put my book out there than when I do it myself, so if you want to get…

Wednesday. Is It Wednesday? (Reminder #BeTheLight)
Uncategorized / July 13, 2016

First, a reminder. Don’t forget to #BeTheLight tomorrow and spread humor on social media. Funny cat videos (because who doesn’t like laughing at cats when they use up one of their nine lives?), personal anecdotes, or just silly jokes. Share them everywhere. FLOOD media and social media with the funniest things you can find.  Tag them with #BeTheLight Will this solve anything? No. It won’t. But when we can laugh, we can break out of the cycle of anger, hurt, and hate that we get dialed into. We can find a smile, which raises endorphins, which makes us feel good… so we want to be nice to others. That’s actual science there. Don’t get used to it on this blog. Spread this. Spread it thick, like peanut butter on a PB and porcupine sandwich (de-quill first). I don’t care if you track it to me. Just get it out there and get someone laughing. As the second part to this, don’t share anything sad, mad, bad (or ads?) on 14July either. No matter how tempting it may be to share the latest news (and, of course, your opinion about said news), let it go for one day. #BeTheLight and change the…

Monday Motivation: #BeTheLight
Motivation Monday / July 11, 2016

I’m a humor writer. This means I’m funny, all the time, upbeat, and smiling. Wrong. I’m a humor writer. This means I use humor to deal with the tougher things in life, whether it’s the pain of watching someone decline from Alzheimer’s or tough topics like divorce, abuse, and bullying. It means humor is my triage for life. Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of real life stuff lately and I seem to have lost my ride back to the Figments world (who closed that plot hole?). That makes writing humor harder– and more necessary– than ever. You would think a humor writer would always have jokes on the tip of his tongue, but I’m a terrible joke teller. Two Figments walk into a bar. One ends up with an en-dash; the other an em-dash. Not very funny. My humor tends to be from life. But we need more humor out there, so I’m going to ask for your help. On 7/14 (that’s Thursday, for those who do dates flipped around as 14July), spread humor on social media. Funny cat videos (because who doesn’t like laughing at cats when they use up one of their nine lives?), personal anecdotes, or just…

Feature Friday: Using Writing to Fight or Flame Hate
Feature Friday / July 8, 2016

I’ve grown quite nervous over the last few days. Apparently you humans are off killing each other and it has something to do with the color of your skin (although mentioning that it has anything to do with skin color– or claiming that is doesn’t– is cause for more heated debate). Since my skin has a multitude of colors, I’m a bit concerned that some of this hatred may spill over. However, even outside my own concerns, I’m concerned about this country I’m currently hiding in.  There’s so much anger and hate. Worse, everyone is using their words to make it worse. Writers, like it or not, have a responsibility with words in the same way that a doctor has responsibility with healing. We could use our words to hurt. We can use them to fan the flames until we rival Chicago after Old Lady Leary or Pompeii after the volcano blew. I’ve seen many examples of flame fanning lately. Tweets that call out a group of people for their color, occupation, or just being associated with other people who said something. Facebook posts that use ugly names for anyone who doesn’t believe in the exact content of the post….

Why on Wednesday: Why Are YOU Writing?

There’s a crazy notion out there right now that everyone should publish a book. I’d like to break this down logically, but I’m a Figment, so I’ll break it down Figment-logically: Everyone should birth a baby. Yeah, that makes sense. Those who can’t birth a baby (men, women with fertility issues, small children, the elderly, aliens, and animals), those who don’t want to birth a baby, and those who shouldn’t birth a baby makes a pretty compelling argument against this. The same thing goes for book publishing: some can’t (lack of skills, finances, commitment, etc.); some don’t want to (which is perfectly valid); and some simply shouldn’t (I’ve read a few published “books” I wish hadn’t been published because… ugh). Everyone should sell a piece of art/ craft work. Really? Because not everyone will ever be good enough to sell something. Everyone should become a rocket scientist/ brain surgeon/ marathoner/ concert pianist.  All ridiculous, right? I am not saying people shouldn’t write. Everyone should write. Anyone who wants to should write a book. Hurrah! I’m also not saying we should stop anyone from writing a book or publishing it. But there’s a big push out there to get everyone to publish a…

Monday Motivation: Alice in Wonderland and Independence
Motivation Monday / July 4, 2016

Alright. For all of you who celebrate such things, Happy Independence Day if you’re an American. Happy “It’s Just Another Day at the Office” Day to everyone else. I’ll find a way to tie this in shortly. Really. On this date in 1862,  according to the great oracle Bing.com, Alice Liddell, 10, asks Charles Dodgson to tell her a story while they’re boating near Oxford, England. He weaves a tale of a bored little girl who suddenly finds herself down a rabbit hole. Dodgson will later publish ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‘ under his pen name, Lewis Carroll. So what does that have to do with me (or you)? Alice in Wonderland was one of my inspirations to become a writer in the first place. The crazy cast of characters, the improbable (yet somehow believable) circumstances, and the wry, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor all appealed to me. Couple that with its ability to reach children and adults alike and I was hooked. Of course, the trick with any motivating work is to give tribute without plagiarism. It’s much like America getting its freedom from Great Britain: you keep some things from the Mother Country, but you work very hard at making…