Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Samhain!

The Celtic new year starts tomorrow! Everybody scream!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Catching Up on the Backlog

I received the print proofs of Sacrificed and A Modicum of Truth shortly before the Easter holidays. In fact, I took them with me on the road trip to Nashville and started going through them while GK drove.

Unfortunately, I didn't get them finished before everything hit the fan the following week. So guess what I'm trying to finish before NaNoWriMo starts on Thursday?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my formatter can fix the few typos I found, and I can get these two volumes ordered before our library's Local Author Book Signing on November 10th. If I can't, well, there's always next year!

* * *

Something else to keep in mind, the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Trust will be discontinuing both print and e-book edition of volumes 22 thru 27 of the Sword and Sorceress anthologies, according to their most recent newsletter.

If you want copies before they disappear, you'll want to order them well before December 28th!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Breaking Down Copyrights

After our conversation about my literary estate earlier this week, Genius Kid came home from work Wednesday evening, plopped down on his dad's recliner after getting a snack and a drink, and quizzed me about copyright with the intensity of a law school professor.

Apparently, he'd taken my concerns about handling my literary estate to heart. He came up with a lot more questions and scenarios than most of my fellow writers. It had never occurred to him I was working instead of just messing around on my computer.

Or that people wanted to pay for and read my work. Like Leslie, our apartment complex manager, who is currently reading Blood Magick and claims she's loving it.

So he asked about all the different breakdowns of rights. How there may be rights that don't exist yet. Why movie and television rights were two different things and not interchangeable. What happens if someone tries to grab more rights than what I have licensed to them. How George Lucas earned hundreds of millions of dollars by holding onto licensing for Star Wars toys, comics, t-shirts, etc.

Coincidentally, Kris Rusch posted about Copyright Savvy a few hours later. She went even further in depth about how Jimmy Buffet turned "Margaritaville" into a lifestyle and vacation brand.

There are a lot of folks who say indies can't or won't exploit their IP. Except that same statement also applies to agents and trad publishing. They sit on rights, don't pursue any licensing, and ignore many potential offers  unless they think it's worth their time.

I want to exploit my rights. And if GK is interested in the family business, this could be an excellent entrepreneurial experience for both of us.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Why Writers Need Estate Planning

Genius Kid has his first job. He's got definite plans for his money, one of which is investing it so he doesn't have to fret about income down the line. So during a discussion concerning passive income, I asked both DH and GK if they wanted to manage my intellectual property once I died, or if I needed to find someone to manage it for them.

GK's immediate response was that I was obsessed with death. To which I replied, "I was a probate and estate planning attorney. I know how fucked up things can get if you don't plan things ahead of time."

You see, if I died today, the copyright on my works would end in 2088. That's right. My son would be older than both of his grandfathers when ALL my copyrights expire and still potentially collecting income on the stories.

Despite my own body's efforts to kill me, I could potentially live for another twenty to forty years. If I do, my copyright will continue well into the 22nd century. You know, about the time Jonathan Archer would be born if he were real.

This is what is meant by the long-tail. I'm still reading books written over a century ago. The odds are someone will be reading my work a century from now.

Fictional life will continue long after you're gone. It's something to think about if you're a writer. Your work has more value than you realize.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Real Life Intrudes

Darling Husband had planned to take today off and escort his dad to a doctor's appointment, Circumstances necessitated FIL seeing the doctor a few weeks earlier, so DH had what he thought was a free day.


I'd like to point out HE'S the one who put together the list of errands for us to do.

So while he put the battery charger on the '98 in order for us to take it to our mechanic later, checked for new seats for the '98 at the local junk yard, and bought breakfast for us, I was still dreaming I was one of the Doctor's companions and trying to solve a plot against him/her with a few other companions.

(Considering I've been plagued with nightmares for the last several weeks, it was a good dream, and I'll take it!)

After breakfast and showers, we headed over to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Both cars need their registrations renewed before the end of the month. Also, I needed to renew my driver license, which with the new, extensive checks to keep so-called "bad people" from doing "bad things" meant I had to show my birth certificate, Social Security Card, marriage license, and two items mailed within the last thirty days with my current address. Okay, it wasn't just me. All of us had to produce a ton of documentation, which meant it was taking longer than normal because after the first clerk went through everything, a second had to repeat the process.

Just in case any of us bribed the first clerk. *eyeroll*

Then after a side-trip home to grab the prescription, we were off to the vision center to order DH's new glasses. Glasses are a very important accessory and fashion statement. However, I couldn't talk him into the pair that were in Seattle Seahawk colors. LOL

After the steel-rimmed glasses with red-orange accents were ordered and paid for, we headed down the street to Jo-Ann Fabrics. Now that Genius Kid is a welder for a living, I need to patch some holes in his jeans. All I can say is steel and embers are rough on clothing.

Finally, we had a chance to grab some lunch...

Only to have the FIL call. He was having problems with his internet access.

But we had to get the '98 over to the mechanic's before five, so first, we headed back to the garage. The car started, but the two front tires were low. We dug out the portable air compressor and filled the tires, and we were finally on our way to the mechanic's.

Of course, their office manager had to tell use about her trip to Vegas (she's the only person I've met who loves Barry Manilow more than me) and show us pictures.

We had to swing back to the garage because DH left his Pepsi from lunch there (we were both pretty thirsty at this point, and I wasn't sharing my ice tea). And we finally made it back to the FIL's apartment. DH isn't sure why, but the FIL's Roku drops his own internet and wants to connect with the complex's open wi-fi. So DH got the Roku reset, wrote down direction for the FIL in case it happens again, and loaded more books for the FIL on his Kindle.

We finally walk into our apartment to be greeted with "Where have you been? What's for dinner?" from GK.

Needless to say (1) we ordered pizza, and (2) I have no writing to my name yet today.

So I have my feet up, a couple of cold drinks, and some peace and quiet. The real question is how many words can I get done before I fall asleep in my recliner.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Proofing the Proofs

Last week was spent getting ready for the writing workshop at our local library. This week I buckled down to go through the paperback proof copies of A Modicum of Truth and Sacrificed.

The e-books were published way back in February and March of this year. I'd ordered the paperback proof copies and took AMoT with me on our Easter trip to Nashville. I even managed to get through the first 100 pages while Genius Kid drove.

When we got back from Nashville, I turned on the afterburners to finish the first draft of Hero De Facto. It was done on April 16th. However, the next day was my first biopsy. The paperback proofs got shoved to the corner of my desk and were subsequently buried under a  mound of medical records, cancer literature, and doctors' bills.

I'm slowly but surely getting things taken care of and paperwork filed. But with CreateSpace's upcoming merger with KDP Print, I want to get these paperbacks finalized before the switchover, which could be any time now.

So I pulled them out of the pile and started reading through them.

And now I really want to write the next books in each series. LOL

Monday, October 15, 2018

Silence in the Writing Process

I don't talk too much about my actual writing process, i.e. the stuff that goes on inside my head while I'm writing.

I've been accused of not wanting to share my secret sauce. Believe me, there isn't any sauce, secret or otherwise. Unless you count my Pepsi Max addiction.

I've been accused of thinking my process is SPECHUL!! No, it's not. At least, not any more than any other person's.

Nope, my problem is I'm very self-conscious. To me, showing someone the writing before the work is close to completion is like asking them to eat the raw eggs, flour, etc. before I made the cake. Pretty gross, right?

And then, comes the well-meaning suggestions. Instead of making chocolate cake, make a spice one. You know half-vanilla and half-almond extract is how the big bakeries make their cakes so tasty. No one is going to eat it if you put cherries in it!

So if I want my chocolate-cherry cake with white fudge icing (or my book) to stand on its own, I need to complete it before I let anyone have a taste.

"But Suzan!" I can hear you say. "You post early chapter on your website all the time before the book is finished."

I'm also not above letting people lick the bowl and beaters after the cake pans are popped in the oven. A taste of raw cake batter isn't going to hurt anyone, but no one eats more than a couple of spoonfuls because it wouldn't sit well in your stomach.

Same with my stories. I don't mind giving a taste. It makes people want to devour the book even more when it comes out of the oven.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Writing Workshop

For those of you in the vicinity of Findlay, Ohio, I will be at the Findlay-Hancock County Library on Thursday, October 11th, to teach a workshop called The Write Stuff: Creating a Business Plan for Your Writing. The workshop runs from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Monday, October 8, 2018

The World Is Changing and Not Changing at the Same Time

There were a bunch of events that happened this weekend. Some have people in an uproar while others seem to have traveled under the public's radar.

Actress/ rapper Awkwafina hosted Saturday Night Live. It was only the second time a Asian-American woman has hosted in the forty-three-year history of the show. For once, there were no awkward sketches concerning Asian-American stereotypes. The closest was Awkwafina's monologue where she admitted her father had an accent, the same Queens accent as Trump.

Then there was Kavanaugh. People act like this is the first hotly contested Supreme Court nomination, but some of us remember Bork and Thomas's nomination hearings. But deep down, he's just another white guy, and a lot of white guys seem to fear the way the world is changing.

Less than twenty-four hours after Awkwafina's hosting and Kavanaugh's swearing in, Jodie Whittaker's first episode of Doctor Who aired in BBC's world-wide simulcast. Since her casting was announced over a year ago, the protests by certain factions of fans center around that idea the Doctor has always been a white male. Yet, during Peter Capaldi's three seasons as the Twelfth Doctor, the show took a chance and had the Master regenerate as a woman. Michelle Gomez was a delight as Missy, short for the Mistress.

Despite the protests over Whittaker's casting, the BBC pulled in the highest ratings (9 million viewers) for the show since Christopher Eccleston's first appearance as the Doctor (9.9 million).

So what does this all mean?

Saturday Night Live, the U.S. Supreme Court, and Doctor Who all still exist. The universe hasn't imploded. Babies are still being born.

Change will come, is coming, has always come. The only thing we can really control in life is being kind to each other.

I've closed comments because there's still a lot of heated feelings about this past weekend's events.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Monday, October 1, 2018

Busy, Busy Busy!

Nope, still no new-to-me movies this week.

The network fall TV season began last week, so it's been a bittersweet start of good-bye to The Big Bang Theory. I was a bit curious about the new Magnum P.I. It may be interesting once Justin Lin gets out of the way. DH and I have given up on Lethal Weapon, thanks to last season's fight between the local Fox station and our cable provider. Murphy Brown, Mom, and SWAT are still on the DVR, waiting.

The Conners and Supernatural don't start until next week, and we'll have to wait until December for new episodes of The Orville. Netflix picked up Lucifer, but new episodes won't come out until sometime next year.

In the meantime, it's October 1st. The first day of the last quarter of the fiscal and Gregorian calendar year!

I've been exercising and writing. I want to have the first draft of Hero De Novo wrapped up by the end of October because I'm leaning toward using A Matter of Death as my NaNoWriMo project this year. I worked on it a little bit when I got stuck on HDN a couple of weeks ago, and the bug has struck again.

And yesterday while watching the Texans beat the Colts, I wrote the first draft of a student worksheet for a workshop I'll be teaching at the Findlay Public Library on October 11th at 6:30 p.m. entitled "The Write Stuff: Creating a Business Plan for Your Writing".

For more information on the class, go to the Findlay Public Library Calendar.

Preparing for this class has made me review and update my own business plan. You know, the one that was shot to hell this spring with my cancer diagnosis. But I'm healthy and feeling pretty damn good, so BRING ON DA WERDZ!