Author: “You” (And You Alone)

Naturally I follow some indie authors on social media. I like to try to keep up with what others may be doing. Ridiculously early yesterday…

…I noticed a post that touched on this subject, and it led me to want to address it here today. I’m seeing increasing references to “beta feedback” and similar. That refers to the sharing of a draft manuscript with various readers, often found online, for their reactions and suggestions.

It seems now to be something of a “cottage industry” in indie writing. And what could be wrong with that? Isn’t it just proofreading? Surely, that’s a good idea?

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Old San Juan

We decided earlier this year that we would take a holiday somewhere we’ve never been: Puerto Rico:

We flew down here from New York on Thursday. A major impetus to doing this were cousins of mine, whose family roots are in Puerto Rico. Years ago they had suggested we give it a visit.

When I wrote her asking for some suggestions a couple of months back, one cousin practically overloaded my Messenger:

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Lisbon, Portugal

I should be writing, I know that. I have a novel that is now “overdue.” And I am working on it afternoons in the hotel.

But this is just too much to resist and remain locked away all day. We are here only until Sunday. Thursday and Friday, I was out and about at this “secret” destination – which you knew already if you follow my Instagram. And obviously this post’s title gives it away: Lisbon, Portugal:

I even got in a required selfie:

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“Author Facebooking”

I saw this on Instagram earlier this morning:

And it got me thinking that while there is “truth” in that, I have learned that the likes of “Facebooking” – for me it is more “Instagraming” – can be a stress breaker, too. One cannot work at one’s writing ALL of the time. You’ll become “isolated” and go bonkers.

It is necessary to blow off steam, have a laugh, and to think about something else now and then. Social media is one way to do so…

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If There Is No Blog Post Here…

It is taking me much longer than I had hoped to work through the final bits of (what I lightheartedly like to call) my, uh, personal “Gone With The Wind”:

Working Covers, Conventions: The Garden At Paris.
Working Covers, Conventions: The Garden At Paris.

As a consequence I know I haven’t really had the time to write posts here as usual in recent weeks. But no writer should ever cut him/herself off entirely. I always find some time (mornings especially) to read blogs and check social media – especially Instagram.

I like Instagram because it’s fun. And it’s a necessary distraction at times. I can’t get over the stuff some people post.

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Thoughts For This Sunday

I was away for a few days. I’d driven down to stay with my (increasingly frail) in-laws in London while my wife is in Portugal. My main task was to help with dog walking:

Naturally, I transported my vital technology to set myself up to write there when I could.

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“There’s The Girl”

A bit of an “unserious” post at times. It’s Wednesday. A brief change of pace.

We sat through Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, on Sunday night.

I like science fiction. I like superheroes. I like being entertained.

But while watching too often I found myself asking: What the heck is going on?

The film is based on the characters from the famous comics, of course. As I watched, it dawned on me as well that lots of books today are also rooted in the supernatural or the essentially “unbelievable.” The number of indie authors alone who write fantasy – and often really good stuff, too – is enormous.

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The Notebook

Happy Monday!

Back on Friday morning, writing a bit in the cold of the house waiting for the heat to be restored, I was penning a “three-way” argument. Suddenly one of the characters is shouting at another. After I finished, a continuity issue hit me: I realized in the shouting I had gotten carried away and forgot that character had also just blurted out a secret not meant for the third person in the room to hear – as of then.

It was meant to be revealed LATER in the tale. Yet as I thought about it, I loved the accident that I had accidentally just written; that the secret had been let out of the bag in a fit of temper. That sort of thing can happen in our own real lives, of course.

It read as wonderfully genuine. So I jumped forward and scrubbed the later revelation of that secret (a scene which I had, frankly, never really liked). Writing mistakes sometimes can be your “friend.”

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A Chilly English Winter Morning

I was writing yesterday late morning when I noticed no heat was on and the house had started to feel cool. Venturing downstairs from my office, I discovered the boiler was out. Next I saw gas workers outside.

National Grid to the rescue yesterday. [Photo by me, 2016.]
National Grid to the rescue yesterday. [Photo by me, 2016.]

There was a gas problem on the high street and National Grid had turned up with what seemed like a dozen vehicles. They’d had to shut off service to quite a few houses. Water from a burst pipe up the road earlier somehow got into the main gas pipe.

“Uh, not good,” one of the workers told me.

“So this is the water company’s fault,” I laughed.

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This Writer’s Yesterday

What do novelists do all day? My uncle had told me any writer gets asked that question regularly. So I thought that I’d try to explain what this one did … yesterday.

Now that the holidays are over, I have no excuses. I’ve decided to target finishing Conventions by the end of January. We’ll see if I can live up to that; but planting a timescale flag is necessary or one is apt to drift. However, even if I can manage that, with all that follows after the last word is “officially” written, it will not be available probably before March.

As you may know I try to write a blog post here five or so times a week. But as you may have also noticed I have fallen off that pace recently as I have found myself working increasingly on the last stages of the book. To give you all a morning wave, yesterday I chose Instagram:

It was not a great weather morning here early yesterday as well. So I posted that Knebworth Park summer photo. (But the sun did come out eventually during the day.) Not long after I’d posted it, I was off and running…

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