Don't Be Afraid of Failure

YorkWriters: Only the Brave

Read the above post, and read Dean Wesley Smith's post on the same subject. Whether you're gung-ho into the indie thing or are submitting to smaller or online presses, these two fantastic posts tell you that it's okay to fail.

Especially read the part in the York Writers blog which talks about George Clooney and his fear of failure. Yeah, George Clooney fears failure. But he hasn't given up. As the post points out, Mr. Clooney was in a Batman movie that tanked at the box office (I'd forgotten about that). Here he is, though, years later, nominated for all sorts of awards for two movies he did this year.

I know, I know, he's a celebrity and all that. He has a lot of movies and a TV series behind him. He has name recognition. But he could have allowed his career to go into the toilet, he could have allowed that stinker of a movie to get to him.

That he didn't let that happen sends a clear message to all of us, aspiring or not: Recognize your fear, and take steps to conquer it. Easier said than done, but it can be done.

Just recognizing your fear of something is the first step in getting over it.

My fears? As I said in the comments on Dean Wesley Smith's site, I'm afraid my story won't be perfect, so I rewrite, and rewrite, and rewrite. I also overthink things, imaging people reading certain scenes and not understanding them; coming up with different angles that readers might come up with to rip apart those scenes is just too much for my mind, which is already reeling from personal things going on in my life.

This happened to me in the 3rd novella. I was concerned about a couple of scenes near the end. I thought the ending was just right. But there were some continuation problems - which I fixed. Then I got into editing mode, and that's where I got into trouble: Tweaking and retweaking. After the editing was done, I stopped with the tweaking, because I realized what I was doing.

I didn't want the story to be rewritten where my voice wasn't coming through anymore. And I was in danger of doing that.

So I did the Table of Contents hyperlinks, did one last spellcheck, and got it uploaded.

I don't think I've completely gotten over the endless rewrites, and I know I haven't gotten over the overthinking part, either. But I feel a sense of accomplishment because I recognized what was happening and took action.

I think that's the key. If you let it get away from you - like I've done in the past - the story will be so bent out of shape, it won't look anything like you've envisioned; I have an historical fantasy like that which I've managed to resurrect, and will be working on that, off and on, during 2012. (It's a novel, and it's going to take some time to get the historical facts straight.) But I so love the idea and the characters that I felt I HAD to resurrect it. Only time will tell if it's been worth it.

Goals for 2012:

1. Finish and upload 10-12 short stories and novelettes in the super-secret category (i.e., not fantasy) under a pen name.
2. Work on historical fantasy/alternate history series set in NYC in the 1930s. Tentatively titled "Werewolves on Broadway."
3. Finish and upload historical fantasy set World War II California. Titled "Personal Demons."
4. Further sketch out ideas for a fantasy/SF series set on an asteroid. This is just in the beginning stages (percolating in my mind).

So, what fears about your writing do you have? Are you afraid of success? Do you endlessly rewrite like I do? Or is there some other fear that affects your writing?


Demon Daughter Now Available!

I've uploaded the 3rd (and last) in the series today, and it's available on Smashwords:


ETA: And it's available on Amazon now too:

Here's the blurb (which sucks, but the great thing is, I can change it if I want):

Trust and fear and demons don’t mix.

Tessa Palmisano loves her husband, Bert Gaston, a djinn. But she can’t trust him with her secret: He might not be the father of her baby, and the baby might be more than he or she appears to be.

Tessa confronts Jane, her landlady’s daughter, in Hades, Jane’s home turf, as Tessa guessed years ago Jane was a real demon. Tessa only has to massage the information out of Jane and offer it telepathically to a magical Elder (her landlady). Yeah, right. But Tessa is determined to end this here, to destroy this demonic daughter, and get the hell out of Hell.

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and whatever else is celebrated at this time of year. :-)

Have a happy and SAFE New Year!


Demon Daughter - The Last in My Fantasy Novella Series

So the editing is almost done; I'll be doing most of that today.

Already have the cover in place (see below), and I'll be uploading no later than Saturday morning. Yes, that's Christmas Eve, and my family has traditionally held the Christmas get together on that day; it goes back to the late 50s and early 60s, when my mother and aunts started having babies: How were they supposed to go see people on the other side of the family.

That's why we have it on Christmas Eve.

However, we won't be leaving until noon or so, which will give me plenty of time the day before and the day of, if need be. I'm shooting for no later than Friday night, because I know it takes Amazon 24 hours to do their thing.

And now to the blurb, which may or may not get changed (what I like about self pubbing - if something isn't working, I can change it):

Trust and fear and demons don’t mix well—just ask Tessa Palmisano. She loves her husband, Bert Gaston, a djinn, with all her heart. But she can’t yet trust him with her secret: That Bert might not be the father of her baby, and that the baby might be more than he or she appears to be...

Her landlady’s daughter, Jane, has been a bug in Tessa’s ass ever since Tessa has lived in the apartment house. She’s convinced that Jane is a real demon. With Bert and his brother acting as back up, Tessa confronts Jane in Hades, her home turf. All she has to do is massage the information out of Jane and mentally send it back to the landlady (a magical Elder). Yeah, right. But Tessa is determined to end this here, to destroy this demonic daughter, and get the hell out of Hell.

Even as I was getting ready to put that up, I tweaked it some more. I also have other versions, including a really short one (for Smashwords, where they don't give you a hell of a lot of room to work with).
I'll tell you, though, this was a tough one to get through, even though I had a general idea of the beginning and ending; the middle is what got me :-). But I let it rip, and came up with some things that helped clear up something that was bugging me about the storyline.
It's also been tough because I've had some personal things to get through, that are resolved - for the moment. I'll see how that shakes out in the not-too-distant future.
So Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice and merry/happy whatever else is out there! Have fun and be safe these last two weeks of 2011!

Stuff You Can Get For Free - For $12?!


I read Dean Wesley Smith's blog on a regular basis (you should too; it's full of lots of good stuff :-)), and he alerted his readers to the above blog post by Robin Hobb (she of the Farseer series and other books).

Apparently, Hephaestus Books is repackaging wiki articles (public domain) on Robin's and other writers' books - but they aren't the books themselves. The title, though, makes it sound as if the buyer is getting the books.

At only 42 pages, buyers, um, are not. Again, these are articles about Robin's (and others') books.

Can you imagine paying $12 for 42 pages of articles? Maybe a buck or two, at the most. Sheesh, most indie novels are in the $4.99-$6.99 range.

And all these folks offer are a bunch of articles for an exhorbitant price.

Nice. Not.


Sorry I Haven't Been Posting Much...

I wish it was because I'd taken a month-long vacation or something fun like that, but it's nothing like that.

I'm not going to go into details, so I'll just say I'm having personal problems with a loved one - it gets harder and harder to deal with. It's tough for me to talk about on a public forum like this, but I'm trying to do something about it even though the person doesn't want any help, and I'm doing it the only way I can: Through nutrition from an excellent nutritional guidebook.

I'm also doing the nutritional thing for myself, because of all the damned stress I'm under, not only personally, but also at work. They keep dumping stuff in my lap, and I'm somehow managing to keep up, but I'm not sure if I can do it long term (of course, if they decided to make me an employee, I could probably see myself through on the work, but I've given up on getting a perm job where I am right now).

Well, enough of the doom and gloom.

I figured I'd start reading a couple of books at once. One is The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson, and to show you how long I've had it, I picked it up at the now-defunct Borders store not far from where I live. (Yeah. And in hardback, too, lol!) I'm about halfway through, and I'm finding it really, really good, altho sometimes I wonder why he's throwing in different characters. Since it's supposed to be a 10-book series (yow!), there must be some reasoning behind it.

I hope. But I'll finish it, because I find the world fascinating.

I also picked up a $79 Kindle. (Shameless plug.) And have been putting stuff I got off Amazon and Smashwords onto it. And there, I'm reading Kristine Rusch's first in her Retrieval Artist series. I've been wanting to read more SF (this one is combined with a mystery), and this is a great story, talking about aliens, people living on the Moon (one of the domes they live in is named the Armstrong Dome - get it? Neil Armstrong...yeah, yeah, I thought you would), children taken from their parents by aliens who take loved ones because of the family's past transgressions...it's all so cool and interesting. What hooked me was the opening, which actually had me shedding a tear.

And since The Disappeared is only $4.99 as an ebook, it's a bargain. I have to watch my money a lot right now, but I can see buying more in the series at some point; it's that good.