Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Calming Effects of Short Stories

You know, now that I'm done writing my novel, I've noticed something. I'm bored. My mind is lacking that wonderful exhilaration I get when I write and now that its dulled, the insanity is starting to bubble up again. And its not the good kind of crazy either. I've been trying to find ways to bring the sensation back, but my little sister's chocolate chip cookies and "Home Improvement" reruns aren't helping. They're still nice though.
You know what does help? The only cure for lack-of-writing syndrome is more writing. But what do you do if you need to write, but don't want to spend all the time and effort required for a novel? Just need a daily fix of writer high? I have two words for you my friend. Short stories.
Short Story writing is becoming a lost art. All writers nowadays seem preoccupied with full fledged novels that they forget the joy and calming effects of just sitting down and writing a short story in an afternoon. It's great for that between books feeling too. It allows a writer to extend the adventures of their characters without the need of a 300 page novel. I've found my own characters, Sophia, Del, and Philippe, live on in short stories like "The Orphanage Trick" and "Del's Somewhat Brilliant Plan." I can also explore the world of Queen Angeline and her shape shifting servant Taiga in "Catacombs Under the Castle" or spend an evening in The Loft with Tara and her friends in "Bohemian Alley."
Writing short stories is the perfect cure for whatever ails writers. It relaxes the mind and calms the body, leaving you ready to take on whatever life throws at you. And you don't even need a prescription. Let's see a doctor do that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Selling Evolution

I've been noticing something. The 21st century is catching up to the noble art of book selling. It's no longer necessary to go to a bookstore and stroll through isles of shelves looking for books. Now all that is required to buy a book is to go online and scroll through Internet pages with images of the covers and summaries, sometimes even using a search feature to find a book instantly. You don't even need a book to read a book anymore. eBooks are becoming more and more common, but they're not actual books. They're screens with pixels.

Book selling is changing rapidly. The way of computers and electronics may seem all fine and dandy, but it's not the same as traditional book selling. When shopping for books online, it's just not the same as pushing my way through the door of my favorite little bookshop, being greeted by the smell of paper, smiling and waving to the clerk (who knows my face from all the times I've been in there) browsing through the piles of books for what I intentionally came in for and maybe even finding something I wasn't looking for. You can't do that online. Online you can't take a book in your hands, feeling the pages with you fingertips, and flip through letting your eyes lap at stray words. eBooks are not different. With an eBook, you can't feel the warm spine against your hands as you open it, you can't feel the breeze of fluttering pages. They take away the pleasure of a book; of opening a book to find that it smells just like the Brooklyn bookshop described in the story. eBooks just don't have the same life as actual books, the same soul. You may not have known this, but all books smell different. Old books smell different than new books, hardbacks smell different than paperbacks, books about pirates smell different than books about dragons. eBooks... last time I checked technology didn't smell so good.

How many of you just sniffed some part of your computer?

See? I told you.

Books are books, computers are computers. Please leave the two worlds separate.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pause the Chaos for Just One Second!

I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while, life's a little chaotic right now. Between my two jobs and my work on the editing of my novel, I barely have any time to breathe. Luckily, I have found one second of free time, as today is my day off. Time to catch up.

Jessica at Jordon
This was something I meant to post a couple weeks ago, but if I barely had time to breathe, I most certainly was going to have a hard time finding an opportunity to blog. On Friday, June 18th I went to a reading and book signing of "Princess of Glass" at Jordon Landing. As Jessica Day George is one of my all time favorite authors, needless to say I was spastic with excitement for the next few days after finding out about the reading. It died down then flared back up as the date approached. And lasted for several days afterward. It was great to meet my favorite author, to get a few questions answered, and to hear about upcoming projects. I feel "in the loop" now.

In other news...

Novel Repairs
Oh, boy. Just for the record, I really hate editing my own stuff with a passion like none other, but I'm just a poor zoo gift shop cashier/janitor and I can't afford to have a professional do it. Luckily for me, my new CD of solo Native American flute is helping to keep me calm and in the zone.d While there are moments I doubt my own abilities when I come across lines I like then, but loath now it also makes me feel better when I read lines that are really good and there's that moment of "Whoa, I wrote that." The good news is that all the editing is done now and the changes are in the computer. I can be happy again! Don't take my ranting of editing the wrong way, doing edits yourself is a good thing because you come across things that you may want to reword or something you forgot to add that you wanted to. To some it all up, that light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer by the minute. To all you writers in progress out there, keep going and you'll accomplish great things. I wish only the best for you.

And there you go. You're all caught up. I'll try to post more often in the future. Until then, happy writing!