Thursday, October 19, 2017

Nanowrimo Prep

I still don't have the project picked out for NaNo this year (eek!), but I have a few options I'm considering. I do, however, have the most important part finished: getting ready to put my daily word count into my new planner. And yes, that word count is under the MY SOCIAL LIFE column. Because all writers give up their social lives in November for the love of writing, right?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Organized and Feelin' Fine...

I'm totally organized to take on the rest of the year, including projects, freelance work, and other fun stuff. And it helps to have a few good tools to stay organized--my new Sarah Scribbles calendar and organizer are keeping me motivated (and entertained).

The new Fiverr gig has been up and running for a few days now, so if you need blog editing services, you can check it out. Also, Fiverr has introduced an Available Now option that lets you tell customers you are online and ready to work. So, I've decided to hold something like office hours for the editing gig as well as my book spotlight gig--I'll try to stay available for at least an hour or two a week. It will probably be at different times, depending on what's scheduled for that week, so I'll announce my availability on Twitter.

The Patreon page is coming along. I want to get it all snazzy and looking good, so the page will not launch until November 1. I know. The same day NaNoWriMo starts. What am I thinking?! Anyway, I'll be providing more information once it launches. I'll also be providing more information on this year's NaNo project once I figure out what it will be.

I'm not sure if I announced that Seeing What Develops is now available for purchase on a range of platforms, but if I didn't, here I go. The book is now available as an ebook through Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Inktera, Playster, 24Symbols and outlets that sell books for Tolino. I'm still working to update my book page on the blog, and that's why it's hidden at the moment. It should be back up soon.

Have a happy weekend full of writing!

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Taking the Plunge

I'm going to take the plunge on go on Patreon. Right now, today, typing this sentence I'm not asking whether I should do it. I've already made that decision by reading tons of articles saying either that I'm clever for using this service to continue to fund my creativity, or I'm a panhandler that should never ask to be paid for my writing, because if you love it, you shouldn't expect to be paid for it. Yeah, I'm gonna try that line the next time I take my car to a mechanic--because I just know they do oil changes solely for the love of doing it. Uh-huh.

What I am asking is what type of perks do most patrons expect from a writer? I know that when I had more money and was considering supporting other creatives, I was looking mainly at comic book/graphic novel artists. They can do everything from posting exclusively artwork to sending out postcards, creating custom drawings for individual patrons, etc. Writers are, as always, a little bit different.

I've been studying writer pages on the site (all of the featured ones are making at least $3k a month--insanely awesome, but I'm assuming not typical) and have found quite a few common perks: general updates on the progress of current projects, digital access to exclusives (blog posts, short stories, poems, chapters of upcoming books, photos, cover reveals), print copies, general and bookish swag, video Q&A's. But is there something missing? Is there something a little more unique or a little more desirable that patrons would want from a writer?

And the other key question--do these perks need to focus solely on the reader, or do some patrons also want the business side of writing when it comes to the structure of a perk? I noticed that many higher tiers on any given page focus more on things interesting to fellow writers, rather than just readers--which is weird to me, because wouldn't someone looking for writing advice also be an underpaid, underappreciated writer? I guess not all of us are underpaid...

These are all the things I'm still working out, and any input would be helpful. I don't want to provide someone with something they don't believe is worth the money. I want to choose these perks carefully so that the creative/patron relationship is pretty balanced.

Monday, September 11, 2017

September Updates

I am working hard on a number of projects. I'm sure I need to be telling myself it's crunch time, but for what? Perks of being my own boss, I guess. I treat my employees like superstars. ;-)

Like any good writer, I'm also looking to diversify my business and take full advantage of my skills. Along with the current gig I have on Fiverr, I'll be adding another one soon to help with editing blog posts. That, and I'm looking to take the first step in making my presence uber-professional, so I need to complete enough gigs to pay for that logo I've been wanting. I'm also embarking on a way to focus more on my fiction work (hint: rhymes with Smatreon), but you'll be hearing more about that in the coming weeks.

I know you're wondering about the writing. It's going as well as it can be. I have poetry ready to go for submission on Friday, MoL #3 is still coming along, and I'm nearly finished with revisions on my latest short story, which I hope to be submitting somewhere by the end of the month. I've also been slowly finishing a first draft that's been taking forever, and since I've switched what project I want to try with Kindle Scout, there are more plans to be made and writing to be done.

What are you working on this week?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Weekend Reads: The Lauras

An escape. A road trip. A pilgrimage to understand one and discover the other. In The Lauras, a woman is faced with the need to get away from her life, and in doing so pulls her child Alex with her. The relationship between mother and child grows and develops as they hit the open road, both trying to find different things while still holding onto the best parts of their individual pasts.

Although the story is told through Alex, it is Alex's mom's stories that are prominent throughout the book. These stories about all the different Lauras (a generic name given to all of the transformative women in Ma's life) are sort of destinations on the map across the United States. In each stop that the pair make, there is a quest or a task that Ma must complete before she and her child can move onto the next phase of the journey. It is through these stories that Alex learns about Ma and her childhood, and intertwines Alex's own story of growing up in the present. All of Alex's needs and all of Ma's secrets play a delicate tug of war to provide plenty of interesting moments in the novel.

The one aspect of this book that seems to settle in the background until on a few occasions it is brought to the forefront is the fact that Alex wants to remained untethered by gender identification. The key to reading the story of Alex is to push yourself past the assumptions you make while you are reading the story. I know that I found it difficult to not put Alex in a box, based on the actions Alex took and things Alex thought throughout the novel. I had a clear idea in my mind who Alex was at the beginning, but as the novel went on, it morphed and I turned out second guessing my original thoughts about who Alex could be. I even skimmed the novel after reading it to see if the author provided any hint as to how Alex couldn't fall into at least one gender stereotype to give away the answer, but Taylor was great at crafting Alex the way Alex wanted to be portrayed. 

That's the whole idea of Alex's side of the story--if you want to respect Alex's narrative, you must give up trying to figure out whether Alex is male or female. Alex doesn't want it to matter to the story, so it shouldn't matter to the reader. With or without it, it's a good story of family, of adventure and the need to know whether the definition of home is within a place or within yourself.

Interested in reading The Lauras for yourself? You can find out more information about the book from Penguin Random House. You can also learn more about Sara Taylor by reading her bio.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.