Monthly Archives: March 2015

Cats, books and other things

I have to admit that I am the proud human to four cats. All under the age of three, they manage to tear around my small apartment like a tornado, interfering with my second role, the writer of fantasy books. I use the plural form of the word “book” because I have six in process as well as two that I have written sketches about but haven’t started the actual writing of. And I mustn’t forget the one or two prequels of five of the books I’m working on.

Needless to say the concatenation of books and cats is a common meme, particularly in George Booth cartoons. His work could well be the humorous representation of parts of my life. I have a sweatshirt showing a cat swooning on a stack of books. The words are “Books. Cats. Life is good.” But he never to my recollection did one of a writer with cats. (Please feel free to disabuse me of this notion, as I would love to see his take on the issue.)

My cats have visited a number of calamities on me over the brief course of my writing career. Among them, the destruction of one computer, the deletion of a day’s work on one book, and the eating of a document that I needed to take with me to the Burlington Writers Workshop, among many other significant and insignificant atrocities. This is why I have made them characters in some of my stories. I somehow think I am appeasing the cat gods by doing this.

It is not the cat’s fault (I wish it were!) But the publication of Fantastical Trips is now put off, probably until June. I’ll keep you informed.

What Lucky Looks Like

This is a woman who doesn’t need mansplaining or condescension from some idiot in pants. Way to go, Tawni!

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Tawni Waters, in a less cranky mood Tawni Waters, in a less cranky mood

Writer, actor, and rock-n-roll gypsy Tawni Waters unleashes her inner crankiness on one of those boorish men who explain things to “the ladies”:

A few weeks ago, a man approached me at a social event, congratulated me on my recent book sales, then proceeded to tell me how “lucky” I am. He pointed out that there are thousands of talented writers out there, but most of them aren’t as “lucky” as me. His tone was condescending and judgmental, as if I’d won the lottery and was being flippant about poverty.

He was about the zillionth person to say something like this since I got my first book deal. For the record, I’d like to explain what “lucky” looks like if you’re Tawni. I sold my first story when I was 18. I sold my first novel when I was 42. Between the ages…

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A new gig

I have been informed that there will be a bucket for people to put ideas in at the launch party for the 2015 Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop. The plan is for me to read my double dactyls as the first entry in the readings. People will then watch as one of their ideas is pulled out of the bucket, and I will be given one hour to write a double dactyl on that subject. I have a feeling I’m going to regret this. On the other hand, when the poems get started they keep on coming, so I may produce more than one. Who knows?

For any of you in the Burlington, VT, area on Friday, April 3, come to ArtsRiot on Pine Street at 7 pm. We’ll have a blast.

And here, for your delectation, is my most recent attempt:

Cruz Announces

Presidy drezidy
Cruz has announced for the
Ticket republicans
Hope will win big

Green eggs and ham won’t be
Cruz filibuster zags
When he should zig


Well, not to get too complacent about things, I have decided to merge the first two books into one. The reason is simply that otherwise, the first would probably only qualify as a novella. I want my readers to get as much of the story as possible as soon as possible, and this clears the decks for the two sequels that I know will follow reasonably quickly. And then the two after that are still planned and half written. I know, I know, you’ve heard it before. But it is back in my hands and I will now be making my decisions as I originally planned to do.

I am very near to the point where I can have a friend proofread it, at the same time that another friend does the beta read. Between two (or possibly three) sets of additional eyes, I hope we find all the typos. My typing has gotten a little sloppy as my fingers can’t keep up with the words flowing from my noggin. I am happy the words are flowing again, however, and will not object to a downside that is only sloppy typing. Poor grammar might bother me but sloppy, arthritic fingers are one of the costs of getting on in years.  And Word has the nasty habit of auto-correcting ( I know that I can turn it off) which does not teach my fingers the right places to go. On the other hand, it avoids a number of embarrassing mistakes, such as forgetting the space between “pen” and “is.” Of course then, it’s usually  a grammar mistake.

So please bear with me, as I muddle my way to the finish line. I still think you’ll like it. I hope you give it a try.

Publishing Fantastical Trips

I will be publishing this book through Shire Books, a branch of Northshire Books in Manchester, VT. I had a long talk today with my contact at Shire, and learned the answers to many questions I have. I now know that it is impossible to arrange for the book’s issuance at the same time by POD (print on demand) and ebook. The main issue is the fact that the various purveyors of ebooks take different times in getting the book on their sites. Therefore, the POD may well be available before the ebook.

I fully expect that most of my sales (if any)  will be as ebooks, and it will be available through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, i-Books,  Kobo and others. Please contact me if you need the book to be available in a particular e-store, and I will see what I can do

If you want a print book, you will be able to order it at any online store that acquires its books through Ingram. Since that is most bookstores in the USA, you should be able to order it.

All of this discussion is, of course, premature. The final edit is not yet done, and the book has not yet been sent to the typesetter/designer. Then it will be proofread again, and only then sent to Shire. But the end is in sight for this one, and the commencement of the same process for Book 2 is similarly in sight. Stay tuned for my decision on the name of the sequel, and the later disclosure of its cover.

Lessons Learned from a Book Launch, Part II

I’ve been following this blog for several months, and there is frequently great information. It’s also a blog of contentious folks whose POV is sometimes not mine, but always thought provoking!

Mad Genius Club

This is a guest post by my wife, Dorothy.  It follows on from my first post on this subject on Friday, and should be read in conjunction with that article.

Dorothy handles marketing for my books, and I’m very grateful to her for her outstanding professional skills in that area.  I might add that she’ll be setting up a freelance consultancy business in that area in a couple of months to help other indie authors.  If you find yourself in need of a marketing and promotions guru, I can’t recommend her highly enough.  (Of course, I may be slightly biased where she’s concerned… )


Hi, all.  Dorothy here.

First, the book launch from a promo perspective – what we did right, wrong, and can’t tell if it was right or wrong. This is the graph of the sales of Stand Against the Storm for the first three weeks after…

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Silly me

I had the opportunity to go on a writers retreat for most of this past week. I went to a lovely private inn that calls itself the When Words Count Retreat, in Rochester, VT. It is a relatively small place with nine rooms,  and its raison d’etre is to supply a quiet and lovely place for writers to be able to write without distraction. Add to that fabulous food provided by their gourmet chef Aaron, and you have a wonderful way to unblock yourself in luxury.

As we were getting ready to leave, however, I stubbed my left big toe when I was wearing only knitted slippers on my feet. I could tell from the pain after impact that this was something more than the stubbed toe of my youth. But I put my foot into my sneaker for the ride home, and my friend Wendy drove. We stopped at a rest stop for a break and I undid my shoe and looked at my toe. It was not its normal shape and didn’t look too good.

When I got home, I iced the toe three times, with the only result being that the toe became black and blue. The swelling did not go down at all, even when the foot was raised above my head. Not liking the look of it, I drove myself to our Urgent Care center at the Fanny Allen Hospital (yes, the wife of Ethan Allen of Green Mountain Boy fame). They x-rayed my foot, and yes, I had broken the large toe. Because of its use in maintaining balance, it was scheduled to result in my departing on crutches. But…. I am still recovering from a broken arm 14 months ago, and walking around on crutches was not in the cards.

They gave me a knee high boot to immobilize my foot and sent me home with a narcotic pain killer to get me through the night. It worked somewhat, although I apparently undid the boot in my sleep and tried to take it off. I woke up at 6 am with pain in the toe, which was no longer protected by the boot. I had one cat sleeping in the plastic boot, and another sleeping in the interior foam boot which I had also removed. Once I got the cats out of their respective sleeping berths, I reattached the boot, and got up to feed the kitties.

As I now sit in my recliner with my foot elevated, it is finally quiet for the first time today. I am beginning to get sleepy, so I may take a pill and go to bed early. Only I can go on a writing retreat and come back with a broken toe.!