I’ve been catching up with life and working on other media projects this month, and family stuff necessarily trumps all at this time of year, even for secular celebrants.
The problem is that “The Girl In the Blue Flame Cafe” is still a WIP. That must be my priority after Christmas.
I don’t generally do New Year’s resolutions, but I’m thinking I might this year. Clearly it is far too easy for everything else to interfere with both my writing and my self publishing. Self Publisher’s set our own deadlines. The downside is that it is far too easy to change them when encountering unchangable deadlines for other things.
So I need to reinvest myself in my real work, so I think my New Year’s Resolution is that 2014 will be my Year of The Book.
I have just decided what to write for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I had been considering completing one of my two works in progress, which is allowable under NaNoWriMo rules so long as you write 50,000 new words during the month of November.
But instead, I’ve been hit with an inspiration, so I’m planning something a little different this year. There are a few things I will need to sort out (like an outline!) before I can get started on November 1st.
I am sorry I will have to miss the one official NaNoWriMo event I had thought I’d be able to attend (first day write-in) in favor of a previously arranged potluck dinner with some friends I don’t see enough of. Perhaps I’ll manage an impromptu write-in or two in my my Region to reconnect with a few of my pals from previous years. But this year I am quite sure most of my participation will be online.
I hope to reconnect with some of my writing buddies in the NaNoWriMo forums. But that’s just the jumping off point. I’ve begun a StatusNet Federation/GNU social/Friendica group for anyone participating in !NaNo 2013. This group of federates with my Twitter account.
For the last few months I’ve been enjoying another unofficial NaNoWriMo group on Facebook. This is a nice place to chat with other participants, and members Dawn Montgomery and Robert Blair have put together a Twitter List of group members. Since I’ve never actually managed to figure out Twitter lists myself, I just followed everyone on the list. It will be a simple matter to check back and add any late arrivals.
One of this year’s coolest NaNoWriMo goodies is from the long established self publishing platform Lulu, which has launched its Let’s Go Wrimos site where everyone who applies can get a free manuscript review by The Book Genome Projectand a free proof copy of your First Edition Hardcover from Lulu.com.
Another of the new NaNoWrimo sponsors, Wattpadintends “To reward the hard work of NaNoWriters, Wattpad will be offering a $2000 prize to one lucky writer who completes his or her NaNoWriMo novel in November.” I’m not sure what Wattpad is all about, but that is certainly incentive to find out!
When you decide to self publish, it’s important to be as visible as possible. This is a big part of why I am all over the Internet, and why I’ve just set up my “Author Page” on Amazon Central. Unfortunately the Amazon page is a rigidly set up form that limits what and how authors can share our information.
Possibly the most ironic part of the experience was where the page offers the new user an opportunity to view a “sample” page. What displays is Frank McCourt’s Author Page, which demonstrates where the author photo will sit, as well as showing off Frank’s nice black & white title banner. In creating my own banner, I even made sure to use the exact dimensions of Frank’s banner.
The problem is that while my author photograph rests on the left just like Frank’s, alas, there is no way for me to upload my own black and white name banner to Amazon Central, nor any means of creating one on the site. It is possible such banners used to be allowed, but since that is not the case now, Frank’s page does not provide a true example of how an Amazon Central Author Page will look.
Another difficulty was having a limited space for the biography without knowing what the limit was, exactly. The limit is not screen real estate; it makes no difference whether your words are squished together in a single paragraph or spread out in airy paragraphs. The limit is probably by word or character count, but it required trial and error and tinkering to ensure mine ended where I wanted it to. You can exceed the limit but then are left with only an exerpt, not the best way to make an introduction.
The “Upcoming Events” segment had its issues as well. Naturally I intended to add my participation in NaNoWriMo 2013. While the form allows this, but automatically fills in the venue information with the physical address of the NaNo HQ. My participation will be taking place online, not in California. I can see this being a problem for me forever, since the address for the venue for many of my own events will be “online.” Altering the form to allow the inclusion of a URL as an address would be very helpful.
My last problem is that the section requires an Amazon published book title. While I can understand why Amazon would like to encourage this, NaNoWriMo isn’t an event for selling books that are already written, but to encourage the writing of new novels. Including the name of my debut novel was not really appropriate here, but is required by the form, so I was torn between not making use of the space or including information that isn’t quite right. I’m still trying to come up with a way to make it work.
Students are just finding their way through the fall semester at Christie University when a brutal on campus attack sends a chill through the Fyfield House residence. [Caution: Before giving copies to kids, remember that this whodunit deals with mature subject matter.]
While not as sunny and warm as yesterday, it’s far too nice to be stuck writing indoors, so I’m going to set up my laptop on the front porch (in case the forcast rain should fall), hook any interested cats to their leashes, and get out there and work on “The Girl In The Blue Flame Cafe”
The exciting opening of “The Girl In The Blue Flame Cafe” set in Toronto’s Union Station is not likely to change in editing. I’ve always loved Union Station, so I was quite tickled to stumble across this very cool look at the earlier incarnation of the 19th Century Cathedral of Transportation.
Architectural drawing for the Union Railway Depot, Toronto, Canada that was to be built in 1896
Strickland & Symons, Architects, Toronto
Vol VII. Canadian Architect And Builder No. 9. September, 1894
“The history of the current Union Station can be traced to 1858, when Toronto’s first Union Station was opened by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR), just west of the present Union Station. The wooden structure was shared with the Northern Railway and the Great Western Railway. This structure was replaced by a second Union Station on the same site, opening in 1873. As both the Northern Railway and Great Western Railway had been acquired by the GTR, this was not a true Union station. However, the Canadian Pacific Railway began using the facility in 1884 and it was completely rebuilt, opening in 1896.”