Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time fighting software which meant that I didn’t do much productive. This was rendered more “fun” by the fact that thunder kept cutting our internet out. Unfortunately that means as soon as I’m done here I need to go do litter boxes and general dusting. I cleaned the kitchen while making coffee, which is probably against the Geneva conventions, but we had too many dishes from dinner to actually fit in one load, so it had to be done.
Speaking of which, have dishwashers gotten smaller, or is it my imagination? The external size takes about the same, but I swear fewer dishes fit in dishwashers today than did thirty years ago. Is this a memory caused by my getting older (In my day, sonny, we had DISHWASHERS. Now you have shoeboxes!) or what? The only way I can figure for them to have shrunk would be better insulation so that it reaches higher temps with lower electricity. But in that case, like the low flush toilets, it’s misguided because you have to run it twice, which makes it worse. End of digression – well this digression.
So, once I’m done here, there’s the boxes, and the dusting and the vacuuming and I need to go out and spray weed killer out there – my life is that exciting, yes.
After that, I will do some hours of editing Witchfinder and maybe actually finish it so editor can get it.
Which brings us to…
I’ve got back No Will But His edited, have gone over it and am in the process of getting it ready to put up. It’s very easy with Atlantis and Sigil, although being html er… — can I say retarded, in reference to myself? Because that’s the only thing that describes my relationship with html. My kids look at me when I say “I can’t edit html” as if I’d just confessed to being unable to feed myself. (Ah, well, think how much fun it will be in another thirty years. “What do you mean you can’t zoom, mom? Everybody can zoom. My five year old can zoom. You just warble the govars, and you’re zooming.”) – if I find an error in Sigil I have to take it back to Atlantis to fix, but it’s not a big deal. (Anyone making Atlantis – if you figure out how to make it open the ebooks/mobi you just created, you have a winner. It can take you from minor to major leagues, and heck, Microsoft will probably buy you.)
Anyway, we’re now trying to figure out if we need to buy ISBNs (yes) and under which identity to buy it – it’s complicated – because we need to get the 1k ISBNs and even I can’t exhaust those in ten years. (Dan thinks I can. I’m not sure that’s cute or scary.) Then I’ll need to contract out typesetting due to a ban totale (imagine that with a Spanish accent) on Adobe products on our machines instituted by the man who says they’re dirty software that can’t be removed. (Adobe, you’re a dirty, dirty girl – never mind. The exciting lives of programmers.)
That’s on the slate later tonight, as well as working on the publicity workshop I’m taking.
The Human Wave Garage sale had interesting results. I had fewer free downloads than previously, and fewer sales than most of the participants, but since then I’ve sold ten of Wings at full price. (!)
Now keep in mind all the books I put up I had either had for free before, or had been in the free library. Curiously I had free downloads in every country BUT Spain. (Go figure.)
Anyway, another uptick since the collection was advertised in Book Plug Friday, so clearly that helps.
Other than that I’m all at sea about how to publicize, which is why I’m taking Dean Smith’s workshop.
My sales overall are very weird this first week of the month. Normally I have half a dozen short stories, but this week ALL I have is two of the Marlowe short stories, one in England and one here. The rest is the novel or collections – none of which makes any sense. Perhaps the price point for short stories has changed again, though I can’t believe it’s up from 2.99.
Further on the slate today is actually getting some stuff up on Kobo and doing an All Romance account for Goldport Press. I’m still not sure on that one, since now the only nominal romance I have is No Will but His. People who think that Draw One In The Dark is a paranormal romance are misleading both themselves and potential readers. People who read PNR would throw Draw against the wall because PNR is the most sex-soaked of the romance genres. But more than that, the structure is adventure not romance, although because I’m establishing the couple who will carry the series, there is romance. And because they’re both young and broken, it’s DORKY romance. (Yes, I know someone in comments will mention a dork is a whale penis. Yes, yes, let the games begin.)
So, I’m not sure that I’ll ever write much else that can be classed as romance, even at a stretch, but the madman I live with tells me I can do the rest of the Queens and my distaff side war of the roses and – yeah, let the games begin.
Anyone have a spare head and a couple of hands? I need to double my production.
UPDATE: Oh, yeah, and the musing I didn’t put in. Are writers emotional vampires? Was talking to friend last night about how I now want to write the Red Baron as dragon story and I explained that what attracts me is the emotional pain caused by the contradiction about how dignified and well buttoned-up the man is, and the situations the dragon ends up in or puts him in — as well as the inherent fact that the dragon is considered a repulsive (and illegal) shape for a human to assume. (All shapes are other than human, but you know what I mean.) This generates such an amount of pain and fracturing that it makes the character irresistible. And then it hit me “Oh my heavens, we’re emotional vampires, torturing the characters for our fodder.” I’m adding this to my “Creepy facts about writers.” Because you know, me, Sarah Hoyt, not the writer, I’m a rather compassionate being who will go out of her way not to hurt people and who will even try to avoid striking back at enemies unless in self-defense. (If you REALLY p*ss me off, I won’t help you when you’re in desperate in. But I feel guilty NOT helping. — and to be honest most of the time the help I DON’T give is help I can’t give to people I don’t trust. Like, I can’t recommend you to my editor. BUT I will give you bread if you’re starving, of course. Yes, even if I want to beat you with hammers. Because I repressed the beating people with hammers thing early, and humans as humans still deserve my compassion.) But the writer? Sarah A. Hoyt — THE WRITER — is a stone cold bitch. Particularly for characters.
My feeling seems to accord with a post on FB by Michael Grant this morning, dealing with his own uneasiness at being a writer — uneasiness I’ve also described as well:
I don’t write, you know. Some guy who lives in my head writes. I just set the table for him. I feed him. Sometimes he does what I ask, and sometimes he goes away. So I show him pictures and hope to get his attention. And then, like today, he appears and says, Here you go, Michael, here’s your book. This is the story. See how it makes sense now? See how fucking easy that was?
This is exactly why for so long I resisted becoming a writer. I knew that was the deal, that I would be a step out of phase, not be part of but apart from. Like I was ever part of. Like I wasn’t always this person, this lurker. Yeah.
I’m a fucking alien, an anthropologist. None of these people becomes a character in my books, they just feed data to the algorithm. I drink and watch and steal an expression here, a clothing choice there, a strong tanned leg, a pale face, a sigh, a too-loud laugh. I think of a funny line. I whip out my laptop. Idea: tattoos that reveal souls. Idea: The old feasting on the memories of the young.
And if you’re dying for a less scattered post, Peter Grant is up at MGC with Sam The Sex God.