Magical Fantasy Stories, Both Light & Dark

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dealing with Writer Envy

Writerly Fantasy Book Review:
Got Kevin Hearne's  Hexed read.  First, I want to say, I hate Hearne -- in the teenaged angst sort of way.  He only wrote for 19 years before he sold his trilogy.  --  [He deserves the success -- and makes my use of some of the same motifs look pedestrian.]

A second volume of a trilogy usually sags.  Hexed breaks that rule.  The plot arc flows as the gods, demons, witches, and dangling problems from the first book complicate things in the second volume.  The story?  Atticus O'Sullivan, the last remaining druid, survived an attack by gods and demons in Hounded, but one demon managed to escape and plot revenge.  Atticus must defend his southwestern US turf with the suspect help of the local Polish witch coven and the interference of religious fanatics seeking to destroy all magic workers.  The writing is fast and funny and totally deserving of envy.

I'm looking forward to Hammered, the third volume.  Del Rey Books has turned the trilogy into a series which should be a fun ride.  Hearne mix and matches a variety of the world's belief systems into one delightfully funny romp.

Social Networking and Other Web Stuff:
I don't know how Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware does it, but an awful lot of her blogs hit problems I'm facing on the nail head.  A recent blog on how to get out of contracts when a publisher goes belly up or some other reason is worth saving.  Guess I'm a disgustingly median writer.  

[Yeah, I got a contract dangling ...  but I've also got a book derived from it almost ready to submit.  Book trumps short story ... so guess which one I'm putting into play.  The short story can fester for the time being.  I also have another contract promised when the small publisher finishes their current project.  Have the draft for that one waiting for another revision.  So, I'm interested in contracts as well as marketing.]

Have just survived the cover wars with a cover I like [Cavern Between Worlds] so I found N. R. Williams blog at The Blood Red Pencil last week a relief.  Basically, she runs through the items your book cover should contain, a pertinent point now that so many writers are self-publishing.  As she puts it:  What Your Cover Should Not Do.  Even if you have a royalty publisher, the article will give you some arguing points.

[Now, excuse me while I dream of some famous author writing a cover blurb for my novel.  Of course, first I have to find a major publisher.]

Speaking of major publishers.  It's becoming more and more important to go over your contracts with a magnifying glass ... or is that a microscope?  The Passive Guy commented on Kristen Nelson's blog on Random Houses change to blanket e-royalties.  Seems to me the publisher changed the e-royalties without notifying anyone.  Also, I think I read something about one publisher reducing the royalty payout by contracting out to one of its subsidiaries.  --  Anyone taking bets on whether the authors on the messy end of the stick will sue?

For all you thinking of self-publishing, the Passive Guy also links to a self-publishing flow chart by the Self-Publishing coach.  If you don't know what good the old-style publisher does for an author, your eyes will open.  --  No wonder I don't have any time except for marketing.  When you self-publish you become the whole smeil.

My Writing Lessons:
My head's still spinning over my Half-Elven bible.  When Dark Solstice got rejected, yet again, I went back and looked at the mess of files I have on the world -- some seven crammed folders.  *rude noise*.  -- So, much for thinking I'll be writing something new.  Actually, I am -- another Half-Elven story set just after Taking Vengeance.  Something called book reviews.


Oh, the trailer is doing well, according to Big Burrito Media ... but I haven't seen any results in the sales figures for Taking Vengeance.

No.  That was not a criticism of the trailer.  The results won't be in for at least six months.   Mostly the lack of sales is my responsibility.  So far, I haven't lined up any reviewers for Taking Vengeance.

Trivia:
The couple generic friends' deaths didn't disrupt things much as my good friend's,
which is sad in its own way.   

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bad Haiku Monday & Grumblings

Comment alert:
I seem to have hit a nerve on my comments about shrinking toilet paper last week.

Then Jon Ray at Big Burrito Media who did my trailer for  
Taking Vengeance
keeps telling me the book trailer will do wonders for my ebook
when I questioned the usefulness of trailers.
He thinks I'm too skeptical about the results [ie. sales].
His actual comment is somewhere in the comments,
but I couldn't find it in the two minutes I allotted to the search.
Yeah, I've started to time the amount of time I spend doing stuff online.
 

 My Grumbling:
Oh, the pain of it.  I'm trying to be organized in drafting my new Half-Elven story, like knowing where it's going before I write it.  *hangs head*  At the moment, I'm trying to figure how to work description and motivation into the action.  Maybe I won't have to revise as much when I reach the end. -- Of course, I first have to find time to write something new.

The Half-Elven world bible is slowing me down though.  I know so much more now than when I started it ... both about the world and how to craft a story.

Social Networking Links:
Is your Twitter account useful?  I know I spend more time there than other social networking sites.  The place is especially useful in keeping up with blogs of people I know or interact with frequently.  -- Which reminds me of something I should mention.  I've got a link to my Twitter address here.  So, if you are a follower or I follow your blog ... follow me on Twitter and let me know about it.  That way I can follow you back plus find your blog updates for sure.  My blog roll is getting longer and longer as I find more interesting people.

So, the question: how to get the most out of your Twitter account.  Jason Boog discusses Five Twitter Mistakes you shouldn't make in your Twitter profile on Galley Cat.

Need a pulse on the business side of writing?  Robin Sullivan who blogs at Write to Publish has an article of five blogs you should follow.  She includes Joe Konrath who recently mentioned a service that can help you get reviews for your books.

Oh, on Book Reviews.
Anyone out there know bloggers that review novellas?
WolfSinger Press gave me a pdf file I can give the reviewer for free.
I trying to steel my nerves to ask people to review a short piece rather than a full novel.

Time spent social networking is a worry according to writers I interact with personally. I'm throwing hubris to the winds and writing a guest blog on how I contain the time-slurper.  [a nice word for "such"

The Next Chapter of Quest
[More of my Bad Haiku story]

False King Attacks Again
5

King’s men circle trees.
Beaters narrow circle. Burn
Huts. Kill all young boys.

Heir jumps tree to tree,
Watching death’s bite through the leaves.
King’s men don’t look up.

Old king’s guards find boat,
Convince heir to leave the land,
Row across the sea.

Trivia: 
Got tricked at the farmer's market.  Needed "real" tortilla chips made from tortillas rather than paste.  Bought them without looking carefully and discovered they were flour ... harina.  While I don't have celiac [knock on my head], I do limit the amount of wheat I eat because it makes my nose drip.  [How's that for an unappetizing detail?]

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cliched Characters

Writerly Fantasy Review:
Lee Child: Worth Dying For.   Yeah, I consider Lee Child a fantasy writer ... with thriller elements ... but really, just how realistic is the series?  Reacher dodges bullets better than Superman.

In this book Reacher is creaking [badly in need of aspirin] along after escaping from the inferno at the end of the last book.  Found this book disappointing, though.  I thought he was moving towards more emotional involvement with people, but this book was just more of the same: Reacher seeking justice for a girl that had disappeared years before -- with help of the gang who controls the town.

Child trots his well-drawn complications [villains] across the canvas.  The brutalized citizens cower convincingly -- with good reasons.  There's even a cowardly drunken doctor with a heart of gold.  Did I mention cliches here?  Doesn't matter, really.  The book's a good, fast-moving read with well-drawn characters worth studying how he places the details ... if somewhat unsatisfying.

Is there such a thing as internal cliches.  Of course, there is.  I think writers get into habits ... not always bad, but human brains tend to run in ruts.  It takes concentrated effort to jump on the verge and go wandering.  The more bushes concealing things, the better.  No, I won't demand my money back because of the recycled plot pattern. 

Social Networking Web Stuff:
I'm beginning to understand social networking.  [I'm a slow learner.]  It's simple.  You're damn if you do ... and damned if you don't.  I think Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware lifted my lid and looked inside my head.  She posted about how she spent too much time on the web even though lots of it was work related.  Ditto here even though I don't have the excuse.  She does.

Then there's the other side of argument with a critique contest.

Which side of the coin do you fall on? Pro or anti or in-between?

Do you remember the brouhaha the Wall Street Journal article raised about distopian YA books?  Well, Rob Brunner in his blog EW Shelf Life gives support to the opposite position.  He interviews author Jay Asher about how his book, Thirteen Reasons Why, is saving lives.

Thought I'd give another person a chance to wade in on effective social media.  Connor Dempsey does just that at on his blog.  Of course, I mostly agree with him.  --  I think I'm looking for support on cutting back on social media.  Still, he makes some good points.  What do you think?

I'm looking at the first pages for two of the WIPs sitting in my files as I snatch revising time here and there.  Brooke Favero writing about what happened last week in the writing world for The Writing Bug linked to Katia Lief's discussion of the 3 "Cs" of Writing which gives the basics of what your first pages should do.  If your manuscript isn't hooking anyone, you might take a look.

Thought I had this wrapped up when I discovered Eric's blog, "The Long and Short of It",  at Pimp My Novel.  He gives a nice strategy for getting published.  Great ... unless your ideas always metathesizes into something longer ... and longer. 

Writing Lesson:
Writing a series has other pitfalls than cliched characters.  How about keeping everything straight?  This problem has been nagging me since last week when I started creating seriously again.  

Backstory:  Once I wrote a 400,000+ word story about the Far Isle Half-Elven.  Somewhere around 200,000 words, I had a harder and harder time keeping everything straight.  I solved the problem by keeping a log of features, personality traits, place names, special terms, etc.  Later, I discovered many writers call this a bible.  Not the Bible, but the go to source when you try not to make mistakes in your own writing.  Like being able to edit the mistakes before anyone else notices them.

Then, Taking Vengeance was published, and I find I need to write more in the Half-Elven world to support the ebook's sales.  [Thus, the reason why I self-published Cavern Between Worlds.]  

Now, I'm writing a subsequential of Vengeance.  It's an idea that's been bubbling to the surface of my mind for at least two-three years, but always sank again.  Now, I'm 2000 words into the thing, and I'm rather intrigued by the unfolding plot since the main villain isn't one of the Felds.  I think they'll end up being the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend this time around.  It'll be interesting to see how the story develops after having taken some fiction writing classes and doing critiques.

Main change:  I'm having to revise the chaotic Half-Elven bible. [Watch Kay's eyes cross.... especially since she's trying to keep her characters from becoming cliches.]

Do you have a bible for your world, series, or whatever you're writing?  Have you found that one helps if you only plan to write one book in your world?

Trivia:
My cheapness bit me ... again.  Thought I'd try to save money on toilet paper by buying it at Big Lots.  Not only was the roll short by an inch, but the paper was so thin you can almost see through it.  Back to the supermarket.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lollygagging Vengeance Trailer

The trailer for Taking Vengeance trailer is done!
The final version is 2 minutes long, granted, with a great harp muscic/score by my daughter.  The music is worth listening to all on its own.


 Click to view trailer.  Be sure to have the sound on.

That said.  I can see where some people won't like it because it doesn't quite follow the story. ...  That said, I like it for it's playfulness and irreverence. There are a few anachronisms, but they add to the fun.

The proof will be in the pudding, ie. if my sales increase. Incidentally, I have no way to tell if Taking Vengeance is selling.  I do know that no one has reviewed it yet. Caverns?  It's doing the freebie thing.  Maybe some five or so people download it a day.  How's that for spectacular?  At least there's only one posting up now and all the downloads go in one place.  

Bad Haiku:

                                      Heir in Danger
                                     4

The King’s men dig trap
While the stripling heir hunts game,
Guard dogs on leashes.

Heir hunts through forest,
Sees deer in meadow grazing,
Stalks deer.  Dogs stalk heir.

Dogs chase.  Heir sees earth
Disturbed, jumps the hidden trap,
                                                  Runs through stream. Trees hide. 


The Next Big Step:

Somewhere in all my copious free time, I have to figure out how to get an author's site co-ordidnated ... as opposed to the Half-Elven world website ... up.  Am looking at Wordpress, but haven't figured it out yet.  Frankly, the internet makes me feel stupid.

One great thing though ... my controlled vowel pre-primer script is out to beta readers.  And, I'm in the process of outlining a new Half-Elven story featuring Mariah investigating tales of a wolf terrorizing the northeastern coast of the Marches. --  I'll leave you to guess whether it's a werewolf story.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Make Your Characters Worth their Weight in Complications

My Writerly Fantasy Review:
Laurell K. Hamilton writes well-drawn, multi-dimensional characters, and her new mass paperback, Bullet, doesn't disappoint with its action packed "A day in the life of Anita Blake".   Just reading it makes you ready for about five naps.  I can't imagine her writing the book without an outline.

The book begins will with two contentious secondary characters becoming less so ... for maybe about a fourth of the book.  Even Blake, herself, shows some willingness to take directions -- maybe, make that suggestions -- from her fellows.  Hey, the characters are changing here, guys, right before our eyes.  How often do series characters do that?

Then, everything explodes when Blake's "menagerie" is attacked by Mammy Noir and her European vampire minions.  The vampires of St. Louis scrabble to build their barricades and alliances to defend themselves.  The process is great fast-moving fun.  The characters don't appear on cue either, but each appearance contributes unique complications to Blake's day.  -- Hamilton has the ability to write detailed action without bogging down the story line, a talent shared by Lee Child.

The pre-release blurbs give this book the feel of a trilogy within a series.  Maybe the end of the Anita Blake series once she defeats Mammy Noir ... or will Mammy Noir continue to lurk in the shadows, lusting after Blake's body and supernatural powers so she can rule the world again?  Guess I might just have to go to Hamilton's website and find out if there're any hints.  [More social networking?  Maybe I could call it research?]

Web Stuff:
My reading's really been cut off at the knees with all the bother of getting my free short story [Cavern Between Worlds] up on Smashwords and Kindle [not quite, yet].  Even with help. I also have some major critiques to get done now that the multiple funerals are over.  Believe me, it would have been lovely to have a publisher do all that.  They'd be done by now.  Again, I can't thank Tiger Author Services enough.  [I paid them too.]

I never even thought of doing an email campaign to publicize my little e-books.  Mostly because I cheer whenever something gets caught in my spam filter.  If you are thinking about using an email marketing firm, you might look at this Writer Beware blog.  When you know which book marketing efforts don't work, you can save a lot of money.

Writing Progress:
Am in the process of shifting gears ... yet again.  Have my vowel controlled pre-primers ready for revision.  Yeah, hard to think that a less-than-four-page script needs revision, but it does.  At the moment, the script sounds like the text.  Not good.  Still, don't know if the publisher is still interested.  Am waiting for them to finish with the book before me before they turn their attention towards me ... if they're still interested.  [Nothing like positive thinking.]

Wondering.  How often do you grind your teeth when you get to a stage where a publisher is interested in one of your manuscripts?

Other than that, I'm revising ... revising ... and revising.  Yeah, three different things. Oh, I had a flash fiction piece rejected ... so I have to resubmit that.

Trivia ...
While I'm tired of funerals, I think my local friends are too.  A group of us are getting together for lunch ... even if all of us are "too busy".

Monday, June 13, 2011

Of Writerly Things and Marketing...

Cavern Between Worlds 

is up on Smashwords
You can read the story for free.


"All life has disappeared from an ocean rookery far from shore.  Captain Hattenel, a Half-Elven ranger, joins Voron, a disreputable sea captain, to explore the mystery, only to be catapulted into a dangerous world inhabited by dog-headed magic workers." 
Cover and Formatting by Tiger Author Services 
 
Web Stuff:
The process of correcting my mistakes on my blog title. 
Kristen Lamb rubbed my nose in my blog mistakes in a recent blog about how writing about writing is wrong ... or at least counter-productive.  Why?  Well, for one thing ... writing a blog is one way to keep your website updated.  Probably the easiest way, in fact.  So, what if you snag a reader, maybe a fan, rather than a writer friend.  ...  Hey, you got two different audiences there.  ...  I see the problem, but don't have any solutions.  Any suggestions?  Does anyone have a solution besides two blogs.  [One blog is hard enough, time-wise, to do.] ... Yeah, I'm still blaming Roni Loren for puncturing my balloon.

So far, I decided to keep the blog title since I've been blogging with it for over two years.  I put "M. K. Theodoratus", "grumbling" in the blurb. 

Readers are coming to the blog from Goggle searches.Maybe, I'll get more searches with the new title ... if Kristen Lamb's right.  Maybe, not.  Whatever, all new followers and commenters are welcome. 

Trailer Teaser:
Just learned that there are awards for book trailers:  the Moby Awards.  Galley Cat has a series of links for the 2011 winners if you care to take a look:  best and worst trailers.  

The Next Bad Haiku Chapter: 

                                     Secret Hero:

Boy roams dark forests,
Not knowing who he is. Ma’s
silent unto death.

The boy’s guard teaches
Sword skills, cunning forest lore,
Battle skills and more.

The rumors don’t die.
Villagers gossip, tell tales.
False king hunts again.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

M. K. Theodoratus Learns from Her Reading

Book Review:
I should hope I learn from my reading ... about many things.  Why else do I read?  [Okay.  I like to be entertained too.]  Of more concern is what I learn about writing from my reading.  This time I review a book by Karen Marie Moning:  The Dark Highlander.  I grab the mass paperback editions of her two interrelated series --  her Keltar and Faefever worlds -- as soon as I see them.

The re-read of The Dark Highlander didn't disappoint.  The funny parts ... where Chloe finds the discarded condoms under the bed and the make-out scene on the plane still elicited chuckles.  Chloe doing something stupid to precipitate the denouement still raised my hackles.  The parts in between entertained in spite of the cliches. 

A straight romance gets boring.  They meet.  They fight.  They get back together.  [My cynic mutters:  until the next fight and he, maybe, hits her.]  Moning is good at mixing continuous action with her romance which save the book from being a total cliche.  Even her two prologues move fast.

So, what should you notice when you read?  Her mix of the Highlander series back story into the story line.   Her weaving in the motivations of her main and secondary characters into the story so it doesn't bog down.  Her villains as a continuous presence without the MCs, even with their magical abilities, being aware of them. 

Don't understand great huge hulking men going for five-foot-two women though, even if the love interest has nice curves.   As I said, cliches maintain their half-life in her writing.  [An infection from the romance genre?]  Even adding a unique magical resonance creates a cliche a la paranormal romance.  Still, she hooks and pulls the reader through the plot twists fast enough that you don't mind the cliches. --  Hey, I read it to the end -- without getting bored -- even though I knew the specific ending.

Web Stuff...
Free time is a wonderful thing for catching up on other people's blogs ... I thought.  Was glad to see Roni Loren's blog on getting the most bang out of your blog, a discussion of a Kristen Lamb workshop.  Right off I learned I'm supposed to have my name or the name I write under in the title of my blog.   Duh.  I knew that.  But, my name is Theodoratus.  How do I work that into a blog title?

Addition to to-do list:  Change the name on my blog.  I don't think M. K. Theodoratus' Reading Lessons makes it ... but it's better than Lessons from M. K. Theodoratus' Reading.    Maybe, Lessons Found in M. K. Theodoratus' Readings?    M. K. Theodoratus Reads?  This is getting funny ... or annoying.

For the record, I break the other rule of efficient blogging.  I blog about writing.  There's more to the discussion and link that you might find useful too. 

Thinking of going to e-self-publishing before submitting the traditional print route?  Writer Beware linked to Wired.com's John C. Abbell's blog "5 Reasons Why E-books Aren't There Yet".

Progress:
My position on e-publishing?  I think self-publishing is a last or marketing option.  Take a look my short story, "Cavern Between Worlds", as an example.  It should be up on Smashwords soon after the time you read this -- for free.  Here's the short blurb I wrote for it. 

"All life has disappeared from an ocean rookery far from shore.  Captain Hattenel, a Half-Elven ranger, joins Voron, a disreputable sea captain, to explore the mystery, only to be catapulted into a dangerous world inhabited by dog-headed magic workers."

Must confess this might be considered a romance.  In a novella, the story is the meeting third during an adventure to solve a mystery.  And, just now, as I'm writing this ... I realize I have another novella ... if I ever find the time to finish the other parts, ie think up some complications.

At the moment, I'm deep into writing scripts for a vowel-controlled, comic pre-primer series ... for which I think I have a publisher.  I won't say for sure until I have a signed contract ... though the publisher/editor keeps assuring me I'm her next project.  [Hey, a two-person operation can only works so fast and still produce a good product.]  I'm not even finding time to combine my separate chapters of There Be Demons into one file. 

What's your position on the many options of e-publishing?

Trivia:
A thunderstorm that stripped leaves from trees and destroyed plants interrupted my writing late last night.  Fortunately, it was far enough away that I got my slow-moving computer turned off before the thunder hit close.  --  Got some extra reading in.      

Monday, June 6, 2011

Getting a Dose of Creativity

Think my creativity finally kicked into second gear.  Yeah, I'm getting the haiku organized.  [Watch me break my arm patting myself on the back.]  With luck, the different form will be the catalyst not only to create something new, but to get it written.

So, what's the haiku doing for the creative cells in my brain?   Weeell,  I'm writing controlled vowel pre-primer stories again.  [Much different from the reading levels taught in school.]  though I really must give some credit to the publisher who's interested in an old manuscript, Pat, the Pet.  We're supposed to talk contract at the end of the month ... once the artist and I decided we can go back and create new stories.

Then, there's the new world that's been bumping around in my mind for about twenty years.  Yeah, that's not exactly new ... but the same motifs kept bubbling up to the surface of my mind and sinking again.  Now,  I'm not ignoring them.  I've written several pages of background about the world, how the conflicting factions came to be, and several characters whispering in my ear. 

Problem to write about?  I think I'm going to focus on a "religious" shelter house for kids.  --  Don't know where Maren fits in this.  She's whispering too.

More important, the idea is science fiction ... though I'll probably be handling it like fantasy.  Sort of real, but not, without explaining much of anything.  The machines just do it.

How do you handling settings when you don't have a firm grasp upon the facts?  Does it make the creation process more exciting?  Or, do you throw up your hands and run away?

Oh.  Someday my trailer will arrive.  The music's down and editing's in process.  Will also have a free Half-Elven story "Cavern Between Worlds" up on Smashwords soon.

Then, there's the fantasy haiku.  I've always dabbled in haiku and thrown it away.  Out of pure cussedness I posted a couple pieces on Facebook and Twitter.  Now, I'm writing a story in haiku.  Oddly, it fits right in with the Pat, the Pet stories.   

Bad Haiku...
False Hope
II

Untamed winds whisper
Hopeful tales in people’s ears.
"The true heir survives."

False king’s men search land,
To no avail, then reward’s
Offered for heir’s head.

Heir hides, thinks he’s safe.
Traitor lurks by side.  Takes prize.
Heir’s lady love flees.


Not So Trivia...
The Wall Street Journal stuck their foot in it ... the censorship pile, that is.  I'm used to narrow-minded fundamentalists dictating to me, but the Wall Street Journal?  Guess, I'll listen to their social advice as much as I listen to their financial advice.  YA writing serves a function.  It lets kids try on different worlds and ideas ... safely.   

Friday, June 3, 2011

Character Being Stupid

Fiction Lessons:
Review Question:  What do you do when a character acts stupidly?  

Sandra Dallas is one of my favorite authors in spite of her telling her stories instead of showing the action.  This makes a lot of sense for Dallas since she concentrates on the internal life of her characters. In her latest book The Brides House, she sets one of her characters exactly the time milieu I grew up in.  The read wasn't a happy experience.  Why?  The character kept grating on my teeth.  Why?  I had trouble accepting a smart person being so stupid.

As for Dallas' storyline as a whole, I'm wondering if it was a commentary on preordained destiny.  This is where she doesn't hit you over the head with telling you what you should think/feel ... and an avalanche of backstory ... and general internal mental constipation.  What I like best is the finesse she uses in drawing her characters.  You feel like you wished you lived near enough so you could share a cup of coffee ... or tea.

Each of the three women who live in the bride's house face the same general problem. The third story just didn't work for me.  Granted the kid was bullied.  But, for gads sake, the character grew in Chicago for most of the year.  While I'm an easy read, I just couldn't suspend belief to accept a character who could be so naive about men, even as a freshman in college.  The character wasn't dense.

Web Stuff:
Now that I've got "There Be Demons" edited, I'm looking over my idea files to see what grabs my interests.  A curious practice writers do when starting a new project -- unless they have a character chewing on their ear.  Was rather please to see Stacey O'Neal of YA Fantasy Guide writing a blog on "How Do I begin My Novel".  I've used all the techniques in various drafts I have in my files.  It'll be interesting to see what I do next -- besides revising/editing.

I'm wondering.  Anyone care to share how they decide on their writing projects?

Important to progress on your WIP is setting realistic goals -- a great discussion about which you can find from Janet Reid, Literary Agent.  How to set them and follow through, even when at first you don't succeed.  --  I totally related to this post.

How about another check list on promoting your blog?  This one by by Mavis Nong gives info about increasing traffic to your blog that I've never seen before.  I'm going to go back and study it more to see if I can get it to apply to books too.

Of course, if you don't get someone to read your story -- agent, editor, or reader -- you won't make any money.  Rhonda Stapleton, a YA writer and editor for Carina Press, blogs about how to wow and editor,  like how not to turn them off with the first few pages.   If you're revising/editing, she offer some good check points.  --  But, I'm not going back and revising Demons.  She gets to reject it in the form it's sitting in. [Guess where I'm sending it when I get untangled from from the first four things on the to-do list.]

Last but not least, I found some comments by Sebastien on creating a presentable presence on Twitter.  It's basically tips on keeping a professional image.

Thought that was the last comment, but then I read Pat Stoltey's blog on how she revises.  It's close to what I do ... though I don't read out loud as much as she does.  I linked to her personal blog rather than Chiseled Rock so you could click to the correct entry.

There.  I think I've almost got a total revision plan up there in those blogs as well as some ideas on how to squeeze the most out of your networking time.  Hope you find them useful.  [Enough of this blog.  I've got to go on to my next project.] Care to reveal any secrets to your success?

Progress:
Things are in transition around here.  My to-do list keeps growing:  get blog up, get trailer data to producer, get author's accounts set up, get free story posted [Cavern Between Worlds], get vocabulary sheets for the new project that just appeared set up, combine chapters of There Be Demons so I can submit it, finish the next chapter of Quest [Bad Haiku]  ... etc.

New project?  I'm drafting new pre-primer stories to see if I can still write them ... while the artist explores whether she can still draw them.  Why?  A publisher has indicated an interest in doing several books.  Not enough details available to say much.  Just complain about the extra work.  {Still, project gives a warm, fuzzy feeling.} 

Do you ever feel your to-do list keeps growing without any tasks getting crossed off? 

Trivia:
Miller time has arrived.  Not the beer, but the moths.  So far, we haven't had many.  Just enough to keep Wiggles hunting.  Nothing like having a 16 pound cat jump on your head so he can jump on at a moth.  I think I even have a bad haiku drafted about it.  [Those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter ... grit your teeth.  You have been warned.]