The Summer Love-In is LIVE right now! Come join us, it’ll be a fun time with very fun people! :)
Written from my exfacto office~
I’ve developed a routine of sorts. Wake, wash in cold water and dress, walk and feed the dogs, pack my computer and drive eleven miles to town. A quick glance at the dashboard tells me it’s 6:38 a.m. There they are – sleepy inconvenienced residents standing in line for coffee and bagels at Panera’s restaurant. My seat in the corner is still unoccupied at this early hour and I scurry over there lest another get to it before me. It’s an optimum spot with its back to the shade-drawn window and a coveted outlet an easy four feet away. Instead of a full 360 ° of distraction, I’m shielded on two sides and as the back door beside me isn’t opened yet, I have relative peace.
The same elderly woman I saw yesterday smiles and says, “good morning” to me. We don’t know each other but there’s a certain shared misery between us. I ask her if she wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on my laptop again while I get some coffee because she’s facing my corner spot and clipping coupons exactly as she did the day before. She tells me she’d be happy to. Yesterday I returned the favor by watching her pile of papers and tote bag so she didn’t have to take it all into the washroom.
Today the woman who cleans the tables asked me twice if I was finished, once for my plate, once for my cup. I’ve eaten my bagel and drank my coffee as slow as I can but now I’m obviously done and the message is clear. By 8:30, I’m in the library parking lot waiting on 9:00. There’s hardly anyone waiting there now, less than yesterday and a fraction of the day before when people filled the library necessitating some to sit on the floor. They all looked shell-shocked – the mental shock some soldiers experience in war. But it wasn’t so much the storm that has people staring blankly at their dead cell phones. It’s the fact they’re inconveniently unplugged and they really don’t know what to do with themselves.
Much of the county has electricity again. Those of us who don’t, look tired, wrinkled, and unwashed. Four minutes until the library opens, we wait and share our disbelief that repairs are taking so long. We talk like people stranded in a subway, or snowed in at a ski lodge — the laughing, friendly, conversations of people sharing something outside the norm. As soon as the door opens, we scatter like we’d never exchanged words. Forget eye contact. Funny how that goes.
So rumor has it I may have electricity sometime this weekend. As I mentioned in my previous post, this is just an inconvenience. Not a disaster, certainly nothing like the devastation so many have gone through since January 1st. My family and friends are safe. Even though much of my food spoiled, my frozen goods are still frozen in temporary freezer space. Better still – I have several hours of a generator to power my well pump to bathe and flush my toilets with. I’m glad, there’s nothing like unflushed toilets and heat in the 90 °. I mentioned to a friend yesterday that even my dogs were looking embarrassed.
Blah. The electricity will come on eventually. Hopefully before the heat wave due to hit my area this weekend. I shall say no more on the subject until the miraculous invisible power we all take for granted is restored.
So on to fun things… I have good news! A dear friend is lending me space in a fully electrified, online, and flushable home so I can participate in the Summer Love-In. It’s my first promo extravaganza and I would have really hated to miss the fun, especially with my new book coming out in less than a week. Especially since this has been months in the planning.
I’ve had lots of good feedback on Dreamscape’s excerpt, blurb and book trailer. Many people are looking forward to it, lots of people with good comments regarding the youtube trailer. I’m happy about that. I’ve been thinking a lot about formulas lately. It began by seeing formula writing in action (see earlier post). Formula writing. With how my mind works, I never see myself being any good at that. But formulas work for other things too.
I made the first youtube book trailer for Hermes Online with my tag line in mind: Love Waits in Unexpected Places. It’s true. I met the love of my life quite unexpectedly, in a place I never would have guessed. I envisioned a formula for my book trailers based on that thought. Hermes Online being my first novel, just so happened to have an element of Greek mythology in it. I thought, Cupid hangs with that crowd. From there I recalled those Valentines little kids give out at school parties – the ones with sneaky Cupids shooting arrows at unsuspecting would-be lovers. If Love Waits in Unexpected Places, chances are Cupid is hiding behind a bush, rock, or tree. Right?
My formula: Lay out all subsequent book trailers the same, for continuity’s sake.
From Hermes Online on, my trailers will have a Cupid done by an old master to carry on the theme of Love Waits in Unexpected Places. Why? So no one gives me grief for using it without permission. Same with music, apropos music is hard to find but odds are in my favor that the older the piece such as the late 1800’s piece for Dreamscape, the less headache for tracking down an artist. And period music is great. As part of this formula, I’ll give proper shout-outs to Siren (or whatever publisher I work with), the cover artist, as well as any photo or artwork I find that I’ve managed to gain permission to use. With several WIPs (works in progress), sometimes I go surfing for picture elements with my future book trailers in mind. I’ve found some terrific images so far and of the three requests I sent out, two artists have replied with permission.
Formula in action, making Dreamscape’s trailer took no time at all as I swapped out pictures from Hermes Online’s Powerpoint, changed the background etc, and found fitting music. The timing takes the most effort I think. It’s tricky to sync so the last slide ends with the song. Book trailers are useful too. Like other authors I know, I send the usual posts (excerpts, reviews, announcements) announcing this or that to all the writer/reader groups on yahoo. Every time I do, my hits on youtube increase. That tells me some people are actually reading my posts and are curious. Perhaps they’re buying my book too. I hope they are. I really enjoy making trailers. The creative process and the lovely end product make you feel pretty good when you get it up and running, almost as much as handing in those last edits!
Speaking of feeling creative and editing
My head-hopping is improving with editor’s corrections drilled into my subconscious (head-hopping and POV (point of view) = industry jargon for “who the heck is speaking here?”) I’ve been seeing new author emails fly past my inbox regarding painful editing and head-hopping. I’ve come to realize unless you’ve been formally trained through schooling, classes, tutors, whatever, most writers starting out do this unconsciously. We see every character in the room. We even see the pattern on the wallpaper because we’re the ones building the world. The reader only sees the words we give them. If we do this right, they too get a glimpse of the visual back story. I know the editing process has been good for me. I’m in the process of dropping several bad habits as the mechanics slowly sink in. I admit though, there are times when I just do not see those hopping heads. To anyone interested, this is the painful truth of editing:
The blue is the problem. The red is my correction. Now imagine running through 73, 756 words looking for blue. Yep, it’s mentally exhausting. All other writing stops for me. There’s just nothing left in my brain!
My author’s group got to talking about edits and a quote came around.
I don’t know why I did this but I suppose the words of Robert Brockway spoke to me on some level. I made it into a t-shirt and two coffee mugs, each with one of those sentences. Yes, editing is a necessary evil. I’ll be ordering my coffee cups before my next book comes back with edits. Unfortunately I couldn’t fit Robert Brockway’s name in this creation and keep the font large enough to read. Any author wanting one, email me and I’ll work out the true cost for shipping and printing and no, my time to order it doesn’t cost you a dime. Misery loves company. :)
Other cool things…Siren made Dreamscape a banner and boy is it cool!
I’ll put this anywhere I can as soon as I figure out how. My ARCs for Dreamscape came too (my advanced reader copies). I should be sending them out to reviewers but with this blasted power outage I’ll be behind. No, I’m taking a deep breath here. Really, I won’t bring up the lack of electricity again. Come to the Summer Love-In and say hi!