"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." - Toni Morrison
"Don't forget - no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell." - Charles de Lint

15 March, 2023

A is for Ameinias

I guess it makes sense to kick off these weekly alphabet posts with a nod to Ameinias, who was the inspiration for the first Ghosts and Tea sequel that'll be out on June 1. 

In Greek mythology, Ameinias was a young man who fell in love with the beautiful Beotian hunter Narcissus, who had already spurned his male suitors, according to the version of Narcissus's myth by Conon (Narrations, 24) [1] ... Narcissus also spurned Ameinias and gave him a sword. The latter committed suicide at Narcissus's doorstep after being rejected by him. He had prayed to Nemesis to give Narcissus a lesson for all the pain he provoked. Narcissus walked by a pool of water and decided to drink some. He saw his reflection, became entranced by it, and killed himself because he could not have his object of desire, [2] or gazing endlessly at the image, he slowly pined away and was transformed by the nymphs into a narcissus flower. Others say he was instead filled with remorse and killed himself beside the pool—and from his dying life's blood the flower was born. [3] Wikipedia

The book in this case has its own take on the Narcissus - Ameinias connection, and it's not overtly stated. The important elements are all there, but the focus of the book is really about Freddy and the gang figuring out the ghosts' backstory and coming up with a plan (always a nutty one in the end) for helping them move on past the "veil-thing", as Prue calls it.

Narcissus is a favorite myth to mine for story ideas, and heaven knows I've sucked it dry by now. However! This book's been a fun one to write, and I do hope the nod to our tragic heartbroken lad comes through nicely. 

12 March, 2023

Talent and Endurance


April A - Z Blogging Challenge

So there's this fun, helpful challenge that's been going on for years now: the April A - Z Blogging Challenge. It's meant to help writers keep the creative wheels turning, but of course not everyone participates for that reason. I'm curious, I admit. I'd love to try it out but adjusted to my ability to keep up considering my time and energy limitations. 

I know I'll never get something posted each day (save for Sunday). If I do jump in and play in the sandbox, I'm looking at a much more widely spaced weekly schedule, which means my take on the challenge will last me the rest of the year. I'm doing this outside the group and am following my own rules, so no pressure, at least. 

As for the theme, I'm not even going to go there, but I'll be posting mostly random stuff -- anything to do with the books I wrote / am writing (inspiration, process, etc.) and a host of stuff that interests me on the whole. I think that'll be a good way of getting myself back into personal blogging and ensuring this site doesn't get neglected. 

I'll still be blogging in a vacuum and won't be sharing links elsewhere to my posts. I'm taking my online rehab seriously, and so far it's been a very good experience. But as far as the blogging challenge goes, even though I'm not going to constrain myself with rules, I'll make sure to at least follow a set schedule every week. I'm thinking of Wednesday for the post to go live. 

Also -- if you tried to access this site yesterday, my domain wasn't working properly since I was attempting to set up a single-page all-purpose site, which gave me too many problems to be worth it. My poor domain got dragged from Blogger to the site and back, and it took time for everything* to settle down and work properly again. 

Lesson learned. I'm not moving from here.

* Clearly I'm no techie since I know nothing about the workings of domain names, transfers, security certificates, what have you. I'd refer to them as domain thingies, but I'm already embarrassing myself by using "everything" in reference to all the tech wizardry that goes on behind the scenes.

10 March, 2023

Fare Thee Well, Tumblr

End of a very brief era, it looks like. I deleted my Tumblr account because I don't need another space for long posts anymore. My Mastodon instance just increased their character count from 500 to 1,500, effectively making that decision for me. I held on to Tumblr in the event they finally join the fediverse, and from there I can decide which platform to use for my online socializing and so on. Had my Mastodon instance kept the 500 character limit, I'd still be sticking around Tumblr and making that choice when the time came. But they didn't, and it's a bittersweet moment for me -- I know, what a weirdo, getting all mawkish over a social media platform. 

thanks for the great memories and amazing company

I've been on and off Tumblr for around three years now, and it's been a fun and crazy ride. I love the creativity over there. The clever jokes and posts, the deadpan humor that comes at you at a hundred miles an hour, and the images. Whether art, photography, or even AI-generated, that place is a treasure trove of intelligent, unique talent (visual, written, and other things).

This space (Blogger) will be around for a good long while, whether it goes private for a time or stays public -- depending on my plans for it. Mastodon's a godsend for someone like me, but it's not infinite, and we've already had a couple of large instances shut down for different reasons. My instance (sunny.garden) by far feels very safe, and I made sure to donate to the admin since it's their time and money that's keeping the place available for anyone who wants to be a part of it. 

But in the event something were to happen to the instance, I either jump ship to a different one, or I simply withdraw from the platform altogether and just stick around here, which is a space I have a hell of a lot more control over. That's the plan, anyway, and since Blogger's a longform-friendly platform, there's still no need for me to open up a new Tumblr account. And should I find myself down to just one place online, I'll adapt as well as I can and simply focus on writing and publishing -- as one should, really, if they're serious about improving themselves, which is a never-ending process.

But that's thinking far too much about things that might not even happen at all, so it's best to take it one day at a time. Hell, that's the overriding lesson that got branded into my brain when COVID-19 first bulldozed its way into collective consciousness, and the world stood still. I shouldn't think too far into the future. Far enough, at most, but no more than that.  

So, anyway -- many, many thanks to everyone who made me feel welcome at Tumblr. Rest assured, I'm following your accounts through Blogger's reading list feature, and I'll keep in touch. And when the day finally comes, I'll see everyone again in the fediverse, and I'll follow you once more.

07 March, 2023

Calendar (2023 and Beyond)

For this year, here's what you need to know:

these are the books and the finalized dates for their release

I'm considering turning my four-month calendar (three books a year) to something more like a five-month schedule or even a six-month schedule if that doesn't pan out as well as I've hoped. With my focus now being strictly on long novellas of 50K words and working on them only on the weekends, I average around three months for a book to be written in its initial draft, which also includes light editing and revising that happen along the way and which helps me a lot when the actual revision / editing rounds finally happen.

The five-month calendar will yield two books one year and then three books the next and then back to two the year after that. The staggered annual calendar will be good, I think, and that'll give me extra time to ease up and take a break in between projects in the event I get a book done a lot sooner. Ye olde brain needs it. 

There'll still be the alternating book release, so when I follow the five-month schedule after The House of Ash, it'll look like this:

  • March (2024) -- Ghosts and Tea novella
  • August -- Grotesqueries novella
  • January (2025) -- Ghosts and Tea novella
  • June -- Grotesqueries novella
  • November -- Ghosts and Tea novella
And so on and so forth. If I run out of story ideas for a collection, it'll be Ghosts and Tea considering how many books have been written already for that series plus all the stories take place in the same setting and use the same characters. As much as I love Prue, Freddy, and the gang, their stories are finite, but I'll make sure to mine every possibility their universe offers because they're just too much fun. Grotesqueries, on the other hand, will continue indefinitely since each novella is a standalone. Anyway, I'm just putting this out there for everyone's benefit -- as well as mine, I suppose.