25 June 2011

Keeping Up

Lordy, law! More than a week has passed since my last post...I've been a Baaad Blogger!

Time is so liquid. It oozes by on lazy summer days then gushes past, sweeping you into a new month and all too soon, a new season. I can work on writing, absorbed in crafting just the right expression and suddenly four hours have evaporated. Why can't we just move the hands on the clock back? Probably because all the clocks have gone digital!

Absorbed into writing...immersed under the surface of a different lake of time. I've been in the nineteenth century these past ten days, composing a nonfiction compilation of my research for Dragon & Hawk. Putting the Welsh movers and shakers of the Southern Arizona Territory into one book for a bit of a reference guide is quite a challenge, my first nonfiction work for possible publication. There is a small niche market for this, namely those of Welsh heritage who may be interested in how many of their compatriots made significant differences in the Old West.

But writing the tales of these folks sets me back. I have no idea of what's gone on this week in the news, nor do I care. (Well, I do care, just not at the moment.) I get obsessed with getting this finished, setting all the words on paper, getting the resources noted and credited correctly. To footnote, or not to footnote, that is now the question. Whether tis distracting to check the bottom of the page for a numbered resource or flip to the back of the book. Lately the trend heavily leans to no numbers at all, just marking the quote and source at the end.

So consider this post an advisory: if you don't hear from me for a few weeks, don't panic. Check Facebook, I may post a "I'm still alive" status, but otherwise I'm diving in and diving deep. I want to get this manuscript finished.

Have fun everyone!

~Jude

16 June 2011

Joys of Summer

Summer officially begins on Tuesday but everyone knows the season starts with the crack of a wooden bat connecting with the red-stitched hardball.  Heat has nothing to do with it, not here where the desert can start shimmering as early as the Ides of March. No, summer is an attitude, the smell of freshly mowed grass, the sound of sprinklers shh-shh-shushing and cicadas buzzing in the trees.

Ah, those Little League days...
Summer is baseball--the more unprofessional, the better. Little Leaguers squealing with excitement when they hit the ball past an infielder, jumping up and down when a teammate crosses home plate, or best off all, standing out in right field watching a butterfly flit over the fence while the game goes on beyond their reach. Even in defeat, the resiliency of acceptance comes with juice boxes and cupcakes.

Now the older boys play as the sun sets and the temperature drops into the range of comfortable. The rich green of the outfield against amethyst mountains, a lone green umbrella of a tree just beyond the right field dugout, the hum of the lights slowly growing brighter all mix with bird and boy whistles and the scent of disturbed dirt in a summertime memory cocktail. These days will flit over the fence all too soon as well, until the next generation picks up a ball.

For now, I'm savoring these evening outings. Yes, the intensity is quite different; losses are no longer easily soothed over with ice cream. But the music plays on: a classic melody of children laughing, mothers cheering, girls giggling, and fathers yelling encouragement while the boys of summer pound out the beat with bats, balls, and gloves against the dirt. 

So chill that watermelon and pack the cooler with bottles of Gatorade. The rhythm of the season is in full swing.

09 June 2011

Caliente Interview June 09 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email I almost tagged as spam. The subject heading was simply, "Hello" and from a name I didn't recognize. Normally, those are from some displaced royal in Ghana or Chad telling me they'll give me a bazillion dollars if I'll just lend them a few thousand bucks. 

But something told me to go ahead and look at this one. Imagine the surprise when it turns out to be a request for an interview for the local newspaper, The Arizona Daily Star!

"Summer Reading" was published this morning in the Arts/Entertainment supplement of the paper called Caliente My good friend and fellow Gecko Gals Ink member, Carol Costa, is also interviewed. (Mine is the fourth one down the page.)

An interesting process, being interviewed on the phone... I've done it before, sure, but that was live radio with Roy Noble on BBC Radio Wales. People heard what I said as I said it. But for the paper, the journalist makes notes and then goes back and composes the article. I couldn't help but wonder if what I said might be misinterpreted as one often reads happens. 

No worries. Valerie Vinyard called me back to clarify a few things, and got nearly everything right. The only misinterpretation I saw was she said I wrote ebooks for Fictionwise when it is merely a distribution point for ebooks, associated with Barnes & Noble. But that's a quibble. I would have liked to have seen my author photo in the print version, as I was the only author without one even though I sent the standard one I have on my website and here. Was it the wrong size or dpi? I do hope she'll let me know so I can correct the problem for the next time. 

Meanwhile, I'll keep working on my projects and enjoying the books I've recommended. Happy summer reading, everyone!

05 June 2011

Marketing Never Stops

Marketing your work never ends. That doesn't mean it has to be a 24/7 constant onslaught. In fact, finding new outlets can be fun!

To that end, I'm going to guest blog on The Goddess Fish Party blog tomorrow to celebrate  Dragon & Hawk's PAPERBACK release!
http://goddessfishparty.blogspot.com/ 
Authors often think the hardest part of being a writer is getting published. Au contraire, mon frer!  Finding ways to get the word out about your work is a never-ending challenge, one that every author must embrace. The old days of a publisher funding a nationwide book tour and plastering your book cover everywhere are long, long gone. Every author below the stratospheric heights occupied by Mr. Grisham, Ms. Rowling, and Mr. King has to develop and nurture a market.

How much does luck play into getting your book into the hands of hungry readers? I don't know that there truly is such a thing as pure luck. Luck is hard work, realizing opportunities and acting on them, not copping an attitude, and being willing to try new or unusual venues.

I'm looking forward to partying with Goddess Fish! Won't you join me?