Daily Update #28

Allrighty, then.  I have returned. …  What, no applause?

(Muse:  In your dreams, fat man.)

Bah.

All settled in now at my new digs.  Sorry to have been away for an extended period but when I returned from the Middle East, imagine my surprise that Mrs. Axe had flown here to surprise me!  She was actually quite clever, using my friends (who I expected to pick me up at the terminal) as decoys while she secured hiding place from which she could spring out and surprise me.  Unexpected but delightful.  Anyway, a few days ago, I returned her to the desert southwest and I resume my duty here – for another year before I finally hang up my military hat.  So now that I am back in a normal mode, it is time to get in the saddle and get some writing done.

– Short-term goal is to finish Pilgrimage.  Once I do, I am going to let it percolate for a few months before I revisit and revise.  In the meantime, I'm outlining a story that may take two to four books to tell.  Yes, I am targeting the fantasy fiction Holy Grail of a trilogy but I am not going to restrict myself; if it is shorter or longer, then so be it.  I'll post more about my April goals next weekend.

– Upon return a spoke to a friend regarding a long dormant project we've conceptualized (I wrote about it some time ago).  Nothing more has materialized but I remain hopeful.  He even bought a laptop and has technically removed half of his children from the house (off to college), so his excuses are getting flimsier.

– I read an article over at SFWA on a semi-self-publishing outfit called Autharium.  Victoria Strauss, co-founder of the indispensable Writer Beware, had some cautionary words for anyone submitting.  I had a look at their site and I confess, I did not see the draw over, say, pushing it on Amazon on your own (which does not restrict your publishing rights near as much).  You can read the original write up by Victoria, as she does a better summation than I ever could – providing, as always, a valuable service to us authors out here in the wild.

Duotrope, my favorite publishing search engine, went to a subscription model at the beginning of the year.  I haven't used it but basically all the features that were free are no behind the subscription wall.  Personally annoying, as I donated to them a few times but I guess it was not enough to keep them afloat.  So now I have to decide if I want to pay for the service.  I think I am going to try a month and see if I think it is worth it.  I get it, it is like a dollar a week.  I can get the same info from Ralan's though less structured.  But Duotrope has been of major assistance the entire time I have been submitting fiction.  These decisions suck.

– I learned absolute value of constant back-up, as if I was not aware of it in the past.  My desktop did not tolerate storage well during the year I was gone and it refused to boot up properly.  I had to wipe the drive and re-install the OS.  Thankfully, I had all my stuff on a thumb drive and make sure to keep my work on multiple machines and on separate media.  It's a must, even if you use a cloud solution.  But do something, gang.

Okay, that's enough outta me.  I am anxious to actually get to writing now.  Laters.

Bribery? Really?

So as I have been trying to get myself back in a good writing rhythm (pretty hard when working 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week), I have also been getting caught up on reading.  I found this at SFWA and all I can say is that some people have balls … giant brass balls … to go with the lead between their ears.

A reminder:  it is easier to hate people in advance.  It saves time.

I don’t like you! Boycott!

Now this kinda stuff just pisses me off.

The folks over at Writer Beware (an off-shoot of SFWA) are a pretty good group of people.  I don't necessarily carry water for SFWA as an organization; I'm not a member and given the difference between my writing style and most of theirs, I may never be one, regardless of future success level.  I do, however, believe they are well-intentioned, not evil, and generally interested in promoting the best speculative fiction possible.  Writer Beware is, as their mission statement puts it, "the public face of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Committee on Writing Scams."

Well, much as Bizarro rose to oppose Superman, a group named "The Write Agenda" has come online, to contest Writer Beware.  I trolled around their site for a while and I have to say, it was bizarre in the extreme.  Disjointed ramblings, pictures on their Facebook that suggested members of Writer Beware should die, and a list of boycotted authors.

Really?  Who the fuck does that – boycotts books and authors?  Grow up.  Go out to their website, if you like.  But hopefully, you have a strong stomach.  I think The Write Agenda is in over their head.  Worse, they are going in diametric opposition to a group that has credibility while they, to date, have none.  I don't care that they waste their time.  But I do care if some innocent writer gets scammed, which is what Writer Beware works to prevent.

I won't ascribe specific motives to the members of The Write Agenda but at best, their diatribes read to me as though someone has a personal axe to grind against members of Writer Beware.  Not persuasive.

You can read much more about it from the Writer Beware people here (with comments) or here.