Life As a Country Western Song

If I could write Country Western songs, the last three weeks would have given me ample fodder for one of those songs that consist of a string laments about the vicissitudes of life.

Ogapoge Takes Refuge

Ogapoge Takes Refuge

A friend had a sudden medical emergency which necessitated me taking care of his cats.  No problem with helping out with that and with other things.  He’s a good friend and his cats were very lonely – but going over to his house every day for nearly two weeks was a rupture in my routine that made it harder to settle into any particular writing project.

Nonetheless, I soldiered on and always made doing at least some work on my current project (additions to a weird book I’ve been writing on-spec) a priority.  This meant other things had to slide, of course…

I also had three speaking engagements within five days.  Two were for UNM Honors.  The classes were excellent, the questions thoughtful and intelligent.  The other was seven hours of a new Author Fest.  I sold a fair number of books, helped the Albuquerque Museum raise some money, gave a talk about writing SF/F, and met some nifty people.  But getting ready for these events, going back and forth, was a drain on my energy that made it harder to settle into any particular writing project.

Refrain: Nonetheless, I soldiered on and always made doing at least some work on my current project (additions to a weird book I’ve been writing on-spec) a priority.  This meant other things had to slide, of course…

My friend came home safely from the hospital, but peace was not to be mine.  A leak from our swamp cooler had created damage to our kitchen ceiling that really had to be dealt with.  We hired a fellow who did drywall work and, since the patch would need to be painted anyhow, arranged to have him paint the whole kitchen.  Then since the bookshelf in the kitchen (which also holds our guinea pigs’ tanks) had to be emptied out and washed anyhow, I painted that, too.  The dry-waller did excellent work and was about as nonintrusive as someone cutting a hole in your ceiling can be, but the noise and comings and goings (not to mention stressed cats) made it harder for me to settle into any particular writing project.

Refrain : Nonetheless, I soldiered on and always made doing at least some work on my current project (additions to a weird book I’ve been writing on-spec) a priority.  This meant other things had to slide, of course…

Then one of our elderly cats (who already suffers from kidney disease) got stressed by all the fuss (he is terrified of workmen, no matter how nice) and decided to stop eating.  We coaxed him back, but it wasn’t fun.  Then one of our guinea pigs got very sick and I had to rush him to the vet.  He’s still on antibiotics and whether he’ll get well is not certain.  So caring for him remains a drain on my time and creative energy.

Then, Sunday night, when I really should have been sleeping, a new character walked into my head and is now insisting that I write some new stories.  So, the next morning, I needed to find time to scribble notes, so I wouldn’t lose more than sleep – which refused to come until I had the character’s name and general description in my head.  Yes, I did consider getting up and scribbling thing down then, but it was cold and I was very, very tired.

So this new idea is going to be competing with my settling in on finishing what I’m working on but I won’t let it because, as I wrote a few weeks ago, if you let the Hot New Idea take over from the project you’re trying to finish, then you never get anything done

Refrain: Therefore, I soldiered on and always made doing at least some work on my current project (additions to a weird book I’ve been writing on-spec) a priority.  This meant other things had to slide of course….

Other forthcoming projects may include getting e-books together of some of my older titles including Marks of Our Brothers, Pipes of Orpheus, and When the Gods Are Silent.  I’m also meditating on a Kickstarter campaign as a way of testing the waters to see if folks might be interested in my self-publishing some of my current, odder projects, since right now publishers are a little chary about books that slide between categories…  Even SF/F publishers.  Weird, I know!

This week I hope to get caught up on some of the jobs that I’ve had to let slide (like filing and dealing with garden produce) while running hither and yon.  But you can be sure of one thing.  I’ll make sure I’m writing, because the stories keep clamoring to be told, and if I’m not writing, I find it much harder to sleep.

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7 Responses to “Life As a Country Western Song”

  1. Peter Says:

    Very much hoping for e-re-releases of your older works, electrons being a lot easier to lug around than paper.

    And very definitely would back a Kickstarter for an odd project (last odd project Kickstarter I backed just finished, so I have a happy).

  2. Heteromeles Says:

    Yes, it’s been one of those weeks here too. We’re getting ready to move, and along come some workmen, hired by the HOA to repaint our complex. The new colors of choice? Institutional gray green and concrete, to replace the previous inoffensive adobe color. And painting over the numbers too, along with other sloppiness. Just what we need to make this place pretty when we put this place on the market.

    Actually, given our HOA board is a bunch of AARP-level nuisances who deliberately schedule meetings when no one else can go, I wonder if they have untreated cataracts. The more I look at the muddy colors they ordered for the complex, the more I wonder.

  3. Louis Robinson Says:

    You are far more entertaining than the usual C&W lament.

    Republishing would be excellent.

    I would also like to encourage Kickstarter. You do need to be realistic about goals and costs, but it certainly should mean you aren’t out-of-pocket on the publishing costs. One of the nice things about Kickstarter is that you don’t have to carry on if there’s not enough support, and don’t have to find the cash to reimburse supporters if it folds [you don’t get the money at all unless the project is a go], so you are out only your planning and promotion time. Which isn’t a minor consideration, of course, but not as serious as a major cash outlay would be. I would put in a bid for the first project being the completion of Breaking the Wall if I weren’t afraid of sounding like a broken record 😉

  4. henrietta abeyta Says:

    Day’s when Aunty Barbara Grandma’s sister helped great grandma, how Zoe a Labrador retriever felt without mom’s company, and a woman not able to allow us to keep her small dog forever though she offered the tiny breed to us, plus my own real loyalty to others, I have a bit of sympathy of how these weeks of busily helping your friend felt Jane.

    A stroke wasn’t great grandma’s only weakness. A wheelchair or a walker, great grandma had to stay with Aunty Barbara.

    And I’m sure Zoe mainly wished to have her daily walk while mom was busy at work. Zoe did enough action that a farmer’s home was a better place for her, Zoe jumped in front of us a lot when she seemed bored. Once in a while her paws scratched our tummies if we didn’t leap back quick enough. Zoe was one of the dogs mom found on the street. Helping a calm stray is one of the things mom enjoys doing.

    Jasmine Olson sharing long experiences that give her sympathy of the daily hard work and emotional interruptions this page mentions.

  5. janelindskold Says:

    E-books of my older Avon titles will definitely be coming. Please sign up for my mailing list (you can find it on my website http://www.janelindskold.com) so you don’t miss.

    I do have some already available.

    As for the Kickstarter… At least the first one would be for the new piece I’ve been working on, but if I was sufficiently encouraged, I’d certainly do another.

    What sort of Kickstarter incentives do people like?

    • Louis Robinson Says:

      I’d suggest you talk to Ryk Spoor – he’s done it himself, and IIRC he talked to others before he started, so he has some idea of the range of incentives offered for various projects.

      I suspect that the details vary, since writers have different audiences with different tastes. And, of course, varying levels of comfort in meeting those tastes. For Polychrome, Ryk’s basic incentive was a PDF copy of the book; it moved up through electronic and printed versions of the cover art and the book itself [he hired Bob Eggleton to do the cover, and the deal included the right to provide copies to supporters]. I’m afraid that I no longer recall the highest level incentives, since they were beyond my ability to contribute to the project, but they all involved the book itself. I would think that range of items should be appropriate for any book project. If you know someone who can do a nice binding for you [I think I recall you mentioning a friend who does this], that should mark the high end of your incentive range, probably as a stretch goal to be sure you can cover the cost.

      • janelindskold Says:

        Thanks for the advice. Those sound in line with what I was thinking, so you confirm I’m on a solid track. I don’t know Mr. Spoor, but I will keep your recommendation in mind.

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