The One Hundred and Ninety-Ninth Post: The One Where I Am Here…and That’s All That Should Be Expected Of Me…

Well, I managed to get back into the swing of work without costing people millions of dollars, so that crisis was averted. I have only one more vacation week planned: 10/28-11/5 and after that, I will need to have someone call me in as dead if I need a mental health day. How much is zombie powder on the black market? I’m asking for a friend, of course. I am also trying to get a head start for the one convention I am going to go to next year… and I might even expand it to two. One: there is NecromoniCon in Providence, RI – in the heart (that dark, pulsating thing keeping the time of madness with every flex of gibbering cardiac muscle) of Lovecraft Country. I am going to go there because I am a Lovecraft fan and it affords me the chance to walk the streets that one of my major influences took to when he had the notion. I will also consider this a part of the ‘get this guy more sociable‘ program I am putting myself through. Going to a place that is so far away from my house and anything else familiar will (theoretically) push me to interact with others. Also – I want to get an idea as to what’s expected of me when I start trying to sell my books at conventions. The other convention I want to go to next year, and this one is going to be fairly closer to home – GenCon. I’ve wanted to go to this since I started playing RPGs when I was nine. I can’t go this year (even if is a hop, skip and a jump from where I am – I have no cash to get passes), but I am going to go next year. Anyway – enough of that…

The novel continues along merrily. I began the Second Act yesterday and I am sometimes amazed at how little things just seem to spontaneously start with some characters. There is a minor character named Dasya (casting note: J. K. Simmons) who acts as the Master’s assistant and he appears, for the time being, to be giving Tyro some assistance. When I was working on his in my head Dasya was just there – a face in the crowd. Now he has a personality, lines and motivation – something I never gave much thought about until recently when he pushed Tyro against a wall and gave her what for. I don’t know if this is something that other writers have to deal with – I’m not complaining about it, mind you – but it would be interesting to see some other responses.

Someone posted a quiz on whether or not you are a professional writer. John Scalzi wrote a response to that quiz, which I am going to post a link here. I am also going to recommend his book Old Man’s War. I thought for giggles, I would partake of this quiz…

  1. Is your home/work place messy because that time you’d put into cleaning it is better spent writing?




     

    I reek of Professionalism… and three day old socks. Next question.

     

  2. Do you routinely turn down evenings out with friends because you need to be home writing instead?

    No. I plan my writing so that I can still go to work and socialize on the weekends. Besides, I am a bit of a homebody anyways – most of my socializing is done online.

     

  3. Do you turn off the television in order to write?

    Yes, and I turn on music when I write.

     

  4. Would you rather receive useful criticism than praise?

    Yes.

     

  5. Do you plan vacations around writing opportunities (either research or networking potential)?

    No. I plan vacations around the idea that I am getting away from everything to relax. I do most of my networking online, and on the rare times when I am talking to people face to face, I focus on them, not on writing.

     

  6. Would you rather be chatting about the business of writing with another writer than exchanging small talk with a good friend?

    Small talk with a friend. I can talk to writers all the time since I hang out with them mostly, but friends I only get to see once in a while. I am sensing a disturbing trend here…

     

  7. Have you ever taken a day job that paid less money because it would give you more time/energy/material to write?

    No. I don’t choose between writing and work. I write in the morning and I go to work in the afternoon. While yes, I am now at ‘part-time’ status in my company, but that’s not for writing, but for reducing the risk of burn-out.

     

  8. Are you willing to give up the nice home you know you could have if you devoted that time you spend writing to a more lucrative career?

    You obviously haven’t seen my house. I’m writing in an effort to get that nice home.

     

  9. Have you done all these things for at least five years?

    I have been writing as a way of relieving boredom and dealing with issues since I was 7. Only 10 years ago did I start to consider this as a viable career. 2 years ago, I put out an anthology just to see if I could do it.

     

  10. Are you willing to live knowing that you will likely never meet your ambitions, but you hold to those ambitions nonetheless?

    Fuck you.

     

     

This is not a quiz about being professional – being a professional means your time is compensated with money. This is a questionnaire that tells you if you have an

unhealthy obsession with writing. Don’t believe me? Substitute ‘writing’ with ‘video gaming’ or ‘drinking’ or any other perceived vice. Yeah – if you substituted ‘drinking’ and you answered yes to more than seven of these questions…you have a problem.

 

Well, speaking of professionalism, I should get back to the novel. I’m sorry that this blog entry ran a little long, but I wanted to get this quiz in there and tell the author of the aforementioned quiz that there are some very good counseling options available.

 

Y’all have a good day now.

 

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

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