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…
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.
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.
Do you turn off the television in order to write?
Yes, and I turn on music when I write.
Would you rather receive useful criticism than praise?
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Are you willing to live knowing that you will likely never meet your ambitions, but you hold to those ambitions nonetheless?
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.