Posts Tagged ‘writers’

There are two very good reasons that I’m going to attend the annual Toronto fan based writer convention known as Ad Astra.

One is that everyone in my publishing company keeps going to cons and I’m jealous. Yup – there I said it. I have only been to two cons in my life – World Horror (2007)and World Fantasy (2012)- and loved both experiences. So when I remembered that there was an annual con, essentially in my back yard, I decided I was a fool not to take advantage of it.

The second reason I am going is marketing. I know I have to do all I can to market myself and my writing. This con will give me the opportunity to try and do some ‘grassroots’ marketing. I have a hope/plan in the works to aid me in this endeavour that I believe will go a long way to getting more people’s eyes on my work.

So having decided I am doing this – and not just this year but every year – I now have to actually figure out how to make this happen.  They just released where the con is taking place – the same hotel/convention center as the World Fantasy I was at – and the room rates

Room rate isn’t bad at all either …all things considered. Looking at around $500 for the weekend (admission and room – if I stay the full length I’d like to).
This doesn’t include fuel for getting there.
Going to say $600 total, and be pleasantly surprised if I have change left over.
How? Don’t ask the tough questions of me.

I have already set a things in motion based around my being at this con. It may be an expense I can’t really afford, but it is also and opportunity and outlet I can’t afford to ignore.

Who knows – maybe my book sales will soar over the next couple of months and I can pay my way with that.

So I’m sick.

I caught a bug that my wife caught and now I’m feeling drained, achy, and coughing.

I don’t really have right to complain – this is the first time in probably a decade that I have caught anything that lasted more then 24 hrs but still, I hate the dry, hacking cough and the inability to really think clearly. Perhaps I hate that last bit because it is too reminiscent of when my cycles get really bad and I can make my brain string coherent thoughts together.

What is bugging the most though is that yesterday I went to continue beta-reading a novel for a fellow writer and I just couldn’t focus enough to finish a chapter. I know the writer of this novel doesn’t expect it back immediately and is very grateful for my input so the only one I’m disappointing is myself but it still bothered me. I’m going to try again today as I feel better(ish) as long as I’m sitting down not doing anything.

It feels good to be helping out this writer with his work. Over the years I have been lucky enough to have people help me and to be able to return the favour just feels right.

I have my work out with people who are essentially strangers and now I am working on the novel of someone who is essentially a stranger, yet we are all part of a strange brother/sister hood. I don’t know if it is true of other arts (for example music) but for the most part I have found that writers, be they beginners or professionals, are a giving, welcoming, and friendly lot. It’s true some are suspicious, mean and spiteful but those individuals are easy to spot and avoid.

Well there you have it, a rambling post from a man on flu medications. Gee, the tabs on this post are going to be erratic.

 

So my last post was about ‘going it alone’ and how I couldn’t conceive of it. One of the things I mentioned was writing and that is a big one.

A writer needs support, peers, editors, readers and feedback – all of which relies on others. Yet, the craft itself is very insular. There are many authors who co-compose their stories – something I can’t wrap my head around no matter how hard I try- but for the most part the actual writing of a story is the author, the keyboard, a few words on a page, and maybe some music.  Get someone else in the room and most writers just – shut – down.

But once the writing is over (and the edit, and the other edit, and the other, other edit) then the thing birthed in solitude has to go out to the world or, as a writer I can never grow and hone my skill. I’m not talking about being published, I’m talking about all the layers that come before that – the human buffers that share the final shaping of the work created. Without them there wouldn’t be a story.

I was lucky enough when I was first beginning to take seriously the idea of being a writer, of hooking up with a great bunch of writers on-line. At that time I didn’t even consider myself a horror writer but as they all were I tried my hand at it…and enjoyed it. It is a wonderful way to allow the demons out and as a man with plenty of demons…

This group allowed me to realise just how important feed back was. Through their comments on my work I was able to see my stories as they saw them and that new perspective changed everything for me.

Rather recently I have been lucky enough to gain an editor. This woman offers her time, talent, and wisdom to me freely and I owe so much to her. By reading her work I have seen levels of writing I can only aspire to reach and through her comments and cuts to my own work I have been given a vision of what my tales can become.

I’ve been lucky. Not everyone gets to find these sort of people but if you can hold on to them!

The other group of people a writer needs is the readers. The people who read the words before the are released/submitted to the public. These people have the hard task of reading the work not only for the story but for content – the nick picking detail, dialogue drama, character creditability, and the very flow of the piece itself.

These people represent the masses. They are the last line of edit and their opinion, meshed with the editor’s, must be fused with the original concept to create a world that will captivate all who read it. They are also volunteers – and as people with lives – have only so much time to devote to my collections of words.

These people are currently teaching me a new thing – patience. I want so bad to read all their thoughts and start up the forge in my mind to wield and bend the world I built with those thousands of words with their visions of what that place should be like.

But I must wait. And as I wait, I must teach myself another thing – keep working. There are other worlds waiting for my fingers to release them into this one, time to pen the flood gates once more.

So now I must once more become the insular, ignore the masses and their representatives, and submerse myself in the words.