Most of the comment action when I post an entry happens at my personal Facebook, where I have a fair number of followers and where my chattiest fans and friends tend to be active. If I shut down comments here, all of that action will either happen there or on Livejournal, which still mirrors my posts.
People would, of course, still be able to send me e-mails via the A.M. Dellamonica website. All I’d really be doing is concentrating the conversations about my blog posts into a smaller number of venues.
This is one of those rare occasions when I’m asking for advice and opinions. Does your blog allow comments? Have you shut this feature down, as many people seem (lately) to be? Does your site have a “here’s why there’s no comments enabled?” section? I’m interested in all the pros and cons.
Caitlin Sweet has tagged me and Kelly in the Writer Process Blog Tour, and posted her answers to the questions in that meme here. (She was tagged by Peter Watts, incidentally).
I will provide answers, but being tagged reminded me that 1) I’m trying to channel my inner Gomez Addams by finishing old business before jumping into new;
and 2) I’ve been working up a post about the things we writers post to the Internet about writing.
These essays tend to fall into a number of categories.
Write, Sell, Lather, Rinse, Repeat
– How to write more.
– How to write better.
– How to get your more better writing published.
– What traditional publishing is like.
– What self-publishing is like.
– Whether to go traditional, Indy, or hybrid.
– Stuff happening in publishing and how it benefits or harms writers.
– How to promote your work: how to sell it to people.
Writing lifestyle stuff
– To have a day job or not.
– To write in a cafe or not.
– Just plain finding the time.
– Also in this category is all the material about the emotional journey. That means things like coping with rejection, coping with success or failure, supportive versus unsupportive spouses (children, parents, gerbils, etc.), your first fan letter, good bad and ugly reviews, writers’ block. Anything you have feelings about.
– My genre is like this, your genre is like that.
– This particular story is categorized as one thing, but is actually another.
– These genres are basically the same but are marketed to different people.
– Actual academic analysis of the work.
– Books, shows, games, gadgets and other media that we think is cool. Sometimes we even talk about how well-written the stuff is.
History of writing
– How Leon de Tocqueville got it done and the Marquis de Sade’s editorial relationship with his… never mind.
Politics of writing
– Sexism, Racism, ablism, and other issues: on the page, in the community, and within fandom.
– Writing that promotes a political agenda in some way.
– Writers who are politically active and whether/how/when/why that’s appropriate.
Health safety and wellness
– Writing desks short and tall.
– Food or exercise issues.
– Writing through illness.
– Technological assists.
– Why we should all have kittens.
The reason I’m thinking about all of the above is that it makes me wonder I am wondering what we don’t talk about. Are there uncomfortable and difficult topics we should be addressing online? Would our readers and/or new writers be interested?
If so, what are those topics?
That’s right, it’s just over three months away! You can expect to hear more as we get closer to April 10th–there will be at least one contest, and I or TOR will almost certainly put up a first chapter, and I have yet to figure out what else.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! In just a couple weeks I’ll have a new story up on Tor.com. It’s called “Among the Silvering Herd” and I hope you all enjoy it very much. Or, if you’d rather get your Whedon fan on, watch the TOR blog for my 2012 Buffy Rewatch series, coming any second now.
AND A SET OF STEAK KNIVES: there are still exactly three slots open in my winter UCLA course, “Creating Universes, Building Worlds,” which begins January 25th. Come spring, I’m scheduled to teach Novel Writing I… and I’ll let you know when registration’s open for that. Finally, I will be teaching Novel Diagnostics at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle on Sunday, January 29th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..
What have you all got going on?
I have been thinking about it a lot this past week and it is clear to me that, fun though it would be, spending all of November writing new fiction isn’t the best use of my time. So, while some of you are madly novelizing, I plan to spend the stretch from now to mid-December doing two things: putting final touches on the current novel in progress and reading as much as I possibly can.
Meego Read Mo, I’m calling it. I have a bunch of research books to mow through, and the remainder of the horror rereads, and the The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 was edited by Mary Roach this year, and the new The Children of the Sky is in the house too. And all that’s for starters! There’s so much good stuff I want to pay attention to.
I’ll report how it’s going, just as I would if I were writing a book.
I like Nanowrimo. I’ve done some good writing in past Novembers and I am sure some future year will play out so that I can participate again. It was a bit tough to let the idea go, because I love writing draft and I love playing with the Nano community. But with one book 85% done and things going well, it just doesn’t make sense to hare off in a completely different direction.
I’m pleased to announce that my dark fantasy novelette, “The Sorrow Fair“, is available in the Kindle Store for the princely sum of $0.99. The novelette made its original print appearance in 2008, in the now-defunct Helix Speculative Fiction, and was edited by William Sanders and Lawrence Watt-Evans. Here’s a taste:
Gabe tried to push past the child, to hop over the turnstile. She grabbed his forearm with irresistible strength, turning it palm-up and swiping her candy floss over his wrist. The fibers smoked where they touched him: there was a smell of acid and a blister rose on his forearm. Swelling to the size of his fist, the skin mottled and blackened, scorched first into indecipherable patterns and then into something recognizable: a printed rectangular ticket.
“Admit one,” it read.
Setting the candy aside, the Girl Scout pulled out a straight razor.
“Stop,” Gabe objected, but he couldn’t pull free.
My chosen Exquisite Words quote from this past Monday came from Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, a book that inspired my choice of setting for this story: reading Larson’s book and especially the history surrounding the invention of the Ferris Wheel was what drew me to Chicago, and The World’s Fair, for this.
I don’t remember that much, besides that, about the process of writing “The Sorrow Fair.” It was written right smack in the period when I was going to Alberta for a lot of family funerals, and the story certainly holds a resonance with the sadness that permeated those years.
But it has romantic love and music and all the kinds of weirdness you’ve probably come to expect from me. I was pleased with how it turned out, I still am, and I hope you will be too.