Too Many Bodies
From Epic Poem to Haiku

ROW80-1 02/11 - Books to the Bar

I sold a couple of books this week, at my local. Let this be a reminder to always have copies with you, just in case. I throw some in my shoulder bag. Or man purse, as some call it, in an attempt at humour. Do mention to new friends you are a writer - they will usually be fascinated. Then casually refer to the published books - available from Amazon, Chapter, etc. Or, from you, right there, on sale and signed. And for your old friends, talk about your latest writing triumph/disaster, just like 9-5 worker-bees go on about their jobs. Say that it's nice to finally sell the finished product. No pressure, just hints. 

I've not done a lot a lot of check-ins lately, but not a lot of writing either. However, selling two copies of my first book (Kirk's Landing) reminded me that I was a writer, and do enjoy other's reactions. Especially when cash is involved. So - I finally did another Flash Fiction, for the ROW80 challenge. Mine is Too Many Bodies.  

(Long) Status:

  • Writing
    • As above, a Flash Fiction. I worked on the structure more than I used to, combining some tips from a Holly's Writing Class session with my standard three-act play with turning points format.
    • Speaking of Holly's session, it was to be three weeks, starting before Christmas. Bad timing for me. I did get some good tips, and have 10 short stories with good beginnings, interesting middles, and some possible endings. Yes, I 'should' finish them up, and then I will have 10 more stories under my belt.
  • Write better -I'm still following a number of writerly blogs, as well as reading and watching videos with a critical eye. Also, I found that composing a quick story and getting constructive feedback from my girlfriend helped me to learn a bit.
  • Publish/market
    • I sold two books.  
    • I read in the NYT about the apparent thirst for books in Afghanistan, so I did a FaceBook promotion of the page for my first one. Ran it for three days, $6 total, targeting 16-45 year-old men and women with interests in things like fantasy, police, Canada. I reached 907 people, and got 409 new likes for my page. I've no idea what that really means. I didn't see an online sales jump (as in above the zero-line), but I thought it was an interesting thing to try. 
  • Read/review
    • I finished reading my friend's book, Legacy, and did a reviewIt was good, but the opening pace could have been better. However, he was looking for a review, not online editorial feedback. Maybe I'll send him a link to Hooked
    • I started reading Titania, by Martin Cruz Smith. It was recommended by a friend as being with similar characters to the ones I am enjoying in The Method, on Netflix. Nope. Did not finish. 
    • Reading NYT and Guardian Weekly in print as well as online for Washington Post and others.  
  • Social -Yes, lots of this please. The event for my girlfriend's sister went well. We met some of the family for drinks Thursday night, then again at the event Friday night. Lots of former bosses and subordinates and peers stood up to give glowing and amusing speeches. Lots of brass there, but none in uniform so that was nice. Interesting people including one American that was now a CPA, and had before that had been a motorcycle mechanic. And before that, she was a Black Hawk pilot, in Afghanistan. And of course my girlfriends family - brother, sisters, niece and nephew - all interesting. Saturday we invited family and friends (14?) over for drinks and dinner. I figured it would be more comfortable in a house rather than a restaurant somewhere. Salads, buns, and smoked pork shoulder, roasted with a glaze. OMG. It was an awesome roast and a great party. I also did some babysitting of grandkids, took my daughter out for a birthday lunch, and made several visits to my local pub(s). Including for the SuperBowl evening. Well, most of it, as I made it almost to the third quarter before I lost interest. 
  • Fun - That would be gaming and videos. I'd started streaming my various truck driving games online, via Twitch (ravensview), and had discovered limitations with my GTX 750 video card. So I upgraded to a 1050ti and love it. I've been streaming for a couple of hours every day, learning about the OBS software, setting up a web-cam and overlays, etc. Only 11 followers so far, but sometimes someone will enter the chat for a bit, so that's progress. As for videos, I have many in progress via Netflix and Amazon Prime: Mr. Robot, The Method, Scandal, Altered Carbon, Zelda, Ghost in the Shell. 


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Beth Camp

Thank you, Mike, for the reminder about HOOKED! I have it at home (will be back home in about 8 days) and will tackle it once again. This check-in captures a lot of fun as well as writing progress. May the coming week go as well!

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