Saturday, March 22, 2014

Too Much Fun!

I'm having too much fun today... if that's possible.

I've been working on a new web site, integrating all the things I do... well... most of them.

Took some journalistic photos today (see at Santa Cruz Pics). Worked up me Photography Page on Words Arranged.

Who knows what'll come of all this, if anything. I'm having fun!

Anyone ever see the film Why Man Creates?

Friday, March 21, 2014

A New (Old) Beginning

With the launch of my new web site, Words Arranged, I'm starting a new era in writing... and photography. Well, for myself at least.

Wait a minute... "Words" arranged?


I'm searching for the perfect photo haiku.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dog Gone!

Well, here it is, a year later, and I'm still fighting off the dogs. It's a strange world out there, getting stranger by the minute. Should be plenty of topics to agitate anyone's quill, but it sure takes up a lot of time... time that could be spent writing about something else.

A new web page in the making, soon to be revealed, and then back to the desk, the pen and the dreaded blank sheet of paper.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Subsequent Events Intervene (SEI)

As usual, best laid plans succumb to the SEI principle: Subsequent Events Intervene.

I had plans to work furiously on Rings of Truth, and then Dogs Off-Leash reared their heads again, and now I'm spending my time writing a proposal for local government.

It's OK, it's all good writing, and this is particularly satisfying as it is science based. And, it's not writing fiction.

I have to pay attention to what my writing is telling me. After all, it comes out of my head! And right now, I'm not writing fiction. I have my desk side table full of books on Bering Strait archaeology and climate science, preparing to revise an old scientific paper on St. Lawrence Island archaeology with new climate data.

So it goes.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rings of Truth

I've just turned a corner in my next novel, Rings of Truth, passing from research to plot completion and outline.

My first novel, The Environmeddlers, was a compilation of earlier writings, with characters and scenes created to fill in the story. It was difficult and, I think in the final analysis, not too successful.

This time I am plotting out the story in advance, and working out the characters' personality descriptions, so that the characters react to the story in ways motivated by their character traits.

I have an ulterior motive! Once the characters are solid and playing well together, I hope to bring them into new scenes in future stories.

Did anyone say "sequel?"

Friday, November 16, 2012

Is Research Really Writing?

It's time to poke my head above the writing waters and take a look around.

I've been working on two large research projects over the past couple of weeks, work that has kept my head down and focused all day every day. So I haven't written anything for some time... or have I?

We all know we have to do research in order to write, even if we write fiction. Usually, the writing comes first, setting up the plot, defining the characters, setting them in locations. We have to do the research to make sure what we write is authentic, real and, above all believable.

The difference between fiction and fact is that fiction has to be plausible.

This time, I've been doing the research first, if it ever does result in a story, essay or novel. I've been doing genealogy research, finding documents and stories about my ancestors back to the 17th Century, and researching family history for a friend.

It's absorbing work, this research, requiring long hours of internet interaction, downloading and organizing. The results tell a fascinating tale of human lives over generations, living with everything Life throws at them, getting by as best they can, dealing with the societies, cultures and relationships in which they find themselves. It's the human drama, spun out in census records, marriage and death certificates, birth records, divorce decrees, family histories, transcription errors, legends and sometimes outright false stories, deceptions, half-truths, lies and silence.

It's one of the reasons we do genealogy, if for no other reason than to make sense of the strange things that happen in our own lives, and the decisions we make every day in dealing with them.

I think I'll include genealogy in my research for my next novel. Even if it isn't true!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Marketing Surprises - surprising markets

The writing world is full of surprises, and the marketing of writing world is no exception.

This morning I discovered sales of five copies of my family genealogy, Descendants of Edmond Lewes of Lynn, Massachusetts. This is a book I'm not actively marketing, as I wrote it as a genealogy reference for fellow researchers in my Lewis family line. It sells for 30 cents more than what it costs to print it at, so I don't make any money at it. And there's a free PDF download offered as well.

It just goes to show you, people buy books when they want to buy books. There's no accounting for buying patterns.

Of course, readers have to know a book exists before they can search it out and buy it, so I guess that's what marketing is for. It must be good for something.

So my next question is, "Do I go eBook or not?"

Ruminations on that question tomorrow!