jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Well, the great news is that A. is coming back on Wednesday! Yay! Although I'm sure I won't see her for a few days after she gets back as she'll be sleeping until the following Monday. Heh. Still, I did relatively well in her absence, eating healthy for the most part and keeping the place clean. Did some more cleaning today because why not. And it's still early in the afternoon, so maybe I can get some online shopping done as well.

In other exciting news, I should be getting a new router from AT&T tomorrow so our internet will be both faster and we'll have a much bigger data plan (for about the same amount as we're paying now, apparently), which will really help both of us, since we both work from home and use the internets quite a bit. Going to get that up and running after my work day is done, of course.

In writing news, The Persistence of Memories is now FINALLY available in trade paperback on Amazon! Yay! It took me long enough. And now that Book 2 is out of the way, I can finally work on The Balance of Light. The line-edit is done for that one, so all I need to do is start going through the ebook and trade versions. I'm thinking this one will probably see the light of day in January by the looks of it, but we shall see.

As for holidays...Thanksgiving was quiet but enjoyable. Bought myself some turkey tenderloins and cooked both of them up for dinner. Had one then and I'm having one for dinner tonight with a salad. Nothing too exciting there. But yes, it's now time for me to do Christmas shopping, so I will most likely continue with my normal route of ordering most everything online and then mailing it out. And yes, I've been hearing Christmas tunage in the stores over the last few weeks. It kind of crept up on me this year, as I've been too distracted with the writing projects! I usually buy at least one Christmas album a year, so I'm curious to see which one I'll pick this year. Maybe a classic, or maybe a new release!

Hope everyone's having a good weekend! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Not too much to report here, as I've chosen to utilize this past weekend as a way to coast and relax a bit. Day Jobbery wasn't exactly stressful or overburdening, it was just constant all four days, so the shortened week felt so much longer.

Both Saturday and today was sleeping in a bit--it was waking up at the normal 6am time out of habit, and rolling over and going back to sleep for a few more hours. Felt so much better waking up around 8:30ish these last few days! If only I could do that on a normal basis, heh.

Much mall and grocery shopping yesterday, heading down to the mall in San Bruno. Broke down and bought a few pairs of shoes -- sneakers for everyday wear, and a funky pair of Docs that I'm sure will get some heavy wear in a few weeks during Outside Lands. I also may have bought all the Independence Day tie-in novels, just for the hell of it, because I find that universe a lot of fun. [I saw the sequel last weekend, and I don't care what the critics say, I really enjoyed it!]

Other Boring Personal News: the car has finally been washed! Took it to one of the gas stations up the street and had them give it a good once-over. It was all dusty and dirty from the months-long reno being done at our apartment, with only a cursory hose-down being done every now and again when the guys finished for the day. It looks SO much better now.

Writing Projects have been consistent. I'm about back to where I stopped the last time in editing Book 3, so everything will be new editing from here on in. Printing it out and editing longhand is working quite nicely on multiple levels, so I'm happy about that. Putting a sticky-note in the back of my memory to remind myself to do that on future projects as well. :)

Oh--speaking of which, Smashwords is having a month-long promotion and I chose to make Book 2 available for free alongside Book 1. The first week worked out pretty well...I think I got two or three sales a day! I just need to get the word out there again to remind everyone who hasn't grabbed it already!

But yeah...that's pretty much all I have. I've been keeping it simple lately, focusing mostly on the Book 3 Edit and Book 1 & 2 Sale. Hopefully sometime in the next day or so I'll get some formatting done for the physical copy of Book 2 and upload it. I'd like to get a galley copy for our trip, if I can get it prepped before then.

I figure next weekend if we don't have anything planned, I'll make a trip down to the Fort Mason/Marina side of town so I can donate books to the SF Library store and clothes and whatnot to Goodwill. [There's a Goodwill in our neighborhood on Clement, but it's nigh on impossible to park to drop things off. The one in the Marina is on a side street where double-parking is a little easier to pull off.] The Goodwill there also takes old electronics, so I may drop off our pile of old computers as well.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Crickets

Apr. 17th, 2016 03:59 pm
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
So yes, The Persistence of Memories is out there, and has been met by...crickets. A few sample downloads, but that's about it.

But I'm okay with that. No, really! I am! Even though I consider it the best of the bunch!

I know very well why, of course. It's because I haven't done all that much advertising and shameless plugging at all. I posted the news on all my blogs as well as Twitter and Facebook, and that's a good start, but I have to do more than that.

Much, MUCH more than that.

See, this is the hard part. This is where I'm going to have to spend money to make money. I'm going to have to do a bit of advertising. I could very well go to all the writing websites and Twitter feeds and do a bit of plugging, but there's only so far I can go with that. I've got to get past the Ultimate Don't Wanna's (my next psychobilly-blues band name) and face the demon that is Sales. I just cringe at the idea behind it, mainly because I'm more than aware of how fake it can be, especially when you get a sales rep who's less than interested in what they have to upsell. [Believe me, I HAVE BEEN THERE. It truly is a soul-sucking experience.]

BUT. This needs to be done. And I've already made up my mind that I don't just want to learn how to be a better writer, I want to learn the whole business.

Why am I totally fine with crickets on the first week of release? Well, that's the thing, isn't it? I'm not a publishing house that needs to see immediate sales to know whether or not it'll be a moneymaker or a bomb. I'm not a film production company that needs to make back its multi-million dollar investment within the first couple of weeks. I don't need to rush it; to be truthful, I'd rather not, because that would give me more chances to screw it up. I'm learning as I go, and I'd rather learn it right the first time, that way I can do it right again down the line.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)

If you haven't seen my posts today on both my WordPress blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and I think pretty much everywhere else:

YES!  Book 2 in the Mendaihu Universe, The Persistence of Memories, is now out and available in ebook form!

Here's a few links to the fine establishments where it's available:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Smashwords


Don't forget to support your local bookstore! If they sell e-books, go ahead and download from their website! Here are a few of my favorite local bookstores where you can buy it:

Copperfield's Books

Green Apple Books

Books Inc


Thank you for your support! :)


***


A DIVISION OF SOULS is also STILL FREE! Want to get caught up first before jumping in? Head over to B&N, Kobo or Smashwords (or hey, even NoiseTrade) and download the first book, and your reading list is good to go!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Another lazy Sunday morning, in which I'm up and awake and watching the local news cycles while enjoying a cup of coffee. It's a bit chilly this morning but the rain seems to have abated somewhat. Not much going on today, although I'm going to need to do a bit of writing work later. Due to other plans I wasn't able to update the A to Z Challenge post yesterday, so I'll have to do that today.

FINALLY got around to updating the ebook for A Division of Souls...the odd typos and weird word choices are getting fixed so they're in line with the physical copy of the book. This will be the official 'second edition' of the ebook in that respect (and yes, I am in fact labeling it such on the copyright page). And yes, I have had some thoughts about giving the entire trilogy another 'remaster' once all three are out, but that's quite some time down the road, so I'm not going to worry about that. Still...I'm about 2/3 of the way through, so hopefully I'll be done by end of week. Just in time for the new book release!

This week is going to be kind of busy for me, between my writing projects and other things, including needing to head into Concord on Tuesday. I see no rain in the forecast for that day, so hopefully the drive there will be uneventful. But really, I'll be focusing mostly on this Friday, when the new book comes out. I really need to start pushing it in various places just to get some airtime. [Doing the current A to Z meme is actually helping, heh!] Even though it's longer than ADoS, I chose to give it the $4.99 price (a dollar cheaper than the first book originally), plus I'm offering Book 1 for free.

Going to be quite the busy week...here's to hoping I'll be able to keep on top of it!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
If you haven't seen me post it hither and yon from last night onwards, here 'tis:

The Persistence of Memories will be released on 15 April via Smashwords and other fine ebook establishments!



[And just in case you never picked up the first book, I'm giving it away for FREE for a limited time as well!]


**

For anyone curious, Book 3 (The Balance of Light) will most likely be released late in 2016, probably late autumn. There's a lot to be done with that one, and I'd like to take another breather before I work my way through it. I'm also thinking about post-trilogy writing projects at this time (both MU-related and not) to set myself up for 2017. A lot of things still up in the air, but I'm not going to worry too much about it right at the moment. For now, it's time to put on my Salesman Hat and sell the heck out of my two books. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Weekend? What is this 'weekend' you speak of?

*whew* What a busy couple of weeks! Sunday night going to the symphony then waking up stupid:early AM to jump on a plane to Hawaii for a week. A relaxing 5.5 days in sunny (and occasionally rainy) climes to get back late Saturday night...only to wake up early on Sunday to meet up with a few east coast friends in town for their vacation. Then back to the Day Jobbery on Monday. And with one major (but thankfully fixable) screwup, Emm and coworker have just been dropped off at SFO to head out to Manila again.

So yeah...lots of great times had over the past few weeks, but MAN OH MAN was it jam-packed! I do not want to do anything at all this weekend. Maybe some grocery shopping, but that's about it.

Well. Me being me, left to my own devices on a weekend, I will most likely be staying in Spare Oom and cranking out more pages for the final wrap-up of The Persistence of Memories.

Oh yeah! Not sure if you saw my cover mock-up that I posted elsewhere online a few days ago, but if not, here you go:



I think this one fits the theme of the book quite nicely! I knew I wanted a night image, or at least an earth/space one, given that I wanted stars visible. I downloaded the hi-res/no watermark picture from Shutterstock (same as last time) and will be using the same software as before. I'm aiming for a mid-April release for TPoM, so I will let you all know as soon as I have a hard date planned.

In fact, April is looking to be the first of a few busy spring/summer months for me. I have a lot of fun things planned for my blogs as well as other projects. Will let you know more when we get closer to the dates!

On that note, going to sit back, relax, and...not do much at all, really. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Yeah, I have to admit I have no stakes in today's particular game, as the previous week's playoff games ended with both teams I was rooting for losing. If anything, I'm kind of rooting for the Panthers, purely due to their underdog status here. Won't mind if Peyton wins, though, because that would mean he'd end his career on a high note before starting a new one doing more of those goofy Nationwide commercials.

Picked up A from the airport yesterday evening, and I was quite surprised that the traffic was rather light both ways. I ended up waiting longer at in the arrival lobby (thanks, A says, to the long process of going through customs and getting her luggage), but thankfully I'd brought a book with me to read. And yes, the apartment remained in one piece for two weeks. I actually did quite a bit of cleaning and whatnot. A major dropoff at Goodwill and at the library (who sells their donations either at their branches or at one of their HUGE book fairs), a big cleanup of Spare Oom and its closet, and the usual vacuuming and dusting.

Finished the line edit of The Persistence of Memories the other day, but I still ended up with about 166k words, so I'm going through it one more time; this is the Evil Red Pen Line Edit run this time, in which I'm focusing completely on cutting out the chaff. I'm already three chapters in and cut maybe a few hundred words already -- mostly clunky word choices and repetition. I'm still on track to have this one released by end of the month, so as soon as it's ready to go, I'll let you all know!

OK, time to shower and start the day!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)


I've been so busy the last few days that I've lost track of time. Day Jobbery keeps me on my toes, especially when an apocalyptic snowstorm hits the east coast and shuts down not only the print facility but the both USPS and FedEx delivery hubs, and clients still want to know why their checks are late. *headdesk* Plus I seem to have given myself a much tighter editing schedule than I expected in regards to The Persistence of Memories, which at this point may be pushed to end of February. As much as I hate to admit defeat, it's still much too long (it's about 10k longer than A Division of Souls...which, by the way, has been getting rousing applause by readers but has the same problem: it's also far too long). Since the ending is in sight for this one, I'll finish this run off and start over ONE MORE TIME to see where I can cut.

Which brings me to a related thought...I will, at some point, need to head back to ADoS and do the same. As much as I love the deliberate pacing for this trilogy, it's not for everyone. I will admit that there are definitely some scenes that can be cut, shortened, or sped up. I'm not entirely sure when I'll be hitting that one next, as I'd like to work on The Balance of Light after I'm done with TPoM. We shall see.

And what of Walk in Silence...? *sigh* As much as I'd love to get that out by April, my schedule isn't playing fair, so that one may not be released until autumn. I don't want to put out a half-assed book I'm not proud of, and I do my shittiest work when I kludge it together and call it done. I will of course keep everyone updated on this.

So...what else is going on? Well, I'm currently living the bachelor life for a few weeks, as A is currently in Manila on a work-related trip. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the time difference (9am today here in SF is 1am tomorrow there), but we make do. She's been tweeting all kinds of really tasty food she's been buying and eating, which is making me jealous. And believe it or not, the apartment has not degraded into a messy mancave. In fact, I spent most of the first day doing some serious cleaning, and plan on continuing with that next weekend. And yes, I have been eating well! Or reasonably well. I've only ordered out once so far, and that was due to having forgotten to get something out of the freezer to thaw. The only thing I've been bad at is going to bed at a normal time, but that's due to my wanting to get some serious writing work done. I guess I'm at that age where becoming a slovenly slacker just doesn't have the appeal anymore.

Speaking of age...as of last Friday, I am now the same speed as a seven-inch single. And I am fine with that. No, really, I am! :p
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
WELP. So much for doing the laundry downstairs. Looks like the washer shit the bed again. Which means I'm going to have to head over to Rainbow Wash again. I'm not complaining, though...I'd gotten so used to heading over there the last few months that it doesn't bother me. In fact, I kind of look forward to it in a weird way. I get to do some serious longhand work while I wait for the cycles to finish. And I can get snacks from across the way and coffee next door if need be.

In other news, I finally have a phone again! Yay! I'd brought it to the Sprint store down in the Mission, where even the store manager could not figure out what the hell happened to it (it was stuck in a power-up loop, and the only way to stop it was to take out the battery), so they gave me a replacement for no charge. I've decided I'm going to continue with curbing my dependency on it. I've added a few apps on it so far (Twitter, Instagram and Dropbox, three that I know I'd be using with any regularity), but I'm trying to keep it as spartan as possible. I'd like to depend on it more for its intended purpose -- communication -- rather than distraction.

In writing news, I'm a little less than 140 pages left in the final line edit of The Persistence of Memories. Thanks to the few of you who commented on the previous entry for the cover! I kind of like the cityscape one better myself. It's more colorful and retains the skyline imagery. I'll have to tweak it some, or see if I can use a similar picture, but we shall see. I'll probably be working on that tomorrow or maybe next weekend. Also, the soft date for release, I've decided, will be 2/15. It might be earlier or later, depending on if I can get it finished on time. I'll let y'all know.

As for WiS...I'm still a bit nervous about that one. I still have the soft date of late April for that one, but I'm not sure if I'll be finished in time. That one may not be done until summer instead. If that's the case, the release may end up being in autumn instead, and that means it'll end up switching places with The Balance of Light in terms of release date. The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards that schedule. Even though TBoL needs some serious editing, I can at least have that one ready by summer the latest. Again, we shall see...


Hmm. This Seatle/Carolina game is really one-sided. If this keeps up, I may end up heading over to the laundromat now instead of after the games...!

Hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Hey kids! Here's two covers I tried out for Book II. Same as always, photos from Shutterstock and editing via PicMonkey. They're pretty rough, so these are definitely not the final covers...just tryouts.  The left one retains the cityscape theme while hinting at the rest of the universe being close by (thus the city being so far down in the picture), while the right one actually ties in with a very important scene with Caren.  Let me know what you think!

jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
This first week of 2016 has been noisy here. Our next door neighbor is laying down a hardwood floor in the living room. A simple overlay of pretreated bamboo flooring that he's dropping down over the carpet, so it's not as if he's doing any major renovation, but there have been a lot of wood cutting sounds (and a distinct woodchip smell in the hallway) all week long. Not complaining, though...he's keeping the noise to a minimum.

[I did see one person complain, though...someone had written "LOUD DICKHEAD" on a package downstairs that was going to said apartment. That certainly wasn't needed, but it was amusing in a way. Thankfully most of our neighbors have finally figured out that others in the building may not be interested in party noises at one in the morning.]

No, the irritating noise yesterday was the two guys doing some jackhammering right outside our window. They're doing something with the pipes under the sidewalk, I believe. Whatever they were working on, it's done now, and they're filling up the holes again. Lots of dirt shoveling going on. EDIT: Okay, there's a bit of tablesawing and more jackhammering going on now. Technically they can do this because it's past 7:30am, but really, this is San Francisco and no one is awake before 10 on the weekend unless they're joggers or have to walk the dog. :p


In writing news, things are going pretty well. I FINALLY released the physical copy of A Division of Souls out into the world! Yay! It's up at Amazon, ready for your perusal and purchasing! All that's left for that story now is to update the e-book and re-upload that version, and I can finally put that book to bed. As for The Persistence of Memories, I'm about two thirds of the way through the edit. It's slow going, but I should hopefully be done by month end. It looks like it'll be ready to go in e-book form by early February.

I've been hitting the 750 this week, but I think I still have an issue with the procrastination. It's getting there, and once I make myself get those words out (I shut down all the other browser tabs and don't reopen them until I hit goal), they come quickly and fluidly. I also did not get to write a WiS blog post yesterday, but I'm okay with that because the first week of the year is usually kind of boring musicwise. [Okay, the new Bowie came out yesterday and I do quite enjoy it, but I'll have to listen to it some more to form an opinion on it.] But hey, that's what the weekends are for! I'm sure I can whip something up today or tomorrow.


Other than that, it's been a decent week. How's by you?
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
...or in this case, the pantry. At least a dozen or so out-of-date foodstuffs tossed (most of them over a year or so old, including a forgotten tiny bottle of some kind of spread with a sell-by date before we even moved to our present location!!), things re-arranged, other things to be put away elsewhere. Realized we have an insane amount of jams and preserves, and an even more insane amount of tea. Our snack situation is positive, considering we made a run to World Market today and found various tasty things like Coffee Crisps, Tim-Tams and chocolate bars, and followed it up with an assortment box of Jo-Jo's from Trader Joe's. Oh! And not one but two assortment boxes of Samuel Smith beers (the three-bottle gift box that comes with a pint glass, so now we have a matching set of four glasses). And earlier this week I boxed up the books that I should bring down to the SF Library store at Fort Mason. I should probably go through my clothes this weekend as well, and bring it to the local Goodwill. Maybe next weekend. The apartment laundry facilities are still on the fritz, so I've been heading over to the laundromat up the street on Sundays. [Why yes, as a matter of fact I have been writing longhand while waiting for the cycles to end, why do you ask?]

So yes, things are looking spiffy round these parts!

In other news, the daily 750 Words exercise is once again going to be put aside for the time being, for the simple reason that Emm has now finished reading A Division of Souls and offered suggestions and comments, so now I can go through my galley copy and make the final fix. Once they are complete, then I can put the physical book up for sale on Amazon, get a few comp copies for various people, and update the e-book version as well.

As for The Persistence of Memories, I'm about a third of the way through the edit, so I'm hoping that I'll be finished by the end of the year. It looks like I should be on schedule to release it mid to late January, maybe even on my birthday. We shall see. I will most likely be doing the same thing with the physical copy--formatting it, getting a few galley copies made, editing it, and releasing that a slight bit later. I'll have a more solid date to announce as soon as it gets closer.

[On a side note...all this preparing for an official drop date has given me a bit of background on how it works when releasing a book or a record. This will definitely come in handy with a music-related fiction project I will be working on in the future.]

So all in all, things have been busy but creatively and positively so. Can't complain about that. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Wow, that weekend was much too short. Then again, we had all sorts of things going on... Saturday was about going to see the Benedict Cumberbatch eat up the scenery in the National Theatre's production of Hamlet at the Kabuki, making a mad dash* down to the Mission thereafter to say hi to [livejournal.com profile] kateelliott at Borderlands. Sunday was shopping and laundry day (the old washing machine in our building is still kaput, so I've been hoofing it over to the laundromat down the street). Granted, I did get a bit of TPoM editing done, and I even got a page or so of longhand work done for WiS as well. I'm getting better at the time management again.

Speaking of writing, the new whiteboard schedule is working out quite nicely. Since the TPoM work is done at night, I don't need to worry too much about that. It's the other bits, the blogs and the 750, that I've needed to make sure I hit. My trick to make sure I do them has been simple: bring up the webpages and keep them open as tabs, so I can't help but see them. And once I'm able to get to them, I close the Twitter tab and jump right in. No opening Twitter back up until I'm done. And so far, that's worked pretty well for me!

As for WiS, even though I've given myself the full weekend to work on that project, I think I need more time on it. That'll be a bit tricky, but I think I might have found a spot for it. I have two fifteen-minute breaks during the day apart from my half-hour lunch, and during the morning break I've been writing in my daily personal journal. The afternoon break has been empty with not much happening, so I think that would be a great place for it. We'll see how it works out.

Meanwhile, back to the Day Job. Woohoo! :p



* Said mad dash included leaving the Japantown parking lot and getting stuck behind a car moseying along at walking speed up Post and taking half a block to change lanes; turning at Gough and a few minutes later getting stuck mid-intersection behind another car with an old lady and her daughter yapping away and not paying attention to the car-and-a-half length they're keeping between them and the car in front of them; making it to Mission only to have to weave around multiple illegally double-parked cars and a major fleet of parked MUNI buses; not being able to turn at the street I needed due to PG&E maintenance; and finally going around the block and turning at the street to get to the parking garage...only to be stopped mere yards from the garage entrance by an extremely ancient man with a walker cane jaywalking across the street at snail speed. I was in tears laughing at that point, it was so comedic.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)


Oh, here's a shock. It's Wednesday and I'm listening to KSCU online playing The 80s Underground show, and now I've just gone and emptied out one of my mp3 players to throw a bunch of 80s albums on there. And it's not the first time I've done it, either...I did it a few times previously as part of my Walk in Silence playlist.

I'd put that project aside to put all my focus on releasing A Division of Souls, and I think it's high time to bring it back. Even if I only work on it on the weekends, I need to pick it back up and get a final draft done. Why? Because I'm aiming for a release of late April 2016.

Why a specific date, you ask? Well, it just so happens that the week of April vacation (do kids still have that nowadays?) in 1986 was the week I discovered college radio.

Yeah, that's right. I've been obsessing over the alternative rock genre for thirty years.

I think I'd better make a big party out of it, no?

[And yes, I'm well aware that I'm going to be releasing The Persistence of Memories somewhere around the same time. I'll try to keep it spread out.]

**

So anyway, what's with this rebel thing? Eh, just something that's been floating through my head lately. Over at Welcome to Bridgetown, I talked a bit about how far I wanted to take the whole DIY process in self-publishing. [And as I'd said there, I don't come to this as a way to make myself believe I don't need an editor or beta readers or what have you, or that I consider myself above such things. I just want to see how far I can take it completely on my own. If I fail miserably, I only have myself to blame, but I've also learned things as well.]

I'm half-jokingly thinking of it as a bit of personal rebellion, really. Not against anyone in particular, but a process that's been in place for decades. There's an understandable bit of frustration in the traditional publishing process -- writing, rewriting, revising, finishing, submission to an agent (repeat as necessary), submission to a publisher (repeat as necessary), finally get accepted, wait in line to be printed, wait for the release date -- particularly the time spent waiting, as well as the gamble that you may or may not even get a response.

Self-publishing has done a lot to minimize a lot of that frustration. Sure, there are a lot of questionable e-books out there, but there's also some pretty nifty ones as well. And on a product level, I'm finding that the novels may not contain Manhattan-level editing, but there's some equally fascinating story ideas. This is where my half-joking rebelling comes in: I'm the punk band that's just recorded an EP using their older brother's copy of SoundForge, done a spot of fine-tuning and mixing, and set it out on the world via Bandcamp. [Or if I really want to date myself, I borrowed time at my buddy's friend's uncle's tiny studio (which actually records PSAs and light entertainment music, and paid for after-hours time by doing their yardwork), made a cassette tape of a demo (and recycled the master reel afterwards) and sent copies of copies of copies of said tape (using a few bricks of Memorex tapes I bought at Radio Shack) out to various radio stations that I found listed in Maximum RnR.]

Come to think of it, I think this is actually a healthy way to look at it, at least personally. It gives me stable ground in which to base my methods of writing and publication, and it appeals to my own natural temptation to avoid doing something the way everyone else does. It clears my mind, and it clears my path, and that works for me.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Like I've said elsewhere, I'm feeling twitchy. And when I feel twitchy, that means I'm wasting time somewhere that could be better utilized. Not to say I'm about to ban fun and goofing off of course. Just that my time management could use some tweaking. Must look into that.

In other news, I now have two avenues of finite self-promotion open to me that I need to follow up on within the next few weeks. One is a website ADoS is available at, and the other is my hometown newspaper. Which means I should probably get my ass in gear and write a decent press release for myself! :p

Long term: Thinking about what I should be working on in 2016. I mean, aside from releasing The Persistence of Memories and The Balance of Light. I've got a few non-Mendaihu Universe projects that I'm thinking of releasing, that I could start working on. Also thinking of what new stories I could begin as well. Am I going to be a Stephen King and release eight books in a year? Heh, probably not, but if I can do more than one, that's cool with me. We'll see.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Hoo! After two-plus weeks of being too lazy to do the grocery shopping, our refrigerator was dangerously on the verge of becoming a bro fridge (a bunch of condiments, about 1/8 cup of milk, a few vegetables that may be past their date, and a few beers, natch), so today was Shop for All the Things Day. Took a different way down to the mall in San Bruno by way of all back roads (we usually jump on 280 or cut through Daly City and Colma), and not so surprisingly, it took a lot less time to get there and back. And less traffic, too!

Anyhoo, our refrigerator looks a lot less embarrassing now. A is currently doing some canning now, while I start the afternoon housecleaning. That's the funny thing...I don't exactly procrastinate when it comes to housecleaning, as we generally pick up after ourselves when we're done with things. But weekend cleaning is usually an all-afternoon thing for me. I'll start with, say, the bathroom floors for starters, realize the shower needs scrubbing so I do that next, and then come to the conclusion that I'll need to vacuum at some point as well. Oh, and mop the kitchen floor, once A is finished with her project. There's also the temptation to start the laundry if no one else is using it, just to get it over and done with. [Note: Sundays are not a good laundry day, because that's when everyone else in the building thinks it's a good day to do it.]

Meanwhile, what else is going on?

The Grand Edit of The Persistence of Memories continues apace. As usual, my first couple of chapters are usually the ones that need the most fixing, but thankfully this one didn't need as much overhaul as ADoS did. Just a lot of scene rewriting and major deletion of extraneous crap. I've just started a new chapter and already I've deleted over 2000 words, so that's a good sign that I know exactly what needs to be done to make it even better.

Basically, I overwrite. A LOT. My verbose blog posts here and elsewhere are a good example. But to be honest, to me this is a good thing, because it means my major writing style overhaul in 1999 has worked out for the best. Before that, my writing was sparse and I left out a lot of detail...so much so that my prose read more like an outline than a novel. My longhand is still a bit like that, but that's okay, because longhand is supposed to be the VERY rough first draft. Point being -- when it comes to the revision, I get to do a lot of deletion, and the rewriting tends to be a lot of "how can I say this in fewer words?", which works out a lot better for me in the long run.

On a related note, I now have five galley copies of ADoS, one I've already claimed as the Red Pen Edition. This will be the one where I make all kinds of petty notes about layout, typos, and other embarrassing things. Once I get through that, then this book will FINALLY be available in physical form on Amazon! Yay!

On that note, back to the scrubbing and cleaning. And coffee drinking. Have a spiffy weekend!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Random bits:

--Apropos of nothing, I just realized that when I post on LJ, I usually prefer to use the HTML screen instead of the Visual Editor screen; when I post at my WordPress blogs, it's usually the other way around.

--Updated my PC to Windows 10...at present it's doing all the background tweaks and updates and should be good to go within the next few minutes. Now that I've got A Division of Souls ready for release, I had time to take care of it. The only thing I really needed to make sure of is to save my IE Favorites (yes, I know, I know...) since they didn't get saved for the new browser. I instead saved the folder to my Dropbox so I can access it from pretty much everything I use to go online now. Everything seems to be good so far.

--Man, our front windows were dirty! I just finished giving them a good cleaning, and they look SO much better. These are the only windows that get this dirty, really...they face the street but are recessed a bit due to it being the fire escape, so they don't get hit by the rain or condensation like the kitchen windows do. Yeah, I know, boring info. Sorry about that.

--The Insane Final Edit of The Persistence of Memories continues apace. This is the book where I got consistent with the daily numbers, which on the one hand forced me to be economical with the action, but on the other hand made me a bit repetitive in my prose, so I think I may have a better time excising than I thought. Still, there's about 30k words more in this one than in ADoS, so it'll take time. I'd kind of expected this, actually, so I'm fine with TPoM not coming out until the end of the year at the earliest.

--Tomorrow's plan is to head over to the Mission for book and yarn shopping (and perhaps some BiRite ice cream). We don't head over to that part of town all that often, partly because it's way on the other side of town with no quick way to get there (and yes, our hipster tolerance is kind of slim), but it is fun to stop at some of the neat stores down there.

And of course most importantly, my first book drops in 5 days!! Woo!!! :D
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Oof. It seems one well-meant system rollout at work that went awry made my productivity go all pear-shaped in January. Thankfully it's sort of back to normal, but I did a lot less work than I'd wanted. Having to do the financial equivalent of medical triage all day for about week and a half can really take a lot out of you. Still...things have calmed down, so it's time to turn it around and get things done again.

One of the things that immediately fell by the wayside was the 750 Words. I just had no time or inclination to do morning words (or in this case, "early evening words just before I start up on revision again"). However, it's a new week and a new month, so it's a perfect time to get back on the horse. I kind of cheated last night with my daily words, but I figure I can accept it this time, as these words for a long-delayed post. These were the 2k-plus words to finish off the most recent Blogging the Beatles installment, which means we have one left to go!

So...was January a wash? Far from it. I finished off the main revision sweep of A Division of Souls, and though I'm sure it can probably use one more go-round, I'm happy with the work I put into it. The very next day I started in on the revision of The Process of Belief, and BOY was Chapter One a doozy. I definitely need to work on that one again. Thankfully I did a marathon eight pages of Chapter Two the other day, and it looks pretty good...so I'm not too worried. I just have to remember that this novel has a different voice from the first two, and for a reason: things have changed for all the characters, and they're definitely not the same people they were just months previous.

I did manage to get a number of journal entries and even a few poems in here and there. This side of the writing is a more personal tug of war, as part of me wants to tackle something every day--a journal entry, the daily words, and some kind of poetry--but some days I just don't have time for it. January was packed with events in and outside the house, so I had to remind myself that it was okay to miss a day if it comes to it.


So what does February have in store for me? Aside from the major revision work for Book 3, I'm going to try to get back into the schedule I'd planned. I also want to get cracking on a few new things as well--specifically, start making notes for future proejcts, as well as get some actual writing work done on Walk in Silence--both the blog and the book. Thirdly, it's high time I picked up the Wacom again after running out of time to play with it. I have a few interesting plans for that little project.

So yes--February looks to be equally busy, but in a good way!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Let's try this again, shall we?

It's been a busy couple of weeks here in Spare Oom and elsewhere. We've had a busy schedule of things going on, including a double-header last Saturday of A Prairie Home Companion and Beethoven and Mason Bates at the SF Symphony. Work featured a new scanning program that's supposed to make my work easier but has instead turned the entire week into a giant clusterfuck of biblical proportions (not affecting me directly, but seriously affecting the workflow so much that it's affected clients' workflows--yeah, it ain't pretty). On Thursday I was out most of the morning getting a work PC refresh (and high time for it). Suffice it to say, the last two weeks have been filled with all sorts of WTFness and letting things slide so as to retain some semblance of sanity.

That's not to say it hasn't been a complete wash, though!

--750 Words: I've let this slide on multiple days this past week due to the work issue or simple exhaustion, but I aim to pick right back up where I left off. My 750 have been meandering as of late, though, a lot of random babbling about things. Now that things have quieted down a bit (sort of), I'd like to return to the daily morning words as an ongoing exercise in attempting short story writing. I'd written two examples earlier of dialogue-only scenes and enjoyed it immensely, so I'd like to continue with that. I've always complained about being unable to write short stories, and I think this is a good way for me to change that.

--Journaling: I think doing this has definitely helped on a personal level...I'm forcing myself to channel any frustrations or personal thoughts into a notebook rather than on Twitter or here on LJ, and in effect it's given me an outlet where I don't have to worry about editing or censoring myself. Not that I'm known to curse a blue streak or think impure thoughts on a normal basis, mind you--more like I've given myself free rein to say whatever's on my mind without the worry of what others may think about it. And hey, no trolls! And in the process, I think it's cleared up a lot of my other writing...if I write in my journal early in the day, the inner frustrations and distracting thoughts are already purged, leaving me with a clean slate for other projects.

I've also been making sure I keep my desk calendar updated as well--I have one of those hardbound "engagement calendar" books that I picked up from Green Apple and have been making it a point to write down what I did that day creatively, however big or small. I'm doing this as another exercise, this time to gauge my creative output and see where I may need adjusting or if I'm doing better than expected. I haven't done this in ages, and it's actually kind of fun. I don't have any set goals for word count (other than the daily 750), so it's more like a creative diary for me.

--Revision: Almost done with the 2013/4 revision run for The Persistence of Memories! I may want to run through this novel one more time on my tablet after it's done, just to give it a once-over, but this revision run for the most part has been pretty smooth. A few changes and rewrites here and there, but for the most part a lot of it has been surface cleaning, mostly changes in grammar and phrasing. Two more chapters and I'm done with this pass! Then to start on the revision of The Process of Belief. That one's going to need a lot of work, but I'm looking forward to it.

--Submission: No word yet on the Angry Robot submission, but I did happen to hear back from the JABberwocky Literary Agency after sending something to them some months ago. It was a rejection, but hey--it was something!

--Blogs: Due to busy weekends and crazy weekdays, I'm a little behind on these, but I hope to get caught up again once everything calms down again. I'm about halfway through the next-to-last Blogging the Beatles post at Walk in Silence, and may write something new for Welcome to Bridgetown soon. I noticed that I don't have much daily traffic on those blogs, but I'm happy to say it does go up a bit when I do post, so that's a good sign.

--Music: Been making it a point to pick up one of my guitars and noodling around during slow moments. Or more to the point, creating slow moments in the day, and using said noodling as a way to unwind. Haven't written anything new other than a few riffs, but hey, it's something. Plus, it's keeping me calm, which is good. I have a habit of going straight out some days and exhausting myself in the process. Music has charms to soothe the savage breast, as Congreve says.


...and that's been the last two weeks!

Today's update? Had a nice long walk to Q and back, and will be heading down to the symphony again tonight to see another Mason Bates piece ("Liquid Interface") and a few Beethoven pieces. We may drive this time, as it's an 8pm show and I'm sure we'll both be too tired and irritable to wait for the buses at the end of the night. Saturday night in downtown San Francisco can get a bit silly. And WOO! Long weekend! Hoping to get a caught up with stuff that fell by the wayside, maybe post a few things, and maybe even relax a bit.

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