Monday, November 24, 2014

Which #Bloggers would you miss if they stopped #Blogging ?

Andrew Leon , Alex J. Cavanaugh and Matthew MacNish are again organizing the Oh, How I miss you Blogfest. Here's what they ask:

List one to three bloggers you really miss.
List one to three bloggers you would really miss if they stopped blogging.
And then go let them know!

I'll begin with the one blogger I really miss, my Sister in Spirit, Tina Downey.

This is what I wrote about her when she passed on to her field of sunflowers earlier this year:

Tina hasn't left us. She's somewhere around, watching, smiling, sending out snarky reminders, laughing and crying in the same sentence. And though each time I look at her emails or messages or read another of her blog posts, I feel the tears coming-- I see that Tina would have laughed at me, and said, I'm around, Damyanti, what are you crying about? Don't you see there's a lesson in this? Tina always found a lesson in everything, no matter how sad, or senseless it seemed. And the lesson always was a version of: Life is Good-- see it with the eyes of faith, acceptance, and gratefulness.

Time hasn't healed the wounds, I still miss her. And I still try to live her message each day. With some success these days, I'll give myself that much.

The bloggers I'll really miss (if they ever stopped blogging and I hope they don't):

1. Alex J Cavanaugh : I started working with Alex during the A to Z Challenge a few years ago, and he's been a fab blog buddy ever since. He's helpful, he's supportive, and you can count on him. If he ever stopped blogging, the internet would be that much emptier.

2. Michelle James : She's been a really regular commenter on this blog for a while. If I don't see a comment from her, I begin to worry. She tweets my posts and shares them, and has very perceptive comments. Besides, she's an awesome book reviewer and I've picked up some of the books she's recommended. Haven't regretted it.

3. Daniel Antion : He's been a huge supporter of my other blog, Daily (w)rite. I also love his blog voice, his straightforward, compassionate, follow-worthy posts. If he stopped blogging, I'd be pretty upset, that's for sure.

I've been running two blogs for six years, so I know exactly how tough it can get on some days. 

To every person who takes the time to stop by and comment, I try and visit you back each time. I share in your stories, and on the days I'm rushing from pillar to post trying to get stuff done, I press Like or G+ or Facebook or Tweet on my phone-- in some small way to let you know I love your posts, that I read them, enjoy them, and would miss them if they ceased. I love you, each and every one of you- and I try to show it as much as I can in the limited online time I'm allowed.


So which blogger would you miss the most if they stopped blogging? Are you taking part in Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What's your High?

Writing a Novel-- via iAuthor
I'm going to start on the third draft of my WIP soon.

I'm hoping it won't involve major structural changes. The mists have cleared, and I can see the world in my story quite well, thanks, in large part, to some on-location research.

I do feel some trepidation, but nothing can match the confused elation of the first draft, that feeling of being lost yet excited.

Over the years, I've grown to love revision almost as much as the first creative burst. And I think the fun I'm having while making cuts has shown results on the page. My new high these days is the joy of finishing a story, writing 'the end' in my head-- making sure each word needs to be there, each comma, every fullstop.

What gives you your high while writing? The first draft? Revisions? Reviews? As a reader, do you ever try to imagine when and how an author wrote a scene?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

How do you keep track of your followers?

I must confess to being a very whimsical blogger. I try to make a total of eight posts a month on my two blogs, this, and Daily (w)rite-- but I don't make it sometimes. 

I've blogged for six years now-- and feel the need to either shut up or reinvent my blogging persona. Possibly the former.

In recent months, poor health and family situations have meant stepping back from my blogs a bit.

But when I check, I seem to have gathered a fair number of followers, and I don't think I want to let them down.

I want to ask you, my friends and fellow-bloggers, some of whom have a much huger following than this blog-- how do you blog?

Do you blog more than once a week?
How many blogs do you visit per day?
Do you blog in a niche, or is yours more of a general blog?
Do you participate in Bloghops?
What sort of advice do you have for me? ( I'm finding it tough to run two blogs, but can't make up my mind about shutting one down).

Let me have your words of wisdom in the comments!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What's the difference between an #indie editor, and an #editor from a #publishing house?

On my other blog, Daily (w)rite, I have a great convo buzzing, about indie authors--- and if women outnumber men in the self-publishing world.

This made me wonder about the difference between indie and trad publishing, and while browsing, I found an article by Roz Morris that piqued my interest:

When you self-publish, you choose the editor who most closely suits your style and vision. There’s a lot more room for you to be daring and different, if that’s what you want. An indie editor will discuss what you want the book to be. Or they can help you find it. They won’t try to force you in a direction. They will help you come into your own.  

She also goes on to say:

But this is another reason why indie publishing, at its most careful and respectful, is more likely to produce genuinely original books. Traditional publishing will edit a book for the good of a defined clientele. Sometimes everyone is happy, of course. But in a traditional publisher the priority is the company interest, not the author or the book. I’ve seen enough occasions when this created a ghastly compromise.
Indeed, readers are far more adventurous than publishers can accommodate. The reader couldn’t define for you what they want; they know it when a skilled author invents it. 

That last bit made me think. I know I'll be in the market for an editor soon, and I'm wondering about the pros and cons of hiring an indie editor.

Do you have any experience with indie editors? Have you ever worked with an editor at a publishing house? Would you like to weigh in on this?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

When the last #Bookshop shuts down, will you be sad?

Today I stumbled upon a Clearance sale for books, another bookshop closing down.

I bought me a few books, Damon Galgut among them, and then tried to think when I'd bought the last book. Couldn't remember then, can't remember now.

book sale books gone extinctAs I browsed the bookshelves I kept thinking that 50 years from now, this would probably be an impossible, exotic experience. Letting book covers draw the eye, inhaling the scent of new books, running fingertips on the spines big and small, catching a familiar author or getting snagged by an intriguing title. 

Very soon, it won't happen.

Music books alternative
In 20 years or so, we'll only be left with niche bookstores for the nerds, like we have Turntable stores nowadays. A whole lot of my readers have probably never seen a turntable in their lives-- but I have some memories of good turntable music from my childhood.

All things pass, but the passing away of physical books from our world would be particularly painful. I can't imagine a library without books either.

Perhaps, adults of future generations would be nostalgic about Kindles and iPads ('Remember those flat boxes we swiped fingers on, no holograms, no 3-d experience?' they'll probably say)
When bookshops become extinct, where will you browse? The very thought of it hurts me. How about you?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Dear Writer, Do you Exploit Setting in your #Writing ?

I've been taking an open online course from Iowa, and one of the classes that impressed me the most was the one on Setting.

I've always been complimented on how 'vivid' my writing is-- so I thought maybe I've got this setting this down. Wrong.

I have much to learn on how to make the setting add a layer of meaning to my story.

If you're a writer, watch this video, and before you do that, read this story.

It would be time well-spent, I promise. That's an awesome story, and the tutor uses it well to illustrate her points.

This was a good lesson for me not to get into a comfort zone.

If you're a writer, what role do you think setting plays in your story? As a reader, do you get engrossed in the world of the book you're reading? Have you ever received a wake up call because you slid into a comfort zone?