Tag Archives: Blogging

Ah, WP statistics, you make me wonder sometimes…

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 10.09.49 AMThe screenshot to the left shows what google searches have led people to my blog. I didn’t include the numbers to the side, but I found this one kind of interesting and kind of creepy. The top search item was for my daughter. She’s off at college and doing her own blog and her own NaNoWriMo project, and I am guessing that people are looking her up to check out her work. I like that idea, and refuse to entertain the notion that there’s anything sinister going on.

The fact that people are looking for recipes for quince liquor/booze is interesting. I’ve blogged repeatedly about quince. In past years I have posted pictures featuring quince jelly, membrillo, quince caramels, and, yes, quince liquor. Last year I used Everclear to soak up the flavor of quince, mixed it with quince syrup and let the flavors meld. Since I don’t drink, I’ve limited myself to tasting it to make sure it’s not utterly foul. It’s not. So, I’ve bottled it and given it away as gifts. This year, I limited myself to four batches of (REALLY GOOD) quince jelly, a huge batch of membrillo, and a half gallon of quince infused Everclear soon to be liquor. The rest of the quince were sold to my favorite Basque restaurant (The Harvest Vine) and to a few friends who wanted them. The fact that anyone knows what quince are is somewhat unusual, that people are looking up recipes is heartening. I once pitched a quince specific cookbook to a prominent New York agent. She loved the idea but agreed the audience would be too small for it to be a profitable endeavor. My mission is to spread the word about the fabulous fruit.

Every October I get a lot of hits for the Plague Doctor costume mask–sometimes upward of 20. I love the image of a flashmob doing something fun with all those masks out there. The last two searches had me cracking up. The skilcraft blog post I wrote a while ago remains one of the top links to my blog–several hundred over the course of a year. I am guessing people are looking to buy the pens, but maybe they were searching for the same information I was when they entered “Skilcraft” into their search engine.

The search for my pen name is a first. I haven’t seen it before. Usually people ask me directly if they can read my erotica and where to find it. I have one friend who asked for a hint because he thought it was a fun puzzle to figure it out. I gave him the name of a couple of editors who have included my work in their books, and I hope he’s enjoying all the reading it would take to figure it out. One editor I work with has a dozen or more anthologies, the other even more. At this point, I don’t have anything out that is published solely under my pen name–just short stories in compilations. I’m not embarrassed by the content, but I am…circumspect about sharing the info. Something about my young adult nephews/nieces reading my smut sort of squiggs me out. If you want my pen name, and I think you can handle the content and recognize my characters are not me (or my husband!!) then, I’ll likely give it to you. I just don’t hand it out willy-nilly. And, frankly, it bothers me WAY more to find searches under my pen name looking for “real identity of…….”


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Wow…not sure how THAT happened…..

Time FliesReally?: I haven’t put up a blog since November?

I looked at the last blog post I made and just realized how long it has been since I’ve actually blogged. I chose the word actually here with purpose and not out of the lazy use of one of those pesky “ly” words. I use it because I have been doing a lot more blogging in my head than in reality. Before you think I am a nut case, just consider the fact that I do what’s called “pre-writing” all the time. I think through scenes, dialogue, and all manner of writing while I am doing other things–like taking a shower, driving,washing dishes, or folding laundry. I plot and think through character and structure all without computer or pen at hand.

Sometimes, all that mental work gets transformed into written form, and sometimes it doesn’t. For example, last week, a friend posted a poignant quote by Joyce Carol Oates on Facebook. I saw it while I was working out and thought about it while I showered intending to blog about my reaction. It was a pretty emotional post, and I decided that I would get all sentimental and teary when what I really needed to do was work on the $*(#@*$&?; taxes. I skipped the blogging for something more practical and timely. Replace taxes with holidays, birthdays, traveling and kid related activities and blogging has gotten smooshed right out of my schedule.

I have about half a dozen posts “in mind” about food–no surprise there–and just haven’t gotten around to getting them written up. I have pictures and everything, but when I sit at the computer, I see the little Scrivener icon at the bottom of my screen and it calls to me. (Scrivener is the writing program I am using these days.)

This is all to say, I have been prioritizing my writing more than in the past. Last fall I started the UW’s Popular Fiction certification course. People who know me ask me about the other certification course in Literary fiction I took a few years ago (seven!) and why I am taking another. It turns out that the creation of a novel is more complex than simply telling a story. I’m good at the story telling part–and I have short fiction pretty much figured out. All of the erotic works I have sold have been in the short fiction category. (Two more this year, BTW.) But novels? Dang it. They are tricky things. This course is focused on the novel form.

The class meets once a week for three hours in the evening. We write in class each week–between one and three scenes. I go home and expand on and edit those scenes during the week, making one of them decent enough for the teacher to review. As the book begins to take shape, I am finding myself more and more involved with just the one project– especially when it comes to sitting down and actually writing.

(c) Can Stock Photo

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Blogging…do I gotta???

They tell me I have to blog because I am a writer, and I want to get published.  So, here I am, “blogging.”  (Yet another noun turned verb that didn’t exist when I was growing up.)    While it seems a means to an end, I can also see the appeal of doing this. It’s a wonderful tool for a natural procrastinator such as myself.  So,  I can come over here and write something, anything, just to say I’ve been writing.  All the while, I can cheerfully ignore the latest piece of crap I should be editing.

I named this blog “1,000 Words A Day” to remind myself that is what I need to do as a basic minimum to achieve my personal writing goals.  Oh, I know that doesn’t sound very artsy.  I know it doesn’t leave much room for my muse to be coy.   If I’m going to be serious about being a published author, I need to have some serious goals and deadlines.  Contests help, but they aren’t always the best motivator for me.  I read once, and I think, it was in Stephen King’s “On-Writing” that  he writes 1,000 words a day.  I know I’m not Stephen King, but I liked the ethic.

I’ve had people ask me about how I write that much every day when I get ‘writer’s block.’   I’ve always bought into the theory there is really no such thing as writer’s block.   Instead, there are simply “something is wrong and you can’t go on until it’s fixed” sort of scenarios.  This is a healthier outlook than calling my muse a dumb-ass or berating the poor thing for poor performance.   I have a multitude of problems to fix in the first novel I ‘finished.’  In fact, there are so many that I decided to toss it on the shelf and let it sit for a long time rather than sit there staring at all the things needing to be fixed and staying stuck on them.  I suppose that the problems could have “blocked” me from doing anything if I had let them.  Maybe knowing when to dig into a problem or tossing it onto a shelf to sit for a bit is the key to getting through a so-called block.

I spent all of November working on NANOWRIMO and poured out more than 50,000 words in a month.  I’ve been working since then on fixing the mess I created.  I wrote willy-nilly.   I wrote any scene  that came to mind whenever I sat down, and now I have a jumbled mess all in MS word.  I could have let that prevent me from going back to that work, but I like the story an awful lot.  I downloaded Liquid Story Binder and am thinking that is the way to go.  Talk about organization!   I’m going to cut and paste from MS word into LSB and see if I can’t wrangle some sense out of a month’s worth of insanity.  The basic story is there, somewhere–now if I can just put the pieces of the puzzle back together.  (If anyone has other suggestions besides Liquid Story Binder as a good writing tool, I’d love to hear them.)

I’m not sure how editing fits into the 1,000 words a day idea.  Maybe I should do the 1,000 first no matter what and then go do the editing work–see, there I go again, anything to put off the hard work.   I now know why so many writer’s never get published.  Writing is easy;  making something worth reading is a different story.  (597 words. Does this count toward my daily total?)


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