Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Answers and Advice

Hey, it’s time for another edition of Answers and Advice. Let me begin by giving you some of the feedback from the 1st two posts:

Mrs. X has sent us an update to her situation. It turns out that she (she says it was her husband, but I find that hard to believe) has decided that: “our relationship shouldn’t be tainted by bringing in another woman.” Good for you Mrs. X. At least the two of you have the clarity of thought to recognize this before you did anything that could ruin what you have with your husband now.

Mr. Y no longer feels like I was launching a personal attack on him. He says that he would still like me to read his book when he finishes it. I wish him lots of luck.

Now we should get a few formalities out of the way: If you like what you see and have odd questions over any subject matter send them to me and I will answer the best I can. If you have questions but would rather not see them (or just your name) on the blog, be sure to let me know in the e-mail. Otherwise, I will consider them fair game.

If at any time, you read my advice and think I am way off base, just let me know, supply advice that you think would be more valuable and I will be sure to pass it along to the appropriate party.
The following is a common question that I have had asked, not only of myself, but of others:

Dear James,
I have just recently started reading your blog. I have to say, I am impressed. You seem to be blessed with a steady flow of ideas. As I read through your archives, it did generate a few questions:

1. The short stories you post, do you create them just for the blog, or are you just posting excerpts from your books?
2. It looks like you post something nearly everyday. Do you find that you spend too much time working on your blog and not enough time working on your books?
3. How did you get started blogging?

I would just like to reiterate that I truly enjoy your blog. I look forward to reading your response (and anything else you feel like writing, for that matter).


Warm Regards,
Ms. T


Wow, Ms. T, thank you so much for your kind words. It just takes one e-mail like that to make all my writing worthwhile.

1. A little of both. The vampire stories are variations of actual chapters from my 1st book. I am changing them enough that if you ever see them in print, you will be reading new material, but the basic concept will remain largely intact (Unless, of course, an editor says otherwise).

As for the others, I am writing them as I go. I created The Dance for my wife to read. She informed me, that she likes to read short stories, but she is not a big fan of vampires (yeah, I know and I married this woman).

2. Think of blogging like foreplay. Wait; let’s not go down that road again. Rather, think of blogging like stretching before a big run. Blogging gets my creative juices flowing.

I can’t explain why it works this way, but I usually do my best work after writing a post for my blog. It would make more sense if the post was relevant to the content of my book, but 9 out of 10 times, it isn’t.

I suppose, to a certain extent, that I could get more writing done on my books if I abandoned blogging, but then I wouldn't have the instant gratification of finding a satisfied reader. If I didn’t blog, I would have never received your wonderful compliments.

Besides, at this point, I am just writing for pleasure. I have no deadlines to worry about. Even if I did, the small amount of time I actually spend writing posts wouldn’t be enough to prevent me from meeting one. Now, the amount of time I spend reading other people’s blogs…. Well let’s just say that is a different story all together.

3. It all started right here, at PM. I was reading Publisher Lunch, it mentioned a new service for bloggers and urged writers to try it. I thought: “What the heck, I will give it a try.” It didn’t take long for me to realize that I really enjoyed it. More than that, I have met (virtually, at least) a lot of really great people because of it.

I have several blogs that I read on a daily basis, almost as if they are an addiction. I check them often for new posts (or at least comments on older posts for the blogs that have a comment feature). On some blogs, the comments can be as entertaining as the posts themselves.

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