Showing posts with label Writing 2018. Book Promotions 2018. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing 2018. Book Promotions 2018. Show all posts

Saturday, March 24, 2018

JP Mac's Four Rules of Writing

I distinguish not a whit between fiction and non.

As I am now eight weeks into Webless Sundays—no Internet; computer turned off—and two weeks into my four new rules, I feel confident enough to share.


No Web Browsing Before Writing

A valuable tool, this Internet, but also an amazing time suck. Days have dawned when I've sat down to write, decided to "just check my email," and emerged two hours later, not a word written, and wondered what the deuce just happened, only to repeat the exact sequence of actions the next day.


No Web Browsing While Writing

There is a time for everything. Each day I allot myself several hours specifically for writing. That is the moment to put words on the page, not check the news, or social media, or my Amazon sales—depressingly moribund most of the time. Social media was designed to suck you in and keep you scrolling and it's real good at that. When writing, I write, turning off my web browser and leaving it mute.


No Research While Writing

Insidious. I'm writing a horror-fantasy book with an Iraq War back story involving troop deployments, wounds, genetic engineering and coal mining. Any one of those topics can metastasize into hours of link chasing. (Not counting visits to social media) At day's end, I'm exhausted, have written very little, and must face the fact that, at first draft stage, I might not even use any of the day's catch. I set aside separate research times for specific topics.


No Rewriting First Drafts

Rewriting the first draft has a name: the second draft. Perhaps I should say, "No Rewriting while writing first drafts." Such a practice is a bad habit I fell into; clearly a form of perfectionism and a fear that the finished work won't be adequate—hence not finishing. I've done this on two other book drafts and absolutely trashed my motivation for completion. Without even reaching the last page, I dart back to the first and tidy it up, plugging in foreshadowing and doing all the tasks normally reserved for later drafts. Sure, I've got a shiny chapter or two, but I sacrifice the overall story, losing spontaneity along with the delightful plot surprises  Mr. Subconscious will deliver if I'm not mindlessly polishing the same quarter panel over and over again. 

The last two weeks I've written more, Web browsed less, and ended the day eager to return to work tomorrow, not burned out on skateboard fails, cute cat videos, and watching old movie clips. 

I'll update my progress with this quartet of prescriptions as spring progresses.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Kirkus Review Rates Cancer Book

Available at this place.
My cancer and my book, if you must probe and drag the truth from me. Kirkus was quite positive. For instance, they said:

"Mac's ordeal is refreshingly leavened, though, by his unique brand of dark, sarcastic humor, as when he laments an unromantic byproduct of surgical recovery ("Wearing a big wet man diaper chilled my passion"). This often charming remembrance will leave readers with a new appreciation for good health and a more optimistic outlook when things go awry."

To read it all, visit the page at Kirkus Reviews.

In Other News

In "Prostate," I touch on our dwindling finances. Recently, I was shredding some old tax documents from 2010 and was quite amazed to see how rapidly my wife and I burned through the proceeds of a house sale. (Minus a condominium, new vehicle, and a pair of laptops.) In '10, you could observe the last of the water circling the drain. Animation work consisted of a few meetings on two projects that went nowhere. In between, I published a few short fiction pieces, sold some stand-up material, and pitched a video game company to hire me as a scenario writer. This was despite having never played a video game, but, I figured, I'd never written animation before until I was hired. The game company said 'go away,' but with more finesse. 

In addition, I wrote a few articles for a now-defunct website. At the same time, I'd stalled on completing a first draft on what-would've-been my first novel. This stalling business on big writing projects continues to dog me. But like a fine wine, I sit in a dark cellar, covered with dust and cobwebs. After awhile, I finish something.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Morning Book Thread Bonanza

For eclectic readers. On today's Sunday Morning Book Thread, arch sifter of stories Oregon Muse saluted my recent work on tussling with prostate cancer plus two other tales from the JP Mac canon

They Took My Prostate, Hallow Mass, Jury Doody Plugged

There. That's what happened. What manner of Web clout does this Oregon Muse fellow possess? Well, Hallow Mass rises on the Amazon rankings while They Took My Prostate: Cancer, Loss, Hope is currently:

And .99 Jury Doody is a lordly:

So thanks to Oregon Muse, as well as scientist-author Hans G. Schantz for his various pro-Mac tweetings and retweetings.

Choose among these works for your Sunday reading pleasure. I would if I weren't me.

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