Fires can't be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men. Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort and turns even labour into pleasant tasks.
-- James A Baldwin
I've said before that self-published authors tend to have enthusiasm out the kazoo, for better or for worse. It keeps us going when the going gets rough, and it keeps us going forward onto new and interesting things when others with lesser constitutions think about giving up. Admittedly, I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to my own creative endeavours. I am easily bored when things become too process oriented. My current manuscript is suffering from just such a lack of interest in the editing process, but that sort of thing doesn't bother me at all because the boredom leads me on to other things. Hell, I didn't even get around to writing a proper Thoughts on the Craft article this week. Nothing in the Indie news arena struck my fancy enough to take time away from my busyness to make comment. I'm sure something will come up, but nothing has lately that I haven't already ranted on a trillion times before.
At the moment, I am currently weathering a family crisis, so that has got me off my mark considerably where my current novella is concerned, but it has thrust me down a few side alleys, ones I really needed to visit in the light of day, anyway. Many of you might know that I moved my author site over to Wordpress. I've been hating on my host provider for some time, and I just love Wordpress' user interface. This will allow me to make updates to my site much quicker than I had been able to in the past, since I was basically hand-coding the entire thing from scratch. I call this progress.
I've also been devoting a whole hell of a lot of time to flash fiction, the reading and writing of. I've been enjoying this journey so much that I am starting a micro-flash literary journal titled: Apocrypha and Abstractions, specializing in abstract flash fiction, 500 words or fewer. I've lined up a bunch of terrific and well known flash authors and hope to open the site up with content this coming spring/summer. The site is live, so stop on over and check it out. If you write micro flash or know a guy who knows a guy who knows a bunch of other guys who write micro flash and would like to sign on with us as a contributor, all the fiddly legal shit and contact information is posted there now.
Of course, I have been crazy with sculpting projects too -- the pic is a memorial piece I did for a friend. We were able to incorporate all the ashes into the sculpture, and I think the whole piece really captured Rusty's kitty spirit.
Read an ebook week was fun for me. The Splendor of Antiquity my existential faith/science art house romance novella -- say that ten times fast -- made it into the top five bestsellers in the Visionary/Metaphysical category over on Smashwords. I am offering it free to read at Smashwords for the entire month of March in case you missed it: Coupon Code TK45Z.
As for book reading and reviewing, I am thirty books deep in my review queue, so for those who are on my list, be patient. I average about a review a month because I don't like to rush things. The day job and my own personal reading have to get squeezed in too somewhere. Fortunately, spring is coming and that means more time in the garden -- weeding and reading. Chris and Emily are equally swamped. If you have submitted for a review and we haven't gotten back to you, you might want to check a few things in your query. Did you include a link to your book, preferably one with a preview? Don't make us search down your book because we won't. Is your query littered with grammatical errors? Instant rejection there folks. And lastly, have you read through our reviews? Maybe you submitted in a genre we just don't review like YA, or Memoirs, or Self-Help, or Romance, etc. In that case, it's us not you.
So, to cease the blathering, my only thought on the craft this week is: Keep up the enthusiasm. If you find it starting to wane, take a step away and refocus on something else. Write about that while you are doing it, too. It will keep you grounded, and it might even shed some light on a new path. At the very least, it'll give you some much needed new perspective. Any new angle is a good angle, especially if you're trying to flail your way out of the mud.
Cheryl Anne Gardner
The art this week is The Bear Dance by William Holbrook Beard