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Archive for the ‘Frontier Tales Anthology’ Category

Yesterday (12 June 2012), I finally finished a short story that I’d been asked to write. I started it last August, and the dratted thing has been plaguing me ever since. I can’t account for the difficulty in writing it. The main character, Henry Dowland, is someone I know well. He’s been the hero of two other short stories and a novel that I’m working on getting published. I even had an outline for the story. But the words didn’t want to come.

What did I do? I kept typing. Even if I only added a few words in a day, I kept typing. Now it’s finished. And it works.

Lessons to be learned:

1. Even if you have to cuss up a blue streak, write the damned thing. Even if only five words get added after hours of work, write the damned thing.

2. How you feel about the story doesn’t matter. You may hate it. That’s not the story’s problem, and really none of the story’s business. The story deserves to be finished.

3. Excuses don’t get the writing done.

The good news is that I’m moving on to the next piece. Of course, now I have a new blank screen. . . .

Keep writing.

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Recently (2 June 2012) at Nightbird Books in Fayetteville, AR, I attended my first book signing. (You can buy your own copy here.) I’ve been writing since I was in my late adolescence, but this was the first time that words of mine were for sale in a physical book. If you’re not a writer, imagine getting your first real job. That’s what it was like. It was thoroughly fun, and I learned a few things from doing it:

1. Take a pen that works. Take a couple of backup pens. My fountain pen needs a good cleaning, it seems. I do routinely carry a spare, but I’ll have three or four on me next time.

2. Print out what you’re going to read. Holding open a paperback book while also holding a microphone is harder than it sounds.

3. Print the text in a font larger than you think you need. Yup, my next pair of glasses will be bifocals.

4. Have no expectations. You don’t know if the guy wearing a top hat, tuxedo coat, and a T shirt will buy a book, and neither does he, but talking to him is fun to do. If there’s any goal to the exercise, it’s to show your face to your public, even if it’s mostly your friends and family.

5. Book signings are more enjoyable than your best day at those nine-to-five jobs that have supported your writing habit.

On to the next one.

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