Monday Snippits: Warning! Extreme crankiness ahead!

Why am I cranky?

This is why.

And this.

My opinion? Yanking a publisher's books just to get them to back down in a negotiation is the behavior of jackasses  (No, that's not swearing. I mean the literal animal.)

When that doesn't work, does Amazon say "sorry, let's discuss this in a rational manner now"?


Releasing a statement that makes you sound like Robin Hood defending the little people when you're the biggest online retailer in the world is the behavior of jackasses.

For that matter, acting like you really care about the reader and have a "mission" to help them, while trying to corner the market on a three hundred dollar device comes perilously close to the behavior of jackasses.


I have to go look at pictures of kittens now.

(Fair warning: I welcome discussion in the comments, and have faith that my regulars can be civil. But if you are new here and you leave me a jackass comment, I will delete you. My stock of patience is all out today.)

Calling all lurkers! I'm wondering something...

What is up with all this freaky weather?

Here in Moscow Idaho, we had several weeks of below 20 degrees (F), a week or two of spring like 50's with sun and in the last week, snow. Then fog.  And now sunny and cold-ish with no snow in sight.

However, I'm seeing news reports of awful storms, and the people on my Twitter feed all have different weather stories, many involving heavy snowfall.

So, I'd like to know, O fellow dancers (including you lurking types)

Had any weird weather lately?  Where and what?

Something no one ever told me about negativity

 (This post was inspired by several blogs I've run across this week. Unfortunately, I can't tell you which ones because that would only encourage them. Suffice it to say they are angry, angry people.)

Fill in the blanks, please.

Negativity is__________

a. Necessary in the face of all the awful things in the world. Someone has to tell the truth.

b. Unhelpful, indulgent and unlikely to change anything.

c. Boring

My pick for this week?  C.  Negativity is boring.

Oh, it's fun to watch at first, seeing people do and say outrageous things. It's like free drama on your Internet. But after a while, if the negativity doesn't change, if no positive solutions are offered, and if the same stuff is repeated over and over and over, it gets downright dull.

I'm not against protests and criticism. Those can be good things.  And we do have the right to free speech in this country.

So tell me what you don't like about the government, the publishing industry, the culture, whatever. But tell me what you're going to do about it. Show me what it is that you're trying to give to the world.

And if you must complain, then for the love of heaven get some new material!!!

A bonus laugh for you...

Since I accidentally posted my Saturday post yesterday, (It's just been that kind of week) I don't have an actual post for today.  But I do have some awesomeness from the lovely folks at The Customer is Not Always Right

Famous Ignoramus

Bookstore | Hobart, Australia

Me: “Hello, sir, how may I help you?”
Customer: “Do you have those books in that series?”
Me: “Which series is that?”
Customer: “You know, the one by that famous author.”
Me: “There are lots of famous authors, sir. Do you know what one of the books was called?
Customer: “I want the third book in the series by that famous author!”
Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but without more information, I don’t know which book you’re after.”
Customer: “This is ridiculous! How could you not know the ones I’m talking about? They’re FAMOUS!”

Just think, fellow writers. Someday that could be us.

See you Monday!

The Math says you should write 500 words a day. Obey the Math....

I realize I haven't talked much about New Year's Resolutions on this blog, which is probably a good thing.  I know many people who can make their resolutions interesting and inspiring, but I'm not really one of them. *grin*

But I did make a goal this year that I wanted to share.  To write 500 words a day.

I have to admit, when I first read the idea, (put up by awesome Nanowrimo leads Sam and Megan) I was a little skeptical.

"500 words. Well that's nice, but surely you need to write more than that at one sitting. I want to finish at least two more books this year."

Don't get me wrong, I liked the idea. I knew I could stick with it. But it didn't feel like enough.

And then I sat down and did the math.  (And when I say I did the math, I mean I took the math to my Very Smart Husband and let him do it.)

Here's what we came up with:  500 x 365 = 182,500.

182,500 words.

That's a LOT of words. And it's about three times the number of words I wrote in 2009.

And what happens when you divide that up into actual books?  To help you out, here's a word count breakdown from agent Colleen Lindsey.

middle grade fiction = Anywhere from about 25k to 40k, with the average at about 35k

YA fiction = Anywhere from about 50k to 80k; sometimes - but rarely - goes above 90k (usually for the second or third in a particularly bestselling series; rarely for a debut).

urban fantasy / paranormal romance = Usually around the 80k to 100k mark; some bestselling urban fantasy writers are able to turn in even higher word counts, but as a debut author, stick to the appropriate range.

mysteries and crime fiction = Cozies tend to be shorter than the average, somewhere around the 60k to 70k mark; most other books that fall into this category fall right around the 80k to 100k mark.

mainstream fiction = Depending upon the kind of fiction, this can vary: chick lit runs anywhere from 80k word to 100k words; literary fiction can run as high as 120k but lately there's been a trend toward more spare and elegant literary novels as short as 65k; thrillers also run in somewhere around the 90k to 100k mark; historical fiction can run as high as 140k words or more

 So whatever you write, 500 words a day will get you a full book a year, maybe two.  In my case, 500 words would get me at least one YA novel and one MG novel with plenty of room to spare.

And the real beauty of this is that 500 words a day leaves me ample time for revising other projects, continuing my agent search and getting everything ready for my book launch. (Which I still don't have an actual date for, sadly.)

So it's official. I'm on the 500 train!

Anyone want to join me?

Monday Snippits: Some links on writing and Fight Club

Something I'd like to do more this year is introduce you to the cool things and people I find around the Internet. Like this one:  Justine Lee Musk's Tribal Writer blog 

I'd read a couple of Justine's posts by following links from other people, but was when she did a recent series on Tyler Durden’s Rules For Writing In The Zone that I was hooked.

My favorite rule is the first one:  "No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide."

Check it out and enjoy!

Tyler Durden’s Rules For Writing In The Zone, part 1
Tyler Durden’s Rules For Writing In The Zone, part 2
Tyler Durden’s Rules For Writing In The Zone, part 3
Tyler Durden’s Rules For Writing In The Zone, part 4
Tyler Durden’s Rules For Writing In The Zone, conclusion and takeaway

See you Wednesday!

See, this is why I can't go away for vacation...

It messes up my computer/blog schedule!

However, I do have THIS...

(This happens to me all the time. I know I can't be the only one!)

And with that, we return you to our regular scheduled programming.  See you Monday!

What I read last year.

 Whew!  I can't believe I kept track of my reading habits for an entire year.  Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement!

Here's the 2009 breakdown...

Total books read: 193
New books read: 101
Books read twice: 20

Breakdown by Genre:

Adventure/suspense: 43
Fantasy: 49
Historical: 10
Humor:  18
Inspirational: 7
Mystery: 55
Nonfiction: 14
Science Fiction: 13
Short story collections: 3

Breakdown by age:

Adult/mainstream 120
Young adult: 37
Younger readers/classics: 36

 This is a very interesting list from a writerly perspective, since my stories usually contain mystery/fantasy elements and are rarely funny on purpose.  This year my reading resolution is to read more middle-grade stuff, specifically books with boy protagonists.

AND since you all de-lurked so kindly to tell us what you were reading a few months ago, I'm asking you to do it again. Please de-lurk and tell us...

What do YOU want to read in the next year?

It's baaack....

If the weather ferrets are kind I will be spending most of today traveling to Boise.

YAH!!!  *does happy dance*

But before I go, I wanted to make a short announcement.

Last year, I started a side blog with the ambitious idea of picking a book for every year of my life.  That blog got lost in the shuffle of learning to blog, learning to twitter, moving, etc. But I still love the idea.

So it's back!  My Life of Books blog has a new face, some new organization, and hopefully, some more years added in the near future.  Come follow it and learn about my favorite zoo animal, the way I learned to read, and who my favorite poet is.

This project is one of my New Year's Resolutions.  What's one of yours?
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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.