Publishing Update: Received the First Edit

Things are moving quickly, now!

I posted this link to Twitter and Facebook, which is Water Dragon Publishing welcoming me and The Repossessed Ghost, releasing this summer. When they found out I was going to Baycon this year, they accelerated the plans for release, which is honestly just amazing.

The faster schedule means that a whole bunch of stuff has to happen quickly. One of those things is working with a professional editor.

I received the Word document with the changes and comments in it earlier today. Honestly, I thought I was going to have to do more work. There were only two comments which were both very easy to address, and some red marks in the text where I made mistakes (constantly and consistently) with capitalization.

There really wasn’t that much to go over. My original submission was probably the 4th draft of the novel. The number of changes we’ve made barely qualify as another draft.

I looked at all the changes, addressed the two comments, and sent it back this afternoon. After hearing other authors talk about going through months of edits and rewrites, I expected to have to do more, especially with my first novel.

Then again, I have had other people look at it over the years, including Jennifer Carson, a professional editor. After meeting with her and going over her critique, I rewrote the ending during to create the third draft. I had two critique groups look at it and provide feedback. One of the authors in one of the critique groups is now a best seller, absolutely crushing it with her recent fantasy series.

I worked very hard on this story before I submitted it, and these light edits are the payoff.

Soon, I’ll have cover art. I’ll post that all over the place and retheme this place.

Things are moving! This really is the fulfillment of a dream, and I can’t believe it’s happening.


Professional Social Media

Today, the publishing agreement arrived, and I’m once again bouncing with excitement. It still hasn’t sunk in that I’m going to get to publish The Repossessed Ghost.

There is useful documents in the package from the publisher. In addition to two copies of the publishing agreement, there are two copies of the Social Media agreement, as well as two different welcome letters and a W-9 to fill out. Somehow the tax form makes it more real than it had been before.

The Social Media agreement strongly suggests creating separation between professional and personal social media accounts. It’s well thought out, and I understand what they’re trying to do. If one of their authors starts blasting antisemitic or racist trash, they want to have a document that gives them an easy way out of that relationship. I get it, and I’m on board.

I think a younger version of myself might have furrowed his brow, wondering if he wanted to have any kind of stipulations on what he can or cannot say. Like I said, the agreement is about protecting them. It’s not about controlling their authors’ speech. It’s very reasonable.

The agreement makes me scrutinize my social media accounts. I don’t think anything will change much with this blog. I may change the format, or add some tabs for additional links. The purpose of this blog is for me to talk about my journey as a writer. I can continue using it for that purpose.

I have gone into some political rants when looking at current events in the past. I’ve curtailed those posts already. It won’t hurt anything for me to stop posting those to my main feed. If I reach a point where I feel like I absolutely have to write something that is of a political nature, I might open up a completely different part of the blog which is separate from the main section. It can be purely dedicated to receiving my posts that are purely personal.

I don’t think much will change here, to be honest.

Twitter and Facebook, though. I haven’t deleted my Twitter account, but I’ve stopped using it. I may start using it, but only to engage with other writers and to tweet about writing. Again, that’s not completely different from how I was using it before.

The only things I’ve been posting to Facebook for the last few years have been links to this blog. That won’t change too much, though like with Twitter, I may start posting more things related to promoting my book.

I’m not going to turn my social media accounts into advertising robots. It will still be me managing the accounts, and I’ll still talk with people normally. It’s just that my time on the social media platforms will be slightly more focused and contained. It’s better than what I was going to do, which was delete the accounts altogether.

I’ll probably start posting book covers and thinks to Instagram. I have an account there and follow several people. I’ve never posted anything. When I’ve decided on an author photo and have book cover images, that seems like a great place to post that kind of stuff.

What about TikTok? Other platforms?

I’ve never spent much time on TikTok. Melissa watches it all the time, and I sometimes watch over her shoulder. Sometimes she’ll bring me a video and share it with me. At this point, I don’t have any plans to get on TikTok, but that’s where a lot of other writers are building their platform. If it seems like a natural place for me to post things, I’ll figure it out.

I’ll post more VLOGs to YouTube. That’s all I’ve ever used my YouTube account for already, so no change there.

Finally, and absolutely the least, I have an account on Mastadon, but I don’t spend any time there. Maybe I’ll cross-post from Twitter to there, but it seems really complicated for what it is, and I’m not sure it’s very useful.

With the way I’m using social media these days, I’m not sure I need to create a separate personal and professional accounts. I still think social media is one of the big Internet mistakes. It’s the artificial sweetener of relationships, providing a strange kind of sweetness but with none of the nutritional benefit. And sometimes it causes cancer.

I like writing here, but this doesn’t feel like social media, to me. It’s my open journal, raw and barely edited. There is room for nuance, here.

I’m not going to write here every day (unless it’s October), but I will likely write here more often.


Not a Year in Review, Nor a Resolution

Lots of people take this time to talk about what happened in the previous year, or what their prospects are for the new year. That’s not this. I will not let 2022 haunt me further. Also, 2023 has tons of potential, but I will not weigh it down at the beginning with expectations or false promises.

Last night, Melissa and I went to bed just after midnight, and we struggled to sleep. We have been having a hard time sleeping for a while now, but last night, the neighborhood sounded like a warzone. I think it’s great that people want to celebrate, but I wish we had a choice in it. It was probably fireworks, but it could just as easily have been gunshots. The night thundered with explosions, going on for hours into the brand new year.

I got up later than I wanted. My hope was to maybe get up a little bit early and consider doing some pushups or something. I need to get more physically active this year. I need to get healthy. Sometimes, January 1st, I can take the idea of a new year to start some new activities. That didn’t happen this morning.

Instead, I tried to be kind to myself. I slept in a little bit, and that’s okay. Sleep was hard to attain. Maybe, that’s what I can do with this year: set some goals, but exercise kindness and understanding when those goals aren’t met.

This is the year The Repossessed Ghost comes out. I still haven’t signed the contract, but I’ve seen what the contract will look like, and I’m happy with it. I’m excited for all of the possibilities.

In spite of the good news, I haven’t been in a great place emotionally. I haven’t wanted to do anything or hang out with anyone. I have not been particularly kind to myself. But I want to be. I want to do better in that area this year.

I turn 50 in a couple of months. That doesn’t really have much to do with what I’ve just been talking about, but… it kind of does? After half a century, will I have learned some semblance of balance?

This year, I will make writing a higher priority. For the last couple of months, I’ve slacked off. I’m going to do writing exercises. I have a prompt from my critique group to work on. I won’t work on it right now — this blog post is my exercise today — but it seems like a good thing to work on early tomorrow, on my day off. When I finish it, if I like it, I’ll post it here.

Write more. Eat healthier. Exercise. Be kind to myself.

This isn’t a resolution. It’s just a set of ideas I can measure against. I know I can do three of those four things without too much trouble. I’ll let you figure out which of the four will be my struggle.

Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s make 2023 the best year it can be.