Thought of the Week: Close, Yet So Far

I have some important news for you all this week: The Redemption of Erâth: Consolation is now officially available for sale, in both hard cover, soft cover and Kindle/Nook editions! You can head over here to buy a copy today!

photoI don’t know if anyone has bought any copies yet; I don’t think I can find out until the end of the quarter. Having said that, I ought to be over the moon with excitement anyway – something I wrote is actually available to buy. I’ve even read through the book in hard cover myself (the single free copy they sent to me). But I’m not.

All of a sudden I’m crippled by a depression deeper than any I’ve known in years. I can’t think, I can’t write, I can hardly get out of bed, and I don’t know how I’m going to go to work tomorrow. My wife says it’s because I went off my medication; I guess she’s probably right, though I didn’t intend to go off them – I just ran out, and the doctor won’t prescribe more until I go to see him, but the depression is stopping me from getting out of the house and making an appointment…ugh.

So I all of a sudden just don’t care. I feel as close to dead inside as I can be without being, you know, dead. I can’t imagine being energetic about anything. I have all of Book 2 to edit, and Book 3 is started, and my other book, A Gothic Symphony, crying out for attention; I have a house to organize and put away and clean after just moving into it, a kid’s bedroom to sort before he comes back from his grandparents, and I can already see it’s not going to get done. I spent eight hours in bed today after waking up. The only thing I could bring myself to do was watch a movie, which is kind of like being in bed, but on the couch.

I’m going to leave this here because it’s all I have the energy to write. Maybe, if you feel like it, download a copy of The Redemption of Erâth: Consolation and have some nice reading time. Otherwise, wish me luck for getting out of bed tomorrow morning for work.

Thought of the Week: When Can I Call Myself a Writer?

There’s a man named Joe doing work in our new house today. He doing some stuff like sanding the floors and fixing the walls and stuff; things I don’t do. Now see, I know what he does for a living because he’s doing it right now. But what about when he asks me?

“So what do you do?” asks Joe.

“I…um…I…” says I.

“I see you have a lot of computer stuff. Are you into computers?”

“Yes, yes that’s it. I’m a computer technician.”

“What are you writing?”

“Oh, this? Nothing really, just a novel.”

“Is it published?”

Well, I digress here. Joe didn’t actually ask me if it’s published – it wouldn’t make much sense, given that I’m still writing it (duh). But he could have.

Anyway, the key point here is, when someone asks what I do, what do I tell them? Am I a computer technician? I suppose I am. It’s what I’ve been doing for over ten years; you could say it’s my career.

But then what’s all this business with putting together strings of words? Is that just for fun?

Well, not really: in only a couple of weeks, something I wrote will actually be purchasable from, what did they say? Thirty-eight thousand online book retailers? That’s some crazy-ass shit. Of course, being purchasable is not the same as being purchased, I’m well aware. But hey – the potential’s there.

Does that make me a writer, instead? Was I a writer when I was writing for fun? What about when I started to get the thought that I could actually finish a novel and possibly make it available for other people? Will I be a writer when I’ve sold my first copy? It’s pretty likely that the first few dozen copies are going to go to friends and family – people who would’ve bought the book anyway, even if they’re not going to read it. Am I writer when someone posts a scathing review?

Or am I only a writer when I make my monthly rent based solely on book sales? When I can actually call it a living? When the federal government starts getting interested in the pennies I’m raking in with every copy sold?

I know it’s a tired old question, but it throws me when someone asks me what I do. I write. I’ve written for a long time, longer than anything else I’ve ever done in my life (that’s not exaggeration). But am I really a writer?

 

Featured image from http://clancytales.blogspot.com/2010/06/power-of-pen.html.

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Thought of the Week: Commitment

Hello readers!

Just a short post this week: in the midst of the furore of moving house, I sent back the approval form for the cover for The Redemption of Erâth: Consolation. What does this mean? The book has an official cover!

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This is based on the fire image I supplied to the publishers instead of the image they had used to begin with:

My own roaring fire.

 

I had actually sent them my own mock-up of the cover, and they essentially replicated it, so in a way, that’s my own design up there! In fairness to them, though, they chose the font, layout, coloring, etc.

It’s funny, because there’s a part of me that feels like I’m rushing into this—that I’m not giving this enough thought. There’s a separate part of me that just wants it done and over with, that just wants to hold the damn book in my hands, and I think it’s this part that won out. I’m terrible with commitment—terrible at making permanent decisions. Yet somehow the decision to go forward with this cover came easily. Without a second thought, I signed the sign-off form and sent it back, only ten minutes ago. The decision is made.

Will I regret it? Who knows. I held a vote at work for two different cover options, and the above cover did not win. Yet when I spoke with people, the best feedback I got was based on the ‘fire’ cover; that it seemed to hold a deeper meaning for the story (the fact the Brandyé’s parents die in a fire, that he learns of the world through his grandfather’s fireside tales, that he ends up branded with the mark of darkness), and a stronger allure, a stronger pull. The other cover (below for comparison) apparently just ‘looked pretty’.

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There’s still a part of me that’s torn; I do like the symbolism of the dark clouds descending over a final sunset, the tree (an important setting in the book) and the fierund’s face peering through the clouds, but there’s something cozy, dark and mysterious about the fire that attracts me, as well.

The good news is this means that the interior and cover of the book are approved (by me—eek!), and it’s just about time to ramp the book into production. I’m not entirely certain what the next step is, but I’m excited to think that soon—soon—I might have an actual release date for the book! Won’t that be something?

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