Friday, February 19, 2010

Hand Jobs and Other Gossip

This is an Amazon update of sorts... six days until first elimination... *bites nails*

Since most of you haven't participated in the ABNA boards, and it's a pretty different crowd than I usually frequent, I thought I'd summarize some of the topics... plant the seeds to participate next year, perhaps...


Who's There

For starters, there are a lot more MEN there than on the blog circuit. Men to a greater degree than women, seem to see this blogging thing as sort of a self-indulgence (a hand job, if you will, though this isn't the one I was referring to). Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. It's women's stuff. Of course that's a generalization, but over there the boards are probably half male. HERE I have 3 male agents (or agent assistants) I follow, two groovy young guys (the one with no pants in Western Michigan, and the Self Deprecating Scot who makes me giggle. And Galen. Galen is a CLASS act. Funny, informational, helpful and nice. But he seems to be alone in this swarm of women (I think he likes it that way). We, ladies, are like a teacher's college or a nursing school—while there is no good reason, men just haven't taken to it. Nearly ALL of us are chicks.

And men interact differently than women.  Funny, that... there is a little less concern about tact and feelings, and a lot less need to respond to someone if they don't care about the topic.  Or such is my observation.  Men are less socialized than women, in otherwords (which should surprise no one, but is interesting to see).  I'm really enjoying TALKING to some, but they are definitely more prickly... They also present information as if they have the full, solitary answer... so a woman needs to keep in mind this is STYLE, not actual expertise.  Still.  I really like them.

Now there are theoretically two forums, the Amazon one and the CreateSpace one. They are qualitatively different. I started out at CreateSpace because I didn't know any better, and it turns out, I think that is how it works. The newbies are more comfortable at the CreateSpace and the Veterans at ABNA. And I stuck with it for a little while because the veterans are a little intimidating.

I heard that gasp. Who the heck intimidates a naked chick? But the fact of the matter is, they all seemed to know each other. It took a while to find a convo I felt like I could jump in on. When I DID, they were extremely nice, but it is making the other boards look a little... amateurish... The questions and answers both just are not quite on the same level.  The things that made it feel more comfortable at first, make it seem less desirable to me now.  So henceforth, I will be referring to the Amazon boards.


The Convo

So we talk a lot about boobs.

You think I'm kidding, don't you? Honestly, it seems to break up the tension whenever something gets uncomfortable. Which it can... there was a debate yesterday about which was more valid, the war in Afghanistan or the war in Iraq. The Naked Pacifist stayed quiet. Neither of those was EVER a war we had a hope of attaining a happy peace on. Justified? I can be convinced on one, not the other. Smart? Neither one. Nosireebob. Never a hope in hell. But I try to avoid politics in my writing life, so I was all over the boob intervention.

We've talked about what we're working on... (the conversation that led to the Hand Job—which would be me writing by hand... I baffled a fair few, and this led to the differential accessing of parts of the brain, though only a statistician uses an obnoxious word like differential)--there are some interesting projects going on!—it really is an impressive group of people (not that my friends here aren't, but the blog network seems less concentrated on our WORKS and more on the NETWORK so I don't know a ton about most of your books). We've talked about who might win (in generalities, not specifics), what skills are needed, how much is luck, what portion of contestants have salable novels (and how many will succeed in selling)


And if you're curious at all, here are a few new blogs I am now following by members (only linking the ones that appear to update with some regularity).

The Angsty Writer: Megan is a kindred spirit of sorts. Her kids are about the same age as mine, we seem to share addictions, and I love her humor. Definitely worth checking out.

Intentional Unrealities: This is largely process stuff about writing his fantasy book, which also is, apparently, an online comic.

Suspense Your Disbelief: Is about reading AND writing and has a bunch of helpful links for both—I've tracked several new websites and OTHER blogs I'm keeping an eye on.  Thoughtful and also worth looking into.

Fiction For Dessert: Is a blog where Karen shares short stories.  The one I read was great.

And this is I think the cleverest blog concept I've seen in a VERY long time—possibly the best besides Accidental Dong. Becoming Layla: This is a blog giving all of US the lessons we would need in order to be a super spy like her main character. High concept blog? This is it.

There are more blogging, but these are the ones who seemed to blog with some regularity who sort of 'got the blog' if you knowwhatImean.  There are also, I'm sure DOZENS I haven't even checked out yet.  So missing from this list is NOT a snub.

Overall though, I was surprised how many people just think it's too time consuming, or *gasp* not helpful (that one I argued adamantly. In fact even with the too time consuming folks, I argued why it is worth making the time, but it doesn't pay off it if it a half hearted effort (or even a GOOD effort into a void—without the bi-directional thing to pull in readers))

Now where was I? Ah yes....

We debated Literary versus Commercial fiction and the utility of an MFA program. We (read: I) bashed Twilight—there were a few defenders, but I wasn't alone in my bashing.

Somebody checked out my blog and commented that I talked about nudity a lot *snort* if he only knew. I tried to explain it was part of my nefarious plan to take over the world, but there are some people I just need to grow on. I do eventually... like a fungus, but I am just a little over-the-top for those people who think it's better to be more refined.  It did make me question my strategy of silliness to gain readers for my dark fiction for about fifteen minutes, but as I said in my very first blog, I can't be other than what I am. I'm a silly naked chick who writes SUSPENSE.



NOT ABNA: that note is referring to my first reader and Co-Burrower Leanne who gave me the EASIEST way to distinguish Thriller from Suspense I have ever heard—she works in a book store, so I'm sure knows the industry take on it: A THRILLER takes place in a very short span of time, hours or days, and has big action at least every 10 pages, so the pace is (erm... insane?) really fast. So now I know.  I do NOT write thrillers.  I write mainstream that leans toward SUSPENSE.

15 comments:

Liz said...

I'm already intimidated. but hey! I'm all for hand jobs. . . we lady porn writers tend to latch onto the first dirty concept we find and just ride it out until the happy ending. I was going to rant here about crappy already published writers blogging about their twelve cats and how they never leave the house, but until I'm a crappy already published writer who has no cats and is hardly ever at home I will duck my head and return to my hand job . .. or whatever. thanks again for a daily insight.

gae polisner said...

i dig your blog.

Watery Tart said...

*snort* ET-it's always easy to suck you in... all I need is sufficient innuendo. There are a lot of blogs that are either about nothing, or only the book, and I can get into NOTHING if it is amusing enough, but tend to only need to read about the book once... unless it's harry potter, but that's another obsession.

Gae-great to see you back (are you back, or posting from...erm... where were you? I remember you had some traveling to do... or are you posting from the road.) Anyway, Thank you!

Leanne said...

Hee hee... yeah. The whole genre-trope thing, some are fairly clear, others, well - do you put the "I love vampires" in fantasy or romance? :-P (They're in both, if anyone cares...) You are more than entitled to get second opinions though. :-)

historywriter said...

Great Blog. Thanks for pointing this out at the ABNA forum. We do have fun and I enjoy the chatter and networking. It's a beautiful, sunny day here in the NW with daffodils out (no kidding). I'm actually going to write, but I do have a few things to plop in the ground. And, of course, check out the threads at ABNA.

http://historyweaver.wordpress.com

Watery Tart said...

Leanne-that sparkly thing is NO VAMPIRE. I'm just sayin...

JL: Good to see you here! I miss the NW so badly, especially in Febrary when we still have 6 inches of snow on the ground (I lived in oregon for 16 years).

Megan said...

Love it Hart. I love the dynamics on the forum. I tend to stay away from the serious stuff (don't we have enough of that in our life) and go with the silly.

And thanks for the shout out. Of course anyone going there today will read my husband (who I warn is not a writer) and not me. :)

Have a lovely day, kindred spirit. :)

Helen Ginger said...

Love the cat. He has attitude.

Hmm. I'm gonna have to check out ABNA. Can I lurk before I decide if I want to get naked and jump in the hot tub?

Helen
Straight From Hel

Helena Soister said...

Hart, you darling, perceptive, wise naked woman! Thank you bunches for writing such kind words about my blog. And here all this time (seven months of suffering) I thought I was a voice crying in the wilderness fated to have forever only one or two regular readers, one of whom is my friend. Of course thanks to your praise the pressure is now on and I gotta step up my game and become Layla with a vengeance. Happily I got health insurance and an understanding chiropractor.

Watery Tart said...

Megan, how on EARTH did you get your husband the NOT writer to blog? I can't get mine to write any more than a shopping list! I do an awful lot of silly, so I have leaned more serious over at Amazon.

Helen-you can definitely lurk-you need to register and sign in to participate, but it is the same info as for reviewing something for Amazon.

At the top it just has the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards Community, and I have definitely seen some people who aren't participating this year. Definitely a good way to see if you really want to dive in next year, or to meet some other writers.

Helena- I KNOW you are up to it! Thanks for stopping in. It really IS high concept, which is the trick to winning everyone over!

Liz said...

Get Ready for a lot of Deep Insight as I venture over to the Dirty Show tomorrow in Detroit. . . .speaking of leaving the house and all. . .I'm just one of those writers who has got to experience life in order to write about it.
www.aabedwench.blogspot.com

Watery Tart said...

*snort* I'm onto you ET. I know what you're about. But since you're the only one who can put it into language I don't find silly, I'm okay with that. I've got a handful of friends who are naughty like ME, but you are the only one I know who is naughty like YOU.

Karen said...

Hey there! Thanks for mentioning my blog -- you sent some readers my way. :-) And being an ABNAer, I loved this last post. Too funny.

Nell Gavin said...

I need to get more naked if I'm ever to take over the world.

Watery Tart said...

Hey, Karen--glad it worked! This networking thing can be hit and miss, but it is always nice to help people find the stuff that interests them.

Nell--I'm happy to share this world domination movement (I play nice!), and DEFINITELY we have a better chance naked!