Stormrider!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Four Things Learned While Indie Publishing

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It's interesting how much one learns when undertaking Independent Publishing and we have a fourth in our Planet Of The Eggs Series just released, ERUPTION! It’s the first part of a two part adventure within the series and we’re excited and proud to see it launch. Adventure and the battle between good and evil time jumps to the Jurassic period and the T Rex isn’t friendly!

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So what have I learned, aside from how much fun we’re having?

Well, one is patience. Life has a way of teaching us that, but Indie publishing does even more so. Don’t rush, don’t push. Let it get finished in its own time. That doesn’t mean sit back and do nothing. As writing partners Charlene Brash Sorensen and I work every day whether together or apart. But the key is realizing if there is knot that needs untying, take the time to do it right. Slow down.

Second is pay attention to detail! That’s one thing that will slow you down if you do it right. Ours happens to be a comic book series and not a novel or short story or script, but the same applies to all. Heck, it applies to life most of the time. But back to the comic books. When we create there are dozens of small elements that come together. Since our method is one of creating pictures from bits and pieces there are plenty of details to be remembered. With two of us creating and editing and reviewing we do have an easier time than some in catching each others’ gaffs.

Third, be appreciative and don’t forget to thank those who lend a hand. Yep, another of life’s lessons that come along when publishing indie. There are lots of folks out there who mention our comic books individually and the series. We do our best to thank them all personally and to lend them a hand as well. It’s the way things should be, right? And yet, so many times it can be forgotten or overlooked.  


And fourth, imagination is amazing. Really. Be sure to let yours go, no matter what direction you might apply it. You don’t have to be a writer or artist to have a wonderful imagination and enjoy it. We all have it in us. It’s true. Decorating a house, making something from popsicle sticks, finding a new and exciting solution to a problem at work. It’s all imagination and it’s great fun. Play with it. Keep it rolling. Doesn’t matter what someone may think, it’s YOURS.
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And now on to our next adventure on Planet Of The Eggs – the second part to the two-parter, Eruption, tentatively titled Saving Dot. We’ll be learning a lot more for sure and I’ll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Writer Not Writing



Have you ever had one of those days?

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Of course you have.



I should be writing, but I’m not. Or I could be creating illustrations for the comic series I create with Charlene Brash Sorensen, but I’m not. What have I been doing? Well I did write a post for another blog, TVWriter.com on shutting up.  And, of course I’m writing this.



That doesn’t change the fact that I should be photo-shopping a small blue horseshoe print (don’t ask, but it goes with this 

 - note the blue hoofs). And then there’s the manuscript I need to create from a screen script (if you read this blog you no doubt saw the wonderful illustration associated with it last week). Yeah, well, I’ll get to writing that tomorrow…or maybe I’ll stay up late tonight. 



I do take some pride in the fact that I spent some time today helping an aspiring writer. He has a bit of a way to go yet, but he’s already come a long stretch. Kuddos on him! His project has gone from a long book to the idea of a trilogy and then back to a single long book. Long, of course, being relative, as it fits cleanly into its genre.



The trouble with a day like today is the distractions from writing  are plenty and the urge to play at anything other than being a writer great. It’s easy to give in to those distractions when they’re so close at hand – like a click away to hit Facebook or Twitter. And there’s beautiful spring sunshine outside. On top of that they tell us it’s going to snow by next Monday, so maybe I should take a bit of time off the indoor task of writing now before it hits again ahead of the real spring that’s coming when no doubt I'll get spring fever and want to skip the writing again.





Ah, yes, but back to where I am today. I have a writer's to do list on my desk just to my right and I’m scratching off stuff as I get it done. So far, despite my dithering on this day instead of writing, I’ve scratched off two of the eight things on the list and will scratch off another once this blog post is added to my site.That leaves five and probably a long evening ahead.



This is the kind of day I’m having. I’m almost looking forward to the need to take a break and fix dinner, and I don’t particularly like to cook. But, it’s my night, so I will.



To top it off, I look down at my keyboard (I usually don’t because I touch type at a high rate  of speed) and I see the ‘n’ and ‘m’ are both worn off…again.  Probably should buy a new keyboard but who needs the expense? Besides, I touch-type so I hardly look at them. But when I do a correct and do need to look down I almost always hit an ‘m’ for the ‘n’ because the letters are worn off the keys. A small writer's plague.



Sigh.



That’s the kind of day I’m having. Distractions and procrastination. I can only hope the rest of the world is accomplishing more than I.



Okay, back to that writer's to do list. I guess I’ll photoshop the blue horseshoe print.  Not exactly writing, but who knows, it may lead to greater things.



Tomorrow will be better…I'll just add to my list.




Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Writer's Busy World



It’s a busy time here in my writer’s cave (otherwise known as my office) populated by myself and my three faithful dogs who lay in various beds and spots of sunshine while I write.



I barely have time to add a blog post since not only am I writing and illustrating comic books (the fourth in the first volume will be out in March! – Planet Of The
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Eggs - Eruption!) but I’m painting all my kitchen cabinets as well and submitting screen scripts while pondering writing a current screen script into manuscript form as well.



That last one, the screen script to manuscript, is vampires in the old west. What do you think? Want to read about vampires on horseback, trains, heroic rescues, a German stable master and his stash of silver and an amazing shaman?



Illustration by Gabriel Hardman


Yes indeedy I keep moving.  Here are a couple of shots of my evolving kitchen.  I’m very excited. Wish I had a magic wand to wave to make it finish faster. Hey, for a bit over $300 (including the new sander I got and wood filler for holes, etc. in addition to base coat paint, finish coat and new hardware) I get a whole new kitchen!  I love doing things myself. Talk about control!  



Meanwhile Stormrider, my SciFi/Fantasy about a warrior woman, member of a pack of telepathic wolf pack gets retweeted on Twitter (my handle is @PeggyBechko if you want to follow me there) and would love to find even more readers.







And the comic series Planet Of The Eggs continues to evolve.
 
We’ve had fun contests (check out our facebook page at www.facebook.com/PlanetOfTheEggs) and lots of new Tshirts, totes and more on CafĂ© Press at www.cafepress.com/PlanetOfTheEggs. Eruption is the fourth in the series and the fifth with the tentative title of “Saving Dot” is the second part of Eruption. And that launches myself and my co-writer Charlene Sorensen (who’s twitter handle is @CharlieBS108 )



It seems like as we’re emerging from winter, the energy is surging along with the sap in the trees outside. Thinking of my readers and hoping your spring is looking as good as mine!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Destructive or Constructive Criticism And The Writer And Reader



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All right readers and writers, gather around. This isn’t going to be a whiny rant about how people are mean to writers and how their criticism is the pits (though at times it can be), but a bit of a quick analysis of the situation and how everyone, readers and writers alike can deal with it.

 Look, constructive criticism is a good thing and writers should get over their ire at having anything they create criticized by anybody. Hey, that’s life. And, constructive criticism can point out flaws or maybe a bit of a slip in editing that would, when corrected, make the book, short story or article much better. Really.

Oh, and readers who post criticism, think about how you couch it. You’re entitled to your opinions and of course if there are glaring editing or grammatical errors in a work you might want to point out that’s happening so other readers will be aware, but it can be put in language that isn’t a personal attack. You might feel the urge to be a ripsaw, but curb it. Remember that writer, whoever it is, put a lot of thought and work into the project. Because it isn’t up to certain standards now doesn’t mean the writer isn’t striving to improve and will, indeed improve. Helpful criticism is one thing, an all-out attack is another. Think about it. Does attack make you in some way feel good? What if your work, whatever it is, was attacked with a vicious edge and you were left feeling naked and abused? You might consider, even with a poorly written work, turning your own thoughts around and saying something encouraging instead. Or just plain shut up. If you have to point out a flaw, maybe you can point out a good thing as well. Maybe the book needs a lot of typo fixing but the story itself is interesting, just hard to see through all those errors. Pause and reflect. Just sayin’.

Okay, now writers, it’s your job to write well, to edit like a pro and cut mercilessly so you don’t surround your readers with needless fluff. It’s also a fact of life that no matter how good you get, no matter how well-known, you’re going to get those personal attacks and not just criticism for the obvious typos or grammar errors. Sadly, it comes with the territory.



BUT you don’t have to let that get you down. Of course they’re going to find the typos you miss no matter how hard you try and the grammar slip-ups and the story twist that didn’t quite do the pirouette you planned on. Take it with good grace when they’re pointed out and correct or you can decide their point isn’t valid. Up to you as writer.

 Of course there’s going to be the ‘nasty’ out there who lives to do nothing more than try to tear others down. You don’t have to buy into it. Let the moment pass. You already know there’s no critic out there who can be harder on you than you are on yourself. Forgive the nasties, you don’t know what they may be dealing with that creates the inner demons who just want to attack and destroy. And if you can’t forgive them, cultivate your own positive attitude and don’t bother to respond.

Writers keep writing. Keep moving forward. Readers enjoy and give an occasional thought to the person behind the writing.




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