Filed under Ramblings

See? I am terrible at this stuff.

I try to make no secret about the fact that I’m terrible at social media. Most of the people in my life, I think, know that I rarely update Facebook or Twitter, and I can’t even be bothered to keep this little site updated with my latest ramblings and thoughts. I don’t really know why this is the case. I like writing, clearly, just not about myself? Something like that. Maybe it’s also a side effect of having a 9-to-5 job that is focused on keeping things organized. I organize professionally, so not privately. Too much like work.

And that’s why it’s been six months since my last update.

I don’t have much to show for it. Work on projects continues, slower than I’d like, as the aforementioned 9-to-5 and other grim realities of life dominate my time. I’m impressed anybody finds time to churn out enough material to get started in this industry, and to devote the time to hunting for markets. I can get the writing part–barely–but the rest? Clearly not. It’s a Catch-22, really. If I had this as my actual, making-enough-to-pay-my-mortgage job, I’d have the time to do what needs to be done; but in order to get to that point, I need to devote full time to making it happen.

Eh, I dunno. This is whiny. One’s life is what one makes it. There are trivialities that distract me just as much as adult necessities, so how can I place blame on those? I am my own success or failure–which sounds like it should be an uplifting, motivating thought, but it’s actually kind of a depressing one.

Rain is awesome

I am fond of rain.

To be specific: I like overcast days and steady, drizzling rain. Cool temperatures, a steady patter in the background, dim light, empty streets. I love it. It’s conditions like these that bring a lot of my ideas to the surface, as if they’ve been hiding from the light and noise and bustle of normal days. I try to nurture them and tend them when they’re like this, get them to play a little and explore. Then I take notes–figurative pictures, really–so I don’t forget what they had to say and do on these days.

I often go for long walks when days like this come around. I like going for long walks anyway because it helps me think in general, but it’s even nicer on gloomy, brooding days. I’m even excited about carrying my umbrella (which is a proper umbrella, roughly cane-sized in length and hooked at the handle, not some tiny compact thing that breaks in the first respectable wind), even when I don’t use it to block any rain (you can’t just go around using umbrellas like that for any ol’ trickle, it has to be a heavy, substantial, meaty kind of rain). It’s a prop, like most of the things people around themselves with; a tool or symbol of who we are that helps encourage and propel our brains and attitudes.

It’s easy to lose track of time when I’m out walking, and that… causes problems. Time is the enemy, or at least the belligerent attendant. “Hey, didn’t you have some things to do? Weren’t there deadlines? Errands? Chores? You’ve better get on that stuff! Forget about the rain, man, you need to get busy!”

Time isn’t wrong. But sometimes I’d rather walk around, listen to the rain, and get lost in the world for a while.

Fill this space!

Hi. JPL again.

I survived another year on this planet, which is cool and noteworthy, and always makes me consider what I am doing and why I haven’t finished it yet (this is a common thing writers do, as I understand it). I always kind-of know, in the back of my head, exactly what I’m working on at any given moment, but this is rarely narrower than 3 projects at once. I mean, I don’t actively work on them all, but like unwanted house guests, they refuse to go away. They get some brain time, whether I like it or not.

I talk a little bit about what I’ve got on the agenda in my FAQ, but I wanted to tease the idea that one of them will appear here very soon. I’m somewhere in the field of 20,000 words into my next piece, and to help some of the characterization, I started sidetracking to write some short stories in the same setting with, more or less, the same characters. They are small installments that I really have no interest in publishing in any kind of organized way since they were basically made for my selfish benefit, so I’m going to put them here! The first one looks like it’ll be a five-part short story (probably only like 10,000 words overall), so I hope you can swing by, read, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

No immediate plans to make another one in the same series, but you never know. I’ve always wanted to put some freebies on this site while I’m working on novel-sized stuff, so more of something will show up, I’m sure.

Meeting People

It’s actually taken me 3 days to find a window of time in which to make this post. Gah. Busy and distracted constantly. But look at me, already off-topic!

My trip to PAX and my general struggle with marketing ITGN has made me think a lot about how I interact with people. I’m not exactly an introvert, but I tend strongly towards watching and listening, and feel most comfortable in small-scale engagements–one-on-one conversations, small groups, etc. Faced with actual brand new people and casual encounters, I found I had absolutely no idea where to begin speaking to them. I would never have considered this odd, either, except for the presence of one F. (we shall call him) who appears to have leveled entirely as a Bard for the duration of his existence. It’s unbelievable. The ability to engage with anyone, whoever they may be, and result in a positive interaction just blows my mind.

I’m not sure what to do with the revelation yet. I am still (clearly) struggling to understand how one promotes oneself, even if one is producing something that one believes wholeheartedly is an awesome and worthwhile thing. I love my book. But I kind of choke when put on the spot to verbally tell someone about it. I have no idea why. I feel the inability to self-promote and casually interact with shiny new people is somehow related. I wonder how many other people have this problem, and how many marvelous things it’s buried away from the public eye.