All posts by Steve

Wintertime Blues

In the Butterfly Pavillion outside of Denver, Colorado, 2008.

Summertime Blues? Bah! In Nevada we’re upside-down on the seasons. Winter is the good one. Some years, like this one, it even rains a lot, which is a nice change. Summers are best avoided by staying inside and counting your air-conditioned blessings. But you do have to “Work all Winter just to Try to Earn a Dollar,” right? Well, sort of. If you’re a writer, you need to write all year, no matter what the weather, no matter whether you have a cold or the flu, and no matter whether your last project has sold or not. Hence, the Wintertime Blues. The days are short. The night is long and full of . . . nevermind. Somebody already used that one.

This winter I’m doing mostly editing. And entering contests with my YA. The editing is of a chapter book that I think is pretty timely (believe it or not) and that I think will be an easy sell. We’ll see. Now all I need is a new project to draft while I’m doing those other things. I love drafting, because I get lost in it. Even if the first draft turns out to be awful, I get lost in creating it. That ever happen to you? I figure it’s a sign that there’s at least a good idea in there somewhere.

Tomorrow evening I’m going to facilitate a goal-setting meeting for The Las Vegas Writers’ Group. I have my goals for the year, and I’m already meeting a couple of them. How about you? Are your goals written down and ready to be fulfilled? If not, I’d suggest that you get busy on them, before you do anything else. If you want to learn more about goals, come to tomorrow’s meeting!

Goal Setting

View from Zabrisky Point in Death Valley NP

Everywhere you turn this time of year, you are exhorted to set goals. You can look on a writer’s advice website, you can ask Dilbert’s Pointy Haired Boss, you can ask anybody, you just have to have goals. Much as I’d like to disagree with that sentiment, I’m afraid it’s true: you need to have goals.

Maybe they don’t need to be written down formally, but I find writing them down helps keep them straight as I go along. They don’t need to be in a particular format, but some of the formats and protocols can be very helpful in deciding where you want to go this year, or decade, or lifetime. (Unless you’re like Richard Blaine, and never plan that far ahead, in which case, you’re depressed.)* The true fact is that if you don’t know where you’re going, you probably won’t ever get anywhere. So, goals.

Maybe you want to sell that first novel this year? Get an article published in The New Yorker? Finish your short story anthology? Finally publish that book you’ve been sitting on? Attend a couple of useful conferences? It doesn’t matter, because it’s your life, and these are your goals, but you need to set them in order to achieve them. You can revise them during the year, but you need to set them in the first place. Okay? Good.

There are books about goal setting, and there are goal setting workshops, and you should check out these, and any other sources of help you can find. I met a major goal last year when I entered a novel in a nationwide contest. This year, I’m going to also enter it in as many regional contests as I can find. Hey, I like it, so it has to be good, right? And edit and polish my current chapter book. And start a new big project while I’m at it, because drafting is the most freewheeling fun part of the process, so I’ll be doing some. I expect to add a couple of goals this month as well, The Las Vegas Writers’ Group meeting is all about goals, and I intend to take advantage of the opportunity.

As should you, my friend. As should you.

Later,

S.

 

 

 

 

*If you don’t get this, I’m sorry. Try googling the name.

The Christening of Tender Donetes Minor (D Minor for Short)

Welcome to 2019, Oddgodfrey Crew! I hope you enjoyed warm cheer, delicious food, and all the festivities of the holiday season. We enjoyed fun celebrations, too, and look forward to writing all about it in the next few posts. Sorry for the long gap in communication. Sequentially, this story abou

Source: The Christening of Tender Donetes Minor (D Minor for Short)

It’s 2019. Let’s Compromise.

Be Upset By This, I Dare You!

Let’s Compromise. Seriously. That’s treated as if it were a dirty word, or has been in recent years at least. But it isn’t a dirty word at all. It’s how a democracy functions. Here’s a hard truth for many: You are never going to get everything you want. In fact, you are going to have to give up some of what you want so that other people get something of what they want so that they’ll be okay with you getting some of what you want. That’s a compromise, and that’s how democracy works. Think of it as a rough consensus, if that helps.

Other groups aren’t responsible for everything that’s wrong. MAGA didn’t cause the problem. Neither did Libtards, or Republicans, or Democrats, or Trumpists, or Socialists. Not even those idiot neighbors down the street are responsible for the problems in your world. You may be a part of your own problems, but, you know what? You’re not responsible for the trouble, either. Sometimes, things just don’t go your way. That’s life. The way to solve the problems is to talk with the Libtards, MAGA, Democrats, Socialists Conservatives, crazy neighbors, and whomever is involved to work out a way that you can each get a piece of what you want out of the situation. But, take note, it will never be “those people” going away and never bothering you again. Whomever they are, they’re here, and you need to deal with that. Nothing can change what is. Not earnest belief, not carrying torches, nothing at all. You and your group are going to have to work with them and their groups until you come to some sort of rough consensus, you know, a compromise, where each of your groups, and each of their groups, gets something of what it wants, but where nobody gets everything that they want, and where nobody is completely happy with the result, but everybody is willing to live with the result. And so we move on.

I know this is not fair. Nothing in life is fair. What this is, though, is the way human beings get along with other human beings. By talking with each other, and listening to each other. It’s 2019! Maybe it’s time we gave it a try.