Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Smashwords/the new publishing matrix

The publishing industry is undergoing a vast and expansive change, and I believe it's for the better. It used to be that big publishers used to dictate who they would select with their divine finger for publication. A lot of good writers were left out of the equation. And those selected would end up supporting the publishing industry. The profit a writer received under the old model was tiny. In consideration that it was their genius that created the story in the first place, it didn't seem right.

Now, with Smashwords, everybody can publish. They can set their own price and receive up to half the profit in sales. The initial costs of printing and shipping are eliminated. So, why do big publishers insist on charging upwards of $20.00 for an ebook? I have no complaint if $10.00 is returning to the author, but I doubt it. It is my belief that no ebook should cost more than $5.00. That's why all the books published under Adam Books at Smashwords are $4.95.

I don't think we need to be greedy to earn a living. Because why do writers write? They write because somebody around the primordial fire responded to a tale told. Without a readership, we as writers, are nothing. Respect the reader and they will support you by reading your work: a simple truth.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mississagi Lighthouse/memory ghosts

Just spent the last week up at the Lighthouse. Travel to the far end of the Manitoulin Island and you will have reached paradise. An alvar ecosystem that is so close to the time of the glaciers that you might as well be back 15,000 years. My mother was ran the place fore six years before she died, and now my sister operates the restaurant/campground. If you want solitude to write, go there. There are a lot of memory ghosts up there (memories that are so powerful that they have a form of life in themselves). You can also sense other people memory ghosts, but unfortunately you don't have access to them. Humm, interesting idea that. What if someone could access another person's memory ghosts?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Japanese translation

I've been thinking about this for awhile, and I think I'll follow this up. I want to have my novel, "A Thousand Kisses Deep," a fantasy translated into Japanese. The book was partially inspired by some Japanese elements. Now, the trick: I've got to find a person who is willing to translate the book. I've lost track of my friend Aki Heiro, so my options are not great. I talked to Bill, he worked in Japan, and asked him if he still had connections there. Well, here's hoping someone from the land of the rising sun will read this blog and have some feedback.

Happy writing!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Use of Commas

When I was young, I had the habit of writing something and then grabbing a handfull of commas and throwing them in. I'm still not a master of punctuation, but I am getting better at it. Here are a few rules to mesmerize:

1.) Remeber those co-ordinating conjunctions? (and, but are the most commonly used)I remember them by dressing them up in outfits and standing them at intersections (I'm a visual learner). Well, put a comma after them when they are directing two independant clauses.

2.) A comma can be used to set off a clause of a phrase that simply adds information.

The girl, red hat strategically placed on her head, rode her horse down the road.

It sure beats: The girl gode her horse down the road.

3.) Another method of comma use that's fun is when you want to mess with people's heads.   Everybody has used;  When, After, Before, Because, If, the second part of a sentence marked by a comma:

Example: The rescue crew launched their boats, after the monstrous waves calmed down.

Reversing this for effect.

Example: After the monstrous waves clamed down, the rescue crew launched their boats.

Use it at the begining or end of a paragraph, but don't use it too often or you'll just irritate people.

4.) This is a good one. It lets you take your character somewhere quickly. In this commas are used in a series.


John ran down the hill, onto the dock, and dove into the water in an clumsy attempt to drown himself.

By using commas in a series you can really move things along.

5.) The last one I'm going to mention is helpful in creating a disjointing feeling:

Sometimes people write: The calm and placid lake reflected a perfect image of the boat.

Commas inserted to ser off a phrase out of its natural order.

Example: The lake, calm and placid, reflected a perfect image of the boat.

I like the second one, it just feels artsy.

So, I hope you find the following rules helpful.