Posts Tagged ‘classes’

Cover Reveal: May the Best Ghost Win by KD Sarge

Good afternoon and happy Thursday, squiders! Today I’m very very pleased to be able to share the cover of May the Best Ghost Win by KD Sarge, which is coming out this Sunday (on Halloween, of course)!

Isn’t it great? I love the hulking house.

Here’s the blurb:

Four Teams. Thirteen hours. One very haunted house.

Team Gargoyle

Anton Berg doesn’t believe in ghosts, so why is he in a ghosthunting contest? Because Lammie, that’s why. Anton’s best friend since the first grade, Lammie has a knack for getting himself in trouble, and even without ghosts, running around a two hundred year old house in the dark holds plenty of real dangers. Anton can’t let Lammie go alone.

Team Flower Power

Quonzhenay is a librarian. Penny has a big stick. They’re on a mission to win a bet.

Team Witch

Ravyn Wyng Starcrossed didn’t want to come, but her Tarot cards told her to.

The Four Horsemen

It started as a prank. Now four members of the Fulsom College football team’s starting lineup are spending Halloween in a haunted house, and Blake would prefer to be left behind, please.

Unfortunately for all of them, ghosts do exist, the haunted house is much more than an abandoned Gilded Age mansion, and a dark power has Lammie in its sights.

When the night of spooky fun turns terrifying, escape is cut off. The teams unite with one goal–survive until dawn.

The ghosts may be the least of their problems.

Look for May the Best Ghost Win at all your favorite book-supplying places!

In other news, my outlining workshop is finished and is in the process of being uploaded to SkillShare (and has been for, like, three hours. My videos are still “processing,” whatever that means.), just in time for Nano (assuming the videos ever finish “processing”).

Speaking of which, if you use my SkillShare trial link, you get a free month of SkillShare. Food for thought.

(Seriously. Still processing.)

Anyway, check out May the Best Ghost Win come Sunday, and my outlining workshop whenever computer algorithms decide they like me.

MileHiCon Recap and Sundry

Oof, sorry, squiders. This week has been crazy pants. Did I tell you we’re replacing our ancient, poorly constructed deck (they put the boards too close together so water just pooled and rotted the boards over time)? Well, we are, and it’s taking more bandwidth than I would have thought.

Also, I started this entry LAST Thursday. Oof. Oof oof oof.

MileHiCon (now two weekends ago) was…mostly good. I saw some people I haven’t seen in forever and got to reconnect, made new friends, and networked in general. That’s always the best part of the con for me, so I’m satisfied in that regard.

In other regards, attendance was way down and so the whole thing felt kind of empty, but I’m not sure that was a bad thing. The con has also moved to a new venue, so it took a bit of getting used to, but I got it figured out.

(Also the elevators are much faster. The elevators at the old con took FOREVER and so if you needed to go anywhere off the main two floors, or if you had heavy books or needed mobility aids, it could take 15 minutes just to catch the dang elevator. A greatly needed improvement.)

I didn’t get as much done as I typically did around panels, partially because of the re-connecting/networking (probably more important in the long run), but I did read about 100 pages of a writing book and do some starting work on my outlining for my novella/SkillShare class (I now have most of the outline done, and about an hour of the class filmed), so it’s not all bad.

Also, I bought an awesome hat.

My panels were okay. The realistic fantasy travel/horse one on Friday I interpreted as being, you know, focused on the “realistic travel” part of the idea, but everyone else focused on the “horse” part of the idea, so it ended up being about horses in fiction in general. I mean, okay, I actually have decent horse knowledge due to being a trick rider in my youth, but I don’t actually like them very much and now I have a bunch of info about horses and other types of travel that didn’t get used. Hmm. Maybe I’ll do a post over here.

Saturday I moderated a panel on self-editing where it felt like I, again, had interpreted the panel content different than everyone else. Self-editing being where you edit your own work, either before you send it out to agents or before you indie publish. All the questions I’d prepared were about the physical nitty-gritty of the process–what steps where, process, checklists, tools, etc.–but my panelists wanted to talk about other aspects. Hopefully it went okay.

I did take the larger, mobile one on Sunday for the Critter Crunch. The 2-lb category was as fun as ever (and larger, mobile one is planning out his critter for next year) but there were only two bots in the 20-lb category, and one was malfunctioning (it kept driving off the side and not stopping, so people had to dodge for their life). At one point they brought out a 20-lb box of rocks that they used for testing their bot against so that they could draw the event out a bit. I mean, they made the best of a bad situation, and we still had fun, but it was a bit disappointing.

I tried to upload a video here for you guys, but apparently video is now a premium feature? Anyway, I found the whole 2-lb battle on YouTube for you (also you can see my feet).

All in all, it was a good weekend, and I’m glad I went. And I’m looking forward to next year! If all goes well I’ll have a new book out, and maybe I’ll get some stuff done for the Art Show.

How have you been, squiders?

New SkillShare Class Up!

Oof, squiders. I always forget how long the video portion of a class takes.

In my head, every class–and this is my fifth class–the hard part is putting together the PowerPoint part of the class, and the recording part is the easy part.

Well, I guess the recording isn’t too bad.

But the editing of those recordings? Oy.

I think I’ve spent about eight hours on the editing part. My video editor was starting to get REALLY grumpy.

(It is my longest class, at 40 minutes, but 8 hours for 40 minutes? Oof.)

Though, I will admit, it’s generally easier for me to focus on the recording/editing parts. Maybe they’re just more interesting because it’s not something I do very often.

Seriously, though, why do the PowerPoint portions always take me so long? I wanted this class up in March, maybe April. And here we are, in late May. Excellent job, self.

That being said, I’m considering doing a workshop for my next class, one where students follow along with me as I work on something. It’d be less formal, and it would involve no PowerPoint.

Maybe an outlining workshop, to follow up this class (oh, yeah, this class is about types of outlines). I do need to get a novella or two going, so it would be killing two birds with one stone.

(I had an idea for a novella yesterday while I was walking the dog, but I’ve already forgotten it. This is why we write everything down. WAIT NO I REMEMBER)

But it’s done! It’s up!

Work has been accomplished!

Anyway, if you’re interested, the new class is here! And I shall see you guys next week, no matter what.

There is Not Enough Time in the World

Earlier in the year, we talked about how there was Too Much Free Stuff. How companies stuck all sorts of things online for us poor quarantined people, and how so many of them seemed like good opportunities, and how hard it was to realize that I was not going to be able to even make a dent in them and should probably stop trying.

I’m really bad at that.

(Right now I have a tab open with a 90-minute marketing course that has probably been open since, uh, June. I should probably just admit I’m never going to get to it.)

(Yeah, I’m going to close it. Freedom!)

(freeeedom)

About a month ago, I got an email from Holly Lisle (one of my favorite writing teachers) about a “How to Find Your Writing Mojo” class, offered for free in a series of five emails.

Writing mojo sounded good. I mean, I’m producing reliably and fairly consistently, but I am well aware that I am wasting a lot of time right now, playing stupid phone games or ditzing around on YouTube, etc. I could be so much more productive.

But yeah.

Also, five emails didn’t sound too bad.

But I still sat on the class for several weeks and only did it last week.

And it was pretty easy! Only took about 15 minutes each day.

I don’t know if I would consider it helping my writing mojo, though. Perhaps Ms. Lisle and I have different opinions of “mojo.”

You see, when I read “writing mojo,” I thought of, you know, improving focus and flow. Being able to sit down and have a more productive writing session.

But mojo in Ms. Lisle’s class refers more to being able to come up with story ideas that speak to you personally. And I suppose that, if you work on something that resonates better, perhaps you’ll find it easier to sit down and get writing.

Which is helpful! And I did get some story ideas that I like very much.

But I tell you what–I’ve so many story ideas, and I already know not all of them will ever get written. There is not enough time in the world.

Got writing mojo tips, squiders? Or ways to focus in general right now?

I’ve Been Busy!

Sorry for the single post this week, squiders, but it’s for good reason! The first books for the Writers’ Motivation series are out! And despite the many technical issues, I also got my new SkillShare class up and published.

It’s been exhausting.

(I also finally bought boots for my costume. Hooray!)

But now I have lots of things to share!

Let’s do the SkillShare class first. This one is called Story Writing: Keeping Track of Your Story Ideas and is about setting up an idea storage system for writing ideas. It’s available here and is about 25 minutes long.

(I think I’m going to need to get a new camera before I film any more. Also apparently our local library has a recording studio you can rent out, so there’s something to ponder. But I’m not even going to look at the next class til December or, more realistically, January.)

And the books! Yay! (If you recall, I initially started working on the nonfiction books back in 2015, so I am so pleased to finally have them completed!)

The first book, How to Find Story Ideas: A Quick, Easy Guide to Making Sure You Have the Ideas You Need When You Need Them, is live and currently on sale for $.99, and the second, How to Outline for Creative Writing: A Quick, Easy Guide to Finding the Level of Planning that Works for You, is currently on pre-order for $.99 and will go live on October 22, which will give people time to pick it up before Nano if they so choose.

Both the companion books to the Finding Story Ideas books have also gone live (it did take the workbook the full 72 hours Amazon warns about). I waffled on the covers for these for a bit, but decided to go stay with the same cover image as the Finding Story Ideas book and then slightly vary the colors within the same color scheme so it’s obvious that they go together, but are not the same book.

(Sorry, I got distracted by my Amazon author’s page.)

Moving forward, the plan is for one book to come out a month, so Common Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them will be out mid-November, and so on moving forward from there until all seven books are out. (Though the last book, about Submission and Publication, could still use some tweaking, so if you’d like to beta that one, please let me know!)

And now, my next priority is being ready for MileHiCon next weekend (I’m on some more scientific panels and I’d like to do some research so I’m up to date on things, as well as the normal con-prep shenanigans. Oh, and the costume, of course.) and then beyond that, prepping for Nano. And then Nano!

How are you? Keeping busy? (Hopefully not as busy as me!)

Writing Classes: One Size Does Not Fit All

Writing is an interesting thing to learn, because nobody’s processes are the same, nobody learns the same, nobody focuses on the same things while actually writing, and there’s no guarantee that something that was an epiphany for one person will even resonate with someone else.

When I was younger, I tried reading some writing books and gave up on the whole lot of them because they weren’t working for me. They either were telling me things I already understood, or the techniques they were suggesting seemed weird and arbitrary.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that when you read a writing book or take a writing class, nothing is ever going to be a perfect fit, because everyone is different. So, what you do is take when does work for you, what does resonate, and you drop the stuff that doesn’t.

Sometimes there will be that near-perfect class that snaps something you weren’t quite getting into perspective. And sometimes there will be a class that rubs you wrong the whole way through and you only emerge with a couple of new tidbits that kind of work.

The important thing to remember is that just because a class doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it won’t work for others. I just finished up a flash fiction course that a friend took and found very helpful, but the process rubbed me wrong the whole way through. Is it a bad class? No. It just didn’t work for me. Process thing. I still picked up a few things that will be good to think about in the future, even so.

So, how do you know if a class will work for you? Well–you don’t until you try. As time goes on, you’ll be able to tell what sorts of things work for you versus what doesn’t (for example, I hate writing to prompts just to write to prompts, and anything that promises “writing exercises” will pretty much make me want to scream) so you’ll be able to make some decisions based on class/book descriptions. If you know other writers with similar processes to yours, what worked for them might work for you. But otherwise–who knows? And something that might not sound great at first glance might be perfect.

What has worked for you? Any classes/books you found amazing? Any you found not so great?