Friday, May 25, 2012

If I couldn't concentrate...

Hey, guys, go read a fancier version of this post over at, now!

I wouldn't be a writer.

I'd be some sort of "day labourer", and then where would the world be? Labouring with me, I expect.

And that would be sad.

So let's write. It all comes down to the aptly named "Three AlliterativeMs", so named because there are three of them and they all start with the letter M. I've capitalized them so you don't miss them.


You've got to feel pretty OK to be able to write this much and so fast too! It's a matter of focus, concentration, zen harmony with the universe. No, I tell a lie. It's a matter of being crazy, in that special manic-depressive way that I do.

I'm not manic right now, but when I am shucks!howdy! do I write fast. I love it, but the problem, as referred in the post title, is that when I'm manic I have to be very self-disciplined or I'll start a hundred projects, many of which linger around to This Very Day. (cf: twenty-two short stories lying around the house). One of the side benefits of mania is that I really shouldn't be around people anyways during these times, as I will talk faster and faster and faster because I can finally keep up with my thoughts but they can't understand me and then they run away and I'm all alone and eat too much and am fat oh gods—

That's what I am now. Now. Yes: then. In this state, I think about a great many things, and connect them, and read carefully and clearly. I may have mentioned I'm a genius, but I'm not just saying that. I am.

(and you're not.)

Some of my best non-fiction (including blog posts) gets written at this time, and some of my more contemplative fiction. And I still write fast.

I don't know any other way.

But sometimes, sometimes...I lay in bed all day, listening to the audiobook of Lamb (Christopher Moore) while watching — on two screens simultaneously — The Princess Bride and Secretary, the screens set on both sides of the room so I can focus on whichever one I happen to roll over to look at.

If I lose the remote, it's Hell.

All Around
When I walk and walk and walk, no writing gets done. This is why I can't drive.

everything's waiting for you

You're going to be rich, get excited! You're doing what you love, man! Get in the spirit of things! No...let's be more honest: Running a small business is more fun than getting a real job, right? You've got freedom and joy and nobody can take that away from you.


Except you.

But you're an idiot. You can easily outsmart yourself.

More important to your mindset, but only included here because DRUGS ruins the alliteration scheme I've got going, is CAFFEINE. Drink your tea, coffee, and delicate mix of tea'n'coffee, or, as I call it, TOFFEE*. I drink four caraaaaafes of coffee every day, poured gently over ice. It's sometimes caf and sometimnes decaf. I never can tell, as I'm usually too twitchy to read the side of the box by then. At the end of the day I moderate my caffeine buzz with delicious weak tea, then summon the WRITING MUSE with some absinthe on the rocks.

Which is — don't look it up — an actual drink.

This is the most important part, and the true secret to my success. Buy these four tracks, load them up on your phone, press shuffle'n'repeat...then Just Write:

Tron: Legacy
Daft Punk

The Dark Knight
Introduce A Little Anarchy
Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard

Sherlock Holmes
Hans Zimmer

The Avengers
The Avengers
Alan Silvestri

all links to Amazon

This blog post was written under the influence of these four songs, just as an example of the kind of quality sh*t you can expect if you try it!


There is nothing else. I wrote myself into a corner by calling it the "Three AllitereMs"***
Tough nougat,
Get back to work.

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

*Actual toffee is disgusting. I'm taking the word back.
**Got any more awesome tracks I should add to my playlist?
***I'm too lazy to scroll up and check what I actually called it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

eBooks, pBooks; aBooks, cBooks

Hey guys! Read a fancier version of this post over at H2NH ePub now! I'd go...but I'm working.

If you want a picture of the future of publishing, imagine a book stamping on a human mind — forever. We control story, Indie, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called "literature" which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create literature. Books are infinitely malleable.

I have grand visions, sometimes. Not dreams, no...more than dreams: the stuff that dreams are made of: Ideas gone mad with freedom, massing together and connecting, like manic molecules or colliding universes, and from them appear, as if from the head of Zeus, a vision of a glorious future, with me: Writer, Publisher. It's all so easy, in my visions.

But I think...I think, this time, it just might...just might be possible.

eBooks Anybody can make and publish an eBook. It's certainly much harder to write a manuscript than to publish an eBook. If you want to emulate a professional eBook, you can do it for about $500, after the costs of copy-editing and editing. Then you put it up everywhere and get on with writing the next thing. It is the ultimate passive income, but you can do so much more with it.

pBooks The most obvious way is to make a print book, and that's easy enough, thanks to the miracle of Print-on-Demand. You can get that done for less than $2000 for a trade paperback, and some larger amount (that I'd have to get around to researching) for a fancy hardcover, for your most dedicated readers. My vision of the future is eBooks as mass-market paperbacks (you know, the one's that used to be about five bucks when we were young, and 10¢ in the dim mists of pre-time), with trade paperbacks being the standard edition, and a hard-cover being a deluxe omnibus. Isn't that exciting? (You know they're already doing this, right?) But wait! There's more to do!

aBooks I love audiobooks, because I can "read" them while I'm doing mindless publisher tasks. Every book should be an audiobook, and if I have my way they will be. Short stories can be audiobooks too, although, as I prefer to enjoy all my short stories in magazine or anthology form, I'd want to consume those as part of a StarShipSofa style subscription. Although Audible could do a Kindle Singles thing, whynot? Why not indeed! Getting a quality audiobook made is, of course, a little pricey: Let's call it below $5000 for a full-length novel. But people (like me!) will buy it! The Future being now, my favorite indie, Zoe Winters, releases all her books out in eBook, print, and audio simultaneously. You can too!

cBooks But hold up, my vision ain't through yet, there's still...comic books; webcomics, if you will. Imagine a comic book adaptation of a novel, released as a webcomic, one ad-supported page a day, with an included link to buy either the print book or the graphic novel (or both) early. Hiring an artist to collaborate on all that? Who knows how much it would cost. But I bet it'd be pretty awesome. I'm going to make it happen.

That's Phase III, people...come with me, to the Future!

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

Science Fantasy Romance 11 - Science Up Some Love

Science Up Some Love
Available at *
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble

Collected in
A Future Darkly

“Pygmalion @SatelliteTYT: I’m the last man on Tau Ceti. It’s not my fault.” A scientist tries to make something of the organism that devoured the rest of the colonists, his only companion the orbiting communications AI.

before reading
I wrote this story while I was on a “stay-cation”, sitting alone in a hotel room in the nearest big city because I was tired of my house. I remember it was written extremely slowly, each sentence thought over, and many breaks for 7-11 hamburgers—these turned out, later, to be a bad idea in food—slowly, but steadily, building up the romance and the science fiction alternately unto the finish. Let’s read!

after reading
I love both the science fiction and the romance in this story, and the Twitter-style dialogue is good, too, even if it’s a pain to format afterwards. I think writing so slowly meant that I had lots of time to incorporate a thousand references to other works of this nature, making this a rather literary work, or something of a Where’s Waldo story on the second read-through. Can you find all of them? (I think there’s about six intentional ones, and another two accidental I just now spotted.)

Next Week
Players of the Nuclear Theremin 

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

I'd Go But I'm Working

Hey guys! Read a fancier version of this post over at H2NH ePub now! I'd go...but I'm working.

Have you ever said that while you're writing?

If not: You're a f*cking writer, man.

Man up.

Get back to work.

Everything henceforth is a personal attack on myself, written while drunk. But you can learn from it, if you like. But only if you are also drunk.

Your Sh*tty Career

What are you, a f*cking dilettante? You're just sitting around, playing around on the Internet, when stories are in your brain, waiting to be told. People want to read your writing. You know they do, because they have bought your f*cking books, even the sh*tty ones, and they've sent you e-mails asking about plot details (which you have then cheerfully stolen for the sequels). They want your sh*t. You give it to them. What else do you have to do? You want a f*cking life? You earn your life. You want to be a gentleman of leisure, be a gentleman of letters. Oh, but you've got to actually write the f*cking letters, put them into words, slap together some sentences, and cap them off into stories.

You're a Pro, Man

Even if nobody were reading what you were writing, you'd better be writing it down. You have a responsibility, to yourself. You and I both know we're a misanthrope, but we're fair: We don't even like us that much. We're awesome, but...that's different from being accomplished. How many manuscripts did you finish this week? Do you not know? And, a follow-up: Is it because you finished so many, or because you finished absolutely nothing?

F*ck You, Man

You don't have what it takes. You can't even beat yourself, much less the world. Why don't you just hang out in your house and live in your own sh*t. There are better writers than you, better because they sit down and f*cking write, instead of wasting their life on bullsh*t. Like you. Get your sh*t together. How many books do you have almost f*cking finished? Finish the f*cking books!

They're Awesome

F*ck yeah, they are. You know why? Because you wrote them. You are better than every other writer. How many times have you sat down with something you've written and enjoyed the hell out of it? Loads of times. You can read what you write. That is a skill. You never admit it, but there's some stuff you've written that's horrible. Most of it is burned, but some of it slipped through, and now too many people have bought it for you to take it back. Fine!

Write Some More

You want to know how to write more? Turn off the f*cking Internet. Turn off the TV, turn off the computer, turn off your f*cking phone. Too many things! Make a schedule: Three hours a day, seven days a week. Total sensory deprivation, except for your fingers on that keyboard, or your hand on that pen, or wherever you decide to etch word into a medium. And? Anybody who tries to distract you? F*ck those guys.

You Will Win

You'll have plenty of time to play in Hell, which, as a writer, is where you're going. Just accept it. They have libraries down there, but they'd never burn a book, not even to save a soul. So, where are you going in life?

I'm Going To Write

I'd go...but I'm working.

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment
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