Some things I hate about the holidays. Let’s not necessarily call it a bah humbug attitude… well, go ahead. I could care less. I pretty much despise Christmas music, and so much green and red, even though green is my favorite color. I hate those green and red thingies in the fruit cake, though there are certain fruit cakes I just love, like the Texas Manor fruit cake my Palmdale High School band used to sell every year to make money for our band trips. Then there’s the Christmas movies. Gag!
Worst of all is the crass commercialism that starts in what seems like July at the unmentionable big stores. I also mustn’t forget having to get into the storage shed, chock full of a season’s worth of arid Mojave Desert dust and climb over garden tools, golf clubs, my other monster telescope and spare wood to rifle through dry-rotted boxes looking for the correct ones that aren’t for Halloween. I usually have to wear coveralls. Once that dire task is over, I hide out somewhere while the rest of the family sets everything up.
Where do I go to hide? The computer, of course! What do I do? I write my goofy stories, like this one, though this article is well after the fact. So, call it bah humbug if you like.
A LIST OF PEEVES
As I read more and more books, I keep finding the same things in most of them, trends that disturb me yet I can do nothing about.
Head hopping: It seems just about everyone has gone the lazy route and jumped on the head-hopping bandwagon. Very few authors have stuck to their guns and kept clean POVs. While I can see an occasional hop during an intense scene, as soon as “they” deemed it okay at a romance writer’s conference a few years ago, the floodgates opened. Now, even writers I thought were solid threw away their quality and went for broke.
Started to and began to: This is another peeve that’s been driving me crazy for years. You either did it or you didn’t. Those two phrases are more passive to me than the old standby’s was and has been. If you started to speak but was interrupted, fine. If you started to speak and kept going, no. You spoke! Aaagh!
Foretelling: Why do some authors insist on spoiling the fun??? Don’t tell me what’s going to happen. For crying out loud (yeah, I know it’s a cliché, sue me), let me discover it when the characters do!
THE STATE OF PRINT PUBLISHING
I have nothing against e-readers, even though I can’t personally stand them. E-books seem to be the way the business is going for a lot of people. However, I’m in fear every time we go to Barnes & Noble, because I worry there’ll either be a sign on the door saying “going out of business, or the door will be locked.
Then again, I celebrate that when we go to Barnes & Noble, the door isn’t locked and there are books on the shelves.
On the other hand, many of the authors I like don’t have books on the shelves, even though their latest have been out for some time. Yet I go to Amazon, and guess what? There they are. Sure, I can special order the book, but I’d like to see it represented on a shelf where I can touch and feel it before I buy it. I’ve been burned by favorite authors that have decided to change POV on me. I never want that to happen again by blindly purchasing one of their books on line.
I FINALLY HAVE MOVEMENT WITH PUBLISHING
I now have two pans in the fire. With Meleena’s Adventures – Treasure of the Umbrunna well on its way, I’m looking forward to my first published novel. Oh, but there’s more!
I’m now working with my other publisher to get Lusitania Gold going. If that happens, that will be two in the can in the same year, 2015. Wow!
STILL AT IT AFTER ALL THIS TIME
Doing an inventory, this is my 195th article since I started this web site. I’ve now been posting a weekly article to Let’s Talk Nevada since April 2014. I’ve edited and co-authored the Las Vegas Astronomical Society Observer’s Challenge every month with Roger Ivester since February, 2009. I’ve published a rant in the Las Vegas free newspaper City Life. I’ve had several astronomical articles published in The Reflector magazine for the Astronomical League.
On top of that, I’ve published multiple fiction and non-fiction short stories. I’ve completed 10 novels so far and am working on #11. To top it all off, I am now a character in a novel by my mentor and friend, Carol Davis Luce.
Little did I know any of this would come about back in the middle of 1995 when I sat down at my primitive computer, gave a go at writing my first novel, and completed The Cave.
One never knows where live will lead with persistence.
Happy holidays and happy writing!