Archive for June, 2008

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What Stace had to say on Friday, June 6th, 2008

Yes, this post is late. And yes, it’s rather a sorry excuse for a post, as posts go.

But it is kind of important. In a way. Or something. Hey, you know what? Go read some other blog if you don’t like it. (Of COURSE I am kidding, because it makes me very sad when I think y’all are cheating on me with other bloggers.)

Anyway. Because it is quite warm out again today, and because I am a bit stressed about a few things, and because I went out for a drink last night with some other Moms from Princess’s school and was roundly ignored–yes, me ignored!–all night, and because I am gearing up to start my Summer Series in the next few weeks (still figuring on doing agents, unless anyone has any other suggestions)… I am opening up to questions.

I’m still a little lonely from last night and want some attention, lol. No, seriously, I thought this might be fun. Maybe we can get some people to delurk? That might be fun, although Friday isn’t a great day for that as my hit count falls on Fridays as it is.

Anyway. I dirgess, as I am so fond of doing. So here we go.

Ask me anything. Comment anonymously if you like. Whatever. Questions about me, questions about my work, but especially any questions about agents or any suggestions you have for a topic you’d like to see me blather on about for 6-8 Fridays throughout this summer. I don’t think I can stretch the agent series as far as the publishing series went, but I’m also hoping to get one or two agenty types in here to interview. (If I do I’ll open up for questions for them separately, of course.)

So it’s your thread today. And while I’m under no illusions that we’ll have one of those Nathan-Bransfordesque open threads, where like a million people comment in the first two minutes, I’m hoping that by Monday afternoon I’ll at least be in double digits. :-)

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
Sorry, wrong number

So as I was sitting here on the couch, wracking my brain to think of a blog topic for the day, the phone rang.

It wasn’t for me. It was for the people who used to have our number. Two and a half years ago.

I can only assume they had it for a long time, because they get more calls, even now, than we do. So many, in fact, that last year I actually spoke to them about it.

What happened was, a lady who sounded quite elderly called looking for them. I repeated my usual “They don’t have this number anymore” speech, and she seemed very confused. We talked for a minute and she hung up (after saying goodbye and everything, she didn’t just slam the phone down.)

Several minutes later the phone rang again. It was Mrs. Number. She was so sorry we were still getting her calls, they had no idea, etc. etc.

I was nice about it, although I couldn’t help thinking that we wouldn’t be still getting their calls if they had bothered to tell people what their new number was. Their golf club called once, for example. Their doctor’s office. Various friends. The sort of people you would notify when you had a new number, you know?

The best part was, their doctor’s office accidentally gave me their new number, which I wrote down. So I can now give their number out. Which, frankly, I do. Not indiscriminately, but…well, okay, kind of indiscrimately, sure. If someone calls for them and I feel like getting up to check the number I do.

It reminded me of a wrong number I am still pissed about now, which is like seven years later. I was watching…I believe I was watching Monk. I know I was watching a mystery, though, and it was the last ten minutes. You know, when you find out the answers? And my phone rang.

It was some guy, looking for some girl whose name I’d never heard. I tried explaining there was nobody there by that name and he didn’t believe me. He kept insisting that he’d just spoken to her. He checked the number with me. He got very, very pissy.

Then he hung up on me. Made me miss the end of my show and never apologized. And of course, when I tried *69ing him, the number was untraceable.

I should have just hung up on him myself. Isn’t it funny how we try to be polite (“I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number”) even when we’re the one being inconvenienced?

I have no doubt that guy met some chick in a bar and she gave him the wrong number, but that was no reason for him to be rude to me.

This happened to me several times, actually. Our number in Florida was one, too. The phone company is supposed to hold onto numbers for six months, but we had so many people insisting they’d just spoken to whomever in the weeks before that we believed they’d just reassigned it right out of the box. Lucky us.

Yeah, I know. It’s not the most thrilling topic ever. Give me a break. I’m figuring out how to work the next scene in my WIP so I can start rolling toward the end–not far now (I hope!) Be glad I didn’t try to make y’all give me a topic.

What Stace had to say on Monday, June 2nd, 2008
Who do you write for? Who reads it?

First, thanks everyone who sent me well wishes. I am feeling normal again, finally–yesterday I finally woke up and didn’t feel fragile anymore, which was great.

Something interesting has happened to me, which has never really happened before. My current WIP has gone off in a very odd direction, and I’ve realized it needs some big fixes back in the middle so I can redirect it.

I’m not sure if I should be worried about that. I’m really not–at this point, although I still don’t see myself as any great shakes, I’m at least confident in my ability to produce a coherent story. So this is more of an annoyance than anything else.

But it is confusing. Because I’ve never been a plotter, and I’ve never had a story derail like this. Usually it just comes out, and whatever fixes need to be made–there are always fixes–are small enough that I can go back later and insert the missing facts, or whatever, and it doesn’t affect the ending. This one does, or maybe I’m just being too nervous. Either way, it’s a little odd but I’m not worried.

Except when it comes to my beta readers, that is.

See, I know all the conventional advice, which is to write the first draft with the door closed and don’t show the book to anyone. To not invite feedback, etc. etc. But I don’t work as well that way. I like feedback from the start. I like having people to discuss the story with as I go along. It keeps the project alive for me. It alerts me to possible trouble spots I may need to fix later. It lets me know what I need to amp up now. But mostly, it lets me know if I’m on the right track or if I’m the only one who likes this story. (Case in point: my best friend Cori [yes, her again] always likes my work, but her tastes tend to run towards lighter, funnier books in general–she’s not a big uf fan. But when she read the first few chapters of Unholy Ghosts and couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved it and how desperately she wanted more, I knew I had to keep going, that I had done something special. Not like I think it’s oh-so-special or anything–oh, you know what I mean.)

Keep in mind, the people reading this–two or three, tops–are people I trust implicitly. And I don’t always take their advice. But if something big is missing, I prefer to know about it earlier, so I can add it in and make later editing much easier. Another case in point, Cori mentioned recently that if I didn’t insert a particular type of scene soon, people were going to lose all interest in a particular character. Of course she was right. I amped up the previous scenes a bit and added a new one, and now the balance works much better.

All of that is stuff I could have done after the first draft was finished, of course. But I think it’s easier for people to give feedback on an unfinished work, where what happens next is still a question. It’s easier to make suggestions when nobody’s going to have to delete a whole bunch of stuff to implement your suggestion.

Plus it’s fun for me. It makes the work more fun. It eggs me on, frankly. I haven’t been posting metrics here for the second UG book because I’m afraid they might be too spoilery at this point, but knowing people were expecting them really made me push myself. Knowing Cori or Anna or Caitlin is waiting for the next section pushes me too. I might be able to laze about and let myself down, but it’s a stupid girl who lets down her best friends and her trusted crit partners.

So who do you write for? Do you let people look while you’re working?


Oh, and I posted this rant last night on livejournal so I’m copying it here, because I am still irked:

I hate iTunes here. I know there are songs in the US we can’t get here. I feel it in my bones. And it pisses me OFF.

Seriously. Is it that hard to make the original Runaways version of “Cherry Bomb” avilable here? They have both the Joan Jett version and the Cherrie Currie version, but I don’t WANT either of those. I want the real one.

Same with the Lazy Cowgirls’ “Goddamn Bottle”. I can get the slowed-down version but not the amped-up “Tapping the Source” one. Or anything else from that album, which is one of the greatest albums of all time.

Why? Why can I not find any Cringer or Sewer Trout on UK iTunes? Nothing from Nine Pound Hammer’s “Hayseed Timebomb”? Some cuts from a live Pagans album but nothing from “Shit Street”?

I know what it is. It’s the US giving the big finger to our former rulers. And you know, I totally applaud that, but it’s inconveniencing me now.

OH! AND, if I were in the US, the lack of these songs on iTunes wouldn’t be a problem because I could download them from Amazon and they would automatically convert into iTunes. But nooooo…that’s for US customers only.


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