Archive for 'craziness'
What Stace had to say on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
So. Yesterday I ranted a bit, and I’m going to do it some more now. As with yesterday’s post, I’m not entirely sure where this is going to go. As with yesterday’s post, this is my attempt to get some things straight in my head and to explore this subject, so I may be a bit harsh; I may say things as part of playing Devil’s Advocate; I may go off on little tangents (probably will, because let’s face it, that’s what I tend to do).
First, a couple of things I forgot or didn’t get to say yesterday. First, authors? Don’t review your own books, either on Amazon or Goodreads or anywhere else. Don’t rate them on Goodreads, even if your “review” says something like, “Well, I wrote it so obviously I think it’s good!” Like that’s funny or charming or something (hint: it’s not).
I was going to say that reviewing/rating your own books under your own name just makes you look like a tool, rather than being actually sleazy, but then I realized that your rating shows up as part of the book’s overall rating; I can think of a couple of books (all by the same author, what a shock) who have pretty decent overall ratings on Goodreads, but then when you look at them you realize that’s only because the author and his/her (not giving you clues as to who it is) “agent” and/or editor have all given the book five stars, whereas the two readers who rated/reviewed it gave it two or three. So, sorry, reviewing/rating your books under your own name is sleazy. Having your agent or editor review/rate them is also sleazy, and honestly, I’m not aware of any editors with major houses or the big epubs who do so (there could be some, but I’m not aware of them).
I do have my own books on my Goodreads and LibraryThing “shelves.” I didn’t intend to do so, but both sites said specifically that I should. So I do. I’m not entirely comfortable with it, but it does seem to be standard and expected. I rarely visit Goodreads, to be honest (more on that in a bit) and as I’ve said before, I *never* visit/read posts in the “Terrible Fever” Goodreads group or the Downside Shelfari group. Those are reader spaces, for you guys to discuss the books; they’re not for me and I actually think it would be creepy for me to lurk over them watching you all. And might make you feel uncomfortable or inhibited. So I stay away. I believe that’s the right thing to do.
I don’t think I have to say that reviewing your own books under a sockpuppet account makes you scum just like pressuring/begging your friends and family to do so does. Anytime you’re lying to readers, anytime you’re attempting to jerryrig your reviews or rankings, you’re doing something unethical. And, you’ll probably be caught, and that will be bad. Really bad.
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What Stace had to say on Thursday, January 5th, 2012
I do apologize for not updating for so long; I am fine and feeling great, I’ve just been extremely busy finishing edits on CHASING MAGIC, working on edits of the short Downside story HOME (which will be published on Tor’s Heroes and Heartbreakers website), and working on a new project, in addition to the whole holiday thing.
Which was awesome. I cooked a lot. I made chicken stock from the carcass of our Yule roasted chicken. I made our now-traditional beef bourguingnon for Christmas day. I made a lasagna bolognese from scratch–long-simmered bolognese sauce and bechamel sauce–for New Year’s Day that was so gorgeous I wish I’d taken photos. I made a couple of batches of fudge crinkle cookies; I made Snickerdoodles; I made molasses spice cookies, some with white chocolate glaze and some with orange-flavored white chocolate glaze; I made pumpkin spice cookies with a vanilla-cinnamon frosting.
And we went out, a LOT, to do all of the shopping which had fallen by the wayside because of my recovery and the fact that hubs had to take a lot of unpaid time off work when I was in the hospital.
But it was a lovely holiday overall, a more fun and relaxing one than I’ve had in a while.
Oh! And, I played Dungeons & Dragons for the very first time! See, when I was a kid my big brother was a huge D&D head, but of course he never let me play with him and his friends. And I had the occasional boyfriend who played but generally when I’d go to their games they spent four hours creating characters, at which point I was bored.
But the hubs and I have a dear friend who used to play it with hubs when they were kids and he–the friend–still loves to play (he’s a Dungeon Master, which means, for those unfamiliar, that he “runs” the game), so he and his wife (also a dear friend of course) came over for spanakopita and adventure. He’d even created some characters for us in advance, which was so sweet of him. I was Lola Dragonslut, a warrior with semi-low intelligence but great charisma, and we explored a bunch of tunnels where there was supposed to be treasure. We didn’t finish the game, but we had a blast. Tons of fun; I’m looking forward to playing again.
Also, I got lots of pretty new nail polish for Christmas, so I’m hoping to start the fingernail posts again! This week my nails are peach with sparkles.
And…this morning I had an endoscopy done, a follow-up from the whole surgery thing. I’d warned them about my horrible gag reflex, and they’d promised to sedate me since the whole idea freaked me out. The upshot of all of this was that I don’t remember a thing from “You’ll start to feel drowsy in twenty seconds or so” to “Time to wake up!” But according to the nurse I talked the whole time, although they couldn’t understand a word (she said this with a bit of a giggle, which worries me. Could they really not understand me, or was I saying horribly dirty and rude things?). And according to the “Findings and Actions” sheet I was given, the intubation was “poorly tolerated” and they had to do it a second time, so there’s that gag reflex.
The bad news is the ulcer isn’t completely healed, so it’s back on ulcer meds for Stacia for another ten weeks, and another endoscopy when that ten weeks is over. Which sucks.
But again, the good news is I feel just fine and am back in the saddle. Well, it’s good news for me, and hopefully you think so, too.
There have been quite a few rant-worthy things happening lately, and I may blog about them soon. For the moment suffice to say that readers and reviewers have every right to express their opinions about books without authors responding in comments to tell them how wrong they are. (This also goes back to my posts about how once you’re published you can no longer use the “but I’m a reader, and I’m commenting as a reader” line, but again, something to possibly be blogged about later.)
So for now I’ll just say I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and I’m hoping 2012 is a great year for all of us!
What Stace had to say on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
What Happened When My Intestine Exploded
First, of course, I have to say a huge enormous Thank You!!! to all of you. Your emails and comments, your cards and letters and packages, were just incredible; you have no idea how much they meant to me and how much I appreciated them. Really, thank you so much. I haven’t replied individually yet–I’m still trying to get back on my feet a bit, and I came back to over a thousand emails–but I will. In the meantime, please accept my enormous gratitude. It was and is really incredible to see how many people actually care.
So, what happened? I’ll tell you what happened. This story gets a bit icky, guys, just as a word of warning.
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, October 26th, with the most incredible pain in my abdomen. It felt–to be rather crude, sorry–like the worst gas ever, moving all around my abdomen, not localized in one place. Just this horrible stabbing pain. It was hard to walk, it hurt so bad. It was hard to lift things, it hurt so bad. It was hard to drive, it hurt so bad. I drove to the pharmacy to buy some sort of gas-relieving medication, and the woman there seemed to think something was terribly wrong with me, I thought from the way I appeared in obvious pain but I was told later that I was so dehydrated I looked like a skeleton.
Anyway. Wednesday I was supposed to drive to the Southwest to look for a new home near Mr. K’s work. But I was still in horrible pain, so I canceled. This worried Mr. K so much that he left work and drove the several hours back here, insisting that I go to the hospital. I didn’t think it was that necessary but I was starting to worry a bit, yeah, so I finally agreed.
We reached the ER (or A&E as they call it here) at Lister Hospital at around 3 pm. They saw me right away. They palpated my abdomen which hurt a ton, even after giving me oral morphine. They put me in a gown and sent me to be X-Rayed–at this point it was probably about 5, given the time to wait for the X-Ray and talking to the docs etc. etc. We waited for the X-Rays to come back and the blood tests (and man, my veins are hard to find anyway, when I’m dehydrated it’s almost impossible, so that was NOT pleasant and would only get worse).
That’s when the fun happened. All of the sudden I was taken into this other room, and greeted by about seven surgeons, who informed me that my X-Ray had shown air under my diaphragm, which indicated a hole in my intestine. An ulcer which had eaten all the way through, to be more exact. Apparently this is very serious and can be fatal thanks to dehydration and peritonitis and such–who knew?–and I’d already delayed longer than I should have, so the surgeons bumped their other surgeries so I could be the very first one in when the OR opened at 7 pm. The head surgeon said, “This is major surgery, so whatever else happens, you are going to be one very sick young lady for the next two weeks at least.” Yay me!
So into the OR I went. I remember being told I’d probably feel a little dizzy, and the next thing I remember is seeing Mr. K. telling me it was all over and I was fine, and then I was in this special intensive post-op care unit. I spent five days there, mostly sleeping and pressing the little button that would give me more morphine. I had a gnarly row of staples down the middle of my stomach and tubes poking out of me everywhere: my nose, my stomach, a catheter (of course), and a bunch of IVs and lines in my neck and hands/wrists. They were also coming to take blood just about every day. LOTS of needle sticks.
I was in the special post-op ward for five days. It was generally nice and quiet, except for the night we had a woman in there moaning constantly and asking the nurses–in the middle of the night, mind–why they wanted to kill her. Oh, and there was the older gentleman who was very angry a lot of the time; when the phone rang he’d become enraged and shout that they shouldn’t answer it, or if they did to “Tell them I’m not here! Tell them I’m still in hospital!” To which the nurses would ask if he knew where he was, that he was in fact still in hospital, and that they had to answer the phone because it was the hospital’s phone.
But anyway. On the fifth day they moved me into another post-surgery ward, where we weren’t monitored quite as closely. Because the ward was full of men I actually got a private room, since I am not a man and rules say a lone woman can’t be put in a ward full of men. That was nice, the private room, but let me clarify something for my American friends, since those I spoke to on the phone were utterly shocked by this (and to be fair, so was I, a bit). I had a private room, yes. I did not have a private bathroom; I used a commode (basically an adult potty seat the nurses would wheel in) or, once I was able to walk, the public bathroom in the hall which all the patients and visitors used. (Yes, very sanitary, I know.) I did not have a TV in my room, or a phone. I was not permitted to plug in my computer or cellphone, so I wasn’t able to use the internet at all or really get any work done–not that I was up to working, but still. Stephen had to charge stuff for me at home and bring it in, and the hospital didn’t want me to keep valuables in my room anyway, so generally he’d bring my laptop and a DVD and we’d watch it until they made him leave. All I did for most of the time was sleep, stare into space, or look at magazines, since I didn’t feel up to getting involved in a book (which should tell you how bad I felt).
So. On Wednesday 2nd November, one week after the initial surgery, I woke up around 2 am and noticed my stomach felt a bit wet. It felt wet because it was wet, with blood. Read the rest of this entry »
What Stace had to say on Friday, July 15th, 2011
*drumroll* Downside book 5 is officially titled:
I’m really, really excited about it; I think it’s a great title, and I’m quite pleased with the book in general, and yay etc. etc.
Also, as I promised on Monday, Stellar Four has posted a big huge excerpt of the opening chapter of SACRIFICIAL MAGIC up on their site, as both a cool thing to do for their first-ever Urban Fantasy Week and as a thank-you to all of you; the winner of my Downside T-shirt in the L.A. Banks auction was one of the ladies from St4, and she wouldn’t have had to cough up anywhere near as much cash as she did if not for all of you amazing, generous, and awesome people. The excerpt will go up at around 11am PST, which is still a while away and I didn’t want to wait to do my blog post for today. So you can check back here–I’ll update the post when the excerpt goes up–or you can check back there directly.
Last night I got my first look at the cover art for SACRIFICIAL MAGIC. It made me very, very happy. I can’t wait to show it to you! Which I will do as soon as I can. It’s getting a few little tweaks here and there at the moment, so fingers crossed it’ll only be a few more weeks.
A small but interesting discussion has been taking place over whether or not authors should rate their own books at Goodreads/LibraryThing/B&N/Amazon/wherever else. I’m actually surprised the subject is still coming up; I thought it was rather obvious that rating one’s own books makes one look like a tool? (Yes, I know, I wasn’t going to discuss this stuff anymore, but this isn’t really a long discussion and there seems to be a consensus anyway. Of course, we’ll see how long it takes for “Stacia Kane says you’ll never ever get published if you rate your own books on Goodreads” to pop up.)
Rating one’s own books is one of those things you see recommended/mentioned a lot on the message boards of vanity presses, along with the usual other useless stuff like having your friends and family review and rate your books so it looks like lots of people love them. Or trading reviews with other authors from the same press, and having your book’s name in your reviewer handle/sig/whatever to attract attention to you and your books, too. The problem with all of these ideas is that readers aren’t stupid. A 5-star review from the book’s author is a red flag. That red flag gets even bigger when you add a few other reviews from people in the same geographic area (and/or with the same last name as the author), especially when those reviews tend to be rather shallow, like “This book is wonderful. I couldn’t put it down. What a beautiful story!” and nothing else. Like I said, I think readers are smarter than that.
It just looks bad, rating your own books. It’s tacky. It looks desperate. I’ve never seen an author I respect or admire do it; I’ve seen one or two I have the exact opposite feelings for do it. Anyone who tells you it’s a good idea is someone whose judgment should be questioned, thoroughly and comprehensively.
What Stace had to say on Monday, June 6th, 2011
So we’re leaving GA tomorrow morning. We’ll be traveling for a short bit, and will arrive in the UK on June 17th. Eeek!
Once there I shouldn’t have any problem getting internet access, so things should be semi-normal, but until then I probably won’t be around much.
I’m very nervous and anxious, but excited too, and all of those things.
But while traveling, I’ll be working working working, too, to make more Downside stories and some new stuff.
I’d say “Wish me luck” but I’m superstitious, so please don’t!
What Stace had to say on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
1. As I think I mentioned before, we are moving this summer, back to the UK. The move itself is booked for June 10, or rather, we’re officially leaving June 10. We’ll be traveling for a short time before that.
I’m excited about it. A little apprehensive the way you are any time you move, but generally excited. And of course, ugh, all the work of moving; the packing, the planning what you can use up beforehand and what you can’t, blah blah blah, it all sucks.
2. Still working away. I’m really excited about this fifth book; there’s a whole bunch of stuff going on in it, whee!
3. I’m planning a couple of really cool blog rants for the coming weeks.
4. Just officially confirming for anyone who pays attention to such things that as reported in Publisher’s Marketplace yesterday, my agent Chris Lotts is starting his own agency (The Lotts Agency), and will continue to represent me there.
What Stace had to say on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
Tomorrow I’ll do the nail post. I had an idea for them this week that didn’t work out, which I tried to cover with another idea which just looked silly, so I’m in basic dark silver mode at the moment.
But I’d meant to post last week just a quick little update, so here it is:
1. SACRIFICIAL MAGIC=February 2012. No exact date yet, but Feb it is.
2. Working on some really fun extra stuff, too.
3. Am finishing Book 5, while editing SACRIFICIAL MAGIC and working when I can on New Project and whatever else I can fit in there. Book 5 and SM’s edits are due at the end of this month(!) Plus, we are moving this summer. Barring something unforeseen we will be moving back to England, probably either mid-May or mid-June. So as you can imagine, things are crazy crazy crazy here. Forgive me if I’m not around much.
4. I will be at Frolicon this weekend, talking about writing, so if anyone is going, look for me and say hi!
What Stace had to say on Monday, December 6th, 2010
Look, here I am! It’s been a few weeks, sorry. But I have some news, so I feel good about that.
I’ve finished the first draft of Downside 4; finished it at 5:30 this morning in fact, and it came in at 130,419 words. That’s a lot. Again, to give some perspective, the final version of CITY OF GHOSTS was just over 110k, and that was with epigrams included in the word count (I don’t do those until the end). So this is a lot longer. It won’t end up this long, I don’t think; there’s a lot of editing to be done. But yeah, it’s long.
Am I happy with it? I’m very happy with some of it. I’m not as happy with some of it. That’s what edits are for. What always matters the most to me is the writing itself, and I’m generally pleased with that, so I feel confident the rest can be fixed.
And then I get to start the fifth one! Which I’m really excited about. The fourth book brings some big changes, and it’s going to be a blast seeing how they shake out in the fifth book, not to mention the story I have planned which is something I’ve wanted to write for a long time. So yay!
I also have some other news. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this, questions I haven’t been able to answer because of a contractual obligation and some other stuff like that. But I did want to let everyone know that as of a few days ago the Downside Market is no longer being handled by Southern Promo. They’re a great company and they didn’t do anything wrong, it just became obvious that the way they do things and the way I do things were not truly compatible. I’m currently working on getting a new store set up on Spreadshirt–which had the lowest prices I could find of the CafePress/Zazzle-type place, and I’ve ordered stuff from them in the past and found the quality quite good. I’m hoping that will be up and running in the next few days, and it’ll have lots more variety and options than the old store. I’m excited about that, and I hope you all like it.
And we’re all deep into the shopping thing here. Deep deep deep indeed. Especially since we’ve been broke the last few months; an unexpected check arrived on Friday, which means we now will have a good holiday. And my Faerie, who turns six on Wednesday, will have a great birthday. Which actually reminds me of something irritating.
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What Stace had to say on Thursday, October 21st, 2010
I had a really good blog topic. I was thinking about it last night and how I should totally talk about it because it was such a good idea. It was a writing-related topic, too.
And of course for some stupid reason I didn’t write it down, which is odd because I’ve started keeping a pen and notebook next to the bed. Um, so I can write stuff down, which makes sense, doesn’t it? Yes, it does. Too bad I didn’t think of it earlier, and so lost that Great Idea I had a few weeks ago. Luckily, I’ve had another, and Downside 4 is still chugging along. Of course, I still think it absolutely sucks, too.
Even worse is when you do have the pen and paper, and you make notes, and then you can’t remember what the hell they pertain to. A few weeks ago I woke up and found “shivers” written there. “Shivers?” What is that supposed to be? I mean, yes, I know what shivers are. I know people, even characters in books, shiver sometimes. But why would I write it down? Why would I write just that down?
At least, unless I was deliberately trying to fuck with myself. I can just see me, thinking as I scribbled in the dark, “Ha ha ha, this will fix her!” It’s definitely the sort of thing I do, because of that whole self-destructive thing.
But here’s something I do know what it means: Twitter. I was kind of surprised the other day to realize that some people consider Twitter to be the equivalent of a blog, and that Tweeting something is equivalent somehow to blogging about it or whatever.
To me Twitter is way less important, and way more casual. If you tweet something, it’s gone in a minute or so, you know? It gets shifted down to the bottom of the screen and then lost. And who really takes the time, when they log on every day, to go scrolling back through old tweets to see what they missed? Not me.
So to me, talking about something on Twitter is almost like not talking about it at all. I mean, clearly it’s talking about it, but you know what I mean. The only people who see it are generally the people who follow me and happen to be online at that particular moment.
Of course, it does make it difficult in terms of getting messages across, because people stumble into conversations and ask about them and you end up discussing something more than you intended, yes. But the point is, Twitter is ephemeral. If I put something on my blog, it’s there. It’s right at the top, and displayed right in the middle of my homepage, for a couple of days. Then it’s just one post down, so it’s on the “blog” page for a few weeks in total. And it’s still there; it’s tagged, it’s findable, and it’s reasonable that people would hunt around in the archives. They do, quite often. But I think people rarely scroll back on someone’s Twitter feed.
What do you guys think? Is Twitter less “official” or whatever than a blog?
Last, a quick note about the Downside Market. It will be back up, don’t worry, and hopefully very soon. It’ll be a little different, but with more options. So thanks to all of you who’ve asked, and just give me a little bit more time and I’ll tell you everything, okay? But I do believe Southern Promo has been shipping items, so please do let me know when yours arrive! I’m thinking of maybe doing a little contest at some point, like take a picture of yourself in your shirt and one will be picked at random. Something like that.
So there you go. I’m still hard at work on Downside 4 (and still closing in on a title; what sucks is that the original title of UNHOLY MAGIC, which was DOWNSIDE GHOSTS, which of course ended up being used as the series title, would be perfect for this book. But I can’t use it. Sucky sucky sucky).
Oh! And one more thing. Tomorrow I’ll be blogging about apocalypse at Pens Fatales. Since I already sort of blew my wad, as it were, with that little short about the start of Haunted Week a couple of weeks ago, I thought I might do a page about it from the Book of Truth or something. Thoughts? Interesting? Not? Let me know!
What Stace had to say on Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
So…I know you’ve all been following the Suvudu story-in-the-round A GLIMPSE OF DARKNESS, right? Of course you have been. How often do you get to tell writers what do do, right? And they have to listen.
Well…it’s my turn. Yes, this week, you get to vote on what you want me to write, and I have to obey.
Kelly Meding’s Chapter Four is here. (If you click the first link provided, you’ll see ALL of the chapters, so you can get all caught up on the story!) At the bottom of Kelly’s installment, you’ll see the poll. What do you want Munira to do? Fight snakes? Head for the door? Or try to make her way through the mysterious and dangerous Pier 12?
Go ahead and vote!! Make me your slave; make me write what YOU want me to write!
VOTING ENDS AT 3 PM EST ON THURSDAY.
After that…well. I’ll have, essentially, 48 hours to write my part. Then there will be about 12 hours in which to edit. And then it goes up. So this is your chance to have me working frantically for you! (Well, I do that anyway, but this time it’s according to what you want.)
So don’t forget to vote!
Also, a quick note about the Downside Market. Now that the pre-order period has ended, items are starting to be printed and will be shipping shortly. And we’re going to be revising the items a bit, eliminating a few, adding a few, according to what did or did not sell. So if you’ve been undecided about something, you only have a couple more days to order it before it possibly disappears completely. Sadly, like the glasses; huge apologies to those of you who ordered them, but the supplier dug in their feet and wanted a pre-order of 72 of them before they would print any (not Southern Promo, but the people who supply the glasses to them). Which would have cost me like $900, considering we had three different varieties of glasses. At some point we hope to get them back up on the site, but for the moment, sadly, we had to cut them. So if you ordered glasses, the money either has already been refunded to you or will be shortly.
We’re also working on getting some options in there that are even less expensive, but still high-quality. So stay tuned for those! And of course, huge thanks to those of you who already ordered!
That’s about it for today. I’m still hard, hard, hard at work on Downside 4, and it’s taken a really exciting turn that’s tons of fun to write. So yay! Of course I’m still a bit behind on it, but I’m optimistic.
Oh, and a really fun discussion was had this weekend on Jezebel, about skin care. I of course extolled the many, many benefits of baking soda as an exfoliant and skin soother (it’s all I’ve used to exfoliate for years), and, even more fun, I had some very lovely conversations with a few ladies there about natural remedies for various complaints. See, back when I was pregnant with the Faerie and had a really impossible time writing, I sought another creative outlet. So I started my own little business, reading Tarot cards and making natural skin/hair/body products. It didn’t go really far, because when the baby came I didn’t have the time to devote to it anymore, of course, and I could write again and wanted to devote myself to that, so I stopped doing it. But it certainly was fun, and it brought me some much-needed cash at the time. (Hmm, maybe I should consider getting back into it!)
So basically, I’ve still got all of this information in my head about various herbal remedies and how to make natural lotions and masks and how to make various types of bath bombs and all of that sort of thing. And I picked up lots of tips and information and advice.
So this weekend I got to pull out a lot of that, and talk about it, and it I really enjoyed myself. And I’m really looking forward to hearing how my suggestions work out for them, and I very much hope they do.
So that’s pretty much it for today.
Don’t forget to visit Suvudu and vote! Make me your slaaaave, baby. I’ll do anything you want. Heh heh heh.