Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quick Update

Just a quick update to let y'all know I'm working on the next set of comics, but they've had to be temporarily back-burnered while I work on some other stuff. You know, that stuff that earns me a paycheck.

So, hang in there, and expect one, possibly two, new comics in the next week!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Cats Are Trying to Sabotage Me

I've come to the conclusion that my cats are trying to sabotage my writing career. You see, I work at home. My job largely consists of sitting at my desk and writing. That is, after all, what writers do. See? Here I am:
Meanwhile, my two cats do what they do best. They sleep.
A lot.
(I can't draw a cat to save my life, so you'll just have to tolerate actual photos of my cats)


Since my genre of choice is erotica, there invariably comes a point in my writing day when I flit to a scene/chapter involving people DOING THE DEED. This is when everything starts to go wrong.

I open up a dirty chapter and get ready to write the characters doing unspeakable things to each other...
...and somewhere in the house, something awakens.
With the kind of precise timing that would make the military weep with envy, the sabotage bomb is dropped.
There's no escape. There's just no writing through that, especially when I'm trying to write something sexy. There is nothing I can do except wait for it to be over.
But of course, it doesn't end with the horchestra sound effects. Oooooh, no.

I'm the only one home.

Which means I'm stuck on paper towel detail.
The cats, of course, find this endlessly amusing.
Little shits.

Anyway. Once the attack is over and the shrapnel cleaned up, I return to my desk. But the damage is done. The mood is killed.
Because really, all I can think when I try to continue the scene is the last thing I heard while I tried to write it. Mood killer? Uh, yeah. Back to a more platonic scene.

Eventually, the house returns to the retch-free tranquility I enjoy. The cats go back to sleep.
These cats sleep a lot.
I get back to writing. I once again find myself in the mood to write one of those scenes(tm).
And somewhere in the house... begins anew.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Killer Logic: The Unborn Genius

So my husband and I are childfree by choice. We don't dislike children, we just decided the whole parenting thing wasn't for us. Some people are completely horrified by this decision. After all, what kind of selfish jerk wouldn't want to have kids? Right. Anyway.

One particular argument always has me scratching my head.

"But...your child could be the one to cure cancer!"

Mmkay then. So basically, by withholding my DNA from the gene pool, I could potentially be depriving the world of that genius who finally unlocks the coveted cure for cancer.

Somewhere, in some relatively near future, a desk will remain empty, its chair unoccupied, for lack of the genius I would have produced.
A Nobel Prize will go unclaimed for want of the beautiful mind I would have begat. (Begatten? Begotten? Whatever)
And I guess I can understand the concern. The more kids we have, the higher the statistical odds that one of them will be Dr. AwesomeBrains.
But I'm admittedly a bit of a pessimist. That, and I tend to think in terms of what else I'm statistically likely to create. I mean, one of my kids could cure cancer, but what if their elder sibling winds up a serial killer?

When you think about it, the serial killer vs Nobel Prize winner vs cancer curer odds are not terribly promising. Take into consideration the number of each produced in the last century, and...well:
See??? In our efforts to bring forth the messiah of science, we could far too easily be unleashing a killer.
Even if my kid didn't end up on the FBI's Most Wanted list by third grade, let's face it: having a child because they could cure cancer creates an awful lot of pressure, and not just for the parents.
You gotta feel for a kid who only exists because enough people convinced Mom and Dad that their combined DNA could save the universe from cancer.

I mean, really. You are setting that kid up for one hell of an inferiority complex.
So if you're one of those people who approach me with that argument, and you wonder what's going through my head when I give you that eyebrow-up/head-cocked you know.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Writing Journey 3: Research

This comic was previously published on my personal blog.

It's time for another visual representation of a part of the writing journey. (If any of the text is too small, click on the pictures to enlarge them)

Remember me? Yep, there I am, behind my laptop. I do actually have hair, but I'm incapable of drawing cartoon hair. So for the sake of this comic, I am bald.
Now, I like to be accurate with my writing, so I frequently need to cross-reference facts, just to make sure I'm not talking out my ass and accidentally having a character drive all the way from Seattle to Houston in a VW Bug without stopping for gas. As such, Google and I are good friends. Say hello to my friend, Google.
Because I have a crazy imagination and am easily amused, I often entertain myself by imagining some poor shmuck being stuck with the job of monitoring my internet shenanigans. Meet Rex:
Rex does nothing but sit at his computer all day and make sure I'm not googling anything that could be a threat to national security or offend someone who happens to walk past my laptop. Rex's job sucks.

Oblivious to Rex's watchful eye, I write.
And inevitably, I get stuck.

To Google, with a completely relevant but strange-when-viewed-out-of-context question:
And Rex doesn't really bat an eye at this point.
With my question answered, it's back to work. For a minute or two.
Because another quandary presents itself, and it's back to Google.
Question answered, back to writing. But you see, I have ADD or something (the attention span of a cracked out squirrel, anyway). So by this point, I've written the part that necessitated the google search, and have now flitted to another scene. Probably another chapter. Maybe not even the same book. And I've run into another question.
Back to Google!

Now, bear in mind, Rex doesn't know I'm flitting from scene to scene, book to book, paragraph to paragraph. He has no context for my searches, no frame of reference.

All he knows is what I'm googling.
And sometimes, in the midst of writing/googling/writing/googling/flailing/writing/googling...
...I'll have an unrelated-to-writing thought. And that thought will also necessitate a trip to Google.

Rex isn't judging me per se, he's probably just wondering what the hell I'm doing over here. I, meanwhile, have answered my random, non-writing-related question, and return to my customary madness.
But it gets better. Because I'm not just limited to Google. Oh no. There's always Wiki:
And poor Rex, he just doesn't know what to think.

He's wondering if my activities add up to something amusing, disturbing, inflammable, or possibly all three.

I flit to wikipedia once more.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

The Writing Journey Part Deux: Getting Published

Previously published on my personal blog.

For those of you who enjoyed the previous entry about the Writing Journey, here's the second chapter: Getting Published. And once again, this is entirely tongue-in-cheek. I'm kind of neurotic about, well, everything when it comes to writing and publishing, so once in a while it's fun to sit back and poke fun at myself.

Anyway, when last you saw the slightly daft author, she had this, a finished, polished manuscript:
But it's not quite ready to be sent out. First, it needs a synopsis.
The doubt demons like to claw their way in at this point and say, "Dude, if you could write this story in a page and a half, how the hell did you make a novel out it?" *sigh*

Anyway, with the synopsis done, it's on to the query letter.
I'm not very good at these.

With the manuscript spit-polished, the synopsis synopsized, and the query letter written, it's time to send it. So with a few deep breaths and internal pep talks...'s sent.

And I wait.
Naturally, the wise option at this point would be to occupy my time with working on the next novel.
And that's what I do.

Eventually, the responses come trickling in.

Rejections. Good times.
Rejections aren't fun. They're an inevitable part of this business, though, so I do my best to let them roll off my back.

If they don't roll off my back as easily as I'd like, I have methods of coping.
But then...

One day...

There comes an e-mail...
And sometimes it takes a minute to sink in (especially since I have a habit of reading my e-mails on my iPhone while I'm still in bed, so sometimes I'm not quite awake)...
But then it does...
You can imagine what happens next. You can, or you can just look at the picture.
Once the celebrating is over, it's time for the scary stuff. Like reading the contract.
Scary deadlines.
But eventually, all of that is over, it's behind me, and once everything is signed, sealed, delivered, notarized, pulverized, tenderized, and super-sized, the book is published.

And I find myself wondering...
So...I go for a drive.
And the circle begins again.