2015-04-05

SFWA (active) membership approved!

I am now an official member of SFWA! As an indie author, this is a big deal for me. It’s like an artist having one of their paintings chosen to be displayed in an art gallery. When I put my first book on Amazon, I had a realistic view of the future. Making a small income from book sales was all I expected. Of course, humans love to dream and I had a dream that one day I would be making a decent income from writing and be a member of SFWA. When my book sales began to take off, I actually thought my dream could become a reality. I went to the SFWA website and read the requirements to become a member. I was disappointed.

To become a member of SFWA prior to March 1st 2015, you had to have published a novel or two short stories with a select listing of approved publishers. Self-published authors were therefore forbidden access. Even though I made a lot of money in sales, joining SFWA was to remain only a dream. And then a miracle happened.

Stories that use a line like that are a sure sign of a poor writer, but in this instance the miracle was a vote by the SFWA members to allow self-published authors to join their ranks. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of doing so. If you follow my blog, you know the story from that point on. The email confirming my membership made me a very happy man. The way I see it, it’s not all about how much you make but rather what sort of recognition you receive that makes it all worthwhile.

In other news: I'm now using a new keyboard at work. Some time ago, E. C. Myers (a fellow Launch Pad attendee) posted a picture of his new writing area. I spotted an ancient IBM model M keyboard on his desk – you know, the kind with the clickity-clack sound and tactile feedback. I asked him about it and he told me about a company that sells them; not old or refurbished ones—brand new ones! I ordered one the other day and now I’m clacking away at work and loving it. My nearby cubical attendants haven’t said a word about the racket so I’m happy. If you’re interested, you can purchase one here.

The list of 2015 Launch Pad attendees has been released by founder Professor Mike Brotherton. I have not received the final word concerning if anyone wants their name withheld from the public so I won’t be posting the list here. If you applied and were not accepted this year, there’s always next year. As always, I’m looking forward to participating in this year’s event and getting to meet another group of fine people. I've already sent out my greeting email and have started building my information document on the attendees. I do this because I am terrible at remembering names and faces. There have been times when I can't quickly recall the name of people I've worked with for 20 years. Embarrassing.

Work on Dragonverse Origins stalled last week due to my working hours and other events which I won't go into here. But that doesn't mean I haven’t been thinking about how to proceed. The soon-to-be wizard is about to begin his learning. The issue here is how detailed should I get? I don’t want to skip over too much because the reader will wonder what happened in the intervening time. I don’t want to go into the day-by-day details because the reader will become bored and set the book aside. I have to find a happy middle where the reader can stay engaged and interested as things move along. This part of the book is a challenge for me because I’m not exactly sure how to proceed. There are a lot of little details I need the reader to have before the real meat of the story begins.

As of right now, the novel stands at 21,159 words. I did manage to get in some writing time yesterday as well as this morning. With the nuke plant shut down for refueling, I've been working from 0400 (and occasionally 0200) until 1200 or later. When I have a day off, I get up way before my wife does and that gives me the time to write.