Woke up this morning…

And what did I find?

A whole lot of stuff, actually.  It’s been a crazy week, it really has. But, first and foremost I have to thank the wonderful Eveli Acosta. I woke up this morning to an email notifying me that she had nominated me for two blog awards.

Not only did I have a *sqwee*, but there was a momentary-huge-rush of awe. I am completely honoured to have been nominated for these awards. It is some kind of awesome.


Now, there are rules that I have to follow in accepting these awards.

More awesome.
1) Thank the person who nominated you and link your post back to them. 
2) Share 7 things about yourself. 
3) Nominate 15 bloggers you admire.
4) Leave a comment on each of their blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.
All righty, well since I needed to do a blog entry anyway to kick off my return back to the writing scene; here it goes, seven things about myself. In the form of a blog entry. Something. I don’t know. Shut up. Trying to kill two birds with one stone over here.

Maybe not that bird…
It’s been a crazy week. I said that already, right? Well it has. From receiving an on-the-spot cash award at my job (and my boss scaring the bejeesus out of me in the process), to my Roundtable Podcast dropping, and then to learning how to tell a story, it’s been a week.
For those who don’t know (or who have just started following this blog) I’m currently writing a number of books, one of which I have been working on for the last two years and who has stubbournly refused to be written. For whatever reason Blood on the Quarter just does not want to be written. Or didn’t, anyway, now I have a better handle on the whole thing. It might actually see some work done on it here soon.
It took some getting to, though.
The sheer headache of trying to write the book is what drove me to the guys over at the Roundtable Podcast. Dave, Brion and I, along with the wonderful Cherie Priest hashed out the book. They gave me so many ideas it wasn’t even funny. But, Blood on the Quarter still sat, refusing to be written. So, I took a step back and started in on The Airship Leviathan. It didn’t solve all of my problems, but it helped give me an outlet for the ideas in my head.
Big ideas. Iddy biddy living space.
shame on you if you didn’t see this reference coming.
Friends are a wonderful thing. Especially writer friends who can sympathise with a plight and offer grand advice.
I am lucky to have the ones I do.
One of them is a former wrestling columnist whose acerbic wit I’m absolutely in love with. He sat, listening to my podcast with me, pressing pause and drilling me like the men in the Smokey the Bear hats, ontinuing where Dave, Brion and Cherie left off. Through him I learned that less is more and, if you try to squish too many ideas into one story, you’re gonna get lost and write yourself into a corner. Kind of like what I did. Apparently I have enough within Blood on the Quarter to fill up three or more books. He said as much with an eyebrow raised and a smirk on his lips.
Story telling, he explained, isn’t about cramming ideas, or trying to stretch one idea, it’s about having enough meat to keep the reader’s interest.
Now, you have to understand something about me; for years I’ve had this thing about writing a novel. A NOVEL. Not a short story, not a novella, not flash fictions or any of that. I wanted to write a novel. 100,000 words. I’ve almost made it, twice. Both times in Jr. High when I first started writing. Both stories rounded out at 80,000 words and according to my word processer where somewhere in the vicinity of 200 pages.
How that works, I’m not sure. I think the title page and a page or so of quotes have something to do with it.  But that’s beside the point, I hadn’t really written a novel. I hadn’t hit the 100,000 mark. I wasn’t any good. I would never be any good. I would never be a novelist because the word count didn’t qualify me.
(remember that one blog post about my special kind of crazy? I’m pretty sure I have a post about that somewhere.)
So, I was determined to write a novel. Well, long story short, I didn’t think you could write a novel based on one single thing. Something has to happen, right? Well so does something else. And something else. And, oooh! this too!
You see where I’m going with this?
I told my friend as much and, after laughing at me, he shook his head and told me that I had it all wrong. That one idea was all that was needed. Yes this and that could happen, but it had to be organic to the story. One cannot simply throw something into the story line just because it sounds cool.
It might not sound profound to you guys reading this, but to me it was as if a damned lightning bolt had struck me stupid. How obvious does something really have to be for me to miss it? How could I have missed THAT?!
Then again, it’s not a suprise that I did. Knowing me? I’m an airhead that way. And honestly, I didn’t know. Just as I was under the wrong impression about writing characters, so was I about writing a book. Less is more. And, when you think you’ve got something, you don’t. It takes someone else to point you in the right direction. Or listen to your podcast and ask the right questions.
Jay pointed me in another. After sending him both outlines for Blood on the Quarter and The Airship Leviathan I received not only questions but one word:
Both books. Podcast ’em. And don’t just podcast them, write it like a television series. Give us backstories. 3,000 words to tell each character’s story and 3,000 more to tell us the events of New Orleans and anywhere else that is important to your world.
So, yeah. I just might. I love listening to the BBC. Love the old radio shows. A podcast might just happen.
After the books are written, edited, and rewritten for radio, that is.
It could happen.
The internet is a wonderful place. And the book industry is changing. Plus, I love audiobooks. Easy to travel with. Take up less room in my purse.
Is that seven things? Can we make that seven? No? Crap. I suppose the ‘About’ page doesn’t work in this situation. All right, well, here are a few more things about me.
1. My favourite colour to wear is green but my sheets or some part of my bed has to be blue.
2. I don’t go clubbing or do well in social situations. I’m a house-hobbit and overcompensate with my personality for my nervousness.
3. The quickest way to my heart is to keep me interested in what goes on in your head, not how many reps you did at the gym.
4. I don’t want children. Not that I don’t like them or anything, I just don’t see them in my future.
5. Anything with the word ‘aquarium’ or ‘museum’ in it is automatically my favourite place. Ever. Besides Disney World.
6. Nerd and proud.
7. Steampunk and proud.
There we go. And now for the fifteen nominations.
There they are. All fifteen of ’em. Now go! Check out the awesome! As for me? I’m going to go busy myself with visions of me climbing back into my bed. I’m tired and it looks like it’s going to rain.
Never mind. It is raining.
Ah, England.


15 thoughts on “Woke up this morning…

  1. Yvonne Hertzberger says:

    I am honoured RJ. Thank you. So, do I have this right? I write a post on my own blog and nominate 15 more? And I include their links to their blogs? One thing I don’t know how to do is to make the link look like just the name. And is there a time-line for this? I’m a little dense with these things. Sigh.

    1. rjkeith says:

      No worries! The honour is all mine! If I understand it right, yes, you write your own blog entry and nominate 15 more with links to their blog. I don’t think there’s a timeline. To link something, all you do is highlight the sentence or word you want to use. In the WordPress blog post toolbar (right above where you’re typing) there’s a symbol that looks like a chain. Click that. A box will pop up asking for the website you want to link to’s URL enter it, then cluck the little box that reads OPEN IN NEW TAB/WINDOW. Click OK and you’re done! Easy peasy 😀

      1. Yvonne Hertzberger says:

        Thanks. I think I did that once for one of my posts so I’ll likely be able to find it again. I’m one of those people who needs to do a things at least three times close together for it to stick. At least when it comes to computers and electronics.

      2. rjkeith says:

        No worries! To tell the truth? It’s difficult to have a conversation with me right from the get go. I’m one of those weird people that will ask “hm?” or “what?”, not because I didn’t hear you, but because I literally did not understand either the first or second part of what was said. I don’t know if it’s because I think so quickly that I can’t parse out what was said, but it’s really, really, REALLY annoying both to myself and the person talking to me. Drives me nuts.

  2. changingalways says:

    How did you get a cash award? I didn’t realize you can nominate blogs. I will start reading more. Besides, it gets me in the mode and gives me ideas. I also had an uncanny feeling that children weren’t in your plans. It’s wonderful that women have those choices.

    1. rjkeith says:

      I got the award through my job. It’s something the NAF organisation does to motivate their employees.
      I’m not much of a kid person :D. I’ll spoil my sister’s rotten (when she has them) but none of my own, thanks 😀

      1. changingalways says:

        Good for you. So, I have questions, but for today, just one. I’ve been trying to post a photo with a blog and when I couldn’t, I tried to post it alone. My skills are lacking. How do I do it?

      2. rjkeith says:

        On the toolbar of the WordPress posting page you’ll see a camera/musical note image. Hit that button and it’ll allow you to upload your pictures or media by dragging it from your screen onto the page. Once it’s been buffered, you should be good to go! 😀

  3. Yvonne Hertzberger says:

    Hi R.J.: I hope this is a private message as I don’t want to mess up your blog with questions about how to do this. I tried the method for sdding links but when i click ion the chain all I get is advice to alt/shift/a but it doesn’t go anywhere or do anything else. I’m stuck, both with that and the logo for the award. I can just add the names and the links side by side, but the logo has me stumped completely. Sorry. Can you advise me? Yvonne

    1. rjkeith says:

      No worries! That’s really strange about the chain, you should just be able to highlight what you want to use, click the little picture on the toolbar and input what you need. Hmm. As for the pictures, WordPress has the ‘drag and drop’ method when you’re trying to upload. Clicking the camera icon on your toolbar should make the loader pop up. Instead of needing to open the picture from the loader so it can get your destination file, all you should have to do is literally take the picture from your desktop drag it and drop it directly into the field. From there WordPress will load and ‘crunch’ the picture like it used to do, give you the option to resize and caption it, then click on ‘save’ and you’re good. As far as hyperlink ing goes, I’m not quite sure how to fix your issue. I think you’ll be good just by putting up the links. I’ll tinker today and see if I can come with with something for you.

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