Tag Archives: blogs

Tempus Fugit

For the last six weeks or so, I have been buffeted by my own mind which wants to get everything done. But there’s been this huge problem: time. It is out of my control. I would love to be able to add a couple hours to some days, delete hours from others, give myself an extra day especially on weekends (who wouldn’t?!), and add hours to each night so that I can get more sleep and stay healthy. It’s been a tumultuous six weeks dealing with the flu, a neighbor’s toddler who was screaming through the nights (a behavioral issue, not illness or anything else), and some winter weather that set records in the Upper Midwest, none of which I had any control over.

All through this, I’ve been working on the first revision to the second novel in the Perceval series. Every weekend as I’ve worked, I’ve felt an intense guilt for not writing a blog post for this blog. Tempus fugit. The conflict between writing fiction (or nonfiction, for that matter) and writing on social media only exacerbated my frustrations. There was simply not enough time for everything (and there hasn’t been since I began working fulltime to pay the bills). I know that I am not alone in this frustration. I’ve been writing this blog since September 2007, and with few exceptions for surgery, I’ve managed to maintain a posting schedule of once a week on Saturdays. At the beginning of this year, I realized that this schedule, and continuing to work on the novel revision, wasn’t realistic.

Writers and Social Media

As a writer, I am happiest when I’m writing fiction or essays. I enjoy writing blog posts, but I see them, correctly I’ve learned, as a way to put myself as a writer and my writing out in the world to build audience. The March 2019 issue of The Writer confirmed this while I was reading it this past week on my daily commute to work. Most of this issue is devoted to promotion and social media.

My takeaway? There’s no getting around it. Writers must have an online presence, and Twitter seems to be the place to be nowadays. Writers can pick and choose, however, rather than throwing themselves into every single social media platform. That was good to hear. So, a website is a must. Twitter. The rest would be frosting on the cake and dependent on time. I have a “website” — this blog. I’m on Twitter but for my nonfiction writing, not fiction. Does that mean I need to have another Twitter account? Apparently. I don’t really like Twitter, however. I’ve set up a Facebook page for the Perceval Novels, and I’ve done some networking at LinkedIn in the past. But I have to admit there’s one big obstacle for me to spending a lot of time on social media: I prefer to work on my fiction and essays.

Nicki Porter, The Writer’s Senior Editor, wrote a wonderful “10 Social Commandments” in her opening letter from the Editor, and I’d like to share them here as a set of guidelines for writers (and me) for dealing with the social media in our lives:

  1. Thou shalt not tweet only about thyself.
  2. Thou shalt never attack or criticize another writer (unless thou be fully prepared to deal with the consequences).
  3. Thou shalt always remember that social media be more about building connections than selling books.
  4. Thou shalt support other writers at every opportunity.
  5. Thou shalt never offer advice unless said advice is requested.
  6. Thou shalt not succumb to jealousy or nastiness at other writers’ fame and fortune, but rather have faith that thy own successes cometh in due time.
  7. Thou shalt never tag an author in a negative review.
  8. Thou shalt not self-promote in times of national tragedy.
  9. Thou shalt listen as much as thou speakest.
  10. Thou shalt NEVER, EVER pitch an agent or editor on social media.

And with that, I’ll now return to my work on the novel revision.


Oh, What a Lovely Blog…Award!

one-lovely-blog-award-e1447361998422First time Anatomy of Perceval has been nominated for a blog award!  Thank you to Steph P. Bianchini at the Earthian Hivemind for the nomination and the recognition.  I read Earthian Hivemind fairly regularly for its science and its love of speculative fiction.  Please check it out if you share those interests.

According to the rules of participation, I need to write about seven interesting facts about myself.  My first reaction was that I’m actually a pretty boring person!  But there are certainly facts about me that I’d be quite willing to share, in the hope that they are interesting enough to qualify….

  1.  I have lived in Vienna, Austria and speak German.  My German is a bit rusty now, especially since I haven’t been going on a regular basis to the German conversation group I joined 8 years ago.  Vienna is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I wish I could return. In Vienna, I especially loved cafes, Stadtpark, trams, and the Vienna Philharmonic.
  2. In 1987, I fulfilled a life-long dream to go to Russia.  The tour included Moscow, St. Petersburg (then Leningrad), and the Russian Orthodoxy’s “Golden Circle.”  It was in the autumn in all its glorious colors, and I fell in love with the Russian forests as well as St. Petersburg.
  3. Deju Vu, I believe, can be connected with possible past lives. Yes, I believe in reincarnation! I’ve experienced powerful deja vu in places I’d never been before in this life. It’s a very odd sensation to know a place so well I didn’t need a map to get around…but I’d not been there before!
  4. In addition to writing fiction, I also write nonfiction, and I’ve been published online at ClassicalMPR.org., among other places.  An ongoing nonfiction project is a memoir entitled The Successful Patient.  I’ve given a couple talks on how to be a successful patient and communication with medical professionals.
  5. Classical music is my heart, while writing is the breath of my soul. I’ve loved classical music since I was very young.  I have sung in choirs, played the French horn in orchestras and bands, played the piano as a soloist, in chamber groups and as an accompanist.  Now I write about music.
  6. The first book I ever read on my own was Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, a book my father had read to me on a regular basis.  My mother read Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to be before bed. I love Russian literature, mysteries, science fiction, thrillers (especially espionage thrillers), biographies, and I’m open to other nonfiction. As I don’t have a favorite composer, I also do not have a favorite author, but there are some I return to often.
  7. After seeing Bernardo Bertulucci’s movie Little Buddha, I was so deeply moved that I began studying Buddhism on my own. It led me to deepen my spiritual beliefs, as well as to be inclusive regarding others.  I also studied the Koran at about the same time, and learned about Hinduism from which Buddhism had emerged. Now I practice Falun gong whenever I can, and am looking forward to finally starting a yoga practice.

And now, for my nomination of 15 bloggers for the One Lovely Blog Award. This is difficult because there are so many out there and I hope that my 15 will also nominate each another 15 to capture even more lovely blogs on the Web.  I encourage all my readers to check out the blogs that Earthian Hivemind nominated, too.

In conclusion, to all my blogger nominees, here is the list of rules to participate:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to her/his blog.
  2. List 7 interesting facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate 15 other bloggers and inform them by posting on their site.
  4. List the rules and display the award.

Thank you!  I look forward to hearing from other bloggers and learning about new blogs to read.

Are you part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group? #IWSG #amwriting

Ah, yes, writers exude insecurity and flood the world with their self-doubts. At least that’s the stereotypical version of a writer. We can be notorious, though, for insecurity and self-doubts among our close friends and fellow writers, stereotype or no. I think a writer who isn’t must be some kind of psychopath. I’m going through a bit of a rough patch of insecurity and self-doubt right now — of course when I have the most writing to do — and was reminded again by Damyanti over at Daily (W)rite that there’s actually a blog of writers that a solitary writer like me can go to for support and encouragement. I’m reblogging her post below.