Flying My Flagship Novel Into Battle

It’s been about ten years since I’ve been any farther from Winnipeg than Brandon, and while I’ve done my share of traveling when I was a kid, with my parents, I’ve never made my own travel plans. Add to that a PTSD reaction, from a period in my life where I had a man in control of me yell at me for hours on end, every few days, that I was worthless and stupid and couldn’t look after myself.

So when got together with The Punkettes and they invited me to join them in BC for the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, my knee-jerk reaction was “I’d love to, but no, no, silly, I can’t go off and do crazy things away from home and family and protection, and – no, no, absolutely not, I can’t do that. Lindsay doesn’t do things like that.”

And of course that sounds silly, so my brain immediately re-routed to excuses – the main one for the last while having been the completely legitimate “I’m too goddam poor to do stuff.”

And then suddenly it sank in that this is the first time in years that we’ve not been strapped for cash. We’ve come into  bit of money, most of which we want to hoard in hopes of buying a house one day, or something – we’ll figure it out, but also, because we’ve been living with the mother-in-law, our living expenses have gone way down.

So I was out an excuse and decided ok, if my best writing buddy wants to go with me, then I’ll go. I’ll do it. There’ll be agents and editors there, and there will be tons of networking I can do, meeting people and all that stuff I taught myself to do at keycon last year and was so successful at. And I’ll get to meet the other punkettes in person, and we can gush about punky stuff together! And my best writing buddy checked her own finances, and being a student, waiting on loans and yadda yadda, she can’t make it.

At which point, I realized I really wanted to go. So I’m going.

And thus begins the BC mission. I wonder if they’ll let me wear my Abney Park flight goggles on the plane? I wonder if it would get me strip searched….

I’ve flown before – I love flying. If you read any of my long form writing, you’ll probably notice a theme of flying machines, animal characters that fly, etc. It always frustrates me that I’m not the sort of person who would likely end up in one of my own stories – that I’m not someone who likes to charge into things and has everything together and confident.

On the other hand, maybe I am. Every time I see myself shying away from these things, don’t I slap myself in the face and tell myself to stop being wuss? I am going after all. Don’t they always say the heros are the ones who are scared, but wade in anyway? So I got registers, I got my plane tickets Sunday (thanks to @AntigothTCO for his reassuring guidance there), and here’s me, bravely flying my flagship novel across the skies into battle.

TAKE NO PRISONERS!

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Finished the Revision *Phew*

So last night I finished revising The Eyelet Dove. I don’t know it it’s really sunk in yet, that I have a finished novel. I’m really proud of it — it’s definitely my best work, and I’ve learned so much from revising it, I know it’s going to be only the beginning of great writing to come.

I’ll probably tinker with little bits here and there, but it’s at the point where whatever nitpicky things I might change, are not going to make the difference between getting an agent or not.

I have my query letter written. I need to touch up my synopsis, but it’s at least got a solid start. I’ll start sending stuff to agents over the next few days. So tired from helping out with the brother-in-law’s social on saturday, though, I have no energy to be excited, even though I am.

It’s Margherita Monday at our place. I decided to start a thing when we moved. I like margheritas, and Mondays suck, so I improve them with magheritas for me, the husband, and the mother in law. So I’m sitting sipping my celebratory drink, with a bendy straw. (Can’t have margheritas without a bendy straw. Ooh, I need to find some of those little umbrellas, that would be awesome!)

Anyway, we’ve done another draw over at http://thepunkettes.blogspot.ca/ but there’s lots more prizes to be won, so check it out. For tonight, I’m signing out dead.

P. S.: For all those who have said, “That’s great, you’ll have to let me know when you get it published,” fear not. When I get it published, I will be telling FUCKING EVERYBODY.

Chad Ginther’s Thunder Road Launch

Last night was Chadwick Ginther’s book launch for his debut novel, Thunder Road. His post on it is here, complete with pictures: http://chadwickginther.com/2012/09/07/thunder-road-winnipeg-launch-roundup-part-the-first/

Now, I know people who have had book launches, where there’s a couple people show up. I know one who did a book launch, and nobody showed up. When Chadwick took the stage, a packed crowd of people cheered him like a rock star. It was awesome to behold.

And I’m not a bit jealous. You know why? Because seeing a fellow Winnipegger succeed means that I could do that too. More than anything, it was inspiring to see such support for a local author. From the social networking I’d seen him up to, I figured it was going to be a success, but it was more than I think he dreamed. It looked like there must have been two or three hundred people packed into the store. It’s nice to see that the effort put into networking has paid off for him – I know those people with small book launch turnouts didn’t really do much research into the marketing side of things. (ie; it helps, if you’re sending out emails about your book launch, to, you know, tell people what your book is about.)

Anyway, here’s me, hugely excited and inspired and motivated by another’s success, and I should get back to revisions!

P.S.: Review to come.

Perseverance is nine tenths of any art

Not that it helps to be nine tenths an artist, of course.

Or so says Mabruk, in Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. Reading the graphic novel reminded me of that – it’s one of my favourite quotes from the story, though I have many.

I think it’s true. But I also think that 99% of people have that one tenth of being an artist that we call “talent.” The creativity, the ideas.

I roll my eyes when someone says “I have this idea for a novel/movie/TV series, but I have no talent to make it into anything.” They may not have what it takes to make that into something, but it’s not talent, it’s passion and perseverance.  The just don’t want it badly enough.

Which is fine. Those are those people they’re talking about when they quote “Anyone who can be discouraged from writing, should be.” It’s just not rewarding enough to bother, if you don’t have the passion that drives writers to do what they do.

But if that person really wants it, that other nine tenths, can be taught and learned. It takes time, and dedication, yes, but it can be learned.

So, if you don’t have the passion for it, fine, don’t bother. It’s okay. But if you have a passion for ideas and creativity, don’t let a bullshit “lack of talent” be the thing that holds you back.

Punkettes Blog Launch Today!

Come one, come all! The Punkettes blog officially launches today, so come tune in, follow the blog if you’re so inclined, to win prizes, and check out what we’ll be posting and reviewing. There’s already 50 people following the blog, and tons more on the Facebook page, so this is great so far.

The Early Bird prize has been drawn, but there’s tons more, books, art and accessories.

I don’t know if there’s anyplace before this to go to find reviews on just Steampunk books – maybe there is, and I just haven’t seen it. But I think the balance of the three of us is going to make it a very eclectic combination. I love my social upheaval, intrigue and adventure, but romance is always a hard sell for me, but we’ll have the other two for that. Plus it’s not just Steampunk – we have the Clockpunk and Dieselpunk going on too, so quite a bit of variety, considering we’re trying to focus on a small set of niche sub-genres.

So, for authors looking to have your book reviewed, we should be able to find one of the three of us who would enjoy your book, be it romance, adventure, or what have you. (As long as it’s either Steampunk, Clockpunk, or Dieselpunk, of course.) Just contact any one of us with a review copy, and we’ll figure out who to review it.