This Is What I’m Thinking III

I’m thinking about a lot today. I’m thinking this post is like a whole week’s worth of blogs. So if you’d rather, you can just read one part a day. Or skim fast. Or skip it altogether. I don’t know why I was so talkative.

Sunday is play day for me. I have a character I can’t find a story for. I’ve put her in three or four different worlds, but she doesn’t fit. For some odd reason, I MUST write a story about this character.

So today I searched for inspiration: I read Tales of the Golden Corpse—a book of Tibetan folk tales—the Idiot’s Guide to Astrology, the Dummies Guide to Mythology, thumbed through Jacqueline Carey’s Santa Olivia and cried because I wanted to take it home, and also through Isabel Allende’s Eva Luna for the same reason.

I also started reading Neil Gaiman’s Journal from the very first post: American Gods Blog, Post 1. At one time, I thought I’d read and finished American Gods, but it appears as if I haven’t. I’m a little confuzzled on how that happened, but am extraordinarily happy that I have a Neil Gaiman book to read. On my Kindle, of course.

the safety manager on Glenn’s boat wouldn’t let him off to go to the doctor in Seattle before they left, which meant his 2cm x 2cm spider bite (or whatever it was) grew while they were traveling at sea for two weeks, to fevers and fainting and extremely low blood pressure and nerve damage to his arm and a whopping 10cm x 7cm wound with 12cm x 17cm swelling that’s going to take two months to heal. The doctor sent him to the ER yesterday and freaked us out, telling us a week in the hospital and surgery and ambulance and don’t stop at go, but second opinion says we’re on track.

He’s got morphine and vicodin to get him through the pain. I’m a little curious as to what morphine (or vicodin) is like, but not that curious.

image So I spent my play day at Borders. The funny thing is, I can tell how old a book is by how many times I sneeze when I open it. Brand-new books are generally fine, no problems. Whole sections are better than others: I rarely sneeze in the YA section, but in the Mythology section, I had to use my inhaler. In the Literary section, I’m a goner.

Borders is better than Books A Million, and Barnes and Noble has the worst record: twelve sneezes in a row within one minute. If I walk into a library, my lungs just die upon first breath.

My love affair with the book smell, the feel of paper? So over. But I still dream of working in a book store.

So this anti-ebook/anti-reasonably-priced-ebook thing publishers seem to have going on? Freaks me out. And the only thing I have to say about this pricing brouhaha between Amazon and Macmillan is that I’ll be very sad if publishers insist upon charging more then ten dollars for an ebook. Someday, if I win the lottery, I will spend thousands and buy every book on the planet and from every single author on the planet. I’ll have a huge, wonderful, beautiful library with a state-of-the-art air system so I can breathe and read and spend all day in there.

In the meantime, I can only read on my Kindle or at Borders, and price matters to my pocketbook.

I think price matters to readers, too. If my last royalty statements are any indication, my lowest-priced stories are selling the most. Which is BIZARRE, if you take into account hook, story, subject matter, quality, quality, and quality, but… it seems price point is what sells. I mean honestly, my lowest-priced ebook is just STUPID. It’s plain. Cliché. A story told a million times. (At least as I recall it: it was written in one month, six or seven or eight years ago.) It probably ranks as my second worst story.

As an author, all my Amazon royalties should double next year, which rocks, so I’m thrilled with Amazon’s new deal with at least one of my pubs. (Haven’t asked the other if she qualifies.) One is willing to conduct a lower-price experiment, and I’m going to see if the other one is up for it, since she has my best book. I’m thinking I should actually promote it. What an idea!

It’s been doing well on the piracy sites, which sorta makes me proud, in a backwards sort of way. As long as they don’t get too far up in the Google rankings, I don’t worry too much. (At the moment, they are too far.) I’ll do what it takes to push them down so that honest people don’t “buy” them for free when they don’t know any better, but I don’t believe those that seek out the pirated book would actually PAY for my book if it were unavailable on piracy sites, so I don’t get my panties in a knot.

I do need to do more to get pseudonym higher in the Google rankings; that will also push down the pirates and torrents.

Have I rambled enough? What have you read lately? How are things for you? What do you do on a “play day?” What are you allergic to? :-)

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings,Writing Biz | Tags: , ,

Before and After

Do you see how ugly this ceiling is? To fully appreciate the “after” picture, make sure you notice the ugly, exposed wires, the peeling contact paper on the ceilings, the vent fan with no vent, and the ugly color.

Glenns Camera 329

And now for the “after” picture. I did all the painting. It took us an hour to put a ceiling panel in the spot missing one. We bent and squeezed it up there, but in actuality you’re supposed to take the entire roof off and work from the top down. We just don’t have the tools and means to do that on the road. It worked out, though. Glenn found a vent fan thing, so that made it prettier, big-time.


Isn’t she a pretty ceiling? I’m so proud.

I’m excited to get on the road, but I feel like it’s never going to happen. It will, but tying up loose ends takes FOREVER. And I’m learning that if I go three days without going to a bookstore, I go mad.

Seriously, today I was disappointed because I got up late, which meant I would “only” have ELEVEN HOURS to sit in the bookstore today. ONLY! But seriously, I’d hoped to get here at 9am, which meant I would have 14 hours. Oh well.

And every time Glenn finds a campground, I ask, “How far is the closest bookstore?” At which point he often says, “About two hours.”

That’s unacceptable. As much as I love the wild, I NEED MY BOOKSTORES. I’m going to try and go without for a whole month. So we’ll see how crazy I go.

What about you? Are you addicted to bookstores? And do you think my new ceiling is pretty? :-)

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags: ,

Front Table Junkie

It’s terrible; I’m embarrassed: I am addicted to the front tables. Give me any bookstore, and every single day (even if I’m there four or five or six days a week), I will comb through the front tables to see ALL the newest releases.

I’m ashamed. I’m the reason why authors get significantly more sales if they get co-op. I’m the reason why authors struggle to make me aware of their book, let alone buy it, when they don’t get co-op.

Even though I know better, I tend to operate subconsciously on the misconception that if I comb the genre section once every month or two, then I only need to keep track of the front tables and I won’t “miss” anything.

This is not true. I know that.

In actuality, most of the newer books are hidden in the stacks. There’s been a trend lately: have you noticed? An ever-increasing majority of the books co-oped on the front tables are already-proven sellers, a year or two or even three years old.

I’m driven into the stacks to find new books. You’d think this would be a good thing, right?

No. Oddly, I’ve grown addicted to new books, as in, I want to read a book released in 2009. Not 2008. Not 2001. I’m okay with the 1800s, but other than that, I seem to want 2009. If a book perks my interest, I immediately look at the copyright date. If I try a new author, I always pick their latest release, unless it’s a wildly popular series, in which case I will start with (and only with) number 1. If number 1 is not in stock, oh well.

By and large, though, I want the books being released TODAY. I want stories that reflect our world’s subconscious TODAY. I want stories that reflect our culture and society TODAY. I want to know what authors TODAY are thinking. I want to know what readers TODAY are reading.

I do have a bit of an interest in watching the pop culture trends and the book trends, so that might be part of the problem. Also, I believe art should reflect its society and its time. How can an artist/author do any reflecting, if they are unaware?

What think you? How do you browse? Do you have a preference for any era of books, or do you not notice?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Books | Tags: ,

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