Phobos is the Greek God of Horror and Fear. Interesting. It’s also the name of one of the moons of Mars. Ph is the sound of F in Greek and there is no letter F. I didn’t know that until a few moments ago. Onward.
As a writer what do I fear? What makes me wake up in a cold sweat, shivering? Here’s my list – writer specific:
- Not getting published.
- Getting published (I know, I know. But sometimes when you get what you ask for its scary. Hey, I’m a neurotic New York Writer. What can I say.).
- Having writer’s block.
- Not having writer’s block. (because I’m thinking… when will I get writer’s block?).
- Getting a bad review (I’ve gotten rid of my Goodreads bookmark from my toolbar. I had worn it out from obsessively checking it. It’s like crack for writers.).
- Red pen marks (this is a hold-over from high school).
- Having to do social marketing (I’m getting over it but only slowly. I’m still not friendly with Twitter but at least we’re acquaintances. And I’m starting to know Facebook on a first name basis.).
- Letting go of the need for publication (if I let it go will it be more likely to occur just like the old tale that says if you want something let it go?).
- Not letting go of the need for publication (if I let it go will it not occur in which case this is a catch 22 and I’m screwed.).
- Losing my electronic manuscript and not having backed it up.
- Sending out emails that get lost in the electronic maelstrom of computer generated life and not knowing that they never reached their destination.
- Having to look for an agent again (don’t have to, it’s just a fear…)
What’s on your list?
The Charlottesville Fencing Alliance is off Allied Road and McIntyre a short fifteen minute walk from the Omni. I visited two evenings last week, fenced 8 times (thanks Ken 2x, Dave, Drew, Emily, Sarah, Chairon, and Aron for your lessons in humility) , winning 2 of 4 the first night and 1 of 4 the second, for about 90 minutes each night, talked shop with the members between bouts, and pitched my book to anyone who would listen. I left four copies of Open Wounds to be used for prizes in tournaments, a ton of book marks, and a lot of sweat.
The director, James Faine, was a great host and has a terrific club to boast about. They fence foil, sabre, and épée with a good number of sharp épéee-ists on hand – a number of which are lefties – always tricky to handle. That’s a nice way of saying they kicked my butt.
The picture of the fleche is Ken (red hair) with a perfect touch against Sarah.
I’m still a bit sore from all the leg work but I’d do it again in a second. I’ll have to bring my equipment when I go to New Orleans next month – see if I can get in another evening of swordplay. Oh yeah, and sell some books!
I was away last week at the Virginia Festival of the Book. I did no blog entries. I’ve been in Charlottesville Virginia, moving between the Omni, downtown, Emmit Road B&N, Allied Road Charlottesville Fencing Alliance and Allied Yoga. Oh, and the AMTRAK station.
I took a seven hour AMTRAK ride down and wrote some while my butt rode the rail. That made me smile.
Here’s the other thing that made me smile besides the beautiful town, the nice and friendly people, and the warm weather and flowers.
Barnes & Noble in Charlottesville carried my book there. There’s no other B&N in the country that carries my book. But in Charlottesville VA, they carry it. That’s cool.
It’s in two different places, the New Teen Fiction section and the table with all the books from the book festival authors – at least that’s where it will be until the end of today when the festival closes. This was the best series of events I’ve ever done. Seriously. If you ever get the chance to do this as an author, don’t hesitate, do it.
Panel I, Fiction: Conspiracies and Obsessions – I did with three very cool authors – Alma Katsu (The Taker), Amelia Gray (Threats), Virginia Moran (The Algebra of Snow) – and an even cooler moderator named Meredith Cole. Meredith knows how to moderate (not as easy as it would sound). She gave us a series of questions she would ask ahead of time, met us 30 minutes before the event to get to know us and help us settle in, and read all four of our books so that when she introduced us and asked us questions she knew what she was talking about. Meredith rocks. And, she’s a heck of a good mystery writer herself.
There were over 60 people at the even at the Barnes and Noble in town. They were standing in the aisles and sitting on the floor. That was a very cool thing to see. I don’t know who they were there to see and I don’t care. We all had a good audience to talk to and the panel kicked butt. Seriously. These women were funny and interesting and I added a touch or two myself, but watching the ladies work, I wanted to be in the audience myself. I had fun and… sold ten books, at least as far as I can remember. j
The Festival volunteers were helpful. The B&N staff were helpful. I probably had too much coffee because my hands shook. Or it could have been the influence of the Christianity section behind us. Or that might have been my nervousness showing. In any case it couldn’t have gone better.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the fencing. Oh yeah, and Panel II with Elizabeth Nunez.
The Circle Book Store – the only independent book store in the area.
I stopped in with Max and Karen, looked at the YA section – searched for Michael Grant’s Gone (it’s next on my list) and finally, when the register was clear, wandered over to say hello to the bookseller in charge.
I had brought a copy of my book and surreptitiously signed it. I was ready.
I chatted a bit about the book, gave her my pitch and all the usual accompanying information about availability at Ingrams and Baker & Taylor. She smiled at me and seemed interested then said, “It sounds good. I think I’ll read it first myself.”
My job was done.
I walked over to where Karen was looking at a book and gave her the thumbs up. She stopped for a second and looked at me. She stared at my face.
“What?” I said, leaning in close.
“What’s that big pen mark down the middle of your nose?”
“What pen mark?”
“You had that on when you talked to her, didn’t you?” she asked.
I nodded and wiped the mark off. “It’s off now?”
And so it goes…