Scribbles and thoughts ...

These are ramblings from J L Wilson, published author of romantic suspense, mystery, and paranormal -time travel fiction....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

This vacation stuff is great

I'm getting so much's amazing what a few days away from the office can do for my "To Do" stack. Plus I'm getting a ton of writing done. You know, when you're working on a book with characters who are front & center in your head, it's really, really easy. I look forward to sitting down and resent time away from my keyboard.

Hmm. Time like now, blogging when I could be writing.


Saturday, November 21, 2009


Kerfuffle has become one of my favorite words lately because it just sums up the nonsense swirling around RWA, Harlequin, Harlequin Ho (their "Horizon" brand) and publishing in general.

Brief summary: Harlequin decided to create a vanity 'arm' (HarHo), RWA & other professional writing organizations slapped 'em for it, Har is now whining and authors are in angst.

I think this fuss has perhaps finally driven home some of the realities of the marketplace -- publishing is a losing business. Publishing can't continue under the old consignment model. It's a lose-lose for all involved. Har came up with a new model for one of its branches, one that will probably make money hand over fist. Gee, I wonder if they'll do whatever they have to do to keep it and satisfy the professional groups?

I agree with RWA that authors should be making money. I disagree about the 'an advance means you're a professional' but I am glad they took a stand on this. It proved they are willing to follow their own rules, something that frankly, I wasn't sure they'd do.

What does this mean for authors? Not sure yet. How abour readers? They probably won't notice -- HarHo books will not be shelved, so unless they're sought out, they can't be found.

I think the most profound impact will be on the hidebound organizations such as MWA, SFWA, and RWA. This has to make them rethink some of their core values because I firmly believe other publishing houses are going to take this route at some point.

Interesting times ahead....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Already looking at the holidays

My To Do list is growing for the holidays ....

Funny how I spend holidays from the office keeping busy like crazy at home! But I so seldom get uninterrupted time that I stack up a lot to do on those rare days off. The fun thing about this 'To Do' is it all has to do with the current books I'm working on, and I"m really, really into the story, so it should be a good time. But of course there are other things, mainly having to do with getting ready for winter. This stretch of good weather just can't last!

I'm lucky that my Real Job is chugging along nicely. I have deadlines, but they're all doable and so far I haven't had any major surprises. Next year, though -- well, that might be a different story since we'll have a major deadline then. But I'll think about that in 2010!

For now, though, I'm just going to keep making lists....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Belated blogging again

I'm working at home lately because I have a cold & thus the structure of my days has gone awry. Funny how having a schedule like that keeps everything on track.

It's just a cold/cough thing, but it's a wearisome. I always work longer hours when I work at home, so I've been logged in pretty continuously since Monday night. We're on a deadline, etc., etc., and I want to make sure I do my part.

I got disheartening news from the agent I pitched to that they don't want my stuff. It wasn't because of the writing but they didn't think I had strong enough sales from my previous books. I pointed out that all of my books are sold "by hand" (i.e., through my own efforts) but apparently that wasn't good enough. Oh well. It was an accident that I pitched to this agent anyway, and I'm starting to wonder how viable a career in print publishing will be in a few years. So ... whatever!

I'm returning to what I used to love to do: writing because I want to write. Yes, I always write books I want to write, but I'm returning to a series that I'm not sure will be publishable. I've come full circle, I guess. And you know what? I'm having a blast! This will be one of the biggest challenges of my writing career, so it's hard, but it's also a lot of fun. I'll post regularly about how it's going.

And that's the news from the Cold Front!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Belated blogging

I'm visiting my Mom in Iowa, so lost track of time & completely forgot about blogging!

It's funny: whenever I pack to come here, I always put in a bunch of "to do" things: magazines to read, stories to edit, story ideas to flesh out...I never quite get to 'em all. I do get a lot done, but it seems like I spend a lot of time running around, doing this & that. I did get a lot done last night, but it seems like there's only a few hours here & there to get stuff done.

What is it about packing? I always overpack, whether it's clothing or tasks. I must be a far more optimistic person than I knew!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Boy, was I a lousy writer!

I'm going back to look at some of my old work because I want to salvage the characters and use them in a new book.

Boy, have I learned a lot! My work was ... enthusiastic, but man, I was wordy! Why use one really precise word when a dozen other words will do?

I think this sort of look-back is very, very useful. I'm even prouder of what I've accomplished now that I look back at where I was 5 years ago.

Now if I can just grit my teeth & keep skimming....