Return of the Mac Without a Book

Hah, I love a good pun.

I mean, I am a PC guy, but Mac and book, and the fact that I haven’t blogged in forever, and also I still haven’t finished editing my book.

 

It’s punny.

 

So, there’s been a lot I’ve wanted to write about.  Lets start with the awesome:

 

AWP ticket

 

and also,

 

Untitledtrip

So, it’s official, I’m going to AWP.

 

I haven’t finished my run at the Plasma center yet, due to some health issues arising I’ve taken a hiatus.  Thankfully there is this mystical thing called “credit” that I used to procure my room and flight.

 

I fear using money I don’t actually have, but the price of plane tickets just kept going up and up, so plastic saves the day.

 

Originally my girlfriend was going to come with me and just hang in LA while I walked the floor, meeting other writers and publishers.  That didn’t work out though, due to the cost of travel and concerns about her work schedule.  So it looks like I’ll be solo.

 

I’ve been dealing with some odd emotions since I bought the plane ticket.

 

Am I wasting money I should be investing into something else?

                               Am I going to have beta reading and more edits done in time?

Are my hostel mates going to have gas throughout the night?

                                             Am I fucking nuts?

                                                                    Why can’t I see that I’m a moron?

What if all my life, anyone who has told me that I can do this, that believe in me, are wrong?

 

I can’t answer any of them.

I want to publish my novel, but more than that I want to publish a good novel.  I just have to keep pushing, keep writing, and, hopefully, keep blogging.

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AWP 8 – I Got 77 Problems and Marketing is Most Definitely One

This donation was pretty seamless, though I was having trouble deciding on working on editing my book or homework as I pumped away.  I chose to indulge in what I find to be, more than anything at this point, a guilty pleasure. 

  

 I found this resource while, funny enough, reading through blogs after I finished my first draft. I was searching for recommendations on editing and what agents look for and came across an article on Writers Digest that Mike Nappa wrote- 

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/how-to-edit-your-book-in-4-steps

I really enjoyed his style and wanted to check out his book, though I won’t go into a book review here because it’s not what this title promised, (one of the topics that Mike Nappa covers) but I did want to talk about something that I was toiling over during my donation.
One of Nappa’s chapters goes over the importance of maintaining a level of professionalism with your online persona, as it’s something agents may dig through in order to get a better picture of who you are and how marketable you’ve made yourself.  
Can authenticity get lost in maintaining a professional image though? I know, the obvious response is…
 “You’re worried about maintaining your artistic voice this early in the game? That’s cute.” 
At least that’s what I’m telling myself while writing this. I don’t have an answer, but I thought it was worth talking about for a moment, and seeing if anyone had an opinion. 
My blog focuses on a few different topics (as of the entry of this post at least) and those are my current journey to AWP, short pieces of writing and prompts that I want to share, and things I’m picking up as I edit my novel. 
I don’t have much in the way of credentials as a writer at this point, save for a few freelancing gigs, so I need to be careful what I put out there if I want agents to take me seriously when I do approach them, but does that mean I shouldn’t be authentic? I don’t know, I just have to keep writing and researching and hopefully I’m not misguided. 
Anyway the entire book is well worth reading, as we as writers can sometimes find the ins and outs of publishing tiresome and terrifying we need to take time to strategize what is just as important- marketing. 
Random rant complete. ^_^ 

The Fortune Filled Tales of Charles Eskew – AWP 7

It’s rare, but not impossible to get a bit of good news every now and again.

After a donation yesterday with little to report I thought I’d check out my funds for AWP and how they were going.  Thankfully I’ve avoided taking away from my savings by budgeting appropriately.

With that said I was about fifty bucks shy of my first goal, price of admission.  I couldn’t help but feel good, I’m doing it.  I’m on target.  I’m being all responsible and adulty.

I have a tendency of losing myself to delusions of grandeur.  When I hit a wall in writing or editing, I start searching for my dream agent.  I read through their profiles and articles to add authenticity to my fantasies of how our interaction will go.  How I’ll wow them with my  gathered data of them and their clients, their shoe size, daily schedule, and my ability to research their professional profile within legitimate, sane parameters.

I’ve found myself doing the same with AWP recently, the delusion part I mean.  I sift through the happenings of last year and what it must mean for when I go, think of the funny thing I’ll say during that panel where dream agent  interacts with me and, well, see above.

I also look at the prices, as if something will change, as if there will be a special Charles Eskew rate.  That’s what I was doing a couple of hours ago, and holy shit.  There is.

OK, there isn’t, but there’s something better.  Student pricing.

awp7

I was worried at first that this may only apply to the students of George Mason University, and my school wouldn’t count, but a simple e-mail to conference registration cleared that up.

How could I have been so absent minded? Well, I honestly didn’t think I’d be back in school this semester.  I have had some financial woes when it comes to college, and I won’t bore you with the details (in this post) but essentially I am one of those forever students your guidance counselor warned you about in that horror story of the middle aged scholar.  I am the thing that accumulates student loans in the night.

The classes aren’t the problem, it’s affording overpriced education that- I’m doing that thing I promised I wouldn’t do, apologies.

So, what does this mean? It means that I was expecting a few more weeks of plasma pumping fun before I could afford my attendance badge, but booyaw*! First goal down! I’m actually ahead of schedule, and ahead of schedule? Best thing in the world.  I can secure my early bird ticket today, put any surplus I didn’t account for towards flight costs which means I’ll get a ticket sooner which means I’ll get a ticket cheaper.

Never thought I’d say it, but score one for higher education.

*No, I will not apologize.

AWP 6

So, I’ve been a little lax with my savings as of late, to help I threw my savings card in a cup of water that I tossed into the freezer. Will power is overrated.  
Plasma this week went pretty well. No mishaps or otherwise to report, in fact I actually started a pleasant conversation with someone seated beside me.
She was one of those optimistic types that seemed to carry the mindset genuinley and not due to an overdose of self-help related literature.  
Usually I slink my headphones on and either write in my moleskin or listen to an audiobook, which is fine as conversations with strangers inflicts an absurd fear in me that I can’t hope to explain.  
I stay in my own head quite a bit. I’ve always been a weird dude, and it was just more convenient to keep to myself instead of saying something random or inappropriate. Unmedicated ADHD has a little to do with that, and I also honestly forget sometimes that I’m stuck in narration mode when hanging out with a group of friends or my girlfriend. 
“Where are you…?”


“We lost you again didn’t we?”


“I told you that already, weren’t you listening?” 


These are constants, like the tragic testimony of arrows and knees in Skyrim. Where am I? I’m here, just not. We lost you again didn’t we? You have me, I just didn’t have myself for a while… I told you that already weren’t you listening? I was trying.  
Woe is me and my tiny attention span, play now the micro violins and insert comparison about starving children somehow. It is kind of a superpower when I’m brainstorming though, it’s like untangling a knot of some plot point that previously put me in a corner. 
Full disclosure, this post has gotten away from me, originally it’d been aimed at my issues with saving and the need to augment my low will power, as I’ve been nickling and diming my way out of AWP savings.
I just got lost fo a bit, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find my way back. 

AWP 5

AWP 5
Back in the game.

So, the whole no smoking thing isn’t really working out so well.  Thankfully there’s room for fuck ups and if at first you don’t succeed…

The crazy thing about it? I never feel anything from it.  I only feel that I’ve fulfilled some requirement of making sure I don’t want another one for some part of the day.

I want to punch everything in the face.

Full disclosure, those last paragraph? It was typed after only about 5 hours into my non smoking journey, I’ve now reached 24 and my head is throbbing, my skin is crawling and I don’t like it.  So, yeah, just scratch that bit about “I don’t really feel anything from it” I feel everything from it, and if I can just get through the first two non-smoking weeks I think this is something that will stick.  Not really because I’ll be proud or feel accomplished, but because I never want to go through this again.

I’ve quit before, the longest I’ve made it was about a month, and then I turned around and started again.  I wasn’t a smoker for that long when I had, maybe a year, so the withdrawal effects were significantly lower.

I’m jittery, I’m lightheaded, and, as stated before, I want to punch everything in the face.

I downloaded a smoking cessation app that I think is helping me, it logs different metrics and how you’re progressing based on them. As cool as it is to watch my oxygen level rise  my main concern is the money saved, all that doe will filter back into my AWP savings and that mixed with the plasma donations will get me where I need to be.

Wish me luck, and smoke one for your buddy Chuck.

AWP – 3

Fuck.

FuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuck

So, hello everyone.

My savings for AWP had a bit of a snag this plasma donation, it started off well enough.

photo 1

… but eventually ended up like…..

photo 2

This wouldn’t be such a big deal, the whole blowing out a vein thing is kind of a lame reason to get pissy.  The biggest problem is how the payout works for plasma donation. Your first draw is substantially less than your second draw of the week, in terms of karma funds, it’s an incentive for you to donate twice in seven days.

There are things that can suspend you from drawing temporarily such as, oh I don’t know, a bruised arm from a blown vein that they caused from effing up.

Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, (I’m definitely being a bit dramatic) but now I’m behind on my schedule and I didn’t account for set backs, which was pretty stupid of me.

I have to get back on target! I have to blaze a path forward like the Shonen hero I wish I was!

Ah hell.  I have to quit smoking.

I know, the guy who doesn’t have money for his goal has money to burn away?

Yeah, but, well, shut up.

Though, with money as my motivation maybe this could work…if I throw the (roughly) ten bucks a week I funnel into cancer expenses into AWP instead that’ll add another 40 bucks into my bucket each month.
So,  no more excuses, no more using only my blood for funding! Time to quit smoking!

…soon.

AWP Savings – 60
Editing progress – 14 pages

The Road to AWP – 2

photo (1)

One down, some unknown number to go.
The plasma bit wasn’t what made this donation suck, in fact that’s be easy part.  It’s scheduling everything else around it.

When you’re a writer the hardest part shouldn’t be the writing itself, but if you’re shitty with time management that quickly becomes the case.

After my vampire charity I drive over to B’s house.  B.  is my partner in an IT business venture, after I drafted up some e-mails for his company he brought me on board as his copywriter/anything else, we’ve been friends for pretty much all my life though this doesn’t prevent him from being, as he puts it, a straight shooter.

“Hey sorry I’m late to the meeting man, doing the plasma thing.”

“Damn, the struggle that rough bro?”

“Yes and no, I’m actually trying to save for AWP, it’s this writers conference in LA, I figured since I finished my book now is the perfect time to go.”

“Cool, do they have any technical writing stuff going on? Any network opportunities for us?”

“Nah not really, it’s geared toward literary fiction.”

Then the thoughtful head nod, the sigh , and the ever growing concern that I’m not committed enough to our goal.  It’s a worthy one, and I’m excited to be a part of something so new, but I was hoping for a little more enthusiasm from my partner.

“Listen Charles, I’m a straight shooter,”

…See?

“I don’t think you’re wholly committed to BlahBlah Corp.  I don’t think you’re aware of what we have here man, so just try to stay a little more focused.”

He isn’t wrong.  Between ADHD and a mismanaged schedule everything is a little half assed, and I believe in my friends vision…it’s just I also believe in mine.  Neither of us are wrong, but we both can’t be right.

The second Saturday of every month I host a writers group here in Columbus so after my meeting I head over to setup.  To say I host it is a bit of an ego stroke, my publishing credits end at college literary journals and I could throw an anorexic feather any which wa and probably find someone more qualified.  No lie, as soon as I typed out that lame metaphor a feather just blew across my bluetooth keyboard, totally taking that as a sign it’s worth keeping.

Anyway the group goes well, as it always does, we have open discussion about our struggle with the pages in the hopes of finding  way through them.  We nerd out about literature, create in house prompts to read between one another and just vibe.

I don’t know how to play the guitar I bought that suspiciously sits in my old MySpace profile picture, but I think it’s something like jamming.  That moment you take just to vibe with others that understand you, and realize your insanity is shared.

I make my way home, and while peace is waiting with her there is also grocery shopping, there is also the weird smell emanating from your utility closet that you really need to take care of homey, there is the dog you need to walk and the cat that wants to murder you.  There’s fucking life bro.

Ah well, there are always tomorrows that you can balance transfer to.  As I make it one step towards AWP 2016, as awesome as it would be it doesn’t mean much without the completed manuscript, but hopefully the prioritization of time will get better in te days to come.

Until next time

AWP Savings : 70
Manuscript 2nd draft progress : 8 pages