2000 Words of Cady, and Other Things

Finished chapter one of Cady II, which I’m tentatively titling Starburn. In it, Cady kidnaps her one-time friend/colleague/whatever, after first shooting him. I haven’t figured out their relationship yet, but this seems a good time to mention that I suspect it’s going to be tense for a while.

I know why she shot him. I have no clue why she kidnapped him.

But I got two-thousand words, after getting a thousand yesterday, and that after getting nothing for a damned long time.

Maybe this ongoing funk is February, which has never been World’s Greatest Month. Maybe it’s the continuation of that same odd feeling that clung to me throughout January: of having broken something–of being a wind-up doll with a snapped spring. But at the moment, two thousand words by this time of the morning seems momentous. Hell, two thousand words at all seems momentous.

I’ve left myself in a good place for tomorrow. I know tomorrow is Saturday, but maybe weekends are the problem, too. I don’t seem to be able to pick up on Monday after a weekend off, whereas when I write every day, I go along pretty well.

I don’t know what’s been wrong, but today it wasn’t. So I’ll sleep in tomorrow, and then I’ll come in and write and see what happens.

Weblog-wise, I’ve found a template I think I can work with. You’re seeing it in progress; it isn’t what I want, or even close yet, but nobody is going to go blind trying to read it now. I’ll tinker with the details a little at a time, and eventually replace the header with something I like.

Meanwhile, while I’ve been in my funk (and slogging HTML and php because I had no words), I’ve missed most of what’s going on in the universe. I didn’t know, for example, that Brenda Coulter caused yet another shit storm on the Internet by suggesting that she only considered US writers worthy of copies of her giveaways, and that she does giveaways not as thank-yous, but as promotions.

I discovered this through Sheila’s comments on the subject, of course, but I trooped through her links and other folks’ links, and found my way around a whole lot of hurt, angry readers and pissed-off writers.
I look at book give-aways this way.

  • A) I suck at self-promotion; if I didn’t, maybe I’d have some national bestsellers by now. So my focus in that regard is, and will continue to be, writing the best books I can, with the hope that one day something will click, and reader word-of-mouth will do for me what I am bad at doing for myself. I won’t kill myself promoting.
  • B) I owe much more to the people who already read my books than I do to the potential readers might I hope to lure in by devious wiles.
  • C) I have readers all over the world, and in a largish handful of different languages, from Russian to German to Portuguese to French to Bulgarian, as well as those who read English as a second language and buy my books that way.

I don’t often have the money to do giveaways, but when I do, anybody can play. I’ll ship anywhere . It’s not promo. It’s thanks. I thank every one of you who takes your time to stop by here to see what I’ve said, and perhaps to comment. You could go anywhere on the Internet, but you come here, and that means a lot to me. I thank those of you who have borrowed my books from libraries, and those of you who have purchased them, and those of you who liked them enough to recommend them to someone else. And those of you who just like my website, and take the time to tell me that.
Time is a gift. It’s the biggest gift we can give each other, because it’s the only one that is irreplaceable. Thank you so much for spending some of your time with me.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

23 comments… add one
  • Jenne Feb 20, 2006 @ 7:14

    Can you take more compliments? I just wanted to point out that the same generosity that you show here in your blog also shows up in your writing. I have faith that your books will soon click with a larger audience– how could they not?

  • michele_lang Feb 13, 2006 @ 16:24

    I am the queen of the lurkers here…but I love your writing and I’ve learned a lot from you. Your blog is a window into a full time pro writer’s world, and you show us the good, the bad, and the beautiful.

    I’ve also become a big fan of your fiction because of your blog (so your strategy worked, at least for this reader! 🙂 ) Talyn is an incredible book…bought it in hardcover and worth every penny.

    Buy Holly’s books! You won’t be disappointed. And thank you, Holly, for all that you do to “pay it forward…”

    Michele

  • The English Rose Feb 13, 2006 @ 8:00

    Hi, Holly. I’ve followed your blog since late October; I love your website – the articles are great. I’ve never felt the urge to comment so strongly as after reading the Coulter link. The fact that she claims to write “inspirational Christian” romance makes me fairly sick as she completely misrepresents most things I stand for. Yes, publishing is a business, but from a Christian standpoint you can at least be nicer about it. If I become published, I would do giveaways as thank you’s, so she can be as suspicious of it as she wants. That’s a real shame, I think.

    Anyway – I’m a full-time student so I’m slowly working on reading a book of yours (Fire in the Mist since it’s free online and I can get a chapter in between classes!) but it’s rather slow with all the Shakespeare and stuff… >.

  • hollylisle Feb 12, 2006 @ 10:10

    Thanks, everyone for the comments, and for the encouragement. And for letting me know why you drop by. I appreciate it.

    Regarding the template … This (blue Kubrick-style three-column) isn’t the one I liked. Not even a little. This was the one I could throw into place at the last minute on Friday when I discovered the one that I liked wasn’t working in Safari. The one I like is a lot like the one I built on my own for WordPress 1.5.

  • wolverine Feb 12, 2006 @ 7:24

    You’re always real. That means a lot to me, because hardly anyone is real these days. That’s why I visit here most days, and all the days I have the computer on. (Plus you tell great stories! Thanks!)

    With the new format/template/I-don’t-know-what-it’s-called, I have to put my vote against white or very pale colours. No offense, but it hurts my eyes. The beige-ish colour you had before was really nice.

    Wolverine.

  • e_Jim Feb 11, 2006 @ 16:28

    Hi Holly:

    I come to your Blog everyday. Your one of my biggest inspirations. I visit Fm at lest once a week. Keep up the great work.

  • scottbryan Feb 11, 2006 @ 13:27

    I knew destiny had something in mind for you – this seems to fit pretty well Hol. Thanks for all you’ve done, your writing has helped me through some tough spots in my life.

  • arainsb123 Feb 11, 2006 @ 9:24

    The night I found your Web site, I spent three hours on the articles, and for the following few days I couldn’t stop reading them. They’re some of the best on the Net, and without them, I don’t know if I ever would have completed Ascwellan — your wordcount method of writing got me through that book, and it’s been of great use in the projects I’ve been working on since then. Your site is fantastic, I love your blog, and you’re doing writers a tremendous service.

    On another note, there’s a problem with both of your feeds — I use Thunderbird as my RSS aggregator, and it returns an error message.

  • Angelique Feb 11, 2006 @ 5:34

    I love your blog 🙂 I love the real, down to earth, passionate attitude that fills up your posts. Your advice is priceless. During the rare moments of downtime at the hospital I’m checking your blog, and as nurses are born with the propensity to be more nosy than the average person, many people have read over my shoulder and asked me questions about you. I’m only half joking when I respond to them that you are my idol…an RN turned full time novelist.
    Even the non-writers I work with get stars in their eyes when I tell them how you were able to leave the floor to follow your dream.
    So thanks right back atcha 🙂 I’m grateful for your willingness to share so much of yourself and your work with us. I’ve learned a ton from you and am patiently salivating over my keyboard for the next installment of your workshop series. 🙂

  • shelbi Feb 11, 2006 @ 0:41

    Ditto

  • Chassit Feb 10, 2006 @ 22:10

    Everyone else has it right, the thanks goes to you Holly. This sight has made me think time and time again. And I stumbled across your website a few years ago, because I wanted to start writing. And when things got down, I found that publishing chances article, and you inspired and gave me the confidence to go on. Thanks again Holly, I owe you a lot. And thanks for the spellbinding stories as well!

  • Zoe Feb 10, 2006 @ 21:44

    This new template looks almost exactly like my old Sims blog.

  • Bonnie Feb 10, 2006 @ 21:06

    Ah! New template. What happened to the purple? Not that this one is bad–I have two right sidebars myself.

  • PJ Feb 10, 2006 @ 17:24

    T*H*A*N*K*S*!

    Others have already said most of what I’m thinking – so I’ll leave it at a simple thanks.

    ~PJ~

  • michellerowen Feb 10, 2006 @ 15:38

    Ah… I can see it now. Very good.

  • PolarBear Feb 10, 2006 @ 14:13

    Don’t. Beat. Head. Head. Fragile.

  • hollylisle Feb 10, 2006 @ 14:09

    Kee-rud. I don’t use Safari, and I forgot to check it.

    Massive beating of head ensues.

  • michellerowen Feb 10, 2006 @ 13:38

    Whatever you’ve done to the blog in the last day, Holly, I can no longer view it in Safari for Mac. I managed to click on a recent comment (sidebars look fine), and the comment itself is one word per line. Just thought I’d let you know. 🙂

  • tambo Feb 10, 2006 @ 12:02

    All we can do is all we can do. I can’t afford to mail out six books right now, but BC done pissed me off, so I’m mailing them anyway.

    I suck at promotion, too, but I look at the give away as thanks for my blog readers for taking the time to visit me, and to post. And this is just a good excuse to get off my butt and do something proactive. Besides, the books don’t do me any good sitting in my office. 😉

  • Tech Feb 10, 2006 @ 11:58

    Congrats on the words!

    And thank you for your books, your decency and your kindness.

  • Lumpy_d_Great Feb 10, 2006 @ 11:21

    I echo those comments and add thanks of my own.

    I had given up writing completely to take care of my family(17 years). I happened to be looking at some websights for reference material for my kid’s school project and found myself here. Thanks to information and insperation from you Holly, I found and rekindled my passion for the written word. My family is supporting me 100%. I hope someday that I can pay forward to others the way that you have to me.

  • TinaK Feb 10, 2006 @ 10:52

    Heartfelt thanks to you Holly. I honestly think that yours was the first professional writer’s blog that I found when I started to think about writing again. Just like your books, your blog drew me in and made me feel like a part of your world. While I do read other writer’s blogs, none are like yours and Pocket Full of Words remains the one blog that I visit daily. Many times, if you check your stats, more than several times a day.

    You are honest, sometimes brutally, and that makes you real. In a world where people wear so many masks that you can’t tell who the are, your honesty is appreciated by many.

    As Bridget said, it’s got to be draining to give and share the way you do. My hat is off too! Keep it up Holly.

  • Bridget Feb 10, 2006 @ 9:58

    The thanks go to you too, Holly, for maintaining an amazing, thoughtful and thought-provoking site that truly does pay forward. I love it here! 😉

    And thank you for sharing so bravely of yourself, year after year after year, to give people this site in the first place. It’s got to be draining in about every way to keep it all up and running. My hat’s off to you. =)

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