Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Persistence or just plain stupidity

In the past few weeks, the challenge to define the difference between persistence and stupidity has come up on quite a few occasions. Is there a difference?

At Christmas, one of the gifts I gave my sister was a notepad for her office that said "Persistence is what you have when someone is too stupid to know when to quit". Of course, I thought this was hilarious, but had no idea it would come back to haunt me.

A few weeks after Christmas, I participated in my second half-marathon. I truly believe distance runners are a special breed. Most of the population just doesn’t get them. You can probably get the same health benefits from a number of other exercises that would not put your body through the grueling physical pain you get with pounding the pavement for multiple miles.

Now, I don’t consider myself a “runner” by any stretch of the imagination, but I will admit to enjoying the races I have participated in. This time, however, I went in with virtually no training at all, and the only way I was able to make it to the finish line was through prayer and the mantra that the run was 90% mental. Again, if I just persist, I’d come out victorious.

(In the spirit of being totally honest here, by mile 10 I was calling myself stupid and vowing never to sign up for another half-marathon).

Just this week, the persistence versus stupidity argument reared its head yet again. I was speaking to a fellow writer about the trials aspiring novelists must face without ever being certain that they will become published. It’s not easy. For years I sacrificed time with friends, watching my favorite TV shows, reading great books, and a multitude of other activities in exchange for following my dreams of becoming a published author. I was persistent.

Or, was I just stupid?

In hindsight, now that I have published a novel, I can say that the sacrifice was worth it. But when do you make that call?

If I had stopped running at mile five, when my lungs were burning, legs were aching, and eight long miles were looming ahead of me, I would not have my shiny Donald Duck medal to display, nor would I feel the sense of accomplishment that comes over me when I tell everyone I meet (yes, I’m still touting it to everyone) that I completed another half-marathon.

If I had stopped submitting query letters to agents, or pitching my book at conferences after the first ten rejection letters, I would not have books available on Amazon or (Have you pre-ordered your copy of Release Me yet? Get to it!)

Maybe I’ll just stop questioning the difference between being persistent and being stupid. Maybe there is no difference. Maybe it's just a matter of opinion.

What do you think?

For a good laugh, here’s a picture of me about five and a half miles into the half-marathon. Don't believe that smile. I was ready to collapse, but running through the Magic Kingdom gave me a great spirit boost.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Deflated Morning

I was supposed to return to my blog after my short hiatus with a great post about the cruise I just took on the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship, and the half-marathon I walked/jogged/crawled this past week. However, two flat tires and multiple problems with the tow company has drained all of my good cheer.

I was one of four drivers on the road this morning whose tire met with a huge piece of sheet metal that flew out of the back of a pick-up truck. So, instead of spending the afternoon starting a brand new novel, I'll have to spend my day at the body shop replacing the two brand new tires I just had put on my car two weeks ago. Joy, I tell you. Pure joy.

In my current state of mind, it's probably best that I don't start that new novel. It's supposed to be a romance, not a horror.

Hopefully, by tomorrow, my good mood will be restored and I can tell all about my lovely week cruising with Mickey and the Gang.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Publishing World in 2008

Several different sources passed on this interesting article by Mike Shatzkin, an industry guru (though I've never heard of him). The article, found in Publisher's Weekly, states 15 Trends to Watch this year regarding the publishing industry, and makes for very interesting reading.

The writing has been on the wall for some of the items. With Amazon's new Kindle ebook reader, and a bunch of others launched in the past few years, it's easy to predict that ebooks will increase in popularity. It's a smart move. We are becoming a gadget-driven society, and if we can these various gadgets, such as Kindle, Apple's iPhone, and the Sony Reader, to bring stories to the masses, I'm all for it.

Another interesting trend is publishers utilizing the internet to help with promotion of their authors. Of course, I believe publishers should have been more aware of web-based advertising years ago, but at least it looks as if they are finally catching up. I'll be happy to see more of a web presence in '08.

My favorite prediction is that 2008 will be "The Year of the Author". I'm all for that!

Check our Mr. Shatzkin's predictions on different aspects of the industry, and let's get reading in 2008!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Alternate cover for RELEASE ME

My fabulous publicist, Tara Settembre, of Buy the Book PR, is always on the look out for ways to promote my work. Through the grueling task of coming up with the next great idea, it's nice to know Tara has kept her sense of humor.

It's no secret that I absolutely adore the cover for my upcoming release, RELEASE ME (which is now available for pre-order on Amazon, by the way). However, yesterday, Tara sent me an alternative to the blatant display of chocolate male flesh and six pack abs that currently grace the cover of my sophomore novel.

What do you think:

Nothing against two icons of country music, but personally, I'm still loving the chocolate and the six pack.

Labels: , ,