Archive for February 2010

I'm free!!

Laptop computers are about mobility, but I've never been able to fully utilize this perk. I've had two laptops in my life, and both had tired, old batteries which means that I've been plugged in the whole time. Especially with this laptop, because the battery had about 20 minutes of life, but miscommunication between the battery and Windows made it so there was no warning when the battery went out. It just WENT. If the plug jiggled out of the jack or if I forgot to plug it in altogether, I would just lose whatever I was working on. Major suckage.

So when I came into a little extra cash, I researched a new laptop. This one weighs eight pounds, and the screen resolution is for watching videos which makes everything tiny, and a few other little quirks. But mostly, I was sick of the power issues from both laptops.

What I found was this: Laptops are expensive, y'all. Sure, I could get an el cheapo from Wal-Mart and compromise on features, but why get one that won't do what I need it to do? And my current one was top of the line when it was made (the original owner was a gamer) so it's still fast and relatively responsive. Yes, it's a behemoth at eight pounds. But it does everything I need, plus I've become attached to it, and I really don't want to have to change all my stuff over. So I spent a hundred bucks on a battery.

The communication issue must have been in the battery itself, because Windows recognized the new battery immediately. Yay, no more unexpected shut downs! No longer will the needle crash into the hard disc surface! Woo! I went unplugged for my evening Web surfing and got about 2 1/2 hours out of it, although I noticed watching videos suck the power fast, maybe 3x as fast. When I ran just Word and email, the power drain decreased to a crawl. I think if I could stay offline I could have a good 4-hr writing session on just the battery.

Although I haven't been off the couch with it yet, just knowing I can be is a good feeling. No I just need a bag that will fit Gigantor.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

What do stinky chairs, plot holes, and thunderstorms have in common? They're all in this post.

We had an actual thunderstorm yesterday, with no snow, no sleet, no frozen water in any form. There's something so comforting about thunder. Extra comforting this time, because maybe it signifies the crazy white stuff is gone for good. Maybe? Please?

I went up to the office for a while yesterday. It doesn't get much use since my kids are all in school. I miss it. Although, while I was up there yesterday something was irritating my eyes. I think it's the stinky chair. (I tried to find the posts about the office and the stinky chair for the new readers, but I think they're on the old blog.) So that chair has to go, and then we'll see. It makes sense now why I've always felt sleepy up there. Some subtle chemical irritating my eyes. I've only been up there 2-4 times since I eliminated fragrances.

The writing went very well yesterday, though, despite the irritation. I've been feeling pretty crappy about this book because it I was cutting and cutting, watching my word count drop and drop, and that is the most depressing damn thing in the world. Yeah, yeah, I was cutting bad stuff. Whatev. But yesterday I saw an ENORMOUS plot hole, and I think I can make up all those cut words and then some! It's a huge opportunity for expansion. I'm excited again. And I'm still close to being done.

Gotta go get ready for my doctor's appointment. This is my yearly assessment of thyroid level, but I think I should also tell the doc about the old injury to my hand. I have the money but that won't be true in a couple of months. It's probably to late to do anything about it, but it can't hurt for him to look at it.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Teach me, child

Okay, wow. It seems like a month has gone by since I've posted, but it's only been a week! I guess that shows how completely removed from blogging my head has been.

I've had a pretty nerve-wracking and emotional week, what with my grandson being born and all. Trenton came on...counting backwards--it's all running together...he came on Friday morning, 2-12-10, after about 20 hours of labor. I'm proud of how Zariah handled it all. It's not the ideal situation for a young lady to be in, a senior in high school while the young man is a junior, but worse things have happened. We can only let those concerns take a back seat to the celebration of this new life.

Zariah has a ton of support. Her mom's extended family lives in the same town, so she has grandparents and aunts and cousins who would love nothing more than to babysit.

And of course the worrywart comes out of me: I'll never get to babysit because we live too far away to be convenient; I overstep my role as her step-mom; I'm not involved enough; her dad should really be doing more, so I push him; he ignores me and I'm nervous about his lack of concern. And his lack of concern is mostly just a good attitude. He figures she'll let him know when she needs him. I'm a high-strung gal, always have been. Something inside me says I'm in charge of everything, and even though my forebrain knows this is not the case, this feeling originates in my brain stem. So while I know my bonus daughter is incommunicado because she's acclimating to her new role, my brain stem insists I effed it up, hurt her somehow, was too pushy or too detached. After all, I'm responsible for not only my own feelings/thoughts/actions, but also everyone elses. It's totally ridiculous.

Trenton was so sweet, hardly cried at all while I was there. I got to hold him a couple of times and he just gazed at me. People keep telling me how great being a grandparent is, because you can give the kid back when you're done, right? I want to have that joyous freedom, but I don't have it in any other area of my life, so why would I in this instance? All I feel right now is this ache to be in charge of this baby, as I've been in charge of all the babies in my life for 11 years. But all those babies were mine. Maybe Trenton will teach me how to let go and enjoy.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

Branding myself a spiritual fantasist

Agent Chip MacGregor's post today is about branding yourself as an author. Chip asked a branding consultant for a definition, and the consultant said, "In many ways, a brand is nothing more than a series of perceptions people have about you." I've worked on branding myself as a blogger with my blossom theme, and I've unintentionally branded myself with content and voice, which works when everything you write is available for public consumption, i.e. a web log. Not so much for an unknown novelist.

I've always avoided branding myself for the common reasons: makes me feel self-aggrandizing; don't have a product to push, so why bother; don't really know how to categorize myself.

Those first two, I've got a handle on them. Everybody has areas where they excel, and I think I know mine; realizing I wouldn't begrudge anyone else feeling good about their strengths sort of gave me permission to acknowledge mine. I still don't have a product for sale to the public, but I do have a product for sale to publishers, and I'd like them to see how serious I am about the whole thing. In essence I've been branding myself to publishers this whole time, but not intentionally. I'd like to be intent about it.

So the first two, okay. The last one, how to categorize myself, is one every author struggles with at some point. For a long time I couldn't see any similarity between the Ea's Gift world and the Black Veil Angel world, nor the worlds of my short stories. However, I was focusing on story. When I thought about a connecting theme, it all opened up.

My protagonists don't know what's true and what's a lie. They don't know who to trust, especially themselves. There's also some defining element of transformation in every protagonist. My characters are regular people who search for something more than themselves. A very spiritual thread.

Hey, this could be a new subgenre. Right now fantasy books dealing with spiritual themes are lumped in with the massive "fantasy" category. But I can see it now: Black Veil Angel takes the world by storm, and suddenly it's a genre unto itself.


So how do you brand yourself?
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Ice Age 9: Hell freezes over

(Had to change the title from 4 to 9. Who knew an Ice Age 4 was actually coming? Did anybody watch 3?)

I never did find my camera cord, so I guess I'll never get those ice storm pictures uploaded. I'm sure I put the cord somewhere that made sense at the time, but only my other personality knows where it is.

I'll go on record as saying this is the strangest winter I can remember. Normally here in Oklahoma we have a couple of little snows a year, with one big, bad winter storm every two or three years. Ice, snow, power outages, the whole shebang. Any accumulation melts within a day or two, at the most a week, and many times I can remember wearing shorts one week and earmuffs the next. We don't have extended periods of deep cold. My pear trees try to bud a couple of times every winter, it can get that warm.

This season we've had a blizzard with record snow totals followed by a cold snap that kept the snow around for weeks, an ice storm with record ice accumulation and another record snowfall on top of that, with a bunch of little snows in between. I'm seriously thinking of investing in a snow shovel. Yesterday I bought a chainsaw so I could cut up all the limbs that fell off the trees, and if it will ever stop snowing I will do that. Lingering snow makes me nervous. I'm used to the landscape looking a certain way, so those few weeks when the snow just stayed gave me a constant, vague feeling of suspicion.

People like to say, "I thought the globe was supposed to be getting warmer, yuk yuk." Well of course if the global average temperature is raised or lowered it will cause weather patterns to shift, and that means different weather, not necessarily warmer all the time. I don't know if global warming is real or not, and frankly, I've stopped caring. I live as simply and consume as little as I can, and that's all I can do.

Not sure I've ever been this ready for spring. Geez.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

This blogger ready to jump on next big thing

[Reading over this, it seems like all these paragraphs should be in a different order, but I don't care enough to change it. Read them in any order you like.]

Maybe it's a good thing I haven't snagged a publisher yet. It's an accepted fact that publishing is changing in ways we can't foresee. It's possible that when the dust settles the Kindle will be law and physical books will be a novelty item. Of course the dust may not settle for years, maybe decades. We are in transition, for sure.

I don't want to wait till the dust settles completely, but I would like to debut in a more stable marketplace than we have now. My goal for a long time has been to sign with one of the big sff publishers, like Tor (whose parent MacMillan just had a tussle with Amazon), DAW, Baen, etc. in book form, with electronic publishing secondary. I think this is still a viable goal, but in a few years it may be the other way around. Some of these little eBook publishers like Damnation Books/Eternal Press may emerge as the brass ring eventually.

But really, there's no reason for me to speculate because I can't control how or when I get published. All I can control is the book I'm writing right now and let the rest take care of itself.

Don't know if any of you noticed, but I haven't been interacting online much. I'm bored with all my usual things, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, and blogging, plus there has been an unusual development in my psyche, whereby the need/desire to write outweighs the distraction factor of the Internet. I'm still keeping up with what everybody's doing, but it's more out of habit. Probably twenty times in the past few days, I've typed out a whole comment and decided not to share, because I didn't want to be distracted by the ensuing discussion. What an antisocial a-hole I am!

Nah, not antisocial. I find myself wanting to email people instead of commenting with a mass of other people. I'm tired of the Internet with its constant barrage of other people's opinions. I'd rather be discussing things with folks one-on-one. This blog is a comfortable space for me, with a small circle of commentators, but then I'm forcing y'all to come here, and that's not fair.

Besides, I'm getting tired of the whole blogging scene. I've added very few new blogs in the past two years to replace the ones that folded, and my circle is shrinking. I'm in a rut. A rut I've seen before, no doubt, but a rut nonetheless. Anybody know what the next big thing is going to be? Because I'm ready to jump on it.

I'm not hiding and I'm not mad and nothing bad is going on in my life. I'm happy to get emails and comments and tweets from you, and I'm sure this isn't my final post. I'll still be around on Facebook, too, but I might stop announcing what I had for breakfast. Just slowing down on the info overload.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Popular Posts

- Copyright © Sherri Cornelius -Metrominimalist- Powered by Blogger - Designed by Johanes Djogan -