Social Distancing, COVID-19, and Being a Writer

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Right now, there’s a whole lot of THIS going around. For several writers (who are also introverts), the idea of staying home for two weeks to self-quarantine is a dream come true. The ability to write to your hearts content, avoid the general public, and bask in the warm glow of books all day long? Who doesn’t picture that as being Elysian? But for those of us who also market our own stories, it becomes a Herculean task to do this via social media only. Not only are there algorithms and hashtags to master, ads to purchase and design, and non-stop postings to be done, but there is the simple truth that putting your book in the hands of a physical customer has a beauty to it that can’t be equaled by online sales.

When I’m not writing and attempting to market my own books, I work as a salesperson. I spend day in and day out selling product to customers, convincing them what choice is best for them and how much fun they’ll have with said item. I’ve been doing this job for nearly 13 years. When I have the opportunity to attend a convention or an event where I can push my own wares, I get to reach people on a different level, a more personal level than I would just letting my books go in e-tail platforms.

That’s why I was so hyped to be doing not one but two big events this spring, events I spent a good deal of money on, and in addition to that, spent money on promotional items for said events as well. I was looking forward to getting people excited about my newest book and creating hype.

And then the Corona Virus happened.

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The Writers’ Abditory: 2019

Grayscale Photo of Books

In the last couple of years, it’s been hard to find the time to sit down and write. Between work, relationships, and getting things done at home, I’ve found the passion to write waning more and more. It’s sad because for a long time, writing was the only thing that kept me going. It was the glue that held the structure of my life together. Now that I have zillions of things going on, writing has become less prioritized next to spending time with family, working my day job, and keeping the house in check.

Like many writers, I become sad when I can’t write. I get anxious and am frequently tense. Ideas blossom when I’m not able to write them down and then fade after a time. I’ve personally allowed this anxiety to get the better of me on a number of occasions this year and it has manifested itself into a depression.

The Monstrum Chronicles blog became a job versus something I really wanted to do. I had put expectations of getting daily blogs up that, realistically, were not attainable tasks. I’d feel bad that I couldn’t get these done. I’d panic and apologize. Writing this blog became a source of anxiety instead of a relief from it.

I knew I needed to make a change.

This year, I’ve decided to transform my old blog into a new one, a better blog that won’t demand so much of my time, a blog that I can contribute positive writing-based source material to that hopefully, will connect and inspire others out there. I’m looking to put myself on a new path away from frustration and towards self-respect and love.

Welcome to the new Writers’ Abditory.

An abditory is described as a “concealed location used for storage or to hide items”. I wanted to build a place that would not only be a writer’s hiding place, but a safe place. Cozy and secure. I want this new endeavor to be a place of positivity where I can come to when I’m looking for an escape. I hope the same for you also.

In the coming week, I’ll be posting a little more about what I hope to be blogging about here over the coming year and what you can expect to find on The Writers’ Abditory.

Stay tuned.

~K

Writer Thoughts-Thursday: NaNoWriMo

Late in October at one of the Halloween Readings that I organize, I listened as several fellow writers and friends discussed plans to partake in this year’s NaNoWriMo. Never heard of it? It’s like a month-long marathon for us writers. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. Think of it as a writing spirit quest if you will. A writer commits to the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month’s time, therefore writing an entire (or most of) one book. In order to accomplish this seemingly Herculean effort, a writer must write at least 1,667 words a day to finish on time.

However easy it might seem, there is something that we writers seem to excel in all the better: procrastination. It’s one of my top ten talents actually. I didn’t decide that I was going to join the scores of writers participating in NaNoWriMo until 9 days into the month. I should have had 15,0003 words written. Here we are now 19 days into the month and I still have less than 10,000 words. I’m supposed to be more than 1/2 way completed by now.

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Writer-Thoughts Thursday: Knowing When To Start Over

KNOWING WHEN TO START OVER…

Last night in an effort to sit down and finally make some headway with my current WIP, I plopped down in front of my word processor, brewed a nice pot of coffee, and opened up the story. It’s sitting at page 200 and in my mind, I’m about 2/3 of the way done with the novel. I had hopes of finishing it up by the middle of September and then allow it to sit so that I could come back with fresh eyes later. Except that I have now found myself stuck between a rock and a hard place with my protagonist. She’s injured, in confinement, and with very few (and I mean VERY few) options of escape. As I’ve plugged along, I’ve known that this was going to take lots and lots of revising and editing, that the story seemed off-kilter the way it was and could use tweaking. But I wanted to save it for when I’d actually completed the 2nd draft of the book. (The first draft was only fifty pages long and I’d decided to reinvent everything and start over).

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New England Authors Expo 2015 Recap

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Just a short and sweet post about my latest appearance at the New England Authors Expo. The Expo happens annually at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA. I attended last year and had a very fun time meeting other writers in my genre (as well as others) and exploring the town (and sometimes confusing roads) of Danvers. This year, the venue was a little different. There was a separate room set up as a sort of mini Comic-Con for horror, fantasy, and sci-fi authors to set up while the Ballroom upstairs was reserved for all other genres. While I managed to have a good afternoon and sold double of what I sold last year, the change in the venue and a little confusion about where the Garden Terrace was made it a little harder for patrons to find us. Be that as it may, the people I talked to were lots of fun and once again, I managed to meet several new faces and hopefully new friends in the New England writing world.

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PORT-CON THIS WEEKEND!

Guess where I am today?

PORT-CON!

That’s right! For all of you living, visiting, or passing through the Portland, Maine area, be sure to swing in to the Double Tree Hotel across from the Maine Mall and check out this celebration of Maine’s geek culture. Basically…anyone who loves anime, comic books, superheroes, horror, Doctor Who, video games and various other things will be THRILLED.

I was lucky enough to join some of my fantastic New England Horror Writers colleagues this weekend as we present at a few panels and have our books for sale at the show. I’m joined by Scott Goudsward, Peter Dudar, Dale Philips, Josiah Pitchforth, and Duane E. Coffil. I’m looking forward to checking out some of the other panels being offered (one of which is about world building) and also looking forward to spending some much needed time promoting my latest release, “Memento Mori: Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles”.

We’ll be doing 3 panels over the weekend, one each day.

Friday 2 pm: The Basics of Getting Published

Saturday 2 pm: The Pros and Cons of Writer’s Groups (I’m in this one!)

Sunday 3 pm: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing (I’m also in this one!)

Check out the Port-Con website for more information about the event, when to catch our panels, and where you can find our table in the Artist Alley!

Hope to see you here this weekend!

~KSilva

Amazing People: Give ’em some attention!

Good afternoon, readers!

I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time but haven’t had a chance to do it until now. That being said, let me explain why I need to do this.

I’ve met some extraordinary people in my journey to publish my book. They are gifted writers, photographers, commentators, bloggers… they are all deserving of some attention and I think it’s time they received some. These people were there for me, giving me encouragement when I needed it the most, and constantly providing some good karma. It’s time I returned the favor to them.

Below, you’ll find a list of some amazing people and their websites. Please visit them, read or view some of the things they’ve accomplished, and help them out by “liking”, “subscribing”, or “commenting” about it. Also, spread the word about them! Suggest their websites to your friends. They deserve some good vibes!

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Limbo: A Short and Sweet Soundtrack for Horror Writers

Good morning,

I have a nightly ritual. Check the social media sites, and then hunker down to watch some video game commentaries by Harshly Critical. They are always entertaining and are always a mood lifter if I’ve had a particularly rough day. Yes, another shock of information about me: I adore certain video games. I’m very picky about them. In the past, they have helped to inspire some of my writing, ie: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver was a huge influence behind “Vox”.

At the moment, HC has been doing a playthrough of a little known indie game called “Limbo.” It has black and white 2D graphics. The simple premise is that you play as a young boy who is trying to make his way through a series of hostile environments to find his sister. There’s no dialogue, there are no epic cutscenes, and it’s extremely linear. But, it’s one hell of a game.

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A Morning of Quotes

Good morning, readers!

Once again, I find myself falling behind schedule and must rush to get ready for work. Instead of writing a blog post today, I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from other authors and writers that help to remind me in times of high stress why it is that I love writing so much.. and may help you as well.

Have a read, feel inspired, and launch yourself into whatever today offers!

  • Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin
  • I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it. – Ernest Hemingway
  • Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up. – Ernest Hemingway
  • Writing is nothing more than a guided dream. – Jorge Luis Borges
  • Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers. – Isaac Asimov
  • Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.  -Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.  -Vladimir Nabakov
  • Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies.  -Terri Guillemets
  • I love writing.  I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.  -James Michener
  • If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood.  I’d type a little faster.  -Isaac Asimov
  • Let me walk through the fields of paper, touching with my wand, dry stems and stunted butterflies…. -Denise Levertov, “A Walk through the Notebooks”
  • To withdraw myself from myself has ever been my sole, my entire, my sincere motive in scribbling at all.  -Lord Byron
  • The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.  -Agatha Christie

Well, my readers, I am now off to do the dishes… literally. And while doing them I’ll be dreaming of characters and exotic locations for future writing adventures.

~KSilva