Have you heard of Patreon? It’s a company that empowers crowd-sourced patronage of the arts, including but not limited to authors. By pledging monthly support at one of various patronage tiers, each with its own level of perks and rewards, you’re able to support your favorite writers directly. I have recently started my own, and it is my fondest wish that your patronage does not include me.
Bill's blog. Writing, guitars, gratuitous Simpsons references, you'll find it all here. Almost certainly a waste of time for both you and the author. On the internet, that's actually a plus.
Check out my new column, "The Social Contract for Writers" at Writer Unboxed. Part of the social contract is reading my column, so, you know, you'd better get started. Here's an excerpt:
Buy your friends’ books. Buying a peer’s book is a sign of professional respect. Buying the cheaper ebook version is a sign of being a savvy shopper.
- No jealousy allowed. Celebrate friends’ successes! Rather than seethe with envy, better to remind them that without help from good people like yourself, they’d be nothing. NOTHING.
It's column time again! This month's edition: "Low-tech Tools for Writers."
Are your gadgets and gizmos getting in the way of your writing? I've got some ideas. Good ideas. GREAT ideas.
The Typewriter: The older, the heavier, the more beat-up, the better. The main thing is you want it to be LOUD; when you type, it should sound like an army of spooky skeletons are storming your front door. This has the added bonus of scaring away any roving bands of skeletons, who are very territorial and don’t like to move in on another skeleton gang’s territory.
Some good-quality paper: Show people you mean business by buying some heavy bond in brilliant, gleaming white. Paper so white, it hurts to look at. Paper so white, it’s pronounced “HHWHITE!” Paper so white, if it gives you a paper cut, the cops will let it off with just a warning.
Hey! I've got a new column up at Writer Unboxed: "How to Sign Books Like a Big-shot Author." Here's an excerpt:
Method 1: The Squiggle
The ink should flow from your pen like the wine flowed down your gullet when you wrote your book. I don’t mean that literally–we don’t want the pen to explode, you lush! Just put some oomph into it while you’re signing. If you do it right, your signature should match your polygraph readout when someone asks you how many books you’ve sold.
If you're at Illogicon this weekend, I'll be doing some fun panels with a bunch of smart people. Here's my schedule:
Friday - 4pm - Cameron - Debunking Fake News and Pseudo Science
Assessing claims and debunking the harmful junk floating around while maintaining your sanity and relationships. Panelists: Randy Richards, Darin Kennedy, Bill Ferris, James Maxey, Jessa Pearce
Friday - 7pm - Smith - Paranormal Pets: The Cutest Critters, Cryptids, and Creepers
Is a magical familar ever just too much? Do Pokemon count? How does having a stalwart companion change our emotional investment in a story? Panelists: Mur Lafferty, Michael Williams, Natania Barron, Bill Ferris, Randy Richards
Friday - 11pm - Cameron - Robot and AI Rights (M)
Self driving cars, drones, and sexbots: the lines between science and science fiction are blurring when it comes to AI and machine automation. And have you seen the Boston Dynamics robot dogs? The future is now, y’all.
Panelists: Bill Ferris, Christos Archer, James Maxey, Randy Richards
Saturday - 10am - Reynolds - Saturday Morning Cartoon Nostalgia
Wear your jammies, bring your coffee, and talk about your favorite cartoons of the 80s, 90s, and beyond! BYOCereal! Panelists: Christopher Moore, Bill Ferris, John Lapoint, Jessa Pearce, Janet S. Planets
Check out my new column at Writer Unboxed, "How to Plan Your 2017 Writing Agenda." Here's an excerpt:
April: Set aside the first half of the month to do your taxes for all the books you sold last year. If you didn’t sell many (or any) books, reserve this time for crying softly in the dark. You can spend the second half of the month finishing the novel draft you were supposed to finish in March.
May: You’re not really used to planning things this far in advance. I mean, they could have flying cars and faster-than-light travel by then! There’s a good chance they’ll have a device that can extract the words for your novel directly from your brain.
June: The rejection letters from those short stories you sent out in March should start arriving. Spend the rest of the month in an coffee-fueled anxiety attack and revise each piece until it’s barely recognizable. That way, maybe someday someone, somewhere, will finally love you.
Now go read the whole thing. I mean, if you want to, I didn't mean that as a command or anything. But you totally should.
Hello! Here's my year-end post about my work that's eligible for awards. It's just one story this year, but it's a good one that I like very much: My Enemy, the Unicorn, published in Unidentified Funny Objects 5. Please enjoy this short excerpt:
Snowflake had been Jax Zoo's lone unicorn since his mate, Raindrop, broke her leg. Scuttlebutt was that the zookeepers had used their gun on her, then split the carcass between the griffins, tigers, and bears. This had come from Lily and her friends, though, and they were full of shit half the time, and at least half-full all of the time. They told Chad all sorts of things, like if he'd been taken to any other state, he'd have rights as a person, but like most creatures of arcane genetics and questionable legality, he'd ended up in Florida.
My new column is up at Writer Unboxed: "Bob Dylan’s Nobel-Prize Worthy Advice to Writers."
“When I start writing a song, I like to put together a real detailed outline first. Then I hand it over to some freelancers I know from the advertising business, and they hash out the chords and the lyrics while I cruise down to the club for a quick nine holes. Much more efficient this way. Production is up 23% this quarter. The market needs product, man. Gotta feed the beast.”
Check out my new column at Writer Unboxed, Killer Apps for Writers. I had a lot of fun writing this one. Here's an excerpt:
Something Just Came Up: Once per week, you’ll have to work on your manuscript at the same time as an event scheduled in your Google calendar. Prove your dedication to the craft by skipping a meeting at work, or by missing your kid score a goal in soccer while your eyes were focused on your laptop. Even more insidious: Each word you type on holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries counts double, so it’ll be REALLY tempting to write during those. If you fail to meet your session goal, you’ll receive a calendar invitation ominously titled “FUNERAL FOR THE DILETTANTE” scheduled for exactly one week later. You will try to RSVP “no,” but will find you cannot.
Pop Quiz, Hotshot!: This Android and iPhone app will surprise you once a day by demanding you write 250 words. The good news: You have a whole hour to do this. The bad news: You’ll get locked out of your phone if you fail.
Go read the whole thing, why don't you?
Killer Apps for Writers via WriterUnboxed