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I used to blog all the time. I wrote daily on Livejournal, and I’d post multiple times a day — once as often as twelve times in a day. And then the History Students Association at SFSU elected me to be the technology officer, forcing me to get a Facebook account, and I switched to Facebook “micro”blogging. As anyone who knows me knows, I am not a “micro” anything, which is why I’m not really much on Twitter.

Then LJ got taken over by the Russians and I deleted all of my accounts there.

I started this blog because my tax man said that if I wanted to signal to the government that I’m serious about writing, I needed to have a few social media accounts and a website. Et voila. Here we are. I don’t use the social media accounts and this website/blog is practically moribund. But on the other hand I’ve been wanting to do some writing about writing, etc. and look, I have this convenient blog that I forget exists half the time.

I’m supposed to be building a marketing platform of people who will be waiting with bated breath, in anticipation of the next book I release. Only I haven’t released any books. I’ve written a whopping two short stories a couple of years ago and that’s it. Kinda. Not really, but kinda.

Eh. When I was 8 I wrote my first short story. And then my mom bought me a comp book. The kind with the mottled black and white covers and the 100 pages of bound paper. I wrote a lot in that. I got another, and another, and by the time I was in middle school I was writing short stories set on Pern, or in Valdemar, or on Krynn, or the like. In high school my mom bought me a typewriter, and once I got a job and could afford postage stamps, I signed up for the Queen’s Own newsletter, where I saw an advert for the Writers Collegium of Valdemar. Which I of course joined. Six of us wrote stories and mailed them to each other. It lasted about 2 years, maybe a bit more, before Lackey’s lawyers made her make us stop, and that was the end of that. But by then I was off to college.

I wrote stories in college, mostly because I was bored senseless in my English Lit classes. And then I wrote more stories about characters I played in role playing games (think: Dungeons and Dragons). I probably wrote about 100 short stories and one novela, and then I quit.

I wrote nothing for ten years.

Scratch that: I wrote a lot of research papers. See, I flunked out of college, moved regions, got jobs, attended night school, went back to college, finished with honors, conquered grad school (terminal MA program in history), got my teaching credential, and started teaching school. And then one day a glorious thing happened: I got tenure. One month later I wrote a 12 page story. I was unsatisfied, so I expanded it and it grew to 75 pages. Again I was unsatisfied, so I expanded that to 128,000 words. And that’s when I realized I could write novels. I wrote two short stories for publication in charity anthologies (we sold 1600 copies; I’m named in reviews on Amazon) but otherwise stuck to my 128,000 word whopper.

I realized I could end that book at about the 90,000 word mark, so now I had 1.3 stories. I wrote out most of the 0.3 — maybe to 0.8 of a novel — and then stopped and tried to revise the 1.0 portion. I revised and revised and revised.

Around that time I discovered Scribophile. I hung out on there for maybe a year before I found Ubergroup, a group within Scribophile. I joined Ubergroup and eventually ended up in a sub-group called Noir Are We Normal, where I’ve been for at least 2 years now. This is my crit group — all people who are helping each other learn how to write. We work in 6 week stretches, taking a “fallow” week off, and we try to send out about 3000 words a week. Working with my crit group in Ubergroup is probably the single best thing that’s happened to my writing since I got tenure.

Right now I’m in a bit of a fallow place. I finished Book 1 (the 128,000 word thing), realized it’s actually Book 3 (Maria), and then wrote the real Book 1 (Lisette). I’m currently working on Book 2 (Joana). I’m maybe 20k words into Joana. Meanwhile, work is kicking my butt. It’s been a terrible year for work and I’m exhausted, so I’m not writing as much. In fact, I’m in danger of losing my -er.

I’m supposed to keep a blog to persuade people to be interested in me so they buy these books when (if) they come out. Frankly, the whole idea scares the pants off of me. I am not that likable. In fact, I’m awkward. Socially awkward. Introverted. Not really very good at this whole “hey look at me!!! Buy my stuff!!!” thing. Everyone tells me I have to create a writer platform and build a fan base before I write a book, but the whole idea terrifies me and I don’t see the point in creating a base of people for my writing when I haven’t even published anything yet. Like, what is there to be excited about? I never got excited about a book before it was written unless I was already a fan of that writer’s pre-existing work. And then I’m scared because I feel as if I say anything remotely offensive, people will drag me all over the Internet. Ugh. An introvert’s worst nightmare. I never want to be Internet-famous. Hell no.

On the other hand, self-censorship is also bad. The Internet is a much less safe place than it was twenty years ago (hello, Geocities!) but you gotta grab the bull by the horns and go for it. Or something. I should resign myself to the possibility of doxxing and death threats and move on from there.

If you’re not interested in me, that’s okay. I’m not that interesting. But I do like to write thousands of words about all the cool stuff I’ve learned about writing, so maybe you’ll find that interesting. And if all else fails, you can laugh at the irony of this blog’s existence.

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