Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Peers and Self Loathing Near Las Vegas

Just a play on words on the title there.  No I don't think I am like Johnny Depp who played in the great movie portrayal of Hunter S Thompson.  I never have even seen the movie, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, but someday I think I will.  I do have fear of peers however, and their loathing.  I take umbrage sometimes to reviewers who were not there in the fox hole with me as I spent countless hours on my novel only to dismiss my work with a snarky remark and only give it a few reluctant stars on

I have been on this new journey in my life for about a month now.  I have not been working in my day job due to a neck injury which has kept me in a haze of pain pills and booze.  So Hunter, my writer brother watching down from writer's heaven;  I think I am beginning to feel your pain.  I also have not been able to earn my comfortable six figure income and am relying on savings and my dear wife to bring home the bacon.  She works as a nurse and comes home with stories of this and that.  Mostly I tune her out except for the story she told the other day of how a rattlesnake managed to get through the automatic doors and terrorized the nurses at work.  One intrepid nurse grabbed a pillow case and a stick and prodded the hissing monster  into the sac and put it outside to slither away.  Shudder.  I hate snakes.

The spiders and snakes are a cause for concern around this mountain community above Lake Isabella, and lately I have been feeling the stare of a possible mountain lion stalking me as I go on walks in the hills around my house.  The dogs have been acting a bit spooked of late, and yesterday they stood stock still, like pointers, silently gazing at the same spot for an uncomfortable minute or two.  Then I heard or else my imagination conjured up a squalling sound like I have heard mountain lions make in movies and commercials.  I don't carry a weapon on these walks and now am reconsidering this lack of preparidness.  I did see a dead mountain lion by the side of the road nearby.  It  most likely was struck by a car and when I drove by the same spot later, it was gone.  Heebeejeebies.

This neck injury setback has  actually allowed me to pursue my life long dream of becomming a writer and so I sit here writing, while wearing a neck brace.  I am getting into a morning routine now.  Coffee and social networking to get my eyes less bleary and brain cells working properly and clear the cob webs.  Then a little editing on my work in progress which I am writting by the seat of my pants.  I still am not sure how the story will end.  Lol.  Not to worry.  I usually write like this.  It makes it more interesting for me.  Like some malevolent entity  is lurking inside my body and using me to write their stories.  He he.  Like in THe Dark Half.  Thanks for planting that in my head Stephen King.

I am picking up a bit of steam now and learning to ignore the distractions in my life.  The television stays off.  I even have decided music is a distraction as I tend to want to sing along.  ScarryOkie style.  I am working towards a thousand word a day quota.  It takes me about 2 to 3 hours to get up there and at this pace I might see a couple of novels done per year.  Dreamer.  But I like to dream big.

So I hope everyone has a pleasant Halloween and more treats than tricks befall you.

Reggie Ridgway


  1. Come on, you're too old to be stalked by a cougar!

    Mountain lions are scary creatures. It'll take more than a stick to ward one off, you'll have to carry a shotgun on your walks.

    1,000 words a day is a good goal. When I participated in the 500WIP I usually hit 1,000. I suppose you could say I had too much time to write.

    I've been sitting in the library for an hour trying to make myself come up with a marketing plan. When I started my self-published journey last spring, I had in mind I would be able to quit my day job and support myself and wife (and whichever of the kids would be living with us then) by 2013. I still think I can do that, though my current sales would argue the point.

    Most of the authors who've "made it big," that I'm aware of, self-publishing didn't do it by tweeting magical things or spending more time on FaceBook. They got it done by making Amazon's software pay attention to their books. That there is the challenge.

    Have you read any of Konrath's books? I've read one, ORIGIN, and while it started out pretty good, it kinda fell apart in the end. From what I've read about his other books, he's not what you'd call a great writer. Yet he makes pretty good bank, if you believe his blog posts. Yes, he has years of hard work behind his success, but he has lots to offer--many books.

    My overall plan hasn't changed since last year, and I got it from Konrath:

    1) Write good books people will like to read
    2) Have them professionally edited and formatted
    3) Get a great cover
    4) Repeat until Amazon can no longer ignore you

    I can't yet afford to have my books professionally edited, nor can I pay someone $300 on up for a cover. I think my covers are good, perhaps not great, and the formatting for my print books is top-notch. I think now that I'm using Scrivener my ebook formatting should be ace. I just gotta write more books.

    Sorry to hear about the neck brace.

  2. Aww. Thanks pal. Wish you were here to adjust my neck. Yes I am a Konrath follower and I have to say you and a bunch of other writers can write circles around him. That being said, he does have the correct formula which is keep on writing and have your work and your covers pristine.