Monday, August 29, 2011

Rast Lives

I've been too involved with life things to get ready for book launches and signings of Rast, now I have the POD copies. Of course, they won't go away ... whereas the window frames that have been neglected for too many years need scraping and painting before winter sets in. Then there are the firewood expeditions to prepare for.

I actually hate the idea of climbing ladders to get to the roof where the last windows are. As much as I hate the idea of heading out to the forest to wield a chainsaw and cut down trees. My left leg has been paining lately and threatening not to be fit enough for such activities. I suspect it's psychosomatic.

I have to admit to being a convert to the ideas that we are all creatures of a mind-body gestalt, as well as a very Buddhist notion that we have created the world we recognise within our minds---and never experience the actual reality at all. Believing is seeing. By most people's understanding, a very topsy turvy world indeed. I guess that's where I get the fantasy writing from.

Rast was intended to be a topsy turvey story. I remembered all the men's adventure magazines of my childhood and youth, where the brave adventurers of modern western nations braved the mysteries and dangers of savage lands to carry forward the flag of empire and civilisation---and then turned it around. Today, the whole world has been turned around and the former movers and shakers of a pliant universe are being moved and shaken by populations that once were ignorant and passive, and by the very world itself---striking back at all the thoughless destruction wrought by those conquering heroes.

Of course, most Westerners do not believe these things are happening (or perhaps are the work of traitors within our midst) because they cannot see what they do not believe. Rast says that the simple and primative might have the better grasp on reality. Take warning all you doubters . . . the magic has alreay rebelled.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rast POD Copies Arrived.

I was beginning to doubt the efficiency of Purolator Courier, but the driver rang our doorbell in the nick of time. Two boxes holding some very nice looking copies of Rast, and with no demands for extra payment that I always suffered from UPS.

I have already shown them about and sold four already. I have also given two away...well, my editor certainly deserved one for putting up with my quibbling.

She and her husband put me up at their home just outside Calgary so I could attend the writing conference When Words Collide. Big thanks to Nancy and Doug. Nancy attended as well, so we took turns driving into Calgary.

The conference had a number of interesting presentations—well, most of them looked interesting but not all fitted my present activities. I halved my time, with one half devoted to meeting people and listening to readings. I strongly recommend taking every opportunity to network at writers conferences—most of the information in presentations can be found elsewhere (with one caveat) but meeting people who have more solid credentials than ones self in the business can be priceless.

The caveat? Sometimes panellists in group discussions can let fly a few home-truths in the cut and thrust of disagreement. There were no bitter verbal fights in the presentations I attended, but a few oxen were subtly gored. There were few high priests of literature present, mostly genre writers, and so the pretensions of academia and professional reviewers were taken out and aired.

At the last presentation I went to the panellists discussed promoting the writers’ life and experience on social media...Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ especially. A couple panellists suggested the latter was probably more useful than Facebook, and most of them gave examples of the value of being active on Twitter. I’ll have to try again—I never saw the utility in sending midget messages, but the trick is in the extensions like hashtags and following.

Now I have to plan a book launch for Rast and a few signings and sales. Still no more than silence from’d sure look nice to have award stickers on the front of the copies. Ah well, one can always dream.

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