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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Around The Blog Block

I wanted to point you to a few blog posts I have read of late and haven't had the time to discuss.

The first is Marian Perera. Marian always has thought provoking content. She's on my keeper list, a very special list of blogs that are must-reads.

On January 10 she posted: Do writers deserve to be published?

Wow. She posited a great argument. The rise of the internet has given way to a proliferation of wannabe authors, both good and bad.

There has to be a way to choose, and the only reliable way I know of is going to a reputable publishing house where experienced editors can vet the project.

Self-publishing is still useful, particularly for nonfiction projects, but if you want to gain a following, you have to use the venue that will funnel your work into the most reader hands.

I really felt for Emily Veinglory. Her book cover shares the same stock photo as Lois McMaster Bujold. Ouch.

This has always been my greatest dread when it comes to cover art. The only way around it that I see is if the stock photo people can license photos for 3, 6, or 12 months at a time. At least give the person who's using that art to let her book shine for a few months before the next person comes around.

In the yellow page business, stock art is very common. What they do is govern that the same art won't appear on the same or facing page. This way you don't keep seeing the little plumber guy on all the plumbing ads.

For what it's worth, I liked Emily's cover better.

And one of my Yahoo groups is talking about "selling yourself". Many people have chimed in and said that they hate playing the part of salesperson. One bright soul spoke up and said that the best salesperson is the one who doesn't act like a salesperson. I said much the same thing here.

You're not selling. You're informing the world about a unique product and inviting them to try you out. If you treat your book like it was a used car, not only will you feel like a salesperson, but you'll also be perceived as one.

The other thing that came out in the discussion was that the average author might need a good five years before she's well known. Whew! That's a relief! There's still time for me.

I haven't discussed this publicly, fearful that I might be labeled habitually broken. Since November 2007 I've been suffering with what one doctor diagnosed as sciatica. The pain is so severe I have been unable to sit for more than 10 minutes at a time. If that doesn't interfere with writing, try it for a couple of hours and see how you do.

Stretch, he told me and it will fade in a couple of months.

Fast forward to July 2008 when my knee (on the opposite leg) gave out. I'd been compensating for my left leg (the supposed sciatic leg) and placing all my weight on my right.

My joint was so inflamed that I was reduced to using a cane--which wounded my ego something fierce.

Turns out that sciatica was actually ischial bursitis. And the bum knee is degenerative arthritis. The bursitis he can help, but only surgery will help the knee. He says the damage is still in its early stages. I should be able to live on steroids for quite a while before they stop helping, then I have to consider replacing the joint. Super bummer!

I will not lie. I am the WORST abuser to one's own body that you will ever find. I have run with cattle, been kicked by giant birds, carried near my own weight in feed and hauled more brush and dirt than any woman should. I am tough. But evidently I am not invincible. So I'm paying for it now.

I should have listened to my mother. She was always telling me I was too little to be doing those kinds of tasks. She said this abuse was going to come back and haunt me. -sigh. Moms really do know best.

Oh well. Modern medicine is improving all the time. Maybe by the time I need that new joint there'll be even better stuff out there. For now, there is cortisone.


Mike Keyton said...

Don't worry Maria, my mother in law is getting a new knee joint and she's 86. That gives you time to have three or more, though not at the same time

Maria Zannini said...

Ouch! Poor lady. But good on her that she's still getting along.

The doc tells me I should be able to live on steroids for quite a while before I need surgery. But I am such a crusader for living drug-free that it hurts my pride to resort to steroids.

For now I have started researching homeopathic therapies in the hope I can reduce my dependence on drugs.

Marianne Arkins said...

my mom has treated her rhuematoid arthritis with yucca and glucosomine for 15 yrs now -- her new doctor didn't believe she had it, because he felt she should be crippled by now. So he retested. She does have RA, and nary a gnarled knuckle to be found.

Do you find it interesting that NARY, GNARLED and KNUCKLE all start with the same sound, but a dramatically different letter?

And, no, I can't stay on topic. Ever.

Hope you find a way to feel better sans steroids. Those are nasty buggers.

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: Do you find it interesting that NARY, GNARLED and KNUCKLE all start with the same sound, but a dramatically different letter?

You win the prize for most weird, Marianne. lol.

Shelley Munro said...

Thanks for the interesting links.
Ouch re the knees. My husband had some sort of bursitis in his knee after he knelt on a rusty fish hook.
I hope you find a way to manage the pain. I'm not a fan of drugs either.

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, Shelley. Evidently getting older is not for the weak. *g*

Marian said...

Thank you, Maria! Writing the blog is fun in and of itself, but feedback like yours is very welcome too.

And I'm sorry about the knee. If I could, I'd give you one of those cool canes that has a hidden rapier inside.

Maria Zannini said...

You're welcome, Marian.

Love the rapier cane idea. That might come in handy. Thanks for popping in.