“Experience” or “Reflections of a Sailor in Sight of the Shore”

Arrgh, mateys, this be the final time I sail beneath the bloggin’ Buccaneer’s banner.

The Buccaneer Blogfest now comes to an end, and its captains have left me with one final essay question: Share your experience from this blogfest. What are the next steps you want to take with your blog?

It’s my “apprehension of an object, thought, or emotion through the senses or mind” ye be wantin’, is it? Here, then, I’ll give ye the short version: I had fun.

Now for the long version. (Sit down, you in the back! You knew I wasn’t done! The short version is never the end, with me.) I got the chance to hear from a variety of new blog voices that I might never have stumbled across otherwise, including those of some bloggers whom I now happily follow. Likewise, I’ve gained a number of new followers of my own, which is always a delight – (thanks again, my beloved Ever On Wordians!) – and have had some great interactions in the comments.

And speaking of action in the comments…

Will Scarlet grins unrepentantly. “Referring to my going about, socializing in your behalf, are you?”

My behalf?? And here I got impression you were running amok for your own pleasure.

“Call it multitasking. Come on now, in all sooth, you can’t say that the people haven’t been enjoying it. I’m always a hit with patrons, it’s just my way. Plus I made a new friend! Shout-out to Ashley Vaandere, whoot-whoot!”

Aye, new friendship is always good. (:

As for the next steps for Ever On Word… Well, in the coming weeks, I’m going to have a lot on my plate, word-wise. My announcement on the “Ballad” page a few days ago laid out the basics pretty well:

Tomorrow’s August 1st. Know what that means, lads?
“Irish Bank Holiday?” Robin Hood guesses.
…Possibly. But I was referring to the start of Camp NaNoWriMo.
“Ah, yes,” says Allyn-a-Dale. “The summer version of the November madness that birthed my ballad.”
Yup. 50,000 words in a month; 2,500 words a day.
Marion whistles. “The minimum last time was 1,667 words a day!”
I wasn’t working weekends at a Ren Faire, then. I was just writing about people who did.
“Are we in this new novel, too?” Will asks eagerly.
‘Fraid not. I’ve got a whole new story-world to build, involving fairies and kidnapped children, mermaids and demon pirates, shapeshifters, a dragon, and a boy who refuses to take “ordinary” for an answer.
“Augh, that sounds awesome! Are you sure we’re not in it?”
Positive, Will. But I’ll be sure to keep everyone here apprised of my progress; maybe highlight my favorite lines of the day, like I did during “Ballad”s creation.
“I’ll be in it,” Gant-o’-the-Lute says smugly.
Um, no, not really.
“That’s what you said last time,” he says breezily. “And yet, somehow…”
#HasAPoint

So that’s what’s happening now. (Have you seen the nifty word-counter widget on my home page? That will keep us all in the number-related know.) Fortunately, I’ve got a nice stockpile of blog pieces ready to post, skillfully avoiding both neglecting my readers for a month and having to scramble to write an additional couple thousand words a week. And come September and beyond? – the beginning of my second year of blogging? We’ll all just have to wait and see. Don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to it! Bring me that horizon!

“Social Media” or “The Post I Drafted After 7 Straight Hours on Facebook *facepalm*”

Today’s topic among the bloggin’ Buccaneers crew? Social Media: Share your feelings and opinions about “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)” and it’s relation to writing and reading.

(That’s exactly how they phrased it, too. Clearly, they’ve been spending time at merriam-webster.com. *more-or-less straight-faced nodding*)

Anyway, let’s talk about the pros and cons of social media, as I see them.

Pros:

Sticking your name, face, and book-related chat everyplace makes it easy for your potential audience to stalk you. Not stalk in a creepy way, I clarify; creepy stalking would go under “cons”. But it’s easier to get fans if people know you exist, and fans sometimes like to know what’s going on with the people they’re, um, fanning on. So in that sense, author accessibility is an upward spiral of win-win.

It gets introverted authors to stick their noses out of their little hermit caves. My little hermit cave is actually very nice. The decorators did a stellar job. The notion of holing up in there forever is not entirely unappealing. But it probably wouldn’t be entirely healthy, either – any more than dumping me into a bottomless pit full of people would be. Hanging out on Facebook and on people’s blogs is a good compromise. It’s interaction, but with less of the pressure of immediacy. You can take more time deciding on your responses, or whether you even wish to respond at all. (No one expects you to comment on every single status and post. But try just blinking past someone who’s said something to your face and see how well that goes.)

Posting stuff can be fun. Even if not everyone always responds, some people do sometimes, and laughs/engaging conversation/whatever can be had.

It’s a hobby. *shrug*

Anyone else looking at this getting a rush of antsy claustrophobia,
or is that just me?

Cons:

It’s a black hole. If you don’t watch the clock, you can quite easily end up losing what might otherwise have been productive hours to the insatiable internet. Sure, depending on exactly what you’re doing, you could justify your social media time as more or less productive. But hey, you know what’s even more productive? The creation of actual product. In the case of authors, that means writing books, not statuses. Your WIP needs those 140 characters more than Twitter does. Think of all the starving novels in Africa.

Twitchily wondering if you’ve received any notifications since the last time you checked (a minute-and-a-half ago) gets old fast. How am I supposed to live my writerly life to the fullest if I keep getting pop-ups announcing that a dozen people I don’t know commented on some photo I made the misstep of emoti-commenting on? Author at work! Leave me in peace! I’m trying to concentrate!

hav u noticed how its effecting our spelling n grammerz, lol, :P? …Wow, that was really painful to type. Seriously, I don’t mind if/when I can tell that it’s all in good fun. But when people don’t seem to realize it’s a joke, I worry. Furthermore… well, I feel my blog pal The Hyperteller expressed it really well in an article, once, so it’s really annoying that I can’t seem to access it. But to paraphrase the bejeebers out of it, the idea was that relying on “like” buttons and smileys to express our opinions is lazy expression at best, and not really expressive at worst. I’m probably about as guilty of such overuse as the next person. I plead storing up my full creative powers to unleash on my novels, story stories, et ceteraz.

Its importance has been over-hyped. People will tell you that you can’t be a writer in this day and age and NOT have a full arsenal of social media accounts. They’re wrong. Maybe it will make some aspects of your career more difficult. Maybe somebody, somewhere, will be annoyed, I dunno. But if you get right down to it, the only thing you absolutely need as a writer is to have written something. That’s the bare minimum. Everything else is extra. Friends don’t let friends Tweet and write…unless they’re capable of putting writing first*, and social media second*.

(*These numbers are meant only to represent these two objects in relation to each other. If things like your family, health, and eternal soul don’t take precedence over Facebook, your priority list needs an overhaul.)

To sum up, then: I think social media can be great, so long as you don’t let it flush your life down the loo. Anyone care to corroborate or contradict?

“Favorite” or “Literary Folk I Adore and/or Admire… and, Oh Yeah, Those People Who Wrote Them”

The ship’s rail at my back. A blade at my throat. Sweat beads on my brow as I strive not to swallow. My eyes locked on the pair glinting opposite mine, I croak, “What d’ye want of me, ye soulless scalawag?!”

Leaning in so close I can sniff the rum on her mind, the dread captain snarls, “Who are your favorite authors and why?

For such are the life-and-death questions presented to we who sail under the flag of the jolly Buccaneer Blogfest.

Now, I don’t know how most people settle on their favorite authors, but me? I’m a character nut. So if an author writes a book that introduces me to a character I love, that author’s earned him/herself some serious “liked or preferred above all others; regarded with special favor” points. That being said, let’s compile a quick list – say, the first three I feel like writing about.

Author: Rachel Aaron. Book(s): The Spirit Thief and sequels. Character(s): Eli Monpress.

I’ve raved about his book here, and I’ll rave about another of his books two days from now, but to succinctly summarize, wizard thief Eli Monpress is my literary crush du jour, and I love Rachel Aaron for having written him into my life. I like a bunch of her other characters, too, when I can pry my attention away from Eli. And I like Rachel’s style – light, humorous adventure-fantasy that doesn’t take itself too seriously…unless things are getting serious, in which case they get serious hardcore, and you may be up all night turning pages. What I’ve seen of her on the internet has also convinced me that she’s just a generally awesome person. So take it all round, I’m a shameless Rachel Aaron fan.

Author: Robin McKinley. Book(s): The Outlaws of Sherwood. Character(s): The eponymous outlaws of Sherwood.

If memory serves, this was the book that made me go limp and doe-eyed over all things Robin Hood. I’ve read and enjoyed other work from her, as well (“Beauty” and “Sunshine” come to mind), but none of them took over my imagination the way “Outlaws” has. I’m not even sure I can properly express why I love her take on the Merry Men so much. I just got this really great sense of camaraderie – and it blended so beautifully with the way she presented their world, so that story and characters felt inseparable to me, if that makes a lick of sense to anybody – to the point where part of me wanted to go back to the days of King Richard and get myself run off my lands by Nottingham’s Sheriff, just so I could chill in the greenwood with Robin and the gang. I try not to let that part of me do the decision-making.

Author: Tirzah Duncan. Book(s): “Ever Actor”, plus some short stories. Character(s): Syawn, and Rowtan.

Sometimes I’m so busy considering her my best friend and writing buddy, I forget that she’s a legit author, too. An as-yet unpublished author, true, but no less an author for that. And in fact, I don’t know that we would have ever met, were it not for her novel’s MC, Sy. But fortune smiled upon me, for I read a quick bio about a thief lord whose name meant “fox”, and I was all over it. (This post is perhaps being too subtle about it for all but the keenest to grasp, but I have a pronounced attraction to thieves. …And I like foxes.) It was only after further familiarizing myself with her book (which has a new Facebook page, didja know?) that I likewise became a fan of her powerful mage, Rowtan. And now I hang with all three of them all the time in our imaginary pillow fort. Wouldn’t it be the coolest if we could do that with all our favorite authors? (:

Which literary faves would you hang in a pillow fort with, if you could?

“Biblio-psych” or “What Does Your Bookshelf Say About You?”

The nosy, nautical types at the Buccaneer Blogfest want to know: What books are on my shelf?

In the name of semi-thoroughness, I popped over to my little black bookcases (which represent only a fraction of my reading collection sprawled all over this house) to scribble out a quick inventory. And in so doing, my inner analyst began musing on how my hoard of reading material lined up with the principles of biblio-psychology (which, as far as either of us know, is not a legit branch of study… meaning we should totally make it so and earn a PhD. Boo-yah).

So: What do the books on my shelf say about me?

Calvin and Hobbes collections – I’ll be made an old, boring grownup over my dead body.

Heavily illustrated books about da Vinci, architecture, and the gardens of Versailles – A couple of my WIP’s young MCs may have been holding the wallet during these particular shopping trips. Logan’s more into da Vinci than I’ll ever be, and his best friend’s the architecture/Versailles fanatic.

Novelizations of “Van Helsing”, “King Kong”, “The Fantastic 4”, and the “Spider-Man” trilogy – I don’t just like to watch movies; I like to read ‘em!

Diagnosis: Murder mysteries by Lee Goldberg – I like my death with a side of Dick van Dyke (or at least his great character, Dr. Mark Sloan).

Liz Curits Higgs’ “Lowlands of Scotlandseries – I’m a Christian romantic with sucker spots for both old stories made new and Scottish accents.

Bookshelves: The windows to your psyche.
(Image Cred, Shelterness Frames via The Painted Nook)

Pride and Prejudice”, Marvel’s graphic novelization of the same, and “Mr. Darcy’s Diary” by Amanda Grange – I like spending time at Pemberley.

5 “Princess Diaries” volumes by Meg Cabot – I enjoyed Princess Mia’s high school drama all right, but not enough to pay for the whole series.

The first 4 “Sword of Truth” novels by Terry Goodkind – I love you, Richard, but I cannot take much more of the rambling nightmare that is your life.

The “Twilight” saga, novella, and Part 1 of the graphic novel – I must’ve gotten into the series before it got huge, because there’s no way I’d get in so deep once it was cemented as a cultural phenomenon. (I realize I’ll be waiting a while for the “Harry Potter” craze to die down…)

4 retellings of the Robin Hood legend – I must be keeping the fifth and sixth in my room.

A slough of longtime favorites (The “Montmorency series, “The Story Girl, the “Bonemender” trilogy, “The Frog Princess); a ton of titles picked up at book fairs during my school librarian days (largely unread, though delightful standouts include “The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, “Dragon Slippers, and “Skulduggery Pleasant); myths, fantasies, fairytales, picture books, two books of baby names, and a bound set of jigsaws puzzles featuring the art of Monet – My philosophy: There’s no such thing as too many books!

And what of you, readers? What about your innermost selves might your biblio-psychoanalysis reveal?

“Origin” or “How I Ended Up Airing Some Fantastic Dirty Laundry”

The question on deck for the Blogfest Buccaneers: Share your light bulb moment with us. How did you come up with the idea for your WIP?

As is somewhat usual with me, it was a long, meandering train of thought

The “point at which something comes into existence or from which it derives or is derived” of my tale was a character (that’s usual with me, too) – or rather, two of them. The first was a kinda strange lady, and as I lay waiting to fall asleep one night, I mulled over why that could be. I don’t recall when I figured it out, but it had to have been before December of I-forget-the-year, because by the time I’d started in on a collection of Christmas-centric short stories (one of which some of you may remember from this post), I knew what she was. More than that, I knew what a whole bunch of characters in that story world were, and – surprise on me – the answer wasn’t human.

(You know it’s time to switch your genre to fantasy when…)

Meanwhile, in another part of my head, the second, related character was bugging me to let him write a tell-all on his side of the story he didn’t feel was doing him justice. I let him rant for 200-some pages, then stepped in to rewrite it as a more focused memoir. That project sat in the Possibly Salvageable Junk Pile for a good while, along with the first few sorry pages from a companion story.

Fast-forward to early this year, when – after some enthusiastic encouragement from writing-buddy Tirzah – I felt I was finally ready to tackle this old monster project in a new form: A trilogy spanning three generations of one hilarious, heartbreaking, mega-dysfunctional, truly phenomenal family. Strangeness will be explained. Tell-all will all-told. Many of my earliest characters left for years in authorial storage will finally get some time in the sun, as well as plenty of time in the dark.

I’m quite pleased with and proud of the work I’ve done so far, and am looking forward to finishing strong and sharing this beautiful beast with the world! I think fans of YA urban fantasy/paranormal stuff are gonna like it. (:

“Scarlet” or “Give Him an Inch, and He’ll Talk a Mile a Minute”

Today’s Buccaneer Blogfest mission, if I choose to accept it (and I do), is a bit of merriment known as the character interview.

People who’ve been around the blog a few times know that conversations with characters are right up my alley; I’ve even let a few of them guest blog for me. (Thanks again, Bruno, Allyn, and Lute.) And once I’d done that… well, I kind of sealed my fate.

Y’see, I’ve got this character. Goes by the name of Will Scarlet. Perhaps you’ve seen him on the “Ballad” page. Harder not to have seen him, if you follow the page. He’s a talker, an attention hog, and has been begging me to let him have his own blog for months. That’s not happening. I don’t have the time. But since I’ll be sitting down for a chat with a character today, it may as well be him. (I’d not soon hear the end of it, otherwise.)

Better cut this introduction short, since I know his answers won’t be. Scarlet, come on down!

Will: Yes! Right! Awesome! Hello, everyone, you all look beautiful – I mean that!

Me: You can’t see them.

Will: Maybe I meant “beautiful on the inside”. It’s not all about looks, Danielle, no matter how hot mine are. So! What questions have you got for me?

Me: Why don’t you start off by telling us a little bit – A LITTLE BIT, Will – about who you are?

Will: I’m an outlaw undercover at a Renaissance Faire that’s actually Avalon. (Y’know, Arthurian legend? That Avalon.) Anyway, back to me, I’m one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men. Yes, THE Robin Hood. I’m his cousin, as well as his left-hand man, you might say, since Little John snagged the title of right-hand man, and I’m left-handed anyway, so that all works out. I’m also the brains of the group.

Me: Really, Will? You’re actually claiming that?

Will: Well, I mean, not that the others aren’t smart, too. Robin with his leadership savvy, and Marion all on top of interpersonal relations, and Allyn the musical genius, and Little John… well, he’s just big, isn’t he? Intelligent enough, but mostly huge. And quiet. It’s creepy. And okay, so I don’t always act like the brains of the band – or even necessarily like I’ve got a brain in my head. But I totally do! I’d like to see any of the others think up half the stuff I do! Who do they turn to when they need a plan fast? You’re looking at him. Particularly if it’s to do with the Outsiders—

Me: Hold right there. Tell us about the Outsiders.

Will: What? Oh. You know. You people. The modern folks who live outside of Avalon. The awesome ones with computers. Sure, Merlin’s got a computer, too, but what good does that do me? He never lets me use it. I need an iPhone.

Me: Okay, we’re quickly losing the thread of it. Let’s back it up. Now, my dictionary defines “scarlet” as “a strong to vivid red or reddish orange” or “flagrantly immoral or unchaste”. Any of this come into play when you chose your outlaw name?

Will: The red bit, mostly. I love red; so bright and expensive. And my hair’s got some scarlet blended in with the gold, so that’s all very apt. As for flagrant immorality and unchastity—

Me: Not a word.

Will: Coining it. —Well, it’s a bit of a “yes and no”, there. I can be a gentleman, when absolutely necessarily. When it’s not, then God save you. All in good fun, though, you understand.

Me: Yeah, that’d be a “yes and no”, too. Next question: What do you like best about being in the Merry Men?

Will: Um, being awesome? Come on, look at this gig: I got to be a thief led and sanctioned by the most honorable man I know; I get to be practically immortal (did you know that, readers? By virtue of dying a heroic death back in the Middle Ages, and with a little help from Avalonian magic, I get to be eternally young forever! #Winning!); I get to play myself in a Renaissance Faire; I look really good; I—

Me: What does looking good have to do with being a Merry Man?

Will: I don’t know, maybe not much. But muscles developed in fighting for our lives have to help, right? And the glow of fame?

Me: Sure, Will. Last question: Why do you think people should read “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale”, once it’s published? …Besides the fact that you’re in it.

Will: Ha-ha! Preempted! Well, how about this: Action! Adventure! Mystery! Suspense! Magic and music, witty dialogue, and an all-star cast (naming no names in particular, apparently). I had a rousing time living it, so they’re bound to love reading it. Plus Allyn’s in it. I can mention Allyn, right? He’s not me, and he’s awesome.

Me: Yes, mentioning Allyn is fine. Thanks for your time, Will. It’s been… breathless.

Will: Yes, I do tend to have that effect on women. Pleasure mine, Danielle. Great to be here. An honor just to be nominated.

Me: …Right.

Once everyone out there finds a space to slip a word in edgewise, if you have any additional questions or comments for Will, toss ‘em below. He’ll be only too happy to respond.

“Overture” or “One if on Minstrels, Two if on Sea…”

Today’s assignment  (*cough* yesterday’s *cough* but I did give warning of the excellently-excused delay) aboard the Buccaneer Blogest: Share the first paragraph of my novel or WIP (“work-in-progress”, for any landlubbers unfamiliar with writerly slang). That means that you all get to see the opening of my golden child, “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale”! (Don’t get jealous, other novels o’ mine; you know I love you all dearly, and your sunshine time will come.)

‘Fessing up: This is more technically the first two paragraphs of “Ballad”s “introductory section or part, as of a poem; a prelude” (because in a book as musical as a minstrel’s, we can’t just call it a “prologue”). But as has been previously mentioned, I am a rebel pirate. And as you’ll see below, using only the first paragraph would have felt like shameless skimping. So please don’t keelhaul me.

~ <<>> ~

Ellie fought the growing urge to panic.

Surrounding her were creatures of every imaginable kind. Beings that stood some twenty feet tall, and held smaller people in their power, forcing them to dance like dolls on strings. Cloaked figures with dragons perched on their shoulders that would turn their eerie reptilian heads to follow the progress of passersby. Women in leather corsets. Women in silken gowns. Women decked out in tunics, capes, and (perhaps exclusive to Ellie) a hat which may have been meant for a cowboy, once, but which now boasted one side of the brim sewn up to the crown, along with a big flourish of a red feather.

~ <<>> ~

            Your thoughts, readers? ^^ Would the opening tempt you to read further, or to throw the book across the room? What does it make you think, and how does it make you feel? Does this mishmash of “Ballad” and piracy make you want to hear a rollicking tune about a minstrel sea captain? I know it does, me! And so I leave you with this: “The Shanty of Allyn-a-Dale”, written/performed/produced by D.E.Shipley (as seen on the “Ballad” Facebook page! …Meaning if the video’s link decides to act funny, there’s more than one way to skin the ship’s cat).

“[Dis]course” or “Any Port in a Word-storm”

For my next Buccaneer Blogfest trick, I am to interview the person signed up below [me] on the linky and post that interview.

*Flash!* We interrupt this blog post to make a quick announcement! And when I say “we”, you all know I’m the only one here; ergo, I must be a royal. And speaking of royals, for those of you anxiously awaiting the final installment of my serial fairytale, “Blood, Sweat, and Tears”, fear not, it’s totally coming. I shall post it on Monday – meaning, Buccaneers, that my Monday blogfest post will be bumped to Tuesday. Everybody got that? “BSaT” conclusion = Monday. Next Buccanner post = Tuesday. That is all. Back to the interview.

…Which I can’t actually post just now, as I’ve yet to hear back from my interviewee. But ne’er fret, me hearties! If its “verbal exchange; conversation” between bloggin’ Buccaneers you wish, they’re happening all over the seven seas!

This one over at Tangent Shell is good (includes practical tips on desert island literature; good to know, should any of us aboard ship find ourselves marooned).

I enjoyed this piece at Writing In The Crosshairs, too (another instance of an absent interviewee, but this blogger makes the best of it in a deliciously strange way).

Ooh-arrgh, and Amanda Foody interviews yours truly upon the shores of It’s All in My Head!

There, now. You’ve been given several headings. Pick a “point on the compass, especially the one toward which a vehicle, such as a ship, is moving”, and speed on, full-sail!

*EPILOGUE* My interviewee has blown in at last! Blogger Nanette Pitts is in the building! …er, aboard ship! Either/or!

1) Your blog, Grace Paige’s Storyland, is agleam with flash fiction. Would you consider short stories to be your preferred genre to write, or do you enjoy tackling longer works as well?

I enjoy Flash Fiction, it keeps my brain frazzled. However, I do enjoy writing short stories that can allow me to go into a little more detail. Along with that, I am writing a novel. So really any size writing format suits me. I’m keen on supernatural genre, but I’ve read sci-fi, fiction and non-fiction. My general rule is, if a book can capture me within the first few pages, I’ll read it.

2) Do you type up your early drafts, write them hand, or some combination thereof?

I do a lot of typing, but I keep a pad of paper and pen handy at all times.

3) Which story that you’ve authored would you say you’re most pleased with, and why?

Probably the story I’m working on right now. It’s taken so much of my thought, time and soul.

4) In your maternal experience, which is harder: Naming children, or naming characters?

That is a tough one. Since I’ve had to name both. You want your children to love their name, they’re the ones who can really express to you if they like it or not. If a name doesn’t suit a character by book’s end, a little backspace can correct that.

5) In your bio, you list “Grease” as one of your favorite movies. I’m a fool for musicals, so I gotta know: Which of the song numbers is your favorite, and why?

Beauty Shop Drop Out”. Though Frenchie was following her dreams, you mustn’t skip the important stuff.

6) If you could spend a day hanging out with any fictional character you’ve ever read, who would you choose?

Oh man…this is a tougher question than #4. I’d hate to leave out any character, they all hold a special place in my heart. A few men come to mind, but really I think I’d choose Sookie Stackhouse from Charlaine Harris’ books. That way I’d meet up with her, let her poke around in my head a bit and in theory she’s a magnet for trouble so I know I’d get to meet the “guys”.

And tha-a-ar you have it, folks. (:

“Goals” or “The Motivation Behind My Madness”

People have asked me – “Danielle,” they’ve asked – “Why did you start blogging? What are your goals for your blog?

And when I say “people”, I mean the crew in charge of the Buccaneer Blogfest, yo-ho!

This badge is supposed to go alongside my blog, but I’m a rebel pirate (translation: I’ve yet to have much luck in figuring out how to get badges to stay where they belong), so I’ll be sticking the image inside all my blogfest posts.

Well, whoever’s asking, I’m very glad you did, because I do rather enjoy displaying the answers to such questions for the world’s viewing pleasure.

So, wherefore did I found Ever On Word? In a nutshell,  my writing bestie Tirzah told me to. She said it would be good for me, in my capacity as up-and-coming author, to start generating an online presence beyond the occasional Facebook post.

I dragged my feet. I fussed in that “noisily brave” fashion of mine (term coined by my much-adored tailor). I was scared to throw in my lot with technology (we have a long history of enmity; see my badge caption on the right), and nervous about having to talk to a bunch of strangers on a regular basis (assuming that anyone out there paid any attention to my little blog, which I wasn’t willing to bet too heavily on). But Tirzah said she was starting one, and I didn’t want to get left behind, so there was really nothing for it.

Goals? I’m supposed to have “purposes toward which an endeavor is directed; objectives”? Er…

I kid. I’ve got goals. First, foremost, and frankly, I want fans. (Quadruple-F alliteration points are awesome, too, but a secondary goal at most.) Now, fans can be a bit tricky to come by when you haven’t actually got a book out on the market, yet. Tricky, but not impossible; not when you’ve got other words with which to entertain the masses in the meanwhile. That’s how I view this blog, in part: As my opening act, keeping the audience happily in their seats until the Big Name shows up to rock the house. I talk writing, I talk characters; I share poems, songs, and short stories; I point to other stuff I’ve read and herald, “Hey, You Should Read This!”. And in the process, I’ve gained something that I didn’t even think to aim for:

Blog friends! Y’know what’s really cool? When you’ve got people who follow your blog, or you follow theirs (or, when fortune smiles, you’re both following each other), and you get to chat and trade ideas and goof around together, and maybe invite each other over to put your words on one another’s blogs, and nominate each other for blog awards and tag them in blog games and… well, back it up, I could easily condense all this. Y’know what’s really cool? Having blog friends. I love you, my blog friends! (You know who you are… And if you’re not sure, go ahead and count yourself among them, anyway; who’s it hurtin’?)

Let’s see, any other goals?… Well, it’s more of a long-shot dream than a goal, but I would very much like some big wig in the publishing industry to see my blog and say, “Whoa, this gal is awesome and can she ever write! I’m going to make her a star!” Like I said, a long-shot. But surely it happens. …Or else, surely I could be the first! And once I’ve been made a star by hook or crook, it is my intention that Ever On Word be a place where all my fans, old and new, can keep up with whatever behind-the-scenes news I’ll have to offer on the life of the author of what will be one of their favorite books.

Such are my goals. I’ll let you know when I get there. (: