February 5, 2012 in Dag

The Big Decision

Well I’ve survived 3 days of the new job so far. Hasn’t been too hard, work wise. They’re letting me settle in gradually, although I have a feeling things will be ramping up this week. The people are really friendly and I like the vibe there so am feeling good about it.

Meeting a whole bunch of new people can be a bit unnerving at first. However, there has been one particularly big decision which is always on my mind in these kinds of situations. It’s the decision somebody like me has to think about when I’m meeting new people. The big reveal, if you like.

When and how do I reveal to my new workmates that I am a dag?

I know, you’re probably thinking it really shouldn’t be such a big deal. After all, isn’t the whole point of being a dag that you don’t care what other people think about your dagginess?

That’s certainly true, however in this cold, hard world in which we live, sometimes even hard-core dags like myself have to make a few concessions. Much as it can pain me to say it, impressions in the workplace are important. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of the wrong people too quickly. And also, even if I hate to admit it, work does have its serious side. There is stuff you have to do, and there isn’t always time to waste.

The good news is, I’m getting the feeling that in general, dagginess will be well tolerated. I even think I’ve discovered a number of fellow travellers. So here’s hoping for a new career in which I can be successful, professional and effective, and yet still retain my true daggy soul.

And a great week to everybody else.

February 2, 2012 in Dag

Bestseller for a Day: 8 Hearts Beat as One

Today is a bit of an exciting day.

My short story, The Gift, has been included as part of the new Indie Book Collective Valentine’s Day anthology titled 8 Hearts Beat as One.

Hard enough to believe I’ve written a story about Valentine’s Day, let alone had it published. And to be listed alongside the likes of best-selling authors like Carolyn McCray, Amber Scott and Ann Charles is quite a thrill.

But what makes it especially exciting is that today (I think – still struggling with time differences) the anthology is being featured as Bestseller for a Day. This means that not only is it available for free, but in addition, there are four extra books available:

But that’s still not all. By purchasing the anthology, you’ll be in the running to win a Kindle. Just go to http://www.bestsellerforaday.com/Bestseller_for_a_Day/Home.html and fill out the form and you’ll be in the running.

Enjoy!

January 29, 2012 in Dag

The Most Valuable Resource

I start my new job on Wednesday.

It will most likely be a while before I get into a new routine. I’ll be working longer hours as well as probably spending a bit more time getting to and from the office.

Which leads to one pretty big question as far as I’m concerned: How am I going to be able to make time for writing (not to mention blogging and twittering and the various other stuff we’re supposedly meant to do to get the great public to consider buying our books) ?

This got me thinking (I know – it’s a bad habit of mine) about the value of time. I really have come to think that it’s the most valuable resource of all. Certainly more valuable than money – I’d gladly swap a bit of money for a bit more time.

So what can we do to try to bring more time into our lives. I think there needs to be a real “paradigm shift” in the way we look at things. Rather than focusing on how much money is involved, we need to focus on how much time. Maybe, instead of listing prices for things in shops, we should instead be listing times, eg:

  • the time it took to create something
  • the amount of time we’d be prepared to give up for something
  • the amount of time we’re likely to use something before we’ve had enough of it

 

But why stop there. Maybe someone could invent a time bank, so we could invest our time wisely, rather than wasting it. Instead of exchanging shares in the stock market, we could be exchanging time. We could invest a small amount of time and then see how it grows over the years. Sacrifice a little bit of time now for a lot of time later.
I don’t know how it would work. I don’t know if it would work. I just know that I never seem to have the time to do all the things I want. And every day, time just seems to disappear, faster and faster.
January 25, 2012 in Dag

Guest Post: I’m a scrawler by Coral Russell

Today I’m delighted to welcome another visitor to Dag-Lit Central: The amazing Coral Russell.

Coral is another one of those tireless promoters of other indie authors, as well as an accomplished writer (or should I say scrawler?) in her own right.

So, without any further ado, over to Coral.

I’m a scrawler by Coral Russell

I’m not entirely sure, but I’ve heard stories where people who write become offended when you call them a writer. As in,

“Are you a writer?” an innocent asks.

“No, I’m an author,” says the offended.

I’m not going to profess to be either a writer or an author. I’m a scrawler. I don’t know anything about writing. In fact, I probably know the least about writing than most other writers/authors. If it wasn’t for wonderful people who are so free with their expertise and sharing information, I would still be at square one. My friend complemented me on working my butt off, but it’s more like a stumble around in a blind panic until one of my writing friends points me in the right direction. Then, off I go until the next obstacle.

As a scrawler, I’m all about this Indie movement in writing. I write what I want. It has come to my attention that my favorite reading genre is anti-genre. If you’re an anti-genre fan, join the anti-genre group on Goodreads. It makes sense that I don’t really think too much about genre before I start writing something. If I want to throw something in that goes against the grain, oh yea, I’ll do it. I don’t mind giving away my scrawl because it comes back to me ten-fold. I’m surprised people pick up my stuff. I’m surprised when people buy it. I’m surprised I have fans who say they love what I write. I even created my own personal scrawl font, but I seem to be the only one that likes it.

One of the best experiences I had as a scrawler was when some Brazilian ghost hunters got a copy of two of my short stories and an excerpt from Amador Lockdown and we tweeted back and forth as they started and finished reading the stories. It was so much fun, lasted three hours and got me hooked on Twitter.

Scrawlers can be found anywhere in the world, from all walks of life. All you have to do to be a scrawler is believe in yourself and write.

Coral Russell reads/reviews Indie authors on alchemyofscrawl.wordpress.com  Check out her Stalker Package to connect. She has written The DIY Guide to Social Media Marketing and eBook Publishing, Playing with Fire, Twelve Worlds, Peace on the Peninsula, and Amador Lockdown.

January 22, 2012 in Dag

A New Beginning

I’ve just got a new job.

It’s really exciting. I’m looking forward to moving on. A new beginning. Out with the old and in with the new, and all those other cliches.

It’s a bit like starting a new chapter of a novel. Actually, cancel that – it’s more like finishing a novel and starting a new one.

Of course, being more of a writer than a reader, I can’t help thinking about how this is a metaphor for the writing process (I know, I can make pretty much anything a metaphor for the writing process).

The old job feels a bit like a novel I tried to write but never managed to finish. I started out with high ambitions. I had a really good idea for how I wanted things to work out. Plus a bunch of characters who seemed really promising. But at a certain point, the plot just never quite worked out and I stopped liking some of the major characters. And when I got to that point, it really was best to just put things aside, stop writing, and start thinking about something else.

It might seem like a defeat but it really isn’t. Sometimes it’s best to realise things aren’t working out and move on. Not every idea for a story is going to end up as a great novel.

Now of course, we’re back to square one. Lots of potential. Lots of new ideas about how things will work out. Some new characters who seem really cool. Hopefully this time it will all come together into something great.

But in the meantime, I plan to enjoy a couple of weeks “between jobs”. And maybe, the next idea for a novel will also play itself out.