Seriously? Still Want To Be a Writer?

So there are some of you out there that are still dead-set on becoming writers. You’ve been on Facebook, seen the adorable memes your friends have posted about how professional writers are amateurs that didn’t quit and everything else, bought books like “Bird By Bird” and “On Writing” (and you’re totally going to get to reading them someday ;) ), you’ve got ideas, even read blog posts on the subject, as well as posts on what the industry is like, and you’re ready to stand up and say “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any-“

Wait, sorry, that reference doesn’t really apply here.

So instead, let me tell you about the 30,000 word novella that I’ve been working on for the last three weeks that none of you will ever get to read, and part of the professional writer experience that we all know about, but probably don’t think about that much.

Today, I’m going to talk about commission writing and a few things you should probably know before you get into it.

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It’s A Coastal Magic Countdown Interview And Giveaway With Vaughn R. Demont

Originally posted on The Novel Approach:

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Hello all. This is Lynn, and I’m coming to you as a featured blogger for The Coastal Magic Convention. This PNR/UF con is happening in February in Daytona Beach. My featured author for this month is Vaughn R. Demont. I had the pleasure of reading his novel House of Stone a while ago and absolutely loved it. He’s an author not to be missed. For our spotlight post, Vaughn was kind enough to answer a few questions for us…

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Thank You All

God, what do I say?

Most days, people only come to the blog to read an entry on how to date Scorpios. A month ago the semester had finished, paychecks dried up for the summer, and most of my cash reserves went into paying the summer’s bills in advance while I worked on my budget for the fall. I’d registered for the convention as a promise to myself that I would do everything I can to make it there, even though there were several times I was on the verge of e-mailing the organizers and asking for a refund.

Since the rights to “The Last Paladin” had reverted back to me, I took a page from some artists friends and put it up on the blog as a Pay What You Want, got a little money here and there, and worked on commissions for private patrons in the meantime, putting every dollar made into the con fund. In a moment of vulnerability, I blogged about, and included the PWYW link at the bottom, and generally forgot about it save the occasional notification that someone had tossed a few bucks my way, which would give me encouragement while I worked on the next piece of commissioned porn.

And yesterday morning I got a notification from Twitter that this has been tweeted:

And the rest of the day, this guy was doing everything he could to make that post go viral and get people to donate. When I checked my e-mail this morning, I was over the amount I needed, and I’m not ashamed to say I cried, not just because of the money, but because of the sheer volume of them, all the lovely notes of encouragement, and that it showed me that my readers (who now call themselves the Damned Coyotes) aren’t just in my circle of friends, or people I went to college with, or friends of friends, but that they’re all over the world. It’s humbling and honoring, and so many other descriptive verbs that can’t approach the gratitude that I feel.

All day yesterday I worked on Breaking Ties, the 4th book in the Broken Mirrors series, and I finished the draft at 81k words. It’ll be dedicated to all of you, even though that can’t even come close to thanking you all properly.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Send Vaughn To The Con Fund

Progress: $1,110/$850(Updated 6/23, 7:18pm)

Donations will lead to a .pdf copy of The Last Paladin

Note: The button’s only here because the PWYW for The Last Paladin is still going on, and I’m still doing commissions to boost the fund amount as well. If I can make enough, I might be able to take my boyfriend of two years to the con, but I am NOT asking for help with that. You guys got me there, and I won’t ask for anything more.

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“There’s Always Next Year”

Apologies up front, this isn’t really a happy post.

Once you get out of college, you usually have a lot of dreams, some of them wild, like moving to Hawaii and living there or buying season tickets to the Seahawks or something, and some of them not as much, like getting a nicer car or a bigger TV, but you stay realistic, work on what you need, and for the dreams, well, there’s always next year. For some of us, it’s a literal promise, a year passes and things get better, and you walk into an electronics store and wander around, looking at the TVs knowing that if you really wanted, you could walk up to the wall of displays, point at a 48″, tell the guy behind the register “I’ll take that one” and mean it. You don’t, of course, but the fact that you could does wonders for your self-esteem.

When you’re a writer, you’ve got similar dreams, honestly, and yes, after a particularly fat royalty check coinciding with my tax refund, I had a moment just like the one above. Didn’t buy the TV, but I was walking on air because I could for about four days. Then there was a financial emergency and that money was wiped out in one fell swoop, but hey, there was always next year.

So I’ve been invited to a convention, might’ve mentioned it, it’s the Coastal Magic Convention for which I received an info packet this morning, most of my attention was on the panels and about 7 of them I would love to be on, 1 of them I would demand to be on, but for an author like myself, who doesn’t have a big budget and writes, let’s face it, pretty obscure fiction, having a convention organizer e-mail and say, “We’d love to have you down here” is mind-blowing and humbling and makes me feel like, “Damn, I’m really making it, aren’t I?” The fact that people outside my family and friends read my books is just flooring for me, especially when they take the time to e-mail me or post on my Facebook wall or read my essays on popular media.

And it’ll run about $850 to go. I’m pretty sure some will look at that number and wonder how that could be difficult to come up with, others will suck air through their teeth and mutter it might as well be ten grand. You’ll likely notice that I’ve disallowed comments for this entry, because posts like this tend to attract trolls, and I don’t feel like going over my monthly income and expenses, I’m not here to shame pirates (because that never ends well), and yes, I’ve opened for commissioned pieces in a few communities so I’ll be writing some dignity-shredding porn at a penny a word, no need to suggest it.

I’m doing this post because I’m tired of “there’s always next year”, I’m tired of putting off things in my life out of some thin hope things will get better if I can just survive another few months. It’s not about going to a convention for me, well, it is, but it’s also about finally having something good to look forward to, not hope for.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

 Send Vaughn To The Con Fund

Progress: $920/$850(Updated 6/19, 6:50am)

Donations will lead to a .pdf copy of The Last Paladin

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Justifying My English Degree: Heroes on the Periphery: The Dynamic Villains of Once Upon a Time

God, has it been two months? Apologies for neglecting the blog, been busy with end of the year grading of papers and the like, as well as dragging myself back to work on Breaking Ties, which is 3-4 chapters out from the finish line. In the meantime, my boyfriend and I have been rewatching this on Netflix, and having the sorts of conversations about the characters that are normal to fans, which inspired me to do a JMED on it. Some spoilers follow.

The Show: Once Upon a Time

Creators: Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz

Principal Actors: Robert Carlyle, Lana Parilla, Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas

Synopsis: A woman with a troubled past is drawn to a New England town where fairy tales are to be believed.

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A Few More Tips on Being a Writer

So you still want to be a writer. Normally I’d wonder why the person who’s supposed to shake you out of making bad life decisions is apparently asleep at the wheel, but I suppose there are a few of us who have to write or we’ll surely go insane. I’ve gone into this before, but there are a few additional things I’ve learned over the years that I feel like putting out there. This is all based on experience, so please have a complimentary pound of salt to take it with. Continue reading

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Vaughn’s Gay Words of the Day

In a bit of a silly mood today, mostly driven there by my students, so here are some terms you might like to know:

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