Gifts & Gems from the Internet

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sometimes, I think the internet is the best and worst thing that’s happened to me. 

It’s been the best because:

  • The net got my writing career started. Believe it or not, the internet is where I learned to write. English was my best subject. I started writing early, left it for twenty years and then came back to it. Wrote a few articles, got them published and joined a writing network.
  • I learned the craft of writing at (link in my sidebar if you care to check it out). There were some awesome writers there in 2005 when I joined. Many of them have moved on since, but those guys taught me the basics about writing stories. The site still has some wonderful writers, but I don’t spend as much time there now. Time constraints and all.
  • The net has been a wonderful source of information. I’ve found everything I needed to know about particular writing techniques. End result is that I’m a much better writer. 

The net has also been the worst because:

  • It’s a constant source of distraction. Think social media and evasive research tactics—as in, look up stuff when you really don’t wanna write right now.
  •  It’s an unending source of TMI (too much information), which has me running in so many directions. Case in point—I’ve been reading tons about book marketing, making a career out of writing and now have way too many ideas fighting for space and priority.

Where am I going with this?

For years, everything has been pointing me toward writing a plan and getting my books out on a schedule. Now, everything I’m reading cements the fact that I'm going in the right direction by deciding to put my work out under my own steam. 

My foray into traditional publishing has been a valuable experience, but I’m also a bit disenchanted.  I was about to enter another arrangement with a small publisher, but when I looked at their covers, all of them were generic – different pictures and a band across top and bottom for the book title and author’s name. Having dabbled in self-publishing, that doesn’t appeal to me at all. For me, books are like people. Each is an individual and even if there is a similar look that takes care of branding, I like seeing something unique with each cover. 

So for right now, taking the internet and all its distraction into account, this is what I’m gonna do.

  • ·         Complete the plan/schedule I started writing
  • ·         Do the work required for each book
  • ·         Publish my books

An aside or two here. 

I think at some point I’m going to need a beta reader for Retribution (the stand-alone sequel to Distraction). It’s been read chapter by chapter on the writing site, but not yet taken as a whole. If anyone out there is interested, let me know, but I do have a way to go still in terms of editing.  Also haven’t even written the last chapter yet, truth be told.

You didn’t think I was gonna let you go without telling about what happened on BBCAM last night, did you? 

Again, some awesome writing and acting on LUTHER. The ending left me wondering how on earth the three persons left standing at the end (well, two standing and Luther on the ground, having been stabbed in the gut) are gonna get out of the pickle of having one murdered culprit to account for.  

Can’t wait for next week and can’t believe they cancelled the show. Hope I got that wrong. The series didn’t win an Emmy. Still, it’s the best crime drama I’ve ever watched. 


Leaving you with a clip that explores the series from the perspective of writer and actor, plus some inneresting scenes. 


  1. I know exactly what you mean about the internet being both a blessing and a curse. I can't imagine trying to write without it - but sometimes I can't write because of it!

    Good luck with self-publishing, too. Sounds like you have good reasons for it, and will put out a higher quality product on your own - especially cover-wise. Covers are SO important, aren't they?

  2. Hi, Caryn, thanks for stopping in. Sometimes, I have to tell myself 'I'm shutting off the internet' to write. Long gone are the days of dial up, so now I have to work in a cycle of write-reward-repeat. Otherwise, I'd get nothing done.

    Couldn't agree more that covers are way important.

  3. I agree, Joy. The Internet is a blessing and a curse! I spend way too mauch time online yet without it I wouldn't be able to promote and work!


  4. Balance is tough. I thought I went through the traditional market for a year, but it turns my book was never submitted by either of my agents. I decided to go small press, and now I am self-publishing. I don't believe there is a right or wrong way, there is just a way that works now. The industry is changing so quickly we just do what we think is best. Good luck with your upcoming releases. I'm excited for you!

    1. Yeah, it is challenging to figure out what needs to be done first and stick with that. I've never been good at staying with one thing.

      Some odd things do happen in the world of traditional publishing. Thanks for your good wishes. I need to quell my excitement long enough to figure out how I'm going to juggle the three things that are calling my name now.

  5. I like my small publisher because they really work hard on the covers. It's all original artwork done with a particular style in mind.

    1. Good for you, Mike. It sounds like your experience has been mostly positive.

  6. I love the internet for all that - especially the writers/blogging community. But, oh!, it's such a distraction from writing sometimes!


Don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you think.