Well, summer’s entering its final month. And despite the Halloween blitzes in the stores, my brain refuses to believe autumn is already upon us.
Is anyone else noticing that reviews on Amazon aren’t appearing right away? Granted, I don’t leave many, so maybe they’ve changed their policy in the recent (or not-so-recent) past. When I left positive reviews for two authors, my “starred” reviews were counted, but my text reviews didn’t appear, at least not at first. I’m just curious if this is a glitch or a policy change . . . .
Okay, Facebook has frustrated me from Day 1. But as I see 10 updates in one day for some folks, and none for others, I’m thinking I’d love to control my news feed. Let Facebook run ads and suggestions on the sidebars. The service is free, after all, and it has to make money somehow But in return, let me control my feed. Like limit people to two visible updates per day. Or have the option to NOT see when friends like a post by a non-mutual friend or a page that I don’t follow. Is that so unreasonable a desire?
Earlier this month, I made great progress on the current manuscript, reaching 30,000 words and having a near complete draft of the first quarter of the book and a good chunk of the ending. And then I sat down to flesh out my outline for all the bits in between . . . . Enter the proverbial kick in the gut.
There’s a long way to go. And I have to make those scenes interesting and keep them driving the story forward. A saggy middle is the kiss of death in a novel. Yes, I believe a few “non-plot critical” scenes are okay. But the emphasis is on “a few.” The middle can’t be my main character thinking over what happened in Part 1 and talking it to death with other characters. We need fresh and relevant action, description, and dialogue. And that feels like a long, grueling slog just now.
It doesn’t help that the day job kicked into overdrive. Or that my recent Facebook updates on writing were acknowledged by only a handful of friends. (A big thank you to those of you who know who you are! Your support means more than I can adequately express. 🙂 )
Writing is often called a lonely pursuit, and there’s truth to that statement. Non-writers don’t “get” the highs and lows that we experience. Many friends and family simply aren’t interested—or assume we’ll fail, so why bother saying anything or giving us false hope? Of course, the bright side is that we can easily connect with like-minded folks through the interwebz and have a far greater support network that previous generations did. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. If I ever successfully publish a novel, my amazing blog buddies will be one of the biggest reasons why.
Archaeology Hoaxes Abound
Finally, someone recently posted a link on Facebook to a story about a Viking ship reportedly found in the Mississippi River in Tennessee. The “article” dated to 2014 and hey, I admit, it “sounded” good. There’s just one problem. It was a total hoax. Just because it’s on the web, folks, doesn’t make it true. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Check around before accepting something as fact. That applies to everything, by the way, even if it comes from people we view as like-minded with ourselves. Due diligence should be a regular habit.
What irks me about this particular story is that archaeologists really have documented a Viking presence in North America. It’s just that currently, the evidence is limited to areas of coastal Canada. But that is amazing in itself. Did the Vikings get further south or inland? Only more real research has the potential to say. We may never know. So few Vikings would have been present, and the chances of them leaving something behind that would preserve in the archaeological record are slim. And given the size of the continent, the chances of finding any such remains are even slimmer. Sometimes, though, we archaeologists get lucky. And those are great days.
So how’s your summer (or winter) going? Are you making progress on your goals? Supporting the people in your life? Doing your due diligence?