Writing activities of interest! That’s the theme for today. I’ve gathered a few items I would like to do someday. Goals should help motivate me. That, and I love making lists.
One of these days, I will have a post that’s not about writing. Really. Maybe. Let’s get started already.
1. Get involved in the publishing business in some way.
Obviously, I mean besides “being a published author.” I had a short stint as a proofreader, and I kind of miss it. I might like to read slush, too, even knowing the dangers of it. A paid gig would be ideal, but I’d work for free (or small perks of some kind) if it was for a publication I admired. I suppose it’s one of those “being a part of something greater” things. A little cog in the machine, contributing to the smooth running.
2. Contribute to anthologies.
If I’m going to keep doing short stories (and I’ve made no move towards being a novelist yet), then I really should aim to break into the anthology market. My story would stand beside those of other authors, even if I might feel anxious over whether I measure up to them. Given a great anthology with awesome authors and editors, though, I only see it as a win.
3. Collaborate with another author.
I don’t know how well I would work on a shared creative project. Still, I’d like to give it a try. I’m sure there’s an author out there I would click with, like Ozzy Osbourne clicked with Randy Rhoads to make some awesome music.
4. Write in a shared universe.
Sometimes, I think I work better when given limitations, like a premade world. That’s how it seems when I make characters for roleplaying games, anyway. Working with a preestablished reality actually gives my imagination a jolt. I read the source material, and random things set the old synapses to firing. I’d like to go beyond simply jumping into an established franchise — I’d like to create a new world with some other writers to share. I think it could turn out spectacular.
5. Go to a convention or something.
This one I have mixed feelings about. On the positive side, there would be lots of people. On the negative side, there would be lots of people. I’m a lot less antisocial than I used to be, but a recent visit to San Francisco reminded me that I still very much prefer small groups of people over a crushing throng. If I could get over that, however, a convention would be awesome. Rubbing elbows (metaphorically speaking, preferably) with people of a like mind to myself, maybe a tiny bit of networking, just having fun, that sort of thing. Don’t think I’d ever want to be a panelist or anything — don’t think I could ever be one — but maybe I could just have a little table in the corner with a pitcher of lemonade to share with the occasional fan or fellow author that might show up. And cookies. I’d bake them myself if that was a requirement.
And that’s the end of that chapter.
(No, that’s not going to be a regular signoff. Just a Simpsons quote)
P.S. You know how I mentioned that WordPress randomly suggests links to attach to my posts (like all the links I have in this very post)? Well, the line “That, and I love making lists” has the phrase “love making” in it, and so WordPress recommended a link to Wikipedia’s article on sexual intercourse. I find this hilarious.
I have witnessed a brilliance so dazzling that it could usher in the great disco resurgence spoken of in prophecy.
See, when ordinary mortals write a review for a product, their limited cosmic consciousness prevents them from leaving anything but a review on the actual product. This is what I’ve come to expect, and I’m sure you are no different. How differently I see the world now! Such purpose seems mudane, even quaint, now that I’ve seen a review’s true potential.
There are gods among us who use reviews for change. To make a difference for the better.
I came to this realization when, while perusing reviews for a book on Amazon, I came across a one-star review that complained of the digital edition’s cost. They didn’t waste a single word upon the book’s content at all. Such beauty in its desire to get straight to the point. In fact, the reviewer hadn’t even read the book. Why let that stand in the way of justice, right? The wisdom of this tactic was lost upon me at first, but after a night of fitful sleep, I divined the answer. Surely the publisher would see this one negative review, realize the error of its ways, and drop the price of the ebook immediately.
Freaking genius. In no way would the one-star review reflect poorly on the book or its author. And even if it did, so what? No doubt the author wants to see the price dropped, as well, and is willing to sacrifice a piece of his reputation to achieve this goal.
I’ve actually seen this done on Amazon before, when starred reviews were used to complain about Amazon’s service — Amazon hires a few employees to go through every review on the site to spot these gems, right? — and it never struck me how effective they must be.
I’ve decided it must go further. Why stop at Amazon? Why limit ourselves to books? There’s an entire internet out there, and many a product and service need our attention. Also, there are so many more reasons to leave bad product reviews than price. Here are just a few suggestions.
1. Video game retailers like Gamestop: Say you want to buy a new copy of that hit game, GENERIC FIRST PERSON SHOOTER IN A DESERT COUNTRY. You drive over to your local Gamestop, making sure to bring in a few old, crappy games for some sweet trade-in credit. To your dismay, however, they only offer $1 each for your games. Also, the salesperson is kind of a jerk. You don’t have to take it anymore. Go onto any site that reviews games, like Gamestop’s own site, and post a terrible review for GENERIC FIRST PERSON SHOOTER IN A DESERT COUNTRY, making sure to list all your grievances with the purchasing process. Leave actual game content to the other reviewers. You have a mission.
2. Movie review sites such as Rotten Tomatoes: Perhaps a tall person chose the seat in front of you during SCARY MOVIE 12? What are you going to do about it? Go to a movie review site and give SCARY MOVIE 12 the worst damn review you can give, that’s what! Don’t talk about the movie itself, of course, because that would get in the way of your seating etiquette complaint.
3. Pretty much any website that lets you review local businesses, e.g. Yelp: You know that Mexican restaurant down the street? Maybe you should go there for lunch. You are kinda craving a burrito and some salt-basted chips. Wash it all down with salsa that you’ll pretend didn’t just come from a jar. That’s your plan when you’re driving to work. By the time your lunch break rolls around, though, you change your mind about Mexican food. You can’t even look at a chili pepper without feeling nauseated. You know what you must do — write a terrible review of the restaurant for failing to keep your interest long enough for you to actually visit it. Their food should be so transcendant that you wouldn’t even dream of not being in the mood for it.
I’m sure if we all take these drastic, but necessary measures, we can fix all the problems with the world, and maybe then I can finally afford those damn digital books I need so badly it hurts me. Let’s do this, people.
(P.S. In the interest of protecting the innocent-or-otherwise, I will not tell you which book this one-star review was for, since the book only has four reviews at the moment. Suffice to say, it is a book involving an awesome actor who has been in movies with zombies, aliens, and, perhaps scariest of all, Nick Frost.)
(P.P.S. I FREAKING LOVE RANDOM LINKS THAT WORDPRESS RECOMMENDS!)