Thursday, July 27, 2017

ENDLESS ABS





I am a writer-slash-author-slash-weaver of dreams-slash-word count monger. By my latest word count research and tax payer funded scientific study, I’ve written easily half a ca-billion words, or as a nameless, quasi-supportive relative by marriage once commented on my writing efforts, “That’s a lot of words.”

“Ya’ think?”

After a while, when the words stack up I have to decide what to do with them. I can send them off to an agent that may or may not have the same attitude as my quasi-supportive relative and will want fifteen percent commission right off the top or DIY.

DIY is code for doing it yourself or don’t imagine yaks. It also means that at some point I have to decide to stuff all those words into a manuscript, have someone tell me how many of those words are misspelled, and then figure out a cover to wrap around the whole steaming heap of words.

Searching around the Internet I’ve noticed that a lot of independent authors like to wrap their words in book covers with headless, legless torso people. It’s just endless, six-packed, muscled abdominal skin that stops just above the genitalia and right below the Adam’s apple. 

My problem is that I don’t write stories about headless, legless torso people. All the people in my books have heads and legs. So cover design can be a bit of a struggle. 

People ask me what I write. Words, people. Words. Oh, you mean genre. My answer to that is yes. 

Inspirational? Yes. Happy day.

Romance? Yes to love.

Historical fiction? Yes, and it’s groovy.

Fantasy? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Children’s Chapter Books? Yes, little dreamers.

Young Adult? Righteous, dude. 

Action Adventure? “Sure thing,” she said breathlessly.

Humor? I’m writing it right now.

The sum total of which is that marketing and cover design is an endless challenge and makes my abs cramp. I’m looking for versatility, imagination, and smart. I know. I know. I’m swimming upstream without legs and arms. But still, I paddle.

My newest project is a sexy (that’s a word that sells stuff) fantasy set in the rural countryside of Central Florida. There’s a gryphon and refugees and magic and a boy (with abs) and a girl (with abs) and . . .

Linda (Abby Normal) Zern
amazon.com/author/lindazern



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ANOTHER THEORY OF RELATIVITY - A Classic

**Bobwhite sits next to me in my creative writing class. The only thing that makes Bobwhite angry are people who believe in absolutes. He makes this declaration with absolute certainty. 

It is a declaration that makes me mildly uncomfortable because, of course, I only believe in absolutes.

I absolutely believe that certain teenagers who tell you that they are “ready and able” to drive the family van, will, in fact, run that van off the road at fifty-miles per hour through a barbed wire cow fence—at the first available opportunity--causing four thousand, two hundred dollars worth of damage and an ulcer epidemic.

I absolutely believe that two-year olds, left on the back porch by themselves, when told not to eat the dog food, will eat the dog food after soaking it in the dog’s water.

I absolutely believe that college students, who do not pay taxes, car insurance, tuition, or their own meal allowances, are excited about the re-distribution of wealth—mostly other people’s.

Bobwhite believes that human beings don’t even know why they do what they do, but after they do it, they try to figure out why they’ve done what they did, so they’ll know stuff about why they do what they do for future doings. I don’t pretend to understand that sentence, but it's the kind of thinking that comes from being told that chemistry rules the world. 

He believes that human beings are driven by chemicals, genetics, and reality television, and (for no apparent historical precedent) that the future looks brighter than the past, because of all the information available online, of course. If we can just stuff enough information into people, they will not want to rip-off the old folks' pension plans or sell drugs to the known world. 

I remain skeptical—also menopausal. I believe that thieves with a lot of education are just educated thieves or Enron execs. 

Bobwhite’s basic premise is that human beings have no actual ability to exhibit will power or self-control above that of the average poodle without the ability to Google. 

Wanting to put his theory to the test, I asked him, “Do you mean to tell me that if I get the urge to smash your head in with a brick it won’t be my fault, but a combination of menopausal hormones, urban blight, and Irish angst. 

Bobwhite said, “Exactly.”

When I get into these deep philosophical discussions the other students sit in a semi-circle starring at me to see if I will stroke out. 

Turning to the semicircle of doom I said, “Girls, go get me a brick. I want to test out Bobwhite’s theory.”

They laugh.

I am serious.

Oh, those college kids are so adorable, but they’ve got a lot to learn. It’s true that the two-year old will eat the dog food, but she won’t eat it forever. It’s also true that teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to drive until they’ve joined the army or the Peace Corp. The truest absolute of all is that the fuzzy-wuzzy thinking of the young and freshly educated will sharpen right up as soon as someone they are closely related to decides it’s a hilarious idea to drive around with a fake bomb in the trunk of the family car.  True story. Happened to a friend of mine.

Linda (Absolutely Me) Zern 

** Name has been changed because I am not an absolute dweeb.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A QUICKIE: Postings That Are Short and Sweet

SPACE COAST WRITERS' GUILD MONTHLY MEETING:  The author, Linda L. Zern, singing the praises of active review gathering for your book launch. amazon.com/author/lindazern

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