Archives for posts with tag: writing

It turns out that writing can be tricky business. You would think not, in these days of push-button churning out of words and push-button editing. But perhaps it is trickier than ever, now that we are wedded to a keyboard and not writing by hand in pen or pencil. Some writers—Jennifer Egan springs to mind—say they write first drafts by hand, then transfer the words to a computer. Others swear by read-throughs, which is always a good idea since then you can hear the sound of the language. When you are speaking spontaneously—not a rehearsed speech—you seldom think about your word choices. The words just flow. But when you write for publication, suddenly word choices become significant. And oddly, sometimes difficult to control.

You want to have a voice. You want to have a distinctive sound in your written work. See? That was a repetition. A deliberate repetition.

I’m talking about inadvertent, unconscious repetitions of words, usually distinctive words beyond the usual “but” and “and” that are only too easy to write and detract from the bold, precise language you want to use. A writer in a workshop I once participated in called it “writer’s echolalia.” I see it frequently in published fiction that has been analyzed by several pairs of professional eyes—the writer herself, an editor, a copy editor, and a proofreader.

Writer’s echolalia is tough! I have a wonderful copy editor at The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction who catches my inadvertent repetitions.  She is terrific! And often surprises me. Working with her on my stories to be published in that magazine has newly raised my consciousness about this issue.

[In 2015, I published two well-received stories in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, “Teardrop” in the May-June 2015 issue and “Tomorrow Is A Lovely Day,” in the November-December 2015 issue. These were both chosen by Gordon Van Gelder. I published “Anything For You,” in the September-October 2016 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. This story was chosen by the new editor, C.C. Finlay. “Riddle” has been published in the September-October 2017 68th anniversary issue of F&SF, and “Aurelia,” will be published in the January-February 2018 issue. “Dangerous” will appear in Welcome to Dystopia, an anthology to be published by OR Books in early 2018.]

But even a lot of the pros can’t catch it.

The longer the manuscript, the more difficult it is to catch this stuff. It is often only when you boil things down for print publication, are down to the wire, need to blow through 130,000 words in a few days, not a few years—when you see those clean, shiny proofs ready to go off to the printer—that you can spot writer’s echolalia.

I recently had that privileged and unique experience preparing The Garden of Abracadabra for print publication. As I was up, burning the midnight oil, I noticed I had used the word “still” repeatedly.

I like bold, precise words, preferably monosyllabic, that get the job done. But it turns out that the word “still” has several different meanings and I had used it in all those meanings.

Still can mean “motionless”: “She stood in the darkness, silent and still.”

When I checked Webster’s Tenth, I discovered that “still” in this context can also mean “silent.” So that sentence has a redundancy. But to me, “still” connotes “motionless.” In the spooky library of The Garden of Abracadabra, the suit of armor stands “silent and still.” He’s quiet and also motionless—until he unexpectedly moves.

Still can also mean “nevertheless.” As in, “I was angry with him. Still, I wanted to talk to him.”

And “still” can mean that which remains the same. As in, “I loved him still.”

A good thing I hadn’t dreamed up a subplot with a demon at the apartment building brewing illegal moonshine in a distillery! I would have had yet a fourth use for “still.”

I globally searched for “still”—thank you, Microsoft Word for this invaluable function! Twenty percent of the usages of “still” were exactly as I wanted them. And got the job done boldly and precisely. But eighty percent of the “still” sentences could be rewritten to better effect. Which I did.

So there you have it, my friends. Watch out for writer’s echolalia when you’re polishing a manuscript!

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7257603 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7511748  or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! ORDER at https://www.createspace.com/title/7675783 and on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/.

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order on Amazon IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

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We covered short stories during the Story Collection Storybundle back in May of this year, in particular, with Pat Murphy’s beautiful tribute to the power of short stories, published as the introduction to her collection, Women Up To No Good from Untreed Reads. I had a few things to say about short stories, as well.

This isn’t a tribute to short stories as a significant contribution to the culture. This is about why writing short stories is a significant aspect of a writer’s career.

I love reading short stories for a quick fiction fix and an economical way to get to know a writer. And I love writing short stories. Some are easy, a gift from the Muse. Others are difficult, requiring research and multiple revisions.

The benefits of writing short stories for me include:

–Encouraging the flow of ideas. People talk about writer’s block. This is a very real phenomenon, some would say a nightmare. This is another topic altogether, but one of the best ways to break through a block is to take a break from your novel and write some stories.

–A constant reminder to write bold and write tight, which is easy to lose sight of when you’re writing a novel. When you’re writing a novel, you may think you can kick back and let the run-on sentences flow. Don’t do it. Write a story and regain your discipline.

–The opportunity to work frequently with professional copyeditors. I have the deepest respect for copyeditors, with whom I worked every day when I wrote law books. Copyeditors often suggest ways to better express a sentence, catch continuity errors, and correct the finer points of grammar and punctuation, all of which are instructive.

–The promotion of a writer’s work and name recognition. If the best publicity for a writer is the writing itself, then publishing stories launches the writing and the writer’s name to 20,000 or 30,000 diehard fans who love to read fiction so much they subscribe to a magazine.

–The opportunity to appear in exciting themed anthologies. When an editor conceives of an anthology centering around a theme, this too encourages the flow of ideas for a writer, permits a writer to work with editors she may have been unacquainted with, and adds to her body of work.
I’ve been delighted and honored to contribute stories to anthologies like Full Spectrum 5, ed. Jennifer Hershey (Bantam), Universe 2, ed. Robert Silverberg (Bantam), Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn (HarperPrism), David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), Desire Burn: Women Writing from the Dark Side of Passion, ed. Janet Berliner (Carroll & Graf), and Fantastic Alice, New Stories from Wonderland, ed. Margaret Weis (Ace).

–Potential media options and sales. A high-concept story may sell to the movies. My Omni story, “Tomorrow’s Child,” was only 7,000 words but I earned more movie money from this project than I’d earned from all of my books put together.

Many screenwriters prefer to expand a short project than to expand a long project. City of Bones was a failure as a movie in part because the screenwriters tried to capture every moment of a 485-page terrific book in an hour and a half. It didn’t work. The new TV series is probably a better venue.

So there you have it, my friends, writers and readers. Short stories are important, in more ways the one!

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia
, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Any advertisements you see following this blog have been added by advertisers without my knowledge, consent, or endorsement.

This is from a review in the Times Literary Supplement (TLS)  discussing two books about creative writing, The Future of Creative Writing by Graeme Harper and Writing Short Stories by Courttia Newland and Tania Hershman.

Disclaimer: I don’t subscribe to this newspaper. One of my neighbors, who does subscribe, gives it to me when he’s done reading. I suppose it serves me right for leafing through it.

I quote:

“The lone writer does not exist anymore. Harper’s thoughtful book explores the experience of producing, publishing and teaching creative writing. Harper believes that the advent of digital communication and social media, which has already changed how we view and disseminate writing so much, will by the end of the century revolutionize creative writing in all its uses and forms. The finished product, the book as artefact, will continue to be important, but the reception of the writing, the dialogue between writers and readers will be of equal significance.

“For some writers this may be an unwelcome intrusion into what was once a private process while others may accept it as a necessary part of promotion. And yet the model of the writer working entirely alone to produce a manuscript harvested by a publisher like dropped fruit has never been entirely real. Most writers rely at some point on the shaping of their work through the feedback of fellow writers, and the acceptance by an agent or publisher usually means further revisions. Harper takes the idea of this process further by offering a future in which ‘we will not only seek out the reflection of cultural influence in work but in the working of creative writers.”

End quote.

Well, yes. Most writers have first readers, writers’ groups, literary agents, and editors who contribute, to greater or lesser degrees, to a literary work.

But in the end, the writer always accepts responsibility for mistakes of fact, expressions of philosophy, ethical choices, stylistic rendition, and the vision. His or her name goes on the cover, after all.

So there you have it, my friends. Do you believe the “lone writer” will disappear? No thanks to something as facile as the social media?

I don’t know why anyone would take the time and trouble to write anymore, if that’s true. And the internal universe of the “lone writer” is so essential to the creation of new universes that I don’t see social media obliterating that anytime soon.

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Gilded Age is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India, and Mexico.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Some years ago, I wrote tax law books for a national law book publisher. I’d practiced tax law in a big San Francisco firm for a few years, but the time and commitment were overwhelming and I wanted—I needed–to work on my fiction.

Odd as it sounds, writing tax law books was easier.

The process went like this: my editorial director assigned me a topic, say, the charitable deduction. I researched the topic and wrote the chapter. I turned the manuscript in to my executive editor, who checked my research and tagged the manuscript for structure, language, and citation of authorities.

The editor returned the manuscript to me, and I responded to the tags and made changes. When the editor signed off, he or she then turned the manuscript over to a copyeditor.

We cranked out books on unforgiving deadlines. The director set up a production schedule for the hardcover book with facilities on the East coast before I had written one word.

We who wrote and edited substance were attorneys licensed by the State Bar of California and enjoyed window offices in a downtown skyscraper. The copyeditors, usually English majors, labored in interior cubbyholes. Like most business offices, we had a hierarchy and the copyeditors, all brilliant and educated folks who were probably working on their novels after their day job (as was I), harbored a bit of a grudge toward the lawyers.

Writing and riding. The two words sound almost the same, don’t they? I’m a huge fan of Blackfeet Indian pencils. I like to jot notes with Blackfeets. A sharpened point glides a soft, fine line onto paper that erases easily. Best of all, each pencil has a teeny, tiny Blackfeet Indian riding on a galloping horse. Love that horse and rider.

When you think about it, riding a horse is a lot like writing. The rider (your mind) guides the brute force of the horse (your material).

During my childhood and teens, I rode horses, trained at an academy, and competed in shows, winning seven ribbons in my day. I studied under a professional rider; I’ll call her Mrs. Grant. There she would stand at the center of the riding ring, a stern, silver-haired lady impeccably clad in canary breeches, black riding boots, and a tweedy hunting jacket. She would shout things like, “HEELS DOWN AND TOES FORWARD, MASON, YOU LOOK LIKE A DUCK.”

I loved riding horses. I did not love Mrs. Grant. But, like my fellow terrified riding students, I desperately wanted to please her. And she was always, always right.

The grudge match between the copyeditors and the lawyers sometimes went the other way when a copyeditor trudged from his or her dungeon down the hall to a lawyer-writer’s castle. After wrestling a manuscript out of thin air, many a lawyer-writer took a dim view of his or her masterwork beset by a million yellow tags, all of which had to be addressed in the space of two or three days.

My copyeditor, a stern, auburn-haired gamine in a slouchy sweater and tweedy slacks, would deposit my manuscript bristling with tags on my desk. Within, I would find comments like, “YOU’VE USED THE WORD ‘CONSTITUTE’ FORTY TIMES IN THIS MSS. ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT THE CHARITABLE DEDUCTION OR ORANGE JUICE?”

My copyeditor reminded me a lot of Mrs. Grant. I did not love her, but she was always, always right. And helped make my manuscript a polished piece of work publishable in a forty-dollar hardcover book. Which is just about as good as a blue ribbon won in a riding competition.

So there you have it, my friends. Here’s to you, my copyeditors. Your obsession with usage and punctuation has become mine, and everything I’ve learned about how to polish a manuscript for publication I’ve learned from you.

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 5: Authors’ Market Share Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/02/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-5-authors-market-share-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 6: Ebooks Versus Print Books Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-6-ebooks-versus-print-books-lisa-mason-sfwapro

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 7: Unlimited or Not Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/08/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-7-unlimited-or-not-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 8: Print Books in 2013 Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/13/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-8-print-books-in-2013-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 9: Amazon Vs Hatchett Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/16/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-9-amazon-vs-hatchett-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 10: Conversations with Author Elle Emerson Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/20/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-10-conversations-with-author-elle-emerson-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

Hate spiders? Fear spiders? Let me persuade you to feel otherwise in My Charlotte: Patty’s Story, a short, sweet memoir about a life in a garden and one writer’s first inspiration. Includes my first science fiction story, Arachne, published by Omni Magazine worldwide, by Hayakawa in Japan, and by Replik in Sweden.

Reading Charlotte’s Web, the classic children’s book, inspired me to write my own novels at the age of eight. My quest to discover the meaning of the spider led me to Jungian psychology, myths, and symbols. The classic myth of Arachne became the subtext of my first story, Arachne, published in Omni. My first two early cyberpunk novels followed, Arachne and Cyberweb, published by William Morrow and Avon Books. I am presently working on an adaptation of those books as The Quester Trilogy.

So there you have it, my friends. Plenty about reading, writing, my roots as a writer, my journey and struggle to become a writer, the life-long process of inspiration, and how I broke into the professional market.

And spiders!

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.

If you’re reading on a Kobo, the link to My Charlotte: Patty’s Story should post in a day or so. Check in at all my titles on Kobo.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

Happy Patty’s Day!

The Apple Link Is In!

I can’t think of a better reason to indulge in an Irish coffee, a delightful concoction invented in 1895 by the Buena Vista Café at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Made of coffee, Irish whiskey, and whipped cream, the drink satisfies what the late, great Herb Caen called “the four basic food groups: caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and fat.”

This is also the day when I discovered a large orb weaver in my garden. Hate spiders? Fear spiders? Let me persuade you to feel otherwise in My Charlotte: Patty’s Story, a short, sweet memoir about a life in a garden and one writer’s first inspiration. Includes my first science fiction story, Arachne, published by Omni Magazine worldwide, by Hayakawa in Japan, and by Replik in Sweden.

Reading Charlotte’s Web, the classic children’s book, inspired me to write my own novels at the age of eight. My quest to discover the meaning of the spider led me to Jungian psychology, myths, and symbols. The classic myth of Arachne became the subtext of my first story, Arachne, published in Omni, a magazine with a circulation of five million at the time. My first two early cyberpunk novels followed, Arachne and Cyberweb, published by William Morrow and Avon Books. I am presently working on an adaptation of those books as The Quester Trilogy.

So there you have it, my friends. There’s plenty about reading, writing, my roots as a writer, my journey and struggle to become a writer, the life-long process of inspiration, and how I broke into the professional market.

And spiders!

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is $.99 until March 22 on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.

If you’re reading on a Kobo, the link to My Charlotte: Patty’s Story should post in a day or so. Check in at all my titles on Kobo.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Happy New Year! Now that everyone is earnestly making resolutions for the year ahead, we asked authors Kevin J. Anderson, Lisa Mason, and Linda Nagata to chat about fitness and writing. We’re focusing here on exercise. (We promise not to mention this topic again for at least a year.)

Q: What is your philosophy about fitness?

Kevin: I live by the philosophy that it’s easier to *stay* in shape than to *get* in shape. I keep myself moving, work out, expend the effort to keep myself healthy because if my body doesn’t function well, then I can’t DO the things I want to do.

Lisa: Yes. You have only one life and one body: Take care of it!
I was really active as a child, climbing trees, bicycling, dancing ballet, swimming, riding horses. I walked several miles to school, even in three feet of snow. In college, I hiked and biked all over the sprawling campus at the University of Michigan.
But when I started working as a lawyer, all that activity dwindled to walking to the office in downtown San Francisco from my apartment on Telegraph Hill. When we and the office moved to East Bay, we bought a home where I could walk to work again, but it wasn’t enough. I didn’t feel comfortable in my body anymore.
On my birthday in 1996, I made a vow to get back in shape and, as Kevin says, stay that way. So far, I’ve been doing pretty well. If I used to walk to school in three feet of snow, now I’ll go for my walk in pouring rain. I’m committed!

Linda: I’ve always enjoyed being fit. I competed in swimming in high school, ran track one year, did a lot of hiking. In my early twenties I was into weight-lifting/strength training on my own machine, but I stopped when I had children. I was just too worried they would venture near the moving weights and get hurt. After that, fitness became an intermittent thing. Lots of heavy-duty yard work, occasional jogging, some hiking, but it wasn’t until my late forties that I got serious again, returning to weight-lifting and fairly regular running. My philosophy is to aim for both cardiovascular fitness and strength. My quirk is that when I do work out, I like to work out hard. I’m not sure that’s really a good idea now that I’m 53 years old, but it keeps the routine from getting boring.

Q: What is your exercise regimen?

Kevin: I am 51, last summer I did two segments on the Colorado Trail out in the deep wilderness (38 miles in two days), climbed a couple of 14,000 ft mountain peaks, and did some other strenuous hikes. This winter, I plan to do some great snowshoe hikes.
I have a weight room in the house and I do about a 45-minute workout every day when I can (and because I travel a lot, sometimes it’s hard to keep the schedule.)

Lisa: Wow! You’re one of a kind, Kevin.
I speed-walk 3.5 miles carrying 6 pounds of weights four to seven days a week. I always carry a pencil and notepad and jot down ideas, paragraphs, snippets of dialogue.
On days when I don’t do the long walk, I’ll walk to chores (we’ve got a fabulous Whole Foods a few blocks away), use the stationary bike and the stepper in my office.
I don’t run marathons or engage in extreme exercise. I’m mindful of my joints, which are good. I want to keep them that way.

Linda: It sounds like I’m the only gym rat here! I am utterly without Kevin’s discipline, and I’m sure if I had exercise equipment at home, I wouldn’t use it, but I love to go to the gym. Even if I don’t particularly feel like working out, once I walk in the door I almost always get into the flow. Getting your head set to want to workout is critical to staying in shape and for me, the gym does that. And the people at our gym are terrific, and very inspiring to watch.
The problem with the gym, for me, is that I live outside of town, so it’s a twenty-five minute drive to get there—which means I only go if we have other business in town.
I’m supposed to go jogging when I can’t get to the gym. Sometimes I’m dedicated about that, running five miles or so in hilly terrain, but sometimes I let weeks go by in-between runs. I try not to be too critical of myself, and do what I can.
There is a terrific book called Younger Next Year, which I highly recommend. It’s very inspirational. It lays down a regimen of exercising an hour a day, six days a week. That’s what I aim for, even if I rarely actually meet that goal.

Q: Where do you exercise?

Kevin: There’s too much to see and do out there in beautiful Colorado; what’s the fun in a sedentary life? I don’t much like to drive to a public gym and work out with a bunch of other sweaty people, so I’m glad I have my own equipment in the house. I also try to walk as much as I can, and I prefer to take the stairs rather than waiting for an elevator. I see people (without physical handicaps) take the elevator up one floor. Really? I don’t get that.

Lisa: Oh yeah, there are so many opportunities to walk, to take stairs. And I’m not a gym person, either.
I grew up with an old-growth forest in my backyard, so I too have a deep appreciation of nature. I’m fortunate now to live on the edge of a park with a hundred-year-old bird sanctuary and a lake with an excellent trail around it. Giant eucalyptus, pines, palms, oaks, and other greenery line the paths. I love watching the mallards, snowy egrets, and Canadian geese gracing the lake, along with the occasional swan, great blue heron, and red-tailed hawk.

Linda: I live on the island of Maui, which sounds like it ought to be a great place to work out, but things aren’t always what they seem. I live “upcountry” at an elevation above 3000’ where nearly all the roads have a significant grade, so jogging is either uphill or downhill—neither of which is easy!—but when I break out from the trees, the views are beautiful.
I almost never jog outside at lower elevations. Even though I’ve lived in Hawaii almost all my life, I’m a wimp when it comes to the heat and humidity we have at sea level. Even jogging in the evening down at the coast is a slog for me—but strange as it may sound, I really like running on the treadmill at the gym. The terrain is flat and nothing gets in my way, so this is where I do my “speed” workouts. I put “speed” in quotes, because fast for me isn’t going to be fast to someone else, but on good days I can run 3.5 miles in under 32 minutes, and I feel pretty good about that.

Lisa: I used to jog on my 3.5-mile trail. Then I caught my toe on an uneven edge and down I crashed on my right knee. Nothing broke or tore, but my leg turned an interesting shade of green for a week. After that, I started speed-walking, with the weights for calorie burn. The problem I have with jogging is your torso is tilted forward so your center of gravity is off. When I walk, I keep my torso centered over my hips. For me, it’s more balanced.

Q: How does exercise affect your writing?

Kevin: I have to stay healthy because I do most of my writing by dictation as I hike the trails. If I’m not moving, I’m not writing. I also find it very energizing and inspirational to be writing as I’m out in the mountains or forest. (This method doesn’t work, however, on a busy and noisy city street.)

Lisa: I feel more alert and just generally better after my daily walk, which segues into more and better writing. When ideas and words aren’t flowing as freely as they should, it’s good to get out of the office and exercise a different muscle in my brain.

Linda: I’m envious of writers like Kevin who can think and work out at the same time. For me, it’s rare to come up with any useful story ideas while exercising, or even when doing yard work. Mostly I just zone out. But exercise still benefits my writing, in part just by making me feel physically better and stronger, but it’s also an emotional boost. I just feel happier when I’m working out regularly—and I’m a much better writer when I’m happy.

So there you have it, my friends. Writing may be a sedentary occupation, but you don’t have to live a sedentary life. Find the exercise regimen that suits you best and stick with it.

We thank Kevin J. Anderson, Lisa Mason, and Linda Nagata for a lively and provocative discussion. Be sure to visit them at their websites and buy their books.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Kevin J. Anderson has published 125 books, more than fifty of which have been national or international bestsellers. He has written numerous novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune universes, as well as a unique steampunk fantasy novel, Clockwork Angels, based on the concept album by legendary rock group Rush. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series, the Terra Incognita fantasy trilogy, and his humorous horror series featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie PI. He has edited numerous anthologies, including the Five by Five and Blood Lite series. Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta are the publishers of WordFire Press. Wordfirepress.com.

Lisa Mason is the author of ten novels including Summer of Love, A Time Travel (A Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (A New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book), as well as dozens of stories published in magazines and anthologies worldwide. Her latest release, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories was called “a must-read collection” by the San Francisco Review of Books. Visit her at Lisa Mason’s Official Website.

Linda Nagata is the author of multiple novels and short stories including The Bohr Maker, winner of the Locus Award for best first novel, and the novella “Goddesses,” the first online publication to receive a Nebula award. Her story “Nahiku West” was a finalist for the 2013 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. Though best known for science fiction, she writes fantasy too, exemplified by her “scoundrel lit” series Stories of the Puzzle Lands. Her newest science fiction novel is The Red: First Light, a near-future military thriller published under her own imprint, Mythic Island Press LLC. Linda has spent most of her life in Hawaii, where she’s been a writer, a mom, a programmer of database-driven websites, and lately a publisher and book designer. She lives with her husband in their long-time home on the island of Maui.
Find her online at:
MythicIsland.com
twitter.com/LindaNagata

facebook.com/Linda.Nagata.author

From Lisa Mason, the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India,

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!