Those Tricky French Authors and Their Obsessions

by | Dec 19, 2022 | Articles | 0 comments

Today’s blog post was originally going to be Write Whatever the @#$% You Want, Pt. III. However, after seeing parts I and II lined up, I decided to call an audible and make it something less repetitive. Somehow the SEO gods have gotten into my head.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post or two, I’ve been reading Remembrance of Things Past, a.k.a. In Search of Lost Time, Proust’s 4,000-page, seven-volume masterpiece. At the same time, I’ve also been writing about artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, and other 21st-century phenomena.

As you can imagine, the gulf between modern technologies and 19th-century concerns seems to yawn wider every day.

That leads me to today’s headline, Those Tricky French Authors and Their Obsessions. I kind of get why Balzac drank coffee by the gallon and Proust was neurotic to the core. Who wouldn’t be jacked up, living in a place like the photo above? I took that picture in 2010 and have been more obsessed with France, not less, ever since.

 

More Current Obsessions (With No Segue)

It seems we are living in the age of the hyphen, not just the age of the acronym. In the past two hours alone, I’ve come across the phrases meta-medium, micro-content, and circuit-miles in my online reading. And those are for freelance gigs. No wonder this post is already littered with hyphens. Circuit-miles? Do people Google this stuff to find out what it’s supposed to mean?

I’m also seeing some incredibly unrealistic pay rates for writers, er, content creators. Fifteen bucks an hour? Look, I know companies need to tighten their belts and so forth. But let’s try to be mindful of the dollar’s declining value and the ever-higher cost of living. What cost seven dollars in 1978 now costs $32. Do those jobs that paid seven bucks an hour then command $32 an hour now? I’m gonna say, No. 

Maybe we should have a premium on hyphens for writers: for every hyphenated phrase you provide in an article, you get a $10 bonus. That should make everybody happy.

I’m kidding. Somehow, between reading Proust and writing about computer programming, I’m learning to straddle a line between Hunter Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut. That should help with my work-in-progress, Hot Scenes, which is supposed to be funny, after all. Only time will tell. 

Okay, enough rambling for today. Happy Monday, people!

coding

You Can’t Do It All—And You Don’t Have To!

I wrote a post a couple weeks ago called What I’ve Learned In Six Years of Growing An Indie Author Business. One of the points ran as follows: Even if you're traditionally published, you still have to do a lot of the heavy marketing lifting. As an indie, be prepared...
ebook

Are Stories Inevitably Autobiographical?

Recently, I’ve been writing quite a bit about writing, providing some explanations about why I write what I write. I’ve even got an upcoming podcast appearance talking a lot about my background and history in relation to my works of fiction. In the case of my short...

A Journey with A Few Heiresses

Way back in 2016, I got a guest spot on a blog called Writing in the Modern Age by an author named Marie Lavender. Of all the writers I've contacted online, Marie has to be the most prolific – more than 20 books published over the course of 15 years. Marie and I have...
proofreading

The Improtance Of Poorfreading

So right up front, I know I'm taking a gamble with today's headline. I only hope most readers of this blog will be able to translate Improtance into Importance, and Poorfreading into Proofreading. Goodness knows Spellcheck tried to change them on me. The reason for...

Book Fair Time Coming September 17th

Most of my blog posts are related in one way or another to the business of being an author - expanding your author platform, improving your book marketing, and so on - and not strictly self-promotional. However, every once in a while, I've got a radio interview or...
LCCN

Do I Need A Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN)?

This week I promised to write about one of the most often overlooked items in the publishing business - the Library of Congress Control Number, or LCCN. I'm going to write about it a bit today, but my thinking on the LCCN has changed to some degree over time.According...
launch team

Turning a Street Team Into a Launch Team

If you're reading this blog post in April or May of 2019, you probably already know that my fourth novel, Whizzers, will come out later this year. I'm working on launch ideas of all sorts, and the launch itself is likely going to be late July. For the uninitiated,...
interregnum

What To Expect From An Interregnum

I had a very strange, little-used word pop into my head the other day: interregnum.  Cambridge English defines interregnum as "a period when a country or organization does not have a leader." That certainly seems to apply at this moment. Merriam-Webster's definition:...
characters

It All Starts With Character

“Sahno offers a compelling vision of a community whose need for companionship and support in the face of life's struggles is stirring.” “The characters are deep, well thought out…” “I read this novel in a few short days, drawn in by a believable plot and characters...
paradise

The Month We Used Our Two Tickets to Paradise

​I haven’t posted on the blog since 10/3, but I have a pretty good excuse: my wife and I were on vacation. Unlike many of our peers, I especially do not like to let people know I'll be out of town. No matter what kind of security system you have, it's not easy to feel...
self-promotion

What’s The Problem With Shameless Self-Promotion?

While I still find it somewhat hard to believe, I've been on Twitter for almost eight years. I know this not only because Twitter shows Joined March 2015 on my profile but also because, even if they eliminate that feature, I use a tracker called Who Unfollowed Me? If...
MLK

MLK Day 2023

Here’s wishing everyone a safe, sane Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For many of us, today is always something of a day of mourning: not only mourning the loss of a great civil rights leader, but also mourning the turn our great nation seemed to take in recent years....

Twitter Tips for Authors in 2023

If you follow my blog, you probably connected with me via Twitter, whether you’re a fellow author or not. In 2020, I wrote a post about Twitter for fellow writers that got a good response. Three years later, the landscape has changed, but some Twitter best practices...
rails

Going Off The Rails (But Not On A Crazy Train)

Last April, I wrote a blog post called Back on Track With a Work-In-Progress. Part of that post was to talk about the difference between a “plotter” and a “pantser” (and to describe myself as a hybrid of the two, a “plantser”). Another, less obvious motive, was to...
scared

Write Whatever the @#$% You Want, Pt. II

In last week’s post, I mentioned a pretty well-known author who has publicly reported his publisher “wouldn’t touch” a new release, in part because a character in his novel referred to herself as “fat.” I heard this story on a podcast, and I remember thinking, “Wait...
censorship

Write Whatever the @#$% You Want

I’ve been stewing on this for a while. It’s been brewing for quite a while. I could probably write a song about it (how about a rap?), but I don’t think I will. This is more of a blog post topic, and it might even deserve a series. And that’s the title and topic of...
gratitude

Should Every Month Be Gratitude Month?

When I was a kid, I loved Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. I read it daily and collected nearly every paperback volume of the cartoon, so I could see what I’d missed since the comic strip’s inception in 1950.  Certain things stuck: quotes like “happiness is a warm puppy”...
robot

More Thoughts On Robot Writers and The Tech Dystopia

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post here called When Will the Robot Overlords Replace Us? Apparently, I’m fairly obsessed with this stuff, because every time I come here and empty my brain, it seems to come up again. Today is no different. Part of the reason,...
annoying

Top 10 Most Annoying Words or Phrases for 2023

In 2018, I published a post called Top Ten Words or Phrases That Make You Cringe. I only included eight because they were so annoying. There was no need to torture readers with more.  Over these past few years, some of the worst offenders have fallen out of favor. And...