Last week, I got the first pass proofs of ESCAPE FROM THE BADLANDS, the third book in the TIME STOPPERS series.
I am afraid of pass proofs.
But they are still super cool.
Why am I afraid of them?
Well, they come after the copy edits, so even if you suddenly realize that having your main character fall in love with a bottle of ALL NATURAL SNAPPLE ICED TEA was important to the plot of the book, you can not magically make this happen now. It is too late!!!!
Snapple: Is it ever really too late to make SNAPPLE an important plot choice/love interest? I doubt it.
Yes, Snapple! It is too late.
Why is it too late?
Well, the first pass proofs are really what the book is going to look like on the page. It’s sort of all set and ready to go.
And that’s scary. Your book baby is ready to go off into the world of anonymous reviews and bookstore shelves, and there is nothing you can do now to toughen her up, make her street smart. She will be out there on her own very very soon and you just have to pray she won’t be a train wreck and become the kind of book that the paparazzi take pictures of because she’s always forgetting to wear her underwear when she gets out of cars.
And all of this made me think about vulnerability.
Because writing a blog, a book, a podcast, creating art, any type of true communication and art is an act of expression and it makes you vulnerable. And this world? This world is currently full of people who attack others. Some of those attacks are horrific and visible. Some are hidden.
So, why do it? Why do anything?
Because if you don’t, the trolls win.
Because if you don’t, fear wins.
Because for every troll attacking you, there is someone who needs your story and your voice. That’s why.
This is why you should still be vulnerable despite the evil in this world. Ready?
Vulnerable People are Leaders
People who lead need to connect to others. Vulnerability and authenticity are ways of connection, ways that we break out of our comfort zones and reach for bigger, better things.
Vulnerability Helps Others
Almost every time I blog or post about something that isn’t considered cool, (Having epilepsy, growing up poor, sleeping in a car, being assaulted), people tell me that I’m inspiring. I sure don’t ever feel inspiring. At all. And I have a hard time accepting that compliment, but… I appreciate that kindness because it means that it means those people are getting something positive out of my life or what I’m saying.
Plus, how cool is it that they took the time out of their lives to deliberately say something kind and supportive.
Can there be a bigger gift than hearing that you’ve helped someone else? Somehow? Even though you were just being you.
Vulnerability Is Contagious
Being brave and exposing yourself and your truth? It helps others be brave. Sure, it can backfire. When I first posted about my daughter being worried about me going to the Boston Marathon, trolls said my daughter (who is a Lt in the Army) must be a terrorist and have known about it or else why would she be worried about me. Yep… They actually went there.
And that’s the thing. You never know when someone is going to attack you or what for, but you can’t let that fear of evil suppress your voice, your story, your thoughts or your truths.
Silence is oppressive.
But vulnerability? It’s contagious.
Telling your story gives strength to others who haven’t been able to tell theirs yet. Facing your demons helps others to face their own. Isn’t that the kind of infection we want? Instead of a lack of civility and a parade of trolls, how about we work towards authenticity and vulnerability and truth?
A vulnerability contagion…I think that would be pretty cool. So, today’s Wednesday Writing Wisdom is to be vulnerable. No art is any good without it.
DO GOOD WEDNESDAY
The Human Utility has a water assistance project in Detroit, Michigan, USA, and other cities around the country.
From its website:
Water companies are turning off the tap in cities across the U.S., forcing low-income families, seniors and single parents to live without basic necessities.
Families without water are forced to go elsewhere to take showers, clean dishes and get a drink. Your donation can help turn the water back on.
You can give money, provide services or partner with them.
Yep, it’s the part of the blog where I talk about my books and projects because I am a writer for a living, which means I need people to review and buy my books or at least spread the word about them.
I’m super good at public image and marketing for nonprofits but I have a much harder time with marketing myself.
I’ll be at Book Expo America in NYC on June 1 at 11:30 – 12 at the Lerner booth signing copies of the Spy Who Played Baseball. A week before that,
I’ll also be in NYC presenting to the Jewish Book Council . Come hang out with me!
I’ll be at Sherman’s Bookstore in Bar Harbor on April 28 from 1-2.
To find out more about my books, there are links in the header. And if you buy one? Thank you so much. Let me know if you want me to send you a bookplate.
The podcast DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE is still chugging along. Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can.
COOKING WITH A WRITER
I have started a tongue-in-spoon subgroup in my blog all about cooking vegetarian recipes as a writer. It is silly. The recipes still work though. Check it out here.
THE CLASS AT THE WRITING BARN
The awesome six-month-long Writing Barn class that they’ve let me be in charge of!? It’s happening again in July. Write! Submit! Support! is a pretty awesome class. It’s a bit like a mini MFA but way more supportive and way less money. We’ll be having a Zoom class to learn more about it and I’ll share the details as soon as they are official.
FLYING AND ENHANCED – THE YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION SERIES
These books are out there in the world thanks to Tor.
What books? Well, cross Buffy with Men in Black and you get… you get a friends-powered action adventure based in the real world, but with a science fiction twist. More about it is here. But these are fun, fast books that are about identity, being a hero, and saying to heck with being defined by other people’s expectations.
This quick, lighthearted romp is a perfect choice for readers who like their romance served with a side of alien butt-kicking action –School Library Journal