My 2013 NaNoWriMo Influences

Yup, I’m a freakin’ zealot. Trying to complete my manuscript revisions to deliver for final editing by November 13. But noooo, I gotta throw my writing pen into the National Novel Writing Month ring and go for Halo Numero Dos.

Day 2 of the competition and I’m rowing along smoothly. Marie and I are planning to meet this evening for a writing session. That’s right. You go ahead and hit the nightclubs. We party hard with our word processors!

Am writing a horror story, working title, Momma’s Boy. I don’t really have to stretch the imagination too far to satisfy a lead character profile, thanks to every single strange Generation X and Y-er who’s introduced me to his exponentially stranger mother. It’s an epidemic, people. Let’s stop having babies for a minute and figure out why women are screwing with their sons’ heads!

Off the soapbox.

As per my style, I gotta have a song in my head in order to get flowing, and this is the song I’ve chosen as this novella’s theme:

But this particular episode of Key & Peele really brought my lead character to life [06:36]:

Dan Smith KILLED IT!!

The STAR of my horror story credit: Key & Peele, Comedy Central
The STAR of my horror story credit: Key & Peele, Comedy Central

Happy NaNoWriMo Season! May your pens be swift, your keypad be stable, your coffee be strong.


Von the Queenmaker

Original Post Date September 25, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Von pulls out tried-and-true tactics to sketch next year’s marketing campaign.

arjunaAutumn announced its arrival Sunday by saturating the entire West Coast. Constant rain made the mornings dark, the afternoons cool and moist, and the evenings sudden, pretty much forcing all outward activity indoors, forcing me into a reflective, contemplative mode.

Roses and Thorns Analysis. What have we accomplished this year? What are our opportunities? What failed and why? The rain doesn’t just signal the shift in season, it signals the time to start planning for 2014. The big question: once I Blew Up Juarez is published, what are we gonna do about it?

I switch from contemplative to productive. An experienced event planner and campaign manager, I implement Z to A planning: using the date of an event as the starting point, and building back to current time to see what pieces have to be in place in order for that event to succeed. Where to launch? When to launch? The rain’s constant beat outside the bay door encourages my planning process.

The power of networking. I consider the context of my novel (military background, military installations) and start making phone calls. Looks like the date I would like to promote my work is not only available, but they’re willing to stock the paperback version of the book prior to my arrival on that military base. Glorious! I consider other aspects of the novel, and which communities are highlighted, and start networking those contacts.

The rain lightens up just enough to take Bobby outside for a brisk walk. We quickly pace the soggy trail, my mind crunching numbers, ordering events, prioritizing goals. I’m fully calculative now. I’m designing a plan of attack, an offensive. I’m slapping on the campaign helmet, I’m General Schwarzkopf!

Back at my work desk, I’m writing out if-then scenarios, running algebraic equations, putting weights to variables, I’m freakin’ everywhere. My left brain is excited, having relinquished command last year to let the right brain do her creative thang, now back in the lead. My initial scope is elliptical in nature: an outer sweep and then a concentrated inner sweep. I sit back, fold my arms across my chest, and look down at the schematics I’ve freestyled to the drum of the rain. Yes, yes, this is looking pretty damn doable.

VS Enterprises was conceptualized for just this type of situation. I am an independent writer and an independent consultant, so I not only produce art but am skilled at promoting and marketing it for others, as well as myself. I work with vendors, venues, and promoters. I network with like-minded artists. I draw on my previous experiences managing people and campaigns to enable interest in the work. I am not alone in this process. The co-owner of VS Enterprises is a seasoned marketing director and a practiced social media campaign manager. She’s also relocating to the coast, which will make honing my 2014 promotional campaign a fun, collaborative procedure.

Yes, I enjoy being a writer. But I equally enjoy being a queenmaker.