ConDFW – Day 3

What I like most about ConDFW is … well, that it’s so close to where I live.
But besides that, it’s a literary con. It’s for us writers.

I spent the whole weekend hanging out with my good friend Bill, (our own Twiddle38), who’s a
Campbell-nominated SF author as well as the president of the Dallas chapter of
the National Space Society. Day 2 found me
hob-knobbing with NASA guys, space enthusiasts, and preparing for the NSS room
party, while outside a huge dust storm made the Dallas sky look like doomsday.
This segues right in with the fact that I spent some fun quality time with the Four Redheads of the Apocalypse.
Yeah. Not only did they do interpretive dance to my reading Friday night, but
Saturday they all four signed a copy of their book for me.

Yard Dog Press Sci-Fi really does
kick ass. If Selina Rosen had her way, SF&F authors would all be more like
rock stars. How can I argue with that?

After the panels and dinner, we proceeded to party far into the night … er,
morning … and I ended up staying in the party room. Bill and I got up Sunday
morning, hit Starbucks, and then jumped right back into it with another NASA
panel.

Then lunch, then the final panel of the day. This one interestingly enough
was titled “The State of the Industry” which, instead of being about
NASA (this was a SF&F con, after all) was about the publishing industry. In
a gesture of unintentional but deadly accurate symbolism, only one of the
panelists, Teresa Patterson, bothered to show up, and so she grabbed Robert
Aspin to step in and help her. She and Robert then proceeded to paint pretty
much the same picture I did a few posts back: print publication is choking to
death, and while it’s never really going to die, the sad fact is there is far
less money in it.

So I stand firm on my resolution. The future of writing is online,
and the money is in contextual advertising. You do your best, write your best,
edit your best, and you GIVE IT AWAY. Hopefully this draws in readers who will
click ads. Your pay comes from the ad clicks.

ConDFW – Day 2

I’m taking a break from the NSS room party, having had a bit too much beer. So here I sit down in a dark, quiet little corner of the lobby scribbling away on my trusty PDA.

It’s been a weird day. I was talking to scientists about asteroids hitting Earth, causing planetary catastrophe … then I walk outside to find the sky looking like doomsday. It turned out Dallas was in the middle of a major dust storm. The sky looked freaky. Seriously freaky. And as we drove around we discovered power lines down, traffic mayhem, etc.

I’m missing my lady love something terrible right now.

ConDFW – Day 1

Just got back from a rowdy night at ConDFW, where I was initiated into the Yard Dog Press family by doing a reading while other authors did interpretive dance to my story.  The story?  A spoof of Alien called It Came From Willy McCracken’s Buttocks, appearing in the upcoming anthology, Houston, We’ve Got Bubbas.

High art, yes indeed.  Thanks go out to all my friends there who supplied moral (and immoral) support.

Going back again tomorrow for more hijinks with the gang.

Lady Savina, wish you were here. 

Me grain? You grain? Migraine!

I had a scare this morning, because seriously big blind spots appeared in my vision and I didn’t know what was going on.  It was in both eyes, too, right about the same place.  This told me it was something going on in my brain and not in my eyes.

Immediately I popped an aspirin, on the off-chance it had something to do with a blood clot.

A half hour into it I started remembering that about 10 years ago I went through this same thing.  It’s when I first started getting migraine headaches.  And sure enough, that’s what I got.

So all those thoughts I was having about … wow, what if I go blind?  Well, they’re all moot.  Because I’m more or less back to normal now.

Hey, my Xangaroo friends!  Sorry about being scarce around here.  I’ve been busy on my next big experiment.

My first big experiment is GroovyMojo.com, a commercial website where I placed contextual advertisement.  I made several mistakes when setting it up but it has been a learning experience, and so it served it’s purpose.  The problem with it is that I tried to incorporate several different interests in one place, which made it a kind of grab-bag website … and had no clear direction.  People look at it and say, “Cool, but … what’s it about?”

That being said, I’ve made more money on that website over the last year than I have in traditional publishing.  Not a lot, mind you, but more. 

Here’s the thing:  writing takes a lot of time and effort.  In traditional publishing, and here I’m speaking of fiction writing, the things you write have only about a 1 in 30 chance of being published, and even then, you only have a 1 in 8 chance of being paid for it (my odds, your results may vary).  I’ve given that up, at least for the time being.  I’ll still work on the occasional story if I feel a
passion for it, which includes my current novel, but it’s not going to be my
main focus.

What I’ve discovered is that all a writer needs to do is find something (or things) for which you have a passion, set up a web site for that one thing, and concentrate your writing efforts there.  Fill that website full of good, fun, and hopefully timeless content (something that will still be relevant 5 years from now).  Make it so people will come there and read over and over.  Then put contextual Google AdSense ads on the site, unobtrusive and on the side lines, so that after they read something, hopefully an ad will be sitting right beside it for a product or service that they’re truly interested in … especially just having read your article.

They click the ad and you make some money.  The more people who read, the more will end up clicking.  The more clicking, the more money you make.

Set up several websites like this, each one corresponding to one of your passions, and you’ll spend all your time researching and writing about things you are truly interested in, and be paid for it at the same time.  When this happens, it will suddenly feel like you no longer work for a living … you just follow your passions!

Steve Pavlina over at his website makes five figures A MONTH doing this.  I figure if I could only make 1/10 of what he does, it would be worth it.

So anyway, that’s my next big experiment.  I’ve set up five new websites under the umbrella of “GroovyMojo Media” and one of them, MojoLizard.com, went live today.

Yes, it’s about lizards.  I love lizards.  I think they’re some of the coolest little creatures.  And oddly enough there is a huge marketing potential surrounding them because of the multi-million dollar reptile pet industry.

The other websites that will be coming online over the next few months will be about beer, coffee, gizmos and gadgets, and happiness.  Yes, happiness, a website devoted to the study and promotion of being happy.

So, that’s what’s up with me.  What’s new with you?

I bought beer tonight specifically to take pictures of it. 

I’m not entirely happy – I chose Guinness which turned out too dark – but I got a few good images and I very much enjoyed drinking it.  What I really need is something bright, like Corona Extra.

There’s always tomorrow. 

 

My meeting yesterday went far better than I expected.  His English had improved, and we met using NetMeeting and he was able to show slides in English of what he was talking about (I still think its cool that someone in Germany can show me slides).  Turns out I got a glowing review and a small raise.  The downside is that I still have to keep looking for other opportunities inside (and, quite frankly, OUTSIDE) the company.

Meanwhile I’m still campaigning for that other job with the Up And Down corporation.  Everyone there wants me except for the guy who is doing the hiring.  Hopefully the letter I wrote him will sway him away from the dark side.  I used every ounce of Jedi mind trick I could muster, and it was further augmented by skilled editing by my lady love.

*Fingers Crossed*

This weekend I’ll be doing a lot of work on my new media empire, and when everything is propped up and I’ve got the construction dust swept away, I’ll give my wonderful Xangaroo friends a sneak peak. 

Thank you again, my lovely Lady Savina, for all your help and inspiration.  OLI ARAIG.

I am very nervous at the moment.  In a few hours I have a conference call scheduled with my boss regarding my salary and position with The Very Big Computer Corporation.  I’ve only spoken to him once.  He’s in Germany and his English isn’t very good, and the only German I know I gleaned from Hogan’s Heroes.  That, and I know how to say “ballpoint pen.”

So all I can really say to the guy is: “That is forbidden!” and “I love cooked rabbit” and “Wonderful!” and “No” and “This is a ballpoint pen.”