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Individual Artist Grant

I mentioned on Facebook that I received a grant that would enable to attend the The 2018 Philadelphia Writer’s Workshop.  Gunslinger Witch is what I presented to them.  I love all of my works but this one is special because it is unlike anything else I’ve written in the past.  I’m hoping to be able to send her out into the world in the near future.

I’ve never been to any workshops or conferences before in my entire life so this means a great deal to me.  For me personally it tells me that I am good at what I do.

I wouldn’t be able to attend if it wasn’t for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Delaware Division of the Arts grants program.  I just wanted to remind everyone involved in the Arts that we need organizations like these to further our career choice and to be certain that the Arts remain an integral part of the lives of everyone.

I will always support the Arts organizations in their endeavors in any way I can.  We need them!  What’s a world without the Arts?

So thank you, on behalf of myself and my fellow writers.  You are truly fabulous.

FinalDivArtsLogoHorizColor

WA Simpson aka CJ Black

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Mini-Musing 11/27/17 ~ I did it!


This is a big step for me. 

I had already started my new work, Gunslinger Witch, so I couldn’t do NaNoWriMo 2017, however like many of my fellow authors I did follow along.  Tonight, I broke the 50K mark at 52,315!

Go me.

Now of course, many of my fellow authors have also reached this goal but why do I say this is a big step?  Because I haven’t written this much since – forever.  Seriously.  The last full-length work I wrote was Memory in Shadow.  Afterwards, when it didn’t do as well as I would have liked, it became nearly impossible for me to write anything.  It wasn’t just that, it was also the writing defeat I’ve mentioned on a few occasions.  These two things combined thoroughly beat my Muse down.

Before it happened, I could finish a work within one to three months, as previously stated.  I haven’t been able to do that for decades.  It took me five years to finish Tinderbox and that was because life kept getting in the way.  It wasn’t always good.

Then an atomic bomb was dropped on me.  I lost my job of ten years.  I was WAY STRESSED!  As evidenced by my Muses sudden influx of energy that had me writing new short stories for the first time in well – forever. So, in a sense at least writing-wise it was a good thing.

I’m going to take a little break and maybe play some videogames and chill for a bit, then I’m going to finish and will have it ready for editing, probably within another two to three months, depending.  I just wish I could buy a bottle of champagne.  Oh well, someone have a few glasses for me, OK?

Peace~

CJ

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Musings 6/17/17

I really should stop reading publishing news.

Seriously it hovers between annoying and depressing. Am I the only one who is beginning — no have always thought — that to be a successful author you must have lots of money to begin?  I discovered yet another article where someone who self-published, now has a TV deal and is making six figures.  The article, “Show me the
money!  The self-published authors being snapped up by Hollywood”
by Danuta Kean, references self-published author Mark Dawson and the aforementioned deal.  There is the following paragraph:

“Sales of his first self-published novel, 2012’s Black Mile, only trickled in – until he took
Amazon’s advice and offered it to readers for free. In one weekend, his novel
was downloaded 50,000 times. Dawson built his audience from there, spending
hundreds of pounds a day on Facebook advertising and writing on his
commute.”

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/15/self-published-authors-hollywood-andy-weir-the-martian-el-james

 Hundreds of pounds a day?!

If we use the exchange rate for today (0.79 pound to every $1) as of today 100 pounds equals $126.64.  Now when I see the word hundreds I think over $200.00 dollars.  I also read it’s usually about $500.  I’ll split the difference and use $300 (£237.02).  So, if he is spending that much every day, and say he did this for a month that is $8400 or £6636.56!

Wow.

 Where did he get that much?  I can only assume he has a darn good 9 to 5 with phenomenal pay, is independently wealthy or has super-rich parents.  I don’t believe I’ve ever had that much money at one time in my whole life.  Sure, I could spend that much money, but my mortgage company likes that big fat direct deposit I send them every month.

Yes, I know I did a detailed blog post about the cost of self-publishing before.  I promise not to get into it too far.  But if you’d like to see it, it’s here:

https://authorcjblackblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/writing-and-publishing-the-way-i-see-it/ 

So, here’s an opportunity that is completely out of the reach of a large majority of authors because we may not have the money to spare.  This is just my example, imagine my fellow authors who have families?  Or the ones that are on disability?  The old-fashioned way is the only way we have.  I just wish that when these opportunities are presented that there was some way we semi-starving artists could take advantage.  It’s too risky an investment.  Yes, there are places where you can offer your works for free but it doesn’t mean you’re going to have the ability to parlay that into a big movie or
TV deal by spending thousands of dollars on ads.  The articles make it seem like it’s so
easy and that self-publishing is the answer to all a writer’s woes.

But there are other writer’s out there who aren’t too wild about the thought of self-publishing either.  I figure if you can make it work, go for it.  But as least
be as honest and upfront as you can about it. At least say, “You have a very difficult decision to make.  You’ll likely be spending a lot of money and a lot of time promoting it, and not much time writing and there’s still no guarantee you’ll get where I am today.  For most working people with or without families it’s simply not
doable.”

That doesn’t mean we give up though.  I just sent Tinderbox to the digital publishing arm of one of The Big Five.  I’m terrified beyond belief but I knew it was the right decision for
me.

Peace~

CJ