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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Untitled Dam Scrap, TBC

I knew there was a reason I was supposed to go to the dam today. I knew it. And there I was, walking along happily, when suddenly I could hear their voices on the wind....

“Look,” she peered around the crowded store and then back at the vision of darkness before her. “We need to talk.”

“Alright.” He eased his stance and waited.

“Not here!”

“Not here? Why ever not?”

“Because! There are people! They might hear!”

His eyes narrowed as he took in all the curious stares around them, the people that slowed to hear what was being said. “That is correct. Alright.” He appeared to think, and then said, “Have you been to the dam?”

Had she been to the dam? What kind of silly question was that?

“Of course. How can a person live in this town and not have been to the dam?”

He ignored her question and nodded, “Good. Meet me there, then.”


“10 pm. At the 11th lamppost.”


“We need to talk.” Repeating her own words.


“I’ll be waiting.”

To be continued...

Oroville Dam, Oroville, CA  4/26/12 (c) shanco.corp
I think I know who this exchange is between. But the characters don't want to tell me their identities, so I can't be sure yet. There is only one story I know of though, that takes place within 25 miles of here. The rest are all spread out over the Northwest, but there is that takes place just up into the Western Slope.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Fanmail, MIA Authors & Aspirations For the Future

I have been frustrated of late with authors who become successful and no longer sort through their inboxes and answer mail. This is going to seem unreasonable, I know, because people like JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer & Suzanne Collins get SO MUCH mail that they would never write another word if they took the time to look at and respond to every piece of fan mail they received. I get that. Really, I do.

I just keep thinking that there has got to be some way to make it work. Some way to still thank the people who have made your career possible, the readers. And then there are the aspiring writers who, without fail, will always write long, thoughtful, complimentary letters and ask for advice. Isn't it the duty of successful authors to encourage the next generation of writers along?

When people hear that I have written books (people who previously thought they knew me based off of their own misconceptions) they look at me in a completely different way. They think that writing a book is some sort of mystical, far off thing that only strange old people can accomplish. But there are hundreds of thousands of girls and boys out there writing stories almost as soon as they can write anything. All of their dreams, aspirations, and even nightmares are caught up and flung upon the page for anyone willing to see.

I want you all to know, that when I finally make it, when I am finally successful enough to quit my day job and write full time, I swear to you I will find a way to still read my mail. If I have to employ a secretary, nay two secretaries, I will.

I will.

Because readers matter to me. Readers are the people who make my days bright. When I see reviews, or when I listen to someone tell me about one of my books, my entire world just feels like it's lit on fire. It's glowing, and warm, I can feel this burning spreading through my chest and into my outer extremities and I am happy.

Why should any author deny themselves that glorious feeling?

And the few times when I have succumbed, and written to an author, I have received one reply. I don't know if she will ever read this, but this is a huge thank you to Tamora Pierce for responding personally to the email of a very young (16, I believe) Shannon A Hiner with encouraging words. I think about that response often and how grateful I am that she took the time. It wasn't just a couple of words even, but a full letter response.

In thirty years, I want to be that kind of author. She has written dozens of books, is highly successful, and is still down-to-earth enough to respond to one struggling, very young, idealistic writer.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Out of Frustrating Sometimes Comes Some Good

My scheduler at work has been annoying me rather significantly lately. You see, I am supposed to be a server/busser in our restaurant. Lately though, I have been scheduled to cashier. The problem should be clear to anyone in the restaurant business, but if you aren't I will explain:

Servers make mullah tips.
Bussers make so-so tips.
Cashiers make next to no tips.

The reason I left my former job for a job that pays a full dollar an hour less was that I would be making tips. In the first couple of months at my job I was making about $700/month in tips, and only $750 in actual paychecks.

So, instead of only making $8/hr, I was in fact making about $18/hr...nearly unheard of in this county.

Now, cashiering, I am making much, much less. Barely enough to survive on. Actually, I am not making enough to survive on. I have made my issues known, and have been assured that it will only be for about another week, but still I am very tight on cash.

The good that has come out of this very frustrating bad is this: Cashiering is so damn boring and slow that I have been able to roughly outline the entire first half of Shadows On The Wall this week. HUZZAH!

Unfortunately, I have come across a new problem: a plothole.(Like a pothole in the road, only it's in the storyline).

A plothole right smack dab in the middle of the book. The rough draft that I wrote approx. 6 years ago has this huge hole, like a time vortex that one of the characters just slipped into and disappeared while the others carried on as if nothing had happened. I mean, they should feel really awful for letting that happen...terrible human  beings.

I think I have come up with a cure for the plothole, but getting the story back on track after that hole may in fact be difficult.

Nonetheless, the fact that I have had so much idle time on my hands at work lately has brought this bugger of a problem to my attention far before it became a really difficult issue.

I suppose I should be a bit on the thankful side that I have had the extra time, but my wallet and bank account are not feeling very magnanimous.

This looking on the bright side post brought to you by: Shanco.corporations.
(Lobbied against by: The wallet and bank account of Shannon A Hiner.)

On a completely unrelated side note: Long time and very successful authors may not be effected so much by their reviews on book selling websites, but I certainly am. I feel that it is necessary to give a hugely thankful shout out to my first reviewer in the iTunes bookstore, a certain Beekersc. I appreciate so much that you took the time to not only read Only The Stars Know but to also leave a few lines telling others how much you enjoyed it.

Only The Stars Know in the iTunes Store
Remember everyone: A book read, but not reviewed, kills a faerie. No joke.