Friday, April 24, 2009

Chris's new "Christy Evans" mystery cover!

Steve: Here's the cover for Chris's upcoming mystery (October). I think it looks great.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Writer's Horoscope #2

Well, it's time again (I figure to try and do one every month or two) for another "Writer's Horoscope." When reading this feature, it's important to remember that as writers, we're all professionals at making s&!t up. But this is REAL. It must be true! You read it on the internets!

If, however, you don't find that your entry in this horoscope seems to apply to you, it's entirely possible that your parents lied to you about your birth-date. (They may also be aliens. Or robots. Or robot aliens. Just remember next time you visit home, it wasn't our idea to cut them open and see what's inside!) Try another sign and see if it makes more sense to you. If it still doesn't seem to apply, keep in mind that they may not only have fudged the date, but the year, and possibly our earlier installment will fit you better. Find it here.

Aries (March 21 - April 19) - Have you been selling yourself short? It's about time to sit back and reflect on all that you've accomplished in advancing yourself as a writer, and in advancing your career. Maybe you're not where you want to be yet (who is?) but it's good to put aside the negatives and just think about the Good Stuff. Feeling better? Feeling jazzed? Good. Now take that energy, and direct in some positive way (a new project maybe?) that may advance you even farther!

Taurus (April 20 - May 20) - Maybe it's not your nature, but today would be a good day to reach out to somebody else in the business in a positive way, be it an editor, a fellow writer, or even (ick) your agent. You could send a gift, or a card, or maybe just offer a kind word, or share a joke. Just be sure its genuine, and that you act expecting no return. Nothing may come if it, but these little human connections have a habit of paying off in unanticipated ways.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20) - You've been pretty wrapped up in your writing lately. Are you neglecting that thing -- you know -- what do you call it? Oh! Life! Take a break to emerge from your office, spend a little time with your loved ones, and maybe take out the trash or something. Then you can go back to your office and finish the book.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22) - Look outside the office window. Spring is sprung (or will be soon). You've been spending too much time in that chair. Get outside and do something, especially if it involves exercise. Take a walk, mow the lawn, look around the garage and find that Frisbee, throw a stick for the dog, or play a little tennis. This may seem like you're abandoning your work, but this activity invigorates the mind as well as the body. While you're exercising, your brain will be doing important work that will pay off at the keyboard later.

Leo (July 23 - August 22) - Good news. There's an award, honor, or accolade in your near future. Bad news. It could go to your head. Feel good about it, sure, but remember it's the work that got you there that's important, and the even better work you've yet to do.

Virgo (Aug 23 - September 22) - You're a competitive sort, and so maybe you've set up little challenges and races with other writers to help get you moving. That's fine if it's working, but for you, competition can quickly become an end in itself. If this is helping your work and your career, proceed with caution. But remember, it's the results that count, not the winning.

Libra (September 23 - Oct 22)
- You know that proposal you've been thinking about? It's gonna rock, baby! Get that thing done and off in the mail!

Scorpio (Oct 23 - November 21) - This may sound crazy, but how about a writer-date? It would do you good. Invite a fellow writer to go shopping, or to a movie, or to a museum, or some other engaging outing. This isn't a romantic thing, just a friendly activity, so don't worry about the sex or relationship status of your companion. Make a point not to spend all your time talking about writing. But you're both writers. Trust me, ultimately this will be about the writing, and in a positive way.

Sagittarius (Nov 22 - Dec 21) - It's time to do something extreme. Move outside your comfort zone and try something new and challenging, with the idea that it may well fail, and you're good with that. At worst, you'll learn something about your current limitations, but its just as likely that you'll be surprised at what you can do, and something really good could come of that.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 19) - You need somebody to talk to, somebody who understands your creative side and the problems you face. This person may not be a writer, but they probably are a creative person like you. If you've got such a person or persons in your life, it's time to nurture that relationship and keep it strong. If not, it's time to start looking. Trust me, it will be worth the effort.

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18) - You may have fallen into a rut. It's time to trust your instincts and reexamine where you are professionally. Are you writing the type of fiction you should be writing? Is your career headed in the right direction? Just this once, listen to your gut instead of your head.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20) - Maybe you're getting too serious and intellectual about your marketing and sales efforts. This should be fun! Get excited about your project, and then try to communicate that excitement in your pitch. If you succeed, you can't lose. It isn't about the steak, it's about the sizzle.

If this is your birth month: It's easy to buy into the gloom and doom that's all over the news. The economy is in the tank. Paper books are dying. Bookstores are going under. Magazines can't find advertising. Don't listen! For you, this all this change only means opportunity! Play things smart, and this could be your best year ever!