Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Latest Posts in the Sanity Bubble

The dog days are over and the blog is back:

Sic Transit Gloria (11 October)
The Oddity of One's Own New Book (9 October)
'Tis the Season to Rip Off New Authors (8 October)
The Joy of Printing (4 October)
The Writer's Hangover (29 September)
Making $ on the HubPages "Content Farm" (29 September)
The Bar-Code Scandal (10 September)
Walrus Publishing Interviews Me (2 September)
Veblen's Vacation Home (24 August)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Posts in the Sanity Bubble

Click here to visit and read the current month of Sanity Bubble (formerly Mental Health for Writers) blog entries:

More About the Experiment with Voices and Chance (July 24)
Talking With: Dwight Bitikofer (July 18)
An Experiment with Voices and Chance (July 18)
Why Housepets Are Not a Good Subject for a Book (July 13)
Never Do Anything Out of Desperation (July 7)
The 32 Drawings (July 3)
How Not to Begin Your Meditative Essay (July 1)
Screening Test: Is the Applicant a "Writer"? (June 28)

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Posts in the Sanity Bubble

Check the Sanity Bubble for these:

Not Everything is a Joke (June 27)
I Could Vacation on This Money, or I Could Print a Book (June 21)
When Is It Right to Give Someone Your Book? (June 18)
Outsource THIS (June 13)
When Writers are Describing YOU (June 13)
Discovering the Power of the Written Word (June 13)
The Death of Capacity: Having No Time to Write (June 7)
Sleeping Next to God (June 4)
Compromise Your Art (May 22)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Blog Posts

Recent posts in the Sanity Bubble; comments welcome:
  • Literary Lies (April 19)
  • Why the Agent Stops Reading at Page 2 (April 15)
  • Talking With: Alice Azure, Native American Author (April 14)
  • Here's a Rejection I Like (April 12)
  • The Myth of the Lone Writer (April 11)
  • Time Trick That Works (April 8)
  • Turning Away from Toxic Friends (April 5)
  • Why Katie Couric Didn't Wash (April 3)
  • Writing an Author a Fan Letter (April 2)
  • They Don't Want You to Write (March 28)
  • Scary Me: I Get a Clue (March 27)
  • I Want to Be Another Poet (March 26)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Catch Up on the Blog

Go to the Sanity Bubble for new posts:

The King and I (24 March)
Coming: Professional-Writer Certification (22 March)
The Fake Job Interview (21 March)
St. Louis Indie Bookstore Alliance Goes Wild (13 March)
Using "Dialect" in Poetry and Prose (5 March)
What's Wrong with Flashbacks (3 March)
Don't Let Your Prologue Give Your Novel Away (3 March)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Mental Health Entries

Click here for these new entries:
  • Creative Nonfiction Has Begun to Suck (24 February)
  • How Embarrassed I Am, Part One (21 February)
  • Did You Accidentally Hire a Poet? A Checklist (15 February)
  • Recap of UMSL Small-Publishers Panel (12 February)
  • The First Writer I Ever Saw (10 February)
  • When Three People Show Up (10 February)
The Mental Health for Writers blog has moved to www.bookeval.com/sanity-bubble. Other than that it ain't no different. Please change your bookmark.

Worry: The Most Creative of the Arts

Please click here to see the above entry at my new site.

Monday, January 24, 2011

If I'd Known I Was Going to Live This Long... (1/23/2011)

Doc looking at MRIs of my spine said, Do you over-sit?

I once had the Romantic notion that I wouldn't live beyond my thirties, but I did, go figure, and accumulating hours upon hours, year after yeachairr in a chair, as writers do, ultimately wrecks your spine. Doesn't matter if you sit straight or on an expensive task chair or a medicine ball; bodies weren't made to sit for hours. Ergonomic gear is designed to make workers more productive, not healthier. And spinal degeneration doesn't go away. I've taken to spending half my writing day standing up, my computer on the dishwasher top. It's just the right height.

Seeking prevention advice (my favorite here), I find unanimous agreement on this: Get up and move, hourly. Stretching arms upward and back while still seated is ineffective; you must rise from the chair and move, or at least touch your toes. I know it sounds like a pain to get up every hour, but just as you wouldn't smoke because it's bad for you, or read in poor light, you wouldn't want to oversit. I know how it is when we're on deadline or pursuing a big inspiration. But be aware. "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself." - Eubie Blake

Sneaky Self-Promotion for Idiot Authors (1/13/2011)

Dying to get their books into bookstores, or sell bookstore stock, authors actually do these things:
  1. Artificial Insemination: After printing colorful card-stock promotional bookmarks featuring the title and purchase information for one’s own book, an author sticks these bookmarks into store copies of bestsellers.
  1. Disturbing the Universe: A writer in a bookstore surreptitiously moves her books closer to the front, or turns them from spine-out to face-out, or re-distributes the bookstore’s stock of her book among several subjects or shelves. She doesn’t realize that the bookstore is a business, that she is not the first writer to do this, and that the bookstore clerks know the shelves as they know their own faces; after all, they have arranged the books, often to specifications given and paid for by the publishers. It is their job eight hours a day to maintain this order.
  1. The Secret Book Signing: A writer enters a bookstore, finds his own books and secretly autographs all the copies, knowing that autographed books are considered defaced and cannot be returned to the publisher, and hoping this will force the bookstore to keep all copies on the shelves until they are sold.
  1. The James Frey Awards: A writer has golden medallion-type stickers printed with the name of a fictitious award, enters the bookstore and sticks them onto his book covers hoping this will attract attention.

Not yet dead of embarrassment and shame? Pretend you are not the author, and sell a copy of your book to every used-book dealer in town. At least it’ll be shelved in a bookstore. (A tip found online.)

Honesty is Such a Jobless Word (1/8/2011)

Job interview #1: I meet the exhausted bottle-blond interviewer in late afternoon. Staff had all fled their cubicles at 4:00 p.m. thanks to flextime; the place was tomb-like. "Nice office," I lied, starting an exchange of lies that lasted an hour: she pretended to interview me and I pretended to want the job.

Job interview #2: The hiring committee had a projector so candidates could present audiovisual portfolios on DVD. They asked if I had one. I saw I was sunk. Inspired, I said, "I'll be honest with you. I'm a writer. I just published my fourth book," etc. I'm gleeful, and a lively discussion ensues. Finally they ask how I feel about coordinating public-relations functions all day and attending said functions all evening. I tell them that I would hate that.

Welcome to the SanityBubble blog, successor to the Mental Health for Writers blog. I'll be moving all of its entries over here. BookEval.com is now my online home and website, and I am my own darned employer and can be honest with you.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Blog Has Moved - and Been Renamed - Go There!

Hello. My new online home including the blog (now renamed "Sanity Bubble") is BookEval.com. You can leave comments on the entries as usual. I will eventually move all 300 blog entries onto that site. Come see my amazing new space! Thank you so much.