Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kari's Queries, part 12

Are there any authors' awards, such as how actors have Oscars? If so, have you ever attended a ceremony or received an award?

Short answer: Yes, and no.

Long answer: Yes, there are author awards (well, most are actually book awards), though they're often exclusive to genre, rather than all-encompassing "OMG it's the best book EVAR!!!!!111".

For example, we have the Nebula Awards. These are awards presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. They have categories, just like the Oscars. Short story, novel, novelette, things like that. Big awards ceremony, from what I hear. I've never been.

(Remember, I'm just starting out in this big crazy publishing world. Maybe they'll notice me later. ;) )

Another big sci-fi/fantasy award is the Hugo, voted on by members of Worldcon.

There's the O. Henry award, for short stories. I'm sure you've all heard of the Newbery Medal (kids' books). There are awards for mysteries, and romance, and poetry and pretty much everything you can think of.

And of course, the big daddy, the Pulitzer in five different categories.

Here's a link to a Wikipedia page on Literary Awards from all over the world. (I know, I know. Don't tell your teachers I sent you to Wikipedia)

So yes, there are awards. No, I've never been. But maybe someday!

Hey Kari! I'm your biggest fan and I find great enjoyment in out weekly readings with you. Now, onto my question, What is a typical day in the shoes of an extravagant author such as yourself?

You're my biggest fan? Wow, it's so great to finally meet you! I always wondered who you were!

Extravagant... Har har. Prepare to have your illusions utterly shattered.

Honestly, my day goes pretty much like yours. I get up at 5:30 a.m., check the news to see if I need an umbrella, sunblock, or a parka. Roll my kiddo out of bed, get her dressed. Take her to daycare, then I go climb on the public bus to head to the Real Job(tm). At work, I do my work... (duh) On my lunch break, I generally eat at my desk so that I can get in some writing or revising. In the evening, I take the bus home again, pick the kiddo up, go do dishes, and dinner and laundry and all that other domestic stuff. Kiddo goes to bed at 9, I work out for about 20 minutes, then I sit down to do some more writing, or revising (*cough or playing WoW cough*) depending on what deadline I'm working on.

On Saturdays and Sundays, I can usually fit more writing time in, and during kiddo's karate class I can usually revise like the wind!

It ain't glamorous. But I can think of a lot of worse ways to spend my time. Maybe someday I'll be rich enough to quit the Real Job(tm) and spend my days staking out my own personal table in some trendy coffeehouse, but I don't expect it any time soon.

The Stephen Kings and J.K. Rowlings of the writing world are rare. Most writers I know still have their day jobs, or have a spouse who has a really good job to support their writing addiction.

Writing won't make you rich, but I can't think of anything that would make me happier.

On bad days when you get 'writer's block', what do you do to clear your mind and overcome it?

Sometimes, it's as simple as changing the music I'm listening to. If I've been hitting the same tunes for a while, switching them up can shake something loose. Related to that, sometimes stopping to write something else will help me get through a stuck spot. Often, I'll stop and whip out a short story for my WoW guildies, or a few pages in a project I haven't "officially started" yet. Something to get the words flowing.

Sometimes I stop to read someone else's writing. That almost always does it. Like I'm absorbing someone else's creative vibes.

Sometimes (and you're gonna laugh at this) I take a nap. Strangely, I do my best creative thinking in that fuzzy place between awake and asleep. I keep a notebook by my bed, and when I come up with something right before drifting off I can scribble it down so I don't forget it.

And then sometimes, there's nothing to do but let it go. There are days when I'm truly stuck, when all I can do is stare at the blinking cursor of doom and send Miss Chie these texts about how much I suck and how I'm a big fraud, etc. etc. When it gets like that, sitting there trying to force it is just going to make me more stressed. More stress = less writing. Vicious cycle.

Then, the best thing I can do is walk away for the day. Come back tomorrow.

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