10 January 2011

The Gobsmacked Expedition

As captain of this blog ship, I set sail into risky and uncharted waters. My mission is to take you with me on an adventure, a writer’s adventure, and as every writer knows, it’s all about trusting the process. I have no idea where I’m headed, but I do have ideas about where I might drop anchor. I have no doubt I’ll drop names, kvetch, drive people crazy, make trouble, be irreverent, and voice opinions. I will tell tales. Like a sailor, I’m fond of swearing. I’ll try to keep my tales short and humorous. Along the way, I hope to drop useful writer tips about how to navigate, but I won't hold forth on craft or story structure or anything else you’ll pay good money to learn about at conferences and workshops. I’m not making any money at this.

For those who are smart enough not to write, but have the love of reading, here's your chance to be a “fly on the wall,” watching what goes on in the “life of a writer,” and not just mine.

Scratch that. Who really wants to be a fly?

How about a parrot that sits on my pirate’s shoulder? Think of me as Jackie Sparrow, heading off into the tumultuous seas of this writer’s world as I steal character traits and stories from friends, family and foe. I’ll feed you crackers as I sing and drink with my mates, navigate storms, and do battle with the galleons of publishing and marketing. I’ll even imitate Keith Richards as Johnny Depp did. No, that’s silly. I’d rather "make music" with Keith Richards.

Our adventures together will let you experience the real world of writers. Sometimes it’s dead seas, no movement, disgruntled days. Sometimes it’s lofty ambition, full sail ahead, raise the flag. You’ll taste what it’s like to keep a writing ship afloat. I might post photos of the scallywags I drank with last night. I might tell tales of a noble agent who couldn’t sell a novel or a hair-raising story about an author whose career teetered on the plank while companies merged. (Oh, sure that sounds boring, but I doubt if the writer thought so.) I’m planning on a few guest appearances and interviews, and not the sleep inducing kind. I’ll confess to reasons why I hate the writing world. I’ll tell you plainly why I don’t leave it.

You can even ask questions. (Is that really your mother in your novel?) I might post intimate details about. … No, not yet. Oh, and there’s the nail-biting story of my research trip to Paris and a behind-the-scenes peek at a writer’s residency. Yes, I’ll post photos, too. In exchange, I invite you to comment. (“OMG, that is your mother in your novel!” “What the hell is a writer’s residency?”) You can even ask, “What the heck is all that crap in the header photo on your blog?” Just don’t ask, “Can you get me Garth Stein’s autograph?” I can, but I won’t.

As to the frequency of my blogs? I’m not promising anything. I can disappear into my novel writing for weeks or, if I experience a whopping writer’s setback, I might dump the whole sordid tale on you. And in the near future--if there’s a supreme personality of the high publishing seas--I will need to find dry land and peddle my newly-minted novel to land lubbers who love a good tale.

So, if you’re brave, haul yourself on board. I’ll try to keep you entertained. I won’t conscript you, but I do need a few good sailors and a steady wind—yours. Let’s have fun. Shout heave ho!

Ever Gobsmacked,