Searching for Topics

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Excepting the previous two posts, I haven’t blogged for more than a year. I’m out of practice at seeing topics in everyday life. I reread my post on finding topics and I wonder, who is this guy? I remember thinking those thought. I remember writing that post. I remember posting it. Yet in some way, that person is so different from where I am now that I don’t remember being that person at all. This isn’t a complaint. Nor is it a celebration. It goes back to the title of by blog: Maunderings of a Baffled Man. I’m very baffled right now…at least concerning getting back into blogging.

I enjoy writing. I enjoy sharing my ideas with people…at least those who are willing to listen. I even think about lots of things. And yet, I’m finding it difficult coming up with blog topics. I have confidence that this will pass as long as I keep working at it. For now blogs are likely to be short and fairly simple until I get back into the swing of things. I hope to start off with one blog a week…beginning next week. I’m counting these first three posts as a single post since they could probably have been combined into a single post.

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Still recovering and other miscellaneous stuff

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I’m still recovering from ArmadilloCon. No concrud, just tired. Made today’s exercise session and private lesson a touch difficult to get through. Wonder how long I’ll last at sand volleyball tonight.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the challenge of a tough exercise schedule. Having spent all weekend doing another of my favorite activities just makes this week more awesome. I’m motivated and have the mental and emotional energy to push forward. Physical energy, though, is a bit lacking.

Mostly, though, I’m shocked at ReaderCon’s mishandling of their own no tolerance policy. I know it takes more guts than a Board of Directors often has to stand up to something like that, but if you’re not going to be able to enforce a policy, don’t have the policy. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the link. The ironic thing is that deep down, they probably realize it would help their numbers more than hurt. Despite a Big Name Fan blasting the con to his followers. This stuff gets around. It wouldn’t surprise me if a few cons banned him preemptively, since he has a record. A friend called the (lack) of sufficient action of the Board “terminally stupid”. I’d have to agree.

On a brighter note, I’ve also finished the basic outline of my next book. We’ll see how closely I manage to stick to it. I should probably revisit sending query letters for my last book. Hmmm. Decisions to make. This book is shaping up to be much better, but the other is still a good story…and a different genre. Maybe if I spend two hours on the new book and one hour on query letters (and the accompanying research), I can manage both. Though if I hit a procrastination streak, the number of posts to this blog may very well increase.

A Cross Posting

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Agent of the Dragon has been updated. The part I’ve been posting was originally part of a longer story. When I began looking for an agent (if any are out there and interested, I’m still looking), I realized that this section was mainly world-building and added little to the rest of the story. Nevertheless, it has its own small story arc and so I’m posting it as an extended prologue.

I welcome any and all comments and discussion.

Topic, Topic, Who’s Got the Topic?

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When I’m asked where I find my blog topics, I’m often at a loss for what to say. I rarely find the topics, they find me. Not only do the find me, they sneak up and whack me upside the head, they steamroll me, they ambush me, they climb in my brain and throw a party. Yes, sometimes they leave me alone, and when they do, I have to go hunting.

The uninitiated will call topics finding me “inspiration”. I call it “mostly annoying”. Usually when a topic jumps out at me, I can’t afford the distraction or I’m not in a place to do so much as write it down. By the time I am, it’s already left.

Once I have a topic, what then? I often have only a vague notion of where I think it’s going to go. Too bad it rarely works out how I think it will. In fact, most of my blog writing relies on momentum, not “inspiration”.

One of my techniques for topic-finding, when they appear to have abandoned me, is to ask friends on Facebook to give me a topic. As with improv, never say no. Take the first topic someone responds with and run with it. This is one of the advantages of an unthemed blog. The downside is it will never be an “authority” blog. I write for entertainment: mostly mine, though the growing number of ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ says other people are being entertained as well. If one day’s entry is boring or otherwise unsatisfying, the next is almost guaranteed to be a different topic, or even a different style.

I hope readers continue to enjoy and leave comments or discuss topics.