A Week in the Writing Life, 11 February 2023

Hi, everyone. Back to let you know what I’ve been working on and what I’ve been doing writing-wise this past week, as well as a touch from the home front.

Homefront Stuff

My daughter is spending a week with us, and it is great to have her home. She is about to turn 21 in a couple weeks, but I still see her, in part, as the little moppet that was scampering around my house 15 years ago. However, that doesn’t quite fit the young woman who is now at least her mother’s height and wrestling around with chemistry problems that I have no idea how they work.

I am glad that both of my children (Jake, 22, and Maddie, 20) have made long strides in being self-sufficient. Jake is living on his own and working toward his dream of being a journeyman heating and air conditioning (HVAC) technician, and my daughter has an apartment near the University of Iowa, where she is studying chemical engineering. But it has been a big adjustment not having them here all the time like they were for nearly 20 years. I’m not sure how my parents handled not having me around, and it’s been around 25 years since I last lived with them.

What I’ve Been Writing

I’m now deep into my review of my new book The Yank Striker. This was just the first read through, as I was trying to look for big, fundamental changes that I would need to make to the book.

When I say big and fundamental, I don’t mean major plot points or things of that nature. I’m thinking of items like – did I spell the names of all of my characters correctly throughout the story? Does one of the major characters in my book really need two Xs at the end of his name? Did I properly describe a training center in a way that makes sense to me? Also, I probably should be including a back-cover blurb, an author’s notes section, and an acknowledgements section, right?

That’s the main stuff that is up for grabs. I’ll probably do a line-by-line read at some point, but I’m not as much stressed out about that as I was with my first book, since I already had this manuscript professionally proofread, and thus I’m not expecting the sort of mistakes that I ran into too often with the last one.

Again, I’m excited to hear what sort of feedback I might get from my writing group. I’ve already heard some good things from one of my members, and I’ll also have them take a look at some of the other copy (the back blurb, etc.) I’m putting together as well.

When I get deeply involved with this process – that is, in the final steps – I suspect that it might be a slog. I’ll likely have to have three different documents open as I do this – the first manuscript, the second manuscript in the series that I’ve started to put together, and the list of all of the revisions that I’ll start assembling for my publishers in the next few days.

Obviously, this work on the The Yank Striker has been a bit of a cramp on actually writing things. I am glad that I managed to put this post together in my off-time, but the revising has been a big time drain, especially since I want to make sure that I get my feedback to my publisher’s as soon as possible. I definitely plan on having this book done by this year so readers can get a look at it for themselves.

I’m still trying to put together some of my fanfiction work as well, but other than that and the second book in the Yank Striker book series, as well as this writing and my day job… there hasn’t been too much time for much else.

What I’ve Been Doing Having to do With Writing

Just a reminder, my first public appearance of the new year will be coming up very soon – two weeks from now, as a matter of fact.

I’ll be participating in the Local Author Fair at the Johnston Public Library on Saturday, February 25. I’ll be out there with many other area authors from 2 to 4 p.m. that day. I’ll bring myself and copies of The Holy Fool for purchase, and I’ll also be there to talk about my upcoming series The Yank Striker. Thanks to the Johnston Public Library for the invitation, and I look forward to meeting old friends and new acquaintances there.



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Local Author Fair

What I’ve Been Reading/General Recommendations

Time for some more reading recommendations. Hope you like them.

There’s one blog I ran across that I liked called Men Yell At Me on Substack. It’s a good perspective on life in what they call the red states and the struggles of people, especially women, there. This article she wrote a week or so back about the sustainability of journalism, especially in Iowa, that reminded me way too much about my own journalism career. It also makes me think that the theme in The Holy Fool about the sustainability, or lack of it, of for-profit journalism is more relevant than ever. Anyway, I’m still trying to figure out whether I can personally afford any subscriptions, but I figured a plug wouldn’t be a bad thing.

I’ve become intrigued by an author on Substack named Elle Griffin who writes The Novellist. She’s putting together a utopian, not dystopian, novel called Oblivion in real time. And she wrote this article about what’s wrong with Twitter that both talks about how the platform feeds into the basic needs of humans that shouldn’t be fed while explaining why Substack doesn’t do that.

You should check her out – I know I want to read more about her book project. She might have an idea as to how to use this Internet thing to a writer’s advantage.

As for WordPress, one of the guys that has followed me the longest on that platform is Kent Wayne, who runs the bog Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha. He has three whole sci-fi series ongoing, which is quite more productive than I have been in recent years (but I am looking to try and pick up the pace, heh heh). He’s actually pretty funny when he’s promoting some of his works. Go ahead and check out his various series.

Writing Quote of the Week

I’m not a massive fan of this author, and I’m not a fan of his book A Catcher in the Rye (I might have felt something for the main character in my late teens, but I’ve got too much distance between those days when I couldn’t call myself on my own garbage), but I do think this sentiment fits me, especially for some of my literary heroes.

As for me, I prefer a cup of coffee at some coffeehouse, but to each his own. I think the closest I ever got to that was me as a kid saying hi to Max Allen Collins when we were in line at a now-defunct Baskin Robbins ice cream shop. And, of course, nowadays when I hang out with at the Iowa Writers’ Corner.

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Final Thoughts

None much to speak of, although I will say the more that I have been trying to be something approaching a professional writer, the more I’m feeling better about it. I have a while to go, though.

While I do appreciate you following this blog, I really would like you to subscribe to my Substack page. By subscribing to that page, you’ll not only be receiving my Substack newsletter, The Writing Life With Jason Liegois (the companion blog to this one), but you’ll also be signing up for my email list. I will eventually be opening some special contests, offers, and first looks at original fiction, poems, and other items. Just click the button below.

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