October 20th, 2009


Loving Northern Exposure!

I am deep in the midst of Season 5 of Northern Exposure - my sister has borrowed my earlier seasons, and I'm not sure if I have Season 4 but I picked up 5 and 6 last week and this is a great show to follow Big Love. Damn Northern Exposure was a great show. It's mostly not dated and ... ugh! Just makes me long for the well written ensemble cast show. Interesting, quirky people, stuck in this small town, yet not feeling stuck and actually feeling settled. What an interesting world - the way everyone is involved in each other's lives and the odd little family units that get formed. And the drama, again, comes not from great love affairs, or cheating or murder, but from the daily trials and tribulations and struggles in ordinary lives.

Great stuff!


i can hardly believe it

When you've been putting something off for two years or more, and you think it's a really really scary thing to do, that you're kind of terrified to do, it's an extremely odd feeling to find yourself in the midst of that task, without pomp, without ceremony, and actually without much pain.

I am knee deep and well into pulling apart my study and sighting every scrap of crap and filing, tossing or passing things on. I can't quite believe it, still.

Today I've:
- culled books from my bookshelves
- tossed out the video tapes
- amnestied myself from ASif! reviews
- posted out a ton of ASif! review copies
- admitted there are books I will never read, don't want to read and am cool to move on from not reading
- found my mothers stack of scrap patchwork and quilting books - she did lend them to me
- found a rather hunky photo of planeterry in an old news article
- sorted through a lot of my postgrad stuff and boxed it away
- reduced another box from the TPP stock
- found stuff from the ex and just tossed it
- created a heck of a lot of storage space --> maybe now I have too much space?!?
- found a photocopy of an article showing a row of men with enormous testicles (dunno why I have that either)

- all my Dark Angel fanfiction
- a postcard from kathrynlinge address to "'the cell'"
- the manuscript of my first novel, clearly not trunked enough
- a rejection letter for a submission I made to an aussie small press years ago that I had forgotten about entirely

It's really weird - being able to look at all this stuff unemotionally and either toss it or pack it up. It feels weird that it took me so long to get to actually doing it, that I made it into this big deal, and now that I am here, doing it, it's really not a big deal at all. I guess I'm finally past it all. And more than that, I think part of the problem was that when I moved in here, I never actually gave anything a proper place so stuff never went back to its place. Since I have been doing this all week, tidying up is so much easier. Now my house has systems and order and things naturally find their way back there. And I guess a lot of that had to do with the state of mind I was in when I moved in here. I'm glad though to be beyond that now. And maybe back to me. Again.

And watching the end of Season 5 of Northern Exposure. Even though Joel whines and whines and complains, the show is totally less than when he is not in the episode.

Today I am finally feeling like I am over the burn out. First day of the whole holidays. And funnily enough, my bedtime is creepy back to midnight and getting up earlier in the morning now too. Which is nicely in preparation for work next week. Eek! I paid bills today. And ran a bunch of errands. I'm feeling a little sorrowful that work starts again next week but also that I might be ready and on top of things again by then.


facebook is still not twitter

So my post from yesterday generated a lot of discussion and thoughts about a few things. Probably I could have expressed myself more clearly as there were several issues that got tied up together.

Firstly, I was intending to comment on the usage of social media purely from the perspective of as (self) promotional tools. I totally understand being time poor, or squeezed for time and not wanting to waste it across a variety of sites. And, after all, these are *social* media and everyone is free to use them as they wish and for whatever they wish. However, I do still think that when using these tools for promotional purposes, as an element of promoting your business, it's in your interest to find the time to use them effectively. I personally do spend a lot of time across these sites. I mentioned at Conflux that I spend a lot of time chasing down the sales that I make for Twelfth Planet Press, the great majority of which come from internet sales. I see a large part of this as from my presence online. So for me, the time I spend on these sites is worthwhile, from a business perspective.

And this comes into the second point that I was trying to make. Social media sites are not about passive consumption. They aren't bulletin boards or newsletters. Users aren't sitting around waiting for you to come past and tell them about your new thing. Social media sites are like bars or coffee shops or parties. There are people yelling into and over the din. There are groups of people chatting amongst themselves and ignoring all the rest. And there are people wandering around trying to get an in. For me, I am looking for the buzz, I'm looking for what's new *right now* and I'm looking for interesting people to talk to *right now*. When I see material that has been crossposted, ie not uploaded from that site, I know that that person is not really there. And not really interested in interacting. They are somewhere else and they've couriered in their information by proxy. And it makes me hesitate to comment or respond - will they even see my interaction? Will they care? Are they interested? Is this an afterthought? And for promotion of your product, these are the last questions you want potential consumers to be asking.

Twitter and Facebook and I spose blogs to some degree are about value adding. If you just want to tell me when your new book comes out, why shouldn't I just subscribe to your publisher's website or newsletter? Having an account in a social network, whatever the medium, implies value adding. And you kind of need to follow through and add that value.

A friend was telling me today about her own experience of Facebook which frankly sounds a helluva lot more interesting than mine. Turns out her flist is filled with commentators, reviewers, critics and activists. And yeah, her flist is lively and interesting. I probably need to diversify mine.

So that leads me horribly to the final and least palatable part. The issue of the content. Again, yep, I can totally not read what I don't want to read. And if I'm not interested in material, I can go read elsewhere. But when specifically using social media for promotion, you kind of want people to want to stay around. Personally, I use networking sites in part to, well, network. I like to keep in touch with writers, editors, publishers and critics. Interacting with people - conversing, exchanging ideas and information, can be a form of mentoring. And I have been lucky to be mentored by some pretty awesome people. I also like to pull information relevant to the scene and blog or post it as news on the ASif! site. I *care* about the kind of information a lot of writers blog about - projects, new releases and so on. And in some respects, through ASif!, I act as a gate keeper for that information - because a lot of other people don't have the patience to wade through it. And I suspect I hang around some places a lot longer than others for "work" rather than interest. I have to be there. But it's amazing how boring some writer's blogs are. Most of the time I'm skim reading. And it makes me wonder - are they saving it all for their books or is this what their writing is like? I guess that's kind of like having a shop window on Fifth Avenue, NYC, and not putting your best of next season's fashion on display.