Every now and then I check the “traffic” stats for my site. I’m especially interested to see what words people put into Google that bring them here.
The words “mistress will not let go” was evocative; there’s a story in that, for sure. Here are some other curious ones:
pimples at age 50
17th century cleavage
But what always makes me smile is that invariably someone has put in a search looking for hats for men with long hair. (Marketers: note this! Clearly there’s a need.)
I think what brings these people to my site is this post on my 17th century research blog. Just typing the words “hats for men with long hair” guarantees a certain amount of traffic. (Try it!)
Here are a few of the searches: hats for long hair men; guys with long hair and hats; long hair men’s hats; hats for long hair guys …
And on and on, a different long-haired guy looking for a hat nearly every day.
To appease the desperate, here are some other looks they might consider: 1, 2, 3.
Several years ago, I wrote an essay for The Savvy Reader on this subject: “Exploring Goggle’s Underbelly.” Curiously, people have stopped coming to my site in search of poison. I can’t help but wonder why.
You might ask what any of this has to do with The Writing Life.
1) Summer melt-down. Yes!
2) My Next Novel is being edited.
3) That doesn’t mean I’m twiddling my thumbs, however. I’ve spent several days taking out the glitches in my website.
4) I’ve also begun cataloguing my books using Delicious Library, a program recommended to me by Merilyn Simonds, who was in Eganville with her husband Wayne Grady for a delightful reading from Breakfast at the Exit Cafe. We talked writing & publishing until the wee hours. More on all of that anon.
Perhaps the highest praise a writer can give is to say that a someone is “a writer’s writer,” someone whose writing inspires.
Merilyn Simonds is a writer’s writer, and I invite you to read her new blog, the Frugalista Gardener, on gardening. “Blog” seems too crude a word to describe what are beautifully-crafted essays. (A word I love, coming from the French essayer, to try.)
It’s not often that a blog is noticed by the media and reviewed, but not only did the CBC radio cover it, but it was given the following review by January Magazine:
If you love beautiful writing or if you love gardening, you will likely find something worthwhile here. If you love both, you?ll be bookmarking in haste.
I am invariably awed by Merilyn’s craft, the beauty of her words, her thoughts.
Link to the Frugalista Gardener: http://www.frugalistagardener.com/en/
I so enjoyed my PEN reading last night—and everyone else seemed to, as well. I don’t know the count, but the theatre was almost full, so my guess is about 150, perhaps more—which is excellent.
This time I followed some of the advice given in one of the workshops I had taken at the SMA Writers’ Conference this last weekend. The workshop was on giving readings, by Terrence Hill, author of the delightful “Two Guys Read…” series, and a fabulous presenter himself.
It’s not a reading, it’s a performance.
Wear something odd, or come in costume.
Know exactly what you’re going to read.
Select your reading based on the audience.
Select readings that form a story.
Offer to write your introduction.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
Time your presentation.
Arrange for someone to ask the first question, in order to break the ice at the beginning of the question and answer period.
Arrive early and see what’s missing. Check the room and the equipment.
Show your book to the audience, but don’t read from it. Read from an edited print-out.
Write out everything, even the asides.
Prepare a closing: “Thank you for listening.
I very much like Terrence’s approach. In many ways, I’ve been doing much of it already; he confirmed that I was on the right track. I much preferred reading from copy in 16-point type than from a marked-up book, which can be difficult to handle.
One thing I used for the first time was a spring-loaded notebook, a gift from the wonderful writer, Merilyn Simonds. Instead of a scramble of loose sheets or cards, this time I had this elegant portfolio that lay beautifully flat on the podium. It has become essential to me now. I highly recommend it.
A young Canadian writer’s debut has been recently heralded “brilliant.” I agree totally! Pasha Malla is a writer of great talent: his short stories, recently published in The Withdrawal Method, are gems. Note his name: you will be hearing it often.
My immediate thought was to congratulate him—which I did—but my second was to send him financial advice.
And that advice (applicable to writers in Canada) is:
In Canada, a writer might work for ten years on a book, scrimping to get by. Say that book is published and is an international hit, maybe (dream on, why not?) there’s even a movie deal. The author, happily, is hit by a year of big advances. Well … perhaps not as big as it looks, for the Canadian government, on the faulty assumption that this is a regular annual income, nabs as much as half.
Unfair, right? Right! In other words, in Canada, there is no “income averaging” by which an author can say, “Yes, I made $250,000 this year, but I was earning peanuts while working on that book for 10 years, so really it’s more like $25,000.”
The only way around this is for a writer to incorporate. There’s nothing to be done about a title once out (I’m told), but all as-yet-unpublished works would come under the Writer Inc. umbrella and benefit from income averaging. The Writers’ Union of Canada has information available on this (see #3 below).
2) Register titles with Access Copyright Canada.
This costs nothing and brings in a nice cheque in the hundreds every year. What’s not to like?
A third bit of advice is more of a pitch:
3) Join the Writers’ Union of Canada. TWUC is making great lobbying efforts to get income averaging in Canada for writers as well as a number of other important legislative changes that affect the lives of writers. The more members, the louder the voice. It’s worthwhile, but most of all, it’s important.
Afternote: author Merilyn Simonds added in a comment: “Great advice Sandra. And don’t forget about Public Lending Right. Sign up for PLR and you’ll get another tidy cheque once a year to compensate for library use of your books. These programs were both initiated by the Writers’ Union—another good reason to join!”