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Welcome to the year two thousand something!

This site is the home of author Jason LaPier. I write fiction, mostly science fiction, but sometimes a little of this and that. My short fiction has won a couple of awards. My sci-fi novel, Unexpected Rain is available as a free ebook if you join my mailing list.

On this site you can expect updates on my writing progress, plus a few notes here and there about working with ebook formats and print on demand, as well as trying to be a successful author while holding an unrelated full-time job as a web developer.

The Fictional Dream

Work Commandments

Fellow writers know how much discipline it takes to complete an entire novel. I love the idea of creating COMMANDMENTS for the current work in progress. This example is from Henry Miller (courtesy of the blog, A Lovely Being):

Henry Miller Miscellanea - Work Commandments

There are a few items about staying on task and trying to finish the current book. I think a lot of writers today can relate. We just had a discussion in our writing group the other night about what we’re thinking of doing next. It’s only natural; you can get bogged down in a novel and sometimes you need a break. And when a writer is taking a break, a writer has to write, so sometimes you start the next big thing. Personally, I try to fill my breaks with short fiction writing: nice, bite-sized chunks. Great for getting that sense of writing accomplishment and then moving on and going back to the Damn Novel.

Of course, a few of these commandments are out of my realm of possibility. I’d love to have a rigid work schedule, but with a day job that doesn’t always start exactly at 9am and end at 5pm, it’s not easy. Even so, I can’t overstress how important it is for me to at least try to touch the work in some way every day. I aim to hit it briefly in the morning before work and then again in the evening. By planning for two writing appointments, I usually hit at least one of them.

Looking at the time that these work program commandments were written (1932-1933), I wonder if Miller was trying to finish Tropic of Cancer (published in 1934), and having already started Black Spring (which was published in 1936) he was trying to avoid working on that or anything else. According to his autobiographical timeline, in 1933 he “Began book on Lawrence which was never finished.” Nonetheless, commandments can be helpful even if they’re occasionally broken!

In any case, it’s obvious that Miller’s list was written for himself and not meant to be advice for everyone. I’m thinking about making my own list of commandments as I try to finalize my second novel (tentatively called Crossfade).

Has anyone else handed themselves down an edict from on high?

The Genre Dilemma

Recently, I’ve been revising and editing my next novel (working title is Crossfade, probably going to change at some point). Since the beginning, I’ve had a hard time pinning down the genre. Science fiction, magical realism, paranormal, noir, neo-noir… what the heck is this book? Do you other writers ever have this problem?

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How to Survive NaNoWriMo: 7 Tips to Keep Going

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post giving a few tips on how to plan for NaNoWriMo. Now as mid-month (25k words) approaches, I want to share seven tips for sticking it out and going the distance.

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How to Survive NaNoWriMo: Planning

NaNoWriMo is one of the best ways for an aspiring writer to kick themselves in the butt and take their writing to a whole new level. Before NaNo, I could never get more than 20-25k words into a book before I petered out and gave up. I won NaNo in 2009 and again in 2010, each time just crossing the 50k finish line, and I did it while working a full time job.

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Just adding a temporary post so I can verify my Technorati claim token: XETZWAWPH8VC

The Future of Publishing, e-books, Blah, Blah, Blah

Seems like every morning I get up and look around and there are more articles and blog posts about how the landscape of publishing is changing. In many ways these are scary times, but in other ways they are very exciting times.

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Summer Writing Log: Part 2

More about my busy summer and the writing conferences and workshops I’ve been attending (continued from Part 1).

Read on for Part 2: Indigo Editing Workshops, Mini Sledgehammer Contests, and a note about the Willamette Writers Conference.

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Summer Writing Log: Part 1

Whew, it’s been a busy summer so far. Fortunately, I’ve been making time for writing. I want to take a minute to acknowledge a few awesome events that have happened in the last couple of months, and then I’ll give a recap of what I’m working on.

Read on for Part 1: Write to Publish (Ooligan Press at PSU) and Open Source Bridge… (Continued)

Today I am 36

Every year my mom asks me what I want for my birthday. I can’t remember the last time I could think of something solid.

When I try to get a little selfish and think come on, let’s get a greedy – there has to be something I really want – the first thing that comes to mind is “more free time”. When I think “free time”, I don’t mean “leisure time”. Sure, more leisure time would be nice, but what I really want is more time to work on more stuff.

I have a pretty low-key job, at least relative to the average job in America. I put in my forty hours a week and don’t often put in hours on the weekend or in the evenings. I travel a small amount, but otherwise I do most of my work from home. So no, I don’t feel like I’m working myself to death. I’m hobbying myself to death.
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