Category Archives: Writing

Productivity rocks!

Since moving to Los Angeles I have been running non-stop. My day job, working for a startup (yes I have a day-job) involves at present, 5 different job titles, and for the past several weeks has involved working long hours preparing for our Grand Opening. I haven’t had much time for anything else beyond a few parties with my sweetie. This weekend I finally had the chance to buckle down and get caught up on writing, editing and a few other things.

Friday night I attended The Animator’s Guild party with Steve, and we met up with some awesome friends. (And made a few new ones.) Given that we didn’t crash until after 3am, I didn’t really expect to get much done on Saturday. Boy was I wrong! on Saturday I managed to get my tires checked out, got a package of promo materials sent out to a convention for bag stuffing, and then made it home to finally get a chance to clean my house. Believe you me, it needed it. I also managed to tailor four new shirts that a friend gave me a few months ago, so I actually have some decent work attire now!

Today the trend continued and has been no less productive! This morning I got up and finished all of the formatting for the interior on the 2015 Story of the Month Club Anthology, A Baker’s Dozen of Magic, and discussed the cover art with my fantastic Graphic Designer, Sandra Wheeler. (If you need a cover designer, let me know, I’ll put you in touch).

THEN, as if that wasn’t enough, I released  the first chapter of Captain Jac and the Seven Deadly Sins over on my Patreon account (www.patreon.com/jabrawner your support is appreciated!) and spent the rest of the day editing and doing re-writes on the first 30,000 words of Seven Deadly Sins. So, all in all, a very productive weekend. I don’t want tomorrow to be Monday,  I’d rather be creating!

 

Great comments on Booking the Library

NewReleaseI’m getting some great emails from Librarians and Entertainers about how excited they are about Booking the Library! And yesterday, Booking the Library was the #1 New Release in  Music Business Books  on Amazon. Thank you guys for making this a great week!

Note from a library director:

Dear Jessica,

As a Public Library Director for 43 years, and also as a professional
storyteller and folk musician, I applaud your hard work to make things easier for both librarians and performers.  I know this will be an indispensible tool for both.
Thanks for filling this gap.  This book is sorely needed.
Regards,
Stan Ransom, MLS
Plattsburgh, NY
P.S.  I just ordered a copy from Amazon. Also, you can quote me if you wish.

Booking the Library – a brief history

BTLI am – as many of my friends know – anxiously awaiting what I hope will be the final proof of my next book, ‘Booking the Library’. A lot of people have asked me how this particular project came about, and what on earth it is. So, a bit of my history for you.

In 2008 I and two partners started a booking agency. It was something that they had wanted to do, for a while, but they needed someone who could handle the day to day running of things (Me). This booking agency, Unbound Booking, focused on bringing small, quality acts to public venues like libraries, schools, and community centers. We had a dual mission to encourage cultural and arts education in under served communities and to ensure that our artists were being paid a fair and sustainable amount for the art, music and entertainment they produced.

For six years, and through various iterations of the business I acted as a booking agent, owner and manager of this company. We grew from one act to fifty acts over the course of that time frame, and worked primarily with libraries across the United States. Our acts ranged from folk musicians, to magicians, to storytellers, to science educators, and quite a few things in-between. All of them were (are) good at what they did, and all of them were (are) extremely hard working people.

In 2014, a partnership dispute caused us to close down the company. These things happen.

I was not at that time in a position to start up a new agency, but I had all of this very practical knowledge of the industry at my fingertips and quite a few artists who wanted to pick my brain about how I did what I did. And thus, ‘Booking the Library’ was conceived! It’s a slim volume, less than 100 pages all told, that gives an overview of the industry, library trends, best practices, step by step instructions on pricing your shows & contacting libraries, and sample contracts, phone scripts etc.

Many of my former performers have read it over and implemented the bits and pieces that they felt they needed. It should be out by the end of the month, and I am very excited!

Edit:

Booking the Library is now available for purchase on Createspace https://www.createspace.com/5161452

and on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692350187

Progress Report

I reached my 50,000 words for NaNo, but that wasn’t the end of my story by a long shot. In the weeks since Nov. 30th I have scarcely had time to work on Captain Jac and the Seven Deadly Sins.

I took a week off after NaNo to do edits and formatting for Booking the Library. Those are done, now on to Cover Creation for that project.

I also  took some time away from Seven Deadly Sins to finally finish uploading and formatting the hard-copy cover of Sapphire Eyes Are Smiling. I just got the proof in for that last night and decided, since it was short, and pertinent to Seven Deadly Sins as well, that I would actually read it again. Wow I’m glad I did. Somehow (probably a copy paste error) there were entire sentences missing, and entire passages that made NO sense because of it. (It’s amazing the difference 5 words can mean to an entire passage.)

So today I did a quick edit on the entire story and re-uploaded the interior files for SEAS. It will be a much better story now. It’s possible I need to do the same thing to the e-book version as well, I haven’t had time to check yet.

Now I’m back to working on Seven Deadly Sins. Instead of jumping immediately into writing I decided to give the whole 50k words a read through and edit, so that I can make sure things are making sense in the story still.  (Do you ever reach that point in NaNo where you’re putting down words, but not sure things are hanging together? Yeah, trying to avoid compounding those errors is what I’m doing now.)

Today between doing work at my actual job I managed to get 40 pages read and edited, and highlighted a couple of passages that either a) have to go entirely or b) need serious re-writes.

Question: What do you think about using a character remembering a first meeting fondly as a way to give backstory on a romance that has, thus far, not been explained?