The Writing of Blake Crittenden

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It All Comes Together

August 27, 2017

A month or so ago, I realized that while submitting query letters for my manuscript, it might be helpful to show my web presence. In 2015 when I was still in the initial stages of writing my manuscript, I finally found my “process”. Up until then, I was trying to take time to write when I found it. I had been out of writing practice since having kids and was finding it really difficult to get anything done. Finally, I decided that Sunday morning was going to be my time.

I decided that when I woke up Sunday mornings, I would head out to a local cafe to write until noon. Every week, I’d claim the table in the back, get a tasty caffeinated beverage (and maybe a snack), throw on my headphones and turn on my laptop. I’d start by checking my email and maybe twitter, then I’d write a blog post about where I was in the writing process and what was currently inspiring me. Then finally, I’d get down to writing.

It worked very well for me. I can’t tell you how positive this time of my own was for me. I quickly found my writing groove again and I’ve been consistently productive ever since. At one point, my oldest kid moved out and I coopted her room as my new office. It was cheaper than going to a cafe every week and saved me 45 minutes of driving, and somehow, closing my door seemed to also allow my brain to disconnect from home and work responsibilities.

Eventually, I finished my manuscript. I gave it a few passes through the editing machine (and continue to touch up here and there when I find something I want to change). Now I’ve moved on to submitting queries to Literary Agent (the process by which one finds an Agent to get one’s manuscript published).

This was a whole new side of things for me. I’ve been working at this since March of this year and it’s frickin’ hard. I’ve taken a workshop on this from Quick Brown Fox (there’s a lot of other good stuff on that site too) and spending a fair amount of time honing the craft of the query letter.

As I said above, I realized as part of this process that I should probably better establish my web presence as an author. My twitter has been around forever, so that was fine, but I wanted to throw together a website, and hey, this is it. I’d moved off of the old blogging platform that I had been updating on this past December, so I decided to port all those posts to WordPress and restart the blog. You’d think that would be easy, but the old platform didn’t have a good way to export, so I basically copied every post over manually, one at a time. I think it worked out okay.

I also build a quick little WordPress theme that looks very old school in terms of blog layouts. I’m building it from the ground up though, so it may change as we go. Currently, I’m adding some functionality to make it more configurable via the UI rather than hard coding everything. I haven’t built a theme in probably 7 or 8 years and there is a lot more than WordPress can do now, so I’m just making updates as I think of better ways to do things.

This is my first new post in a while. I’m still listening to Marnie Stern constantly, although I’m obsessed with different songs. I’m loving the new Wildstorm comic. Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur is the best comic that Marvel is putting out these days. I’ve been reading Kelley Armstrong books lately since she’s going to be speaking at a workshop I’m attending in October. She’s an ex-software developer who became a famous author. I could use some tips. I really like her Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising series. I’m currently reading Bitten, which I’m not as in to. It’s her first book though (I think), so I’m interested to read further into the Otherworld series.

As for writing, I have a few Short Stories slated to be published by Twisted Sister Lit Mag and I have a few more set out to other publications. I’m working on my first piece of Flash Fiction and working on getting that published somewhere as well. I’ve also finished a couple chapters in book 2 of my Times series, Times of Cain.

I had the opportunity to spin fire in a Parade in Toronto earlier this month, which was pretty cool. I was nervous as hell and it looked that way, but still a very positive experience.

So happy Sunday to all. I’ll post again soon.

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