writing

Writing Life

I woke up this morning with a start. I hadn’t written my weekly Mad Genius post. So I hopped out of bed, grabbed my tablet, and went back to bed. There, I propped myself on my pillow and wrote for a bit less than an hour. Sheer decadence, if you think about it. The First Reader was awake, but quietly let me have my space while I wrote. Then suggested coffee on the porch when I said I was done and ready for actual morning. So now I’m sitting on the porch writing this post on my tablet. What a life, this writing life.

I’ve been writing in the interstices of life and picking up momentum on fiction, which feels good. One of the projects I’ve made a decent amount of progress on is what will be a novellette or novella on completion (if you’re wondering, a novellette is 7500-14000 words, a novella is 14,001 words to 39,999 words long). It is much darker than my usual, a Paranormal police procedural set in a sleepy Oregon city. No romance, just magic and mystery.

I wrote about marketing today at the MGC. I was more addressing the feeling that we must write to a market, and the marketing mythos surrounding how to market, which largely consists of selling things to authors. That got me to thinking. This story is outside my usual stuff. Would there be interest in my serializing it here on the blog? After it was completed, I’d remove all the posts and publish it as usual. In essence, market-testing on the fly. If you really wanted, there’s a tip button on the sidebar. I’m still resisting Patreon, as it would require more time – and perhaps less eclectic content – than my blog.

But in the meantime, we’re sitting on the porch talking about weapons. And the record-setting rain we’ve been getting. And hay baling, old-school (with pitching and heat and that feeling of deep satisfaction when it’s all safely in). And I’m going to set aside the tablet and give my poor First Reader the attention he deserves.

10 thoughts on “Writing Life

  1. Due to a summer job as a farm worker I have way more experience with old school hay bales than any Philly city boy should have. Very labor intensive and I can see why the newer round bales have become the norm.
    My wife and I look at the plastic wrapped round bales stacked at the edges of fields and murmur, “Giant cheese wheels.”

  2. I remember having actually seen rectangular hay bales when I was a child – in East Germany. A friend and her family invited me to go with them during summer vacation once to their relatives out in the rural areas. It was quite an experience, but as it was my first time away from my family I think by the third week I was rather homesick. I felt bad about it afterward because my friend’s parents decided we should go home. (I suspect that rather wet season was part of why, as well, in retrospect.)

    My in-laws also have some of the rectangular hay bales, at least from the last time we visited. They were there to feed the horses; perhaps those are repackaged to suit people who only need a few smaller bales at a time. The horses are sadly gone now, of old age (thirty years or so.)

    I like the idea you posited about serializing the story on the blog first as a test market idea and then removing it later on when it’s finally finished, to publish.

  3. On the shape and sizes of hay bales… I’ve pitched quite a few rectangular bales of hay in my time, too. My grandmother, when she was young, helped the family get loose hay in each year for their dairy cows and horses — her job was to stomp the hay down in the high-sided wagon. Where we live now, it’s hard to find ‘small’ bales (two-string bales here tend to weigh closer to 75 lbs.). The norm for rectangular bales is three strings, and three-string bales of grass hay usually weigh around 110 lbs. Alfalfa, which is what I was feeding my dairy goats, weighs around 125 lbs. per bale. The weight of the bales is the primary reason why I no longer have dairy goats. Farmers with heavy equipment use the big round or square bales (square bales weigh, IIRC, around 750 lbs. each, while the round ones here are closer to a ton each — in this fairly dry climate I don’t see too many farmers wrapping their hay in plastic, which would cause the hay to mold quickly.

    We are planning to sell this house and move closer to Cedar, probably to Tennessee, and I’m hoping to find someone near our new home who still makes the small bales so we can have a couple of milk goats again.

  4. I need very small bales of hay and alfalfa – say 5-10 pounds. The chinchilla gets her fiber that way, and everything sold around here, except in pet stores, is a lot heavier and bigger than that – and full of coarse stuff she won’t eat, so half waste at least.

    The pet stuff is a ripoff – just as many sticks and outrageously priced.

    But I bought ONE alfalfa bale years ago (50 lbs?), and ended up throwing half of it away.

    It’s a close as I come to bales.

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