Mark Terry

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Random Thoughts On A Random Day

May 17, 2007

I thought that image was way cool for a mystery or thriller writer. What do you think?

No theme today and besides, it's not my regular day to blog. I'm just avoiding starting work, so I thought I'd throw out some random thoughts as they filtered through my brain.

--a big storm knocked down one of our trees Tuesday night. I got a tree service out early Wednesday to take a look at it. It's gotta go. They filled out an invoice, told me they'd be back later, and haven't been seen since. I'm still irritated by this, since I rearranged my routine so I'd be home yesterday. Today, I'm doing more of the same, although when it's time to go out, I'll probably go out and leave a note.

--It's 50 degrees with drizzle today. Ah, a lovely spring day in Michigan.

--I'm stressing, trying to complete a major report before I head to Denver for the annual meeting of the Association of Genetic Technologists. This report has put me at the mercy of the federal government (Medicare and Medicaid, who lived up to their reputation by selling my publisher and myself $3000 of useless data) and state bureaucrats, who can sometimes fill in the holes, although getting them to is an astonishingly annoying experience. I'm reminded repeatedly that it is a rare individual that does more than they are forced to do. That is to say, many of these people apparently interpret the request in a way that requires them to do the absolute minimum (or nothing) rather than what is actually requested. (All together now, boys and girls: "Public service is good.")

--Sometimes my brain just burbles with ideas for novels. That's the issue right now. I'm sure this is because I'm still struggling with the 4th Derek Stillwater novel so my brain keeps saying, "Hey, here's something that would be more fun to work on!" Some of these ideas are pretty cool, though. So many ideas, so little time...

--promotion money is on my mind a lot lately. I've already spent my advance for The Serpent's Kiss on promotion for it and it hasn't even come out yet and I haven't even paid for the postage for the next 1400 postcards (and postage rates just went up on Monday, yippee). Nor have I gotten my web maven's bill for e-newsletters and I haven't gotten the bill for the case of books I'm going to send out to various people, and... So I'm sitting here thinking about going to Magna cum Murder in October, noting that I'll probably be in Washington DC for a business trip most of the week just before, and thinking, "Hmmmm, already in the red..."

--Guess it's time to get back to work. That report's not getting written while I'm musing away the morning.


Mark Terry


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

That is a neat picture. Where did it come from? People can do very slick work with computers. Makes bad book covers look all the worse too. Publishers should take note.

Good luck with that tree. Last spring we had one struck by lightning. Cost a fortune to have it removed but as the fellow explained, in addition to the expensive equipment he pays $80,000 a year for insurance.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I regularly go do google searches with images to collect images to use in my blog. I'm not even sure what I used for that one. Very cool image, though.

8:54 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

That is a very cool image! We have the same weather here, although the sun just came out. It's freezing, though!

The DH doesn't let me to go in the red with writing. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, long-term.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

To clarify, SS: I'm in the red with the novels. Not with the writing overall.

I do think you need to spend money to make money, but I've read that your promotion budget should be something like 10-15%. One source said as high as 40% at the beginning. Novelists/publishing, like so many other businesses, tend to run things, uh, unbusiness-like.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Joe Moore said...

That is a really cool picture. Should be on the cover of a mystery.

We took a giant black olive tree out 2 months before hurricane Wilma struck. Timing is everything. Would have wound up in my living room otherwise.

50 degrees? No shit? :-)

2:37 PM  

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