The Glamorous Life?

When I was young, before I had written a word of fiction, I believed that all writers lived a glamorous life. Ernest Hemingway in particular seemed to embody this image – traveling on safari, sport fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, drinking whiskey as if he were a fish himself – doing almost everything except writing.

Ernest Hemingway on his boat (from Wikipedia)

Now that I  am older and wiser, I know that Hemingway wrote for hours each day, making him one of the more disciplined writers of his time.  But the larger-than-life Hemingway was a more appealing character to imagine, and therefore the one my younger self gravitated towards.

So, I am writing this post to the new breed of writers out there to let them know some of the disciplines they will find useful in their writing lives, and leaving the catching of Marlins to Salt Water Sportsman Magazine.

Marlin (from Wikipedia)

What Writing is Really Like…Computer Programming

Computer Programming is all about language and syntax, and so is writing.  I know something of this as programming is my day job.  I have often spent hours debugging some code, only to find that a misplaced semi-colon or comma was the culprit.  Writers also will find themselves laboring over the usage and placement of punctuation, understanding that punctuation in the wrong place can change the entire meaning of a sentence.

What Writing is Really Like…Project Management

Project Managers track task and project status, in addition to schedule, budget and other project elements.  As your writing career grows, you will quickly find yourself in need of a spreadsheet, database or other tool to know what you’ve submitted where, when to send a query letter, relevant contact information for publishers and publications, etc.  You will also need to track readings, book fairs, online interviews, etc. on your Outlook or Google calendar.  These demands will intensify as your writing becomes a fulltime occupation, and as you began to spend more time collaborating with others.

What Writing is Really Like…Marketing Executive

While the big publishing houses have marketing resources of their own, new writers trying to make a name for themselves in small independent presses will find themselves on their own to promote their work.  You will be faced with questions like which social media channels reach the biggest (or more importantly, the most relevant) reading audiences, and does it make sense to subscribe to marketing service to promote your books.  Additional considerations involve creating your own author’s website and blog, all of which may require you to acquire new skill sets. Your ability to effectively promote your work becomes even more critical if your work is self-published.

What Writing is Really Like…Accountant

While writing is an art and not a science, sooner or later you will be focused with financial decisions and issues related to your writing.  These may be simple decisions such as whether to enter a writing contest that charges a fee, or whether to hire an independent designer to design your author’s web site.  Other more complicated issues will involve reporting any book sale royalties on your income taxes or tracking the sales tax to be submitted from cash sales at a book fair.  And when you’re finally ready to take the leap and go fulltime, the big financial question:  how much will I have to make on my writing to make a living? 

What Writing is Really Like…Lawyer

Finally, you will be faced with legal issues during your writing career.  I’ll give you a real-life example.  Unbeknownst to me, a designer at one of the publishing companies used an image on my book cover that was copyrighted.  Several years later, I was contacted by the copyright holder demanding a correction, and I referred him to my publisher.  The publisher finally admitted the mistake, and at their expense, corrected the cover.  Other examples include understanding reprint rights for your previously published stories and interpreting contractual agreements with publishers when you begin to get your first professional sales of your stories and novels.

So, there you have it – instead of being glamorous, the above disciplines can be tedious, if not downright boring.  However, these skills will propel your writing career much further than your ability to bait a hook.

Summer’s Almost Gone…

Recently I listened to the Door’s mellow yet satisfying album Waiting for the Sun.

The track “Summer’s Almost Gone” particularly resonates with me this time of year, although probably not for the same reasons as it did for The Doors (interestingly enough, another track on the album is “Wintertime Love”, so the change of the seasons definitely influenced the band on this album).

For me, this is the time of year that I get jacked for Jack-o-Lanterns, giddy for gourds, and generally pumped for pumpkins.

I long for the that crisp feeling in the air, falling leaves, and fire pits, that season that the poet Keat’s described as “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”.

This makes me wonder – how did something as innocuous as a mere fruit become an object of terror? Certainly stories like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and movies like Pumpkinhead have helped solidify this gourd’s place in all things spooky, but where did the association between pumpkins and fear begin in the first place? One wonders.

Back to The Doors – near the end of the song, Morrison mournfully croons these lyrics: “When summer’s gone, where will we be?”

Well, by early October, the major cable networks (AMC, USA, etc.) will start running horror movies nonstop – classic movie franchises like Halloween (ironically, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, involves the Druids and Samhain, which I mention earlier in this post) and Friday the 13th (and yes, the excellent Pumpkinhead), as well as newer additions to the horror film lexicon like Scream and Urban Legend.

So my dearly departed Morrison, when summer’s gone, glued to the silver screen is where I’ll be!

Where you will find yourselves as we enter the dark half of the year?

A Brave New Blog – Post #1- Welcome Readers!

Welcome Readers

Welcome to my brave new blog! This is my first foray into blogging, and I hope you find it engaging, or at the very least entertaining.

My name is R. David Fulcher, and I am a life-long writer. I’ve been labelled a horror writer by some, and without a doubt my writings lurk more in the shadows (see my short story “Pumpkin Seed Spit” in Halloween Party 2019 published by Devil’s Party Press) than in the light. That being said, I’m as proud of my two chapbooks of nature and romantic poetry as I am of my horror stories, and my first book Trains to Nowhere is a historical fiction novella set in World War II.

I don’t intend for this blog to be a formal listing of my publishing credits. I desire this blog to be a place where readers like yourself can get to know me, not as a stodgy distant figure in a tweed jacket, but as a normal person that has this strange compulsion to put my thoughts into words. I hope to make this fun, or at least as much fun as you can have on a web page.

I have an amazing wife, Lisa, no kids, and two crazy cats named Inky and Rocky (see below):

Inky Taking Over My Chair

Rocky on Guard Duty

So I implore you to Follow, Like, Subscribe, and Comment as much as you’re able. Do you want to know my take on a new horror movie or book? Drop me a comment and I promise an honest (if perhaps eccentric!) reply. Want to discuss the merits of literature over genre fiction? Go ahead – strike up the debate! Just hoping the Washington Capitals get back to the Stanley Cup this year? Drop me a line.

This doesn’t have to be a conversation just about writing…Favorite Food? Mexican. Favorite beverage? India Pale Ales (IPA’s) – no, not Absinthe, the favorite drink of vampires worldwide. Sports? Yes, please (I play amateur ice hockey in Virginia).

So grab your lantern before the candle wick burns too low, and let’s walk into the catacombs together…

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