2023 has been a productive year

I have an annual ritual, where I look back over the year that has just been and reflect on the little wins. I look at the goals that I had set myself the year before and take the time to reassess my progress, shifting tactics if needed.

Well, I can happily report that the year 2023 was highly productive. And 2024 is shaping up to be just as productive.

I finished the fiction novel that I had been working on since late 2022 and started a new novel. My nonfiction book, Hidden Traps of the Internet, is in its final production stages, due to be released in February 2024. I've launched new services for Black Wolf Editorial Services, with more coming online next year. And I've managed to help the writing community around me grow, rebooting the support network that we all needed.

It's been a good year!

Time to look back at the nitty-gritty.

Read More

Confused Mother

I wish I knew… (2023 Edition)

In one of my writing groups, a newer writer has decided that she was going to write a blog about all the things that she's learned while writing her first novel. And she asked what some of the other things are that the rest of us have learned throughout our writing careers.

Well, I have to admit that I've learned so much over the years. But there is a list of things that I wish I knew when I started.

So… Here goes.

Read More

We could have had a moon base by now

It's fun to sit down with my son and watch the old science fiction TV shows and movies. I've successfully got him hooked onto Star Trek (and he informs me that Deep Space 9 is his favorite series from the franchise). We've binge-watched Farscape (by far one of the best science fiction shows… so funny). We've had discussions about Battlestar Galactica, admiring how the various way the 2004 series pays homage to the original 1978 series. And when he's home on holiday, we've been diving into Babylon 5.

I've successfully convinced him that Firefly should have never been taken off the air when it was, and we both agree that the psychedelic trip into the monolith at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey is just a "WTF?" moment. (But seeing the original gave him an extra level of appreciation when Farscape did their parody scene.)

During our binge watching of old TV shows, he's been laughing at the absurdity of the situations (and how the writers got away with a lot of things that they would never be able to get away with today). But it's the inaccuracies of the past timelines for the show that gets him the most. How wrong did fiction get their predictions for reality? Whenever he gets incredibly cynical, my response seems to always be the same.

Before you start to criticize the science fiction of old, highlighting how wrong they got the predictions, take a look at the real history and the trajectory that we were on when those books were written and when the films and TV shows were filmed.

Read More

Don’t ask about the published works. Ask about the work-in-progress.

I became serious about publication of fiction back in 2013, starting the process about learning everything that I can about what it was really going to take to publish fiction. In 2015, I chose to retrain as an editor. And every single day since I opened up for business, there has been this underlining doubt.

How can I prove that I know what I'm talking about when I'm haven't got the proof in the pudding?

Every time I encounter a writer who is focused on books that I've published, I find myself in a position where I have to defend my choices, which is something I shouldn't have to do. And when I get accused of being a hack because very few of my clients are published, I get defensive of my clients and want to go in for the attacks.

I thought I had come to terms with my demons and had developed strategies to get past them so I could do my job. However, a recent interaction via Instagram brought all the insecurities flooding back, making me question all of my choices—yet again.

Read More

Generation Spirit

When did I become political? (My stance against AI-generation tools.)

When I started down this publishing venture, I said to myself that there were two topics I would avoid posting about on my feeds. Politics and religion. If you want the lynch mob to come after you, those two topics are the most efficient way to do it. And for over a decade, I have successfully sat on the fence with almost every topic out there.

Sure, there were times when I piped up to say that "enough was enough" when it came to the bullying that was happening in certain corners of the social media networks. But for the most part, I never really took a stance that could be considered "political" on any of my public profiles.

Until now.

In the last year, so many things have happened within the publishing industry, endangering the livelihoods of writers, editors, publicists, publishers… basically, every single human in the industry.

I'm talking about the war against artificial intelligence (AI)… and it's not even AI's fault. The ones to blame for this AI war are the humans who are deliberately taking action that misuses and abuses the technology. And because it is such new technology, those wanting to be honest in this industry have no way to truly fight against what is happening—except to go public and say that it's not okay.

What is happening is far from okay. Copyright of creatives everywhere is being abused in the training of AI-creation tools. The good names of several creatives are being trashed because of false AI-generated works that appear using their names. Creatives are being forced to choose between their future earning potential and that paycheck right now, because publishers are wanting to use their works to train AI, so the publisher can create more works like the creative's work, but without the creative's input. And to top it all off, the technology at the heart of this mess is also being compromised because of the shady practices of the ones looking to abuse the technology.

It's not okay, and I'm publicly taking a stance against the use of AI-generation tools within publishing.

In today's post, I am breaking my promise to myself about political posts on my public platform, because this is one topic that I can't stay silent on.

Read More