Thursday, January 29, 2009

Leaving the Comfort Zone

What I'm reading: Rita entry 7 of 9 (visions of ST anyone?)

First -- quick question. Yesterday, hubby informed me that in IE, my blog page only displayed one day's posting, and only the first part. Nothing on the sidebars showed up until he clicked on the 'keep reading' link. It worked fine in Firefox. And, until yesterday, fine in IE. Anyone else have that problem? I'm hoping it was just a temporary Blogger/IE interface glitch, because, as you must know by now, I don't do that "technology" stuff well at all. Fingers crossed it's working better today.

Last year, I made the decision to quit my day job. True, it was part time, and had a lot of positives going for it, not the least of which was it generated income. At the time, I was burned out, looking at an increased level of responsibility that wasn't going to include any increases in pay, I had a book release coming in December, and another manuscript with an agent. I'd saved enough money to keep writing for about 2 or 3 years, whether or not I sold. So, as of July 1st, I began committing more time to writing.

The economy plummeted. Publishers started cutting back. Way back. But I knew I'd be writing anyway, so I kept at it, finishing another manuscript. If my agent could get me a multi-book deal, I'd be ready. But she suggested having something else lined up as well.

Keep Reading...

I took a look at one of my novels. It had only been released digitally, and given the market for mainstream e-books is slow, I decided to ask for my rights back. The publisher granted my request, although it'll still be several more months before I'm in command. Meanwhile, I'm revising, updating, and trying to make it better. Just because it met publication standards didn't mean it couldn't be improved. Is a low-selling book in the hand worth more than an unsold manuscript—or two--in the bush? I don't know.

Then, another one of my publishers decided—for legitimate economic reasons—that they were going to change their word length requirements. Understandably, people don't want to pay much for very short works, and I think I had the shortest story in their catalog. It was the first story they bought, and the market was very different then. I took the rights back for that one as well. I have a soft spot in my heart for that story; it was my first sale—not to that publisher, but to a magazine that went belly up before the story hit print.

To throw yet another spanner in the works, last week, hubby's employer informed him that his position is not going to be around much longer. In lieu of an actual 'retirement' package, they're phasing him out over the next 5 months. Two more under his current conditions, then 3 at half pay, no benefits. Well, hardly any. They're letting him keep a desk in the office. Oh, yeah—and his email account. And, they'll be happy to process any grant money he'd bring in. Of course they will.

In keeping with my resolution to be more like Frankie, my heroine in When Danger Calls, I'm going to be searching long and hard for the bright side. To start, our house and cars are paid off. Of course, I really really really want to get out of this town, but at least we don't have to leave until we're ready. And I'm thankful that hubby balances my, "just do it" attitude with "let's slow down and make a plan."

And another bright note: a review for WHEN DANGER CALLS.

WHEN DANGER CALLS is more than romantic suspense; it's also a love story at its best. It’s exactly the kind of book that should put Terry Odell on the map, an author to watch out for in mainstream and paperback fiction. With action that pops and characters that zing, WHEN DANGER CALLS is more than a dot on a map.

I’m truly glad that I got the chance to read this one and honestly look forward to more from Terry Odell.

Amy Cunningham
Romance Reviews Today

And be sure to come back tomorrow. Yes, it's Friday and "Homicide - Hussey" will be back!


Kimber Chin said...

Having been laid off myself,
my biggest regret is I had a knee jerk reaction to the lay off.
I immediately lined up another full-time job and the first day, I could start working, I did.

That was silly.

I should have examined ALL the alternatives. There was part-time work, contract work, business start ups, (gasp) taking time to write, etc, etc.

These things happen for a reason.
Usually it is so you can revisit your priorities, your life goals, heck what you want to BE.
It is a struggle but also a blessing.

Terry Odell said...

Thanks for coming over this way, Kimber. Yeah, I think the FIRST time hubby was 'retired' he simply accepted the company's offer to set him up where he is now, rather than be bold enough to go looking on his own for something else. This time, we're so close to retirement that a new career is probably out of the question. We've talked about 'what we'll do someday' and someday is very, very close now.

Me, I can write anywhere. Of course selling is another story!

Unknown said...

Terry, my blog was doing something similar to yours the other day. Then for three days I couldn't view my blog, but others could, so it my be blogger itself, because now I can view my blog just fine. I'd give it a day or two to see if it's working.

This is my first time stopping by, loved what I saw. I'm RWCList with you although I haven't been active lately, plan on getting back to that as well.

Everyone I know is losing their jobs, being laid off, it's horrible, I realy hope things get better for everyone.

Terry Odell said...

Tonya, I hope you'll come back often. I have guests every Tuesday, and a very special series with a homicide detective on Fridays.

Re: the blogger thing; I've posted a question on their help desk. Apparently others have been having similar issues with IE. I only knew because hubby mentioned it -- I use Firefox.

Unknown said...

Well, you can finally move somewhere with real "seasons". And maybe fewer tourists? ;)

Ray said...

I'm just glad that my retirement came before the tough times. I miss going to sea, but I am enjoying retirement. I will be old enough to return to the work force next year without losing the social security portion of my income, but now it looks like I would be better off letting someone have whatever job I would get who doesn't have an income.

Don't every give up your writing. To me WHEN DANGER CALLS shows you have the potential to become bigger than authors like Nora Roberts.

I use Firefox normally and am using it now. Just to check I looked at IE and everything on the right side was missing.