Sunday, 26 February 2012

Things I Just Don't Get

Things that I just don't get.

I reckon I could make a whole series out of that topic. 

Let's face it, when it comes to human behaviour and the world in general, sometimes I feel like there's not much I do get.

Here's one that had me going for a long time. Something that really amazed me was how much I would get hung up over work stuff. I'd obsess over it. I would come home but it would still be on my mind. It would even keep me awake at night. I'd get so frustrated by all the little nonsense things that made it so difficult to get stuff done. And by the stupid, annoying, and downright mean-spirited things that colleagues would say and do. 

Then, I'd get to take a couple of weeks leave. It was always amazing how quickly these vibes just disappeared and I'd find myself remembering what was actually important. Things like family, and being able to spend time on the things I really enjoyed, especially getting some time to focus on my writing.

It's just crazy how you can get so caught up on stuff that, in the big scheme of things, is just not important. I'm starting to think that the main indicator of a good job is the ability to switch off once you leave the office (or wherever it happens to be). So far, I've been finding myself able to do that in my new job, and that's a really good sign.  Here's hoping that it stays like that.

Which leads on to thing number two that I don't get (ok, it doesn't really lead on, but I couldn't think of a clever segue). That thing is KDP Select. It's the greatest thing ever for writers. It will spell the end of the indie publishing revolution. I have no idea. I see all the exchanges and I find myself seriously stuck on a fence - and that fence is getting more and more uncomfortable (metaphorical palings are sticking into my bum). I'm also seeing exchanges starting to get a bit more heated. This is a shame. I'd hate to see the indie community split over it - another one of those cases where people forget what is really important.

I'm figuring that maybe I should give select a go. Once my next book, Magnus Opum, is released, I'm thinking I'll enroll it, at least from the start. Down the line, I'd like to have my books available from the different outlets, but maybe Select can be a useful tool for generating interest in new releases.

In the meantime, other things are in the works that will hopefully get my books out into the big wide world. My first blog tour is starting in just over a week. So stay tuned - hopefully it will be a lot of fun. And that is something that I definitely do get.

Monday, 20 February 2012

A really grumpy blog post

I was meant to have written this post yesterday.

But I didn't. And I'll tell you why. Because I was in a really bad mood.

I'm not going to tell you why I was so grumpy. That's my business and I'd rather keep it private. What it did mean was that I was in no mood to sit down at my computer on a Sunday night (when I usually post my latest update) and think of something clever and witty and utterly ingenious to say. So that's why I'm doing it today instead.

Which kind of got me thinking (I know - it's a bad habit which I'm trying to get on top of). If we're to take ourselves seriously as writers, how much should we let our writing patterns be dictated by moods? As a professional writer, should I just get over it and get on with the job?

It seems especially difficult for someone whose primary style of writing is meant to be funny (at least a little bit). because let me tell you, funny is really not so easy to do when you feel like the world is collapsing around you. At least not for me - I know there's a bunch of great comedians who seemed to only be able to function if they were clinically depressed, but that's not my style.

All the same, am I derelict in my duties as a writer for letting things get on top of me? Should I be able to keep churning out the funny, no matter how grim and grumpy I feel? When it comes down to it, am I just a great big sook?

No idea. All I can tell you is that this is my blog, and if I'm so grumpy that I don't want to write anything in it, then I won't. So there.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

From Theatre to Taxes to Text - Guest Post by Pavarti K Tyler

Today I'm thrilled to have another guest here at Dag-Lit Central. Pavarti K Tyler is here to share the amazing story about how she became an indie author. So take it away, Pavarti.

From Theatre to Taxes to Text

The journey of the self-defined individual isn't an easy one.

Every day we are told the rules we are supposed to follow.  We are pounded with the reasons we must stay in line.  Across the street, which we are never to cross, is another set of expectations.  Follow your dream, you can achieve anything, you can be anything.

What we are never told is how to follow our dreams and stay in line.  Eventually, one or the other will be disappointed.  Eventually we are destined to fail.

For whatever reason, I was never really expected to stay in line.  My father is a dreamer born into a world where achievement means everything and my mother is a free spirit, an adventurer, only allowed the path of nurse, secretary or wife.  They had me later than most of their generation had their first child and for whatever reason they were always delighted to see me step slightly to the left of single file.

But the open road ahead is daunting and takes an incredible amount of work to survive on.  I learned after college that for some it’s a road never destined to be taken.  I would have been saved many a heartbreak had I learned it earlier.  I was fortunate to find a job on Broadway.  I had a theatre degree in dramaturgy (theatre theorist/historian) and to work on shows like Phantom of the Opera and Fosse was the pinnacle of success.

Even now when I tell people about working there it sounds so glamorous.  Like another life.  But the reality is I was miserable.  Art is a business and commercial theatre is no different from any other profit-focused endeavor.  I worked so hard I made myself sick.  I cried and I crumbled.

Leaving theatre was one of the best decisions I made.  Where it led me though was unexpected.  After years of various jobs and training I am now an accountant.  I have two small children and I work from home giving financial advice to small businesses and preparing tax returns.  Who'd have thought?  From the outside it seems so much less exciting.  I'm no longer out till all hours or working with stars or opening to full houses.  Now I am a rule follower and I really like staying in line.

But the dreamer my parents raised is still within me.  And so as an adult I faced the same dilemma children must grapple with.  Do I stay in this line or do I achieve a dream?  My children are old enough they go to school.  I love my work and don't want to stop.  But I have a story to tell and it sings in my head, distracting me and pulling me out of sync.

Returning to art was difficult, it took a leap, a self-confidence I wasn't sure I had.  But in the end these stories in my mind, this part of me that needs to skip instead of march, took over and demanded to be allowed to roam free.

Perhaps this basic dichotomy in my personality is why Indie Publishing appeals to me so much.  I've stepped out of line; I don't want to just wait in another one.

Being involved in the Indie Community has been one of the best experiences of my life.  I have reclaimed the artist and dreamer within me. I have made my own rules and am free to skip or run or twirl as I see fit.  There are no hard and fast rules and each of us does what we can.  If you need help, there are communities and groups and even some companies that will guide you, but no one can tell you the right way to do this.

For me the artist and the business woman are finally at peace, each finding the fulfillment they want.  Lines and order and structure hold me in, but the creation of a new world, a new reality sets me free. 

Bio: Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number-cruncher and has been committed to causing trouble since her first moment on this Earth. Her eclectic career has flirted with Broadway, Teaching, Law Firms and the IRS. She is currently consulting with Novel Publicity while hard at work establishing her Indie Publishing Company Fighting Monkey Press.

Pavarti's debut novel, Two Moons of Sera is a Fantasy/Romance and was released in serial format beginning November 2011. Her next novel, Shadow on the Wall, is a work of literary fiction and is scheduled for release in May 2012.

You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter or her website.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

It's time to win with ebooks!

It's competition time again.

Over the next few days, until February 15th (inclusive) to be exact, I'm participating in an exciting event titled Win with eBooks.

What does this involve? It's very simple. Twenty writers have banded together and we're all offering our books up for 99c. So there's heaps of great books available at a bargain price.

But that's not all...

By participating in this event, you'll be in the running to win some great prizes, including:

  • A Kindle Fire or $200 Amazon gift card
  • A $10 Amazon gift card.

And there are lots of different ways you can be entered in the draw. Just tweeting about the giveaway or liking the FB page ( will get you in the draw. And of course, buying the books. But make sure you check out the selected books each day, because buying these will give you double points.

More information on exactly what you need to do is provided on the site.

So make sure you join in the fun. Come along to Win with eBooks, get yourself into the prize draw, and, most importantly, stock up on some fantastic reads.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Big Decision

Well I've survived 3 days of the new job so far. Hasn't been too hard, work wise. They're letting me settle in gradually, although I have a feeling things will be ramping up this week. The people are really friendly and I like the vibe there so am feeling good about it.

Meeting a whole bunch of new people can be a bit unnerving at first. However, there has been one particularly big decision which is always on my mind in these kinds of situations. It's the decision somebody like me has to think about when I'm meeting new people. The big reveal, if you like.

When and how do I reveal to my new workmates that I am a dag?

I know, you're probably thinking it really shouldn't be such a big deal. After all, isn't the whole point of being a dag that you don't care what other people think about your dagginess?

That's certainly true, however in this cold, hard world in which we live, sometimes even hard-core dags like myself have to make a few concessions. Much as it can pain me to say it, impressions in the workplace are important. You don't want to get on the wrong side of the wrong people too quickly. And also, even if I hate to admit it, work does have its serious side. There is stuff you have to do, and there isn't always time to waste.

The good news is, I'm getting the feeling that in general, dagginess will be well tolerated. I even think I've discovered a number of fellow travellers. So here's hoping for a new career in which I can be successful, professional and effective, and yet still retain my true daggy soul.

And a great week to everybody else.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Bestseller for a Day: 8 Hearts Beat as One

Today is a bit of an exciting day.

My short story, The Gift, has been included as part of the new Indie Book Collective Valentine's Day anthology titled 8 Hearts Beat as One.

Hard enough to believe I've written a story about Valentine's Day, let alone had it published. And to be listed alongside the likes of best-selling authors like Carolyn McCray, Amber Scott and Ann Charles is quite a thrill.

But what makes it especially exciting is that today (I think - still struggling with time differences) the anthology is being featured as Bestseller for a Day. This means that not only is it available for free, but in addition, there are four extra books available:
But that's still not all. By purchasing the anthology, you'll be in the running to win a Kindle. Just go to and fill out the form and you'll be in the running.