Tag Archives: books

Okay, I Admit It…

Hi, my name is Diane and I’m a bookaholic.

My addiction has serious effects on my daily life.  I always need to have a book within reach, and I get anxious if my To-Be-Read pile dwindles to fewer than ten books.

Oh, I pretend to be “only a social reader”.  I pretend I could put down that book once I’ve started it.  Sometimes I even succeed; but then all I can think of is getting back to the book.  I lie awake in bed, staring at the ceiling and fighting the book’s siren call.  Sometimes I manage to fall asleep.  More often I slip out of bed and finish reading in the dark and secret hours of the night.

Whenever I finish a book, I feel a lessening of the need… but only until I glimpse the next book.  Then the urge is stronger than ever.

I fight it, to no avail.

“Only one per day,” I promise myself.  “That’s normal, right?  That’s only social reading… okay, two books.  Two per day, that’s still okay.  I can do a full day’s work, have an early supper, and if I start reading by six I can be in bed by eleven.  Midnight at the latest.”

But then I find a series.

Soon I’m reading three or four books a day, immersed in the guilty pleasure.  Meals go uncooked; laundry undone.  I forget important appointments and have to find excuses for why I didn’t show up at my accountant’s or dentist’s or doctor’s office.

I feel ashamed.  Other people can lay down their books.  Some people only read a few pages before bed and then stop.  Why can’t I do that?

Because I’m a bookaholic, that’s why.  An addict.

And no, I don’t want a 12-step program, thank you very much.  Just back away and let me read, and nobody will get hurt.

The other day I finished a book and went to look for Hubby in the workshop, but he was nowhere to be found.  I checked the garage, too.  Nada.

I’d seen him leave, so I wandered around outside for a while but I still couldn’t find him.  When I went back into the house, there he was.

“When did you sneak in?” I demanded.  “I was looking for you outside.”

He gave me an ‘are-you-nuts?’ look.  “I walked right by you twenty minutes ago.  I couldn’t have been more than six feet away.  You were reading.”

“Oh.”

He laughed.  “We need to rig up a cattle prod connected to a timer, to launch you out of that chair when it’s time to stop reading.”

“No,” I disagreed, with perhaps a hint of menace.  “That’d only piss me off.”

“Okay, how about an electric-shock cushion hooked up to one of those alarm clocks that comes on gradually?  It would start with a little tingle and then build up until you noticed it.”

“Um, no.  I’ve had that TENS electrical treatment for physiotherapy.  If you turn it up gradually you get used to it.  I’d just end up getting slowly electrocuted.”

“No problem; we’ll use a current-limiter.”  Hubby grinned.  “This could work.”

But I’m not convinced…

54 Comments

Filed under Cartoons, Humour, Life

Good Spies Finish First!

The votes are in, and the title for Book 12 will be “Kiss And Say Good Spy”!  I’m pumped because that was the title I’d originally chosen for it (before I second-guessed myself).  I would have been happy with any of the other titles, too, but it’s cool to see I was on the right wavelength from the start.

Many thanks to everyone who voted in the poll!  Even if you didn’t vote for “Kiss And Say Good Spy”, your vote was still important – it helps me understand people’s preferences better for future books.  And I’m looking forward to lots of future books – I love writing!

I’m lucky enough to enjoy all parts of it, including the hours and hours of editing (yes, I know I’m a freak).  I also amuse myself by setting mini-challenges for each book:  “Can I include (fill in oddball item) in this book somehow?”

In Book 10 I challenged myself to include “ballistic rutabagas”, which became the name of an alternative music band.  In Book 11 the challenge was alien porn (kindly suggested by @SomeRandomGuy); and I’m proud to say I found a way to work it into the story.  Tastefully, of course.  *snickers*

But Book 12’s challenge, inspired by @SueSlaght’s blog post Short-Beaked Echidna Australia’s Fast Tongue, was a little trickier:  Include a short-beaked echidna, also known as a spiny anteater.  (For those unaware of the short-beaked echidna’s claim to fame:  It has a long, amazingly fast tongue and a four-headed penis.)

I had originally thought I might use an echidna as a villain’s pet, à la Ernst Blofeld in the James Bond classic “You Only Live Twice”.  That idea was shot down when I researched echidnas and discovered that they don’t make good pets because picking them up causes them intense stress and can injure them.

But my research also revealed that there are exceptions to that rule.  F’rinstance, there’s at least one short-beaked echidna that enjoys being picked up… in fact, he enjoys it a little too much.  He had to be retired from his career at a zoo because he kept getting a giant erection every time he was handled.

You can imagine where my mind went with that:  a villain’s pet that pops an enormous boner at inopportune moments.  I so, so wanted to write that!

But I didn’t.

See, I have a modicum of… well, I hesitate to go as far as to say ‘good taste’, so let’s just stick with ‘restraint’.

I did, however, manage to work the echidna into the story.  Challenge = Met!

So if you’re burning to know how a short-beaked echidna fits into a spy thriller:  The release date for “Kiss And Say Good Spy” is August 1, and preorders will be going live by the end of this week for the e-book versions (paperbacks will be released later).  If you’ve signed up for my New Book Notification list, you’ll get an email with links to the preorders as soon as they’re available.  I’ll also announce them on the Books page and my Facebook author page.

And…

I’m a little late with this since Canada’s 150th birthday was July 1, but one of my readers (Ethel: thank you) sent me this link and I thought everyone else might get a kick out of it, too.  It’s a music video created a few years ago by our favourite Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, and his brother Dave:

Welcome to Canada, eh?  🙂

Now… off to ponder Book 13’s challenge…

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Filed under Writing

Diagnosis: Writer

So many of my readers are also writers!

Nelson is serializing his book on his blog,

Jono just posted a sneaky two-part story,

Carrie Rubin has two medical thrillers published and is working on a third,

Nancy Roman blogs, writes for Huffington Post, and has written a novel,

Andrew will soon be releasing a collection of poems,

…And I know @SomeRandomGuy is over 600,000 words into the draft of his epic sci-fi fantasy, and others have mentioned works in progress or in planning.

So I thought now might be a good time for a diagnosis.  Are you or someone you know struggling with writer-itis?  Use this handy checklist to find out:

 

Symptoms:  Uttering random words at inappropriate times; unexplained giggling, crying, and/or scowling.

Differential Diagnosis:  Writer, Tourette Syndrome, or psychosis.

Tests:  Observe the subject’s behaviour after the outburst.

Diagnosis: 

If the subject scurries off to write immediately after the outburst, they’re a writer.

If the subject acts as though nothing untoward has happened, they might have Tourette’s… or they’re a writer in the throes of plotting.

If the subject carries on an animated conversation with invisible companions, it might be psychosis… or they’re a writer planning dialogue.

 

Symptoms:  Unhealthy attachment to word processing programs

Differential Diagnosis:  Writer or computer geek

Tests:  Observe the content of the document.

Diagnosis: 

If you’re still reading and completely riveted after ten pages, they’re a writer.

If your eyes glaze over after the first line and your brain explodes after the first page, they might be a computer geek… or a writer.

 

Symptoms:  Separation anxiety when leaving a computer; obsession with backups; paralyzing fear of data loss

Diagnosis:  Writer, computer geek, or conspiracy theorist

Tests:  Confiscate the subject’s data and destroy it before the subject’s eyes.

Diagnosis:

If the subject bursts into uncontrollable weeping and/or guzzles alcohol until they throw up and/or pass out, they’re a writer.  Or they were; before you destroyed the only copy of their life’s work and with it, their will to live.

If the subject curses you in Klingon and produces three redundant backups, they’re a computer geek… or a sci-fi writer.

If the subject sidles away with a furtive expression and disappears only to resurface several weeks later with a new name, identical data, and a blog decrying the censorship of the establishment and the oppression of free thinkers, they’re a conspiracy theorist… or a writer.

 

Symptoms:  Forgetfulness; changes in behaviour; social withdrawal

Differential Diagnosis:  Writer, dementia, or drug addiction

Tests:  Restrict the subject to a controlled environment for 24 hours, then provide a laptop loaded with a word-processing program.  Retest at two-month intervals.

Diagnosis:  If the subject breaks into a cold sweat and suffers tremors, nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, and/or seizures, it might be a drug addiction… or they’re a writer.

If the symptoms resolve instantly when a laptop is provided, they’re a writer.

There’s really no way to differentiate writers from dementia patients in a single test.  Writers will forget to eat, sleep, and bathe; will walk away from stoves leaving the elements on high; will drop the keys in the sugar bowl; will wander away from home and get lost even in familiar neighbourhoods; and may even fail to recognize close friends and family.  Retesting is the only way to know for sure:  At some point, writers will likely resume more or less normal behaviour (at least until they start their next manuscript).

 

Symptoms:  Immobility and non-responsiveness when addressed

Differential Diagnosis:  Writer, deafness, or death

Tests:  Obtain a lightweight object at least six inches longer than the subject’s reach.  Gently prod the subject.

Differential Diagnosis:

If the subject startles, yells, and/or flails, they’re either a writer in deep concentration or deaf.

If the subject now responds when addressed (and particularly if they respond with creative expletives), they’re a writer.

If the subject still doesn’t respond when addressed, they might be deaf.  Or a deaf writer.  Or a writer in extra-deep concentration.

If the subject falls over and lies motionless, call the coroner… but the subject might still be a writer in extra-extra deep concentration.  Make sure the medical examiner checks for a pulse before starting the autopsy.

 

If you were reading this hoping you’d find a cure, well… sorry about that.  There isn’t one; there are only short remissions between manuscripts.  But the disease itself is so much fun, who’d want a cure anyway?

Do you have writer-itis?

* * *

P.S. I’m poking fun at myself and my fellow writers, but I don’t mean to trivialize the social and emotional consequences of dementia, Tourette Syndrome, mental illness, hearing impairment, or addiction.  To gain awareness and understanding of these conditions:

Tourette Syndrome

Alzheimer’s and dementia

Mental health

Hearing impairment

Addiction

54 Comments

Filed under Humour, Life, Writing

Automotive Heaven Can Wait

Last week I was in automotive heaven… and it turned out to be more of a pain in the butt than I’d anticipated.

Rick and Sandy (of Hand Crafted Images) and I were doing the photographs for Book 2’s updated cover.  Car buffs may recall that Aydan drooled over an Audi R8 in THE SPY IS CAST, and wonder of wonders, I got up-close-and-personal with a real R8 this week thanks to the generosity of Doug S. and the staff at Glenmore Audi.

As with most undertakings that involve me, there was inappropriate laughter.

The dealership is a pristine building featuring bright white ceilings and sleek grey floors.  Other cars were scattered throughout the showroom, but two Quattros crouched protectively beside the R8, their feral headlight configurations watching us like predatory beasts.

Yes, I was slightly intimidated.

At first we trod reverently around the R8, not approaching it too closely so our heated and unsteady breathing wouldn’t fog its gleaming paint.

We were completely freaked out at the thought of being close enough to damage an automobile that costs more than twice what I paid for my first house.  We checked and re-checked the tripods that held the backdrop, cringing at visions of the metal poles toppling onto the car.

At last we had the backdrops in place and the moment of truth arrived:  It was time to unlock the car.

Then I would strip down to my ignominious outfit of stiletto heels and gym shorts (because I didn’t want to wear a skirt and accidentally emulate the Basic Instinct leg-crossing scene) and… yes… I would actually sit in the driver’s seat.

That’s where the giggles started.  In the first place, a woman wearing makeup, gym shorts, and stiletto heels just looks ridiculous.

Also, this woman wearing stiletto heels looks slightly ridiculous anyway.  The R8 tops out at four feet.  In heels, I’m 6’-2”.  I towered over the car (and everybody else in the dealership).

The next issue was that the stilettos give me a 38” inseam.  Try stuffing those long legs into a car while holding your breath in case a lethal heel scratches something that costs more than your entire car.  But I managed.

In short order, the next issue surfaced.  The R8’s seats are set in quite far from the exterior body panels.  If I sat in the driver’s seat, my legs barely made it out of the car.  To get the shot we wanted, I’d have to perch on the rocker panel.

For the record, the R8’s rocker panels are not designed to comfortably accommodate a human ass.  (Nor a human posterior, for that matter.)

It got worse.  On the original cover, the model’s lips are parted.  It looks as though she’s pronouncing the letter ‘D’, and it’s supposed to look pouty or sensuous or something.

My pout looked more like ‘Duh’.  I stared vacantly into space, slack-lipped and clutching a cardboard cutout of a Glock.  I only managed a few minutes of that before dissolving into helpless laughter.  Thank you, Sandy and Rick, for your infinite patience!

But at last we packed up the equipment and vacated the premises with relief, leaving the fabulous car unscathed.  (Which was more than I could say for my aching ass.)

It was only afterward I realized that my butt was the only part of me that ever touched the car.  I never even put my hands on the steering wheel.

I guess I’m just not cut out for automotive heaven.

* * *

P.S.  Unedited proofs are always good for a chuckle.  Note my alter-ego in the reflection beside me:

My inner werewolf sneaks out when I least expect it…

My inner werewolf sneaks out when I least expect it…

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Filed under Humour, Life, Writing

Meanwhile, Inside My Brain…

3yrold cartoonTrue to form, Book 9 isn’t even out the door yet and already Book 10 is demanding my attention.  Good thing I love writing!  Speaking of Book 9, SPY HIGH is on schedule to be released this Friday, January 16/15.  As usual, it’ll be out on Amazon and Smashwords first, followed by all other channels within a week or two.  I’ll keep you posted!

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Filed under Cartoons, Humour, Writing

And That Was My Week

The week after I finish a book is always interesting.  During the final stages, I’m so immersed in writing that everything else just… goes away.  Including my brain.  And it hasn’t come back yet.

I tried to come up with a coherent blog post and instead spent an hour staring into space and mumbling non sequiturs.  So I’m just gonna go with that.

Here’s what my week was like, in no particular order:

Ironic:  This week I kickboxed, lifted weights, planted a few thousand square feet of garden, shifted a ton of garden soil, mowed the lawn, did some minor home renovations, and generally abused every muscle in my body.  I was fine.  Then I hurt my back… bellydancing.

Efficient:  I finally discovered the secret to efficiency:  a to-do list.  In the morning I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to get done during the day.  Then at the end of the day, I wrote “Tomorrow” after the “To-Do” title.  Voila!  Efficiency.  Now I don’t have to make another to-do list.

Fashionable:  In my closet, I have a skirt… hey, don’t laugh!  I really do own a skirt.  It’s a broomstick skirt, which, for the uninitiated, is a skirt that looks as though you’ve rolled it up in a ball and slept on it for a couple of months before wearing it.  It suits my attitude toward dress-up clothing just fine.  I unearthed it a while ago, shook it out, and then hung it tenderly back in my closet.  You never know when I might need an easy-to-care-for skirt.

Oblivious:  I showed the above skirt to a friend about a month ago, and she said, “Oh, what a great skirt!  I remember when those were in style!”  Then the conversation moved to other topics.  Just yesterday it filtered through my thick skull that my beloved skirt had been insulted…

Illogical:  About six weeks ago I hurt my arm kickboxing.  So I ignored it, because everything gets better sooner or later, right?  But it kept hurting, and a couple of weeks ago I threw a punch and ouch!  So I went in at the beginning of the week and got a diagnosis.  Apparently I have tennis elbow.  From kickboxing.  Makes perfect sense.  (Fortunately muay thai allows strikes from fists, feet, elbows, and knees, so I can still train.  Otherwise this heading would be “Illogical and Cranky”.)

Absent-Minded:  I went for a walk, and half a mile down the sidewalk my brain suddenly shrieked:  “Wait!  Did I forget my pants?!?”  The relief was indescribable when I looked down to discover that I was actually dressed.  The subsequent question, “Are they done up?” was anti-climactic by comparison.  Unfortunately, accidentally going sans pants isn’t an inconceivable scenario for me.  I’m not in the habit of wandering around half-naked, but when I’m this distracted there’s always a possibility that I might begin to change clothes and just forget to finish the job.

Gluttonous:  Because the universe has a cruel sense of humour, it was my week to be Designated Driver.  So I haven’t even had a beer to celebrate finishing Book 8, but I compensated by eating a candy apple and a triple-chocolate ice cream cone that was as big as my head.  And I have plans for beer this weekend, so all is well in my world.

And that was my week.  How was yours?

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Filed under Humour, Life, Writing

What My Library Says

A little while ago, I ran across a link to the website of artist Nina Katchadourian, and I was instantly captivated by her Sorted Books project.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I decided to play, too.

But first, a disclaimer:  Obviously, she’s an artist and I’m not.  Her books are beautifully arranged and photographed, the subjects are carefully chosen, and the whole thing is a meaningful artistic expression.

I’m just a copycat, and a poor one at that.  My photography sucks, my arrangements look like they were stacked by an inebriated orangutan, and my subjects are distinctly low-brow.

But I’m a rabid book lover, and I’m endlessly fascinated by the variety of titles we all have stockpiled on our shelves.  And besides, this was fun!

Here’s what I came up with from my personal shelves:
In the “Philosophical” category…

Some days...

Some days…

I usually feel this way about half-way through writing a novel.

I usually feel this way about half-way through writing a novel.

In the “Contradictory Advice” category…

So... what am I supposed to do?

So… what am I supposed to do?

In the “Okay, That Makes Sense” category…

Sounds like a standard action-movie plot...

Sounds like a standard action-movie plot…

Can anybody else relate?  P.S. "In A Fix" is by my blogging buddy Linda Grimes - check it out!

Can anybody else relate? P.S. “In A Fix” is by my blogging buddy Linda Grimes – check it out!

Seems like a natural progression to me.

Seems like a natural progression to me.

In the “I’ve Got A Dirty Mind” category…

'Nuff said. But check out "Trousering Your Weasel" by another blogging buddy, Murr Brewster!

‘Nuff said. But check out “Trousering Your Weasel” by another blogging buddy, Murr Brewster!

When you find a title like "In The Wet", it's hard to avoid saying something inappropriate...

When you find a title like “In The Wet”, it’s hard to avoid saying something inappropriate…

In the “What Was IN Those Brownies?” category…

Aaaawww... man... now I've got the munchies...

Aaaawww… man… now I’ve got the munchies…

And in the “Lines Forms Here” category…

...and if you really believe you'll find such a thing... please take a number.

…and if you really believe you’ll find such a thing… please take a number.

The line forms to the left - please, no pushing!

The line forms to the left – please, no pushing!

What is your library saying?

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Filed under Writing

Just Like A Normal Person

This has been a seriously weird week for me.  For the first time in three years, I don’t have anything to write.

That’s not to say I don’t have work in progress; I do.  I’ve begun planning Book 7 of my series, and Book 6, “A Spy For A Spy” is with my editors.  My next blog compilation, “Definitely Inappropriate” is scheduled for mid-May.

But this week, there wasn’t any actual writing to be done for any of those projects.

I don’t know what to do with myself.  Seven days a week I’m up between six and six-thirty and at my desk by eight, cup of tea in hand.  I usually stay submerged until ten o’clock at night, with occasional breaks for meals and meetings and family/social responsibilities and workouts at the gym.

But this week, I’ve been dealing with my business email and bookkeeping, reading the news and a few blog posts, and then wandering aimlessly away from the computer by nine or ten AM because there’s nothing left to do.

I’ve read eight books in three days.  I’ve baked bread and cookies and made granola and three kinds of soup in addition to our usual meals.  I’ve listened to music and done some sewing and gone to the gym and gone for walks.  I’ve done jigsaw puzzles online and surfed YouTube for hours, digging out obscure Dr. Hook videos from the 70s.

I’ve planned a trip and organized the tools I’ll need to install a hardwood floor at my step-mom’s house in April.  I’ve worked on marketing campaigns for my books.  I’ve cut Hubby’s hair (yes, he asked me to – I’m not quite desperate enough to force him into something like that).  I’ve even *gasp* watched a couple of movies.

And I’ve left the house and actually interacted with other human beings, too.  I went to a car show and a blues jam and to the pub with friends.

Even after all that, I’m still wandering around like a lost soul.  I keep trailing back to the computer in case some important task has materialized while I was gone.

I guess this is what it’s like to be “normal”.  I’m doing my best to relax into it, but I have a sense of impending doom.  I feel as though I’ve forgotten to do something really, really important and soon disaster will strike because of my negligence.

It reminds me of one of my trips to the doctor many years ago.  After a battery of lung-function tests, the specialist smiled at me and said, “You act just like a normal person.”

I said, “Can I get that in writing?”

But on later reflection, I realized he hadn’t actually said I was normal.  He only said I fake it convincingly.

So I’m faking it for all I’m worth this week, but normalcy clearly doesn’t suit me.  I can hardly wait to go back to communing with the voices in my head for hours a day.

If I was a normal person, I might be worried about that…

Is anybody else living a “normal” life?  Tell me, what’s it like?

* * *

Woohoo!  The cover for Book 6 is ready!  Check it out on my Books page.

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Filed under Life, Writing

Sorry I’m A Douche

Earlier this week I was pretty pumped about helping with the Movember campaign.  Now I just feel sick.

I was doing my rounds of the blogs when I ran across a post about sleazy book marketing tactics, and the second tactic they mentioned was donating a portion of book sales to charity.

The writer specifically targeted authors who announce a special offer on their books in support of a charity.  His exact words were, “…there’s an invisible line between using your work to help a good cause, and using a good cause to sell more books.”  Relenting, he did mention he thought it was okay if the author’s personal story was somehow related to the cause in question, or if it was a community effort.

I thought I was doing a good thing by advertising that I’d donate half my November book royalties to the Cancer Society.  I’m part of Bloggers for Movember, and cancer looms larger in my personal story than I’d prefer, but that post still hit me like a kick in the gut.

What kind of slimy, contemptible douche would exploit a charitable cause for their own personal gain?

Is that what I’m doing?

When I read that post, I felt as if I’d just mugged a cancer patient for lunch money.

I still feel awful.

My mom died of lymphoma when I was nineteen.  Anybody who’s lost a loved one to cancer knows how it ends:  the naked scalp, the bruised and jaundiced skin, the stick-like limbs, the sunken eyes and distended belly.  She had been a slim, attractive, athletic woman.  When she died ten months after her diagnosis, she was barely recognizable.

My dad was successfully treated for prostate cancer.  My aunt survived an intestinal tumour.  My step-mom is just recovering from her recent (and successful) fight against breast cancer.  Pretty much every year, my doc removes some bit of my skin that’s starting to look “suspicious”.

I’ve donated regularly to the Cancer Society for nearly three decades.  Often it wasn’t a lot, but even when I could barely make ends meet, I usually managed to send a few dollars their way.

Exploiting Movember wasn’t my intention.

I didn’t mean to be a douche.

But I really feel like one.

😦

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A Scholarly Treatise On The Care And Feeding Of Your Pet Author

Authors can be lovable and agreeable family pets.  Most are easily housebroken, though some may exhibit a disturbing tendency to piddle while absorbed in a particularly difficult bit of plotting or worldbuilding.  This is not a sign of aggression.  It is simply inattentiveness on the part of your author.  Gently but firmly insist that they take regular potty breaks, or, if this proves ineffective, place an adult diaper on the chair before they sit.  The author is unlikely to notice or object.

Authors are territorial by nature.  It is important to nip this behaviour in the bud.  Your author must learn that he or she is part of the household, and as such, must share the domain with the rest of the family.  However, your author will be happier and more relaxed if you allow him or her to have a “safe zone”.  If possible, provide your author with a small desk, and refrain from disturbing the area unless absolutely necessary.

Your author may begin to show possessiveness toward other areas of the house, usually by leaving behind droppings such as laptops, pens, papers, and so on.  If this happens, immediately remove the droppings, clean the area thoroughly, and relocate the droppings to the author’s safe zone.  Your author will soon learn that leaving droppings outside their own territory is unacceptable behaviour.

As with any pet, it is important for you to be vigilant about your author’s diet.  Authors will gobble almost any food they encounter in an effort to return to their safe zone and resume their natural writing behaviour as quickly as possible.  Be strict.  Your author’s health depends on it.  Although an unhealthy diet may seem harmless when your author is young, you will ultimately pay the price in medical bills as your author ages.

Regular exercise is important, too, but sadly, most authors resist almost any form of fresh air or exercise.  Some authors may be enticed to exercise if offered rewards such as the opportunity to work out with attractive and scantily-clad members of the opposite sex, however, this is by no means a sure-fire method.

Some owners report that they have successfully induced their authors to exercise by running away with the liquor bottle, forcing the author to chase them in order to retrieve it, but this strategy may ultimately result in hostile or aggressive behaviour on the part of your author.  This is an area in which you must apply your own creativity to find the best solution.

Many laypersons consider authors to be nocturnal creatures, but in fact, authors are capable of wakefulness at any hour of the day or night.  If the clicking of the keyboard disturbs your sleep at night, or if your author sleeps through important daytime events, it is possible to gradually adjust your author’s sleep rhythm to one that is more compatible with your household.

Begin by determining your author’s favourite treats.  These may include food, alcohol, or sexual favours, but be cautious in your use of the latter.  Nobody likes an overly-affectionate author, and many authors are incapable of the level of judgement required to discern appropriate public behaviour.

Regardless of the type of treat you choose, you must begin the conditioning process up to one-half hour before you want your author to retire for the night.  Gently direct your author’s attention to the treat (remember, it may be dangerous to startle an author who is deeply involved in writing behaviour).

Once you have engaged your author’s attention, lure him or her into the bedroom with the treat.  Then allow your author to enjoy the treat.  If your author tries to leave the bedroom afterward, offer subsequent treats until the author loses consciousness or falls asleep.  Repeat every night for at least twenty-one days, or until the new habit is established.  Note:  This method is only successful if you withhold the treat at all other times.

The keys to the entire training process are patience, firmness, and consistency.  Though keeping an author may seem an arduous chore at first blush, your efforts will ultimately be rewarded with long years of loyalty and affection, dedications in obscure books, and occasionally, royalties.

News:  I’m so excited!  I’ve got the cover art for my first four books, and the planned release date for the Kindle version of NEVER SAY SPY is October 15 (hopefully all versions will be released that day, but will know more soon).  Covers and book blurbs are here.

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Filed under Humour