Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ex-Pat Living: Things I Miss #4

Silence. Quiet. Sounds of nature.

While living in two very developing countries, the sound of construction has been nearly omnipresent. Naturally, our choice to live on one of the busiest roads in the region (Sheikh Zayed) and next to an active building site (which seems to be churning nearly around the clock) could be managed better, but the reality is that nearly any place one moves in this region they will face nearly constant sound pollution. Currently, Tower 23b of the Pearl (ne 14) is trying my patience on an hourly basis.

The dramz.

So, as an author with 6 books on sale on multiple platforms, actively trying to finish a novel, have a full time job, and not think about all the editing and writing I’m procrastinating on, I am not always the best at keeping up with how my books are faring.  Case in point?  The DRAMZ attached to Confessions of a Teenage Band Geek on Barnes and Noble’s website.  Not having looked in days weeks months, I was rather amused to find the following ‘conversation.’

Rating myself against the Bechdel Test.

According to the wealth of knowledge that is Wikipedia, the Bechdel test is used to identify gender bias in fiction. A work passes the test if it features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Commentators have noted that a great proportion of contemporary works fail to pass this threshold of representing women.

After reading above, I started thinking.

Ex-pat Living – Things I Miss #3

Find the original picture here.  Holy shit I actually credited something.

I miss mail.

It’s been over five years since I last had a mailbox.  With no postal delivery system in either the Emirates or Qatar, almost all ex-pat mail is delivered via your employer.

How long does to take you to finish (reading) a book?

To clarify, it usually takes me 5-7 months to finish writing a rough draft and less than a week to finish reading a book.  Often, I am reading more than one book at a time, juggling a few storylines in my head.  Reading is something I do every day – something I’ve been doing since I was very young.  If I didn’t feel I was ‘cheating’ on my original characters, I would probably spend a greater percentage of time indulging in reading.

Ex-pat living: Things I Miss #2

Oh no, I think I’ve opened a can of something.

Today’s missing item is a selection of radio stations. In Qatar, there is one dedicated English radio channel. It is terrible. How terrible? I’m not sure what is more irritating, the lack of any sort of regular playlist or the college level DJs whose banter and conversation is so bad it’s funny.

Ex-pat living: Things I Miss #1

Oh look – a non-writing related post. Didn’t I say that I was going to do that eventually?

In my 6th year as an ex-pat, it occurs to me that I miss a great many things about home (‘home’ in this case being either Atlanta or Los Angeles in the good ole’ US of A). For the most part, the advantages of living abroad far outweigh the negatives. Still, now and then I do get a bit melancholy for certain things from home.

Bullied.

I read a lot of free books on Kindle (we’ve established this previously).

While I won’t mention the name of the book, I find it nearly to impossible a person would be seriously bullied because they had red hair (unless of course, they are Dr. Reid from Scrubs) and ‘sparkling blue eyes.’ This same protagonist, because of the ‘bullying’ ‘has’ to leave her home town and ‘get away.’

Thanks, Amazon – a new thing to obsess over.

Maybe other authors don’t get caught up in their numbers.  I, for one, do.  Literally, numbers can make me have a better or worse day.  I should divorce myself from letting returns, etc. bring me down, but as a self published author, it’s difficult.  Being self published adds such a personal involvement that it’s difficult not to take everything seriously.

Goal oriented.

Here’s a tweet from me circa early August omg that feels like forever ago.  Actually, all things considered, I was pretty spot on.  I finished the final draft the first weekend of October at 57,790 words.  I’m proud that I can set realistic goals.  However, wait for it – an upcoming post is going to explore the strange pressure I put on myself.