Went to Juicy Writing last night (http://www.sharonrenae.com/). Sharon Renae teaches a number of workshops and classes. Her novella, Angel in Darkness, is a unique take on good/evil and God/devil. I shared the websites I've been reading. JA Konrath's is a godsend, right down to the checklist for getting your book out and a reasonable hour expenditure to expect (plus cost if you hire someone to do the work for you). Plus, he gave links to the company that does his cover art and the company that does his formatting. Plus mention of another company that edits and formats. That, with Amanda Hocking's link to the gal who did the art on her covers means I have leads to two formatting companies, two artists, and an editor. I am so psyched.
At Juicy Writing, I shared the scenes I'd written for Apparently Dead. I said I thought there should be many more scenes like this to show the city's deterioration and the escalation to crisis. However, this is background. It's not plot point -- it aggravates and instigates plot points. But I don't want to take a break from my action to describe Anika's errands (it's during her errands that she sees the deterioration). Sharon suggested describing each mark of deterioration as an aside -- Anika's thinking about it as a plot point ramps up or she's late or early to a plot point setting and it happens that some element of rising background crisis has delayed or pushed her. I really like that idea.
I love meeting Sharon every Thursday. As a day job person who writes during off-time, it's all too easy for work, community, and social commitments to crowd writing time. I feel obligated to people or to some super-woman ideal and have to reassert writing as Priority One. (I think it was Billy Crystal's movie Throw Momma From the Train, in which he tells a class of writing students, "A writer writes." ) Juicy Writing keeps me writing because I have each Thursday to shoot for, and it keeps me from feeling isolated (which is when self-doubt creeps in). Having someone who also wrtes and is published saying, "Yes, I get it. Great! What's next?" is so helpful.