Remembrances

Each Memorial Day, I’m grateful that I have no one directly related to me to mourn. I am related to many veterans, mind you. My father, stepfather, both grandfathers, husband and even an ex-husband served in the military. So did a number of my friends.

They all survived that service. Thank god.

And I realize how lucky I am. Because I’ll never forget watching my dad scanning the Vietnam Wall in D.C. for the names of his fellow soldiers, his friends. It’s one of the very few times I’ve seen my dad cry, and it was then that I realized just how horrific war must be. And how hard it must be to survive it.

And I remember attending a memorial service for a young man from this small town on the Oregon Coast shortly after I moved here. He had just graduated from high school. His mother and father both served. But even that did not prepare them for the pain of losing their son. I attended another service one year to the day later for the young man’s mother, who had shot herself at his graveside.

So, today I think not only about those who gave their lives in service to our country, but also those who are forever changed by war.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch has written several stories about veterans, but the one most resonated to me as I wrote this is “Still Life, With Cats.” It’s a story about war, loss, and survival. And in honor of Memorial Day, it will be available here until my next publisher’s note has posted.

And if you want to read another fantastic story about the horrors of war, click here to read “The Museum of Modern Warfare,” which is her Free Fiction for this week.

While I can’t thank those who gave their lives for my freedom, I can thank all of you who have been touched by such a loss. My heart goes out to you all.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Technology and change

I’m writing this blog on my older laptop because my newer laptop is in the shop, so to speak. I had stopped using the older laptop for everyday work (and got the newer, which was new when the company bought it less than a year ago) because it had gotten completely bogged down.

When you have more than 600 titles, you have a ton of files. And some of those files (like the photo and design files) are huge. And let’s not even consider the size of the video files.

As a result, the entire WMG digital inventory takes up more than a quarter terabyte. As in 275GB or 2,750MB or 2,750,000K.

Remember when 64 to 100MB storage seemed like a huge amount of storage space? I do. Now, I have individual files that big.

And that adds up. But that was only part of the problem.

Because all of my advanced computer programs need a lot of RAM to run. That combination of factors rendered my older laptop more or less useless.

It used to be that we housed our digital inventory on my computer (with several backup systems). But that became untenable. So now, we have moved everything to the cloud (with physical backups, of course). That helped with problem number one.

But problem number two remains.

Now, my newer laptop has more RAM but the same about of storage space—250GB. As I mentioned, we moved our inventory onto the cloud, and all of my computer programs are more or less on the cloud, but they still need to sync to the hard drive to be usable. This isn’t normally a problem. Until a syncing error causes a cascading effect of file downloads to fill up the hard drive and render the computer useless.

As happened to my newer laptop today. It’s fixable and I’ll lose nothing (thanks to cloud syncing and backups), but it’s still annoying. I need to access the cloud on or plug a backup into something, so I’m thankful for the backup laptop. Even if I’ve just spent the past three hours updating the damned thing. It still has RAM problems, which is why I’m writing this in Google docs instead of Word, but the point is I have options.

If this had happened a few years ago even, I would have at a minimum lost productivity until my computer was fixed or I bought a new one. Now, if necessary, I can use apps on my phone to edit and write documents, check my email, sign contracts, you name it. I’m still functioning almost at full capacity, and that’s just amazing to me.

In fact, I was shocked at my reaction to the crash. It has been a very stressful week, and I’m fried. Under similar circumstances in the past, I would have lost it when I realized that the crash was beyond my technical expertise and I’d need a professional. But today, the moment I realized I’d lost all function on it I also realized that I’d lost, effectively, nothing. Now that, my friends, is a wonderful feeling.

So, while change is hard, it can also be wonderful.

And that’s also how we feel about the next change I’m going to talk about: Moving the WMG Coast Workshops to Las Vegas.

The Oregon Coast, you see, is a bit like my old laptop. Not quite capable of keeping up with the latest technology. It’s a beautiful place for our workshop participants to visit, but we’re not super accessible (the last hour of the drive out here is on windy two-lane roads). And our technology infrastructure can be problematic. Plus, it’s a small town with limited amenities, including, and especially, conference space.

Now that the primary instructors for all of our workshops—Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith—have moved to (or are in the process of moving to) Las Vegas, we decided it was time for a change.

Starting with the 2018 Master Class, we’ll be at the Golden Nugget on Fremont. Details on that, and the whole slate of 2019 workshops, can be found here. We’ve even got a revival of the Kris and Dean show on the books!

I hope you enjoy the new opportunities this move offers. And as a reminder, if you can’t or won’t travel, we have a whole slate of online workshops available right on your computer.

Or your phone or tablet, if your computer is in the shop.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

A Great Deal on Writing Business Tools

This week’s blog is specifically for you writers out there. The masterful Kristine Kathryn Rusch is the creative source behind two projects that launched last week to help writers improve their business and craft.

First up is Creating Your Author Brand, Kris’ latest entry in the WMG Writer’s Guide series.

Here’s the synopsis:

Getting a book into readers’ hands means achieving that modern marketing buzzword: discoverability. And the simplest way to gain that reader recognition? Branding.

Branding helps readers find an author’s work. But many authors fail to grasp the concept of creating an effective author brand. Now, New York Times bestselling author and renowned business blogger Kristine Kathryn Rusch expertly tackles the topic in this latest WMG Writer’s Guide.

In this guide, Rusch teaches the basic concepts of branding and helps authors convert those concepts into useful action to individually brand themselves to maximize reader recognition.

And I’ve got more good news: for a limited time you can get Creating Your Author Brand (plus nine other useful tools to improve your writing business) as part of The Write Stuff 2018 Bundle, curated by Kris herself.

WMG has two books and a lecture in this information-packed Storybundle.

The initial titles in The Write Stuff 2018 Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

Completing the Writer’s To-Do List by Tonya D. Price, MBA
Creating Your Author Brand by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Writing a Novel in Five Days While Traveling by Dean Wesley Smith
BFB Vol. 7: Three Act Structure for Professional Writers by Blaze Ward

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular titles, plus SIX more!

Secrets to Effective Author Marketing by Maggie McVay Lynch
Estate Planning for Authors by M.L. Buchman
BFB Vol. 5: Business Planning for Professional Publishers by Leah Cutter
How to Get Your Book Into Schools by David H. Hendrickson
WMG Publishing Presents: Heinlen’s Rules Writing Lecture by Dean Wesley Smith
The Ancient Child Thirty Day Program by Steven Barnes

This is a heckuva deal, but you’d better hurry—the Storybundle ends May 17!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

The Next Pulphouse is Almost Here

They say nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. Perhaps this is true. But you can also be fairly certain that the latest issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine will push the envelope of modern fiction.

Issue #2 of Pulphouse releases this Thursday, and we’ve got a great new lineup of stories.

Here’s the Table of Contents:
“Identical” by Robert Jeschonek
“The Session” by Stephanie Writt
“The Liar” by Annie Reed
“The Time Cop” by Patrick Alan Mammay
“With Due Honors” by Kate Pavelle
“Dog Steps” by Rob Vagle
“The Distant Baying of Hounds” by J. Steven York
“Heartbreaker: A Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Adventure” by Kevin J. Anderson
“Pot O’ Gold” by Dan C. Duval
“The Gorilla Murders” by O’Neil De Noux
“Thinking Inside the Box” by James Gotaas
“nanoturds” by Ray Vukcevich
“Catastrophe Baker and the Cold Equations” by Mike Resnick
“A Better Man Than You” by Kent Patterson and Jerry Oltion
“Rose in Dreamland” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

If you’re a subscriber, the books will be on their way to you automatically. If you’re not, click here on Thursday to buy Issue #2 or here to subscribe to the magazine.

What are you waiting for? Go get reading.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Writer’s Block

Well, I’ll be honest: I’ve started and trashed three blogs so far, and I’m no closer to a successful attempt. Sometimes, the words just don’t flow. It happens to all writers. And while I could keep banging away at it (I’d eventually come up with something passable…I was a journalist after all, so the writing gets done on deadline no matter what), I do have a company to run.

So instead, I think I’ll just give you a link to a free story to read. Given all the headlines about the FBI and the President lately, it’s timely, too.

Click here to read Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “G-Men,” which is her Free Fiction Monday offering this week. It’s an alternative history story about secrets and politics and the lengths people will go to preserve both.

And if you like it, you might want to pick up The Enemy Within, which is the full novel that “G-Men” eventually turned into. That is available in ebook, trade paperback and audiobook. Click here for more information.

Enjoy!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.