Friday, October 31, 2008

Readers are not family.

I wasn't trying to be mean to anybody in the last post, but it has to be said: as a writer, I have my own friends and family. I'm not writing to get more of them.

Writers and artists create to say what they think. If anybody relates to us, it will be between the ears.

A masseuse I formerly used ruined an entire, supposed-to-be relaxing session by bitching about her favorite musical artist. She'd written him an oozing fan letter, and he'd sent her back an (actually) signed photo and a form letter, thanking her very much for her interest, and telling her about upcoming gigs and releases.

She was furious. She'd expected a private communication, and she swore she'd never listen to him again.

The one who should have been furious was me -- I was paying for her to shut up and work my muscles so I could get back to work.

Instead, all I said was, "Look, he doesn't know you from Adam's off ox. He actually took the time to sign the photo and reply. And he let you in on how to share his life the only way you can expect. What are you so mad about? And get that spot behind my left shoulder."

I want to make it very clear -- without any hints or fibs -- that we don't want to be friends with our audiences, who have their own friends and families. We're not concerned with your personal life, and we don't want you to be concerned with ours.

However, if you MAKE us get involved in your personal life, we may start studying your features, writing down your meanest quotes, and twisting your name just a LITTLE bit....

Those announcements in books and films about the characters being based on no one are just legal lies. You may THINK you want that kind of fame, but if you write me something about the Desert Peach that includes the phrase "German faggot," you're not going to want to point it out to your Mom.

You may be mildly famous, but you won't want to admit it. It will be like the afterlife for a logger -- he gets a chain saw and gets plopped down in the middle of a clearcut.

For eternity.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Crazy Season

I've been having a bit of a problem lately with crazies.

Regardless of the situation, it's mostly about guys who perceive me as blowing them off, arguing with them, or not paying enough attention to their personal problems. To these guys, the whole world is a singles bar and the girl just turned her head away.

The usual hint is that they call me "heartless." Which sounds like that guy thing of claiming women have "torn their hearts out."

I don't have to be nice to everybody. If somebody gets asshole with me, I get asshole with them. It sometimes takes some work, but sooner or later I put a filter on my email program for their email.

I have the world's nicest, smartest readers. No, I'm not kidding. They're politically aware, and work very hard to make the world a better place. The nut-cases usually don't buy anything anyway -- they just want mommy's attention.

Why they think a writer will put up with them is beyond me. We're the ones with the thesaurus -- and all the swear-words.

I've tried to tell people that the best writers aren't necessarily the nicest people. Swearing, drinking, throwing shirts out the window, cheating, lying, staying at their friends' houses and stealing their dogs and their drugs -- artists and writers have done it all.

But I don't think anybody hires us for our personalities.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Art Site Moved!

My new art site is at Gather. Look in "Photos" for the Nice album -- and the Naughty album.

You're grownups. If you look in the Naughty album, it's your own fault if you have to chase your eyeballs across the floor.

I think I may stay with Gather as a place to put my art. DeviantArt makes me pay money, as does Flickr. And Gather has a more professional tone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Smell Of Email In The Morning

The first order of business in the am is answering the email. Most of it is business, but then there's FXcuisine, which leads to my making comments like this, proving once again how full of anything about everything an author's mind is:

"Yum! "Magenbrot" literally means "stomach bread." We're always told to use herbs and spices as an aide to digestion -- and the Germanic countries turned them into goodies.

It's hilarious watching Americans socking down Jaegermeister as a cocktail, when it's really a digestive aide and cough syrup!

(The little poem on the bottle goes:

"Das ist des Jaegers Ehrenschild,
dass er beschuetzt und hegt sein Wild,
weidmannisch jagt, wie sich's gehoert,
den Schoepfer in Geschopfe ehrt."

"It is the hunter's shield of honor,
that he protects and cares for his game,
sportingly hunts, as is proper,
honoring the Creator in (His) creation.")"

I've been accused of "knowing everything" up here (not always a compliment in a rural area -- I grew up in one). A guy who lives on Eagle Point asked:

"Do you know where the motorcycle gangs came from?"
"The ones in the fifties? Those were those soldiers let loose after the war."
"Damn! You DO know everything!"

He told me one of the reasons the young men of his generation were so eager to go to world war two was because they'd been promised the women of Europe and America -- grateful -- and the women of Germany and Japan -- forced.

Me: "Hell, that explains that photo of the sailor and the nurse!"
"Yup," he said. "They said we could have all the women."

I guess since rape in war has been made a war crime, that kind of explains one of the reasons war ain't so popular any more.

Beware of learning to write. You end up with a head full of detritus.

Ask Mary Roach. I recently read her Spook, about the search for proof of the afterlife. She says she starts out knowing NOTHING about the subject she's chosen to write about, and all the way through points out her "d'uh!" moments. In a world where most writers are poor attempts to imitate Hemingway, or poets who think they are Karouac (SAVE me from the ticky-tacky poetry rhythm readings* about somebody's dead mother!), Roach's style is erudite, breezy, intense and hilarious. She's like John McPhee with a sense of humor.

Highly recommended, btw. I haven't yet read her Stiff or Bonk (oh, just guess what THOSE are about).

(*I once cleaned that weird, jerky reading style out of a poetry reading meeting by using it for the ingredients from a bottle of cat shampoo. Every single meeting people brought it up again.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Most Common Customer Questions About My Books

1. Am I old enough to read this?

Answer: If you're under 18, you probably won't get it; it's full
of stupid adult tricks. If your mom will let you have it, you
may buy it (save it for when you're older).

2. Will I like this?

Answer: If you like to think, yes. Most of the references are
explained. If you need more details, hit the library and the 'Net.
Caution: you may end up with the urge to take German classes (it
has happened before).

3. Which book will I like?

Answer: Choose the cover you like. The author was in the
same mood when she created the inside pages.

4. What's The Desert Peach about?

Answer: An historical fiction following the Desert Fox's fictional
gay brother (not the real one).

5. What's STINZ about?

Answer: An historical fantasy based on 19th century farming
life. The main character is a big black centaur stallion.

6. What's Bosom Enemies about?

Answer: People as horses, and horses as people. It has been
described by reviewers as an allegory of slavery.

7. What's Hader and the Colonel about?

Answer: Learning not to eat your friends.

I MIGHT be on the East Coast.

This is EXTREMELY short notice -- and it might not happen. I MAY be on the east coast in November, 2008.

IF I make it to the East Coast, I'll be at Big Apple Con.

And Modern Myths for a signing.

If not, I'm sending books and art to both places, for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

So many Updates -- and tough talk on companies.

Found some new things, took some things off The Little Store.

So far, I've found one completely reliable ad site: Project Wonderful

I've found one absolutely reliable Print-on-demand company, that pays every single month, and passes along all savings in economies of scale: This is also my site for ebooks and downloads.

I only work with Booksurge because Amazon signed a contract with them for POD delivery and no one else, and they allow black-and-white and color pages in the same book.

I've found one reliable posting -- but not very good at the paying -- site:

I'll list anything else that's good if I find it.

My model for sending customers and retailers through a site, complete with ads, printing, shipping and free shopping cart: The Little Store.

Got questions? Just email me.

Clickwheel and Webcomics Inc.

Rather than posting to my blog at Webcomics Inc, I'm posting here and it feeds to that site.

Question to anyone out there: Clickwheel, the online download comics site.

I've been told -- by an online publisher - that Clickwheel has limited content. As such, the Desert Peach doesn't fit into its parameters. Has anyone had any experience with it, or with its payment schedule?

So far, Lulu has never shown any limits on its content, or problems with payments.

I should contact Clickwheel and ask.

And now I have. The publisher says he puts up what he likes. I can go with that!

Friday, October 17, 2008

AFTERDEAD 1.3 -- "Hunter and Hunted"

Press Release: For immediate release

October 17, 2008

AFTERDEAD 1.3 – HUNTER AND HUNTED, by Donna Barr, $15.95, shipping in February 2009 from A FINE LINE PRESS.


A Fine Line Press
PO Box 363
Clallam Bay, WA 98326 360 963 2935

The lives and afterlives of the Desert Peach and Stinz continue. At a roller derby tournament – Rosen is a huge fan -- the Peach meets an old friend from the Quick Times. A questionable treasure brings back memories of an old war. The Peach loses his lunch – and his head – at After Reichisch entertainment.

Review quotes:

“Many, many moons ago, I stumbled across Stinz: Family Values, and was immediately impressed. Long story short: I went and found every Stinz collection I could, and along the way met this Desert Peach guy, too. And watching Desert Peach moving from farcical comedy to human drama was, no hyperbole, dumbfounding. I really truly did feel like a bomb had gone off in my brain. Like so many of her fans I couldn't help but wish that somehow, somewhere they might meet ('cause believe me, the half-horse and the gay Nazi could have quite a conversation – they're both veterans). And now, years later, those prayers are answered!”

Caleb Collins – Dove Square, Webcomicsnation

“In Afterdead, Barr continues to explore themes such as the influence of the military on society, the complexities of love and sexuality and the gray areas of morality and human responsibility.... Afterdead will allow her to comment on a wide range of issues facing modern life, noting in her introduction that 'the new Peach will open up hunting season on the whole of human history and every country that ever was or could be.' Barr acknowledges that the current political climate, in which issues of war and civil liberties are of central importance, should give her rich material with which to work.”

Kate Culkin – Publisher's Weekly.

Published: Quarterly (yearly for full volumes).
Intended Audience: Full Citizen
Genre: Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, and Magic Realism*
Format: Comic size (6.62” x 10.25”) 64 pages, black and white. Full-color cover.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Link Madness

I found this old photo of me. Dan wanted me to point the gun at him, but I don't do that because (1) it makes a boring photo and (2) I never point a gun at anything I don't mean to kill. Unlike stupid chimps who think these things are toys.

(Note: I am not this cute any more)

I just posted this photo at Webcomics Inc., and since this blog feeds into my blog at COMIXtalk, I am doing link madness:

"Hi! I found out about Webcomics Inc. on Deviantart.

I'm at Webcomicsnation which links back to more of my work at Moderntales.

I'm at which is where all my webcomics go when they go on paper."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Work Ethic

Discussion about work over at DeviantArt:

Yup. Tho' not meaning work for work's sake; "Work Ethic" was something those who could pay to get out of the work foisted on those they tried to keep the prices down on the work.

"Lazy" is a code-word white people use on other races who won't work very very hard for very little or free.

Me, I like to goof off as much as the next guy -- but I'm lazy with a conscience. I tear through it to get it done, so I can goof off without guilt.

Ya just gotta know when the work's done for the day. At 5:00 I go fishing (tho' I come back and spend the evening writing, drawing, and doing layout).

My Marrowstone Island Hippy Community friends put in their gardens and built their solar electrical systems and composting toilets -- and now spend most of their time enjoying themselves. Few wants, fulfilled.

(Best solar I've found:


Putting together AFTERDEAD 1.3.

Here's a sample. The Peach is still trying to Keep Busy and find out who he is in the afterlife.