by Christine Kling
Social media, that is. See, I know I should do it. But what I seem to do is I post in fits and starts. I’ll decide I need to share what I’m doing with the rest of the world, and then I’ll tweet and post on Facebook regularly for several days – or even weeks. Then I withdraw back into my cave again and I ignore Facebook, Twitter, et al.
Wait a minute. I think most of my friends and family would say I do the same in the real face to face world, too. When my son went off to college, he was the one who called me finally and said, “Mom, you never writer, you never call…”
I don’t know why social stuff is so difficult for me, but I have got to get over it. Every indicator shows that deft use of social media, including real interaction with readers, creates die-hard fans. Hey, I’ve been on both sides of that equation. I’m a fan of many writers, and I LOVE reading their thoughtful, quirky posts and seeing pics from their lives. But saying clever stuff is HARD!
I follow Amanda Hocking on Twitter and I consider her the queen of Twitter. She NEVER posts something like “Buy my books.” She’s just smart and quirky and funny. Her personality really shines through. I would love to be that good at this stuff.
So here’s my vow. I’m going to try over the next four weeks (while I’m traveling) to post on Facebook and Tweet every day (assuming I have access to the Internet). I won’t just send along a travelogue because that’s not what this blog is about. I’m on this trip to do research, and while I was in Reno, my sister asked me – what exactly does that mean?
You know when people say that the setting of their book almost became another character? It’s always been that way for me. Even the plot turns around the setting. But now, for the first time, I’m writing about places that I don’t know intimately. So that’s what I’m here for.
And at the moment, I am one tired puppy. It’s 6:00 p.m. Friday Bangkok time, which means it is 6:00 a.m. Friday, Florida time. I left my hotel in San Francisco on Wednesday morning and spent the whole day playing in the city, then caught my plane and 24 hours of flying and lay overs, I arrived here. I haven’t slept in two days, and I can’t believe I am actually typing this blog while downing my second Singha.
But back to doing research and sharing what I’m doing with you all. As usual, serendipity is already playing a big part. Anyone who read Circle of Bones knows that I have a thing for submarines. So, while wandering the waterfront in San Fran, I found a great Maritime Museum with a WWII sub, the USS Pompanito. I took the audio tour and tons of notes. It was fantastic standing down below next to the torpedo tubes and the engines and the radio room. Then I saw the size of the command center. Bingo – my plot took a new turn.
Then when I was walking the waterfront, I heard a head boat huckster calling out “Ride under the Golden Gate and around Alcatraz for $15! How could I resist? San Francisco was having one of her rare, beautiful sunny, windless days and the bay was calling to me. And during that cruise, the skipper said something about Alcatraz escapees that gave me another idea – and the plot changed again.
And now I’m sitting here eating my spicy Thai food, eyes watering, sniffling, and soaking up the atmosphere of the people out on the street. Tomorrow, I’ll head for the weekend market. I use Evernote on my iPhone to take audio notes and I snap loads of pictures. I’ll refer back to the photos later when I want to add local color.
So, it’s time for me to turn in and get ready for the upcoming days of exploring new places, taking photos, learning new historical details, and filling out the rest of this plot outline. And this time I promise I’ll keep my efforts updated on Facebook, Twitter and maybe even a post or two on my SailingWriter blog.
Right now, I just hope I can make it up to my third floor room before I pass out.
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