Monday, February 18, 2013

Why Do I Have a Conniption Fit Every Morning?

Informal. A fit of hysterical excitement or anger []
Derivation: Americanism, origin uncertain
       Because I'm having a terrible time getting any serious work done, that's why!  I work best first thing in the morning.  Every morning my plan is to get right on the final proofread/revision of The Storm-Wing with a view to publishing the paperback very soon.  But that email is irresistibly enticing. 
      Will somebody have reviewed one of my books?  Will I have a communication from one of my online friends with whom I really enjoy contact?  Maybe I'll have new Twitter and Goodreads followers! Will there be a new blog post that I just have to read, or a message on Facebook, or a comment on Google+ or on one of my blogs?  Maybe I will have sold a book on Smashwords, which notifies you of sales by email!  So I can't resist looking before I start working. 
       And of course I find about 50 emails, and become engaged in deleting about 40 of them.  Then there are the spam notifications.  That gets me into my own blogs, which leads to checking stats, and then certainly I have to check the sales stats on Kindle and Createspace, and check whether anybody has downloaded any samples on Smashwords ...  And what about Goodreads and some of the other groups I belong to?   There might be something interesting there ...  (And oh, look, that little red 1 just popped up in the Google+ box!  I have to check that out!)
       By that time the morning is at least half gone and the conniption fit is in full bloom!  "I'm never going to get this book ready to publish!  Grrr!  It's hopeless!"  It's promotion that's keeping me from publishing my next book!
       It's been especially bad these last four days, because I have been having this Smashwords Giveaway of "Monster Is in the Eye of the Beholder" -- promotion ends tomorrow morning as soon as I log in, which will be about 7:00 AM Mountain Standard (US) time, so hustle on over to Smashwords  and download a copy.  The Giveaway has required me to do more tweeting and posting on social media than usual.  However, it's been worth it.  I've gotten one review out of it, thanks to Chris Graham, whom I met on Goodreads (check me out there), and Kat Anthony recently put up a review of "Monster," although in her case she bought the book, I believe, some time ago.  And as of a few moments ago, I had given away twelve copies in a little less than three days.  Some people may not think that's many, but look at it this way -- if all twelve of those people read the book and decide to review it, I'll be making a pretty good showing!
       I've also given away 34 copies of the novelette "The Blessing of Krozem."  It will remain free on Smashwords, so you can get it any time you like.  It's not a piece of major literature and it isn't as meaty and strenuous as "Monster," but it makes for a pleasant hour's reading and I'm not at all sorry I resurrected it and published it in this manner.

       Now why am I writing this post, in the midst of a conniption fit?  I'm supposed to be working on The Storm-Wing, for goodness' sakes!  But not only did I need to vent -- I figured I needed a new post on this blog to stimulate people's interest.  And I needed a publishing update.
       I do plan to finish that proofing this afternoon!  I swear!  Will I be foresworn?  Stay tuned!  But that won't mean I'll be ready to publish, because I've decided to compile a glossary of Shshi words that are used in the book.  My conlanging friends prefer that a piece of fiction containing constructed languages have a glossary, so I've decided to oblige them.  It means searching the book for italicized words (thank god for the Word Search feature) and then copying the words into a table or list, alphabetizing them, writing definitions and other possible explanations ...  Well, you can see it could be time-consuming.
       But that will give me time for some heavier promotion of both The Termite Queen and the first volume of The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head, which as you all know is entitled The War of the Stolen Mother.  I also need to do some work on the termitespeaker blog, where my posts on Evangeline Walton's Prince of Annwn are attracting page views but only one comment so far.  I'm going to let those cook awhile longer, and then I'm going to put up another bird-myth post.  This one will be on the Jewish bird, the Ziz.
       So expect some things to come.   But definitely it will all go smoother if I can just discipline myself to get to work before I check my email.  After all, I don't need to be first-thing-in-the-morning sharp to delete emails and respond to them!

       More notes on origin of "conniption":
       Wiktionary ( says: "American origin, perhaps related to corruption or captious." says: "The origins of the word conniption, which appeared in usage in the 1830s, are cloudy and several theories have taken root into possible origins of the word:
1) Conniption is a literal corruption of the word 'corruption' which at one time meant feelings of anger or sadness.
2) Conniption is a nonsense word hinting at a mock latin origin.
3) Conniption is of Yiddish origins, such as the word Knish, due to the use of hard Ks and Ns." compares a conniption fit to a hissy fit or tantrum.  I don't think mine is quite on the level of a tantrum, but hissy fit works pretty well!


  1. I certainly commiserate. I always get up early before work to get in a bit of quiet, focussed writing time, but do you suppose I can resist checking email, facebook, KDP and wordpress stats etc before beginning? Of course not. *sigh* Frustrating, to say the least!

    1. Ah, nice to have company for my misery, Kat! But I'm happy to say I'm not forsworn! I did finish my proofreading this afternoon - BEFORE I checked my email! And I added a sentence to the introduction saying that I was inserting a glossary, and I put the heading on the Glossary page! Well, at least that's a start! LOL

    2. Yay! Glad to hear you got through the proof. Yes... Am just about to make some notes for my writing for tomorrow. Hopefully this will serve as inspiration for me to NOT check on my sites and emails until after the work is done.

    3. Good luck! I have to waste my morning with grocery shopping, since we have bad weather coming in. Our storm will be in the East (again) in a couple of days!

  2. No wonder you're dealing with daily conniptions! LOL. Had I as much on my plate as referenced here, I'd be as harried as a cow on Astroturf--and lowing just as vociferously!

    1. Love that simile, Jack! LOL! Yes, I feel ... overextended! And it doesn't help that as I work on compiling the glossary for The Storm-Wing," Word keeps crashing and telling me "Word is trying to recover your documents. This may take a few moments." It's done it twice this morning and that always gives me the willies. What if it can't recover it? I think the problem is that I have three docs open and one of them is my Shshi language doc, which has always been quirky and temperamental. I'll have to try to work without it until I really need to check something.