Help Me Recover: Ask Me Anything!

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 13.266% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Heya, guys –
I’m currently in the midst of recovering from an ongoing energy drain.  Dealing with Rebecca was hard enough – but as an introvert, doing it at someone else’s house for two weeks was insanely hard.  Coping in a strange bed, without air conditioning, in chairs just a little uncomfortable for me, without my dog, eating food just a little different than I woulda had – a thousand little cuts that made me burn effort at a crazy rate.  We’ve been home for four days now, and only now am I starting to realize just how redlined I was.
Near the end, for about four days, I didn’t really text anyone.  I huddled up, reluctant to even talk to electronic people.  Which is insane for me.
So I’ve got some entries I’ve been meaning to write, but then I just… sort of sit there.
And stare.
And then I play some Civilization V.
So here.  Stir my addled brainmeats.  Ask me a question: personal, professional, whatever – hey, I’ve got a novel and plenty of new emotional experiences to unpack, so unload on me.  Help me restart my interactions with people.  Ask me something – well, not stupid.  I don’t care how many chucks a woodchuck could wood, or whatever.  Just ask me something where you care, albeit on whatever small level, about the answer I’ll give.  And I’ll answer.
Just as soon as I can stop staring at things.


  1. Mishell Baker
    Jun 24, 2014

    This may sound like a stupid question, but I assure you it is important to me:
    Which leader do you favor in Civ 5 and why?

  2. THall
    Jun 24, 2014

    I finished writing my first novel, now what? I’ve put it aside to percolate while jumping into novel number two, but should I instead focus on progressing novel number one into a second draft and finding a group of beta readers?

    • TheFerrett
      Jun 24, 2014

      Well, if you’re serious about trying to get it published, then I don’t know about working on #2. It’s a nice-to-have, but you’ll have enough problems getting #1 sold. Ponder a sequel, but unless it’s a hard-core series (which is harder to sell), I’d advise working on something else.
      Regardless, here’s what you do:
      1) Find some beta readers. People who like the same shit you do, and are erudite enough to say what troubles them about a book.
      2) Find about twice to three times as many as you think you’ll need, as half of them will flake out unless you’re really good, because a novel is a huge crit to do.
      3) Put the novel aside for at least a month. Maybe six weeks. When you go back to reread, you’ll want to have forgotten at least a third of it. You want to be surprised by your novel, like a first reader would be.
      4) Then work on something else in between. I do short stories, or have, traditionally – stuff I can finish. Maybe you can split time; I can’t, or at least haven’t. But occupy that time in-between.
      5) THEN go back for the reread and see what’s going on.

  3. Chelsea
    Jun 24, 2014

    How is your doggy doing now? Did she miss you terribly while you were away? 🙂

    • TheFerrett
      Jun 24, 2014

      She did. She totally did. I didn’t see her for three weeks (as Erin had her for a week, then kept her when things went downhill), and when I got home she danced for an hour. She’s still thrilled to have me. We go for walks.
      It is awesome.

  4. Alexa
    Jun 24, 2014

    What is your happiest/most fulfilling memory?

    • TheFerrett
      Jun 25, 2014

      Probably my wedding day, though I don’t think of it that often. I have Gini about.

  5. Yet Another Laura H
    Jun 24, 2014

    Not a question, but I’m requesting a playlist of songs that tell us who you are.

  6. Garfield Lee
    Jun 24, 2014

    Tell me how I can reconcile enjoying playing magic (especially draft), and my intense dislike of how the game is designed to suck money out of my wallet.

    • TheFerrett
      Jun 25, 2014

      The fact is that Magic wasn’t really designed to suck money out of your wallet, as such, or they could have gone the Yu-Gi-Oh! route of making commons totally useless, having super-rare cards well beyond mythics, and having cards be exclusive counters (“Card_name_X is the only counter to Card_name_Y”) as opposed to trying to push strategies at people.
      Magic is always a money-heavy game. Always will be. But they could make it a lot worse, and the fact that they go as far out of their way to minimize that is a tribute to Wizards. They’re trying to ease the blow.

  7. ellixis
    Jun 24, 2014

    What set did you start playing Magic during? What is your favorite card from that set, and why?
    For me, it was Ice Age, and Icy Manipulator, because tapping other people’s cards drives them nuts.

    • TheFerrett
      Jun 25, 2014

      I started playing during The Dark. And my favorite card from that set is Giant Spider, even though that’s technically not a card from that set, because I traded a Frankenstein’s Monster for it in the days when nobody knew what the fuck a rarity was.
      It was STILL a good move, dammit. I needed spiders!

  8. Lydia
    Jun 24, 2014

    What are a few things that your readers would be surprised to learn that you really like (or dislike)?

    • TheFerrett
      Jun 25, 2014

      I honestly don’t know. I think I’m pretty open about most things.
      I guess that would require an idea of what my readers are like, and I don’t really have one. I have a vague one, but they still surprise me in the aggregate.

  9. Anne Gibson
    Jun 24, 2014

    How do you prioritize your tech-heavy day job with finding time to write? Obviously, I have to make writing very important — it’s concrete suggestions for carving out time I’m hoping for.
    Do you write in a set routine or whenever you grab time? I’m trying to balance a design job that’s sometimes 40 hours, sometimes 35, sometimes 60, with a novel that needs my attention, a desire to drop 50lbs, and the need to shoulder roughly 70% of running the house due to health issues. Anything you can suggest is welcome!

  10. Mark D
    Jun 25, 2014

    What’s your favourite Stephen King novel?
    And how did you like Joyland?

  11. Beverly
    Jun 26, 2014

    As a writer do you find that the cover art and/or illustrations chosen for a book or story significantly change the tone or meaning of the writing?
    Do you have any say in the artwork that gets chosen?
    Do you have favorites or preferences among illustrators in your genre?

  12. Karla
    Jun 30, 2014

    Do you have a favorite word? What is it? Why? (Mine is floccinaucinihilipilificatrix, but only because I’m a diehard Heinlein fan and spent a stupid amount of time when I was a kid memorizing the pronunciation. *gigglesnort*

    • TheFerrett
      Jul 1, 2014

      I like it because I am it, and nobody knows it.

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