The Captain Tightpants Year in Review

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Why, you are asking yourself, is this blog post entitled “The Captain Tightpants Year in Revew?”

Well, I checked out my blog stats (which I rarely do) and discovered something interesting. Apparently, my readers want more Captain Tightpants. And a little Jake Weber now and then wouldn’t hurt either. In fact, I should probably think about building an entire blog around my great love of Captain Tightpants, as you will see, if you read on. One of the neat stats WordPress offers its bloggers is a list of search terms people use in order to get to your site. Without further ado, here are mine.

LYNN’S TOP SEARCH TERMS FOR 2012:

1.  CAPTAIN TIGHTPANTS

2.  ResQMe

3.  CAPTAIN TIGHT PANTS (I know, right? I’m thinking maybe I just need to do the entire blog about Nathan Fillion from now on.)

4.  Lynn Reynolds (Well, that was unexpected. Probably they’re looking for this Lynn Reynolds, though.)

5.  Jake Weber (So maybe devote the blog to Nathan and Jake from now on???)

6.  Fear of Drowning in a Car (See? I knew I wasn’t the only one worrying about this.)

7.  Zombie Dog (See picture at right) 128860615052329781

8.  CAPTAIN TIGHTPANTS HAPPY BIRTHDAY (Now this is getting ridiculous. Either I need to mention Nathan Fillion a lot less, or he needs to start paying me his  publicist’s fee, for crying out loud.)

9.  Fear of Ferris Wheels (Yeah, I knew I wasn’t the only one worrying about that too.)

10. NATHAN FILLION GIRLFRIEND (Oh, for Heaven’s sake.)

Look, there’s clearly no need for me to say anything else. Now that I know where my readers are coming from, I know exactly how to target my blog. Happy New Year, Friends:

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Lynn Reynolds’ Career is Over

I saw this headline when I Googled myself earlier today — oh, come on, stop snickering. you know you do it too. It alarmed me because I wondered if maybe my boss was waiting until after the Memorial Day holiday to tell me some bad news. Then I remembered I’m my own boss, so I got really frightened for a second. Had I in fact fired myself and forgotten all about the incident? Was my life becoming one of those Staples ads where IT Mom quits but doesn’t tell all her other selves?

Then I realized who they were talking about, and I was really kind of sad in a whole new way. They meant THIS Lynn Reynolds.

photo from gogriz.com, official website of the University of Montana Athletics department

Yes, I know. He’s like the anti-Lynn Reynolds, really. Good looking, incredibly fit and athletic, and of course – male.

I discovered the anti-Lynn a few years ago when I first set up a Google alert on my pen name. At first his name just popped up on my alerts once in a rare occasion. Then it started happening more and more. About two weeks ago, there was this:

UM Runner Working Toward Olympics

I was as excited as if he were my own son. “Lynn’s training for the Olympics!” I told my husband. Since I frequently refer to my fiction-writing alter ego in the third person, the Man was quite perplexed. The Lynn Reynolds he knows used to run regularly but had a knee injury and then a rough recovery after some abdominal surgery a couple of years ago. Now running is a distant memory for her.

“What, huh?” he sputtered.

“Lynn might be in the Olympics. Grizzly Lynn!” I explained. Because the anti-Lynn Reynolds is a runner for the University of Montana and their mascot is a Grizzly.

“Oh, him,” the Man replied. “Cool!”

Then today there was this headline:

Reynolds’ Career Comes to an End in Austin

Turns out Lynn did not qualify for Nationals, which would have put him on course for the Olympics. Bad luck, that. It made me a little sad, because I’d been watching his progress from afar and quietly rooting for him. So no Olympics, but at least it looks like he had a great run (argh. couldn’t resist the pun) in his years as a Grizzly.

I wish him all the luck in the world in his future endeavors. As long as he doesn’t start writing novels. Especially chick lit and romantic suspense. Because I might get a little testy if a GUY started outselling me at writing chick lit suspense novels.

A New Beginning. Or maybe just a slow fade.

As I said in the last post at my old blog, I’m making some changes this year. I’ve got the rights back to the two books I published with The Wild Rose Press and plan to republish them with new covers. This should end the whole pesky “lesbian porn” issue. It seems a number of friends and acquaintances were quite spooked by the original cover of Thirty-Nine Again, not just because the couple were undressed and in a slightly risque pose. No, the fact is, lots of folks thought that guy on top of the blonde chick wasn’t really a guy at all. He looked pretty manly to me, but clearly I wasn’t considering the effects of bad lighting, aging eyes, eyes too vain to wear their glasses, and the dreaded over-active imagination. Hence, the belief that a nifty little chick lit suspense novel was actually some sort of lesbian erotica – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Still, the next cover will definitely be somewhat more tame.

But what’s to come after I re-release the first two novels?

To be honest, I have no clue. Many friends are urging me to get back to writing fiction and to self-publish my works. I like that with self-publishing, I can choose my own covers and schedule my book release dates at a time convenient to me. But I have to confess, this whole self-publishing e-book thing does take a bit of the shine off of publishing for me. I bought a Kindle, but I still have difficulty seeing e-books as “real” books. In the world of self-publishing (or indie publishing, as it’s more fashionably called now) I’ve discovered some wildly talented authors – James Everington, I’m looking at you. But I’ve discovered that an alarming number of people with no knowledge of spelling, grammar, or the most basic storytelling techniques have decided they want to be authors – or at least be able to call themselves “authors.” I worry that these hacks and self-deluded hipsters are going to give self-publishing a bad name. Oh wait – it already had a bad name in traditional print publishing.

Still, e-books and indie publishing could mark a fresh start for the entire industry, so I hope we don’t wind up awash in badly written third-rate fiction. And I definitely don’t want to contribute to the pile of third-rate stuff.

My friends who’ve jumped on the indie bandwagon are urging me to “hurry up” and get some new stories written and get them out there – as if the most critical component of a story is the speed at which it’s written. I’ve always been pretty fast at writing news stories; but fiction, not so much. I understand what my friends are saying: they fear the big names are swooping into the e-book market now and will soon be crowding out the lesser-known indie authors who launched this new wave. And they’re probably quite right. But I have to be who I am, and who I am is just not fast.

So I’m hoping to find the time to write some new fiction this year, and I’m planning to self-publish it if I do. But I’m going to take my time – something I know the Internet gods really hate. The stories will come when they come, and if they come, I’ll definitely share them with you. But I’m not going to scramble to put together some formulaic fiction I don’t enjoy just so I can follow the Pied Piper of Instant Gratification. I’m going to sit back and take my time with this thing called living, and if I find a story worth writing down, that’s cool. If not, I’m beginning to think that’s cool too. As my hairdresser says, It’s all good.