February 2024 Author Updates

Happy March! I am excited to cohost this month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. It’s another month and it’s time to reflect on what I accomplished in February and my latest writing updates. Read on for the fun. (Want to skip down to Writing and Life Updates?

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group post on the first Wednesday of the month. “Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance.” You can find my previous posts here.

Our X(Twitter) handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

My co-hosts for the March 6 posting of the IWSG are Miffie Seideman, Jean Davis, and Liza @ Middle Passages!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. On to the question!

AI’s Impact on Creative Writing

The IWSG Question of the Month is: Have you “played” with AI to write those nasty synopses, or do you refuse to go that route? How do you feel about AI’s impact on creative writing?

This is a huge topic, and I don’t want to make this post too long, so I’ll summarize with some links out to folks who have already talked in length about this controversial topic.

AI needs to be ethical and regulated.

AI (technically machine learning right now, not HAL or Caprica 6 by any means) today is problematic. I talk about it and link out to some resources in this blog post. In short, current AI is trained to spit out other people’s work – it’s plagiarizing without author’s consent and training without compensation to the sources. If the programmers can get AI to truly output unique items, and find an ethical way to train the models, then I can see it as an aid.

See also: You Just Found Out Your Book Was Used to Train AI. Now What?, AI generated content isn’t copyrightable

Cylons from Battlestar Galactica

Until regulations can be made to safeguard our works and our creativity, I’m reluctant to put anything into the chat bots that could help it train on my ideas or my style of writing. I don’t want to give it permission to try to immolate me. I want it to help me.

I really want AI to do my dishes and clean my toilets so I can focus on writing.

-Kristina Kelly

I believe in getting help, freeing up time to be creative, and humans doing the creating.

If AI can be ethically sourced (see above), I can see how it can be used like a writing partner to help get unstuck. I personally spend far too much time creating names for lakes and today I use name generators like https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/ to help me out with ideas. However, the key for me is that humans are still doing the creating. Just like we can talk to a writing friend to help us get ideas to get through a plot hole, or find the right ending, we as creators need to take that and make it our own. I can see where AI can be like that, if it’s not spitting out plagiarized works or stealing from other creators.

I think creativity is inherent to being human.

We have a desire to create. I’d like to think we can never be replaced, but we can certainly be immolated at a level that is undetectable by many art consumers by AI. I believe the tools that get inventive should help us create, not hinder it, complicate it, or replace it. And right now, there’s a lot of the icky traits I listed. Check out How Generative AI Could Disrupt Creative Work.

See Also: A Concerning Trend in Submissions, AI writing unauthorized books being sold under author’s name, How AI-Generated Books Could Hurt Self-Publishing Authors

I do despise creating back of book blurbs, synopses, and most marketing. If I could get (ethical) AI help with some of these, it would free up my time to be creative. But right now the risks and the damages to writers outweighs time-saves and frustration saves. I’ll hold out for the Enterprise’s Computer, though.

Writing and Life Updates

What am I up to?

  • Reading: Big Magic on audio | Iron Flame in physical | The Color of Magic on ebook
  • Drinking: London Fog Tea Latte
  • Watching: Loki Season 2
  • Playing: Sackboy a Big Adventure

Birthday

February was my birthday month! My celebrations took an abrupt halt when my household got a good dose of a stomach bug. But before that happened, I was able to paint a clay mug and look at how pretty it turned out. Ursula would be pleased.

Thankfully the illness took us one by one so that we could take care of ourselves and then the kids. I had a rescheduled birthday just last week and had a great time checking out old soda fountains and eating old fashioned ice cream sundaes. Here are some photos.

Writing Progress and Updates

I had two poems and a short story release in a local anthology, Growth from the Ignite Studio at Hamilton East Public Library. I went to the book launch and met up with many of the authors who had work published and it was exciting to meet everyone. We all signed our pieces inside of our copies!

Final edits have been sent back to me for review on my novella, Tavern Tale. I’ll be finishing those. If you want to learn more about my RPG-inspired romantasy adventure, check out my previous post. Inspirations For Fantasy Novella Tavern Tale which also has the link to watch for the preorder.

I have my ISBNs and my LCCN (library of congress control number) all set for my my sci-fi and fantasy poetry book, Imaginari. I’ll next be deciding if I include my photography, and work on interior formatting! I’ve picked the launch date of October 23 and hope to have preorder go up about three months prior. So if you’re a poetry reader, or like scifi and fantasy and this idea of SFF poetry sounds interesting, think about being an ARC reader and sign up here.

Title: Imaginari

Release Date: 2024-10-23

Summary: Step into lyrics of science, science fiction, and fantasy where robots fight for their autonomy, fairies wage war against goblins, and humanity reaches for what awaits them in the stars. This collection of poetry holds a glimpse of the human experience disguised in fairytales and stardust. You will encounter themes that resonate with our reality, such as motherhood, growth, feminism, hope, and nature. Whether you are a fan of epic sagas, whimsical tales, or lyrical reflections, you will find something to spark the imagination in this anthology. Prepare to be enchanted by an invitation to dreams of the fantastical.

COMING SOON
Book Cover: Imaginari
Imaginari

Events

I will have a booth at the Local Author Fair! Click the Event below to get more details.

Upcoming Events


Onward

The solar eclipse happens next month and we are supposed to have a great view from where I live in Indiana. I already have my glasses ready. This month I’m planning on trying out a watercolor piece related to the eclipse, and write a poem inspired by it. But I may wait until the actual event so that it’s a fresh new experience.

What about you? Are you going to be watching the moon eat the sun and throw the world into darkness?

Stay safe out there, from rogue AI and moons.

44 thoughts on “February 2024 Author Updates”

    1. AI is kind of like those self-playing pianos. Can it make music? Sure. But did it create music? Did it infuse the performance with human emotion? Nope. Maybe it will be able to get convincing in the future, but I really want it to make my life easier so I can do the human thing and create.

  1. Thank you for the links to the AI discussions. So many things to consider with this new technology–at least new-to-me and so available to use. Bummer on being sick for your birthday, but the ice cream/tea room is gorgeous—a lot of ambience there. So happy you had a chance to celelbrate. I like your blog post feeling. Good to meet you.

  2. “I really want AI to do my dishes and clean my toilets so I can focus on writing.”

    This is all I have ever wanted from AI. But they keep trying to give us fancier things, while I still have to do that laundry.

    I agree, AI use in writing- the way it is currently designed- is plagiarism. It’s theft of ideas, reputation, and revenue of real human authors.

    Good luck with your writing!

    1. It’s kind of like those automatic pianos. Yes, they play music but can they really create? Interpret the performance and infuse it with emotion? No. But they play well enough to entertain some.

  3. OMG wouldn’t that be the cat’s meow if AI could clean toilets? It would renew my faith in this crazy era we’re living in. Thanks for co-hosting, Kristin. Have a great day.

  4. I’m sorry you were sick on your birthday! There is a lot of that going around this winter.
    Totally agree with your stance on AI – leave the creative tasks to the humans.

  5. Hi, Kristina! I tried commenting and something happened to it. So I’ll try again. Belated happy birthday. I hope you are feeling much better. Thanks for co-hosting today and for the excellent content (which I have bookmarked). Have fun visiting around today.

  6. Thanks for co-hosting today! Congrats on your release and book launch! And Happy Belated Birthday!

    I was sick on my birthday last year too. It was a gift from my youngest who seems to collect colds instead of Pokemon cards, then pass it to me.

    It’s a hard pass on using AI for me. Just the other a pop-up on Google docs asked if I wanted to try using the new AI function. I clicked no without a second thought. Afraid I’d lose my creative spark, my writing je ne sais quoi, in the long run using AI. Even if it’s meant to be a helpful writing tool it can still be misused. And do more harm than good.

  7. Informative post – glad your writer’s life is moving along, but sorry about being sick on your birthday!

    Where do you live in Indiana? I used to and was all set to come to stay with relatives, but we couldn’t get air flights!! Sold out!!!

  8. February is my birthday month too. Congrats to us, the creatures of the shortest month of the year.
    AI should definitely be used as a tool. Research, spell check, consistency aid in our manuscripts – yes to all those. If it could also perform domestic chores, that would be a big boon.

  9. Happy Belated Birthday!

    Yeah, I’m not keen on the ethical violations AI commits. If it was only sourced by opt-in resources, then that would be a different story.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

  10. Congrats on the writing success, and the published stories.

    Unfortunately, I do see AI replacing humans in certain writing circles. It gets better all the time (ethically or not) and will soon enough be able to churn out the formulaic books that fill up alot of genre fiction. And just wait until it starts making movies and television shows…

    Hope you enjoy Colour of Magic! Not sure if you’re new to Discworld, but It’s unfortunately one of the weaker books of the series – I usually suggest people start with the City Watch books. But that’s just my two cents.

    1. I hate how AI is already making things harder for us (AI content flooding Amazon making it harder for readers to fund us humans, overwhelming the submissions at online magazines, etc.) I keep hoping for a Star Trek kind of future where we can hop into a holodeck yet still play our trombones.

      I’m enjoying the Color of Magic, actually! It’s my first book in Discworld as it’s been on my TBR list for forever. I’ll add the City Watch books to my list next!

  11. I didn’t even try to answer the question because I don’t know nearly enough about it. I use a writer software platform that identifies passive voice, etc. and that’s basically AI. And I’d happily use it for a blurb. I hate those. LOL

    Glad you’re feeling better. Love the mug. And happy belated birthday!

    1. There’s a lot of info and it takes time (we often don’t have) to understand new tech. For me, one of the big influences of my opinion is how the tech is created. I don’t know what software you use, but there are ways to create software to look for passive voice without “training” it on other people’s published works. If a tool was in-house programmed and trained, I would think it would check off that sourced-ethically box for me. But then, the next part is how it is used. I’m still a firm believer in training yourself to get better and do the creating yourself. Tools can be great helpers along the way!

  12. Happy belated birthday! Your phrase “ethically-sourced AI” sent my mind off on a tangent of “free range AI”, “farm-to-table AI”, “fair trade AI” etc. But I suppose “cruelty-free AI” is too much to hope for right now.

  13. Your assessment of AI is very well-balanced. I haven’t the patience to write such a good analysis these days. I did think of blurb writing as something I could use AI for, as well as the robot cleaner etc.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month. 🙂

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