Tuesday, October 31, 2006
For a funny, yet creepy free tale, check out Zombie High from Delightful Chaos.
To continue the spirit, this week on Magical Musings, they are exploring what scares us - from the dreadful doubt monsters to superstitions; and Edie Ramer also has an interesting thread on "supernatural" events on her blog. Enjoy!
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Good advice - and apparently, some I haven't been taking. I had an epiphany last night as I geared up for NaNoWriMo. I was reading the book "No Plot, No Problem" by one of the NaNo founders, and there was an exercise in it that requires you to list some things that you think make a great novel, and some things that you hate. Once you've done that, you aren't allowed to let anything in the second list to creep into your nano book.
After I made my lists, I realized why I was having such trouble finishing a couple of my WIPs - I was not only writing outside my comfort zone, I was writing outside my "happy" zone. I'm neither a suspense nor mystery writer, so why have I been trying to write those stories? I rarely even read those types of books; occasionally, yes, but not often. This debate is nothing new; you can find it on most writers' blogs: do you write for yourself, or do you write for the market?
Mind you, I've known for a long time that we should "write what we like to read." But I still got lost along the way, since I'd noticed that most of the books that were selling were action, mystery and suspense; but the truth is, I like comedy.
I like fun, quirky characters. I like magic in books that makes you laugh, not magic that scares you to death. In fact, the story I just sold had magical characters, but they were fun. The suspense was whether the heroine would find the hero in time to make her wish come true -- no demons were chasing her, no one was murdered -- and I had fun writing it. The fact that it was accepted means there must still be some people out there who like reading those stories.
I have a WIP that I've put on hold for several months now, because I was afraid it might be a little too derivative, and that there might not be an audience for it. (You could say the high concept line for that one is "Bridget Jones goes to Hogwarts.") :) However, it's still one of my favorites - I love the characters and miss them. Another favorite is about a birthday fairy - I miss her, too. I think it's time to call them from the bench and put them into play. The vampires and werewolves can stick around, but they're going to have lighten up a bit if they want to play in my game.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
MySpace. My daughter is not too happy with me now that I have a "MySpace." Apparently, this is an unforgivable encroachment into her world -- a place no old woman (particularly a mother) has any business being. She bemoans the fact that when she tries to login, my name appears first and resentfully points out that it used to remember HER name first. Then of course, as if it's not bad enough that I'm on there, there's the embarrassing fact that I only have 16 friends at the moment. (Somehow her friends might find out about this and it will reflect badly on her.)
"Join a whore train!" she commands.
"That way you'll at least automatically get signed up with a lot of friends."
"But I don't want a bunch of weird strangers on my space - I'm trying to cultivate writing and reading friends."
Lots of eye rolling, head shaking, and dark muttering follow. Apparently, I'm just too lame for words.
Monday, October 23, 2006
That's what's been happening in my place lately. Who has time for housework? I figure if I can make it across my kitchen floor in ten minutes or less, without getting stuck in the middle, I'm doing ok. :)
I actually managed to get some cleaning in this past weekend, but then I got an idea for a story, wrote down a couple of pages, then looked around and thought, "I need a nap." Took said nap, and actually dreamed the next scene for the story, so all in all, I figured it was time well spent.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are." - Marianne Williamson
Whenever I'm down, if I remember to count my blessings--literally count them--I always feel better. Even when things have been at their darkest (and there have been some very dark times), if I could just remember to write down all of the good things in my life, all the things I'm grateful for - things as important as my daughter's good health, or as small as seeing daffodils - I start to realize that I have much to be thankful for. The list starts to grow and grow, and pretty soon, I'm smiling again. It almost seems ridiculous, it's so easy. It doesn't make the bad things go away, but it does make me glad for what I have and that gives me the strength to continue on, in spite of whatever darkness may surround me.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I just can't seem to focus these days. It's harder and harder to care about the day job when I'd much rather spend my time creating worlds from my imagination, and reading about others' pursuits of the same. There are so many great blogs & websites out there by authors and artists, and I get such great emails from fellow writers - who has time to work a day job?
For example, if you go to Magical Musings, one of my favorite blogs, every single person on there has her own great site, so there goes several more hours clicking and reading. Then recently, my fellow Desert Rose members Mackenzie McKade and Cheyenne McCray had great new book trailers made on their MySpaces, so naturally, I had to check those out. (I want to be them when I grow up! Of course, it's probably too late, since I think I'm older than they are. :))
In the meantime, however, I still have to provide food, clothing and shelter to my daughter (kids are so demanding!) so I guess I'll have to stick it out with the day job a little longer. At least until I become rich and famous, or until she moves out and I can be a starving artist.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I’m still so excited and in shock that I can’t even write to tell the story of how it happened, though basically, my story is exactly the same as Liz’s at Magical Musings.... I’m at work, I open the email after about 2 seconds worth of hesitation, at first think it’s a rejection letter, have to read through twice to actually get the concept that I’M ABOUT TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!
My story Unmasked is now slated to appear in Volume III of The Masquerade series published by Aphrodite's Apples.
Boob wishes work. :o)
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I received an email today reminding me that next month is National Novel Writing Month. This will be my first time participating and I'm excited. I'm looking at it as a way to finally turn off my internal editor and just speed through that first draft.
Unless, of course, I receive a contract from a certain publisher, in which case I hope I'll be making revisions and getting ready to be published, soon thereafter to be an international success and multi-millionaire like J.K. Rowling. (Hey, a gal can dream, can't she? *grin* )
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
And he wins by a nose!
Not long ago, I was at my brother's house watching a nature program on Proboscis Monkeys. The narrator commented how the female monkeys prefer big-nosed males for mating, and it became apparent to me why I've always been attracted to big-nosed men: I'm obviously just not very evolved. :)
Seriously, the bigger the beak, the weaker my knees. Don't know why, it just does it for me. Alan Rickman, Adrien Brody, Gerard Depardieu...heck, even Jimmy Durante.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Sent my poor first child off into the cold, cruel world all alone. (No, not Emily, the manuscript.)
Now I'm back to the waiting game, hoping for a speedy answer, yet dreading that a quick reply might mean thanks, but no thanks.
Unfortunately, all my writing pals, published and unpubbed, have assured me that it never gets any easier. Is that supposed to be comforting, ladies? You're writers, for goodness sake, can't you come up with anything better than that? (grin)
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Ok, well, I just got an email response from the editor at Aphrodite's Apples asking me to send the entire manuscript (insert elated screams, goosebumps and lots of jumping up and down here) and I am now back on the roller coaster of hope - hooray! - and fear - what if it still gets turned down?
Well, I won't know until I send it! Am off to stop my hands from shaking so that I can send that puppy off!
Riddled with doubt...
Anxiety... insecurity...fear... What was I thinking?!
Yesterday's hopeful excitement quickly gave way to a sense of impending doom. I went from seeing life through rose-colored glasses to looking through Marvin the depressed robot's eyes.
I'm a talentless twit...the query letter sucked... the story is drivel only my cat could love. Was I out of my mind?
Sigh... It's hard to be cheerful with an earache and a sore toe. Yes, toe. I banged it in on the bed doing my happy dance. It's a sign. I know it is.
Friday, October 06, 2006
In my post below, I mentioned that I was polishing my query letter for my first-ever submission. Well, I not only polished it, I sent it off today. I don't know how other writers survive doing this over and over. My hands were shaking when I pressed that "send" button! (email query) The publishers' website says it takes about a month to get a reply, so we'll see. But come what may, it's a good feeling to have finally done it.
After I sent it, it occurred to me that it has been almost a year to the day since I joined the RWA and started taking writing seriously, so what better way to spend that anniversary than by sending off my first query to a publisher? It was so scary and exciting, and all I did was email a query! I wonder how I'll feel when that first response comes back - yea or nay. I know it's naive to expect the first one out of the gate to be published, but that still doesn't stop me from hoping. Wish me luck! *grin*
I did it - I finally did it! The piece that I was working on to submit for consideration to Aphrodite's Apples is finally done. It took a little longer than expected due to numerous illnesses and interruptions, but I'm happy to say that it is done. I'm polishing up my query letter now, and will begin work on a short synopsis just in case.
It's a little scary since this will be my first submission to a publisher, but even if all I receive is a rejection letter, I will hang it on my wall with pride, because at least I took it that far. And maybe one day, I can paper my office walls with rejection slips as well as copies of contracts.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
I was just thinking about some of my favorite characters from books and movies. They are often supposed to be the villain of the piece, yet I find myself hoping they'll be the heroes in the end. Severus Snape, for example. Or the Phantom of the Opera. Not nice guys, surely, but...but... Gee, I want them to WIN. And then there was Alan Rickman's portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham - he was so funny and engaging, it broke my heart when he was killed. Of course, I love any character Rickman plays even though I wish he would do more comedy, but I digress.
When I read Cheyenne McCray's "Forbidden Magic", I found myself rooting for Junga toward the end -- she's really a bad gal, but I hope she somehow gets a happily-ever-after by the end of the series.
Then there was Cyrus in Jennifer Armintrout's "The Turning". Again, not a warm and fuzzy guy, but I wanted things to turn out well for him, even though I also loved Nathan.
I guess it's a little scary to think about what this says about me... I've always loved the troublemakers. My cats have always been psychos, my daughter is a handful, and the men I'm always drawn to aren't necessarily "bad boys", but they generally aren't the ones your parents would love, either. The strange thing about that is I've always had a reputation as a "goody two shoes" - maybe I'm attracted to that spark that is either lacking or deeply hidden in me? Only my therapist knows for sure. (grin)
Does anybody else love these misfits as much as I do? Do you long for their redemption, or their triumph, and maybe even feel a little guilty about that?