Sunday, September 9, 2012

Long Time No Write... or, I've Neglected You and I'm Sorry

Hello, readers.

I'm sorry.  I know I've been slacking here on my blog.  I humbly apologize.

It was a crazy summer.  I have two little guys (5 and 2) and I spent the summer chasing them around and breaking up disputes between them.  It was fun, exhausting, frustrating, and priceless, all at the same time.

Here's a pic of them, at the beach.

Trust me, this moment of sweetness is deceptive.  The entire summer did not look like this.

But, the end of the summer heralded in the crystallization of my current story and suddenly, with the eldest in kindergarten, I've been able to carve out a little more time to write.

I'm adding a little widget on the side for the word count of my newest story, SINCE THEIR AFFAIR.  I'll have a description added to my books page soon, I promise.

So, how was your summer?  As busy as mine?  Full of fun trips or relaxing vacations?  Hope you are all well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Following the Bliss

I mentioned a couple posts down that I was starting a new story.  

Well, I fibbed.

Okay, actually I didn't fib.  I did start a new story.  But I haven't stuck with it.

There are lots of reasons but I'm not going to bore you.  Mostly because they aren't all positive and I prefer to stay in the light when I can.  The bottom line is that I didn't feel like writing that right now. So I'm going to focus instead on the future and what I do want to write next.

This path we walk as writers (I'm assuming most of you are writers so I'll use the collective here) is a murky one. There is no prescribed route. There is no checklist to accomplish our goals, no "if I follow this flowchart I will reach my destination."  There isn't a one-size-fits-all destination to reach.  Publishing takes so many shapes, one writer's "success" might not even be on another's roadmap. 

Like any journey with no clear destination, we can only use our hearts as our compass.

I'm not so bohemian as to forget that publishing is a business.  Because it is.  Books are commodities that are bought and sold. And when money is involved, the heart can become lost.  When something becomes commercial, it is assigned a value. As an unpublished author of three completed manuscripts, I've been tempted at times to disregard my unpublished efforts as lacking value. To the publishing industry, these efforts DO lack value.  No one has made money from them.  

But to me, they are invaluable.  They're the stepping stones on my journey.  I've started every story I've finished as an exercise in following my bliss.  I've been struck by inspiration and I've followed it to its conclusion.  Each time, I've learned more about myself and I've grown in my craft.  So, though these stories may never earn me any money, they are treasures to me.

After all, you can not assign a value to an experience. It becomes part of what makes us intrinsically different from everyone else and our differences are what make us priceless.

So, once again, I'm following an inspiration.  As I set out, I have no idea what I'll learn.  It's exciting and scary and exhilarating.  But, isn't that the gift and the joy of this phase of the journey?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

I don't usually do Six Sentence Sunday, but I thought today was a good day.  It's Mother's Day and the DH is entertaining the little dudes.  So, here are the first six sentences of my story.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there!  I hope you have a great day, full of people you love.


Singing must bring a person closer to God.
It was the only way Evangeline Haywood could explain the joy that washed over her—no, through her—when the music took her. Her parents didn’t exist. Neither did the looming marriage to the man she didn’t like. Standing in the little salon behind the Grey Swan Public House, nothing else existed, only the breath in her lungs and the song in her bones.  And it was heaven.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A bit of perspective...

Just a pause in your regularly scheduled programming for a bit of perspective. I've been frustrated, during editing, and I'm pushing and pushing and trying to shape this story into what I want it to be. And, in times of great frustration, I remember this:

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through. — Ira Glass

Thank you, Mr. Glass. I'm trying to remember that.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Time Travel

I'm sure, if you read my blog regularly, that you're wondering what happened to me this past month. January was a vicious whirlwind of sickness and revising. As I've been busy Lysoling my house (is that a verb? it should be....), I've also managed to make it halfway through my 2nd round of revisions.

But, as I'm rearranging and updating, I've debated putting a flashback right into the center of my story. I've seen flashbacks as prologues and I've seen them used throughout. I think the amount of success of flashback varies based on story and skill of the storyteller--a topic for another post--but I don't know how I feel about having just one. My gut tells me that it's probably an unnecessary info dump.

My reasoning for even considering it? My characters had a falling out when they were young, a fight. Things were said and left unsaid and then they had a ten year separation. I've debated whether I need to give that argument or not.

What do you think, readers? Do you think giving a past argument, if it's important to the characters' shared history, is necessary? Or do you get annoyed when authors go back in the past when you just want to read the present and future? Thoughts?