Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Awesome Writers Conference.

Awesome Awesome Awesome. It was my first writers conference ever, and I loved every minute of it. I learned so much in one day. I wish I could have been there for days and days and days. And the food was fabulous. Totally worth all the calories in it.

I took pages and pages of notes, and had such wonderful ideas and inspiration come to me and was so excited to come home and just write and write and write. But, I had to do some preserving of delicious jelly and juice and fruit. It took me days to do it all. And now this week, I've had a nasty head cold and have been trying to help my house recover from a week of neglect while I bottled grapes and peaches. So needless to say, I haven't written a thing. I've edited a little, but I haven't done much. And now in 2 days, I'm going to another 1 day writers conference and I'm hoping to get as much from it as I did the other one. And this time, when I come home, I'm going to make the time to write.

I should have taken the class offered in the first conference about how to fit writing into your busy life. I know the summer is harder for getting writing time, as well as the fall, but once winter hits, and we've got no place to go, I'm going to get at least 10 times as much done as I have lately.

I will. I promise. You check on me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to exercise while writing.... That is the question.

My gluteous maximus hurts. (spell check tells me I spelled it wrong, but I didn't want to be vulgar and say my butt hurts.) Its all because of the time I've been spending on the area previously specified while I'm sitting on it working on my laptop.

I've been trying to figure out how to incorporate exercise into my schedule, but its only half hearted. So I'm just going to have to make a goal to stand up, stretch, do some squats and leg lifts to get that area in question a little happier. So here is my goal. After every page edited, or written, I'm gonna get up and move around and do some exercises. (or maybe I should do it after every 3 pages if I'm really on a roll, cause if I stop working, then I'm tempted to check email, FB, other blogs, or waste my time in other ways.

Now, I'm going to get off this blog and do my exercises, then get back to the WIP and kick some writing butt, then exercise my writers butt.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So easily distracted.

Man it is too easy to get distracted from writing. I had a golden opportunity to spend some quality time with my laptop today. And I did. Except for I didn't do the revisions I had planned. Instead I watched some shows on Hulu. Love hulu by the way.

I have been changing one of my stories from 3rd person point of view to 1st person point of view. I believe it will really enhance the story, yet I've discovered it is difficult to change it since I did so much of it in 3rd person. I have to cut out whole sections, since my main character wasn't there to see what happened, but it is still fun to see things from her eyes, instead of from the eyes of an all knowing narrator.
So as I'm going, I start to think of something else, go research it, or go check email, or FB or other blogs, and then realize. Oh crap! I've only got a few more minutes before the kids get home from school, and then its homework time.
I really need to stay focused, but so far I've been able to return to my focus and do some more revisions. I'm halfway there, with the revision of 3 to 1, but then I have to write the rest of it from 1st Person and that will sure be fun. I know where I'm going with it at least.

I'll let you know when I get there.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Home construction and writing?

We've been working on finishing our basement for a while now. It has taken longer than I thought it would, but is actually coming along faster than I thought as well.
How is that possible? Well, when we first got started, I had in mind what it should look like at the end. We only have a half basement, filling the underneath level between our kitchen and front room, since we have a sunk in family room that isn't a basement, but isn't on the main level either.

SO I knew we'd only have two rooms, a bathroom, and a storage room with a small utility room there as well. My image of it and my husbands image were similar, but until we actually got to the framing, and building, of it, it was just an idea.

After the frame took shape, then we could tweak the little things, like the wall texture, the paint, the lighting, the flooring, the molding, the fixtures, the cabinets, and such in the bathrooms, as long as they fit within the frame of our rooms. (sometimes it took a little force and some shoving, but we made things fit when we really wanted them in there.) In the bathroom, I picked a color I loved, but the honey didn't like it as much, so we tweaked it a little by splotching it with some white paint and a loofah sponge. Easy fix, and I could see the change made a big improvement.
It came together little bits at a time, with a lot of hard work and effort going into it. We (and I mostly mean he) worked on this and did most of the work by our(him) selves, but on things we knew we needed help on, we went to a professional, or one who knew exactly what to do and how to do it.

Don't ask me why, (I'm a writer, I couldn't help applying what I learned to writing a book) but I started to think how the writing of my story followed a similar pattern. I have a basic idea of a story. The size is determined by the genre, and the age range I'm writing for. The frame is what I have to work with and relates to my plot. The little things I can tweak are easy to do for a bit, and I have a lot of options, but once I pick them, I need to stay true to them and their abilities, strengths weaknesses, and so forth unless I want to go to a lot of effort to redo them, so the thinking things through before I commit comes in handy.

There are times when I needed the opinion and a fresh view of someone else to tell me how to fix my problem, and make it work. Other times, I pushed and shoved and edited, and changed things until it fit.

Thankfully I never had to completely tear out anything, in either situation, but this thing called writing sure takes longer than I thought it was. Once I had the frame and the walls set up, I thought I was done, but now I'm going through, fixing the dings, making sure the cement holding it together is pretty and smooth, the paint needs to go on evenly, and the accents are being worked on to make it all a beautiful finished product. I'm still working on it, but I sure have come to understand that it takes more than just the framework to make a good story or a beautiful room.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I sent my kids to school today.

School has started up again, after a fun and busy summer. I used to always think summers were easier to deal with, and the school year was hard.

That must have been because I was a student for a lot of those years, and a teacher for a couple more. I looked forward to summer and couldn't wait for all the late nights I'd enjoy (and growing up in a small town, it probably doesn't resemble the late night that may come to mind for some people).

I loved working in the little mercantile for my dad while growing up. Having a built in job was awesome, plus, I could always have whatever kind of snack I needed or wanted and just put it on my tab. Somehow, my income was always sufficient to cover my wants. Plus I even had money for school shopping just before school started. We'd load into an old green van, and head to the BIG city. Of course, Salt Lake City is a big city, but to me from my grass valley roots, it was humongous. What fond memories are mine. I even sat on a bucket in the van, because there weren't enough seats, or seat belts, cause my parents took the back bench out to make room for all the supplies they'd pick up at the bulk stores. Good thing we never were in an accident or I'd be dead by now.

Then when school would start, everything came rushing in. After school activities, drama club, musical productions, drill team, and keeping good grades made for a busy life. I LOVED school, but always felt excited when summer rolled around again.

However, now that I'm a mom, I still keep thinking summer will be easy and laid back. It so isn't. We go on vacation, usually a couple of trips to our favorite lake. Lake Powell is awesome. And we do some other things, with busy nights, and weekends, and trying to keep a handful of kids occupied and entertained. No wonder moms start the month of August looking forward to shopping for their kids back to school needs, knowing that soon, they will have a few hours a day of peace and tranquility, or in my case a lessening of the fantastic chaos since there are still two at my house who aren't in school yet.

But just the difference of having two in the house instead of four, plus me of course, allows for more time to write. I'm excited for my new project and have been happily banging away at the keyboard, and making some adjustments to the beginning I'd done on it months ago. We'll see if I use my time wisely, or not.

Probably some of both.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It is DONE

I may have said this before, but I am done with the first one, and I'm putting it away for a month and focusing on something else entirely. I'm not gonna look at it at all. I found the first time I put it away for a few months, and came back to it later, I saw all kinds of ways to fix it. I'm hoping it wont need fixing again, but it feels nice to know I can put it away.

Now onto my next project. I really want to start on it right this second, but my battery is low, my energy is low, and my mind is tired. (sort of) Maybe I can dream about what all I want to do with this next one.

On a side note, I got to meet another published author a few days ago. It is so amazing to meet other people who have accomplished what you want to. And such a nice feeling to know that others succeeded and it is possible that you can too. Such a kind man too. I met J. Scott Savage, the author of the Farworld Series, and the Covington mysteries. His sister also came and told us about her experience in breaking into the publishing world. It takes more than just a little work, but it has been worth it so far.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I have such crazy dreams. I rarely go a night without having a dream of some sort.

The other night, I dreamed that my husband came home from work with a family following him, and he informed me that he had just sold the house and these people would be moving in immediately.

I had to start packing my stuff (I have a lot of stuff) and moving it out while the new family started moving their stuff in. I was making good progress, and wasn't panicked at all (which is so NOT like me.) I need to have weeks or months of prep time to wrap my mind around a concept, so in my dream I kept wondering why it didn't bother me that he had sold the house out from under me, and that I was packing everything up so well.

He was even so kind as to get a horse trailer to use as our moving van/truck. They even put up some nice blankets to keep the messy horse droppings from getting on our stuff.

The thing that did concern me, was that we didn't really have a house picked out that we were moving to. I asked my husband where we would be on Sunday (the next day) because I had to teach sharing time in Primary. I also started wondering which of my neighbors I could go ask to help haul out the heavy furnitures and stuff.

I woke up before we moved, or even finished loading the horse trailer.

The thing that cracks me up about this dream is that we have no intention of moving from our home. At least not anytime soon.

Ahh, I just love my subconscious mind. Gives me such interesting insight into myself.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Learning as I go.


I'm getting so tired of going over and over and over my story. Isn't it done yet? I've revised it many times, and still find little mistakes here and there. It is helping to read through it out loud and see how the sentences flow.

I'm seriously considering paying someone to do a massive critique edit. Make sure it is a great as it can be. It's not bad, but it's not perfect yet.

I still have other stories running around through my head, but until I can get this one where I want it to be, I've put the other ones on hold.
I've also been having fun doing "research" by reading other stories in my genre and age range. It is amazing how many authors can write so many books and do such a good job on them. This first one of mine has been fun, but very difficult as I have learned all the things I've done wrong and had to correct them. Hopefully as I improve in my craft, the following stories won't take as long to do. Hope I learn from my mistakes and avoid the same types of things in the future.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Who gets motion sick?

We went to Lagoon yesterday, and I've realized I'm getting old.

I used to be able to ride each ride, multiple times without ever getting motion sick at all. This time, I didn't get sick on the rides, but did feel like I got a bit of whip lash a couple of times, and when I got in bed that night, I started to feel sick from the remembered motions. My brain just couldn't cope I guess. Lucky for me I was so exhausted I fell asleep within 10 minutes instead of the 30 to 40 it usually takes me.
How bad is that when you get motion sick lying in your own bed? (it's not a water bed by the way)

I haven't been for about nine years, because my kids were always too little, but we tried it with 4 kids ranging in age of 2 years to 8 years. It was a lot of fun, and the kids had a blast. They've really improved their options for young kids. Even the parents can ride on some of those rides too. I begged my fabulous sister to come with and to be another adult so we could take turns going and riding the big people rides, while one adult stayed with the kids.

It was a lot of fun, and now that I'm home the day after, I have a head ache, sore muscles in my neck and a tiny bit of motion sickness. I feel embarrassed to admit that, but it's true.
And we are gonna try to bounce back in a few days. Maybe I'll come home and sleep soundly, but I doubt it. I'll be motion sick again, once I lay down on my king size bed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

No title really, just thoughts.

This has nothing to do with writing, but a little to do with reading.

I know how to read a recipe and follow it. And sometimes, it turns out AMAZING. I made a real honest to goodness cheesecake and it was so rich and creamy and delicious, that you can only stand to eat one slice. But lucky for me, that means I get to have it for many days in a row.

I love to cook. I HATE to wash the dishes afterwards. However, there have been times while I'm standing at the kitchen sink, staring out the window and looking at the Great Salt Lake in the distance, and enjoying the fantastic colors God painted the sky with that I just think of how wonderful this life experience is.

I can do anything I want to (within reason, morally, ethically, emotionally, and financially) I live in a free country with so many rights and freedoms and opportunities. I truly feel blessed.
I love reading about different things. Some in the type of genre I attempt to write in, but I have always loved reading. The first book I remember reading is "The Best Nest" I memorized it and quoted it to my mom as she sat on the couch next to me. She'd have to point out places where I'd skipped entire paragraphs, but that joy of sitting on the couch with my mom and having her attention while I read was priceless (any time a mother can give to one child in a family of seven children is precious) Makes me wanna go pull one of my kids into my lap and read with them.

Its always nice to be able to escape into another world when I read a book, but I am so thankful to be able to return to my world and my life, because it is definitely a great one.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

When I write, I write.

When I get the urge to write, that is all I want to do. Eating is essential, but I bring my plate to my laptop and take bites in between my flow of 'brilliant' ideas.

Housework takes a back seat, and I get irritated that my dear husband prefers a clean house over the thousands of words I crank out during the day. Silly man. :) Good thing he's such a wonderful man, and can clean up after himself, and even the kids so I don't have to do it all. (don't you wish you were as blessed as I am?)

One thing I've noticed about myself is that I don't like interruptions. When my kids need something or have to talk to me or just want to make sure I'm still alive and not some zombie banging away at the keyboard, I get annoyed at them. How terrible is that? I love my children dearly, and cherish the fact that I am a Stay at Home Mom, but some days I can't wait until they grow up so they can go to school, (all day) and let me have some focus time on the computer.

Then I freak out that I thought that terrible thing and go snuggle them while they are still young enough to want me to. (plus, my plan is to go back to teaching once my youngest is in school)

I discovered that the best way to avoid those problems is to either stay up into the wee hours of the morning while they are asleep, and end up cranky all day, or go visit my parents in my hometown, and write there. DH isn't there to be irritated that the housework isn't done, and I can get the flow out with minimal interruptions since the kiddos can play with Grandma or Grandpa.

I've also put off writing at times when I've had something else I should focus on since I know if I did even a little, I'd get so into it, I couldn't quit. (It's seriously like an addiction.)

I must praise my DH for his support in this obsession of mine. He even tells me he likes my writing. Bless him for cleaning up for me when I just can't drag myself away from all the verbs, nouns, adjectives, em-dashes, parenthesis, and so on. Thanks lover.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm really trying to get more time to write, or I should say, take more time to write instead of all the other things I spend my time on. I've been trying to do it during nap time for my youngest, first thing in the morning, before dinner, after dinner, just keeping the computer on the table all day long and getting to it every second I can. But then I discover something else to distract me and I don't do my writing.
So the other night, I went to bed around 11 and couldn't sleep. Deciding to come downstairs and work on my writing, instead of tossing and turning in bed and accomplishing absolutely nothing, I worked and worked and worked on revising my story.
Things were going great. Finally at about 3 am, I started to feel tired, so I went to bed. I was so proud of how much I got done in those 3 hours after midnight. So much more than all the work I'd tried to do for more than a week before. Thinking I should do it again the next night, I almost did, but felt too tired. I went to bed, and was awakened by my 6 year old at 3 am. He was puking his guts out. (so glad he made it to the bathroom first though.)
I must say I prefer staying up until 3 am over being awakened at 3 am. Vomiting aside, staying up is easier on my mind and body than waking up.
The funny thing about it was listening to the comments my son made about how he hates to go bluhh (our code word for vomit, puke, or throwing up)
Well, enough with the distractions. I'm going to go back to my editing. Gave myself a deadline, and by golly, I'm gonna make it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm in one of those slumps again, where I just can't bring myself to write what I should. Instead, while I'm on the computer, I check my blog, check other writer's blogs, check email, watch hulu, or check Facebook. I really think I need to ground myself from the internet during my writing time. That is what I will do today. Once I'm done with this, I'll shut down the internet and write. Then I'll be so proud of getting something done with my computer time. It will be writing time.

The thing I'm struggling with now is that I've received some awesome feedback from some critique group readers that has really opened my eyes to what is wrong with my writing. I'm not a bad writer, but I'm not a great writer, YET! I will get there through hard work, and lots of revisions. I kind of want to take a vacation from my real life, and just go somewhere with no distractions to be able to focus on my work. I know that will not happen, and if I ever want to get my book ready to be published, I've sure got to do the work, around the other things that happen in my real life. I doubt any author out there is able to close themselves away from the real world to write. At least not for very long.

Gonna make a goal to get some real writing done every day. I WILL SUCCEED!

Friday, June 11, 2010

What I love about writing.

What is it about writing that I love the most? I don't know. Sometimes I think it is the sound of the keyboard as the words just flow. Sometimes it is the way I feel about how I expressed one particular thing in just the right way. Sometimes it's the way I go back over something I wrote, edit it, and make it so much better than the way it originally was. Sometimes it's just breaking away from my real life, and escaping into another world of my own creation.
Other times its reading blogs of agents, editors, and other writers and feeling validated about what I'm going through. And how about doing all the 'research' reading to see how another author tells the story.
It is having other people read what I've written and tell me what they like and dislike about it. (After I've put my pride in my pocket of course.)
It's also about doing something that is hard, and painful, and awful, and terrible, and amazing over and over again, and getting different results depending on what kind of mood I'm in. I mean, how many people can go to work and come out with something different at the end of each day. Either the birth of something wonderful, or the death and destruction of something awful, and feeling good about just having done it.
Its the thought that I'm doing something that lots of people really wish they could do, and knowing that even though its hard, I'm still making the attempt.
So AMAZING, yet exhausting at the same time.

Love it!

Monday, May 24, 2010

It has been awhile since I've written on here, but I have been thinking of writing most every day. I've attended my writers group, on a Thursday, where we learned about self publishing. (not something I'm really interested in, but it was very informative) It was hosted at a small independent bookstore here in Tooele "the Purple Cow" I bought Fablehaven 5, showed it to my husband that night, told him I wanted to read it, but I should work on my own writing, and he said, "You should do some more research reading to see how it's done." So I did. Finished it in a day and a half.
Then on Saturday, I went to a book signing by an author. I bought her book that day, and read it within 8 hours. (more than 300 pages too) Loved it (called the Hourglass Door, by Lisa Mangum.) Some day I'm going to write a book that just can't be put down.
I've written 16 pages in the last week. Much better than the weeks before that. I had been doing some editing, and reading work by others in my critique group. The story is often in my mind, but real life does interfere with my imaginary ones.

On a personal note, I lost my dear mother-in-law the first of this month. Attending her funeral the day before mothers day was heart breaking, but still such a spiritual and refreshing experience to know how much she was loved and how much she influenced and touched the lives of those who knew her. I hope I can live my life to be respected and loved as much as she was.

Tell those you love how much you love them. Take time in your life for the most important things. Go give someone a hug right now. :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Can't say enough about the critique group

I finished my book and thought it was fabulous. Having my family and some friends read it gave me some feedback, but it was mostly its nice, I like it, sign me a book when it's published. But none of the agents wanted anything to do with it. Then I joined a critique group and have gotten such good advice on how to improve it that I can't believe I thought it was good when I first finished it. I believe it was a good idea to let it sit and simmer for awhile and then come at it again with a new look and new advice.

I'm getting excited to see how to make it improve with each time I read through it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

1/2 way through the big edit.

I'm more than half way through the thorough edit of my manuscript. Have been really enjoying it and making some minor, and some major changes.
However, I'm fighting the urge to go write something else. Work on another project that I started a few months ago and then put away because I was in the mood to work on this one. I've told myself once I make all the corrections I need to on my first project, I'll do another round of sending it out and work on my next idea while I wait to hear back. I'm still hearing back from agents that I queried back in mid January.
Feeling like it's mostly positive.
So enough rambling. Back to work I go.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I've been at it for a year now.

I've been getting some great feedback from my critique group. It has been unbelievably helpful to get insights from other writers. LOVE IT!
I have been spending a lot of my time reading other people's work, and seeing how they do it. Getting to work on mine and improving as I go. I am 1/3 of the way through a more in depth revision and edit. I know it is helping it to be a much better book.
I have now been working on being a writer for a full year now. It has been a wonderful learning experience, and I can't wait to see what this next year brings.

Lots of fun stuff out there, I'm sure.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A bump in the road.

I've hit a snag. I was going so great. Got 3 chapters done with no problem, the fourth was a little harder, and now I'm stuck. Don't know if that means I've gone the wrong way and need to do a detour or what. I know where I want to be at the end of the road, the journey is what is hard. Gotta make it entertaining and exciting stops along the way before we reach the end, but it's beginning to get boring.
Maybe I should take a break and work on my other one.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Read the types of books you want to write.

I have been told from many different sources to read the types of books you are wanting to write. Get a feel for what is out there. See how other writers did it. Learn how to do it by seeing how it was done.
There are many books out there I've read, just because I happened to come across them in the Young adult section of the library.
Other books have been suggested to me by others who have read them.

Many times a best seller was enjoyable to me, but I have loved others that weren't nearly so popular. I do think having others recommend a book is a good thing, but I can't tell you how many times I've been disappointed by something because it didn't meet the expectations I had from the glowing praise given it. Kind of like movies that same way I guess.

I also know the kinds of books I have loved and told others to read, haven't met their expectations. There are so many opinions on books. Good thing there are so many books out there. At least each one should be loved by at least one person.

But I must say I really love the "research" part of this writing business. I can't wait to open another book to read while I "research" how that author crafted their story.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Critique groups ROCK!

I participated in my first critique group last night. It was so nice to get input and suggestions from other writers.
I love having other people who know what I am going through as a writer "get" what I'm talking about when I say that certain things were hard or easy for me to write.
And its great to get input from others on what they notice about my work that needs help because I'm so close to my story I don't see it as individual words any more.
So I must say again. Having a critique group is wonderful. So many different viewpoints really helps.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

So many ideas. So little writing time.

I have so many ideas going on in my head. All of them have great potential. But I just got a new one that I want to run with instead of my other ones.

How do I choose. I'm writing down all the ideas that come to me as I get them so if one doesn't work, then I have a few others to play with. It is definitely hard to choose which one to spend my time on.

Revise my first?
Work on my middle grade?
Work on my end of world fantasy?
Start my contemporary fantasy?

How about all of the above at different times depending on my mood.
Multi tasking is where its at, but I hope I can multi task and get at least something done.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Old BABIES and New BABIES (babies=words)

So I'm trying to get more informed about my blog. I've added a few things and tried to add a picture to it. I can't figure out how to make a picture show up on the blogs I've become a follower of. If anyone out there knows how to do it, I'd sure love some instruction.

My ideas have been churning in my mind and I'm getting excited to flush them out onto my page. It is so fun to create something new. Makes you feel proud and brilliant.
Kind of like a new mom.

Then when people tell you your work isn't so good, you get a little angry at them. Of course no one will love your babies like you do. (Babies referring to your words. every single one of them.) Some will even tell you to kill your babies (words) or cut them apart, or find whole new ones and throw away the first ones. I'll always love those first babies, but I'm now understanding that some of those babies need work. Not because they are completely bad, but as a new parent (writer) I sure didn't know how to shape them to their very best. But with work and patience, I can mold them into better words.

Now I'm looking forward to producing and giving birth to new babies. LOTS AND LOTS of them.

Friday, February 26, 2010

For the last week I've been sick and not felt up to doing much toward writing or even much toward living and doing my regular stuff as a mom of 4, and a wife of 1.
I have been able to read however. I've devoured 6 books in the last week since I got them at the library for a grand total of 2,502 pages. Man were they delicious.

I have discovered lately though, that ever since I started seriously writing, I've noticed a change in my reading.
I've noticed errors in published books, like some small punctuation, or an extra word thrown in that may have been missed in the many edits and revisions that writers, and editors do. It gives me a bit of hope to know that other writers are just regular people too.
I also notice things more than just the story. I look at descriptions, the way the words make me feel, how much dialogue there is compared to another book I've read, whether I like first person or third person point of view. I still love to read and escape into another world, but I think I have a little bit of understanding of how much reading agents and editors do and how good something will have to be to catch their attention.
Got lots of work to do.

I'll sure enjoy doing more "reading" research for improving my craft. See how others do it, and how to make mine work too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More rejections.

I have received word back from the agent who requested my partial. It's not right for her. I also got an email rejection too this morning.

I'm not too worried about that. I know other great writers were rejected many times. Some more, some less than me. And now some of them have best sellers. Maybe I won't be as successful as they, but I will have success. I will get a book out there and people will read it.

Maybe it won't be this first one. Maybe it will be my second, third, forth.....or later, but one day I will get one out.

Wanna know why???? Cause I'm not gonna quit. I'm gonna keep on going. You'll see. I'll show you. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Being the ref of your own mind is weird.

I have 2 stories that are in my mind fighting for attention.

On is a lighthearted middle grade written from the viewpoint of an 11 year old boy. I'm working on getting his voice just right. Gotta do some remembering and observing of boys that age. I'm also going to the library tonight to get some books written about or for boys.

The other is a little more dark about what the world is like for a few teenagers after their world is mostly destroyed.

I know totally opposites. But they are both in there demanding their due. At least I'm not obsessing about the first book I've been querying about.
So trying to referee two stories will be interesting. Hopefully they will keep in their separate pages and not try to join each other. That wouldn't flow very well.

I've always been pretty good at multi-tasking. We'll see how well I can do it when it comes to writing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I feel like a writer.

A friend of mine just announced that a publishing house has asked to publish her book!!!!

That is so exciting. I'm glowing with excitement for her accomplishments. I feel valued as a writer because someone else I know is being recognized as a writer.

I know someone who will be published. I'm making connections with other writers, I've joined a writers chapter here in my town, I've had other writers read some of my work and offer me feedback. It is improving me every day with everything I do related to my writing.

I AM A WRITER! I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher, ever since 2nd grade. The reason I started writing was because I wanted to get credits to renew my teaching license. But never did I think I'd become a WRITER. I have hopes and aspirations to become a published author, but for now, I feel great about being a writer.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm a dreamer.

I dream about things that have been on my mind. I figure its a way for me to sort through my thoughts even when I'm asleep. I never stop over thinking things.

The dream I had last night was about the partial I've got out to an agent. I dreamed that she sent me an email with video in it about all the things that were wrong with my story. She gave me some great pointers and told me how to fix it all. When I woke up this morning, I was ready to come down and get right to work on fixing my errors. Then I started thinking about what she had told me and realized that the problems she pointed out, didn't exist in my story. She told me that my main characters love interest was evil and all wrong, but that isn't the way it is at all.

I haven't gone back to the story yet today, but I will go to it again with new eyes and see if my dream is telling me I've got to fix it somehow, or if it was just one of those dreams that get your worries out so you can move on.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Moving on to the next project is hard.

I've been trying to write. I really have. I started on a new project so I could let my first project sit and simmer while I'm waiting for responses from some agents I've queried. But I can't leave the first one alone.
When I finished it in October, I spent a week or more going over it and over it making sure I didn't have any errors that were so obvious it would prove me to be a lousy writer. I found a handful, fixed them, read it again, fixed some more, then again and got so tired of my story I didn't want to read it again for awhile So I put my pride in my pocket and queried away.

Got lots of rejections, enjoyed the holidays, and ignored my story for 2 months. When I came back to it in January, I read it again with fresh eyes. At times and in parts of the story I alternated between really loving it and knowing that I'm a genius, to thinking who in their right mind would want to read this crap.
The crap parts were always the same, so I'm working on fixing them, but trying to do it slowly to make sure I don't take out any good parts.

I also have 3 or 4 other story ideas I've been toying with, and one I've actually started on not to mention the sequels that could follow my first, because it could definitely be extended. But as I get going on the one I've decided to work on, I keep wanting to switch to another idea and see where it goes, while at the same time wanting to focus all my attention on perfecting my first.
I've just got to get going on the second one I've begun and let the others flow when the time is right or I'll never get anything done.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I sent out my first partial!

I went to the post office today to mail the first 30 pages with a synopsis and SASE.

It was a little butterfly in the belly inducing. I have submitted the first 10 to 15 pages before that were pasted in the email with my query letter, but somehow doing it snail mail made it feel so much more intimidating.
I wonder if that was because she said it sounded interesting and requested it, whereas the other ones wanted the 10 to 15 in the initial contact.

I've read on other blogs and comments from writers that its hard to send out your pride and joy, your baby, if you will, to someone who won't love it as much as you do. I agree with them. I hope she loves it, but know it won't be the same way I love it.

She'll be able to see all the flaws I have there. Me on the other hand. I'm like a mom that can't see the misbehavings of my precious children (who are mostly perfect by the way). I've gone over that manuscript so many times, I know it by heart.
Even though she'll see it's flaws, I hope she can also see it's potential, and want to work with me to help me perfect it.
Here's hoping

Monday, February 1, 2010

I've got someone kind of interested!

I've been sending out query letters to many many agents. One at a time of course. I've looked up what they like on their web pages to make sure my book fits into one of the genre's they represent. Most of the replies have been a polite "no thank you" or "I'm not the right agent for your work," or "This is not a right fit for me."
I'm ok with all of the rejections, The very first one hurt, the second... not so much. By the 30th or more, its more of "I knew that would be coming, lets see what the next one says."
Now, I've come across something I'm not familiar with. I've got an agent that said: "Sounds interesting, Send me the first 30 pages and a synopsis."
I've been looking into finding the right format for submitting the work. What size font? Do I need headers? or footers? If the sentence isn't complete on the 30th page, do I leave it unfinished? or add the rest of it??
I want to make it the best I can in appearance, but I've also been going back over it and reading it over and over and over again to make sure I don't have any stupid little errors. I'm also trying to make sure it catches her attention so she'll ask to see page 31 and on....
I'm hoping for the best, but I'm also being realistic about it.
Each one of these little steps will make this the best project I can get it.
Hope I've got a good start.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Getting past the block.

I'm in a block. It's pretty big. I have room to move, I have life to live, I have things to do in this block, but I can't get past it.

I tried writing in my newest project, but it just wasn't going where I wanted it to go. I started having all these thoughts about how terrible of a writer I am because I can't get past it. That I can't think of a story other than the one I finished that I'm querying about.
I gave up last night and started watching one of my favorite show on hulu.com. Then I went to bed without having progressed at all in my story. As I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, (I can lay there for hours and still not fall asleep) I started thinking of all the books I've loved. How great they were and how I wished I could do something as amazing. Then I realized, I'd never get something amazing out there if I quit. I began thinking of all the stories I'd had churning over and over in my head over the years. None that I had ever thought of writing down, because I only decided to give writing a try about 9 months ago. I also thought of continuing my first completed book because I left it open enough to go forward if I wanted to.
I still don't think I'll be able to just pop out a book in the next couple of months, but I will get something out there in the next little while. And will all begin with me opening up a blank page and starting to type.

Imagine me climbing out of a box and walking away from my block.
Here I go.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why don't you want to read an unfinished story???

When I first started writing, it was mostly for fun. I wanted to see where the idea I started with could go. As I got more and more into it, I had delusions of grandeur thinking that of course as soon as I finished it, I'd just have to send it to an editor and they would immediately want to publish it. Then I could start work on the story that would follow it. (That isn't how it works BTW)
As I was working on it, I had my husband read it. I talked it over with my sister and begged her to read my newest chapters and give me feedback.
They were both helpful, but my husband would get a little irritated when I'd ask him to read what I had just written. At first, I was bothered that he wasn't begging to read my newest sentences and tell me how wonderful they were. Because of course they were all wonderful.
When he explained that he didn't like reading what I wrote because I hadn't gotten any further than that most brilliant of paragraphs I had just stopped writing to show him. He wanted a finished product. He wanted to know what happened next.
It never dawned of me that that would be an issue. I of course knew what I wanted to happen next and we had even discussed different ways for that to happen, I didn't have a problem with the rest of the story not written down. It was always available to me.
I wouldn't want to start reading a book and only have part of it there. I suppose it is even more irritating than when you finish a book in a series and have to wait for the next in the series to be released.
So this time around, I've been working on my next project and have asked my sister some questions about where I could go with my idea, but I promise not to be too pushy in asking for feedback as I'm going. (Unless of course they want to read my genius words.)

And speaking of series. Here are a few of my favorites (in no particular order) that I had a hard time waiting patiently for the next installment.
Harry Potter, The Wheel of Time, Twilight saga, Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, Fablehaven....
What are some of yours?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My first attempts at blogging!

Nine months ago, I started a writing course trying to get some writing experience, and some credits to renew my teaching license. I let it expire while I was raising my 4 children. (Currently ranging in age from 20 months to almost 8.) One of my first assignments just kept going and going and eventually a Young Adult science fiction story of approximately 81,000 words just appeared.

I couldn't believe how much I LOVED writing. I would write late into the night. Avoid doing housework until I had a block that I couldn't write through. Many times I would be washing dishes at the sink and I'd get a great idea for something in the story, or some great dialogue to move the story forward. I couldn't wait to get done with the dishes. (I never left them undone once I started, cause I didn't want to come back to a sink full of cold dirty water.)

After 6 months of writing, I finished my book and eagerly looked into getting it published.

What did I discover? Writing is easy. Editing, revising, changing, cutting, and revising again is hard. Looking for an agent to be interested enough to want to represent you and contact an editor (Who seem to be only interested in listening to an agent who is interested in your book) is also hard.

So I'll be blogging about my journey from idea to published (Hopefully sooner rather than later, but someday I will be.)