Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Labor Day

Monday is Labor day here in the USA.  Hope everyone has a great weekend and I'll be back next week!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Easy Peasy. Or Not.

Last night we were watching A League of Their Own and we came to that line.  You know, the line. 

"It's supposed to be hard. If it were easy everyone would do it.  The hard is what makes it great." 

I think this applies to anything that people are passionate about but of course it applies to writing too.  Writing is hard, it's also brilliant and amazing, and I think the good times are even sweeter for having spent time thinking I've lost it all. 

To overcome challenges, to sweat and work and toil and pray, gives you such a sense of accomplishment when you stand victorious at the end of that manuscript. 

When the hard times come calling, just remember, hard is what makes it great. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Which way should we go?

It doesn't matter how close to the finish line I am as long as I'm moving forward. Lately it seems that with everything I try I'm spinning my wheels.I hate that I'm not progressing but I just don't know which path to walk down with this MS. 


There's no doubt about it, writers make some difficult decisions.  In my mind one of the most difficult is whether or not it's time to query.  I think one of the reasons it's so hard is that it's not just one choice.  There are a myriad of options.  Is it the plot that's holding you back?  Are there scenes that are very beautiful but don't progress the plot so you need to tear them, and your heart, out? Should you emphasize this subplot or that one? Each word must be tested, weighed to see if it is the best word for the job. Each plot line questioned each character delved into.

It can be very overwhelming and lead to a sense of paralysis. Often this is the time when you need to get feedback. A new pair of eyes can see things you can't, give you a push in the right directions.  But maybe you've already done this.  Maybe your confusion is because you're having a hard time being done with something that has consumed so much of your life.  Maybe your just terrified of the next step and so you keep trying to go down the familiar paths you've already traversed. Sometimes I think we just need to pick a path and walk down it awhile.  If it's not right you can always try another.  At least you're moving instead of stagnating.

 How do you deal with not knowing what to do next? 





Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Grammar Guru--well not really

The other day I found myself going through parts of speech in my mind, defining nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc  and thinking of words that could be in multiple categories. 

ME. THINKING ABOUT GRAMMAR!

Crazy.


Someday I may be an author yet.


Monday, August 20, 2012

I never know what to call these posts.

No I really don't.  If I say "Announcement" everyone will expect big news like an agent or publishing contract. Anyway, this is just a heads up to everyone that Deana Barnhart is having a Get An Agent Blogfest and Pitch contest. Go here for details.   And Writer Unboxed has a great post about why obstacles are a writers best friend.

Hope your Monday is wonderful.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Social what now?


Like many writers I’m a fairly reserved person.  When I was younger I was extremely shy.  I couldn’t call the electric company without getting sick to my stomach.  The Engineer has spent a lot of time trying to help me come out of my shell.  He’s been very patient and I am now able to carry on conversations without vomiting or passing out.  Really, I can. Even a few years ago when I joined my writers’ website I was a mess.  For the first few months every time I posted I would email my mom and ask her to look at the comment and tell me if I was a dork or if I should delete it.  I’m blogging, when once this would have been impossible.  To achieve this amount of social freedom my husband has often pushed me out of my comfort zone.

The other day he was trying to get me to do something and he brought up the old “you need to be more social” argument. 

“I’m social.”  I argued.  “I blog or am on my writers website every day.” 

Then he said something truly outrageous.  “The internet doesn’t count as social.” 

So now I’m wondering, do you believe interactions on the internet are social?  I do.  They’re different than face to face interactions but they are still interactions with other people.  There are different considerations to take into account, but the skills I’ve learned by interacting with people on the internet have only helped my face to face encounters, and phone calls, because those were particularly terrifying. 

It would be easy to let the internet become the only way of communicating and I don’t believe that’s a good thing.  But I do believe the internet is a form of socialization.  What do you think?  How do you define socializing?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I'm a Guest

Hey everyone!  I'm doing a guest post over at Strands of Pattern today.  Jeff has put together an amazing month of awesome writers. Yea, I don't know why I was included either but hop on over and check out all the people he's showcasing!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Misunderstandings


What do you do when people completely misunderstand what you’re saying?  I think this problem is a little more common on the internet where we don’t  have facial expressions and tone of voice to help. I once put a comment on a blog.  The next time I went to that blog, it was a week or so later, the person who responded to my comment congratulated me on my book deal.   

What???   

I mean, I’d love to be congratulated on a book deal.  I just think I should have one first.  I went back and read my comment and it was still the same thing I had typed.  I could almost, sorta, kinda, see where she had come up with the idea that I had a book deal.  

 My next question was what do I do?  She was a guest poster on a blog that has a ton of contributers so it wasn’t as if I was likely to run into her again.  But what if this was one of those things that came back to bite me at a really awkward time?  Of course it had been more than a week since the comment, maybe trying to fix it would bring more attention to it and make it worse, but I hated feeling like I was living a lie.  In the end I left it.  I think trying to fix it would have made more problems, or been completely pointless as so much time had passed. 


Sometimes I critique something and the person will come back with a comment and I realize they didn’t understand what I was trying to point out.  I usually try to clarify at that point, as I think Critiques are valuable and important enough to get right.


Have you ever had someone completely misunderstand your words?  And not in a snarky “I’m going to take everything the wrong way” way, I mean just not understood the nuances of your comment. What do you do about it? Especially on the internet where a single conversation can take days if not weeks.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Comics

Here's something that will get you through those mid week blues.  A writer, writing a comic, about writing. Not only is it funny, it hits very close to home.  Hope you enjoy.

Monday, August 6, 2012

To Abridge or Not to Abridge

I have never in my life sought out or purposely read an abridged version of a book.  As soon as I was old enough to understand those children's classics on my bookshelf were abridged I went to my mom's bookshelves and found the "real" ones. But now I'm considering it. I need to give MOBY DICK another try. I've started it twice and put it down twice.  I want to read this book.  I feel it's a part of my literary education, but I just can't get through those long chapters about whale history and classification. Third times the charm right? 

It's killing me that I'm even considering reading an abridged version.  Plus, The Engineer is mocking me.  He says if I can read WAR AND PEACE and ULYSSES then I should be able to handle a little whale. And he's right.  Of course, WAR AND PEACE was interesting and fabulous and ULYSSES was required to graduate so I was a little bit motivated. 

I know not every book is for every person and there are lots of classics I'm ok not reading.   HEART OF DARKNESS anyone?  But I really feel I need to read this book. 

Has anyone read MOBY DICK?  Which version did you read and what did you think?  I can probably read the unabridged version if I skim (skip) the whale chapters but maybe that's what the abridged version is.  Does anyone know? 

What about you?  Do you study the classics?  Do your read abridged books?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Expectations

Kiersten White once said on he blog "Don't let your expectations poison a perfectly good reality."   

It's easy to picture the end goal in your mind.  We imagine other people who have reached that goal standing around wallowing in their success and we wonder why we aren't there with them. Whether your goal is being published, weight loss, education, career, or what have you it's easy to make ourselves miserable dwelling on each rejection and obstacle. 

But when we do this we miss out on all the great learning experiences.  When you focus solely on blogging to impress an agent with your platform you miss out on all the friends you could make and the things you could learn.  If you push yourself on your story, closing your mind to other things you might miss some great inspiration for your next story, or the lives of your family. 

The thing with writing is that there really is no destination.  The moment you arrive at a spot and have nowhere else to go you know your writing career is over.  So why do we spend so much time resisting the journey, and looking for shortcuts?

When we reach our goal are we disappointed because  there isn't as much money, fans, recognition involved as there was in our daydreams?  So what.  You're still there. Don't let that expectation that was based on inaccurate information ruin the happiness you could have.

Yes, it's good to know where you want to go and to have a plan on how to get there.  But it's also important to enjoy the journey.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to think of a few positive things from being where you are in your journey. 

My postivies:
Since I don't have deadlines I can take the time I need to get it right.  I also have the flexibility I need for my small children.

I still have time for blogging.  Ever notice that when someone gets a contract they all of a sudden announce a blogging break so they can finish edits by deadlines?

I can explore any genre, theme or story I want since I don't have to worry about platform or creating a following. 

I know there are more but my kids are up so I'm going to exercise my flexibility and stop now.