Posted in Updates

Back from Vacation

So as much as I adore writing and it’s become a daily habit for me, I must admit, having a week off was glorious. Although it was more than the act of writing–when I’m feeling it, or in the throes of a story, nothing can keep me away from a blank page. What I had sorely needed was a week off of the business end of things. A week off from social media. A week off from worrying over the countless submissions I’ve been waiting for responses on. A week off from letting the rejections, frustrations, and sense of futility seep into my veins.

Now, this sounds a bit desperate, I must admit–it hasn’t all been this way. And besides, this year I’ve met some wonderful people on and offline that have truly helped turn things around, and I’ll always keep fighting, because writing’s been my dream for as long as I can remember. But there’s this armor I’ve been wearing all year, this launch into a battle where I’ve made little headway, and it’s wearying. It’s exhausting and until I took this vacation, I hadn’t quite realized how much it wore on my psyche.

To all of you little rays of sunshine this year–you’re what makes it possible to weather through the tough patches though. I’m always learning, and I think this was a big year for that. The vacation put things in great perspective, and I think I’m all recharged to step into the battlefield again and give my all.

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Also, Canada was gorgeous. My husband and I had a great time exploring.

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Posted in Articles

Inspiration and Other Weirdness

Sometimes I write and I’m in love with the plot twists. I laugh at the dialogue I pulled off, and I binge on all the emotions it resurrects. I have to say, with my current story, the YA Fantasy I’m working on, I feel a bit differently. I’m not getting the jitters to reread, or riding high on glorious feelings.

I didn’t understand why until I was ruminating on what the main character goes through in the book. That’s when I realized my issue. The story is a bit too on the nose for me.

A bit of background: this has been a rough year for my writing career. While a large part of me wants to hide behind pretending everything’s okay, it’s been rough. Rejections, letdowns, and even a press closure hampering every turn. Each attempt I make to reach out, I feel like I take ten paces backwards. Not that it’s all been doom and gloom–I love my life, I love my friends and family, I love all the new writers I’m meeting, and I’m so grateful for the publishers that have taken a chance on me with different pieces.

Still, as I’m sure all your other artist-folk can empathize, the up and downs of the field can batter you like a summer storm. So, I think the reason I feel so off with this story is due to how much of my own feelings of failure and defeat I poured into Bailey. The girl starts out full of spitfire and ambition, and as the story progresses, she just gets shit upon, continuously. She loses her boyfriend, gets kicked out, has her future stolen away, all because she’s clinging to what she believes is true and right.

And goddamn, isn’t that the case? It hurts my heart just to think about it, and I’ll be honest, writing it was no peach sundae.

But I think that’s the reason I need to make it to the finish line. To where hope and dream exist and possibilities are boundless. Because I’m no George R.R. Martin–I respect the man’s talent, but I can’t write that level of despair without losing myself there. I write of adventure, of promise, and hope. I write because I believe in people, and even if it seems naive, I believe with enough determination and effort, we can change our futures.

Posted in Articles

Writing Installment #3

Time to write a query–the dreaded phrase from any writer. Not only are queries exceedingly infuriating due to the brain shift they require, but they tend to carry the emotional weight of the manuscript’s potential. So, oftentimes when I get stuck on a query, I end up feeling disgusted with the manuscript as well, whether or not the shoe fits.

This time, I noticed a bit of a shift at least–for once, writing the query for Red Skies Take Warning felt easier. To that end, I think I can thank all the blurb writing I’ve had to do for novellas. It’s always been a tougher part for me to tap into, but blurb writing became easier with practice. And after I spent hours upon hours working on a short 25 word blurb for Stolen Petals, I think I finally understand what sort of discipline is required for the query, more than ever before.

Before, I used to throw my query up on forums and get buckets of critiques because I genuinely couldn’t tell if it was compelling or good. I’d keep revising and revising until I wanted to hurl puppies into walls. But this time around, I’m just sending it to select few people and making the adjustments. I’m going to find my skeleton that works and refine it until the words do what I want them to.

A different approach, but only time will tell if it works!

Posted in Articles

Writing Installment #2

Paranoia sets in at this stage of my edits. Whenever I near the end of the edits on a big manuscript and start working on a query, that niggling sense of fear and doubt finds a way through my armor and begins to paralyze me. What if it’s just another failure?

Writers face rejection all the time. It’s how this whole thing works, like with most artists. We’re rejected by our peers, we’re rejected by reviewers, we’re rejected by agents, publishers, or even readers. We’re fighting from the onset, and it’s a soul-sucking battle. Hence the need for thick skin and a support system. I’d be nowhere without it.

However, it never hits me more keenly than that step up to the precipice, as I stare into the void of what-ifs, when I’m getting close to submission time. I get seized by fear, and all of those worries start overtaking me. It’s a deadening brew.

At that point, I’m simply grateful for my family and friends, because whenever I take that leap, get a bruise, maybe even a concussion, they’re there to dust me off and help me back on two feet again.

Granted, I’m sure it’s infuriating that I keep leaping every time. Talk about a kid who doesn’t learn when they put their hand in the fire.

Only time will tell if it’s stupidity or bravery.

Posted in Updates

Writing Diary Installment #1

Day #373. While I endeavored to write a book about pirates, and at first absolutely loved this story, I’m starting to feel prickly towards anything mentioning ocean. What could that mean? Oh, my dear readers, it means I’m neck deep in what I call the nitpicky edits- grammar, deleting repetitious words, and making sure the ones I do use sparkle. Not like glittering waves, by the way. I’m so over waves right now.

Don’t get me wrong. I head over heels love this story, but just like a relationship when you’ve begun to spend too much time together and need some breathing space, I’m hitting that point.

I’ve begun to respond to people in mews, having spent too much time around my cats.

Help.