31 March 2014

Veiled Encouragement

Last week was singularly unproductive as far as writing goes.  I'd like to blame ill health, or busy-ness, or holiday, or something legitimate, but I can't.  The only reason I didn't write is because I'm nursing a healthy shot of self-doubt.

I'm not writing this to get affirmations of my worth as a writer, I'm just putting it out there that working in a creative field can be tough on a person's confidence.  Some days, every sentence written is another one deleted.  Even sitting in front of the computer becomes an internal shouting match: 

"You can do this!  It's a simple re-write!  Just one page!"

"You suck!  Your work is crap! Your fingers don't even belong on the keyboard!"

Most days, I work through this shouting until the naysaying is minimized, but some days (or in this case, a week), I can't bear the thought of trying.  

Writing is hard.

But, you know, if you want to be a writer, don't let me discourage you.  

26 March 2014

We're All a Variation on Gruff Sometimes

I should have taken pictures!  I'm only now realizing it.  Sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake.

Writing for Charity this last weekend was fantastic.  A lot of great authors were there, like: Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George, Clint Johnson, Maryrose Wood, and me. (There may be a little irony in including myself.  Just FYI.)

However, I got a pleasant surprise.  I submitted a short story to an anthology two years ago that they selected to be part of the book.  It's only been available as an ebook... until now.

Behold! A hard copy of a book that includes both myself and Shannon Hale! Together! I got my copy signed by Ms. Hale and I signed my own name right under it because I'm a geek like that.  There are a lot of great, great stories in this little gem, all based on "The Three Billy Goats Gruff".  I think my favorite is a court document detailing the events according the Troll by Clint Johnson.  Very funny and well written.

I was told you could buy this hardcopy somewhere online, but I can't find it anywhere.  The ebook is available on amazon and all proceeds go to help underprivileged kids get books. So, feel good about yourself if you buy it.

Also, just as a closing note: Mr. Joe Monti, the editor I did my pitch to, was very nice and told me my query letter was just fine, but I need to take my whole story and flip it on its head.  When I've done that, I might have something someone wants.


19 March 2014

How To Fail Literarily

I had different intentions for this post, but I have a bunch of nervous energy now and need to spill it.

I'm going to a writing conference this Saturday in Provo, called Writing for Charity.  I've been to this conference before.  That's where I met Janette Rallison two years ago and was inspired to change my favorite short story into my favorite Sci-Fi/Western novel.  So, I'm very excited to go.

Now comes the part where I divulge my reasons for being nervous.

I signed up for a pitch session with an editor from Simon and Schuster.  Eek!  I've never done a pitch session before.  (For those of you who don't know, a pitch session is when an author stands in front of someone who could make or break them and talks about the novel they've been writing for the last few years.  If they're good at talking, and the editor/agent is interested, and the planets align, the editor/agent will ask to read a sample of their writing.  If you want to get published by one of the big publishing houses, or even a medium-sized publishing house, you need an editor/agent to like you and your writing. But usually the editor/agent isn't interested in the talking because writers become writers for a reason.  And even if the editor/agent does get a sample of your writing, odds are it won't go beyond that. Take a breath and close parenthesis.)

So, eek! again!  I've basically signed myself up for failure.

11 March 2014

I See Imaginary People (Only Some Of Whom Are Dead)

I'm working nearly every day on a story that I finished the rough draft on almost 5 years ago.  I'm currently doing something like the tenth, or ten hundredth, rewrite.  I know those characters intimately.  I know their opinions, preferences, likes and dislikes, fears.  All of it.

And I'm bored.

I feel like as a writer I shouldn't say things like that.  Like I should l.o.v.e. working with my story and my characters should feel like coming home.  But it's true.  I am bored.  What do I do about that?  Anyone?

For now, I'm slogging away at it, trying to make this story the best I possibly can before taking the leap - again- of trying to get it published.  And trying to all I'm worth to dodge these people I created and can't seem to escape because they live in my head.

04 March 2014

My Dreamy Life


That is the noise I make every time I have to lift my head off my pillow.  The pillow case is usually stuck to my face.

Ungh is followed by *hack* and *cough* and then "ouch".

Then I look at the clock, groan my way out of bed and herd my kids into the car for another taxi service run.  When kids are dropped off or picked up, I shuffle back to bed and re-implant my face into the pillow's softness and go back to monosyllables.

Aside from the "ouch", I could totally live like this.