Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Good News / Bad News

A diagnosis I received a few days ago just didn't seem right to me. The doctor's explanations didn't fit. I was confused and ready to start getting angry. 

So I went to the lab where the tests were taken and spoke with the lab technician. Long story short. There must have been some miscommunication between the doctor and her assistant and what the assistant told me. The diagnosis was not dire. 

Doctors need to take a creative writing class or two... or three. She didn't understand the importance of words. More and more, I am grateful for the lessons I am learning as I write. The lessons that help me communicate more succinctly. 

Be that as it may, I got a rejection letter. Thankfully, I didn't open it. Didn't even see it, cause I was home late and didn't open it until Sunday. A blessing. I had a decent night's sleep. Which I wouldn't have gotten had I opened the letter. 

I am extremely grateful, though it was a form letter, to receive any acknowledgement whatsoever. I am told that many publishing houses do not send out letters anymore, unless they are sending out a contract. I knew it wasn't a contract. Too large. Too heavy. It was my MS and the letter.

I spent some time mourning the rejection. But I've got the next letter ready. I'm hoping to send it and the MS out tomorrow. 

I had to totally rewrite Chapter Twenty-nine of 'Blue.' My editor made a huge suggestion. I crossed out a truckload of the original story and put in what she suggested. It was a good suggestion. She had me bring a character from the past into the story again. It really upped the tension level. IMHO.

Night is falling and I'm off to sleep. Perchance to dream.

Oh - I'm presenting at the Skyline meeting. Chapters Nine and Ten of 'The Other Side.' I haven't looked at this story in over a month. It was good rereading it again. It is a sound story. I'm pleasantly surprised and grateful. 

Life is a circle.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Strange Week-end (To Be Filed For Later Use)

I have many dear friends from around the world due to my love of Tolkien. I belong to a number of boards with like-minded people. Over the years, I have met many of them. We've formed strong bonds of friendship and love. 

One such group from many areas of the east met this week-end in Pittsburgh for what is called a 'moot' - a gathering of people. I debated whether or not to go. Health issues, unreliable car, and the distance caused me to pause. At last, on Saturday morning, I called a friend who was driving up and asked if I could go with her - knowing full well I was probably going to die on the way there or back again.

A little history. The last time I went with this woman, she killed three orange cones. Constant weaving out of her lane. We almost got side-swiped by another car. I held on to the hangy-thingy above the car door and prayed the whole way. I drank heavily, once we arrived, fearing the ride home. I remember Sean Bean in the Lord of the Rings first movie climbed up a mountain, in full gear, because he was deathly afraid of riding in the helicopters used to transport cast and crew. During the filming of one of his monologues, he had to fight to not think about the ride down. That was me.

However, my love of this group of friends decided the issue. I knew I might die. The chances were pretty good. I hadn't driven with the woman in about three years and I knew she had to have gotten worse, in the interim. 

I parked my car in the berm of her property, well away from her garage. We got in, buckled in, and she promptly backed out in a wide arc and missed my car by an inch. I was screaming, 'Watch out!' You'd think I would have jumped out then and there, this being a sign from the gods that the trip was doomed. No. I closed my eyes, took a couple deep breaths, and we drove off. 

Part way through the trip, some new meds I was on kicked in. We had to pull off the side of the road while I became sick. Interesting trip so far. 

We arrived and were welcomed with screams of joy. God - it was a good decision to go and see my friends. What better way to die than on a trip to see them. We talked and laughed for hours. They kept asking us to stay longer, but I began to fear the thought of this woman driving in the dark. I insisted we leave at 6. That gave us two and half hours before dark.

The woman is a bit of a closed-purse. The tolls on the way to the moot were quite high. She wanted to find a way home without paying tolls so she asked our host who told her the way. I was not privy to the discussion. When I got in the car, she said we were going to take route such and such. I kept my eyes peeled for the signs and we found them. Until there weren't anymore with that particular number. I never saw a turn-off or an arrow or anything suggesting that we were no longer on that route.

What gave it away was a sign for a city that I KNEW was so friggin' far south from where we were and where we were headed. I almost screamed out loud. I held it in and told her we were on the wrong road. She pulled out her Garmin and the battery was so dead that it wouldn't turn on, even plugged into the cigarette lighter thingee. 

I pulled out my phone and figured out where we were and how we could get home. A long, convoluted route.

Four and a half hours later (2 and 1/2 longer than it should have taken), I arrived home. 

Much as I love these people, unless I can get a chauffeur, I'm not going back.

Life is a challenge.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Editing Is A B****

I've been putting off posting this for my heart is heavy. When we ask for a critique, we open ourselves to an incredible experience. It can be filled with joy and a sense of accomplishment. It can be devastating.

Where is truth? Is it in the critique? Now - I'm speaking of a critique given by a friend in love and with a measure of experience. If a person whom you trust says things that cut through to the quick, does that mean they are right? 

There is a point where we, as writers, have to trust ourselves. But we also have to trust those we ask, with careful deliberation, to critique our work. 

If a person sees something that they believe should be cut out, it can brutalize our hearts. Our words, the words we put onto paper with the help of the Muse (or without) are dear to us. They are like children that we have birthed into being. They are precious. 

When another takes the words and says, 'Nope. Get rid of this." even if it is said in the gentlest tone, in the kindest manner, it still cuts. 

I hope my friend, who swore this very night to be 'friends forever' remembers that tonight. That her words are her words. That my critique is given in love but with full knowledge that she can say, 'Nope. You're wrong.' It's her work after all. Who is more guaranteed the right to be right?

Life is stepping out with hope.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Well, technically I'm not writing, but I'm editing. Today's chapters for 'Blue' required extensive writing. I was surprised. I knew there was a lot of embellishment that I had to do with the chapters. I knew I wanted to add a little bling to them. 

However, I was surprised - the Muse loves to surprise - with the little stories that flashed into my mind for these chapters. They're related, but I hadn't 'seen' them. Little remembrances or the smell of roses strong enough to choke my poor hero. 

It was fun writing these chapters. It was almost as if they were a smidgen of the 'real' chapter. 

I spent the day at doctors. I thought I'd be exhausted by this evening, but I find myself strangely alert. It's a nice feeling. I found out the cause of the fog. I'm hoping it will be lifted soon. It's hard to write when you can't see the paper. *g*

I'm hoping to go out of state on Saturday to visit some friends. They are delightful people who exude joy. I am a sucker for joy. I crave it. And I'll slake my thirst for it come Saturday.

My writing buddy comes over tomorrow night and we'll look at the last edit, God willing, of her synopsis. I'm going to share chapter nine with her of 'Blue.' I've got to figure out where I left of with 'The Other Side' and send that off to my Skyline group. I'm presenting at the May meeting. I haven't touched 'Other' in forever. I am driven to finishing 'Blue.'

Life is driving onwards.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Published Author

On a daily basis, I get email notifications that so-and-so is a newly published writer. My mouth goes dry. My heart beats lose their symphonic clash. My mind whirls with possibilities. Oh my! One day.

It's kind of like buying a lottery ticket. You can't win unless you buy one.

Which goes double for writing. You can't be published if you don't write. You can't sit on your butt and think about story lines or fantasize about signing autographs if you don't write. 

I've not been writing for a couple weeks now and it is driving me balmy. I want to write. I've thought of both stories and what the next chapter might be like, but I've not written any of it.

Granted, I've been editing and editing can take up an extraordinary amount of energy. So - you'll give me that? I've got an excuse?

I've also been sending out one of my MS's. Sending out an MS is like trying to climb Mt. Everest without any oxygen and carrying a giraffe on your back. Hideous. Mind-boggling. 

*take a breath, Sharron*

My writers group was such fun today. We spend a lot of time laughing anymore. I like laughing. I'm desperate for laughing -- because usually I'm sitting alone in front of my computer and I can actually FEEL the frown lines growing on my forehead. Perhaps not frown lines but definitely furrowed lines - concentration lines. 

I'm learning that I really must sit back, now and again, and take a deep breath, try to flatten the furrows, and smile. 

Life is good.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I have been in a fog, of late. I'm not sure the cause. It's not writer's block, as far as I can discern. Health issues have popped up again. Won't go into it.

However, I met with my writing buddy on Friday. She brought her Synopsis. I read it over. Made a few cuts and handed it back to her. I told her it was complete. She was stunned. She'd put so much time and energy into it that she couldn't comprehend it being done. She has a few more words (about 150) to take out to make the Synopsis fit two pages, single-spaced. The funny thing is, once I told her it was done, she said it would be no problem cutting those few words. I had to laugh because my cutting of even one sentence had caused her discomfort. There must be psychological reasons for this change of heart. It doesn't matter. What matters is - she's confident and comfortable with her Synopsis. We spent the rest of the evening celebrating!

I have edited four more chapters of 'Blue.' I made a map of the world that my characters inhabit, but in the midst of it all, I've been most frustrated over the Cloud. I cannot save 'Blue' to it. I'm waiting on the librarian's call-back. She was stymied, too. The 'drive' shows up on her 'favorites' but it doesn't show up on mine. I love good librarians. They are worth their weight in gold. 

I've said it before:  use all the resources available. Librarians are the best. Second, fellow writers (make sure you're talking to ones who are stable and sure of themselves - otherwise, you'll be fighting jealousy). Of course, Wikipedia is good, but not always reliable. There's YouTube and Online Thesaurus and the dictionary, and ten thousand other resources. Use what you can. It's what helps me through it all.

I think I'm going to email an old friend and see if she wants to get together for an afternoon writing session. We used to do those at the local library. We'd get a coffee, chat for a bit, and then write. It always worked. I'd get a lot of writing done. 

I am being kind to myself. I'm not disparaging myself over the lack of any more chapters of 'The Other Side.' I'm focusing on the fact that I am editing and that is a very good thing. I'm finished with some huge changes in 'Blue' and that makes me happy. I've got quite a lot more to do (I'm only half way done with the book), but I know most will be easier, now that I've got the most challenging stuff out of the way.

So though I'm in a fog, literally, I can hear the fog horn. Land is somewhere near, where I can drop my anchor and work.

Life is complex.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


My Wednesday afternoon writers' group spends the first fifteen minutes writing. Well, I know that doesn't sound strange, but it is. Some writers' groups only critique. Some only read and share books about writing. Some just giggle. Our inestimable leader gives us a paper with three prompts on it. We get to chose which one we'll try. 

I'm not a journal - er nor a memoir -er. I write made up stuff. But I love these prompts. They bring hidden memories to my frontal lobe. I am transported back to some event in my childhood or early adulthood. I find this awesome. I don't have a good memory. My sister does. She can remember what we ate on the morning of my fifth birthday. I swear she can. But me, I don't know why, but I can't remember much.

These prompts sneak into my brain and I suddenly remember. I feel connected to my self and to my family again.

Some people don't like writing to a prompt. I can understand. They're hard to do. I found, the first time I ever did one, that I was enthralled by the process. I didn't think I could write things besides fantasy. I can. *g* 

I had to leave the writers' group for awhile and when I came back, I was surprised that my brain didn't want to write anything about any of the prompts. I had serious writer's block, something I'd never had before. It wasn't a good feeling. I pushed on and wrote something. The next week it was easier, and the week after that and so on and so on. 

I'm glad I stayed with the group. I'm glad I pushed myself. For two reasons: the memory recall of my past, and the feeling of accomplishment when I write something I would never, in a million years, even consider writing. I think it's making me a better writer!

Life is pushing myself forward. 

PS - Boston strong. Holding them up along with those in West, Tx.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Apps and Maps and Thinking Caps

Sorry I've been incognito for a couple days. I've been working on the map of Darini. I don't have a map-making app, so I've been doing it by hand using Open Office Draw. It's not the greatest program, but it's all I have at the moment. 

Maps are great for fantasy. Or historical fiction. Probably for lots of other writing, but for me, I love to open a book and VOILA - there it is - a map. Just makes me want to the buy the book.

So, of course, I've got to have one myself. Maps are great for my readers, but they're also pretty awesome for me. Trying to keep track of the flora and fauna of my made-up world is insane. I have sticky notes lying about, but the map puts it all into perspective and at a glance.

Draw doesn't let me really draw. For things like forests and volcanoes and such, I had to go to a forestry site to copy and paste their legends. But they don't quite wash. I get a nice little piece of green rectangle. Well, 'Blue' doesn't have green trees, they've got orange pines and pink lakes and purple grass. That means I've got to go into every ellipse that I've made and change the color. Time-consuming. 

I was at the library today and asked one of the computer techs, who are awesome, if she knew of a FREE map-making app. She didn't. I'll have to go looking to see what might be out there. The class I was at was on Google's 'Cloud.' My gosh, my jaw dropped during the class. As did the jaws of those sitting around me. The 'Cloud' seems to be about the most awesome thing going. Of course, I just took one course and I haven't had time to 'view' all the things it offers, but I'm excited. They have a 'draw' thing over there that I'm going to try to use later this afternoon. Excited!

Besides spending time on my map, I've also been editing Ch. 20 of 'Blue.' I've still got aways to go with this. There are two big areas that I've got to flesh out, explode, zap, before I'll be satisfied with it, but I'm on my way. Whoo hooo!

Life is learning. 

PS - Still researching the second publishing house for 'Sorrysorrysorry.' *fingers crossed*

PSS - Pippin is finally learning to do his business outside!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Imprint ???

A friend, knowing I was 'in-the-market' for a publishing house, gave me a listing of publishing houses and their imprints with titles and such. An invaluable resource. It still requires work; I have to research the names before I send anything out, as life in the publishing industry changes from day to day.

The listing answered one question I had. What do I do about sending my MS to the same house? Many publishers today have various, what I call divisions. I wasn't sure what to do about this. For instance, Scholastic has their main house, but they have other divisions, notably, Blue Sky Press, which would fit 'Sorrysorrysorry.'

I looked up imprint and that's the word publishing houses use for divisions. Sometimes, imprints are the result of a larger publisher buying up a smaller publisher, yet wanting to keep the 'niche' the smaller publisher had. Imprint is the 'trade' name for a different division. Imprints are also used for consumer marketing.

The listing I received said that an MS should be sent to the different imprints of the publishing house. So that answered my question. If I send 'Sorrysorrysorry' off to, say, Scholastic, then, after a reasonable time allowed for a response, I can send it off to Blue Sky Press, even though it is part of the Scholastic network. Interesting. I learn something new everyday. 

I hope this helps.

Life is learning.

PS - Once again, a bit of research is needed. One of the publishers I looked at does NOT want an MS sent to each of their imprints. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I've been in a bit of a quandary lately. You know I've been a huge proponent of conferences. Big or little, I felt they all had good reasons to attend them.

Now -- I'm taking a step back. I listened to an editor from a large publishing firm the other day. He said in the last five years of speaking at conferences and doing conference critiques for authors, that he only had 'discovered' four authors. That's a hideous number. An extremely poor 'success' rate. 

One of the reasons I attend conferences is the hope that I might be 'found' at one of the critique sessions. That an agent or editor that I'm pitching my book to will say, 'Sounds awesome. I'm ready to sign you.'

If agents and editors and publishers rarely sign a conference attendee, that's going to make me rethink my conference dollar. I'm going to be picky about what conference I attend and why. I'm definitely going to rethink my 'critique' budget. 

Saying all that, I'm still going to conference. Networking and making new friends and just mingling with 'artistic' vibes makes conferences worthwhile. 

I'll just be more discerning.

Life is interesting.

PS - Being a cynical person, I am trying to remember that the folks I know who are part of the 'conference' system are good-hearted, want only the best for the attendees, and have a love of writing that is close to mine. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Celebratory Second

I gave myself one second. Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking. Yes, I do. I was thinking, 'Ok, I've got one part done and now I've got to get on to the next, and the next, and the next.' I never took time to celebrate.

My writing buddy brought me a celebratory card tonight. Bless her for making me celebrate. We've all been told to celebrate the good things. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFrMSzoLXIU (sorry about the ad at the beginning, but worth it)
And of course, Kool and the Gang http://www.youtube.com/v/3GwjfUFyY6M

So I've got the music going and my eyes closed and I'm remembering the letter from Martin. That's what I'm celebrating today. Right now. 

I'm celebrating that I've sent out the MS. Whoo hoo!

I'm celebrating the friends and family who support me.

I'm celebrating the new puppy who just doesn't care, as long as I rub his tummy.

I'll get back to work tomorrow. Tonight, I'm giggling. (If I could only celebrate the way those soccer guys are doing.)

Life is a celebration.


A Greasy Pole


The folks in Gloucester, MA have a tradition. It's slightly insane, but isn't most fun that way? The object of the game is to reach the end of a greased pole, grab the flag at the end, all without falling into the water. One of the folks from my hero page, Diane, wrote an article about optimism and the greasy pole was part of her writing.

I'm thinking the game of getting published is about the same. Insane, crazy, and slippery.

I grew up in a family where secrets festered in closets and basements and such. Since I became an adult, I've made it a part of me, like breathing, that truth is the most important thing, next to love, in our universe. I suppose some would say I share too much. Perhaps I do. However, the struggles I go through in my writing life and now the struggle to get published are too important to me to 'hide' if my struggle can in any way help another. 

So -- today I sent off my Ms for 'Sorrysorrysorry.' My daughter and my son looked over the cover letter. My daughter made some great changes. I knew she'd know what to do about the spot I was anxious about. I presented the MS and my cover letter to my writers group, Pen and Ink. They applauded the MS. Bless their little hearts. They thought the cover letter was good. Some of these women have been through the process of publishing, some will soon be, and some probably would rather be stuck with knitting needles than try it. *g*

I took the MS to the post office and sent it priority - so I could track it without the folks at the publisher having to sign for it. God forbid they wouldn't sign and the MS would be left floating in some kind of outer space. 

I left the post office and felt wretched. My stomach was roiling, even though Margaret made me promise to 'give it to God.' I took a couple deep breaths and let it go. 

I'm going to write a fanfic just for the fun of it. Just to get away from the 'pressures' of trying to be published. I need a break.

'Blue' has been coming along really well. I'm trying to figure out what day I'm going to use as my goal day for finishing the final edit. St. Francis de Sales is the patron saint of writers, but his feast day is January 24th. I'm really, really hoping 'Blue' will be done long before January 24th. St. Meriadoc is June 7th. Hmmm - might use him. Believe it or not, Meriadoc lived in the lands of Rohan. I swear to God!

So I think I'll use June 7th. I'm putting it on the goal side of this page. 

Life is setting goals.

PS - Had a shiver moment at the library today. I showed my granddaughter which 'bin' my picture book, 'Sorrysorrysorry,' would be in, once it is published. *shivers*

Blessings to all. 

Monday, April 8, 2013


I don't understand how I can feel physically sick just because I'm going to send out my MS. I've done it before. Granted, I've received rejections, but nice ones. Some with helpful hints. 

So why do I feel like I'm going to throw up? After extensive research, I found who I want to send 'Sorrysorrysorry' out to. I found a name. I have background for this person. I've written a passionate cover letter. All I have to do is put a  stamp on it and send it off.

*heavy sigh*

I suppose this is change, one way or the other. The editor could accept it and then we're off and running. She could send a rejection letter. She could do nothing. I'd wait for sometime and then I'd send it out to another editor/publisher. Mundane, right?

Wrong! If it's accepted, my whole life will change. I'll be a published author. I'll have to do PR work. (thank goodness I've got my blog and my Facebook account - that's a start). I'll be a success. My family will look at me askance. I'll have to worry about getting 'Blue' published.

If 'Sorrysorrysorry' isn't accepted, the whole rejection process starts all over. I wallow in self-pity. I heal. I swallow my pride and send it out again. And again until it is published. For Martin thinks 'It's delightful.' *g*

I spent the day hiding from my cover letter. I edited 'Blue.' It was a good day. The sun shone and the temps were in the upper 60's and the dog whined the entire time. *g* 

You should have seen the two of us. We went to the park. I had a large coffee in one hand and my portfolio tucked under my arm. I held my purse, my keys, and the stake in the other hand, along with the leashed dog. I prayed he wouldn't drag me too hard (he's not used to the leash). I could just see me lying on the grass, covered in spilled coffee, with a puppy licking my face. *g*

The dog whined some more and so we went for a walk. I finished my coffee and drove home, watched the Indians home opener, and then forced myself to my computer and the cover letter. It went well. Much better than I had thought.

It's ready. I printed it out and will show it to my daughter tomorrow. I'm pretty sure it will meet with her approval. Then ----

Life is tummy-aches.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Finding Someone

Holy crumbs! I've spent the last two days - hours upon hours - trying to find the name of an editor at a couple publishing houses. It is not easy. The 'experts' say I should make sure they accept submissions and  handle the type of story I'm pitching. 

Getting my book published, I've noted before, is a business. It is a back-breaking (well, my neck is killing me right about now *g*) process. I've used LinkedIn, I've used QueryTracker, I've researched via Facebook and various SCBWI sites. Read countless blogs and am definitely, unequivocally going mad. *g*

I'd hoped to spend some time here tonight, but I'm going to walk the dog - he's been oh-so-patient - and then I'm going to bed. 

Getting a list together, I know from prior experience, is a full-time job. I'll get there, but writing will suffer for the moment. I've got to send out 'Sorrysorrysorry' while I'm still enthused. (that enthusiasm is waning quickly!)

Life is a sore bum.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

"It's Delightful"

"It's Delightful." 

I want to burn this quote into my brain. I want to write it on the bathroom mirror, and dangle it from the rear view mirror in my car.

I sent off my children's picture book, "Sorrysorrysorry," to British author, Martin Baynton, about two weeks ago. Last night, I opened my mail box and found a 'delightful' note from him. He didn't offer a contract to make the book into a TV series, but he said, "It's delightful." Ahhhh!

He gave me some tips to use with the story and these tips are galvanizing me into doing more. Here they are. I know they'll prove helpful to you, too. 

Send it off as is. Send it off now. Keep sending it until it's sold.

Don't find my own illustrator. (even though I know how 'I' want the pictures to look, the publisher is better able to know what the market wants. (meaning sellability)

Don't add or tweak it until I get specific feedback. They may want something different than what I would add. 

NEVER EVER let the MS sit on my desk. Don't let it EVER sit on my desk. As soon as one rejection comes, send it off to another publisher.

Prelable and stamp LOTS of envelopes, so as soon as the MS comes back rejected, it can be sent out without a thought, or a roadblock, or any hesitation.

Go for the biggest publishers. 

OK. Some of you might be wondering why this seems to be such a big deal for me. I'll tell you.

Martin Baynton is an awesome children's book writer. He wrote the 'Jane and the Dragon' series along with the F'ifty' series and many more. He's also the creator and executive director of the hit series 'Jane and the Dragon' and 'The WotWots.' 

He was an illustrator until carpal tunnel struck. He illustrated tales from the Brothers Grimm and Graham Greene, along with books by Russell Hoban and Mary Carbine's dinosaur series.

Here's some links so you can enjoy/buy his books and see segments of his TV shows. He is co-owner of Pukeko Pictures (Sir Richard Taylor and Lady Tania Taylor are the other part of the studio.)



Life is affirmation.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Books & Pianos

Wednesday night, my writing buddy came over with her finished synopsis. We celebrated. My daughter and granddaughter were over also. They are both used to listening to the ravings of writers, so they fit in well with our celebration. 

Of course, the synopsis was a draft, but it was finished, nonetheless, and that is a very difficult thing to do, if you've ever written a synopsis. My friend's was five pages. So I read it out loud. My granddaughter decided we needed musical accompaniment. She is only six and can't read music, but loves to 'create' piano pieces. As I read of the villain, she used the lower keys. As I read of the hero, she used the middle keys. As I read of the doves, she used the trilling upper keys. We howled. It felt like one of those silent movies. Thankfully, my friend was open to using different mediums with her work.

When I finished reading the synopsis, she asked for feedback. My daughter, who is as smart as a whip, said the MS had her at .... Which was about a page and a third from the beginning. I agreed. 

Cutting a synopsis is a painful thing, but my friend took it all in stride. She left it with me and I tried to hone it today. The first part needed almost no changes, but I could, the further along the synopsis I went, I could see just where my friend had begun to frazzle. I knew the story and the characters backwards and forwards since she's been sharing her book with me for the last year, so it was easy enough, for me since I did not sweat blood to write it, to put it in bullet form and then flesh it out. This cut two pages worth.

I gave it to my friend tonight. She was grateful, but I could tell not too excited. I'm sure things I cut are things she thought were important. Thankfully, we have been working together long enough that we both have the deepest respect for each other and our writing abilities. 

I can't wait to see what the finished version looks like, but I know it will be great. The important thing is - she is sooooo much further along than just a month ago. I do believe she'll be able to send it to her agent within the next couple of weeks. She's got her pitch done and her character pages, the synopsis, and the first five chapters are edited and ready to go.

Life is good.

PS - I got an incredible letter today. I'll share it with you tomorrow, but I just had to say that, after yesterday's post, the mail lifted my spirits one hundrefold!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


There are people who crave it. People who look for it. People who spend week-ends wallowing in it.

Silence can be a good thing -- but not after you've read your first chapter of your MS to a critique group.

I went to a new one tonight. They do not require a period of waiting, as some groups do, so I brought Ch. 1 of 'Blue,' and read it to them.

There was silence. A long period of silence. Longer than I had anticipated. In fact, I had not even expected silence.

Oh dear God! There is that expectation thing again! Back to the Four Agreements, Sharron......

After what seemed like hours, but was probably only seconds, someone thought I should add a bit more description. Another comment or two and then a very polite, thank you for reading to us.

I am trying not to be....

Hell - I'm discouraged. I want to chuck 'Blue' and chuck writing and chuck just everything.

I'll get over it. Thank God. 

Writing sucks. Not real writing. Real writing is fun and suspenseful and euphoric.

The writing process - the part after the book or the chapter or the paragraph is written - sucks. 

You know I do not like to plunge into darkness here. So I won't. I'll go on writing 'Blue.' I have spent way too much time with it and have had many positive comments regarding it. 

This new group was super friendly. I felt comfortable with them - til a point - but I will go back. I'm not sure if I'll bring something else to share - at least not for the next meeting. *g*

I am working on Ch. 20 of 'Blue.' There's a few things that need fleshing out. (I wish the ice cream store was open.) *g*

Life is silence.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Looking Back

I suppose I should qualify this post by saying, I know I am a stubborn woman. I sometimes think that is a good thing; I sometimes think it is a bad thing.

Right now - I'm leaning towards the good thing.

At class today, the teacher critiqued a couple chapters of 'The Other Side.' She still says it's very good and it still gives her the willies. That's fun. To give your teacher the willies.

She had only a couple parts she wanted fleshed out and then sat back, and with a grin - not a smile, but a full-fledged grin, said this work was so superior to the first MS I presented her way back in 2010. 

This should have (if I want to go to the 'should have' hell) caused a flurry of pride and hope. It did not. It made me a little upset. My stubborn streak rose ten thousand feet into the air and stayed there. I thought, it was a good book. I still want to try to get it published. I thought it was written very well indeed.

Being stubborn, I decided, with a hint of scraped pride, to look at the book again. I pulled it up in the computer, read the prologue, and thought, hm, this is good. A wee bit over the top in hyperbole and such, but still good. 

I'm afraid to look at Chapter One. *g*

I started writing 'Blue' because I wanted to learn POV. In the aforementioned book, I'd used a few POVs. My teacher/editor thought I'd gone way overboard with them. 'Blue' is turning out quite well, though it does not receive the same adulation from my teacher as does 'The Other Side,' but it is an entirely different genre. 

I'm going to look at Ch. One of the old MS and see how it is. I'm expecting to find it not quite as good as I thought, but I still think it will be good.

I do have difficulty thinking anything I write is less than stellar. Pride. I know it's a trait that's needed by a writer, so I won't beat myself over the head with recriminations, but I will try to approach the chapter with an open mind. And with the knowledge that I've learnt over these past many years.

Life is looking forward.

Monday, April 1, 2013


I find I am joy-filled today. No apparent reason. Unless it's the new puppy. Been wanting one for awhile, as a companion, and to bounce my story ideas off. *g*

He's about a year old. A shidoodle. Black with little specks of white and bits of brown for a 'beard.' He is the sweetest personality. But I will confess, I prayed hard that I'd find a 'good' dog. I named him Pippin. He reminds me of the character in 'Lord of the Rings.' A sprinkle of mischief in the midst of loving commitment.

Speaking of commitment, my writing buddy is coming over on Wednesday. She went out of town to complete her synopsis. And she did. We talked via phone about how the 'honing' went. She was very happy that she was able to 'give up' some parts so that it was succinct.

I remember I had to kill off a character a few years ago. I went out of town to do it. I knew I couldn't do it in a 'normal' writing space. I needed to pull away and give myself time to sort through the emotions and such of the deed. It took me three days and a lot of tears, but I killed her off. I think she was pleased at how it worked out. A good death scene. *g*

This writing business is beyond strange. It pulls me into situations and characters and such that I would never see or do in my 'real' life. I have so many incredible experiences in my writing. I go to other places, I meet other people, I live in my writing.

Thankfully, I have discovered this is no aberrant behavior. A lot of writers do the same thing. Not that I am hiding from life, I can't keep my calendar straight most days, but writing brings such an thrill, a sense of exultation, a deep mourning, a cutting into my very being. All of the experiences are incredible Pretty hard, but worth it.

I've got my writing class tomorrow afternoon, so I've got a about six MS to read. I've got to get cracking. I won't be able to do what I usually do - read each MS twice - since I just got them today, but I'll do my best. My fellow students deserve it. And I know they'll do the same for my MS.

I am so behind in emails and such, I can't believe it. But I am editing. That's the important thing.

Life is flowing.

PS - another blasted plot bunny hit me and I want to start on that one. Think it's going to be an adult Romance. We'll see. I jotted the gist down in my text on my cell. *g*