Friday, July 30, 2010

Its about FREAKIN' time!

About 3 pages last night. Ahhhhhhh.
That felt pretty good.
It needs some work, but what doesn't?
The important part is that I sat down and wrote it.

It's been a good couple of days. Feeling better. Been reading blogs and hanging on Twitter and Facebook. Family is all back home where we belong.

Was able to watch 2 romantic films recently. They were good stories but I didn't really feel the romance in them.

Don't hate me when I say this, but the last real romantic kiss that I have seen in film was the kiss between ... Edward and Bella in the first movie.
I know! I didn't want to type it, but it's true.
That kiss had...steam and I was holding my breath waiting for it to happen.
I only read the first book of the series but I have watched the first 2 movies (and only because of him). I don't like the writer's vampire concept but there is no doubt that the 2 lead actors have serious chemistry between them. Good or bad, it's there and almost tangible.

I can only hope to convey that when I write those 'oh' so important kissing scenes in the book.

Example of the complete opposite. Just watched Transformers 2. The two main characters don't really kiss. They get close but they never have that real connection with a good solid kiss. I keep waiting but it never happens. Not sure why. Don't know if it was written that way or they just plain didn't feel like letting them kiss but for me it just didn't feel finished.

Off to do some housework. Hoping to write some more tonight.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Swimming to the surface

Once again I would like to thank all of you for your support, your kind words and advice.

When I started this blog I wanted it to be only about ...well...writing.

My journey from the words: The End to signing my name at the bottom of a publishing contract.

Since nothing has been happening on the writing front for days and days, I haven't been here either.

I forced myself to sit down and read the book I am currently trying to write the other day. I still like it. I still like the characters and where they are headed.

I didn't add anything yet.

I mostly just see what might be wrong with it.

And really, I don't want to be that kind of writer. I don't always want to look at technique and usage.

I won't have any fun that way.

It's been a struggle. A struggle to give myself permission to still write even though it won't be for publication. A struggle to accept that I will not be an author, just a writer. A struggle to let go of the dream of writing full time to make my living.

So, I have been sad long enough. I have to be done with the self pity cause it's just too hard. I don't want to be this person who is upset all the time. I don't want to be the writer with a bunch of unfinished ideas.

I want to write.
I want to have fun with my stories and characters.
I want to send parts out to my best buds and get those great emails back saying, where is the next 80 pages!

I want to feel good about my writing again.

If I look up I can clearly make out the surface and I am going to swim as hard as I can to break through.

I have to do it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.”

The quote applies, but I don't know who wrote it.

My head actually hurts.

I have been incredibly lucky. I wrote for myself all these years. I didn't have to please anyone but me.

Then I finished my first book. It's not the first book I have ever written. It is the first book I have ever finished.

I was so excited that I let my most trusted friends read it. They were incredible. No matter how many things they found wrong, and they found a lot, they kept telling me how much they enjoyed the story.

Then I started to believe.

I thought that maybe this was the one thing, the one talent, that I had that would make me special. I don't have another one. I can't sing or dance. I'm not a good cook. I kill plants just by looking at them. I don't know how to paint or sculpt or craft. I can't put out a fire or solve a murder.

But the writing, that was mine.

I hit a bump in the road. I walked outside my comfort zone and asked for help. I was given the gift of a critique and I folded like a lawn chair. I've found out that I'm not following a million proper writing rules.

I didn't know if I could continue to write, if I should continue to write.

I reached out to my most trusted friends who gave me wonderful supportive advice. Then to my new friends who are reading my blog and they were sympathetic and understanding.

Another friend explained it plainly to me. There are rules to writing, but they are rules of usage. They don't have anything to do with my writing style.

So I decide that I'm going to just push on, onward and upward, forge ahead.

But my head hurts.

I want to write but it's like my head is completely empty.
I want to read but I just stare at the pages.

I'm hoping it's temporary. I'm hoping.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Broken down...hollowed out...rubbed raw

I took the big leap and chose a critique partner.
I won't name her because I don't have her permission and it's not necessary.

I sent her the first 50 pages of my finished book.

Although I did specify that I really wanted to know if the story was worth reading, she did a real edit on the first 10 pages and sent it back.
It was pretty brutal.
I was stunned and overwhelmed by her critique.
And in reality, I can't argue with it.

She sounds like a committed student to the English language and the craft of writing. She gave me many examples of what I should change. She included links to websites that I could learn from and book titles I should read.

I thanked her profusely for all her hard work and the time and energy she spent on helping me.

But now I don't know what to do.
I don't know if I can write like a publishable author is supposed to write.
I may just be too old and set in my crappy ways to learn everything I would have to in order to be taken seriously and not considered an amateur.
Just the thought of reading nonfiction books or going to classes makes my hands clammy.

I feel like an ass.

I mean I really put years into that story.
I forced other people to give up their free time to read it over and over again.

I don't know if I can justify being a writer if I will never sell anything.

I don't know if I can invest the time it takes for me to write these words if it's only going to be 3 or 4 people that will ever read it.

I just don't know.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I can't be the only one...

I can't be the only writer who doesn't dream about getting on the NYT bestseller list.
I really don't want to be on that list. I think it would be too much pressure.
I don't need to be on any lists to be happy.
I really just want to handle my book in ... book form.
Sure, I could have it privately published, there are lots of companies online that would do that.
But it's not the same.

My dream would be this: A medium-sized brown cardboard box delivered right to my doorstep from a well-known publisher. I bring the box inside and stare at it for a while; I don't want to rush the moment. I carefully slice open the tape, pull back the sides, push away the packing material and there it is.
My book.
It smells good; like toxic glue and fresh cut paper.
It sounds good; the paper is still stiff and the spine crackles in anticipation of being opened for the first time.
It looks good; it has a really awesome cover, not cheesy!
It feels good; smooth and shiny new!
I personally don't feel it will be necessary to taste it, but to each his own.

So, is that so much to ask?

Really at this point I just want someone to read it!

I got some good feedback about critique partners and groups from the HQN forum. I am still debating on sending it.
One of the responders said (paraphrasing) the need to get feedback outweighed the worry of sharing.
I may be at that point.

Didn't write this morning. Wondering if I'm just too distracted or if my writing brain is trying to tell me something. Just have to think on it a while.

The weekend will once again be busy so we shall see if I have the willpower to sit down and get some pages written.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thanks so much

Thanks so much for all the recent love!
I have some new followers who I like to call 'minions'.

Yeah, I stole it. But they stole it too!

I have been stalking some other blogs as well and hearing so many similar stories to mine.
Either we all have a cracked skull or we all think we have what it takes to be authors, just not the means to get published ... yet.

I gave my 'editors' who we shall call Suz and Katie my first 80 pages of the new book. Suz read it and enjoyed it. I don't know if Katie got her email yet or not.

I actually took a slight break today. Very tired this morning, as usual, but I couldn't focus which probably means that I'm a little stuck and need my brain to formulate.
It will get there.

Sometimes I write about stuff that I don't know a thing about and get caught up in my ignorance.
If I can push through and just write the good stuff I can always correct the mistakes later. I just have to convince myself to do it that way.

No mail. No email. No phone calls.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blog post number forty

And they said it would never last.
Okay, no one said that.
Well, maybe I did.
I didn't think I would have enough to write about on a blog to keep it going.


Reached out to people on HQN forum this morning to talk about critique partner or group. I'll check back later to see if anyone responded.
I did see someone post that HQN always responds to submissions. That's good news. At least I will know one way or another.
Someone else said they were waiting to hear back from HQN after they requested a full manuscript. It had been over 5 months.
I thought I had it tough.
I'm only waiting for query letter responses.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Demented and sad, but social."

For the first time I was able to talk about my latest project with a live human instead of the blog.
It was very cool.
Just describing the characters and who they are and what they do and what they will do was a great way to actually 'see' them off the paper.
They became more than just stick figures.
It gave me a good sounding board. Little did I know how much I talk to myself since there is no one else to talk to about my writing.

There is a part of me that wishes I was more social. That I would want to go to book discussions and workshops and conventions. That I would be able to hold meaningful conversations with other adults and be able to provide information about my writing in a clear, concise way to those who might be interested.
I'm pretty sure the only way I could do any of that is with liquid courage and that's just not an option either.
Another part of me says, well, that is what the internet is for. I can do all that w/o leaving my house and not have to face people and talk to them.
I can remember a time when I liked talking to people. Well, not strangers. I was never good at that. But co-workers and people I volunteer with.
Hopefully all of that will change when I am able to go back to work. I really am hoping for a good job with some good people that will help me with my confidence again.
I used to be important, and I'd like to be important again.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fingers are itchin'

Due to a family outing I was unable to write all day. I did get to mull over a few things though and that was good and bad. I think I figured out what I want to happen next, but I was unable to write it! I hope I can remember everything tomorrow morning.
Hell, I hope I wake up tomorrow morning to write it. Very tired.

Hanging out on the eHarlequin community site the other day. There is a thread all about getting a critique partner. Most of the posts are older, but a few were new.
It's a tough decision.
Let some stranger read and rate your work?
Isn't that what publishing is anyway?
Other concerns:
How do you guarantee that someone doesn't steal your work?
What if they aren't the right person to read it?
How do you know you are the right person to critique their work?
How do you write a good critique?
All good questions but no answers yet. Maybe I just need talk to a few people on there and see if they had good experiences or not.

No emails. No mail.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Drama, drama, drama

I promised myself when I got on a few community forums that I wouldn't get involved in all the drama.
Bad Heather.
I didn't take my own advice.
I mostly like to stalk and read, but sometimes I feel I can comment using my own experiences.
Then some guy challenges you and everything you wrote, hiding under the guise of helpful and wise, been here longer, know more than you, kind of forum member. But using their most snide and derogatory language.
Might I remind them that they are hanging out of a free community forum and talking to strangers all day.

After only writing one paragraph the other morning I have managed to write quite a bit since then.
I told my SIL that I would send her what I have so far but I want to get the first really good kiss scene written so she has something to enjoy.
Of course I didn't realize it was going to be pages and pages of stuff to write before I got there.
Poor me, right?
Writing with a cause.

Nothing else to report.
Getting email and going to the mailbox is getting pretty boring.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Can I order some determination with a side of willpower, please?

Long holiday weekend and I blew it.
Instead of using the mornings to write, I stayed in bed.
EVIL bed.
To think of the pages I might have written.

And what did I tell myself? Oh, you will feel better and be more focused if you get some more rest!

Today, I wrote a paragraph. Not even a whole one. It's a short paragraph. I don't even know if it's good. I wrote it and now I haven't been back all day to look at it.

In my own defense, I wasn't home much all weekend and it was in the 90's Sunday and Monday and that made everything and everyone miserable.

Well, I better get back to it this week. I need to get some of this stuff out of my head! It's just clutter right now.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bad characters! No donuts!

Sometimes characters are just bad.
Stop fighting with me!
I stayed up late last night trying to get some more writing done for the day.
I swear the characters were just arguing with me!
Practically whining.
I suppose they are trying to tell me something and maybe I just need to let things mull around in my head a bit today instead of continuing to fight with them.

I'm starting to worry about myself. Talking to characters.

It's a good thing no one reads this, or I just might have to explain myself.

No word from anyone.
The first email I sent was on 5/10/2010.