Am I there yet?

Am I there yet?
It is better to attempt something great and fail, than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.

Summer Fun

My moods are ruled by the weather. I am a much happier person from March through November. I am a summer person all the way. I can sit in the sun all day long, but having a pool makes that bearable. I slap my hair up off my neck, kick off my shoes (not that I usually wear any) and soak up the rays. I am a true Alabama girl and wouldn't have it any other way.

I love the water. I don't care if it is the pool, the beach or the river. Residing on or near the water is where you will find me.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Moving forward

I attended the Emerald Coast Writers Conference last weekend. I walked away with the reaffirmed knowledge that writing the book was the easy part, now I need to be disciplined enough to see it through. I need to finish my editing. I need to tweak my query letter. I need to write my synopsis.

The same agent who has shown interest in my book was there. She requested a hard-copy of my manuscript to work on editing. Of course, I printed a copy that night and gladly handed it to her the next day. I will accept any help, criticism, at this point.

I finished my romantic short story this week and feel good about it. Several people read it and made suggestions in some areas and it is ready to go out. It will be going out tomorrow and I will see what happens.

I also began some research for my next novel. So, I do feel like I am accomplishing some writing goals and moving forward. I'm off to the river tomorrow after daughter's softball game, and being there always inspires me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When a book disappoints.

Yes, I have personal experience with this. I am so aware that my book needs a WHOLE lot of work, but that is ok. When I have a little downtime, I edit. I have edited a small amount (truth, not much), I have jotted down several ideas to begin writing new manuscripts, I have vamped up a few short stories, and I made time to read. I always make time to read, as I am a firm believer that if you want to be a writer, then you need to continue learning and experiencing your craft.

I was at the beach this past weekend with my younger son (pictured above, what a handsome young man), and finally finished James Patterson's Witch and Wizard. Ughhhh! I made myself finish it, and it was extremely difficult. When I first picked it up, I didn't realize it was written for young adult, not that it should have mattered. I love the Twilight series. This one was also written with Gabrielle Charbonnet. I hoped that they would finish the story with Whit and Wisty explaining how they escaped the execution, if they did, but it was left open for you to continue reading the series. Which, I won't.

The constant change in point of views drove me insane. One chapter from Wisty, one from Whit, 2 from Wisty, 3 from Whit, 2 from Misty, etc. etc. There was no method to this madness. I kept thinking I was reading from the other one's perspective. Not only was this confusing to me, it must have been confusing to the writers, as I know for certain in one chapter from Misty's point of view, it ended with "said Misty." Alrighty then, I thought these were her words, yet you have to state it.

The storyline was so-so. I thought the characters were cheesy and didn't stay in character. I suppose I will just keep writing my own masterpiece and never receive a bad review (in a perfect world).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is it ever good enough?

As hard as I am trying to keep up with my blogging, I am failing. My life is running me, again. This time due to issues that are out of my control. In my last post I mentioned I had an agent that wanted to work with me on editing my manuscript. Well, we haven't seemed to be able to connect, and by that, I mean actually begin. Though I believe it would be an incredible and educating experience to work with this agent, I just am not sure she truly is the right person. Maybe my book is the "fall back" one. If she has time, if nothing else comes across her desk or computer that blows her away, etc., she always has mine.

I have been writing though. I have a couple of short stories I am ready to submit, and I have entered several contests. When I edit anything I write to submit, I can't seem to stop adding, removing, rewriting. Ughhh!!! Just this morning, I finally just hit send. Now I just have to wait and see what happens.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The real work begins.......

Finally kicking the flu, that was ten days I'll never get back, I am ready to devote any spare time to my novel. Tomorrow is the day arranged between myself and an agent to start editing it one to three chapters at a time (depending on how much is needed). I must admit, I am intimidated, hesitant, excited, and overwhelmed. I wonder if I can give as much time and attention to this as I need to. It feels like writing the book wasn't the hardest part. I still have a full-time job in my business, I have a college age son living at home, and an active 11 year old with basketball practices and games. I want it to be the best it can. Constructive criticism doesn't scare me, I have longed for any criticism, good or bad for so long.

I'm diving in. I will never make it if I don't, and if I ever want to be a full-time writer, I have to continue, and this is the right, positive direction.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Following my own advice is harder to swallow than dishing it out.

I haven't been posting for quite some time now. I know, huge disappointment (actually, I am disappointed in myself). I didn't quit writing, but I haven't finished anything I have started in the last few months either. I have read a few good books, which is always helpful in improving my writing, but life has been throwing me some real hard knocks lately and I've had to focus and prioritize to maintain a good, healthy balance.

If you have nothing good to say, don't say anything at all. I live and teach my kids this, but with writing, you want anything at all from a potential agent, publisher, reader - you can learn from this type of negativity, if you can get it. Over the past summer, one agent who was patient with me after requesting my manuscript (I hadn't read or worked on it in quite some time and it needed fresh eyes and a lot of work), passed on my book. Happens all the time, I know, and it won't be my first rejection or the last. After that, I sent a query letter out to several agents and received several form rejection letters. I decided I needed to write a better query letter and really work on polishing up my book. What I really wanted was someone, anyone in the business to give me some advice, feedback anything - good or bad.

There was one agent that had also waited patiently for my book. I knew this agent was swamped, and when I did hear back that they wanted us to work on my book together, clean up some parts, basically improve it, but it had good flow, there were some major hiccups in my life. I got consumed in my day-to-day activities and writing got put on the back burner. After no further communication with this agent and no response to my email, I believed the agent wasn't really interested. WRONG! This agent contacted me, asked what happened and said we need to plan to work together every week on this project.

Now I am super-motivated and it isn't that I didn't believe in myself and/or my writing, but I have to remember to make time for myself and the things I love, reading and writing, even amidst life's turmoil, hence, follow my own advice (if you know me, this will make complete sense to you as you get tired of hearing it from me everyday).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blah, blah, blah

Yeah, I know - SNAP OUT OF IT!!! I am desperately trying to get in the swing of things, with daughter back in school, son home and back in college, husband in and out of town with work, and still battling the economic woes of owning and struggling to keep my small business afloat. I still have my novel out with a few agents I queried, I submitted it in a novel contest, and I have two new ideas for my next projects. One I have started some research and am working on my outline. SO, I am still hanging in there. Here's to seriously picking myself up and "unleashing creativity!"

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rejection and the Blues

Well, my summer is coming to an end. Daughter starts school on Thursday, so we have to leave our river paradise and head home to Florida tomorrow. It has been a fun time, but extremely hot. What a blessing to have the river to attempt to cool off, though it mostly felt like bathwater.

We are planning on keeping our getaway place through the cooler months. Though I am inspired here and have multiple places I am dying to sit down with my laptop and release my ideas, it has been too hot. I am relieved to know that I will get an opportunity to do so.

One agent responded on my manuscript and made no offer of representation. :( It stinks, but my intuition told me it would be so. The more I followed this agent's blog, etc., I felt she represents more YA than romance. If I ever decide to change genres, I will contact again, but for now, I have another agent that read it, liked the pace, among other things, but has some suggestions. I sincerely appreciate her time and assistance, and I am continuing to polish it up on my own and haven't stopped submitting.

So, I will keep plugging along! Oh, and with being here in Alabama I haven't read one book (ughh), but I started The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and didn't finish, not because I didn't like it. My Mom rented the movie. We all sat down and loved it. The subtitles did not take away from the story, pace, acting. I can recommend the movie.