Monday, September 5, 2011

The Book That Scares You

I hear that tossed around a lot - the idea that there is a book within yourself that you are too afraid to write. I thought it was my last manuscript, MEANTIME, ELSEWHERE until I read a book hauntingly beautiful and I wondered if I had it in me to write in a similar way. More literary, I suppose. Most everything I write is full of my kind of humor with dark themes, but is definitely more concept or commercial than it is literary.

So, I gave it a go and wrote MONSTERS SYNONYMOUS. Honestly, I think it's the best thing I've ever done. It was so hard to write it, but the challenge of it pushed me in ways I never imagined. It is also -quite ironically- the fastest I have ever written a book. Even though I'm aware literary books aren't as popular as commercial, I don't regret doing it. I feel like it opened up a whole new world for my writing by doing it. I look forward to writing my next one, and entertain the idea of rewriting older stuff. Yes, I'm sort of nutty like that.

Anyhoo, any of you ever tried this? Going so outside your familiar and comfortable territory - be it writing or entertainment or anything - and discovered this whole new world you'd been missing out on?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Inspiration Lightning

Ever have it? You're sitting around mulling something mundane over when from east of left field comes this jolt of inspiration. I had that happen a couple of days ago and now all I can think about is my new WIP.

I am attempting something I've never done before because I want to push myself to be a better writer, the kind of writer I know I can be if I work hard enough. They say to challenge yourself and write something you're afraid you can't do. I've definitely done that. With each page I pause and stare at it, not sure if I'm on the right path.

It doesn't matter, I think. Just being on a path, no matter how far removed from the heavily trod one it is, may be enough. All roads lead to Rome. Some just take a more scenic route than others.

How about you? Feeling inspired? What inspires you to keep going?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Write On Con

Why the skunk? Because I love skunks, of course. This is my dream pet. I want one so bad.

What a week, guys! Has everyone been over at
Write On Con, soaking up the info and harassing... I mean... interacting with the lovely agents and authors? If not, get your booties over there. That's where I'll be all week.

On the writing front, I found me the most awesome editor in the world and she's helping me get my MS in tip-top shape. Can't say enough about this, chickadees and monsieurs. Editors are the bomb.

For a bit of smiles, I suggest you watch The Funniest Dang Thing Ever

It's got Spock. You gotta love Spock.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


They’re everywhere, aren’t they? Try as we might, our experiences tell us to expect things of people who act a certain way, dress in a particular style, or enjoy certain things. And this has nothing to do with race. A white person dressed in jean cutoffs and a salsa-stained t-shirt (or what society has now ‘cleverly’ deemed the “wife-beater”) leaves you with a different impression than the same person dressed in business attire.

There are so many misleading stereotypes in the world:

But how do we keep this out of our writing? More importantly (at least to me), how do I keep my readers (or potential agents) from assuming my character is going to be a stereotype just because of the way I have her dress?

I know many people make assumptions about me when they see me in person. They see my two-colored hair (either black and red or black and blue), my tattoo, lip piercing, black novelty t-shirt (either a band or a ‘dark’ movie), and leather renfaire shoes, and from that visual, assumptions are made about the sort of person I am.

There are things they would not assume about me:
1) I volunteer for the animal shelter
2) I give clothes, books, and toys to battered women’s shelters instead of Goodwill
3) I participate in toy drives every Christmas
4) I buy insane amounts of Girl Scout cookies to help friends’ kids
5) I spend all my free time writing and not doing something ‘unsavory’

To name a few. I doubt they would assume other things:

1. My favorite bands are Blue October, Seether, CCR, Pink Floyd, The BoDeans, and I love soundtrack albums from movies. Music with a lot of screaming annoys me.
2. My favorite movies are Galaxy Quest, Erik the Viking, Holy Grail, 13th Warrior, Knight’s Tale, Finding Nemo, Four Brothers, How to Train Your Dragon, Sweeney Todd, V for Vendetta, and The Lord of the Rings series.

These are movies I can watch on an endless loop for days. Yes, I’m weird that way.

Because I am overweight, they assume I eat too much. The truth is I eat once a day, sometimes a snack as well. My problem is that I don’t move, so yeah – they’re right to assume I’m physically lazy, but it’s also because my job was 8 hours at a desk and then write all night, but now it’s write all day and all night. I’m not lazy in my mind.

My character dresses in a goth way and is a little overweight. I wonder if readers would be put off by her just because of that, if they’d feel like they can’t relate to her because they can’t identify with her. Also, if agents would make the same assumption of readers and dismiss my MS based on that. My MC is not a stereotype. She has layers and motivations, dreams and hopes, disappointments and heartache.

And, before anyone assumes incorrectly, she is not a mini-me. In high school I was skinny as a rail with blonde hair, and was very much a grunge girl. Most days. I occasionally had a girly moment and wore a skirt.

Do any of you have this worry? That an agent will read your query and your pages and assume your character is not going to ‘speak to’ them, as some put it, because they have never been in a certain clique (or even actively disliked people in that clique) and therefore dismiss your character’s story?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

100 Word Story

As I normally do, I entered one of Janet Reid's 100 word contests, lost, and posted here on my blog for your amusement.

The five words to be included in the story:

Afternoon Delight

The sweat caked with the powdered sugar against her leathery tanned skin, like white jelly spread thin over golden toast.

On the floor beside the bed lay a half-eaten swiss cake roll, smashed into the carpet, and a t-bone cooled on the nightstand which had proved useless.

As the carnal fever almost sated, I gazed with heavy lids down at the paper bag which hid her face. A stick-figured character drawn in red gel pen smiled up at me.

Our agreement was an echo in my mind.

“Food sex? With you? Okay, but on one condition…”

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Makes Us Who We Are

I have two teenage daughters. As I watch them go about their lives in their own little universes, it inevitably leads to flashbacks of my own teenage years. My high school career was at the very end of the 80s and very beginning of the 90s, so I have two of our most warped decades to thank for my personality. I also blame a lot of it on my dad.

When I get an idea for a story I want to tell, I write it down. But as I read back through it once it’s done, I can see the influences from my teenage years. It’s all there, glaringly obvious to me. If I ever become published, I think it might come as no surprise to my readers to discover who my major media influences were (and in many cases, still are).

The Far Side – I have six books of Gary Larson’s collections, and they are left out and read through daily when I have a few minutes of ‘me’ time. This current sentence was going to be TMI, but I removed it. You’re welcome.

Pictured: How I Plot My Character's Life, Part I.

Sci-Fi – I was going to list out specifics, but really it needs to be lumped into one. X-Files, Star Wars, Star Trek, the Terminator, Sliders, X-Men comics, etc.

Pictured: OMG Heaven.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus – They used to show re-runs late at night on MTV, as well as Britain’s The Young Ones. These were happy, happy times for me, my friend. The offbeat and unexpected plots have heavily influenced my own plotting.

Pictured: How I Plot My Character's Life, Part II. You might notice a running theme...

Dean Koontz – Yes, I mention him on occasion. I read my first Koontz book when I was 12. Lightning. It was about time travel, fighting Nazis, redemption, and being a writer. It’s been a huge influence on me, and most likely why my first three series I wrote dealt with time travel, and why I suck up all things time travel like a sponge. A lot of people dismiss Koontz as a horror writer and never try him, but he’s written some of the most amazing characters I’ve ever read.

Pictured: OMG Heaven cubed. Aka: The Incarnate of Awesome.

Darlene Conner – Played by Sara Gilbert on Roseanne. I was (and in many ways still am) a version of this character, so much so my dad called me ‘Darlene’ half the time. It reflects in my narrative voice when I write.

Pictured: Me and my nerdy boyfriend. Funny how I look more like Roseanne now. OMG. WE DO TURN INTO OUR MOTHERS.

So, there’s my list. What’s yours? What are the defining media influences on you and your writing?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

9 Things That Make My Life Difficult

1. Ignoring my deeper peeves in life that revolve around the English language and how it’s used and abused, one of the greatest peeves in my life is clothing sizes. More specifically, the delusional folks who determine them. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t America in a sort of ‘omg we’re so fat’ stage right now? So why, for the love of that is holy and dipped in chocolate, are clothing sizes so disproportionately accounting for those of us of above standard-American-lingerie -model size in girth?

I found one website that says, “Please review our size chart as our shirts run small. Material also shrinks once washed.” Okay, WTF? And the largest size they carry? XL. That means their idea of XL to me is like a junior miss small. It’s not like I want to wear sleeveless, midriff shirts and frighten and/or revolt unsuspecting innocent bystanders with my stretch mark contour map of the Ukraine. These are t-shirts, for crying out loud. Another peevish place is Hot Topic. My girls shop there. I can only stand and look around with a dirty look on my face. Their idea of an XL is like a toddler sized medium.

Sometimes I wonder if the madness is to do with the countries and child labor sweat shops half our clothes come from, but that’s a sensitive subject matter I’ll refrain from blogging about with any specificity.

*rant done*

2. Things that are so very bad for me and my priceless time: Websites. I can spend hours scrolling through A Softer World’s strip comics, especially when it takes ages to load the image. I am sure I will never finish as there is too much infinitely amusing content. Don’t even get me started on I spent every spare second for two months there and have grounded myself from it ever since I managed to pull my head up for air.

3. My uncomfortable desk chair that thinks my legs don’t need blood.

4. My cat. He is the boss of me, and I can’t even quit.

5. A few of my kids’ friends’ parents who make ME look responsible. Yeah, they’re that bad. Too many have dubbed me Mommy#2.

6. Unobliging lottery balls. Nuff said.

7. My body’s insistence that I need at least five hours of sleep a day. This seriously cuts into my website reading. I mean… my writing.

8. Texas heat. Seriously, why is under 100 degrees an impossibility? We’re in the middle of the worst drought in history (which made lakes dry up and pieces of the Challenger shuttle were found) and now this slice of heaven just hit the news, “The Texas power grid operator has scrambled this week to meet soaring electricity demand in the face of a brutal heatwave, and residents of the second most populous U.S. state are one power plant shutdown away from rolling blackouts.” No one wants to see me hot. Seriously, I’m an angry lady when I’m hot.

9. Internet ‘improvement updates’ that make all my functions stop working like they used to. I’ve had to basically write off Skype and Youtube, and gmail started to destroy my formatting when sending an email. Hence, I sent a particularly awful looking query out without realizing it. Copy/paste into the box is a disastrous thing to do these days, apparently. Funny how it’s always been just fine for YEARS. If anyone knows why this is, please tell me. I’m afraid to query now.

I'm a Bit Ashamed, But Not Above Sharing

I've never read a lot of the classics. While pop culture has told me enough about these books to know the plot and characters, I've never read them. So tonight, when I logged into Amazon (I prefer brick and mortar normally, I SWEAR) to read when a novel I'm super anxious to read is available (This Dark Endeavor. Not til the 23rd. Sadface.) one of these 'classic' books was in the 'also bought' section, so I went ahead and got it.

Here was my first mistake. I'm not a shopper. I'm one of those impulse buyers that store owners love. Since I rarely shop, I tend to go overboard since my thinking turns into, 'well, I never get myself anything, and I've got the cash, so...'

I wound up, in the end, with thirteen tomes now being shipped to my house. Of these, I will say such classics as A Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and American Gods are all now going to FINALLY be read by me.

There's several authors I follow and I have now bought Tawna Fenske's Making Waves and Sean Ferrell's Numb. In addition to those, I bought ones that it seems everyone else has read recently but me (as far as YA goes) which are Incarceron, The Hunger Games Trilogy, The Maze Runner, Whisper, and The Forrest of Hands and Teeth.

Because I'm random, I chose a couple more books I'd read about on blogs this week which are Beasts of No Nation, Hold Me Closer Necromancer, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. (I'm especially excited about the last one. Thanks Emily!)

There's a few of these well outside my comfort zone. I'm the sort of reader that sticks to what I love and rarely venture outside that. But that's sort of stupid, I decided. If it's well written, then I should give it a go.

What this longer blog post's point was (since I rarely have one) is to give an example of how blogging IS a valid and worthwhile form of advertizing. I'd otherwise have never heard of several of these if not for blogging.

As an aside, I've a file called, "Books I Need to Buy" and on that remains (and a couple aren't available yet) A Monster Calls, American Desert, Animal Farm, Beautiful Creatures, Boneshaker, Divergent, Geek Love, Going Bovine, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell, Little Kingdoms, Never Let Me Go, Speak (I KNOW, RIGHT? WTF is wrong with me for not reading it yet?), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Alienist, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, The Blind Assassin, The Brief Wondrous Live of Oscar Wao, The Corrections, The Hanged Man, The Help, The Invention of Murder, The Monsters of Templeton, The Near Witch, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Somnambulist, The Tiger's Wife, The White Tiger, The Wind-up Bird Chronicles, Thirteen Reasons Why, This is Where I Leave You, When You Reach Me, and Wintergirls. 90% of these come from an agent I respect's personal pics. His taste is like mine, so I'm going to run with it.

We're not even going to go into the books I already own that I've not read yet *coughEndersGameWaterforElephantsTheArtofRacingintheRainTheReplacementLittleBeeTheRoadTheBookThiefWatchmenGirlWiththeDragonTattoocough*

So, are there any books you're ashamed of not having read yet? Do you have any more suggestions for me to try?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


We've all had them, right? I'll give you a prime example.

My daughter came into my office last night(or technically 3:30am) and said, "Why are you up so late?"

"I'm reading a blog and a few of these agents are hilarious. But now I'm worried no agents will want my book."

Her response? "Why wouldn't Asians want your book?"

"Agents, sweetie. Agents."

I doubt I'm the pillar of social etiquette anyway (which will shock none of you, I'm sure), but I've got a bad habit of trying to assume what someone said if I didn't understand them. I would rather take my chances of deducing what was most likely said rather than ask a person to repeat themselves.

This, as anyone could predict, leads to an occasional misunderstanding. I tend to assume towards the positive end of the scale so it's not like I get angry. I just know there've been many conversations in my life when I didn't have a clue what the other person was talking about because I'd missed the most pivotal word and was too embarrassed to stop them and say, 'Wait, what word did you say there?'

Am I alone in this? It is just another quirky thing about me I should have kept to myself? I have little doubt.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What Is Your Greatest Writing Obstacle?

Mine is naming things. I can hash out words all day, but if I have to give it a name, I'm at a loss. I wind up googling for ideas, searching wikipedia for appropriate references, researching all manner of things until something finally 'feels' right. I've finished my WIP and want to work on the query letter, but it HAS NO NAME. I had a name for it in the beginning, but it doesn't fit anymore. Plus it turned out to be the title of a cookbook already published.

Granted, this is nothing compared to the anxiety of naming my girls.

I know what we name them isn't important in the end. If a publisher picks it up, they usually change the title to something they think will work. But I can't just call it 'Beans and Rice' and be done. I can't send it out into the world like a nameless orphan begging for scraps on the corner. I over-think it, I know I do, but it's the one thing I'm anal about. The name HAS to fit.

What about you? What part is the hardest for you?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Four Months Isn't Too Long, Is It?

So, I took a bit of a hiatus from pretty much everything. No tweeting, no Facebook, no blogging, and barely e-mailing. I resigned from my horrible job in May, and I couldn't be happier. I've spent pretty much every waking moment writing or editing, though most of that is work that will probably never be published. I was just writing for fun. I started to work on my WIP which I put off in March, and lo and behold, I think I will have it edited and ready to go in a week or so, barring any unforseen circumstances.

I tried to buy a house, but since the mortgage crash it has become ridiculously difficult, at least in my area. I'll soldier on. I don't mind my rental so much. I've been here five years, though. That's a lot of money I could have put towards a mortgage. Hindsight and all that, right?

I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. Well, not Harry himself, but the world. Now that the last movie has played, I find I have nothing to wait for anymore. I used to wait for Star Wars and Star Trek movies, then Lord of the Rings movies, then Harry Potter movies and books, and now there's nothing out there that has grabbed my attention. Any suggestions?

Not much more to report. I was just popping in to say I'm still alive and still writing. How goes it with y'all? I hope to hear about loads of success, guys. It'd perk me right up.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Inspiration is a Fickle Mistress

I have been wondering lately if I'm a writer at all. Sure, I can put words together and tell a story, but so can anyone if they have the time and imagination. There's often debate about what makes a writer an author, or when we can call ourselves one of either. I think it's up to us. You know you. No one knows you better than you do (not even that stuffed animal you still have on the shelf from childhood).

I'm not a writer. I don't have the drive and ambition to turn what I do into a brand. There's a whole lot in this world to be inspired by. My voice is just one small vibration in a crowd.

I'm a storyteller. I write what entertains me. This week I've partnered with someone I've been writing with for about six years. Since Sunday, we've written about 35,000 words. Not a single bit of it will ever be seen outside my inbox, and I don't care. It's simply fun to write. I look at my last two projects, and the words of a reader keep ringing in my ears. "You're shooting yourself in the foot." Why? Because my stories are journeys into the bizarre. I laugh as I write, and a lot of it I make up as I go.

And I'm okay with that. I'll keep plodding on, and I'll submit each thing I finish in the hope that some agent out there will 'get' me. But I can't be anything other than I am. Maybe someday I will evolve. In the meantime, I'll sit here and laugh along with the various voices in my head.

I'm not a writer. I'm a storyteller.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Some Random Observations

This week I've managed to plow through 12K of new words on my WIP. It's like some kind of miracle. My mojo has returned.

Various things have caught my attention lately, and I am going to mention them today.

My youngest daughter asked me if my car was a girl or a boy. I said she is, of course, a girl. She then informed me my car is a lesbian because it hates when I let guys drive it.

People who own skunks swear they are smarter than cats and make better pets. So why do I pass half a dozen skunk carcasses in the forty mile trip to my parents' house, but not a single dead cat?

Why are they called refried beans and not reboiled beans?

Why is it the Trojan Horse when it was the Greeks who built it?

These are the sorts of questions that pop into my head as I write.

What I've been reading about lately is the horror in Japan. It breaks my heart to see so much destruction and loss, but at the same time... I'm me. I see images and most of them sadden me, but at the same time a couple catch my eye and ever so slightly amuse me.

No offense is meant in the following images, but I just had to share these two pictures that prove something unexpected: Japan has excellent building codes that keep the buildings from toppling and no doubt saved thousands of lives, but Japan also has magic earthquake paint that tells it where to crack.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

So Much Good News

I've been taking a kind of hiatus from blogging while I deal with other things that take me away from my computer, but I've been slowing stepping back into my blogging ways. Everywhere I look these days there is good news. Tahereh Mafi has a three book deal, Emily White is being published by an indie, Roland Yeomans is in the midst of a blog tour for his book, and it seems like things are turning rosie for my friends. I'm so happy for all of them.

As for my writing, I'm finally back on the horse and managed to finish two chapters this week. You can see my status bars on the side. For my two WIPs, I set the bar low so it doesn't intimidate me so much, but I know the one is going to be far longer than 50K. It's a sort of psychology thing.

Granted, my second was only 45K when it was done, but that was because I tried so hard to keep it concise, it wound up being too concise. I had several agents ask for partials and fulls and I guess I thought they'd tell me what to expand on if needed. But I had no takers in the end, and there's no reason I can't revisit it later.

My current WIP is unlike anything I've ever tried to do, and I hit a point where it intimidated me. But the scenes have been coming faster than I can write them down, so I think I'm over my long slump.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Questions We Ask Ourselves

We all spend a bit of time on this sort of thing, don't we? We ask why we persist in doing something so difficult with little or no reward. We ask ourselves what we want out of life, our entertainment, our employment, our friends and families. Do we really know what we want? Maybe some of you do. Or maybe, like me, some of you think you know the whats and whys, but have trouble with the hows and whens. Some of you more unfortunate ones that are exactly like me change your mind constantly and are easily distracted by anything remotely distract-worthy.

I would like to officially blame Simon C. Larter for Tweeting about on January 15th. I cannot drag myself away from the place. When I was a kid, I collected Cracked magazine. I'd spent the last couple of decades certain the mag went tits up, and was thrilled to find it reinvented online. I've read through pretty much every article they've posted since 2006 in the last several weeks, and participate in contests and volunteer to write articles now. They've yet to accept my work. Oh, those familiar feelings...

Which leads us to rejection. Not just of our work, but of us as individuals. I don't handle it well. I don't mind when people don't 'get' my writing. I understand it's a bit left of left field. But since being strongarmed into joining Facebook, I've been able to rekindle those feelings of high school rejection. Mostly because of those I knew 20 years ago in high school. All in all, I've joined Twitter (not posted since January), Facebook (posted once, commented twice), and have accounts at other places on the spiderwebs, and I am sure of only one thing in my life: I totally suck at this social media thing.

I think it's the lingering fear that it's sort of an eternal Miranda Rights. EVERYTHING YOU SAY OR DO WILL BE HELD AGAINST YOU UNTIL THE END OF TIME. Feels pretty permanent, doesn't it? Sort of like commitment. I kinda fail at commitment, too. Perhaps this is the problem. Or, more likely, I'm musing to the world instead of keeping it in my head where it belongs, and as with all conversations with myself, I don't actually have a point.

It is with a mixed bag of bravery to beat my own drum and certainty I definitely come across unprofessional that I will post this. Believe it or not, I'm giggling.

P.S. Speaking of giggling; Lenny my man, you're the sweetest kid under the sun.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Social Media

So, I've been bullied into Facebook by my relations. I'd managed to do okay without it, but like my eventual cave to adopt Twitter, I opened a Facebook account and am not that impressed thus far. Probably because I still don't know how to work the stupid thing.

Anyway, other than that, I've lacked the ability to update this particular social media I've been using the longest. Literally NOTHING in my life has changed since the new year. There is zero to report. I have trouble coming up with something interesting, probably because I don't feel all that interesting these days. I'm in a slump, I know. I do a lot of waiting and that eats at me. We've all been there, right?

Hope everyone's doing well. I gotta drudge into work, my FAVORITE place. (Sarcasm does not drip, it runs like a river)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hermit behavior

I've been pretty guilty of it lately. My one year bloggiversary came and went, but my mind has been on tons of things other than my blog and my writing. I'm not proud. I'm not happy. I wish things would level out and I could go back to the way things were just a few months ago.

My computer went tits up last Wednesday and now I'm on a sort of temporary set up just so I can be online. I am the opposite of a happy camper about this. Luckily, I was able to salvage my four stories.

Here is another 100 word short I did a few weeks back. I hope everyone is doing okay and you're making a lot more progress than I am these days. Stay warm, y'all.


Scandal’s ‘Goodbye to You’ warbled through static on his Trans Am’s radio. Mildew beneath the seats stank of old beer and fried food.

“You booze, you snooze, Flair Bear.” The pet name once warmed me, but my older brother fell from idol to scoundrel in my jaded eyes.

“It doesn’t go like that.”

I regretted getting in the car. He reached for the fisted hand on my thigh. I pulled back. His skin, mottled like jasper, told me all I needed to know.

The door protested as I climbed out. “Don’t come back.”

“See you tomorrow.”

“No. You won’t.”

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rolling In The Deep my newest temporary favorite song, sung by Adele. It sort of fits with the story below the picture. I swear I'm not totally random. At the moment.

Janet Reid had a writing contest several days ago and the winners were announced this morning. Alas, I am again NOT a winner of one of these contests she has periodically, but I find the exercise of writing a story in a hundred words or less using a few specific words tossed in a bit of fun (this time was abnegation, candor, dauntless, amity, and erudite). It's sort of like a puzzle. She's doing it again, so jaunt over to her blog tomorrow afternoon to enter for an ARC of "Divergent."

I don't actually need to link any of you to Janet Reid, do I?

Anyhoo, I rather liked my entry this time and wanted to share it with you guys. Hope you like it.

Foolish. Harsher words exist.

I tossed amity between our clans aside to burrow into his arms. I mistook abnegation for strength. Once dauntless and cunning, my cleared vision knew him a traitor and a fiend. Warmonger by proxy.

I’m no one’s scapegoat. My mistakes; my debt. I’ll pay none but mine.

Autumn leaves above mocked me. I’d been gone too long. I awaited my fate before a ring of erudite men who decided all. Candor was my only ally now.

“I was ignorant.”

They agreed.

“My penance?” I assumed my return.





Forgiveness with blood. Easy terms.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lies We Tell Ourselves

Ever notice the person you lie to the most in your life is yourself? Why do we do this? I mean, it's not like we don't know the truth. Example: I told myself earlier it didn't matter I was out of butter. My baked potato would still be just fine with enough cheese, mushrooms, and sour cream. Eghads. I pretty much just ate the toppings, and the ravaged husk of the pomme de terre is still sitting on my plate. (wow, 20 year flashback to French class)

There's other lies of course. They build up inside you, fester like boils you hope never pop and ooze all over the reality you've created for yourself. (I love the imagery, right?) Some of the great ones we tell ourselves this time of year, only we disguise them as 'New Year Resolutions.' Pft. I totally didn't bother this year. Know why? I've discovered I don't know what I want. Okay, well... money. That's a given, though. Everyone wants money. Again, why? Because this is a capitalist society and we cannot survive without currency, no matter how removed from society we fancy ourselves.

I tell myself off and on that I don't care if I get published. *coughbullshitcough* The literal truth is that it is irrelevant if I get published. I write because it's better than medication. I write because I have words that roil up inside me and escape my brim. I write because my thoughts are more entertaining to me most days than other entertainment outlets. Seriously, my mind is warped. It's like a playground that only I know how to enjoy. But most of all, I write because I have to.

Did you get that? I WRITE BECAUSE I HAVE TO.

Otherwise, there'd be a short (unimaginatively written) post somewhere about a woman who snapped and did something drastic. Like buy tofu in bulk. Okay, I'd never go that far, but whatever I did, it would be highly unpleasant and people would TALK. Mostly to the eyewitnesses of the spectacle that would be my breakdown. I predict nudity (not for the squeamish. I look like Jabba the Hutt and Michael Jackson's love child) and loud renditions of classic rock through a megaphone covered in glitter and scarves. Maybe even something worse.

My point is, writing is not a choice. It's not for me, and it probably isn't for you. Finding the time, deciding what to write, when, where, how, etc. - yes, those are all choices. But the writing itself: that is necessary for survival. In fact, if I was ever on Survivor, I'd be on the beach with a stick, writing in the sand.

It would double as a weapon, if need be.

So, told yourself any good lies lately?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Rainy Day in Texas

It's been raining for at least five hours. The nutter I am, my mood is actually improved by a cloudy, drizzly day. It's a soothing sound; steady drops on the roof, the crinkle of the dried leaves in the yard as their pelted, the dull sky and empty streets give a sense of solitary, as if there's been an Apocolypse I slept through. Time, which usually dashes by as it gives me the finger, slows to pass me at a meander and give a dismissive shrug instead.

I'm at a crossroads the last several days. I'm the suck at decisions, and I've needed to make one. I put it off in the usual ways: avoidance, denial, occupying myself with other things, etc. But the fact remains; a decision looms.

Which MS do I work on?

I stopped working on MS3 several weeks ago. Real life threw me a lot and writing wasn't in the cards during the holidays. Now that the new year has arrived, I know I should be working on something, and logic states I should return to the WIP. But something happened about a week ago, and every time I sit down at the computer to add to chapter 9 of MS3, my mind wanders back to what happened a week ago: I wrote a new beginning to MS1 which popped into my head. The beginning led to a realization of how I could make the book 300% better.

My muse begs me to go back to MS1, a.k.a. kick a dead horse. It had no agent interest nor feedback as to why it had no agent interest. It could have been the length, but it could have been anything. MS2 had several agents ask for partials and fulls, and people who've read what I've done so far on MS3 like it as much if not more than MS2, so logic dictates it might have more agent interest when I query than MS2 did. But my muse longs for Dead Horse MS1. The artist in me wants to follow my muse, but the part of me that wants to be published someday says I should only look forwards and not backwards.

I'm sure even the greats wish they could revisit something they wrote and make it better. Logic tells me it's a bad idea. Anyone else have this problem at times? How do you get past it?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Guess Who's Not Dead

Well, there's you, of course. Look at you, all lively and filled with hope for the new year!

There's me, obviously. I know I vanished for over a month, and I'll make no excuses. I'd think of blogging and couldn't think of a single thing to say that wasn't already being said by everyone else. I hope you all had a great holiday season, and I hope your Monday didn't suck too awful bad.

In a few weeks is my one year blog anniversary. I think about the year I've had, and it's definitely been a rollercoaster of hope and dismay. I think I've achieved my happy place, though. I'm not defeated. I'd like to think of it as pacing myself. For so many months I worked tirelessly (or dragging ass at times) on finding an agent. I wrote two MSS. Started two more. I kept pushing myself, and you know what? I don't operate that well under pressure, especially pressure I put on myself. I had about ten agents ask for partials or fulls on my second MS, and I let myself get wrapped up in the hope of being published.

I've reached a point of patience I didn't know I had. I'll keep toiling, at my own pace on the stories I want to write. Sometimes I think I should write to the market. I've been told my stories are too far removed from mainstream that I'm shooting myself in the foot. I decided I'm okay with that. I'd rather 'make it' on a book that is 'me' than a book I wrote I didn't enjoy, and have to write more just like it or similar to it. I just need to find an agent that fits; one that gets my quirky humor and thinks my crazy stories will appeal to enough readers to make it worth their while.

Right? Maybe? I suspect this might be another lie to myself.

How 'bout you guys? Keeping it real or swimming in fantasy? Anyone land an agent while I sat on the couch this month, nursing my allergy to the internet?