Friday, January 13, 2012

My best shot at a New Year resolution

Today was my daughters graduation from DARE, and after the ceremony, I ran into one of the ladies I used to be friendly (not friends with - but we hung out a bit for our kids school stuff) with when we first moved here - and I gave her a big hug.  She hugged back and didn't seem phased by it - but my daughter and husband both were shocked I just hugged someone that was a little more than a friendly acquaintance back in the day - and haven't talked to in at least 3 years. 

I didn't think it it was a big deal, until I thought about it and it WAS kind of weird.  The more I thought about it - I realized I'm really lonely and damn it,  I needed a hug. 

I haven't made a single friend here.  Which I keep saying is okay because we just moved here - but - it's been 6 years this coming summer.  That's not JUST.  Sigh.

When we moved here, I suffered from a pretty serious bout of post-partum depression.  My youngest was only 4 months old and in the throws of severe reflux.  My life for a year and half revolved around surviving each day as she cried through them or used me a human pacifier to dull her pain. Once we moved on from that, it took a good year or so to learn how to live as a human again.  I think I got stuck.

I'm not whining - I think I'm more sharing my epiphany.  It's hard to make friends as an adult.  I work from home, and don't have a lot of hobbies that throw me in with the public.  And although I'm really outgoing, I'm very shy.  Does that even make sense?  If you give me a shot, I'll talk your ear off, listen to you to no end and go to the ends of the earth for you, but, you have to reach out to me first. I'll wave at you but no way I'd have the nerve to come up and chat.  That sometimes makes me seem bitchy.  Standoffish.

I think I'm a good friend, and my best friends (scattered across the country though they may be) are amazing - and most I met in junior high!  I just would like someone nearby to go shop with every once in a while, or invite over to hang out - or put as an emergency contact for my kids at school.

I'm working on this.  I want to make friends.  I'm going to try. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Reading right along

Oh Kindle, how I love thee.  My dad gave me a kindle as a thank you present and I can't believe how much I love it. I thought I'd miss actual books - but it turns out - it's not been much of a problem. It's been especially wonderful since my local library started lending to the Kindle.  I bought a little waterproof cover and I can read on the beach or in the bath, and then my dad gave me a cover with a light built in and that's perfect for the late night reading. 

This is a little glimpse of what I've managed to read recently:

The Dead-Tossed Waves and Dark and Hollow Places (Carrie Ryan)
Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins)
Marcelo and the Real World (Francisco Stork)

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Carrie Ryan)
Matched (Allie Condie)
The Magicians (Lev Grossman)
Dreamland (Sarah Dessen)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children  (Ransom Riggs)
Beautiful Disaster (Jamie McGuire) (oh how I struggle with this one!)

Next on the shelf:

The Magician King (Lev Grossman)
Angelfall (susan Ee)
Crossed (Allie Condie)
Blood on My Hands (Todd Strasser)
Vida Nocturna (Mark Diehl)
The Demon Trappers Daughter (Jana Oliver)

So - what have you been reading? 

Friday, January 6, 2012

THAT voice

Here's the funny thing about writing.  Sometimes you get too deep into your own head to find your way out to write about normal things.  Like blog posts.

I find it amazing that I haven't posted in almost a year.  Yet, when I look through my blog drafts, I actually write a couple of blog posts a month.  I can't bring myself to post them.  I think that's why I had to stop querying.  I wasn't ready for the all the other parts that come with writing.  I enjoy writing, I write to feel sane, I write to get the characters out of my head that follow me around.  I tell their stories.  When I started querying and those first few R's started coming - a big, red, flashing sign went off for me.  I knew I would get R's.  EVERYONE get's R's.  It wasn't even as if I took it personally.  I knew that they were judging my book based on 3 small paragraphs - not even the body of my work. What it came down to for me, was the fact that every single R's echoed this nasty little voice that lives in my head telling me that my writing isn't ready, it's not good enough, it's not worth it.  THAT voice.  It was me and my problem, not the rejection.  I had already set myself up to fail this journey.  I wasn't ready.

So, I've been taking some time.  I took a break from writing, since I needed to get my own head on straight.  I need to quiet THAT voice.  Now that I have emerged on the other side with writing mojo back on my side, I re-evaluated my query process.  I expected to find I had sent out dozens of queries.  But no, 12.  I sent out 12 queries to agents. 12!!!  I received 6 rejections and 6 no-answers (which in my world are R's).  I quit at 12.  I shared this with some of my writing buddies lately and they laughed at me.  Not because I have been rejected, but because 12 was the extent of my attempt.  One friend has queried over 300 times, over three different books.  Most of my other friends, (some pubbed even) said they queried a minimum of 50 for each book. 

I don't know if I'm ready, I probably won't really know until the R's start piling in again.  But I'm stronger.  I quieted that voice, and I'm working on kicking it's ass and pushing it to the curb permanently.  That part will take time.  But the rest of me is in charge now.  I'm writing again.  I'm finishing my next novel, and then I'll go through the process to get it shiny and ready.  Then I will try again. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pole Dancing

So, my oldest daughter just asked me if she could take Pole Dancing lessons.

She's 10.

Let's just say that my mouth couldn't have opened any wider if I was getting a cavity filled.

After I collected myself, I asked her what the heck she was talking about (OMGHOWDOESSHEKNOWWHATTHATEVENIS????).

Turns out she saw a Groupon coupon for 1/2 off Pole Dancing lessons when looking over my shoulder at my email. She thought it sounded great, because pole dancing is like the jig right? Like the dancing Polish people do?

Let's just say it took me about ten minutes before I could breathe between fits of laughter.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Writing for Dummies

My muse just up and went.  Left.  Gone.  Hit the Road. 

I think we dun broke up. Surely she would have left a note right?  Something?

I'm not sure whether to submit a missing "persons" report or just wait it out.  I know she'll come back.  Right?

I pick up my laptop and just look at the screen. It's kind of pathetic.

I spend hours listening to the music we used to write to. Sometimes, I go back and torture myself and read what we wrote when we were still together. 

I'm so desperate I went down into the dark alleyways to get help.  Writing prompts and spew writing (ya know, where you just write to write in hopes that at some point the words will work themselves into something worth reading?).  I know, I know.  Amateur.  I just needed a fix.  Something to get me through until she comes back.

So far, no muse.  She hasn't even called.  

I'm left questioning myself and my past.  Was what we had even real at all?   

Told ya.  Pathetic.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I'll tell ya, this business of writing is funny.  Not so much ha ha funny as strange funny, but ya get my point.  Once I wrapped up Normal and started querying (and I'm doing a terrible job at that... I haven't even sent out 12 queries in 9 months.  LAME!), I've been bitten by the Shiny New Idea bug (SNI) over and over and over.  I have noted, fleshed out and even gotten 10-20K in on some of these ideas (I think I've had at least a dozen since October?), but none of them have really tempted me to write.

 Partly the problem is these inspirations come to me in a flash, a character or of a scene, but not the stuff of a full out novel.  

So, although the inspiration well was dry, I've been forcing myself to write.  I've also been doing a lot of reading.

Ghosties is close to my heart, but I'm torn because I have two roads in front of me, two separate paths I really like for it - but once I decide on one and start writing that way, I'm suddenly convinced the other path is THE path.  I think I'm going to write both and see which one I end up loving.  I admit it's also hard to write because I'm a giant scaredy-cat, and once I get into some of these scenes, they stay with me and freak me out.  That's good though, right?

Then, my hockey chick novel, which originally was 3 SNI's that combined into one, took a crazy turn and has finally captured my full attention.  The characters are rounding themselves out and speaking to me, sometimes even shouting.  Mac (the MC) had a huge secret she finally revealed to me, and now I have hope for her - and her story.  There is a playlist, there is a cast... and it's moving along.  I just hit 12K on it, and have very, very loosely outlined the rest of the novel - so there is somewhere to go.

So, here I am finally settled into a manuscript.  Enjoying writing it.  Getting wordage in.

Low and behold it hit me this morning after a crazy dream, a new SNI.  An epic story - with an actual plot attached.  The characters are so real to me that I instantly was able to search out actors that fit the physical descriptions.  It's full of action and romance so I'm loving it.  I wrote a four page outline (I'm still a pantser, I promise, but I had to get it out of my head and on paper while I had it!!) and then about 2K! 

So.... I crank up The Clash and force myself to decide... "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tis the Season....

.... for generic headings....

Hahahahahaha haha ha ha.

Did I mention that I love just about everything about this time of year?  It's true.  Busy stores, long lines, late nights, flour handprints on my jeans... love it all.

I think however, like everything else I do - I may be gathering a few too many traditions.  So far it's manageable, but if I keep picking up 1-2 new ones every year, in about 10 years we'll be spewing Christmas from Labor Day to Valentine's Day.

I've been writing, so that's wonderful, but I'm sort of stuck in a world of WIPS (works in progress).  There aren't any that are calling my name at night and begging for attention, so I'm just plugging along waiting for one to scream to be written or a new SNI (shiny new idea) that will grab me.