Saturday, February 27, 2010

2nd Edit!

Another quick post! My 2nd set of revisions just came in today, no major changes but lots and lots of little things. Spaces here not there, punctuation, moving sentences around.

Basically it is housekeeping for my novel by the initial looks of the revised ms. Things like justifying the edges, proper spacing between chapters and stupid mistakes like not capitalizing words that should be.

All and all, super duper excited! Hopefully all will go well and I will have the revisions revised, a new synopsis and query letter written and the whole bundle off to the acquisitions editor at Tor/Forge by the end of the month. Which means I will have beaten my original deadline by a full month! This is a happy day. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

*Gasp* Rejected!

This will just be a short note, I promise! I just wanted to share with all of you that I received a Query response from a literary agency I submitted to 231 days ago. Apparently I was caught in their spam filter even though I had "Query Letter" in the subject line and had followed all the submission guidelines.

Unfortunate for me it was a polite rejection, but at the same time, who wants to work with an agency that takes that long to respond to a simple letter. Yes I know they are super busy and loaded down with billions of queries. But lets face it, after 200 odd days, I kind of assumed it was a rejection.

Like going on a date and them telling you they will call you tomorrow and then you run into them six months later and their all like "Hey! So good to see you, but no, I'm totally not interested in a relationship." Surprise, surprise.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rough Drafts

Working on a new project is always fun. New characters, names, places and events, it's all just a big party. I actually really enjoy my rough drafts, but I always forget that until I am back in the swing of things.

When I am working on revisions, I dread my next rough draft for fear of the revisions to come on it. When I am submitting to agents I all I can think about is what if they like it and want more? Then I would have to do a rough draft again and that would be horrendous... Except that it's really not, not at all.

I am beginning to think that this process (at least for me) is something like childbirth only a little bit backwards. Instead of forgetting the pain of creation, I fear that the pain was far, far worse than it actually was and my mind tells me I don't want to start that again do I?

Really, the point I am attempting to make is that writing, whether you are in the beginning, middle or end is not all that difficult, it's the worrying about the writing that is hard on the inexperienced writer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Writers Constipation

Writers constipation. Also known as fear and censorship of self. Two things that nearly derailed my writing career very early on. I had the chance to speak at my writing group last night about the things I felt it takes to finish a project. So with a few days to mull it over, I realized that one of my biggest stumbling blocks was (and this is very much in the past tense) censorship. I was always afraid of what other people would think of me and my work. What would my mother say if she saw me write a *gasp* love scene? Or my pastor *gasp* if I put a swear word in?

What that particular line of thinking brought to me was a very long and unhappy road as I took three years to bang out a rough draft. Three years. Every sentence and paragraph that plopped onto the paper was done so with enormous amounts of sweat and tears and by the end, sheer exhaustion. The book completed I felt wrung out and empty of any possibility to write ever again. And on top of that I didn't even like the finished project, cursed myself for taking it to the editor who made me work on it some more.

I spent a year editing it and sending it in to agents who of course rejected it because even I could see from a mile away that there was no way it was going to happen for that book. But I persisted, learned a lot and came away with a very different attitude.

When I finally felt ready, I started my next book, finished the rough draft in 3 months and within about a year will be ready to send it off to an editor who has asked to see it. Big difference.
The only thing I did different was that I took some laxative, in writing terms I said to myself
"I don't care what anyone thinks of me and my writing, I am going to write what I want."

Moral of the story: Don't worry and don't fear when you write, let it go and let the shit happen :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

A little Breakout

Lately I have been especially busy with writing, and not for any novels. I have taken on the Public Relations position for my riding club (BC Competitive Trail Riders Association) which involves writing articles for the various horse industry magazines. In the month of March alone I will have an article in both SaddleUp and Pacific and Prairie Horse Journal as well as an article for a North Island Community Magazine called The Beacon.

Now, none of this really helps me break out in the writing world, but it does help me hone my skills, get my name known, at least a little bit, and put me in touch with professionals who COULD have contacts that will help me break out. And of course I love to write, I love horses and I love competing. All and all it's a good match, one that has brought forward some great ideas from my writing group.

If I am already writing for these non-paying horse magazines about an equestrian sport I love and have a good deal of knowledge about, what's to stop me from querying the big time magazines like Horse Illustrated or Horse and Rider? Nothing, except that I had never thought about the possibility before.

Though it may not be the breakout I am looking for, it would bring in a little bit of money while doing an article on something I love, an article I will be writing anyway. Will keep you posted if I actually go through with submitting an article.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A new Addiction

I have spent the last three hours setting up my new computer. It turns out that my old computer was sold to me with so little memory that there was no way it was EVER going to run correctly from the first moment I bought it and turned it on.

Now, new computer and Internet connection in hand, I am surfing the web almost as fast as everyone else! The only thing I am worried about is that with these new super powers I may be less inclined to do my writing and more inclined to...well waste time.

So this blog is basically a kick start to get my writing juices flowing, a way to appease the need to use the new toys and yet still be writing. It's not really working. My right hand is literally itching to be clicking on the mouse that no longer has a little ball running under it, to click on YouTube and watch as videos download in under 5 hours.

This could get bad. How do you all live with computers with all these distractions and still get work done? I fear that soon I will begin to get the shakes and break out in a cold sweat...too late.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Life Experience

This is not a novel, story or otherwise a piece of fiction/fantasy. It's a true story, though I will change the names of the defendants and places to protect the parties involved. All parties are innocent until proven guilty. Ha!

I had an experience yesterday that left me very proud of myself. In line for a ferry, I witnessed a man downing a can of Lucky beer, and yes I know it was Lucky because he was close enough for me to read the can. I glanced at the time. 9:02 am. Thinking it was probably not a good idea to be drinking so early in the morning, I wasn't overly worried until he got into the drivers side of the car behind me. You have got to be kidding me, right?

I hummed and hahhed about calling the cops, but got up my courage, did a walk around the car(once on the ferry) to get the licence plate and called 911. The dispatcher took all the info and then told me it was the second time this week they had received a call for that particular ferry and a driver drinking alcohol. I then witnessed the driver and his buddies downing a second round of Lucky. As we disembarked the police SUV was waiting and quickly pulled the vehicle over.

Cheering myself all the way down the road, I was very pleased that I had gotten up the gumption to call it in.

But wait, it gets better! The arresting police officer phoned me to thank me for calling in and told me they also confiscated a large amount of drugs that were being brought over to be sold! So not only did I stop a drunk driver, I got a drug bust under my belt too!

The two lessons to be gained from this?

1. Drinking and driving is not only hazardous to your health and those around you, it can get you kicked off the small islands for life.

2. Lucky beer ain't so damn lucky.