Almost Finished! Not

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Here is the deal with trying to writing, it is a never-ending process. I had an outline of my story when I began: start here – go here – end here. I am almost to the end of my first draft, a very rough first draft and I am just over a month out with my 15 minutes with an agent to pitch it. Now I have to decide what I am going to do with it. Do I revise it, change the story completely while keeping the cast of characters, or do I “pitch it” to the side. This last idea is not something I want to do but I am not happy with the way the story has come out. The end has been a struggle to put together and find the right words to type.

I have been made to believe by some that my story doesn’t have enough conflict or will come off “lectury” because of the story I want to tell. I want to… NEED TO finish this story, this book. I haven’t finished anything in the past and I can’t keep quitting when it becomes a struggle to write my stories. Like my reading pile, I also have a pile of stories I want to write as they constantly come to mind, creating new files with documents with the basics of the story that comes up. In the last month, I have written down the basic ideas for eight different stories. They keep coming to my mind but I can’t let myself be distracted. It would be so easy to just change over to one of those other ideas without finishing this one. But then nothing gets done, does it?

batman-writeI can blame these delays on writer’s block, but I am not really blocked just stuck. I want to write, I attempt to get something out each day but I have skipped a few in the past few weeks because of personal events. One day was to spend an entire day with my family; which we haven’t been able to do because of schedule conflicts and a lot of different big chores going on. Another was because my mind was elsewhere because of having to get a biopsy done on my back – which is probably nothing. And the last was because I sat there for two hours and couldn’t come up with a single thing to put down on paper. Making me wish that I had someone to “snap me out of it” at these moments.

Part of these doubts come from whether it will be good enough. Who wants to write something they put everything into then have it slammed by reviewers? I have spent my life reading amazing novels, watching incredible stories on the screen and I wonder at the end of the night how I could even attempt to put my work in the same category as these. It’s not that my writing sucks but it is the intimidation of the amazing things I have read because no matter what someone says… they want their book to be a success. You don’t write and publish something just for yourself. Stories are written and created to be enjoyed by others. Others who aren’t the creator. I want my stories to be read and enjoyed… not for fame but because that is why it exists in the first place. That is its job – to be read. Without being read it’s just words on a page, ignored and forgotten.

So, my story will one day be finished but not anytime soon. It’s still incubating in my head.

ETA: I just realized that on July 6 I had around 30K words. Today I broke 50K. Pretty dang good.

Over the Hump!

Well, I did it. I broke the halfway mark on my word count goal for my book. Now I just have to write 35,000 more words in the next month before school starts. That will give me a month to work on and finish the proofing and editing before my pitch meeting in September. I also need to find people to read it and bounce it off of. Maybe I will leave some pages on the couch when the babysitter comes this week and see if she reads it.

I am still trying to come up with ideas for a title of the series as well as the book.

My fav book in the series. Learned I could be a new me by dying my hair and wearing new belts.

There is also the issue of edge for the book. Is it edgy enough? Will YA readers connect with the story and the characters? Why do I ask this? Sadly, I read some reviews on Amazon.com about the Babysitters Club and was shocked that 13 year olds were disappointed that they girls in the book didn’t deal with real issues like doing drugs and having sex as well as who cares about babysitting at that age when partying is so much more important for teens to be doing? For me when I was younger, around 10 The Babysitters Club was the shiznit and I did deal with problems like that when I was 13. I babysat. Didn’t really get invited to parties. Wasn’t into drugs or drinking at 13. Wasn’t having sex. Hell, I didn’t even have my first kiss at that point. By the time I was 13-15, I was reading The Thorn Birds and Clan of the Cave Bear along with some Sweet Valley High and trashy romance novels thrown in for balance.

Yes, some of those issues may come up but my stories are more about the internal struggles girls have with themselves and their friends. Teen girls trying to find their own way, trying to not get lost in the crap of teen drama that so many of us end up getting stuck in. Something I wish I could have read when I was younger. Cause no matter how hard I tried – I never looked like Jessica Wakefield (but I did get some fashion tips from her :p).

 

Never Give Up…

…Never Surrender – especially to your own self-doubts.

I almost did this the other night but I am lucky to be married to an amazing man who won’t let me do this to myself anymore. What was I doubting? My ability to be a writer and should I continue. My husband listened to me and told me to not give up. To believe in myself more, because he doesn’t understand why I don’t more.

The doubts – oh, there are so many.

My writing probably sucks
What if I never find an agent?
What if I get panned by reviewers?
What if I just fail?

So, after spending a month attempting to edit at the same time of doing major work on the house, vacationing as well as visiting family… I haven’t had a chance to get a word written. Tonight, instead of continuing my work on the editing I am getting back to writing. I will be spending time each day working on getting my edits done then in the evenings I will work on continuing my novel. In truth, when I was reading it as I edited it I actually enjoyed it. Is it a classic? No, but it is enjoyable.

I do need to find a title for what I am working on. Right now I have a working title of The Bank but it doesn’t really fit the story anymore. I also need to come up with a title for the series it will hopefully be the start of, a series about a group of girlfriends. Kind of like American Girl meets Sweet Valley High meets… am I boring you yet?

Now, it is time for me to get back to it. I ended up finally breaking 30K with the editing of four chapters and fleshing out parts of the story; I am getting ready to finish writing Chapter Eleven then onto Twelve. My end goal is about 70K.

Yep, Editing Sucks the Big One!

I finally finished editing my first 10.5 chapters of my novel, which I had done by hand. Now I am in the process of going into the actual computer file and making the changes. It completely and utterly sucks! I have been at this for weeks and feel like I am not making any progress. I really want to get back to actually writing the book. An assistant is needed but we can’t afford one, so until my kid can start typing it looks like I am on my own for at least a few more years. Then I can start making him fix my mistakes to pay his rent.

Only have a few moments to complain then I am going to grab some ice cream, do some more work then bed time. I have my dad in town and he is helping us do a lot of stuff around the house. Tomorrow we are going to be staining the back patio and painting. This is our “rest day” so I am hoping we will have time to go see Man of Steel finally. Hubs already went when I was out-of-town, he thinks I will enjoy it because I am not as hardcore of a Fangirl as he is a Fanboy. This from the guy who listens to me complain about the fact that I think 6′ is too short for Superman and that I think Cavill looks like a Hobbit Superman.

2 more days and I get my C pap machine… yeah for breathing while you sleep!!!

ETA: Please check out my Literature Page here on the site. I will be updating with more later in that area.

Following Your Dreams…

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Can Be Hard When You Start Doing It…

I haven’t been posting a lot in the past few months, or at all, because my life has been a bit hectic. My last semester at school was one of the worst I have had since graduating high school. All those doubts, worries, and stresses associated with my LDs (learning disabilities) seemed to rear their ugly head. It didn’t help that my health has also taken a dive. In the past few weeks we have a received a confirmation of Sleep Apnea from the doctor and next week I get to go in for my face mask so I get to go to bed looking and sounding a lot like Darth Vader. This is my first step to getting my health back in line including getting my weight off because it seems when you don’t go into REM, you don’t produce the hormones to control or produce a natural metabolism. Thankfully, I passed my classes… didn’t die in a car wreck due to falling asleep at the wheel… things are being done to make life better and the support I am receiving from my family has been lifesaving because I had reached the end of my rope with no idea where to turn.

At the time all this is happening, I finally decided its time to really start following my dream. No longer mess around with just writing for fun or for one day but to sit down and actually do it. So here I am, not blogging and spending as much as my very rare free time to try to write and finish a novel by the end of the summer. With everything going on this past semester I didn’t get to finish my other story, which wasn’t working in any way but is still there. I barely had time to write. BUT! At the end of the summer I am attending a Writers Conference where I may have a chance (slim, very very slim) to sit and pitch a book.

FOCUS!!!

I just finished my first edit on the first 10 chapters of my book. I am nervous but I liked what I have read. So often, with my other writings I have gone back and wondered what I was thinking when I typed those words. This time, it feels different. Part of me believes that it is because I am not trying to write something that isn’t me. I have tried many genres and it seems teenage angst is something I can write. Of course, this is probably because I was a total drama queen and experienced a lot of craziness when I was growing up. Seeming to find trouble even when I wasn’t searching for it. I do hope to go back to some of my other pieces and flesh them out when I have time to, heck there are more stories than I can count bouncing around in my head. You just need to focus to get it done.

My blog from here on out will probably be a lot more about my writings, health, weight loss than everyday life. Hopefully, I can remember to post more often. Please note that all my blogs are done in the free-writing format – I don’t worry about editing. Which is probably stupid for a person wanting to be a writer when they grow up but meh!

Yes, I know!

I should be doing homework…

Instead, I am sitting in the library playing Pottermore and chatting with people on Twitter. I know that sounds horrible but that isn’t all I did in the past hour and fifteen minutes. I also wrote over 400 words on my story. OOOOOOHHHHH, goes the crowd.

Yeah, I know it doesn’t sound like much but it works. It is something. I wish it was more and at this rate, at about 1000-1800 words a week, I will have a very badly written novel done in another 67 weeks… or by next Christmas. Not really a prime goal for me especially since I had been hoping to be done by the end of the year. But this weekend, instead of working on my novel in the evenings like I sometimes do I spent it finishing up writing a fictional account of someone who was awakened by the writings of Thomas Paine in journal style for a late paper for my History class. Does that count as writing? It was 2,799 words which is about the length of a paperback chapter. It was just as bad but it has given me an idea of a possible story down the road.

That’s part of the problem with wanting to write… you find so many stories out there in the world. It would be easy to jump from one story to another but I got advice from a pop culture icon (I won’t say who but I was excited as peas in soup when he responded to a comment I made) about a month back when discussing multiple projects. He said “It’s important to finish something” and that is when I realized that as I stared at the 13 files I had sitting in my special section of docs for my writings, none of them were finished. Some were barely a page or two, some a couple of chapters or scenes in but none of them were finished. It was one thing to get inspired by an idea and write it down. It was another to completely stop your work then start another one that is once again left unfinished when another idea pops into your head.

Now, at the time I was given this advice through Facebook comments, I was working on four different things at once and this was BEFORE school had even started. I decided then I needed to buckle down and just finish something. Yes, it may not ever get published but who cares. I can say… “I wrote a novel. It isn’t published but look! I wrote 100,000+ words and it is a completed story! Take that doubts in my head! I did something in my life I have always wanted to do!” (I can only hope that then maybe they will go on vacation to Russia and not come back.) Then I can move onto something else. It of course helps a bit that outside my writing I am raising a very rambunctious toddler who drives me bonkers, taking classes that, oh my gosh, are requiring me to write as well. I am using my personal writing as a way to focus and give me some personal creativity time.

Do I see myself as a professional writer? I don’t know, maybe not but after talking to my professor this morning I did find that if I ever wanted to be a professor – yeah, I know crazy write (haha!) – I had to get published with something. I really didn’t know this, that to be a professor of English you have to know what you are talking about. Weird, I know! One of the best things though, is she offered to help me on another dream project I have… publishing my poetry. She said, whenever I am ready. Which to me has been the coolest thing I have heard since my mom told me submitted her Masters application and before that the sound of my son yelling Mama as I cooked dinner a few weeks back. Alright, I hear a lot of good and cool things in my life but it made me feel really good that a teacher of mine offered a hand to help me. I like my poetry better than my prose and I have always wanted to see it in print, in a collection. I don’t see myself as a Maya Angelou but just a poet who wrote some things when she was a younger… I just wish I still wrote like I used to and every once in a while be printed (my first poem in print was when I was 10 in a school collection, so cool!).

As I have grown up over the years, mostly in the past six since I turned 30, I have learned a lot that I wish I had known when I was younger. I think we all go thru that but I am finding that if you reach out and ask a question you can get so much guidance in unexpected ways. How was I to know that some off-hand comment that I made on a Facebook page would lead to a couple of words that would make me open my eyes in an unexpected way. I am 36 years old, still in college because it took me 18 years to finish my Associates Degree; something I didn’t think I would ever get. I am aiming to finish college with a Bachelor’s but it took a long time for me to realize because someone else smacked my virtual head, that it’s important to finish something. This is important not just with my writing but in a lot of other ways. If you do not finish things… its hard to grow because you never completely leave the path you were on before. You can only stretch yourself so thin, right, how many things have to go unfinished; so finish something and move on with your life. What you finish will be a step to the next level in your life. I wonder if my lack of finishing things so often in my life is one of the reasons I like the which leaves your sentences open-ended, never-ending, never completed. Which is so much of my life…

creativity fallout

So, on one of the many message boards I go to there is a forum called “The Bucket List” – and like the movie its an area for making lists of things we want to do before we die. Unfortunatly, I think my list is getting longer and not smaller. And I can’t help but wonder – will I be able to even do 10% of what I have on there? I can’t help and not have the confidence that I will do it. The worse thing, is it keeps growing when I watch tv or talk to people. What is my list? Here it is – at this moment in time:

  • Finally meet George and thank him for everything he has given me
  • Fall in love, get married, maybe have a kid or two
  • Design my own wedding gown.
  • Write a novel – and sell it then maybe write another
  • Live life as best as I can…
  • Learn to meditate without falling asleep
  • I want to eat at a Bobby Flay resturant….
  • And conquer my fear of heights the best I can
  • Learn to scuba dive
  • Get my slytherin student costume finished.
  • Get down to 145lbs, and stay there.
  • Buy and own a real Chanel couture purse.
  • Attend the Oscars!
  • Attend a party at the playboy mansion.
  • Own my own successful company
  • Go to Russia
  • Take 6 months and eat my way thru Italy
  • Go to Africa and go on a camping safari
  • Move to Inverness and live there for no less then a year
  • Travel to Greece and take a yacht tour of the islands
  • Go back to Hawaii for a month
  • Munich during Oktoberfest.
  • Travel to Ireland – County Cork and make it to the Isle of Bute
  • Travel to Romania – visit Draculas Castle – the real one and the home of Elizabeth Bathory
  • Go to Glastonbury for the equinox
  • Make it to Devil’s Tower and eat at the nearest resturant, order mashpotatos and make a replica at it while saying – there is something to this! the entire time
  • Have enough money to buy an RV and drive all over the Americas while writing a travel book about the adventures…
  • stay at least one night in the following locations: Stanley Hotel, Queen Mary, El Coronado Hotel and a haunted castle somewhere in the isles.
  • Spend Halloween in Salem, MA and go to their Costume Ball.
  • Go to New Orleans on Halloween and attend the Vamprie Masqurade.
  • Some of them kinda dumb but I am not sure. I am definatly sure that do most of the things on my list I need to be extremely rich and/or rich & famous.

    But the biggest item on my list is to write a book… and maybe another. And there are ideas I do have for writing a book but my brain doesn’t seem to want to help me put it on paper. I have ideas flowing and then when I sit down to write something my mind goes blank. I can’t remember for the life of me what I want or had in my mind. Yes, I know I should write it down when it comes to my mind. Its hard to do that when you are driving a car or working with a customer or on a treadmill. I really want to write something. And something successful… no one wants to be the writer who writes a novel that no one wants to read. Right? But we will see… maybe my creativity fallout will dissipate soon enough and I can move along on this list finally!

    I can’t help but wonder – am I being too over the top with my wants and desires for my life? Am I setting myself up disaster? I guess this is the hardest part of being a pessimist. I know I can’t be over the top for wanting the things I want in life. Kinda dumb for me to think I don’t deserve to be happy… hard not to when strangers come into your life and make you feel you aren’t worth anything.