Monday, August 31, 2009

Something is Wrong With Me...

or something is "right" as my friend Devon would probably say! Last night, I had the opportunity to participate in my guiltiest of pleasures--starting to watch my newly purchased set of "Gossip Girl" Season Two, and did I?


I felt the need to edit my story. Well, polish it up, rather. I do have a partial out on submission, after all. What if they request the full? It was great two months ago, the last time I looked at it. But now that I've got it with fresh eyes, I see some things that could be tightened up, and I've realized my middle is soft. No, not MY middle, but the STORY's middle. I have a good beginning and a great ending, and the middle is not so compelling in places.

So, I'm fixing that. And I did it last night. Because I'm all for my new motto: "Luck Favors the Prepared."


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

EDITING, Editing...

I've gotten excited about my Fairy story again. *grin* Well, frankly, I've been motivated to, but that's another story.

What is amazing to me, is how you can write a novel, and think it's pretty good, and once you've given it a few weeks or months and you go back to it, you suddenly think it's rubbish.

Complete rubbish. Suddenly things seem cheesey. Or silly. Or just plain awkward. And you need to edit, and rewrite, and tweeze and poke and cut and paste and...change it all.

I've had a published author tell me she wasn't "thrilled" with her book once it came out, she said there were still some things she'd change.

Makes sense. We, as writers, are not stagnant beings. We grow, we mature, we only get better at our craft. Of course we might cringe at some of our earlier writings. (Or in my case, earlier DRAFTS!)

So, I'm Editing. Edit Mode. Because everything is rubbish!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

It Never Rains...

...but it pours. Yeah. You know the old cliche.

I got TWO rejections yesterday, in my email inbox. Not one, but two. Boom, boom. I hear nothing for weeks, and then suddenly Thursday is apparently "Reject Lara day."


Oh well. I have three outstanding queries, but in about a month they will be "non-answers" which is equal to a rejection.

This is expected. Sure, I can make the excuse that we're in "tough economical times" and yadda yadda yadda, but the bottom line is, the rejections are starting to sound the same. "Your writing is lovely/confident/engaging but the PREMISE didn't draw me in/didn't make me enthusiastic/etc./etc/.

So, basically, it's telling me the storyline isn't that exciting. The premise is not "exciting" any of these agents.

Time to quit? Not yet. But the timing for this story may be off. Here's another cliche:

Only Time will tell!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Writing Obsession

I get obsessed with topics a lot, as a writer. When I was young, it was Horror. Luckily for my tender young psyche, the "horror" fascination only lasted through the last Stephen King book I read, about age 18.

When I was in college, it was light Fantasy. Magic. Probably because I was stuck in the grind of school and work and I needed to "daydream" a little. In fact, I remember when my hubby and I were dating in college, I read him some of my stories. (He made fun of my names--"King Alfred" was "King Alfredo Sauce" and I ended up chasing him around the apartment--great fun!)

And since I've been married and a stay-home mom, obsessions have come and gone--sometimes more than once. LDS history. Archaeology. Tudor England. Edwardian England. Victorian England. (Yes, I'm a major Anglophile!) Fairies....etc. etc.

Now it seems, we're back to Tudor England. Namely, the 16th century. And Mary Newman. I've resurrected my quest for information on Mary Newman Drake (little-known first wife of Sir Francis).
I've recently learned of some new information about her, and discovered a source, and I've emailed him with hopes of an anecdote, or anything that might have been "passed down."

I discovered that one writer, Judith Saxton, has written an entire romance novel based on Mary Newman. The only available copy was a large print version on Amazon, but I snapped it up. I am interested to see what her "spin" on Mary is, because so little is known about her.

Obsessions are good, for me. They give me something to do, when I have moments to myself. Especially when I get good writing ideas from them!

I just hope I hear from my contact--it would be GREAT if he had something for me! Mary Newman info is practically my "Holy Grail" at this point!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I've been bad on the "Pen" blog. But I have good news. I've dusted off an old story, and I'm "revamping" it, from Third to First Person. Of course, this has presented a bit of a challenge, because my Protag is a 13-year old girl, but she's pretty smart, so I can get away with a bigger vocabulary.

But I've had to cut a LOT of stuff out, because it sounds like ME, and not her. Oh well.

Two Weeks. That's when I will have the kids back in school, and eight hours a day of only having a two year old. Who plays fantastically on his own in the playroom that adjoins my office. So, I will have WRITING time!!!

I am salivating, just thinking about it!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Inspiration, for a writer, comes in many forms. For me, it was the angst of two rejections in one day, and I had some "reflective time." Granted, both were form rejections, and they were only over queries (no submitted material) but it still stinks that even the idea isn't grabbing them.

Oh well.

Anyway, I was thinking about how to proceed, and needing a little "encouragement" and I was prompted to dust off one of my stories and start working on it. It's complete, and I'm already 70% through writing the sequel to it, but I suddenly felt it needed to be in FIRST person, rather than third. Very tricky, because my protag is a thirteen-year old girl. Lucky for me, my eleven-year old acts about thirteen, and she hangs around a couple of thirteen-year olds, so I have the gist of what they're like. And my protag is a genius, so she can get away with a few big words here and there.

Trouble is, I fall into a big black hole when I write. Seriously. I sat down, started editing, and suddenly I'm getting a phone call from my daughter, wondering when I'm picking her up. I'd been at it a whole hour and a half and it had gone by like nothing! It felt like 15 minutes!


But now I have something to do while I'm waiting around for something to happen. That's always nice.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

If You Just Sit Yourself Down...

So, it's been bugging me that I can't remember what I was going to write about with my EMMA sequel. (See previous post.)

Last night I sat myself down, read through all my notes and research (took FOREVER) and started working on the synopsis (which handily, mentioned NOTHING about a "Lost City.")

I finally figured out what I was going to do, but I gave it a new spin. And I think I like where it will go.

All because I just sat myself down, and DID IT.


Monday, August 3, 2009


I'm frustrated. I started writing the sequel to my EMMA story a couple of years back, and sort of just "stopped" in the middle. (Writer's block.)

So, I pulled it up last night, and started reading, and really got into the story, and suddenly, I ended at a chapter called "The Lost City," and that was it.

Problem is, I can't remember why I titled the chapter like that, or the direction I was taking. What was I going to write about?

Very frustrating. For the life of me, I can't remember. Honestly. And it has been bugging me since last night.

Who knows what I was thinking in 2006? I certainly don't remember. I was a different person three years ago. I certainly hadn't outlined the story, or written a synopsis--I was "writing by the seat of my pants."

I guess for me, that's a bad idea. Because when I get blocked, and can't think of anything, and LEAVE the story for a while, I won't get the flow back. And in this case, I won't even remember where I was going with the story!

Highly Frustrating.