Friday, March 5, 2010

Fridays at the Piedmont Grille

On the menu today is a little bit of relaxation, a little bit of work, and a side order of "Gee, I'm so glad all the chocolate is gone."

It's been an awful week but I'm so glad I've had all you to comment that it will only get better. I've broken away from the depression and realized that I was, unfortunately putting all my eggs into one basket, something I really shouldn't do. For those of you who haven't queried yet, it's like going into labor, there's a lot of pain and anxiety and you don't really know what's going to happen. (For men, I'll use going to the dentist for a tooth extraction knowing you can't have novacaine.)

I've done a lot of soul searching, looking for reasons why I should continue writing. Yes, gentle readers, I am THAT sensitive. I take everything personally and everything to heart. It's my major fault. I knew I would never give it up, I just really wondered if publication was worth it. And yes, it is. I just finished reading The Great Gatsby last night and figured that I might never be as profound at Fitzgerald or Hem or Cather but I still have something to say. I want to say it loud and proud and have at least one other person say, "Wow, that's fantastic!"

I've also found that I do want to be literary, as in writing either women's fiction or a literary something. I know romances are full of fluff and snuggle but I think I've decided I want my words to say a little bit more. I haven't a clue yet as to what the MORE is, I just know it's in there. I have a few ideas I've had rattling around for years and I've worked some on paper but I'm not sure what I want to do with them yet. They're very deep and profound and I keep saying I'm not ready to write them yet but they keep pushing at me to get out. So maybe.

I also want to say Thank you and Welcome to Isobael, Karen G., D.L., and E.Elle for joining in my little slice of pie. It's great to have you here, the buffet is in the dining room, so munch, browse, feel free to comment.

I've been working steadily on the contemporary romance because that's one of the things that's been turning me into a literary turnip. I started writing yesterday and Genna's cousin Angie really shocked me with something she said, (I had no idea!) and so Genna's response was also not what I expected and, well, it's looking more like women's fiction than a straight forward romance. It's interesting to see where the characters are taking me. I used to think it was all fun and games but there's a lot more to life than just 'getting the guy'. Perhaps next week I'll post a little something-something from that (Man, I have got to find a title for that book) and see if you think it's literary enough.

I'm still going to take this time off, maybe another week, maybe two, I'm not sure, but know I've been keeping my eye on you. I read my blogs every night and sometimes I comment, most times I don't, but I do read you all. Each and every one.

Have a great weekend!


Christi Goddard said...

I'm sensitive and impatient. Those don't go together very well at all as I query. I've gotten nothing but rejections, and sometimes I want to scream, 'But just READ it and you'll see how good it is! I'm sorry my query is crap and other people are writing in the same genre and making me look insignificant!' but I know that's a big no-no. :-)

She Writes said...

Thank God there is more to life than just getting the guy :). Loved that.

Welcome back!

roxy said...

Oh, Baby. Don't stop writing. You are going to make it. You're doing exactly what you need to do as a writer, you're proving your dedication and love for the craft. This is why you've got to love it. Success is so hard to earn. I'm learning the same lesson, Anne. I've been rejected 42 times, (I'm keeping track, just like Steven King did) and let me tell you, the ones that hurt the worst are the partials. They are a bitch. I'm sending Daniel Craig over to cheer you up...:)

Piedmont Writer said...

Christi -- Oh YES, I have wanted to write them too and say, "Just get to the end, you'll see it's BRILLIANT!" Maybe instead of sending the first three chapters, we should start sending the last three. That would show'em how smaht we are.

Amy -- Yes, you know that as well as I. Men are so insignificant at this point in my life, I think that's why I want to take my writing in another direction.

Roxy -- Oh Roxy, I had no idea. Yes the partials are the worst, you think you have a hope and then it gets dashed. That sucks big time. And thanks for Daniel. I promise I won't touch him or even talk to him, I just really want him to sit in a chair so I can LOOK at him. Delicious.

KarenG said...

Nothing motivates me like a good read of past classic brilliance, and Fitzgerald's one of my favorites!! Keep reading and keep writing!

lotusgirl said...

Querying is inherently designed to make us feel inferior. Even if someone loves our work 15 people have said, uh, no thank you. Of course, if someone does say that you're brilliant, it erases all the rejection--sort of. Here's hoping someone will say yes. It's important to keep in mind that everyone's taste is different.

Piedmont Writer said...

Karen -- It's funny, when I read the classics in college I didn't really appreciate them, I just did my papers and that was all. Now that I'm writing, God I can see how brilliant they are, what a simple turn of phrase can do. Next on my list is Willa Cather I believe. Actually I'm going to the used bookstore today so I'll see if anything catches my eye. That I don't already have.

Piedmont Writer said...

Lois -- Is that what it is? Inferiority? Now I know. That's the problem though, every book is subjective to every agent. They say they want historical regency romance and after finding the PERFECT agent, it's not good enough. But don't get me started.

Shelley Sly said...

Awww please don't give up! I've been rejected over and over, (my favorite was the time I got a FORM rejection on a partial), and it stings and burns and makes me think I'll never be good enough. But you can't stop. I'm going through a time of self-doubt right now about one of my manuscripts, but I'm trusting it will pass, and I think this will pass for you too.
Rejections can be absolutely crushing, but you know you're an excellent writer (and I can tell you are too, from your blog) and even if it takes some time, you'll get there. Keep your chin up and keep writing!

laurel said...

Hi Anne, I've seen you commenting regularly on Sarahjayne's blog and thought I'd swing by to say hi.

When I get into the slumps like you mention, it helps me to read really, really bad books. Seriously. It's like a kick in the pants to keep querying, because if these substandard mss. found a publisher, surely I have a fighting chance somehow!

Nicole Ducleroir said...

It's human nature to care about our art, about our writing that is an extension of our souls. I'm sensative too. It's good to hear you're pulling yourself over the hump and setting your sites on the next project. Diving deeper into the craft and exploring sub-genres is just what you need to do!

Have a fab weekend!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

Glad to have you back! I read somewhere that the subjects you are most afraid to write but are drawn to, are the ones that you should write. That your greatest writing will produce itself. Or something...

I also have a few ideas that I just don't think I have those skills as a writer yet to help them grow.

You'll do it! You've been writing, you won't stop writing! You'll produce something beautiful.

Wendy (aka quillfeather). said...

I'm sensitive and impatient too. Aren't all writers? It's our baby we're handing over after all..

Hang in there, you're in good company!

I'm going to unplug for a while too and get back to the basics. Write, write, write :)

Piedmont Writer said...

Shelley -- Thank you Shelley for your kind words. It's times like these that I forget there are other people out there who have had the same experience. I have to remember I am not alone.

Laurel -- Thanks for swinging by. It's funny you should mention the bad book theory. That's why I started writing in the first place, I read a book by a 'supposed' famous author that was just so so so bad, I couldn't believe it was published. I thought if she can do it, then so can I. I wonder if she's been rejected?

Nicole -- Well, what else can I do? The chocolate's all gone. Yeah, I knew it would only last a few days, it was just the whole way it went down. I wasn't expecting it and it took me by surprise. I hate surprises, good or bad. It's the sensitive in me I guess.

Hannah -- Thanks, it's good to be back. I've heard that too, only never believed it. I guess I should huh. And thanks for thinking I'll produce something beautiful...from your lips to God's ears.

Piedmont Writer said...

Wendy -- It must be a writerly trait then. I wonder if we're born with it. Good luck with your unplugging...I think we all need a break from the blogsophere every once in awhile then when we come back, not only are we missed, but we have become more brilliant!

sarahjayne smythe said...

I'm sorry you had such a horrible week. I'm glad you've come out on the other side of it stronger and determined to explore new options and avenues. That's a great thing.

You've definitely got the right attitude about continuing to work and grow and hone your craft and you'll do nothing but get better.

Enjoy your away time and know that we'll miss you.

Lola Sharp said...

First, I'm sorry. It does hurt. You're at the most difficult stage in the entire writing/publishing process. It's ruthless and painful...and scary.

But, you ARE a writer.
And you will not stop writing. That's a hell no, sister.

The times when we feel pain and do that deep soul searching is actually a gift...always a time of potential big growth. If we listen.

The part of your post that I loved, that made me excited for you and my hair prickle, is where you share your having 'these ideas' that have been niggling, bubbling up, that feel profound and powerful. YES! This is the breakthrough. This is a story that must be told. The one that takes you to the next level as a writer.
I hear in you the desire to expand, experiment, go deeper, hone your craft. That is full of awesome! That's the yellow brick road. Go there.

Don't listen to the evil four letter F-word name Fear. Kick Fear's ass.
Make fear your bitch.

On another note, I just learned how to' follow' (you know I'm tech feeble), but something is wrong with it. I'm having some weird tech google glitch. I have an email into their tech dept. and have other friends looking into it. So, that is why I am not a technical "Follower", but I promise I have you in my Bookmark and you know I'm stopping in every day. I will not let you give up. But, neither will those ideas in your head.


Lady Glamis said...

My week just got bad. You know who gave me his answer. So much for being positive, eh? All in all, this career isn't a light one, and it's filled with hurt and worry and frustration, but I think in the end it's all worth it. I write because I love it, and that's the most important thing.

Dominique said...

I hope you have a wicked awesome weekend. You totally deserve one. Don't let querying get you down.

Piedmont Writer said...

Sarah Jayne -- Thanks. I don't know about having the "right" attitude but it's an adjustment. A rather scary one right now, but needed none-the-less. And like I said, how can you miss me if I'm at your house all the time???

Lola -- You are so sweet and just too damn cute for words. Make Fear my bitch. That's too funny. I'm on a path, don't know if it's yellow or brick but I'm definitely going to see where it ends up. Thanks for the pep, you are a fantastic cheer leader.

Glamaliscious -- I write because I love it and that's the most important thing. Yes, that's what I learned too. I sent you an email.

Dominique -- Hey thanks for the weekend. I haven't had a wicked awesome one in quite some time. I'll be cleaning the yard, and doing laundry so I can hang it out on the line (60 this weekend), taking Small One to the park and MickeyD's, then I may take a nap. Because as you know, I'm old now and I need to have my nap.

Guinevere said...

Hey, naps are always awesome!

I've always had a hard time writing straight romance because my stories always want to veer just a little more literary, so I'm excited to see how your book turns out, too, whether it veers to women's fiction or to literary. Isn't it amazing how that works? You start out with one genre, and you end up somewhere else.

About querying -- personally, I dated a lot of hideously not-right guys before finding my right guy. I think of querying the same way. I want an agent who's excited about my project, and the agent who'll turn me down? Pssh. I was SO OVER HIM anyway. lol. It's tough, and it's hard not to feel it personally, but it's just an unfortunate part of our job.

Piedmont Writer said...

Guenivere -- The house is clean, the yard can wait, naptime is here. Isn't it interesting how one bad rejection can turn your whole world upside down and then start you off in a whole other direction. At least I got something good out of it. That's funny, I think of querying the exact same way, first dates, bad men, over it. Unfortunately, it is a part of our job. The part I hate. Oh, where is my dream agent????

Donna Hole said...

The rejection I recieved from Harlequin about 4 years ago was the best thing that ever happened to my writing. One of the lines included "its too gritty for our readers." After some soul searching, I decided there was no way I could add ANY amount of fluff to the characters and still retain the concept. Ergo; re-write number one to retain the romance but taking out all the "romancy".

If you get my meaning.

It was freeing, finding the appropriate genre for my concept. Now, if only I could get an agent to recognize the true brilliance of all the changes . . :)

Bood luck with your re-writes, and I hope women's fiction works out better for you.


Piedmont Writer said...

Thanks Donna -- I've been focused so long on one genre that I never imagined I could ever even write the other. I'm still kicking stuff around to see what I come up with. Maybe by the end of the week I'll have a clue.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Keep going, luv. You know it's in you. These sorts of weeks really hurt. But you know you are a good writer. And it sounds like perhaps a change in focus, in your genre, might be just what you need. You'll come through this. Sometimes rejection is just what you need to really motivate you--to inspire you to do exactly what you should be doing. And you know--you KNOW you should be writing...something. Perhaps a redirection to women's fiction is really all you need. <>

Piedmont Writer said...

Carol is Brilliant Carol is Brilliant Carol is Brilliant. If figure if I repeat that mantra I'll get all the wisdom the universe can bestow. Is it working? I'm not sure yet. Another post on the way tomorrow will tell you what I'm up to.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

I couldn't get my computer to talk to yours well enough to send an e-mail - my e-mail is visible on my Blog if you want to get in touch.
I made books of my daughter's life - with her and for her when she was learning to read. I used the vocabulary from the generic texts, took photographs of Minnow in action then combined the two.
I used the school's bla**** cursive writing script under the main text to help with her writing too.

ps You know that cardinal rule about not querying two books at the same?

Piedmont Writer said...

Elaine -- Yeah blogger was bad over the the weekend. A lot of people lost their posts and comments. Good stuff with the book. I'll have to try it. Yeah, I know that rule, I'm keeping it under my hat.