Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday's at the Piedmont Grille

You know, everytime I look at that title I feel like I should be gearing up at the restaurant for lunch. So I think on today's menu, I want Mexican, but hold the guacamole for me.

I want to say Thank You and Welcome to all my new friends. Ready -- Jackee, Am-swan, Elisa, John, Valerie, L'Aussie, Jaydee, Angela, Doris, Ed, Laughing Wolf, Alex, Linda, Kelley, Sandy, Cheree, Stay-at-home-mom, Wendy, Annie B., Francine and Les! Whew! Okay, I've always got a pot of coffee on, and there's a buffet set up in the dining room if you're hungry. The pool is now open but bathing suits are required. Monster Baby is only five and I don't want to have to explain to her what 'jiggly parts' are, if you know what I mean. (And if I've forgotten anyone, please let me know, I have new glasses and are still getting used to them -- bifocals argh!)

And hey, I hit 151 followers! That's an accomplishment! I'm thrilled and delighted beyond words to have so many people wanting to stop by to hear what I have to say. I wish I could have a contest but alas, the monetary fund is running low right now. But someday I will have the bestest, hugest, fabuloustest contest ever in the whole of blogdom. Pinkie swear!

Okay, so let's get down to business...I've been working on THE CAPTAIN'S HOUSE. First I had to remove the ugly and put in some pretty. Then I had to rewrite a couple of scenes. I've put in about 2500 new words in the last few days. Not a whole lot but not bad either, considering it's only been two actual days I've had to write. (If Monster Baby would stay in bed until at least eight a.m. I would get a whole lot more done.) I dug out my handwritten manuscript yesterday and spent last night going over it. I also found my outline.

Can you hear me laughing from your house? I am so glad I am not a newbie anymore. And please please please I meant no disrespect to any of my friends or lurkers who are newbies. It's just me. I hate to be new at anything. The thought of trying something, just once, sends me into a panic. Hence the no guacamole. I am so thankful I have written a book and am querying. I am so grateful I have received more than 68 rejections on queries and paritals. I am tickled pink I can look at an old ms. and say, "Wow, what the hell was I thinking?" I am an old hat at this game now.

I like learning how to do new things, I really do, but the thought of doing them and getting it wrong scares me. I get butterflies like it's prom night. What if I'm no good, what if it doesn't work right, what if I screw it up?

Yeah, it's called practice. Practice makes perfect. And I think I've had lots of practice with this whole writing thing now. I can edit without flinching. I can query without trembling. I can kill my darlings without batting an eye. It's great. It's hard, and it's frustrating, and time consuming and if I ever got a request for a full I'll probably have a heart attack right there on the spot, but see, now that would be a first for me. And I am scared to death! But that's just me.

So newbie's, if you're out there, don't be afraid. Grab that pen, that keyboard, that big bottle of water and peanut butter crackers and go to it. Write that book, finish it, don't be scared. Write that query, look up those agents, get your ms. spit polished til it shines -- you know why, writing is the best job anyone can ever have. Sure it sucks at times, sure you're crazy scared, sure you probably have to live on love for awhile and put off getting that new car, but you know what, there's nothing better. Nothing at all like it in the whole world!

Even when you look back someday at your very first manuscript and you say to yourself, "What the hell was I thinking?" It's a great feeling.

42 comments:

Ted Cross said...

No guacamole? I have to have guacamole with my Mexican food. I miss it so much (we can't get any here in Azerbaijan).

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for the welcome, and I'm going to hold you to that bestest contest ever.

Talli Roland said...

What a great post, Anne! You're so right about the practice. Like anyone else, writers must practise. We wouldn't expect a beginning gymnast to just hop on beam and turn somersaults, right?

I still haven't mustered up the courage to look back at my first MS. *shudders*

Piedmont Writer said...

Ted -- It's funny what you miss when you're away from home. I've been here three years and wow, when I go back for 4th of July I'll probably gain 20 pounds from over eating.

Alex -- I dont' pinkie swear unless I absolutely mean it.

Talli -- Well, I mean what else do we call 'first' novels besides practice? Sure some of them are good but most are just tipping our toes in the waterline.

DL Hammons said...

Anne ~ What an awesome, inspirational post! The joy of writing simply reverberates from your words!

I'll be first in line when it comes time for that contest! Pinky Swear!!

Piedmont Writer said...

DL -- Where else do I get to do bad things to my ex-boyfriends? And go to exotic locales and fall in love over and over and over again?
And I think you might have to tussle with Alex to be first in line.

Jen said...

I'm with you on the no guacamole!!

I am so glad to have a wonderful bunch of writers to see where they are out in the writing process and where they started at. I have just written my very first MS so I am looking forward (or shuddering as Talli has) to go back once I've written a few more and realize how much of a beginner I was. I will need a good laugh in the process of revisions and querying I'm sure!!

I'll be over later to lounge around the pool and have a beverage, it's going to be a long day and I'd love a nice afternoon with friends. :)

Piedmont Writer said...

Jen -- Come on down Jen, the water's great. We'll be lounging til 4. And I am no fan of guac. I used to have to make it and taste it, yuck!

Matthew Rush said...

Welcome to all your new followers. I've always loved the way you present that.

j.m. neeb said...

Writing is such a powerful act for ome to take, but I often find that non-writers don't quite "get it." The good thing is that I march to my own drum and don't really worry too much what others think, anyhow.

Of course, Piedmont, you read Ducks Out Of A Row and probably realize I live in my own little world!! :)

That being said, I love the fact that our fellow writers DO get it! I find that's one of my favorite parts about being in this little blogosphere -- meeting other writers and realizing that we all face the same stuggles and joys. It makes me feel more connected and, as Martha Stewart would say, it's a good thing.

Did I really just quote Martha Stewart? *hangs his head in shame*

Summer said...

Love this post! Also love guacamole, but not as much as avocados plain.

Anyway, yeah. I love looking back at old stuff and going, "damn, I've come a long way"...Makes you feel good! Best of luck with the revisions! I look forward to hearing more.

Christi Goddard said...

It's good to see postive vibes radiating off you again. I'm getting there. I plan to diligently attempt most of the end of my WIP this weekend. I've given myself a deadline, and I've never done that before. We'll see if it helps.

Christine Danek said...

I can't make guacamole. Great post! I'm back and coming up with a schedule. Thanks!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Congrats on reaching 151 followers and becoming a wise writer. I hear you on everthing you said. It shows just how much we've grown. :D

sarahjayne smythe said...

Even without the guacamole you give great advice. Though I'm with you on feeling that there should be a menu and some food. :) That would be totally cool. Congrats on the followers, you deserve every single one.

Slamdunk said...

I am with you on the desire for Mexican food.

Congrats on your 151 followers--nicely done.

Susan Fields said...

You definitely have to try guacamole - don't be scared, it's really good!

I'm right there with you - I'm glad I've gotten experienced enough at this now that it's like old hat (except getting an agent or a publisher would be a brand new experience I wouldn't mind trying at all!)

My kids are early risers, too. The 14-year-old has finally started sleeping in, but the other two seem to think it's a race to wake up first in the mornings. Definitely cuts down on the writing productivity. :(

India Drummond said...

I am certainly not ready to look at my first ms! I suppose it's possible there's some good stuff in there, but at this stage I'm not risking it!

Jaydee Morgan said...

You gotta love a blog where the coffee is always on ;)

Writing is practice - and I have a few practice manuscripts under my bed. I wish they were better but they're not so buried they will stay. However, with each one, the writing gets better and the dreams get closer.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Pass the guacamole my way!
And yes, it's quite an accomplishment and a great feeling to look back and see how you've grown as a writer. Great post!

Terry Towery said...

*am writing*

*am reading*

*looks up*

Oh, hi. Good post. You make writing seem so, I don't know, romantic or something ... ;)

Falen said...

i hate mexican food. blegh.

BUT - i have a deep deep DEEP LOVE for Guacamole

Tahereh said...

another lovely post, Anne! i love your spirit!! :D

Jayne said...

This is a great post! I think I should print it out and stick it somewhere - your last words embody the spirit of why we are doing this crazy word thing - absolutely nothing like it in the whole world!

I also have old ms lurking. I re-read occasionally and it is amazing to see how far I have come since those bad old days. :)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

"Jiggly parts" -- ROFL! Glad to hear you're making progress. I haven't opened my MS in a while, but I have a l - o - n - g plane ride ahead of me, so I printed the chapters out and put them in a ring binder. Ta-da. Think now I'll let it stew until the 18th.

Hope you and Monster Baby have a wonderful weekend!

((hugs)) N

Portia said...

Anne, you're so right! I have trouble looking at my early stuff. It's like reading your high school diary or something. It's captured a moment in time, but you've grown since you wrote it.

I'm loving Masquerade. When I pick it up I'm completely transported and forget I'm not reading this between the covers of a book. I feel pretty sure I will read it again that way soon :-)

Happy weekend!

Portia

Donna Hole said...

Congrats on your added wordcount. I cut over a thousand from my ms and I'm feeling pretty happy about that. I was surprised I deleted so much while re-writing at the same time. Guess I'm not a newbie anymore either; I barely flinched as I cut those darling words.

You've really been shopping your novel out. I've only sent a few queries, and haven't gotten anything back on this round. Which is good since I've been doing so much editing.

Have a great weekend Anne.

.......dhole

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

You've come a long way!

I never got an email from you, so do you still want a beta reader at all? If not, that's okay.

Keep practicing! I know I've come a long way too, but I still have a long way to go. I always will, I suppose. Have a great weekend!

Davin Malasarn said...

Have I ever told you how much I love the e in your Grille? So sophisticated!

I can't believe you've gone through 68 agents already. That's impressive! I've been querying for probably a year longer than you, and I don't think I've reached 15 yet.

Ed Pilolla said...

thanks for the welcome. it's great to be here. you're so right, there's so much work at the beginning. so many learning curves to navigate. it really is a journey, and you seem like you're beaming at where you are. that's a great sign. a fab sign. but you ought to give the guacamole a try. good guac is well, damn good:)

Stephanie Thornton said...

I really think I eat guacamole almost every day. It's so yummy!

And I'm with you- I hate being new at anything. I prefer thinking I know everything. ;)

G.~ said...

I'm with you on writing being the best job ever!
Although I am still on my first novel and have wanted to quit many times over, I go to bed at night my mind reeling uncontrollably, unable to think of anything else I would rather do than write. Seriously. I can't think of anything.

Well, except for riding my motorcycle and traveling the world...

Cynthia Reese said...

WELL said!

Lynn said...

Inspiring post! I'm a newbie right now, and it is scary. Hearing it is worth is all in the end keeps me typing! Thanks.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Great, inspiring post! Loved it. And hey, if you ever need someone to take your guacamole off your hands...*holds out plate*

Linda G. said...

If you can't look back on your life and say "What the hell was I thinking?" about at least a few things, you're not living it right. ;)

notesfromnadir said...

Congrats on 150+ followers!

I'm really pleased for you because of your perception of your book. I like how you mention those rejection letters. You have the right attitude, the longterm attitude. You write so vividly, w/ such a natural flow. & it'll continue to get better.

Now tell Monster Baby that it's not schooltime & she can sleep in! :)

Shelley Sly said...

Congrats on over 150 followers, not that I'm surprised! :) You do have one of the friendliest blogs.

I love your outlook on your writing life, and I wish you could pass some of that optimism on to me. And I agree about looking back on our early writings and wondering what the hell we were thinking -- it's a good thing when we can see how far we've come.

She Writes said...

You are making me hungry. Peanut butter or Mexican? Hmmmm?

Good for you on the work done :).

Bossy Betty said...

Thanks for reminding us what the writing life is all about!

Julie Musil said...

Yes, it's nice to at least know a little about what's going on in the publishing world!

Guacamole sounds really good right now.

Crystal Cook said...

Oh, I love this post! And I'm a newbie, but no offense taken at all. I am telling myself it's ok to suck, one day I won't suck as bad.

Writing is the best:)