Monday, September 24, 2012
This last year has also been filled with personal triumphs as well. My illness took a turn for the better so I've been able to accomplish so much more "outside" in the fresh air. We bought a new house. I got rid of my ex (which had a lot to do with feeling better). My daughter is now in private school.
I have lots to be thankful for. But most of all, I am thankful for you, my wonderful blog friends. Without you, I don't know where I would be now. Your support and encouragement has enabled me to accomplish my dream of being published. Without you, I would probably still be sitting on my first manuscript wondering what I'm doing wrong.
Like I said, I've learned a lot.
Tell me -- What have you learned in the last year?
PS -- Does anyone else hate the new Blogger changes? I can't find anything!!!
Monday, September 17, 2012
UNCHARTED: Story for a Shipwright is out now, published by Rhemalda Publishing. Here's my review.
That is the review I posted on Goodreads and Amazon, but truthfully I just wanted to write --
OMG OMG OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!!!!
Yeah, I'm not kidding, it's that good. And I'm not saying that just because she's a friend of mine. This book HAUNTED me, still does as a matter of fact. Between the story itself, which was phenomenal, and the writing, which was gorgeous, just color me jealous. I wish I had her talent.
Now, because of our friendship, Bridget's graciously offered to answer a few questions for me...
How did you come up with the idea for a story about a shipwreck within a story about a boatbuilder? Well, I guess it all started way back when I was a little kid—you see, I had a crush on Gilligan. You can read all the sordid details on a blog post I wrote not too long ago.
How did you come up with the idea for a story about a shipwreck within a story about a boatbuilder?
Well, I guess it all started way back when I was a little kid—you see, I had a crush on Gilligan. You can read all the sordid details on a blog post I wrote not too long ago.
You're an accomplished watercolorist. Are the two (writing and painting) exclusive of each other or are they companion to each other?
Um…I’ve painted scenes and images inspired by my stories—like Marlena, on the cover of Uncharted—and I’ve written stories based upon a few random paintings, but one is not contingent upon the other. It’s just that I need a creative outlet for good mental health, so I’m either painting or writing most of the time. If I can combine the two, I feel doubly productive, which I like.
Is it harder to write or paint?
Writing is definitely harder! Way harder. I can pick an image, begin painting and be done with it in a week’s time. When it’s complete,it’s easy to set it aside and move on, even though I know it’s not perfect. And putting it out there for feedback is easier—that is, it takes little time or commitment for someone to offer their opinion. Writing—especially a novel—requires a huge amount of emotional resources and is a much longer and more involved process. And it’s much different to flash a painting in front of someone and ask, “Whaddaya think?” as opposed to passing a manuscript to a reader, saying, “This is going to suck up the better part of several days and there’s a chance that you make not like it at all and feel quite annoyed with me afterward.”
What is the most surprising thing you discovered about yourself during the publication process?
I’ve discovered that I’m a very private person and that the internet is a very precarious place. I mean, I knew that going in, but the lure of easily accessible research was irresistible and made me lower my guard. I kind of laugh about it now, but I had a situation come up that freaked me out a little back when it happened.
You see, in the process of researching a particular sailing vessel, I came across a real live shipwright’s Website. After inquiring about the particular sailboat project that interested me and explaining about my writing, we corresponded several times over the course of a couple months. By then, I had completed my first draft and thought, ‘Gee, wouldn’t it be great to have an actual shipwright for a beta-reader?’ I mean, I hated to think of some poor boat builder reading my novel and hurling it across the room in frustration over some implausible passage.
Alas, I had never asked anyone outside of my family and friends to read my story, and my request seemed rather presumptuous. I imagined this particular shipwright was not unlike my main character Sam—very, very busy. I thought he might be more inclined to oblige me if I showed a little interest in his work and background, justifying all that as further research, and I was genuinely intrigued. Much of what he shared was in fact very interesting and insightful. Unfortunately, by the time I mustered up the courage to ask if he would read my novel, he apparently misinterpreted my interest…
‘Yes!’ he wrote back, he’d ‘love to read it!’ Myheart raced with excitement.
Then I read the next line ….—did he just write what I think he wrote? … Oh nuts!
Just the same, his proposition was rather poetic. Nicely written—a few too many modifiers, but pretty good for a shipwright. Perhaps he was just trying to impress me with some literary ability of his own… but that thing about making love in the oakum and shavings …. Yikes!
It was all very embarrassing. He did not read my novel.
However, I learned a big lesson: Keep my guard up and just be direct. It may feel like shameless self-promotion, but better that than something else.
Well, I'm all for shameless promotion so you can find Bridget in all these places.
Writing blog: http://jbchicoineliteraryworkinprogress.blogspot.com/
Art blog: http://jbchicoine.blogspot.com/
Thanks for stopping by. And make sure you put this book in your TBR pile. You won't be disappointed.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Well, in looking through all my boxes, I found several that contained my old writing. (When I say old, I'm talking like 1975.) Yes, I was writing in 1975. Of course I was a teenager and dinosaurs roamed the earth, but still it's writing even if it is written on papyrus.
And it's bad. All of it is so very very bad. Flimsy plots, atrocious puncutation, illegible script (I wrote longhand for most of it) and just a lack of (I don't even know what word to use here) ...story.
But, there is one thing I learned, or rather RE-learned when I found all that stuff that was astounding to me
I have always wanted to be a writer. Always. And because of that, I have always written. Always.
And now I am a published author. (By my own hand, but still, I'm published.) Funny how your dreams sneak up on you when you're not looking. Although, this dream was 37 years in the making so I'm not sure it snuck up on me. But, it reaffirms my tenacity. And patience that dreams do come true.
Now if I could only get Tom Selleck to fall in love with me....
Tell me -- how long have you been writing?