Saturday, October 31, 2009

Weekend Writing

It's the weekend and my writing time is different now than it is during the week. Monday through Friday I write in the mornings from 9-12 when my daughter's in school and 1-4 after lunch while she plays with her little friend across the street. Now that it's Saturday I only have so many hours - minutes really - where I can do something on the computer before I hear, "Mommy I need...Mommy I want...Mommy can you help me....Mommy I'm hungry..." The list is endless.

Yes, weekend writing is different as well. I can't get into a flow because of all the constant interruptions so on the weekends I generally do revisions or re-read chapters. Somtimes if I have enough time I may do a smaller separate scene and put it in its own file for later to fit in with the wider manuscript later. Weekend writing is different but it is still writing.

I also review my agent lists. I know at some point this weekend I will have to dig out all my notes on my A-list snail mail agents and decide which packets will go out on Monday morning. I was hoping to avoid the whole snail mail bit, I am a big fan of being green, but a writer's got to do what a writer's got to do.

Weekend writing will be different this weekend because I smashed my middle finger in between the very heavy screen door and doorjamb yesterday and boy howdy, holy mackeral, did it HURT!!! Still does and is swollen, so I'm pecking and hacking even now.

Weekend writing is less frantic, less harried, because I also know I have no time limits. I have no time period so whatever I get done, or started, is a bonus for me. During the week I know I only have 3 hours to make my little world happen so I make the most of it. I also try and clean the house and finish laundry so on Monday I don't have that all hanging over my head and I can concentrate on my next WIP.

Weekend writing -- it has begun -- "Mommy can you go upstairs and get me some Apple Circles cereal?" I wish you all well, writing warriors, to struggle as best you can through the weekend.

Friday, October 30, 2009


And so it begins, the first rejection letter in my inbox was from the "K" Agency. It was a form rejection which doesn't really bother me, but then again it does. Considering all the crap I've read lately in my genre makes me want to scream because my book is absolutely fantastic! LLLOL. Actually I think my book is pretty good, it follows the 'formula' for a good romance, it has a little mystery thrown in, the protagonists are wholesome, decent people and the antagonist is a creep. Of course this is all subjective because no one else has read the manuscript and I'm going on what I think. But that's neither here nor there.

So, after I post this I start sending out my B-list e-mail queries and hopefully I'll find someone who wants to represent me. I'm still hoping, praying that one of my A-listers will take me on but everything is relative at this point. I only want to get the damn thing published.

It's funny when I started this whole idea that I only wanted to get it finished. Never knowing what it entailed until after I finished writing it. Now that I know I almost, mind you I said almost, want to get a 'real' job. But that's the rejection talking. There is nothing I want more than to be a published author. Have since I was 14. And don't get me wrong, I'm not hoping to be Faulkner or Hemingway, or even Julia Quick or Susan Wiggs, okay maybe those two; the most important thing to me right now is that I get published.

Maybe I bit off more than I can chew. Maybe it's the damn economy. Maybe it really is that my book sucks. But I don't believe that for one second.

Someone once asked me a long time ago if I had any passion. At the time I didn't know to what he referred, now I do. THIS is my passion. Writing is my passion. And I know I'm not the greatest writer, I don't have any hope to be on Oprah, or gain the New York Times Bestseller list, not yet anyway, but writing is what I want to do. I'm a storyteller. And I have some pretty good stories to tell.

I have to remember, always remember, Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, and for those of you who don't speak Latin this is "Don't let the bastards grind you down."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Beginning part two

Janet Reid said that if you have FINISHED a manuscript you are entitled to call yourself a writer. Davin Malasern said the same thing a few weeks ago (Literary Lab). So, I am a writer.

That being said, finally, now comes the hard part. Waiting. I've been waiting since last weekend for the 5 agents I queried to get back to me. The ones who said they would get back to me within a two week time frame. It has now been ten days. Those are my A-list e-mail queries. I also have A-list snail mail agents to query. If those fail, I have B-list e-mail and B-list snail mail. I don't have C-list.

Every agent blog I have read (and I've read quite a few) says that you have to start the next book while waiting. I've tried. I actually already have the first four chapters written on book number two and the first three on book number three and a synopsis of sorts on book number four. It doesn't help with the waiting.

Every day, twice a day I check my e-mail address to see if someone, anyone, has sent anything. Yes, we love it, no we hate it, form rejection, rejection with some praise...nothing. You have no unread e-mails in your box. It's depressing. It's frustrating and needless to say it almost, almost makes me want to give up this whole idea and go work at fast food chain number one. (Just so you know, I will never work for a fast food chain -- did it when I was 16 and I will never smell like a french fry again.) But you know what I mean.

I have the luxury of being able to write full time. Like a job. Almost like a job. I have no boss, I have no deadlines, I have no phone to answer or people to deal with. But this is the hardest job I've ever had. I have to MAKE myself work, type, rearrange my drafts, revise, revise, revise, and with no critique partner or beta-reader, I don't catch all the mistakes, the gaffs, the holes.

The other morning I awoke at 2:13 in a cold sweat. One of my heroes couldn't possibly have been where he was supposed to be and do the things he was supposed to do because at the time he was fighting Napolean. Talk about crazy. So at 2:19 I was sitting at my computer rewriting chapter 17, and the prologue and half the dialogue in chapter 8. I suppose I could have waited until my daughter went to school to do it, but the manuscript is out in query to five different people -- what if they wanted a partial or full the very next day??? How stupid would I have looked to send it out with such a blatant mistake.

This is why I am a writer? To be tortured with angst and wake up at 2:13? No I am a writer because I have stories to tell. They might not be Hemingway or Faulkner or Flannery O'Conner stories but they are mine and I want to tell them. I want someone to say to me, just once, "I LOVED your book, it was FANTASTIC! I never wanted it to end." This is why I am a writer.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Beginning

Well it seems I now have a Blog I can call my very own. I'm sure this will be an interesting experience, so here goes.

I am a writer. It took me 37 years to say that but there it is. I have finished a manuscript and am now looking for an agent. I guess that makes me a writer. However, I would like to be an author, which means that I need to be published. Not so big a wish on my birthday candles.

I also didn't think that writing would be harder than any twelve hour shift I worked as a waitress. But it is. And more aggravating than any jerk who wants ketchup with his baked potatoe. I have screamed and cried and torn out my hair and yelled at my child, and yelled at myself and put off the housework, and sometimes dinner, all in the name of just getting one more page written, one more draft revised, one more query re-written and re-written and re-written.

Nathan Bransford recently had a post about what writers give up to get what they want - to be published. It was an extremely enlightening post and made me want to go back to waitressing ASAP because I was doing almost all the things the post said not to do. All to be published.

To have my name on a jacket cover, to walk into Borders or Barnes & Noble and see my name (or more precisely, my nome de plume) on the bookshelves, to know that someone in NYC is discussing me and my book and talking about MONEY at the same time. LOL

This is what we, as writers, all crave. To know that we've created something that no one else has, okay, maybe this isn't what I mean to say, I write genre fiction, romance to be precise, so it HAS been done, a thousand million times before, but that's okay. No one has ever written MY story, done so in MY voice.

It's all very exciting really, and more than frustrating, especially when I KNOW that the book I've written is SO MUCH BETTER that the last 5 books I've read in my genre, and WHY the HELL can't I find an agent to represent me because I will make everyone involved a boatload of moolah. ARGH!!!

Such is the life of a writer. And I knew it going in, when I gave up the restaurants, and the easy cash, and the life on the beach, (the great life I had on the beach) to move to the Piedmont to be with my aging/ill/crazy parents, so my daughter could be with her grandparents and we would maybe have a better life (than on the beach??? I don't think so) but here I am - finally able to call myself A WRITER.