Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Still freaking out and oh yeah - Happy Thanksgiving!

I tried to think of something funny or witty, something thought provoking, something inspiring, but I'm completely tapped out! I've got nuthin! I'm crazily trying to get my Golden Heart entry done and all the water from this well has gone towards that!! I'm still freaking out because of course the unthinkable happened yesterday. An unexpected catastrophe with one of the kids which meant my whole day was wiped out! This day had been reserved for me to do a complete read through to make sure the big story hung together, for me to spend on the synopsis and really tighten it up, and for me to get a level of comfort that I'm really, really going to make it! So, as I sit here I can't help but think - what do I have to be thankful for? I'm thankful for an understanding husband who won't mind (much) that I'll be up late (very late) the next few nights. I'm thankful for great kids who'll just roll their eyes when they see me hunched over the computer because Mom has to 'work' again. I'm thankful, and oh so grateful, that I'm at a place were I'm able to pursue a dream I hadn't realized until recently I'd completely sacrificed when the practicalities of life had to be put first. So ... Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Totally freaked out here!!

As I looked at my blog today that darn counter is blaring at me, warning me, mocking me. Yes, it's almost Golden Heart time. I'm still doing some final edits on the manuscript I intend to enter and still need to clean up my synopsis. Yeah, the dreaded synopsis which I know is not a strength of mine. I've put it off until the end, until I have no choice but to tackle it. Yikes!! (do people really use that word in real life?). Anyway, I keep telling myself I work best under pressure, I still have time (baring any major disasters) and of course I'll make it, but it doesn't help with the mild (OK, maybe not so mild) panic that is starting to set in and the surety that my stuff really sucks. I haven't heard much around the forums about the Golden Heart lately and probably not likely to now with the controversy around Harlequin Horizons and RWA. Will be interesting to see how it plays out!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rejections! Who Knew?

I just discovered there are specific categories of rejections. I know, I know. There's probably a big, fat round of well duhs out there. OK, so I did know about the Form Rejection. I've seen this mentioned on numerous forums and did know it was a standard rejection letter, probably not even addressed specifically and may not even signed by a particular person. In addition, I just found out there is the Extended Form, the Encouraging Rejection, the Revision Possible Rejection, and the Revision Letter. Whew! Just when we've been through the mammoth effort of writing a book, built up the courage to send it in and had a heart attack when that envelope comes with a certain logo on it - we have to know how to interpret a freakin rejection letter! I've only had one rejection so far (based on a query). It was short, and specific to my plot but it was nice to know it wasn't actually a Form Rejection after all. Here I thought it was a standard rejection and filed it so I wouldn't have to ever look at it again. Go figure. Just when you think you're getting (somewhat) savvy in this business you come across something like this. It's obviously really fundamental, right? However, it's kind of a case of not knowing what you don't know.

Friday, November 6, 2009

What I've learned so far...

I was thinking today (substitute procrastinating when I should have been writing) about what I have learned so far on my writing journey. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it because I still learn every day, but I have learned a lot. Now, many of these things might be obvious to others and of course I don't profess to be an expert on anything, but thought I would share those that have been my ‘ah-ha’ moments so far:
  • There's a hell of a lot of competition out there! There are many wonderful writers in varying stages of their careers all vying to be successful authors in this genre. Oh, boy! There is obvious awareness of those very successful, well known authors but the ranks of the newly published and aspiring have many incredibly talented writers.
  • There are a lot of preconceived ideas about readers and writers of romance. BTW, I am not fat, ugly, unmarried or sexually deprived as one moron seemed to think was an accurate description of the women who read romance!
  • Romance writers are BIG readers of romance. I’m not sure why this didn’t occur to me before. I transitioned from reader to writer as many have and continue to read. I don’t imagine I’ll ever stop but I've been surprised to learn how prolific some of the writers out there are in terms of reading. Where do they find the time??
  • I’m not as crazy as I sometimes think. Other writers hear (their characters) voices too. Thank God for that one.
  • Writing contests are not just for winning. I’m a competitive person and will be the first to admit if I enter a competition I aim to win. I’ve found the most value I’ve gotten out of a contest is to have been ripped to shreds in regards to the feedback I’ve received. Bring it on because I am a better writer because of it.
  • Twelve months aint nothin in this industry. In fact, it’s a drop in the bucket when you’re talking about trying to get published if you take into account the publisher wait times and turnaround and the schedule to get published if you even manage to get a contract.
  • You need a tough skin. If you don't have one, get one. If you can't then you have to learn how to take feedback and criticism in a way that doesn’t send you curling into the fetus position. You’re entering a career where this will never go away.
  • Romance writers are some of the nicest people I’ve come across so far. Not nice as in ‘sugary sweet’, but nice in a ‘willing to spend their time, share their expertise and lend their support and encouragement when it’s needed’ way.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I changed the description on my blog...

It used to say 'on the way to becoming a romance writer'. It suddenly hit me today. It was a smack the forehead moment. Jeez, I already AM a romance writer. I'm just not published yet. I've written several full length manuscripts. One a publisher is interested in. The others? They might collect dust for all eternity but they served a purpose. The proved I could write a novel, a full length romance novel and it taught me a whole hell of a lot about the craft and process of writing. Between my second last manuscript and the one I am currently editing I found my 'voice'. This is that thing that everyone talks about and no-one can really explain very well. As soon as I read some of my older work it just didn't sound like me anymore. I had found the way to write that sounded distinctly like me. I found my groove and it feels so good. I know the way I write and I know my style. I hope someday I'll have readers who like it too! So, now my blog description reads 'on the way to becoming a romance author'.

Monday, November 2, 2009

My love hate relationship with .... caffeine

I've been so good for so long. In fact, at 1 time and on 3 separate occasions I've weaned myself off coffee altogether. It doesn't last for long of course. Finally accepting reality, I restricted myself to 1 cup of coffee a day for years. It was a good one though; a large premium capuccino with stiff foam and just the right sprinkling of chocolate on top. Divine! Then I started writing seriously last year. A diet soda a day snuck into the mix and I don't even really like soda. A couple of months ago it had inched to two without me really noticing it (although having to haul out the recycling bin with so many cans was a bit of a wake up call I can tell you). Today, I had a second cup of coffee after lunch! I was horrified but it was SO good. I think it's pretty safe to say I'm all the way seriously addicted again BUT I had an unbelievably productive day with my revisions. Should I really be worried?

What do you need to get you through your (writing) day?