I’m blogging today on Romance Magicians about getting BICHOK.
Status Update: Cat, Characters, Conflict February 27, 2010
Status Update for Dowager Feline Clancy: She is on the mend. The Grand Old Lady is healing nicely with the antibiotics, her blood work came back with nothing too scary other than raised white count (infection is our going diagnosis), and she’s chowed down 6 small cans of Fancy Feast wet food. She started purring again yesterday and was laying in bed with me this morning for love and affection. Whew! Dodged a bullet!
Status Update for Cast of Current Characters: Muddling through this WIP in Revision with doubt and frustration as my constant companions. I’ve unearthed surprising emotional elements and have attempted to shore up the plot with new scenes, but I am not sure if my attempts are stellar. I know I have to go in and layer tons of senses and eliminate some repetitive phrases and word tics, but I am not ready to CUT again. I am so tired of cutting and pasting and rewriting. I love my characters. If I didn’t love them so much, I would have thrown in the towel and started a new book. But I am fighting for them.
Status Update for Conflict: Wow, I know I’ve got internal conflict going strong. I know I have a crazy external plot and that’s what is driving me insane. This started off as a category BLAZE type of a book. Now I have this insane ST with suspense and sex and laughter. Yes, deeper emotional elements are surfacing. Why now? Argh. I know I will have to weave them in later. I’ve literally had “Place Marker Scenes” that I’ve expanded into decent first draft scenes, but will this MS be ready for other eyes by the middle of March? I don’t know. So much feels like it needs to be layered in and I am completely adrift regarding my Villain (who finally revealed himself to me by the last third of the book). I want to send it out and get feedback, but one of my CPs says I should wait till it’s super strong. Another reader is willing to peek now and see what is working. I still don’t know if the other two CPs can withstand some the rawer parts of the current WIP. Need to ask them first.
Conclusion: keep muddling along, keep layering in stuff, keep working on the new scenes. Give myself time to finish it to MY satisfaction.
Hopefully I won’t have total drek by mid-March.
Writing When Life Stinks February 25, 2010
Well, today was one of those stinky days. This happens. This is life. Life happens. And sometimes when life happens, well it just plain stinks.
This morning my darling cat Clancy woke up with blood coming from her eye–she’s eighteen — so no drastic measures, but gosh darn it I don’t want my girl to suffer. Many many many — did I say MANY tears on the way to the Vet. Dear Lord, my cat who is usually the sweetest and most lovable love bug got labeled “feisty” by the Vet cause she did not enjoy all the poking and probing and generally undignified way in which she was handled.
Now I know she is “just a cat.” But she is my buddy. She is my constant shadow and companion and I’ve had her since she was 6 weeks old. Sure, I’m not going to do drastic life-saving stuff at this point, but I don’t want her to be in pain or suffer either.
You see, I thought she’d just kind pull a “Clancy” and just one day fall asleep and go to Cat Heaven. And that would have been sad, but not as hard as seeing her hurting so bad.
The good news is that my writing companion of ever so many years is on medication to fight what we hope is an infection. She also has pain meds. And she has inhaled a lot of special wet cat food. A treat. But the vet said she can eat whatever she likes. Good. Cause I plan to spoil her.
The bad news is she’s likely got a tumor and that just breaks my heart. But we all agreed, the goal is to keep her pain free and to not suffer. So–that’s the deal.
Not much writing happened today. A tad. But not much.
The thing is my Darling Husband articulated what was in my heart today — this so reminded him of his dad who is dying from cancer. How the doctors said, go home and you can eat whatever you like… is that what the end is like? Go home, eat a pie and die? This sucks! And Clancy with her swollen red eye reminded us of his dad with his eye all buggered up by some reaction to a medication. Weird. I know. I am comparing dear Clancy to my dear FIL, but even Darling Hubby was all akimbo over this. We are just so super sad.
But there are these slivers of hope. Hope that the eye is just infected. Hope that DH’s dad is going to be around a lot longer than we anticipated. Hope that we will be okay through it all. We will.
But it’s hard to write a sentence when these axes are hanging over our heads. Really really really hard.
My only hope is to channel the pain, the sorrow and the fear into my writing. If I can pour my heart out onto the pages, maybe, in some way, I will have done something good in spite of all the bad.
Every day I try to celebrate the small and the not so small victories as a writer. Sometimes I get big ones: like finaling in the MAGGIES. Sometimes I get small ones: like I actually wrote more than one sentence today. Sometimes I get to celebrate my friends’ victories: like when my dear CP Sharon won the Daphne 2009 in the unpublished category, or another writer friend finaled in the Golden Heart. Wow! Tremendous.
And today I celebrated my new CP’s victory: a fabulous R with a request for a partial of her next work. Woohoo! This is good news. This is happy times!! Whenever one succeeds, we all benefit because it means the dream is attainable. It is!
Keep writing. Keep submitting. Keep learning. Keep celebrating! Writing is a glorious pursuit. May we all achieve the victories we deserve as we continue pursuing our writing dreams!!
Top Ten Reasons I LOVE to Write February 23, 2010
You know we can talk about the toil and trouble of writing. And yes, slaving away for hours and weeks and months and years on words to build books and stories is tough. Unrewarding if not paid. Still scary if published. And a masochistic trip with personal whips provided for personal self-flagellation. But we continue to slog away–regardless of where we are on the journey.
Here are my top 10 reasons why I continue to plop my ever-growing behind down on the chair and put my hands on the keyboard:
10: I have a very good excuse to drink copious amounts of coffee and tea.
9: Talking to the people in my head is okay if I write down what they say.
8: When my DH tunes me out, I tell myself it’s cause Hugh Jackman comparisons are blase to him.
7: Movies, books and travel are “deductible” expenses cause they are RESEARCH.
6: People think I might have something intelligent to say at parties.
5: I get to go to amazing conferences and conventions and workshops.
4: I meet the best people at the conferences, conventions and workshops.
3: I am never bored-ever.
2: I get to write for hours in my pajamas knowing I could get paid to do this!
1: Fill in the blank–I have so many more reasons! I love to write… the rest is gravy!
What are your reasons for getting BICHOK? *butt in chair, hands on keys*
Going for the Gold February 22, 2010
I’ve been AWOL as a blogger for a few days. I admit it’s not because I”m uber writing (tho’ I have finished a lot of work this week). And I wasn’t just driving DH to his Physical Therapy or on little tours of the area (tho’ that did occur). Nope. Truth is I usually write my blog at night, but the Olympics has overtaken my blogging.
I love watching the Olympic Games. I especially love watching the Winter Olympics because I grew up in Northern Canada. Now I’m not talking Toronto or Vancouver, I’m talking NORTH of the 55th parallel. I’m talking just shy of the where the tree line ends. I’m talking MUSKEG, MOOSE and ICE FISHING north (yes I have been ice fishing and I know how to filet a pike).
But that’s not why I watch the Winter Olympics. Not totally. I love the stories that are unfolding. Some tragic. Some triumphant. Some inspirational. Some bitter. Some must plain fiun!
There are people who have trained for years who are going for the GOLD. Some are reaching their pinnacle. Some are getting silvers or bronzes. Many are not medal contenders, but they are there and they are part of the experience.
ATTITUDE WHEN YOU WIN OR LOSE OR PLACE MAKES A DIFFERENCE. I’ve seen this with the winners, close seconds, losers and winners who have to explain to the world why the person placing second isn’t an a**. And I’ve seen that person do it with the same dignity as the person who placed fourth in the world and be glad to be part of the experience.
Imagine going for the GOLD. Taste it. Want it? Think GOLDEN HEART. It’s the GOLD for unpublished romance writers. Wow. What a great heady feeling to go for it. God knows I’m in it for the GOLD. But I might not achieve my standard. My goal might turn to ash on March 25th. Aack.
Then what? Well, I keep going back to my 2009 experience. I did not final in the GOLDEN HEART. I didn’t make it into the top 1/3. It stunk to not final. Really it did. But oh well, I didn’t. I could have curled up into a ball and died and given up, but I didn’t. (did I mention that I also got my first ever root canal the day I didn’t final? Felt about the same–bloody painful).
Nope. I sucked it up. I focused on improving my writing and moving forward. I entered into the MAGGIES. I went to Nationals and pitched the same story and it was requested. Woohoo. Right? Well. Sort of. The story finaled in the MAGGIES. But the agent and editor rejected the full and partial requested at Nationals.
Being rejected sucks.
But then I have more than one story. I have more than one place to pitch right? Unlike some Athletes who have trained for years, who still might not make it despite all their training, I get way more chances than they do to final in my event. I get dozens and dozens of chances.
Think about this. We have the opportunity to try and fail and try and fail without having the world watch us. Think about the courage these athletes have in the Olympics. And when you watch them, be grateful. We get to try and fail without the weight of the world or our country watching us.
So the next time you get a rejection or a no or you’re struggling with your story, remember that person who fell just before reaching the finish line on the downhill or at the end of the skating program. And tuck your courage into your brain and move forward. I guarantee you that’s what most of these athletes are doing.
If You Don’t Win, Then What? February 18, 2010
I’ve been watching the Olympics this week. Love the competition and the Hoopla. As a former Canuck, I am a Figure Skating Junkie. I grew up watching the sport, participated in it till I got into the first levels of figures and still can back cross cut and do a mean mini jump on occasion.
I know the skating competition has always been overrun with politics in scoring, but all that aside, the sport is lovely to watch and amazing for me to witness. The winners are flawless. The Losers? Not so much. The gray areas are just that: gray. I won’t get into the politics of scoring. I just know I want each and everyone of the athletes to do well.
Kind of like how I feel about my fellow writers.
But what happens if you don’t win? You don’t succeed despite your best efforts? Do you give up? Blame the judges? Blame yourself? Blame your partners? Or do you look at it and say I want the next generation to benefit from my loss? My failure?
That’s what the coach for the Chinese Pairs’ Teams did.
Watch his Olympic Dream Shattering:
OK–that stunk. He didn’t do what was necessary. He tried, but he lost. He and his partner didn’t do well at all.
He had a choice: cry, change or make it work for the next generation.
He chose option 3.
We may not all make it to the top, but we have an opportunity to bring our enthusiasm and our knowledge to the people in our lives to help them.
Sometimes success is in the helping. So hang in, give to others, give to many, give all. Don’t focus on what you haven’t accomplished. Pay it forward and see the final results in the victories of those around you. Perhaps you might win by being there!
For you viewing pleasure I will share the Victory:
What kind of writer are you? One who only seeks victory for oneself? Or one that keeps feeding the furnace with wood, kindling, fuel for the future?