Monday, April 29, 2013

Moving along


My goal was to be finished rereading and editing my novel Bound by May 1st.  I believe it’s safe to say I’m not going to make it.  At first, I was a little discouraged and called myself a few not nice names.  Cheyenne, the cow, put her two cents in as well.  After she calmed down and I agreed to stop ignoring her, we came to an agreement.  No, I didn't finish the reread.  But, I added in a few scenes AND starting the self-publishing process of Hunted by Angels.  I acquired the book cover for HBA and with input from my group members (Sup CCW!), it’s finished.  I also did a reread of HBA.  Not so bad, eh! 

My birthday was a few weeks ago.  And guess who sent me an automated “Happy Birthday” note?  Stephen King!  Okay, I’m on his mailing list and he didn't send it personally, but it still felt really great.  And with that, I began rereading his book On Writing.  In it, he tells the story of when his daughter got really sick and he and his wife were broke.  Their daughter needed THE PINK STUFF which was amoxicillin.  They couldn't afford it.  When he and his wife got home on a Saturday afternoon, both carrying a sick child, there was an envelope in the mailbox.  Mail wasn't really that common on a Saturday and he hoped and prayed the letter wasn't another bill.  When he opened it, it was a check.  For five hundred bucks. It was the money for Sometimes They Come Back, a long story he had written.  He hadn't even thought the story was sell. 

Why did I share this with you?  Come on, you should already know!  On days when I think that I couldn't make any less money working, I haven’t written in a while and I’m getting crabby, my husband says sweet things to me like, “Hurry up and finish that book so you can pay off the windows.”  Doesn't sound sweet to you, huh?  It does to me.  It’s his way of telling me that he believes in me and even when I get silly ideas that I don’t think will amount to any story worth telling, I should write it down anyway because someone will want to publish it.  And give me money for it.  I’m a pretty good writer.  I don’t mean to sound haughty. 

The great Stephen King, writer of It and The Stand, had days when things sucked donkey balls.  We all do.  I can’t imagine him not being a great and inspiring writer.  Same thing with MaryJanice Davidson.  I can’t imagine her not being The MJD, author of the Undead series.  And one day someone will think of me in the same way.  Again, I don’t mean to sound haughty.  I just believe in myself.  

So, what is a realistic date to set for the completion of the editing of Bound so that I can start querying agents?  I guess that answer lies with the next question: how many pages can I send to my writing buddy without her brain exploding from too much reading?  I'm going to ask her really, really nicely.
      Umm, Faye?  Can you do me a favor, please???

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Just a quick one

My muse, Cheyenne, has been very sympathetic.  She deserves a cookie.  Those of you who have read my blog before knows she can get pretty upset when I don't write.  The only person she seems to bow down to is my 15 month old daughter.  And my little baby had a fever, that lasted way too long for my tastes, of close to 103 degrees.  Her doctor kept telling me it was fine.  Keep her medicated.  Give her lukewarm baths.  Keep her hydrated.  It took a few days for that crap to work!

But Cheyenne was nice about it.  She had no choice.  So, as her fever broke so did the editing floodgates.  The book cover is done.  I said I'd be finished editing Bound by May 1st and that is still my goal.  Oh, and the first 30 pages of Hunted by Angels will be available on Kindle May 15th for free.  I still have a lot to do!

My baby is feeling better and I hope my supervisor doesn't hate me for taking off a few days.  I understand she has a business to run and I even called her for some "help me get my daughter's temperature down!" help.

Baby-girl is sleeping now, but I just had to get up and do some editing.  And Facebooking.  And I even updated my Twitter page.  Look at me!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Oh, how I love to read!

Is there a right or wrong way to write a book?  I don’t think so.  Do you use an outline?  Do you write scenes as they come to you and then put them all together in the end?  Do you start with an idea and then just write?  I stick to the latter.  

I get an idea and then think about it for a few days.  Usually, I know the main conflict and what I want the ending to be.  In general.  But it’s not a very structured process.  I let my characters speak to me.  Does that work for me?  So far, it does.  And this is what I’ve found:  a good book is almost like good sex.  Work with me here.

First, you and the author (your partner) ease into things by introducing yourselves to one another.  Foreplay. Even if you have, umm, worked together before, you still want to have that introductory period where you feel out each other’s needs and get to know what you both want at that very moment.  You’re getting to know the characters and feeling out what’s going on.

Things are smooth now and you get into a rhythm.  Then, there is that moment when you feel like your happy place is beginning to start and things get interesting.  Now things start to get really fun where you work with your body and your partner to get ‘er done.  The moment is easing toward you; the plot thickens and tensions begin to rise.  You fight it because you want to make it last as long as you can.  This is where the conflict is bursting with, “Oh, no!  Such-and-such is happening!  This is great!”  You almost feel afraid that the phone will ring or your visiting aunt will burst through the door and make you lose your oh-so happy feeling. 

Now it’s building.  Building.  The conflict is so much that your brain yearns for a resolution.  And then, the sweet climax of the story breaks over you and you like, “Oh my gawd!  Did that just happen?  Oh yeah.  It’s happening.”  

And now your body, I mean your brain, is so full of what just happen, you cruise down from Mr. Happy Place and breathe a sigh of relief.  If you’re lucky, you may even have a partner, an author I mean, that teases you and brings you to the place of, “Oh no he didn’t!”, again  But that’s ok.  If said author can make it happen without sounding cheesy, then you are golden. 
Now everything is calm.  You’ve gotten to know characters.  You’ve built that tension.  Your favorite characters have survived.  And now things are good.  Everyone has grown in some way.  They’ve learned that either they suck and need a better teacher, or that all they’ve gone through has made them better; brought them to a happier place.  Everyone is happy. 
You may even reread that there book again.  And again. And… you get me.

Right now, I’m reading CJ Ellisson’s latest book, Death’s Servant.  I love all of her books and each of them has given me that feeling.  One day, when I’m ready to make it last, I’ll reread Stephen King’s It.  It is the best book I have ever read, but it can rival The Bible in pages. 
How does your favorite book make you feel?  Better yet, if you’re an author, how do you feel when you write?  Do you feel like you’re moving toward a place of satisfaction that only the completion of writing a book can bring?  That’s how I feel when I write.  And boy-oh-boy, I love that feeling.