Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Following Through

Don't faint. I'm posting another blog within a month! So serious. Following through!

KNIGHT PONDERINGS (These will include my ramblings about writing)
"Though my soul may set in darkness it will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." -- Sarah Williams

Per my last blog post, I've been working on re-plotting. It is slow, and it is tedious. But it is happening! Not only do I need to raise the stakes in the early part of the book and add in some new external conflict plot points early on, but I think I need to change the black moment from the hero's POV to the heroine's POV. To make it blacker. Scarier. Darker. And I think I need to look over the whole plot, and adjust my chapter breaks as well as my other breaks. Right now, the chapter lengths vary greatly! I don't know if that's a big deal... but I know some are far too long. And finally, as I make all these adjustments, I need to actually edit and clean up my grammar and errors, which I haven't done yet--and it's pretty messy from pumping out the whole novel in about 6 weeks time.

The good news is, I've devoted some significant time in the last couple of weeks to it--including two Tuesday Write Night meetings in a row, where a bunch of WRW writerly folks gather together to write and commiserate, as well as inviting some folks to my house for some wine and writing one night. It's so nice to have a community of writers to support each other in our endeavors, which can be relatively intimidating and lonely work, but you have to just keep hammering at it. And thank you writing friends--for reminding me tonight to make another blog post. :)

Most recently, as in tonight, as I was working on my novel, re-plotting... I forgot to re-plot. Because I got so caught in my novel, I was just enjoying. And laughing out loud. To me... couldn't be a better sign. Because we are our own worst critic... and for just a little while, I got to just be a reader instead of my own editor.

And finally, we have a fun event coming up Saturday, a tour of the Washington National Cathedral's bell tower with WRW folks and then lunch "to talk all things genre and world-building." Looking forward to doing something out of the norm to see what ideas it triggers!

SKYELIGHTS (This will be recent highlights from my non-writing life)
"Only from the heart can you touch the sky." -- Rumi

The pumpkin playground/patch/festival in Burke VA was amazing. I highly recommend. My little Star loved it--especially the super fast slide and the witches flying around in the woods on the hayride!

In other news, I had a bit of the rough weekend. Star cut two of her fingers... and as fingers do... they bled like crazy. I was semi-freaking out. And on top of that she had a diaper blowout. I couldn't contain a toddler, to apply pressure and assess severity as well as keep blood from getting on everything, and find our first aid kit at the same time. Eventually, I got everything under control and it was all alright but what an ordeal!

And then, same night, I was going to bed and stubbed my toe on the door. It hurt all night. And then as I had a regular doctor's physical today, she wanted to xray it because my poor little pinky toe was so swollen and red but the good news is... no fracture, no boot! Just some buddy tape required. And that's great, because the hubs Jedi and I have a big trip coming up for our 10-year-anni to Peru! Not sure walking around Machu Picchu in a boot would have gone too well. :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Getting Serious

Okay I bought a domain name. So that means it's time to get serious about this blog right? ;)

KNIGHT PONDERINGS (These will include my ramblings about writing)
"Though my soul may set in darkness it will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." -- Sarah Williams

So here's the update on where I'm at in my writing process. I joined RWA, WRW and MRW in the summer of 2013. I attended workshops, formed a critique group, and brainstormed on the plot I've been brewing on for awhile. Then, I found out I was pregnant in October. With the upcoming NanoWriMo and a SavvyAuthors Entangled Smackdown coming in November, and the fact that if I was around my friends and not drinking they'd realize I was pregnant, I decided it was finally time to bunker down, go into recluse, and write that book. And I did! I wrote the minimum 50k words in November, I took a break over the holidays, and then wrote the final (ha, ha) 12k words in January, wrapping up with a 62k novel, part of a larger planned contemporary romance trilogy. It's tentatively titled: "A District Darling Love Story: Growing Spaces".

I went to the WRW annual conference in April, pitched a few editors and an agent, and two editors and an agent were interested! However, they all expressed they were in no rush to see my manuscript--to send it when I was happy with it. I also had found out earlier that my Team Bliss had won the Entangled Smackdown--all of us could submit our manuscripts for review by Entangled editors, and at least one would get a contract! My only problem was that I had to enter with the Bliss line, and my book was more along the publishing house's Indulgence line.

Late June happens upon me and I have my first baby, a little girl we'll call "Star". She is so awesome and we just celebrated her first birthday this past summer.

But let me tell you... those first days, weeks, months... they're a doozy! I didn't know what I was doing, just learning on the job. I didn't touch my book for many months. Then, next thing you know, January comes along, and for a variety of reasons I won't go into here, things start rolling again. The two editors review my book, and both have edits, but are willing to take resubmissions. The agent passes on it. The April WRW conference is coming... and I know I need to go again, and get re-immersed. I go, have a wonderful time reconnecting and making new author friends, and I pitch four editors, all of whom express interest in my manuscript! No time deadline again (this is becoming a bad thing for me). And I form a friendly relationship with a couple agents and some of those editors by offering to handle VIP rides.

So I head back with hopes high to really get this manuscript done and out... and yet... part of my problem is I feel that the first part of my book is just too slow. I feel that as a reader, I wouldn't stay up late flipping pages... pretty big problem. Some of my writer colleagues and I had discussed our plot problems at the conference, so luckily one of them makes a plotting party happen at the Busboy's and Poets! And the writers who were there helped me so much--particularly with the tip to constantly think "raise the stakes!" With some new plot ideas in hand, I'm ready to take it on--but I need to finish re-plotting my whole book... in order to see how to wind in the threads of these new plot elements. So that's where I'm at! My new goal is to have this manuscript completely edited and ready to submit to some beta readers before the Thanksgiving holidays. Then, hopefully I can get feedback and edits done over the Christmas holidays, and have my manuscript ready to resubmit to editors by end of January and start on my next book in February. I really, really need to get started on a second book, and I know that. I've been sitting on this first manuscript for too long.

Lately, one of my non-writing concerns, but more writing career focused concerns has to do with the social media world. I have my pen name social accounts... and a lot of my personal friends and colleagues are crossing over to follow it as well. But the problem is... I don't think they really get what they're in for. And part of the purpose of a romance writer's social account is really to partake in things like #FMW. That's right Friday Man Wars, where we send around a lot of pics of dudes, usually not wearing very much. I'm not sure I'm ready to semi-spam all these personal friends/colleagues accounts with these images--and yet it's something romance writers and readers just do. It's part of the fun. But I'm not sure I want to impact their thinking of me in this way. I need to see if there is a way to target my posts--in a way that is easy to execute.

SKYELIGHTS (This will be recent highlights from my non-writing life)
"Only from the heart can you touch the sky." -- Rumi
  • Just got back from the Hershey PA-area visiting my daughter's great great uncle & aunt. What a fascinating town. It is La-la-land but it is beautiful! There are literally hershey kisses for lamp posts. Everything is idyllic. And their playground was the bomb. :)
  • Headed this Friday with my daughter's daycare to a pumpkin patch... so excited to see what my little pumpkin thinks!
Biggest thing with this blog--I need to learn to just post--and stop being a perfectionist!!! I started this post many months ago... and never posted... and now had to completely revise.