Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I've been in a bit of a conundrum lately. I open my laptop, I open the appropriate documents (current WIP, current MS I'm editing). And then all hell breaks loose. I don't want to write in my WIP. I don't want to edit my MS. Let it edit itself. I think I'm having an issue with authority, though sadly the authority is just myself. I'm feeling defiant. Bored. Irritated. I won't be controlled by my work, damn it!

I think that's the real issue. I'm feeling boxed in. Pressured to finish something. I've lost the passion for these things. It's scary, really, this issue I'm having. It's probably just a passing thing. Give me a few days and I'll be ready to knuckle down.

So in the midst of my frustration, when even distracting myself with Facebook didn't help, I went for a walk. While getting some fresh air and exercise I thought about things. My past manuscripts, all the hours I've put into lovingly creating characters and worlds, all the places I'd hoped to take them.

Eureka! Inspiration struck. I hightailed it back to my laptop and *gasp* opened a BLANK word document. Suddenly the heavens broke and bathed me in warm sunlight.

Oh! The blank page! How lovely. How wonderful. How promising.

Taking myself back to my plans to continue my series, I started writing. I wrote and wrote and wrote. No restrictions. No rules. I wrote about Chase, possibly my favorite character ever. If you're curious about him, read The Gay in YA. Ohhh how fabulous! I wrote 1500 words in 45 minutes. I reread it. It didn't suck!


For a minute I was worried I'd lost my touch. But nope! There's still a writer in there. Good. I'd hate to quit after all this time. I mean, I'd even considered if I just wanted to be a reader again, forgo this whole writer business and get back to gobbling up books like candy.

I'm happy to report that I still love writing (and that Chase might possibly have a story of his own). It was really nice to remind myself that I don't always have to be working towards something. It's okay to just let the words out and let them be. It doesn't have to be perfect and it doesn't have to impress anyone. That's what takes all the fun out of it. I'm trying so hard to perfect my manuscript for someone else that I'm losing the drive. And when it's not fun, it's not worth much.

So, my advice, dear friends. Take a beat every now and then. Write something fun just for yourself. Don't get sucked into the rules imposed on us by society. Be free, people! It feels great. (I kind of sound like a hippie. I'm diggin' it.)

All the best,

Friday, February 10, 2012


Do you ever feel like you talk a whole bunch but don't really say a whole lot of anything? I'm gonna apologize in advance if this is one of those blogs. Sometimes I feel like my skin is too tight because there is just so much inside of me that wants to come out. I'm not talking vomit here, people, unless it's word vomit. Maybe emotional vomit. 

Okay, maybe it's some form of vomit, but hopefully it doesn't make you go "ewww..."

I'm way deep into this editing thing and more serious about it than I've ever been before. I'm discovering this little annoying thing that I like to call TRICKLE DOWN. (It's in caps so it's scary). Say in Chapter Three I decide to change a little tidbit. Suddenly someone has to come from a new city. Well crap! Do you know what this means? It means I have to fix Chapter Seven where I talk about hometowns, and Chapter Twenty where this character's father talks about college. Aw HELL. Why didn't I think about this before? Suddenly it's a gaping PLOT HOLE and I wish I'd never been born. So after this trickle down has affected every. single. page. I realize I'm done and let out a giant, ridiculous sigh of relief at being so over it. And then I find another one. Shit. Crap. Balls. 

The process starts over.

I'm mostly complaining because I don't have anything better to do. I wrote a new chapter, stuck it in the book, debated how much I liked it. Stared at a blank page for forty-five minutes. Pondered the meaning of life...

My manuscript is screaming "Checkmate, bitch!" And I'm all like "Oh no you didn't..."

Good news is, I'm still having fun. I think. My version of fun might be a little skewed though. Most days I'm pretty sure there's something seriously wrong with me. Without my fictional characters I'd probably be crazy. Maybe I just have too many projects. When you're a writer, what exactly constitutes too many? I mean, I have one WIP, a MS I'm editing, and a series that I'm itching to rewrite. And I'm thinking I really want to start a Round Robin Blogvel, since the last time I participated in one of those it was super fun. (Another project? Who am I kidding...) Writers have serious issues.

Then there's the query I'm writing. Who came up with this whole "querying" thing anyway? I think it's just a form of torture that gives agents immense pleasure. I've agonized over this query for months. MONTHS! I've rewritten it in its entirety four times. I pretty much end up hating every version for one reason or another. Then I go and read other people's queries looking for inspiration. Mostly I just end up jealous. Why do their queries sound so amazing? Why do I want to run to the bookstore and pick up their books right this second? Why can't I write one that sounds like that? 

What. Is. Wrong. With. Me?

Some days being The Little Engine That Could just isn't enough. I want to be The Little Engine That HAS. For the love. He could! But did he ever??? 

Maybe tomorrow I'll have a genius revelation and the words will just come to me. 

Here's to dreaming,

Monday, February 6, 2012


I had a very important chat with my guard kids tonight. It was a talk about the feeling you get when you perform. Being a performer at heart (or a retired one, since I'm too old haha...) I understand this feeling well. It's hearing your music start and suddenly having the nerves melt away into the warmth of sharing something with another person. Maybe it's an audience of one, maybe it's thousands, but it's knowing that you're holding out a piece of yourself to them and saying "Here, keep this. Understand." It's hoping that they'll remember you later, when they're dancing in their kitchen or years from now when they hear your song on the radio and they sing along in the car. It's touching lives and becoming part of a greater purpose. 

Whew...I'm on a roll. I should've scripted this talk earlier. 
I love performing. I might have already said that, but I'm saying it again. I've coached for 5 years, but nothing compares to the feeling of being on a floor or stage. If I could get out there again, I wouldn't even hesitate. I swear, I was born to be a professional dancer or even a singer (though I can't sing to save my life. I find it highly unfair!). But I LIVE for the performance, the rush, the feeling of victory.

That being said, I'd like to correlate this to writing. I know I said that nothing compares to the feeling I get when I perform, but actually I lied. Something does compare--it's when I write. I get the same kind of nervous excitement in my stomach when I'm banging out a particularly exciting scene. I get giddy when I finish one. Writing is as much an adrenaline rush as performing. But what's writing without sharing it? 
If you asked me why I want to be published I would answer solely to share my stories with others. I just want someone to walk with me for a while in another world. I want them to feel happy or sad or angry with me. I want them to grieve for the characters and fight for them. I want them to be there every step of the way.

Did I ever really expect to become a writer? Nope. Sure didn't. When I sat down and started writing did I ever think I'd finish a book? Hell no! I'm not exactly great at finishing creative things. But here I am, working on my 7th manuscript. Yep. SEVEN. Holy crap. 

Maybe I never expected any of this. I sure didn't expect to be coaching winterguard, but hey, it's probably one of the best things that's ever happened to me. It's taught me never to give up. Never. Ever. (ever). Even when everything is stacked against you. Even when nobody seems to care. Through all the crazy stuff I've been through, I've discovered a fighter inside of me. 

On that note, I decided to crack down on my editing. 13 chapters of Antithesis tonight. I'm 1/3 of the way done. Once I reach the end I'll send it out for polishing. 

And then the real fun will begin:  Querying! Hooray!

I'm smiling as I write this. I'm feeling damn good. Sometimes looking back, it is so amazing what I can accomplish. I think I'm having a moment or something. Glad you shared it with me. 

All the best,

Friday, February 3, 2012

An Interesting Turn of Events

I woke up to this bleary morning expecting none other than another ordinary day, me without a voice, my son, hyperactive and ready to go, a bazillion orders to fill and no ambition to do anything. Alas, I have had a revelation. It has come from a fairy god (father...mother? I'm not sure) all the way from Scotland (me=excited). I've decided to blog about said revelation while it is still fresh in my mind and unbiased by further internet searching and the thoughts of the world.

Initial response? I am impressed. Perhaps I should back up a minute and tell you all WHAT actually happened.

After I stumbled into the kitchen (picture a zombie strut mixed with Lady Gaga's thrashing, for that was me this morning) and sat down at my computer, I was surprised to find an email from a stranger. And not just any email, I mean an EMAIL that had nearly 5,000 words. It was from a random person I followed on Twitter (as I have been growing my platform with the intent of reaching all these people with my writing prowess!). This person, as I still don't know if it's a he or she and I don't want to offend, literally sat me down and gave me the biggest lecture of my life. Sadly, I must say I deserved this lecture.

I am a writer stuck in the past. I long for the days of agents and ink and paper. It is my feeling that I can digitize my own books and have them on my computer, why would I want to do that as a form of publishing? Well, duh, here's the answer folks, SO THAT PEOPLE WILL READ THEM!!!

Seeing that I work in a hospital full of sick people, I am faced daily with the fact that death is all around us, accidents happen, life will end...blah blah blah. Shouldn't I fear never getting published? What if I kicked the bucket tomorrow? So why the heck am I not out there publishing my work? Fear? Laziness? Idiocy? Most likely it's a combination of all three. Maybe I want to follow the good old agent path, too. BUT I have 4 books that I've written, a series that I keep saying I'm going to get back to eventually. So, revelation in short, I think I will e-pub these books and be done with them. They are a series of characters that I LOVE. I think other people will love them too. And if I still choose to publish another book the traditional way, there's still that option. If I get a good response (hell, I'd probably be uber excited for a mediocre response, it doesn't take much to get me excited) maybe I will e-pub everything.

RLL, my mysterious email writer, has implied that I write my manuscripts with a committee over my shoulder. This may not be an exact description, but apt nonetheless. I do seek approval for my writing, I need that justification before I believe it's good enough to even think about publishing. But, what do I care? I know I can write. So committees be gone!

Now, don't get ahead of yourselves. My life is a crazy game right now and I have no intention of having a book ready to e-pub tomorrow. But maybe in a couple of months, maybe after winterguard season is over and I actually have five minutes to my name. There will be a schedule. There will be plans.

So RLL, thank you. I appreciate the time you took to send this little wayward writer on her way. On a side note, can I say that the fact that you wrote a sentence in a Scottish accent had me very excited indeed. (Like I said, doesn't take much). I'm also glad you took the time to watch my winterguard videos. Long have I wanted to write a book about guard, but the storyline has escaped me. It will be perfection when it does come, I'm sure.

As you will see, I have changed from the off-putting white lettering to black. I can't say I'm very fond of this layout, but it will do until I have the time to adjust and tweak it to my heart's content.

Would you like to meet the mystery author of the wonderful life-changing email? ME TOO!! Here is RLL. Clickity click click!!

All the best,