Sunday, November 28, 2010

Please. Let me explain ...

QUOTE OF THE DAY: If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

WORD COUNT: 12,750 new; 29,114 total

So I made a major revelation Thursday. As I sat around the table with my family, eating good food and appreciating all that I have in my life, it hit me that I am also grateful for my new found love. Writing. And I've missed it.

What? Haven't I been writing like mad this month? The answer is yes. Too much in fact. I got so caught up in the idea of writing like crazy to reach my goal and finish my book, that the true passion disappeared. I had removed supposed time wasters like reading and movies from my schedule for the month. I love to write. But I need other stories to keep my imagination running.

I learned that the fuel that helps me do it had been eliminated. The ability to get sucked into a good story is exactly what I need to get my own mind churning. My brain had run dry and until I replenished it, I became unable to write like I know I can.

So, I am now announcing the book will not be done by November 30. I will not be hitting 50,000 words this month. That's just a fact. It will not work with my current life schedule. I do not want to write a story just to write it. I need to feel it. To see it. To nurture it.

Its all about balance, you know? I have almost doubled the number of words. And that's saying something. The beginning of November, I started with 16,354 words that had taken me three months to write. Since November 1, I've written 12,750 words. I've almost doubled what I started with. So, that's more my pace I think. I can do that. If I could focus for 6 hours straight, 5 days a week, I'd be able to complete it, but that's not a reality for me and my life. I've accepted that.

So, not only am I thankful for my family and friends, for finding my true passion in writing and creating stories, but I am thankful that I set a goal for myself, and I'm thankful that I can recognize when I'm not going to hit it and still like myself.

I just need to set a new goal.

Happy week everyone. Don't go too crazy with all the holiday madness. Be careful out there ...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble ... Gobble!

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I'll show you someone who has overcome adversity. ~Lou Holtz


A cute Thanksgiving poem that was emailed to me. I did not write it and I have no idea who did, but boy do I love it! Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Cherish those you love.

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

10 Easy Steps to Publication

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Fear not that your life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it never has a beginning. ~John Henry Cardinal Newton (Apparently I liked the quote from last week so much that I posted it two weeks in a row. Sorry about that!)

WORD COUNT: 10,620 new. Total Word Count: 26,974
So, I'm just a little behind the goal. However, I have almost doubled in three weeks what it took me three months to write before. That's something right? I know, excuses, excuses. But it is only the 21st of the month. I still have 9 days. A lot can happen in 9 days.

A friend asked me the other day what the process is for fiction writing for the purpose of publication. Well, I'm no expert, by all means. But this is the process that I've stumbled across.

1. After completing your novel (which took you 6 months to write - Woo! Hoo! - completed before your self-imposed deadline!), you put it aside and forget about it for 2 months. Then you pick it up again and for 6 months, make 10-15 revisions to it.

2. When you think you've made all the revisions you can possible make and keep it the original story you wanted to tell, you take it to your local writer's group for critique.

3. Return from the critique group and make another 10-15 different revisions.

4. Finally you determine all you are doing is rearranging words and its time to let the baby go, so you research agents.

5. After determining which agent will accept the genre you write, you learn that some accept a query letter only (i.e. a jacket flap, two paragraph blub stating what your book is about and a one sentence paragraph detailing the writing credential you don't have. Because if you did, you probably don't need to be querying agents), some accept a query letter and a 5 page synopsis, some accept a query letter and your first ten pages, while still others accept a query letter and a 1-2 page synopsis (which has to be written completely different from the 5 page synopsis).

6. You send out your query letters to 50 different agents, tailoring each letter to the agent you are querying, cutting and pasting your text because the agent website states you will be blacklisted if you send an attachment. Unfortunately, you notice too late that the last agent you send to, after rewriting your synopsis a third time to be no longer than their 3000 words requirement, states in the fine print that they accept exclusive submissions only. That means that they want to be the only agent you send your query letter to. And they will get back to you in 4-6 weeks if they decide to request a partial (first 50 pages) of your manuscript.

7. Most agents will say "Thank you for your submission, but you work is not really for us." But some agents will ask for a partial and some may actually ask for a full. Each partial or full will take the agent 3-6 months to review. And then they could still say no.

8. When you get the magic phone call from an agent stating they want to sign you, you do a happy dance and toast to yourself with your lukewarm coffee because for once you have the house to yourself and no one is around to help you celebrate, and your coffee cup is the closest drinking dish you could find.

9. After 3 more hefty revisions, your agent submits your book to publishers. After two agonizing months, one publisher bites, but wants additional revisions. And you comply. Again.

10. After 3 years from when you wrote the first word of the first chapter, your book is accepted for publication. But who knows when it will end up on the shelf at Barnes & Noble. That date has yet to be determined. You receive a miniature check resembling an advance for your book, and you may receive royalties if your book sells what the publisher says it should sell. And you learn all about e-books and royalty statements and Agent Paychecks. (Yes, now that your agent helped find a publisher for you, you have to pay her)

But you can now call yourself a published author. And you smile from ear to ear because you achieved your goal.

And it was worth it.

And you boot up your computer and write the first word of the first chapter of your second novel...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

To Facebook or not to Facebook ...

QUOTE OF THE DAY: A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor people perfected without trials. Chinese Proverb

WORD COUNT: 7,228 (Its been a slow week for writing and an insane week for reality!)

Facebook is what you make it.

I know a lot of people out there that have apposed Facebook from the beginning. If you are one of those that did (or still does), you are not alone.

But here's my spiel you lucky ducks.

Facebook is what you make it. You don't have to login everyday. You don't have to post pictures of everything in your house, including your children, pets, dirt, spiders and trash. You don't have to post every time you go to the bathroom, step on a thorn or floss your teeth. Unless you want to. If you want to, the freedom is yours. That's the beauty of Facebook. It is what you want it to be.

I started my Facebook account almost two years ago and I still love it to this day. I began by finding and connecting with old friends. Of which I have found SO many and am SO grateful! How successful are high school reunions now because of it? Oh, sure, there are plenty of people I would choose NOT to get back in touch with, so I don't. You can ignore friend requests you know. *cheesy grin*

My Facebook account then turned into an avenue I could use to advertise my passion. And has also turned into an amazing support group for me.

I like tuning into the lives of my family and friends, seeing what their kids look like, reading their witty comments, learning about what they believe in. It offers me an amazing connection to others that I wouldn't normally have in today's hectic, crazy world.

But to be honest, I don't talk to a lot of my Facebook friends, outside of Facebook. And I'm friends with many people who aren't even on Facebook. In fact, most of my closest friends I never chat with via Facebook.

So, if you are one of those that “hates Facebook”, that's okay. You can. But I love it. And that's okay too. We'll just not be Facebook friends. Of course, then I don't have to worry about you unfriending me. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Good Find

QUOTE OF THE DAY: A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor people perfected without trials. ~Chinese Proverb

WORD COUNT FOR NaNoWriMo writing contest: 5,920 words (748 short of the average daily goal, but the day isn't over yet!!)

Today's post has nothing to do with writing or contests or goal setting. I wanted to let you know about a fun blog I found through my friend, Joel. I know Joel from what seems a past life, when I was young and knew it all, and 4-H was my world.

Joel's wife, Anju Coleman-Nakai's blog, A Worthy Splurge, features products and services she feels are worthy of your dollar, your energy and/or your time. She researches the products/services and only features them if they fit her criteria.

I think checking out her blog is A Worthy Splurge in itself. Click on her blurb below, to link to her site. Make sure to leave her a comment if you see something you like! Enjoy!

"Let's face it. It's fun to splurge. Just saying the word makes you feel kind of giddy. But one too many frivolous purchases and there you are with a bad case of buyer's remorse. You're in the doldrums. "What to do?" you think, biting your nails.

"Make worthy splurges. Sounds like an oxymoron, right? Happily, it's not..."

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Goal is a Goal

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Some goals are so worthy that it is glorious even to fail.

Wow, does that ever hit home. I've gone and done it. I set a goal, and for me, a goal doesn't really cement until I tell someone else about it. And I told ALL OF YOU!

The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. That's 5 with four zeroes. I know you know that but that puts it into a whole different perspective for me. That's 1,666.66666667 words per day. And what do I get if I attain such a lofty and crazy goal? Well, sore fingers, annoyed family, and ... a completed first draft. Worth it? Definitely.

Now, I just have to get over the fear of starting. The goal seems unattainable right now. It seem like an enormous mountain impossible to climb. But I take each step, one at a time. Day by day. And before I know it, I will be more than halfway. And then belief and momentum increase, and I know I will start to believe the goal wasn't so unattainable after all, it was just my negative voices telling me that so I would be too afraid to start.

Okay, so you all hear those voices too, right? It's not just me? Please tell me it's not just me. :)

So, I am starting with my current word count, and I will update the blog periodically as I post as to what my word count has grown to. You all will help me stay on track. And I thank you!

Happy Monday! Happy November! Happy writing or whatever else it is that you do that you love.