Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And Away We Go, Lil Monster!

June is almost over and the manuscript is (finally) in my editor's hands now. Totally love my characters, but kind of glad to get a break from them and hoping *fingers crossed* she loves them, too.

I think I got brain-fried on these edits. I'm not the first author to admit I'm my own worst critic and given the opportunity, I can rip myself to pieces. In that process, I end up worrying that I've done more harm than good and end up second guessing myself a lot.

If only I could learn to control the fear-mongering self-doubt monster who haunts my every moment. That little goblin(we will call him Munchie) had his hands around my neck while I was submerged in self-edits and reformatting. He nearly made me cry a few times when his grip grew tight enough to leave bruises or his claws sank in a little too deep when I got frustrated or confused or just downright baffled as to whether I was headed in the right direction.

I somehow survived, though there was much gnashing of snaggled gruesome teeth against my shoulder and vicious growling as I fought him off. (This would not hold up in a police report, as his marks cannot be seen with the naked eye)

He'll be back, I'm sure. I don't think he ever quite goes away since he's a small part of me, ugly as he is. I just have to keep him in check. Perhaps I need to chain him up in the basement for a while. Find a way to "tame" that wild little beast so that he can be my companion rather than my enemy. Perhaps he could sleep at my feet under the desk while I write....

There IS something to be said for having the ability to look at your work and see all it's good and bad qualities and in learning to harness that knowledge. It's the best of both worlds when you can LOVE your manuscript and still use that critical eye to see and repair the flaws while keeping true to the story you wish to tell.

So, what's my plan now that said manuscript is with editor?

A mini-vacay and reformatting and prepping other finished manuscripts. Tightening and polishing until they shine like a sparkly bauble. I'm hoping to find homes for my other babies, too, so I must continue on...

I think Munchie is already snapping at my ankles to get back to work.

Happy Tuesday!
Write On!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Reading Through

Reading through my manuscript aloud should be simple. I re-read through letters I've written to my grandmother to make sure I've included all pertinent news of what's going on in our lives or to check for grammar errors. (She was a librarian for many years at Asbury College.)

I reread letters to teachers when we've had concerns in regard to our kids and I sometimes have trouble reading through favorite authors without seeing mistakes that made it through edits and into print, so you would think reading through my own writing- my own story, I would be just as apt to notice the same issues.

Not so. I've gone through my manuscript at least 5 times over the past several weeks and it wasn't until last night as I started the actual read-through that I noticed one glaring issue that jumped right off the page.

The original sentence I started out with was—

"This man's hair, silky raven in color, slicked back away from his smooth tanned forehead.

At some point the word THIS got changed into HIS (perhaps a bad backspace on my part at some point in the editing process) but I ended up with the following—

"His man's hair, silky raven in color...."

You get where I'm going, don't you?

His MAN'S HAIR? I started reading this sentence to my husband and he immediately stopped me mid-sentence and went to a bad place.

I tried to derail his train of thought- NO, it was not THAT hair! (LOL)

In the end I went with "His hair, silky raven in color, slicked back away from his smooth tanned forehead."

But needless to say, it gave my husband and I a good laugh before bedtime.

Not unlike the crazy dreams I had about Micky D's fish filets and tartar sauce last night.

Now, if only they delivered....

Back to the grindstone.

Have a fantabulous start to the week!
Write on!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fluttering By

It's Friday!
Just thought I'd flutter by and say HEY! from knee deep in the -ING edits for Castaway Hearts, my historical romance novel due out from Turquoise Morning Press in Spring 2012. In the meantime, click the link and check out some of the great books and wonderful authors already being published by TMP, a lot of which you can get either print or ebook, so there's something for everyone, no matter your "binding" preference!

I'm about a quarter of the way there to removing at least 1/2 those devious little words. Tuesday was mine and my hubby's 9th anniversary. We didn't do anything exciting, but we did have catfish from a little family restaurant in town. After that, hubby had two days off mid-week, grocery shopping, got oil changed in the car, replaced our water heater and these scorching temps that blast through you like a dragon breathing down your neck have all but helped me get my work done.

Slowly but surely I'll get there. Then I can move on to these same deep edits for other manuscripts I'm hoping to pitch to my publisher.
Thinking in terms of longevity, I have a decent selection of manuscripts to offer, more stories buried within and I'm hoping she'll be interested.

So, anyway... Allergy eyes are trying to do me in today, but I'll beat it- Got to. These edits NEED to get done! Off to work some writerly magic—

Have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend!
Stay Cool and Beat the Heat!
Write On!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weeding, Balancing & Finding Respect

I'm still weeding through edits. I thought I was nearly done, but after "-ly" left, "had" "was" and "-ing" showed up for the party before I could do a read-through and a few other things that would have the manuscript ready to send to my editor for the first time.

So I'm still tweaking and now I'm also trying to find the balance between work and the kids' summer vacation needs. Things I don't normally put too much effort into when I'm home alone (meals, entertainment, etc) have suddenly shown up on the front burner of my priorities.

Ironic too, is that on the days hubby's off work, the kids still holler for ME when they need something or come and hover around my workspace, making noises until they get my attention. I'm the "It Girl" around here it would seem, the Go-To Gal, cause Daddy apparently doesn't know his way around the house. {scoffs}

When this month's issue of RWR (the RWA magazine for members) arrived in the mail Saturday I found a timely article about how to handle and talk about it when the "home crowd" doesn't respect your writing time, when they don't view it as a real career. Love my husband, but he used to sabotage my writing time when I first started taking it seriously. I'd wanted to be a writer all my life, and I'm sure I'd told him over first few years we were married that I wanted to be a writer, but I never really SHOWED him that I meant it until we'd been together 5 years.

At that point, I'm pretty sure he thought I'd just decided to find a hobby, so any time I was writing he felt free to interrupt with a question or a funny story or something he thought I'd find cool or informative that had nothing to do with what I was working on. If I got up from the computer to start supper, he'd slip right in my seat and go online to look at other things of interest to him before I could come back and save my work. Sure he'd leave my file up, but he'd be online for hours, disregarding my need to get back to work.

I'd had other people in my life make me feel like it was a pipe dream, something not worth the endeavor cause it would be too hard and made me feel like I was incapable of accomplishing it. There were times when I'd want to talk to hubby about a storyline or the ideas I had and he'd change the subject and talk about movies, video games and sports, leaving me with the distinct feeling I had a saboteur in my midst. What support system did I have if not my own husband?

If it wasn't him interrupting me, it was the guilt gnawing at my gut that I wasn't taking care of my "real" job as a homemaker, wife and mother. I've known I was a writer in my heart for years, but it took me a long time to say "I AM a writer" instead of "I WANT to be a writer." It's probably also the reason it took hubby so long to see it as "real" too.

I'm thankful for my mom and my best friends and my fellow writers for keeping me going even when I doubted it all. Every now and then, hubby slips and forgets when I'm working that other stuff can wait till I'm done, but now it's the kids I have to contend with.

Summer vacation is here and that should mean I devote all my time to keeping them entertained. They have a "Mommy should drop everything and do stuff for us" mentality that I can't seem to shake off of them. They're proud of me for being a writer, this much I know, but the reality of what that means hasn't hit them yet.

For the past several years that I've been pursuing my writing seriously, I've told them time and again that "if" I became a contracted author, sometimes they'd have to entertain themselves on breaks and in the summertime while I got work done. They have toys, books, movies, favorite tv shows, etc. I wouldn't have an "office" away from home, so I need them to respect my work time. I want them to SEE me work hard at something so they're encouraged to do the same when they find something they love to do.

Well, I'm a contracted author now, but it's still not sunk in yet. I still have trouble getting them to see that they can do things independent of me and that certain things can wait sometimes until I get work I HAVE to do done, so we can do things together that we WANT to do. We do have ALL summer, but I have a deadline to think about, too.

Think I'm going to have to make a plaque to hang outside the bedroom/office door that says—

Work In Progress
~Knock Before Entering~
~Do NOT Disturb~
(unless it's an Emergency)

I try to laugh this off, but I hope to find the balance I need and see a shift in respect as time goes on.

Have a great day!