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Late update

Back in February, I posted that I had a goal to edit 60 pages of my novel by the end of the month. Seeing as it’s now late March, I thought I should update my readers about said goal. Alas, I did not get 60 pages edited. It was more like 10. I hang my head in shame, but not for so long as to deter me from continuing on. Editing has been the longest part of this process (I’m talking years here) and while I’m editing, I’m coming up with more and more ideas. I did take a good step toward checking continuity by creating a chart with each character’s first and last name, her main story, and other stories she shows up in. This has already helped tremendously as I noticed I’d given one character three different last names! Oops!

I also decided to write an epilogue. For those new to the blog, I should explain a little about my book. It’s called About Last Weekend and it takes place over a weekend. Each “chapter” is a story with one main character. Other characters from other stories come and go so each story is connected with one or more other stories. Some stories take place on Friday night, others Saturday, some Sunday, and a select few over all three days. The epilogue will take place on Monday morning and the characters who survived the weekend will make an appearance. So far, I’ve written a page and a half of the epilogue but more ideas are coursing through my brain!

As always, I’ve been trolling book websites, including my favorite, GoodReads. Publishers list giveaways of ARCs (and some final copies of books) there so that any member can enter into a drawing to get a copy. I have to do a little more research, but I think I might be able to list my own giveaway there, perhaps to entice people to read my book and review it. I will post about this when the time draws nearer.

Now that we’re officially in Spring, I will set another editing goal: edit 3 stories and write 5 pages of the epilogue by April 30th. (This one isn’t nearly as lofty as the first goal but when I say “edit”, I still mean fleshing out scenes and characters.)

Finally, I cannot end this post without thanking my dear, loyal, PATIENT friend Mike. He is the one who gifted me the publishing package 4 years ago. I will finish this novel, Mike! I promise!

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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in About me, Literature

 

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readreadreadsleepreadeatworkreadwritereadsleep

Happy February, everyone! I thought I would just post an update on my projects and goals. Since it’s the middle of winter and flippin’ cold outside, what else are you going to do?

In January, I published 6 blog posts, which is almost as much as I published last year alone! Woohoo! One thing that did help me write more was having a working computer again. I purchased a new laptop with a keyboard that works flawlessly (unlike the previous one where I had to punch. the. keys. several times to get it to work even once). It’s also a lot faster than my previous computer and has a longer battery life. This has made writing a lot easier (as well as cutting down on actual time spent on the internet since I’m not waiting for forever for a page to load). My other big writing project (that is, my novel) is not coming along nearly as quickly as it should be. I really just need to buckle down and do it. Setting public (and attainable) goals are supposed to be motivating so here it goes by: February 28, 2013, at 11:59pm, I will have edited 60 pages of my novel. This may not seem like a lot to you, the reader, but trust me, it’s a lot. And by editing, I don’t just mean looking for grammatical errors, but also expanding and adding scenes as well as fleshing out descriptions. Three weeks hardly seems like enough time. But now it’s out there and I need to stick to it! (Any nagging is appreciated.)

Of course, I still am working on that never-ending reading list. At last count, I have 19 digital ARCs waiting to be read on my nook. Oy! The next one up is The Dinner by Herman Koch, which is actually set to be released a week from today. I heard it’s supposed to be the next big seller. I’ll let you know how it is. Currently, I am about to finish Beautiful Creatures, whose movie version is coming to theaters on Valentine’s Day. Since I am once again single, I will be going to a viewing with a friend/coworker who has also read the book and was just as instantly obsessed as I was. Seriously, talk about gripping the reader from the get-go.

Finally, I hope to have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards up on my Etsy shop by the end of the month. It may seem early for them, but I have to pay a small fee to post a listing and it lasts for only 4 months. By posting holiday cards 4 months out, I am getting the most for my money. Of course, I didn’t do this on time for Christmas last year or Valentine’s Day this year (I have some unlisted valentines – email sarcasmincluded@gmail.com if you’re interested!). So that’s another overall goal of mine: make and post cards 4 months before a holiday.

Alright…I won’t keep you any longer. Go. Enjoy time with your family. Have some hot cocoa around the fireplace and tell stories. Or, if you’re like me, grab your cat and share her body warmth. Cry into your cup of Ramen noodles and hope that life doesn’t stay like this forever.* Hope that one day, spring will come.

Cheers!

*To my family and friends reading this: Don’t worry; I don’t cry into my dinner. I wait until I’m in bed.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in About me, Crafts & Hobbies

 

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Just a scared little girl

Well, if you know me, I’m not really “little”. Still, that’s how I feel inside, like I’m just a scared little girl.

I’ve mentioned several times on the blog about my book. I’ve worked on it for nearly a decade and have sent a “first” draft to iUniverse for review.* I received an editorial review of my work a few weeks ago, but I have yet to even read one word of it. Why? Because I’m scared. Once you put a part of yourself out there, once it’s in print, it’s there for others to judge and critique and there’s not changing it. There’s no taking it back and fixing it.

What if everyone hates it? Sure, I’ve had some friends and family read it, but I’ve had little critique that I could use. Everyone says they like it, which is nice, but when people I don’t know read it, they’re not going to be so gentle.

I look at books that are flying off the shelves, that are hard to keep in stock because everyone wants it. The latest example is E.L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy. Is it particularly good writing? One associate of mine said that there were plenty of grammar and spelling errors. A good friend of mind said that it was “no big deal”. So why is something that is mediocre** been at the top of multiple bestseller lists for weeks? Marketing. You get someone talking about a book and word starts to spread like wildfire. Many times I’ve had customers ask for the book then say, “I don’t know anything about it. Everyone just keeps telling me to read it.” Let me tell you, I’m over telling middle-aged and senior women that the book is one long BDSM story.

What’s Fifty Shades of Grey have to do with my book? When I see an unknown author skyrocket up to fame and fortune practically overnight, it breaks my confidence. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. So how am I going to feel when it doesn’t happen to me? Let’s be realistic: this is my first published work and my work isn’t on the same level of James Joyce, either. I have no monetary means for marketing the book, though social networking and plain ol’ word of mouth is free (or at least cheap). Sure, I can market my book some, but the more I put myself out there, the more susceptible I become to criticism.

And when it comes right down to criticism, it turns out that I’m just a scared little girl.

*First draft for them, one hundredth draft for me.

**This is solely an opinion based on what I’ve heard from multiple customers and friends. I have not actually read the books, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s no Ulysses.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in About me, Literature

 

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About last weekend…

Nearly 10 years ago in college I started writing a collection of short stories that interlinked.  There were several times when months would go by when I wouldn’t touch the manuscript.  Other times I worked on it in all-consuming binges, even carrying the manuscript with me wherever I went. 

One of my good friends works for iUniverse, a self-publisher, and gifted me a publishing package years ago.  What a wonderful gift!  Sadly, it took me three years to enact on it.  But finally…FINALLY…I submitted my manuscript a few months ago.  Earlier this week I worked on the book details, including details for the cover and author biography.

Now, the book won’t be out on shelves right away, but after years of working on it, I feel like it’s finally coming together.  It’s both exciting and scary.  On one hand it will be nice to see this project in a finalized form.  On the other hand, I’m putting a part of myself out there for everyone to see and critique.

Do I think that my manuscript will be the next Hunger Games or Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?  No.  But perhaps this will lead to enough exposure to publish something else down the road, which could be the next hot seller or, again, have enough exposure to continue publishing. 

I’ll keep everyone updated on the process.  The next step is to write the back cover copy (and work on my pitch to consumers).

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in About me, Literature

 

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Week 1 round-up

Just a quick update on my NaNoWriMo progress.

I am a bit behind right now.  I have only 8,070 words.  Mind you, I did start a day late, but then I was sick three other days.  So I’ve been not writing more than I’ve been writing.  It’s a little bit of a set back but all is not lost.  I have a few days off later in week 2 so I’m hoping to bust some words out then.

The plot is still forming in my mind, though a few things have become clearer to me.  Of course, I can’t really share that right now or I would spoil the fun.

As I write, I am struggling to come up with names of secondary characters and last names of the main characters.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in About me, Literature

 

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And I’m off!

Despite my hesitations and the late start, I’ve decided to write a novel this month.  So far, I’m elated and energized.  I just hope I can keep it up!

To stay on track and write 50,000 words in 30 days, an average of 1,665 words should be written each day.  I started a day late (almost two by the time I started writing).  But in a mere 11 hours (5 of which were spent sleeping), I’ve cranked out 5,321 words.  Not too shabby.  I’m currently caught up and even a little bit ahead.

The year I finished NaNoWriMo, I kept a chart of each day’s progress.  Looking it over last night, I saw that most days I exceeded my needed goal.  This helped when later in the month I got sick or was too tired to write.  I was able to not write a single word on eight different days and still finished the novel a day early.  Granted, I think that novel is complete crap, but that’s not the point of this month-long exercise.

So, what’s my novel about, you ask?  You would think that in 5,000 plus words I would know.  I actually don’t.  (Creator Chris Baty’s book No Plot? No Problem! explains why this is perfectly acceptable and even a little encouraged.)  Multiple angles of how the story could go are still swimming through my mind.  Right now it’s open and could go several ways.  As I go about my day as usual, I’ll continue to think and brainstorm, even subconsciously.  I’ll view each interaction with someone as a possible interaction between my characters.  Every story I hear will sprout new ideas in my mind of what could happen in my novel.  Anything is possible!

What I can share is that I have three main characters right now: Corrine, Zach, and Jude.*  They’re all connected to each other but I won’t say how just yet.

As for this blog, I’ll try to keep everyone updated on how the novel is coming.  I might even put in some excerpts, should I find them good enough for others to read.  Any moral support you can give, like my wonderful aunt has already shown, I will take it!  If you, too, are participating in NaNoWriMo, look me up on the website under sarcasm_inc in Indiana, USA.

*Jude had been Jodi but between that, Corrine, and a secondary character named Mary, I thought it might look like I have been watching a lot of reruns.**

**Which I have.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in About me, Literature

 

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From eight years to one month

So here it is November again and I was reminded that it is also NaNoWriMo (or, for those of you not in the know, National Novel Writing Month).  NaNoWriMo encourages writers to pound out 50,000 words in just 30 days.  The result is (hopefully) something resembling a novel.  Chris Baty, the creator of NaNoWriMo, stresses quantity over quality because the editing process after the month is over will iron out all those wrinkles.  The point is to get the bones of the book down on paper and not get hung up having the perfect sentence.

I participated in this endeavour twice so far.  Once I finished and once I quit half-way through the month, which caused me to pony up some money for pizza for my coworkers.  I haven’t even attempted to write for NaNoWriMo in a four years but the reminder today has me thinking, “Should I try it again?”

My hesitations are just a few.  First off, I work in retail and we’re going into the holiday season.  It’s going to be busy at the store and I’ll be more tired than usual after my shift.  Second, it actually took me eight years to finish a novel and one, I might add, that wasn’t very big (close to 90,000 words).  Third, I now have full internet access at home, as well as a Wii and Netflix.  Talk about distractions!  Finally, I need my time to read.  If I don’t read, I get rather cranky and start snapping people’s heads off (and I don’t think anyone would like that).

But on the flip side, I do work in a bookstore (yes, they still exist) and talking books can help spark creativity.  And while some customers can be less than happy during the holiday season, most are really cheerful and upbeat which could keep me energized for writing after my shift.  Plus, the holiday craziness doesn’t come until the end of the month.  I think I could minimize some of the distractions at home with some help.  So that just leaves being able to write a novel in a month, not years.  Should I do it? Can I do it?

And what should I even write about?

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Literature

 

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