I want to do a happy post, since so many of my thoughts on writing lately have been downers. So, here you are, one bonafide sparkling happy post!
When I get a book published, I’m getting a tattoo. I already know where I want it, in fact, I let my MC in Twenty-Five get a tattoo in the same spot, on the outside of my wrist, where my arm meets the base of my hand. Easily covered up with long sleeves or a bracelet if necessary. If Twenty-Five is the first book to be published, I’ll get the roman numerals for Twenty-Five, XXV. If it’s one of my other projects, well, I guess I’ll have to think of something that symbolizes them. I’m not sure I want anything representing Death on my arm, but I can probably come up with something for The Death Effect. Perhaps the Greek or Roman letters for TDE. Who knows.
When I get a book published, I hope I make a little bit of money so I can get myself out of debt. It would be so nice not to have to worry about going to the doctor, or getting my oil changed, or something like that, because I’m worried the payment won’t go through. Okay, that wasn’t very happy, but focus on the positive- making a little bit of money
When I get published, I’m going to let my mother read my book. I haven’t let her yet. The MC is so much like me and I don’t know how she’d react to it. I think she’d like the book and I know she’d be supportive, but there are still some secrets about myself I’d like to keep to myself for now.
When I get published, the acknowledgements or dedication is going to read:
For all those tired and weary souls who sit down at a desk or computer, who balance notebooks in their laps, who fight with their pens- this book is for you.
For all the friends who read my book before I even knew how to write a book- this book is for you.
For everyone who knows what it feels like to be alone, wishing for love and friendship- this book is for you.
For C, J, A to the third power, and V and everyone over at The Next Big Writer- thank you thank you thank you for being my toughest and most loving critics. Thank you for pushing me to be better. For telling me that my story had heart, hope, passion, and beauty- this book is for you.
And lastly, for Mom, Daddy, Theresa, Amanda, and Danny, though we fight and argue, tease and laugh at one another, I love you with all the depths of my heart. Thank you for being my family- this book is for you.
Now THAT makes me very happy.
I had a really good weekend. I’m going to try very hard to be less of a grumpy, woe-is-me, person. I hope this is a good start. I’m determined, I have this dream, I’m going to keep going after it. What’s the point of having a dream if you just let it die? Thinking it’s never going to happen isn’t healthy and it isn’t productive. I’m going to try and have the attitude from now on, WHEN I get published, not IF I get published.
When I get published…
When I get published…
When I get published…
You may remember a few weeks ago when I found a brand new motto for life: What the hell? It can’t hurt to try.
Well, that’s pretty much down the drain.
The contest I entered, I didn’t make it through to the next round. 1000 entries made it through. Mine was not one of them. So, yeah.
I knew going in I wasn’t going to win. I knew going in that no one thinks my attempts at queries are any good. So it’s not a surprise that I didn’t make it through to the next round. But it does suck. It kinda pisses me off that no one in the publishing world is ever going to read my book because I can’t write an interesting query.
Maybe my book sucks. Maybe it isn’t just the query. But I don’t really believe that my book is bad. I really don’t. It’s not the greatest thing ever written, but I think it’s pretty good. And yet, I can’t move forward with it because I can’t get an agent interested in it.
Or maybe that’s my real problem: my book is bad, but I don’t realize it. Which may just be the saddest thing ever.
So my new motto is What the F***. I like it better than the other one. It’s more me, I think.
I spent the weekend in Fayetteville with my good friend Ashley and her husband waiting for their baby to kick! It was a lot of fun, but as of yet, baby Gracyn doesn’t like her Aunt Rach. She only kicked for me twice And the next time I see them, she’ll be out of her active phase because she’ll be so much bigger. But that’s okay, I may get to go down in a couple of weeks to see the 3D ultrasound, which I’m super excited about!
I’ve known Ashley since we were 6 years old. It’s so crazy that she’s having a baby! But I’m really excited. We went looking for baby clothes because she had another friend’s baby shower to attend and I ended up buying Gracyn the CUTEST shoes ever. I’m so excited to see her wearing them. Ashley’s shower is at the end of March, so I’ll try and post some more pictures then.
I’m feeling a bit of a creative void. It’s not writer’s block, it’s more of a listlessness. A non-desire to write, create, produce.
I got a really bad review of a chapter of Twenty-Five a couple of weeks ago. The reader said the characters were cookie cutter, the sentence structure monotonous, and the dialogue cliche. They said “there’s no story here.”
Of course, reading a review like that is like diving head first into freezing cold water. It’s a shock to the system. You wonder- did this person read my work and actually think that? or were they just being mean and spiteful? I have to believe that it’s a little bit of a mixture of the two extremes.
I know, deep in my heart, that my characters are not cookie cutter. They have histories, dreams, plans for the future. I know what they look like, how they act, their likes and dislikes. I’ve thought them through completely and I didn’t just base them on the archetypal characters you see in book after book, story after story. However, I can understand how, in an isolated chapter, without the buildup of the beginning of the story and their relationship, a reader would miss their complexity and depth.
With the monotonous sentence structure comment, I think the reader may have a point. I’ve been reading through my book slowly the last couple of nights and I think I do have issues with varying sentence structure. There just aren’t that many ways to structure a series of actions without getting into lavish descriptions and similes and metaphors, which I hate. So, one of my goals is to find fresher ways of saying what I want to say.
As far as the dialogue being cliche, I have to say- WHOA. I am really surprised anyone would say that about my dialogue because if there’s one thing that 99.99% of my readers have agreed on, it’s my realistic dialogue. I can only assume that this is another instance of the isolated chapter, but will defend myself a little in saying that real people in real life use cliches when they talk. Cliches are around for a reason- they are recognizable, memorable. Just about everything we say in everyday life can be considered cliche. For example, if I write this exchange:
“Hey, how are you?”
is the cliche police going to strike it down and tell me I can’t use it?
The last comment is the one that really hurt. “There’s no story here.” I’ve put my blood, sweat, and tears into this book for the past year (and yes, I realize blood, sweat, and tears is cliche, too) and for someone to tell me there’s no story there, I mean, I can’t even express how much that hurts. I know its not the first bad review that I’ve gotten, and I know it won’t be the last, but DAMN! I would never tell someone that there was no “story” in their story. Because anyone who writes has a story they are trying to tell. And yes, some stories need more work than others, but everything is a story. Life is a story.
So all of that to say that it’s been really hard for me to write lately. I don’t want to be a failure and yet that’s how a review like that makes me feel. Everyone says, “you’ve got to have a thick skin to make it in this industry.” But isn’t that true of any industry, of any career? Is that why I’m still stuck in limbo, I don’t have a thick enough skin? Am I going to be a failure for the rest of my life? Am I going to be stuck in the void for the rest of my life?