TNBW’s 2010 Strongest Start Competition for the Romance Category. It really doesn’t come as a surprise, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. Apparently Twenty-Five, the only book I’ve been able to actually finish, is a victim of first book syndrome. It will never get anywhere because it just isn’t good. I should put it in a drawer and work on other projects, but it’s so hard to get the characters out of my head. Ben is the only character I have left who still talks to me- and that’s with 6 or 7 different projects that I’ve started. Everyone else seems to have thrown in the towel, I think they want me to throw in the towel too.
I don’t want to.
But I’m worried I’m going to have to.
No, I won’t.
I don’t want to be a quitter. But what if this isn’t right? What if I really do suck? What if I’m not supposed to be a writer?
Do you enjoy it?
When I actually have time to do it, yes.
Then what makes you think you aren’t supposed to be a writer?
Touche. But I mean, I suck at THIS. I suck at writing. I get told all the time that my stories aren’t original, no one seems to “get” what I’m trying to say.
You don’t suck.
Yes, I do.
I’m going to smack you.
You won’t be the first one who’s threatened to do that.
I’ll be the first one to follow through.
No, you won’t. Because you are me. And I never follow through on anything.
That’s not true!
Sure it is. Look at me. I graduated college Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Criminal Justice. Have I EVER pursued a career in criminal justice?
You applied to law school.
But I didn’t go.
Do you regret that?
Because then maybe I’d be doing something worth while.
You think your life isn’t worth while?
Why not? Why not? Because I’m stuck. I work three jobs and I still can’t afford to live on my own. I’m tired and grumpy all the time. No guy has ever wanted to be with me and I truly believe no guy ever will. Nothing I do makes any difference whatsoever. My writing is crap, I don’t even know why I try.
Isn’t it true that more people tell you they like your writing than tell you they dislike it?
Technically, I suppose.
Technically, you suppose? You are infuriating. Why can’t you believe in yourself more?
Because there’s nothing to believe in.
Yes, there is.
No, there isn’t.
We’ve been here before.
And we’ll be back again.
Why did you enter the contest in the first place?
I was hoping to get some validation, I suppose. Something quantifiable. I’ve never won a single contest I’ve entered, writing or otherwise. I just wanted to feel like I could do something right. That I could be a winner. I thought maybe Twenty-Five would have a shot. I was wrong.
It made it to the finals.
The finals isn’t winning.
It’s closer than losing.
Well, aren’t you clever?
I like to think so.
Do you really think I can ever get anywhere with this? Is there even a chance that someone out there will ever think that my writing is great, or at least good enough?
But not all the time?
Well, of course I have doubts. I’m you. You’re me. You’re having this conversation with yourself, idiot.
I AM an idiot.
And you’d be hella boring if you weren’t one.
Thanks for that.
But a little thing that made me happy today: My friend, Ang, DID win the Strongest Start Competition in the Romance Category. Congratulations Ang! You’re an amazing writer and I’m happy to call you a friend!
I’m not perfect
A fact I know too well
So there’s no need
For you to rub it in my face
To make me feel bad
To antagonize me
With hateful words and accusations
And try and pretend
That I’m the one
Who needs to apologize,
Take on all the blame
Because you’re not perfect, either
Far from it, in fact
And I don’t think
You even realize it
So maybe you should
Point that finger at yourself
Analyze your behavior
Acknowledge that I did my best
Tried my hardest
Gave you as much as I could
And maybe you asked for too much
I’m not a magician
And I’m not a mindreader
I can’t be expected to do everything
And I can’t be expected
To know what I haven’t been told
Get off your high horse
Accept responsibility for yourself
I’ll accept responsibility for me
And let’s call it quits
Because I’m sick of torturing myself
Of going to bed
With the words I should have said
Stuck in my mind
Haunting, taunting me
I hate hating myself
And having someone out in the world
But you don’t hate yourself,
You have righteous anger,
I’m so mad I want to pull my hair out
You think I should be groveling at your feet
But I won’t
Even though part of me wants to
Because there’s a part of me
That hates this feeling so much
I’d rather do whatever it takes
To make you forgive me
For something I didn’t even do wrong
Than go on feeling so shitty
All the time
It’s not fair
It’s not fair
It’s not fair
And I’m sorry. I haven’t had much to say, honestly. Life is busy and I haven’t been writing very much. It makes me sad, but it’s also okay. I’d love to work on The Death Effect, but the characters are being very quiet. They don’t seem to want to speak to me. And that’s okay, too. Sometimes the mind just needs a bit of a break.
So I’ve been giving my brain a lot of rest. I’ve been watching a lot of movies and just relaxing as much as possible. It’s been very nice. I wrote a poem a few days ago which I really liked. I think right now my creativity is on the short-winded side, so I’m going to work my pen out with short stories and poetry. If I write anything interesting, I’ll post it for you.
Some good news for you: my novel, Twenty-Five, is a finalist in The Next Big Writer‘s Strongest Start 2010 Competition in the Romance category! There are six finalists in each category and there will be one winner and two runner-ups. I’m sure I won’t win anything, but I almost didn’t enter, so being a finalist is pretty cool!
And a little thing that makes me happy: getting a random text message from one of my siblings with a quote from Mean Girls or Friends.
My original intention was to keep a list of all the books I read this year and post it sometime the last week of December, but for some reason, I started writing why I’d read what I read or if I enjoyed it or not, etc. and the draft starting getting really long. I thought to myself- no one is going to want to read this mindless list by the end of the year- it will probably double in size and be impossible to get through! So, to save my readers the hassle of a really long, boring, mind-numbing post, I’ve decided I’d go ahead and post January through June. I read 17 books, which considering all the shit I’ve been going through with changing jobs and weddings and basically hating myself and my life, is a lot.
The Smart One and the Pretty One: Read for the first time. Finished 1/10/10. I’ve discovered a wonderful new author with this book. See my post about Judging a Book By Its Cover for how I found this book and see my review of the book here.
Persuasion: Read for the twentieth or so time. Finished sometime in February. Tied for my second favorite Austen classic with Emma. I am totally Anne Eliot in many ways. I’m more like her than Elizabeth Bennet, which is probably why Pride and Prejudice is my first favorite!
The Jane Austen Book Club: Read for the second time. Finished 3/4/10. I actually like the movie version better than the book version. Weird. I think the movie version does a better job of incorporating the discussion of Austen’s books than the book does. However, they made some stupid plot changes in the movie that would have been better left alone- isn’t that always the case?
Knitting Under the Influence: Read for the first time. Began and Finished 3/5/10. I loved this book! Sometimes the characters will come into my head for no reason at all and I want to re-read it, but I’m trying really hard to read new books! For more of my thoughts, see my review of the book here.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Read for the fifth time. Finished 3/26/10. Obviously the reading new books thing didn’t quite work out for me. I blame ABC Family. They showed a couple of marathon weekends with scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and it really made me want to read the whole series again.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Read for the fifth time. Finished 3/28/10.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Read for the fifth time. Finished 3/30/10.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Read for the fifth time. Finished 4/2/10.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Read for the fifth time. Finished 4/4/10.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Read for the fourth time. Finished 4/5/10. I have to make a comment here. This book is so freaking good. I think it has just replaced Goblet of Fire as my favorite in the series. I cried through like the last 10 chapters. It packs such an emotional punch.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Read for the third time. Finished 4/8/10. This is one of the best series ever written. If you don’t agree, well, I just don’t know what to say to you. Except that you are insane.
Alphabet Weekends: Read for the first time. Finished 4/13/10. I was disappointed. This should have been a good book, it had all the elements for a book I would like. British characters. Romance. Complicated relationships. Interesting and fun activities. But. It failed me. See how, here.
Dear John: Read for the first time. Finished 4/15/10. More telling than showing, but I still blubbered like a little baby. Now must see the movie. I love Amanda Seyfried, and Channing Tatum is hot.
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister: Read for the first time. Finished 5/2/10. Has restored my faith in Gregory Maguire, a little. I LOVED Wicked when I read it a couple of years ago. So I bought the sequel, Son of a Witch, and another of Maguire’s, Mirror Mirror. Son and Mirror were huge disappointments. They just weren’t captivating like Wicked was. I didn’t enjoy the style of the writing or the storylines, and Mirror ending up going absolutely nowhere. But Confessions was much better. It wasn’t as intriguing and page-turning as Wicked, but it was much closer and I felt satisfied after reading it.
By the Time You Read This: Read for the first time. Finished 6/2/10. I bought this book at Target right before my trip to Disney because I realized that I hadn’t brought any books with me for the plane ride. It was pretty good. The beginning was a little annoying because the author would show what was happening and then say what was happening. Very redundant. But that dwindled out after a few chapters, so I wonder if it was stylistically on purpose to show the growth and maturation of the character (who began the book at age 12 and ended at age 30).
206 Bones: Read for the first time. Finished 6/23/10. I love Kathy Reichs and all of the Temperance Brennan novels. Here’s what I like most about them: the author doesn’t try and get fancy with flowery prose and descriptions that take you an hour to read and understand. She just tells the story. She gives background where necessary and gives just enough description so you can envision the scene, but SHE TELLS THE STORY! Love it.
And a little thing that makes me happy: Laughing aloud to a funny moment in a book and not caring if people think I’m crazy for laughing to myself.