Huzzah!

 

the muse

We’re in the last few days before the book launch, and truth be told I’m vibrating with excitement.

It’s also true that some unavoidable family stuff has come up,  so at least some of my attention and energy is directed that way too.

I am looking forward to a long long sleep on Sunday Oct 22.

 

Things That Will Mess Up Your Writing Process, Part Two

depression
Charcoal drawing by Chloe Cocking

Another thing that can mess up your writing process– if you let it– is squidgy boundaries. Many writers I know (myself included) are people-pleasing folk who have a hard time saying “No,” as in . . .

  • “No, I don’t want to go dog-walking with you, this is my writing time.”
  • “No, I don’t want to go out shopping with you on Sunday, because Sunday is one of of my writings days, I need that time to be organized for the upcoming week.”
  • “No, I don’t want to watch Netflix at the moment, I am writing.”
  • “No, I can’t sit on this or that committee for this or that arts organization, or volunteer to stuff envelopes or update your database, or, or, or, or or . . .”

If remarks like this came easy to me, I think I would have finished Blood Rain faster.

I have developed a script that I use to turn down the invitations I find most tempting– feel free to use or adapt it if it is useful to you:

“I’m sorry, I am in recovery from being a Woman-Who-Does-Too-Much. Asking me for ____________ is like a kind of crack for me, so I must decline your invitation. Thank you for understanding”. 

Things that will mess up your writing process, Part One

aaron-burden-189321
Photo created by Aaron Burden, used under a CC licence.

My high school creative writing teacher gave the class a lecture one time about the two types of writing processes, “classical” and “romantic”.

He advised that writers with a classical process are highly structured, create detailed outlines, and develop their plots and characters fully before they start drafting.

He opined further that writers with a romantic process, write (only) when the spirit moves them. They often draft scenes outside of chronological order. Their characters and plots develop organically, sometimes in directions the writer did not anticipate.

This bit of advice was then (and is now) horseshit.

Every writer I know uses some combination of classical and romantic elements.**

What’s more, having that dichotomy in mind messed up my process. I felt like I was doing it “wrong”, which contributed to long periods of not writing.

From my perspective, any writer’s process can be like a frozen soap bubble- something lovely to look at, but also something that can be easily destroyed by a probing finger or overheated breathing.

**More on this in a future post

COUNTDOWN: Five Reasons I Love Writers’ Manuscript Groups

I’m not much of “a joiner” nor am I a person who loves group activities.  I need a certain amount of “leave-me-alone-to-brood” time.

Nevertheless, I attend two different manuscript groups and I love them. Here’s why . . .

5. No one minds if I attend meetings in my pajamas.

4. Saturday morning cartoons are not what they used to be.

3. Critiques– even unkind ones– are helpful. Hard-to-hear feedback can lead to deeper insight into one’s own work (and save you loads of time when it comes time for the second or third draft).

2. The feedback is immediate.

The number one reason I love writers’ manuscript groups?

1.  Deadlines. Organized structured groups provide deadlines. You know the old saying “if it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done”?  The person who coined that must have had me in mind. With a deadline, I can move mountains. Without one, I can’t move at all.

Change of Plans

 

aaa computer
Used under a CC license, no attribution required 

Blood Rain update:

 

My publisher informs me there are some problems on the print production side of things. (I blame all the evil spirits in the writing.)

Consequently, the book release, the book release party, and everything attached to it (such as the monthly newsletter) have been re-scheduled to October 2017.

More news will be posted here as this process unfolds.

So . . . that happened.

teddy-kelley-73817

I finished Blood Rain a few weeks ago, in April 2017.

I’ve signed a contract with Canadian indie publisher Filidh Books.  When I know more about release dates and book signings and readings and all that jazz, I’ll update here, along with links to the publisher’s website.

It took me twelve years of on-again, off-again writing to finish Blood Rain. It’s gross and scary and funny. I hope you’ll like it.

I’m hard at work on Downward Dog. 

The story I want to be able to tell at parties is that writing the first novel took twelve years, but writing the second only took four months.

Even if it takes longer than that, I might tell that story anyway. (Writers are such liars).