Monday, January 25, 2010

Support or Weight?

Okay, this is my rant for the quarter. I have to have one at least once in a while…right? p.s. this was written in haste, because I really should be studying for my Stats class…shhh, don’t tell my teacher.

My good friend and I went to breakfast this morning and the subject of writing support came up. She and I have both had experiences where we have heard people say not very nice things about other writers or have seen controversy as we have taken this journey.

As we reflected on this, we thought about those amazing writers who did support others out there in the community. Those who answered questions, those who plan awesome activities, those who care if someone has gotten something published how big or little it may be. Those who haven’t gotten offended by someone’s misspoken words.

They are the class acts.

And there are many out there.

To you I say thank you. You are the support writers need to keep writing, the force of support to encourage a discouraged friend (not drag their noses in “you wrote this?” But instead said, "I can help you."). You are the ones who keep us going. And to you I say. Thanks.

After having a difficult week with the writing, I was grateful for those around me who came to my aide. I hope I can be more like you and be a support and not a weight when others in my life are struggling. I am truly grateful.

Have you ever had someone help you up when you were feeling low? Do you have any suggestions that I can put in my mini book of awesome ideas to help others around me? (I know long title for my notepad, but I love it!)

Thanks guys! Next week I will actually take the time to think of a great post and not go on a long rants. Well, maybe. =) Have a great week, and may all your writings be mind-boggling astounding.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Not a Hobby, Repeat, Not a Hobby!

Okay, so I was talking to this woman. She knew I was writing and had been pursuing finishing my book. She also knew I was almost finished with school.

"So what are you going to do with your degree once you get out of school?" she asked.

I had to stop and think. Because I wasn't sure. Because I was planning on writing. You know - becoming a writer.

"Well, I can become a therapist." I mean really? (I'd have to go back to school and get my major - *cringe*) OR do I want to make up worlds where anything can happen?

"At least you have a hobby of writing." She smiled, unknowing what an impact her words had made on me.

It made me think. Do I really see writing as just a hobby?

No. *eyes narrowing* I don't. Writing is so much more to me and I see it as more than just something to pass the time with.

(Imaginary superhero cape flowing behind me.) "I am not just a hobby writer." (please use super-laundry-girl voice). "I am a writer." *hair blowing in the wind, hand raised holding powerful thesaurus of justice* I don't know why I always see myself as a writer-super-hero, but I do.

For me, I see myself as more then just a hobby-writer. Much more. I am a writer.
How do you see yourself?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hangin' with Amazing-nous Peeps!

Last weekend a group of us writers all got together for a terrific shin-dig hosted by Elana J. & Suzette . And look how rebellious we are with our cups full of sparkling apple juice. We are a wild pack of writers I tell ya.

The awesomeness people standing up: L.T. Elliot, Mary Campbell, Nichole Giles, Alaina Evans, Elana Johnson, Angie Lofthouse, Carolyn Vawdrey, Michelle Argyle, Suzette Saxton, Windy Aphayrath

Awesomenss people in the front: Jenn Wilks, Tess Hilmo, Ali Cross, Natalie Whipple
(To be honest, I copied this list from Elana J's website. She is so organzied! Thanks Elana!)

We ate, we played funny writing games (don’t ask about the tiara), and we even won awards. Please see picture below.

Yay! I won the Serious Skimmer award!

Along with the Skirmisher award, I was awarded a pirate sword kit, which was taken immediately by my five-year-old who ran around the house in his undies yelling, "Walk the plank, Matey." It was a sight to see. I should have taken a picture.

It was interesting that so many of us were at different stages of our journey. Some were agented authors, others waiting for their first books to be published – some wrote short stories, others novels - Some newbies, others oldbies (can there be oldbies?). But all in all a good time.

On the way home it was mentioned that it felt good to be with people who “get us,” Who understood what our dreaming and hopes were all about. It’s true. We writers have lofty goals. But meeting together gives one hope and inspiration.

I highly recommend meeting with said awesomeness if you have a chance to.
Thanks again to all those who planned and participated! You guys rock!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Turnips, Triumphs, and First scary-crazy weeks...Yikes!

I wasn’t sure if I should blog this week, because it has been one wacky week full of crazy teachers (not any of my teachers, but still - a whole long story), strange men who give out their email addresses (I don’t even want to begin with that one), sick little guys (thank goodness for indoor plumbing! Love it!), plus the whole awful earthquake in Haiti (my heart goes out to them - if you can, please donate to relief efforts - Check out Nathan Bransford's blog for a good resouce). (Or find a place near you that is taking donations. But only those you trust.)

There is one shiny light at the end of the tunnel (or should I say week?). I am almost done with my first draft!!!! Yes! Hooray! Doing funky dance. I just have to piece a chunk of story with another chunk of story, and I’m done.

But I’m not really done. Many people think that just because you finish writing a first draft of a story it is ready to query.
Don’t do it my friend! Not yet.

After you finish your story, you have to tuck it away for a few days, pull it out, and reread, revise, reread, revise.
Yes, this is what we writers do after we squeeze all the blood we can get out of that turnip – then we make pumpkin pie with it (it’s not easy making pumpkin pie from a turnip, but I’m trying).
Have the piece critiqued, maybe add a few beta-readers (or alpha-readers, whatever you like to call them), and then ….


Hopefully by that point the piece is ready to go. Not an easy task, but well worth the work.

Any other suggestions I’m forgetting? Maybe a trip to the therapist to discuss trying to make pumpkin pie from a turnip?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome Back!

Well I am finally back from my mini blog vacation. Hopefully I will be able to catch up with all my blog friends by the end of the week. =) Love you guys!

We actually took our cute kids to Southern Ca for the holidays - and can I say- just as wonderful in the winter as it is in the summer. And the surfers! Wow, there were a ton.

So here we are at 2010. Do you have any new goals for the year? Writing goals, weight loss goals, needle point kite making goals?

I’ve been thinking about my lofty bundles of goals and I do have a few. Finish school (only four more classes!). Finish book (only 30,000 more words to go!). Keep house clean and laundry under control (my neighbor told me an excellent way to control the stinky clothes-o-meter and it seems to be working). 2010 is looking great!

Last but not least – work on the craft of writing. Most writers will tell you, the more you write the better writer you will become. I totally believe that. So this year I will focus on finishing my book while improving THE CRAFT (say that in a really low spooky voice. So mysterious.) Plus I have three conferences to attend, writers to meet (so excited!), and books to read. What a great year this is going to be.

So hey! Tell me what your goals are. Are you going to finish that awesome book? Query the hottest agent? Start a critique group? Make lots of fudge and share it with all your writer friends (Will you invite me to that? I love the fudge).

What are your goals for 2010?