I’m Back and I’m Doing NaNoWriMo

October 13, 2014 § 5 Comments

or,
I Know. It’s Way Past Labor Day

Write
October 13, 2014

I’m back. Not because I finally submitted my manuscript to the agent who requested it at RWA14. No. Because after a month and a half of condensing and cutting, my beloved manuscript is still way over the ideal word count. One of my Hot Tub Readers strongly suggested I take a break from it.

So I’m taking a break from it.

Anxiety is still skating across my chest, my stomach alternates between roiling with nausea and growling with hunger, and I want to cry about every two hours, but I’m working through it.

I have decided, for the first time, to participate in NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month. The founder of NaNoWriMo, Chris Baty, was the guest speaker at the LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) meeting on Saturday.

Chris Baty, Founder of NaNoWriMo, at the LERA meeting, October 11, 2014.

Chris Baty, Founder of NaNoWriMo, at the LERA meeting, October 11, 2014.

He is a great speaker. Funny, entertaining, and inspiring. I am inspired to give this NaNoWriMo thing a go. After the past few years of completely devoting myself to a project that has become my love and my obsession, only to hit a brick wall, it will be good for me to try something completely different.

At 1,667 words a day.

Eep!

Like I said, it will be good for me. Right?

Write!
(Hee, hee. Couldn’t resist. I have to crack myself up somehow. Or else I’ll just crack up, period.)

Chris Baty has inspired me to write a flawed novel, really quickly.

Chris Baty has inspired me to write a flawed novel, really quickly.

In the Meantime, Apples

August 27, 2014 § 1 Comment

Write
August 27, 2014

I’m going to be taking a brief hiatus from blogging in order to get some manuscript changes done to submit to an agent. Eeeep! I know what I’ll be doing over Labor Day weekend.

While munching apples. After years, the dwarf apple tree by my back door, the tree I never water and that has primarily served as a decent screen between me and my neighbor’s bedroom window and a hangout for the birds, has actually yielded a bowl of apples! I felt like a little kid picking these off the branches.

ReadWriteBliss-Apples

Talk to you some time after Labor Day!

It’s a Good Thing I Enjoy This Writing Thing So Much

August 18, 2014 § 6 Comments

Write
August 18, 2014

Last year I pitched to an agent at RWA and she told me that my word count was too high—like, “heart attack too high”—so I spent last fall and winter splitting the book into two.

That agent rejected my submission.

This year I pitched to another agent at RWA and he likes my premise but does not like the fact that it is split into two—like, “everything was great until you said it was split into two”—and he wants to see a definite ending.

I agree. My love my original ending. My original ending is the reason I wrote the book.

So now I’m back to my original version, the one that is not split in two, and that means I have to cut a hell of a lot of words.

Panic attack has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen.

I’m getting through it with a little advice from my friends and other sources.

Stephen King, from On Writing, advice from his newspaper editor:
“When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

On Writing

These words are keeping my head on straight and guiding me through the darkness.

Ryan Winfield, author of Jane’s Melody, when I told him my woes:
“Don’t cut just to cut, but getting the word count down will hopefully make it crisper and make for better writing.”

Ryan Winfield and me at Bookworks signing August 9, 2014.

Ryan Winfield and me at Bookworks signing August 9, 2014.

So far, so good. I’ve cut 600 words from the first three scenes and they read much better. Only thing is, 600 doesn’t sound like very many words right now. I will not despair.

Louise Bergin, fellow LERA member and author of historical romance:
“Cut, but keep what you’ve cut off to the side and use it later as extras for promotion.”

Love my LERA gang!

Love my LERA gang!

Great idea. I’ve seen other authors do this, like Cora Carmack at the end of her book Finding It. I’ll probably end up with a year’s worth of blog posts of deleted scenes and original versions.

Dia of the invaluable Hot Tub Readers:
“Whatever you do, don’t cut any of the sex scenes.”

Duly noted.

Hop Hop Hippity Hop

April 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Write
April 20, 2014

“Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were—
Flopsy,
Mopsy,
Cotton-tail,
and Peter.”

Page from a Peter Rabbit calendar. I have it taped to the wall of my office.

This is the opening line from The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. I learned to read from the Little Golden Book edition of this story. But it was after hunting down and flipping through the little pages of the original version, written AND illustrated by Beatrix Potter, that I was inspired to start writing.

My copy of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit." As you can see, this is one well- and oft-read book.

My worn, tattered copy of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”

This beloved children’s author led the enchanted life. Check out the trailer for this exquisite, under-the-radar biopic, Miss Potter, starring Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. You can see how Potter’s little woodland creatures were very real to her. And they got her through some tough times.

Here’s to the imagination and all of the wonderful life that springs from it.

Happy Easter, everyone!

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