Progress!

I got the edits back from my proofer and have to say, it wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be. Yelena not only corrected punctuation and grammar, but out of kindness, made some comments and suggestions that help give the manuscript better flow and clear up some of the bumpy spots! I’ve made the edits and have contacted a design artist to work with me on my book cover.

Right now I’m at that scary/euphoric point in the publishing process. I have days where I do a happy dance just thinking about it. Other days, my stomach twists and I question my lucidity for publishing something that could be shot down by negative reviews. It’s a rollercoaster ride, but whatever the outcome, it’s gonna happen. 🙂

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Great quote for budding authors

I read the BEST quote today on one of those elevator TVs. I need to make me a plaque that says this:

“Fear doesn’t keep you from making mistakes; it only keeps you from sharing them.”

Fear has been my biggest enemy in my writing process. Fear that my writing isn’t good enough. Fear that my story isn’t good enough. Fear that people will ridicule my work. (have you read some of those book reviews on Amazon????)

I am waiting for revisions from my editor (chewing my fingernails). Then its on to getting a book cover and ISBN and all that ‘fun’ stuff!

I keep saying my mantra is ‘Publish in 2015’ and I’m doing my best to make that happen!

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Taking the plunge

After a year-and-a-half of reading craft books, taking workshops and editing, I finally got the courage to hire a proofer for my debut novel “The Bullaun Stone.” I’m also in the process of writing a companion novella about one of the characters who plays a crucial part in the story, but doesn’t physically appear in it. Thought it might be a good bridge to the series I’m writing.

It’s been a long, VERY long, sometimes troubling, often rewarding, definitely educational experience, this adventure in writing. It has taught me a lot about myself too, my strengths, my weaknesses, my fears for sure. But it hasn’t made me quit. Even through the ego blows and setbacks for some god-unknown reason, I still don’t want to quit. And anyone who really knows me well, knows that I’ve always taken the easy road, the comfortable road, so this is something quite new for me.

My silent motto this year has been ‘publish in 2015’ and there is a glimmer of light on the horizon that says this could actually happen. I’ve decided to go the self-publishing route for now. There’s a little bit more housekeeping that needs to be done (have a cover designed, get in ISBN, make sure I put all the disclaimers and credits in that I need to) but maybe… just maybe… I can make that 2015 deadline.

Cross your fingers with me, my friends! And thanks for all your love and support!

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This made me think of several people I know….

grammer nazi

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Here goes nothing!

Okay, I submitted my short story ‘Ad Consequentiam’ to The First Line literary journal today. In about three weeks, I’ll be laughing or crying.

Seriously though, I wanted to take a break from writing my second book in the Willow Tree Wishes series and a short story seemed just the thing. I happened up The First Line and was delighted at the concept — The purpose of The First Line is to jump start the imagination–to help writers break through the block that is the blank page. Each issue contains short stories that stem from a common first line and provides a forum for discussing favorite first lines in literature. It is an exercise in creativity for writers and a chance for readers to see how many different directions can be taken from the same starting place.

I was really nervous about writing a short story. I’ve never written one before and frankly I didn’t think I could. So I went into it with trepidation. The first line for the summer submission is ‘Please, Sylvia, give me a moment to think.’

Yesterday I was talking to my husband and challenged him “Ask me where I got the idea for my story, just ask me.”

“I’ll bite.” He says.

My response?

“I have no idea whatsoever.”

It just sort of came to me. I started writing and somehow the storyline emerged. Almost out of nowhere. How does that even happen? It truly still amazes me sometimes how the images form in my mind, then I write down what I see.

Like a movie.

It’s actually quite fun.

Okay, that’s all for today, just thought I’d make a few observations.

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things are looking up

I gave my manuscript to a couple of Beta readers and so far the response has been posititive. Can I just say how humbling it is to have someone so interested in reading about plots and characters that your mind has created? It’s mind boggling, that’s the only way to sum it up. But thanks to everyone who has read my book so far.

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Sooooo…it’s been a while since my last post. WHAT have I been up to?

I have to admit that when I sent my second, so-called ‘improved’ query to QueryShark, I was totally discouraged (i.e. devastated) by Janet’s reply. She questioned my writing ability, said the second was no better than the first. What? How dare she dash my hopes like that??? Buuuutttt….darn her, she was right. A few days later I had a dream that I was in a large room with lots of writers and editors and I was complaining that I  needed an editor to help me figure out what was wrong with my writing. One of the attendees, don’t know if she was a writer or editor, got in my face, looked me in the eye and said firmly, “Be your own editor.”

I realize that didn’t mean I wouldn’t need an editor somewhere down the line, but it was a wake-up call. Instead of dragging around, depressed, I needed to work on the art of writing. But it wasn’t until a week or so ago, that I had a breakthough.  I subscribe to Rachelle Gardner’s blog. Rachelle is a literary editor for Books and Such Literary Agency and is gracious enough to share her insights into writing and publishing with anyone wise enough to listen to her.  In late February, she posted a link to an event hosted by Bryan Cohen, called “March to a Bestseller.” There were discounted books by many ‘craft’ writers and editors. Published authors would actually RESPOND to questions we asked. It was very insightful and I picked up many great craft books for only 99 cents. These books have helped tremendously. I already feel as though my writing has improved just by putting a few of their suggestions into practice. I am so very grateful to them for not hording their knowledge, but sharing good ideas with anyone willing to read them.

So I end this blog with a thought…I believe there are two kinds of writers: those who simply have a gift for it and with very little effort can produce a classic such as To Kill a Mockingbird, or Catcher in the Rye, and those who (like me) might, with help from knowledgeable people, be able to write something readable and enjoyable. Maybe not a bestseller, but at least a book they aren’t ashamed to put their name on.  

And so, dear friends, I am once more at it, writing, editing, fretting and fussing.

I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

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