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Galaxy of Disappointed Disillusionment: you were in love with the writing once . . . .

25 Jun

galaxy nexus wallpaper-WmOIYou were in love with the writing once. A kind of love that churns the belly. The kind of love that wraps around you warm and alive and pulsing. Trusting kind of love. And you think that love will never leave you, nor would you ever leave it.  You think it will be as strong and lively as it is in the beginning of all that began all the way to the what should never ever end because it’s too beautiful to die. Too perfect.

But things begin to change. Subtly at first. Insidiously. Oh, it’s little things here and there that don’t mean much—at least that’s what you tell yourself. But all those tiny things begin to pack together, sticky and mean, tightly, balling up hard and fast, until there before you is what you tell yourself is only a sweet marble you think isn’t so bad—it’ll still fit into your pocket! You can carry it around and won’t feel the weight of it at all. But it grows. And you can’t carry it around anymore. It first settles in the room you always wrote in, but it soon pushes out into the hallway, and into the bedroom, and the kitchen, and the living room, and the entire house becomes filled with it—it pushes against you, insistent to be noticed. It is a Moon,  a Neptune, an entire galaxy right outside your mind’s window. It groans with its own weight.

DSC09985Still, you think you can live with it. You think you can soldier on. You think that everything will be okay if only This Thing would happen, or That Thing will occur. “If Only” becomes raggedy with your use of it, what with your rolling the If Onlies around in your head until they are barely recognizable. Still. You loved! It all had meaning! Didn’t you? Didn’t it? Doubt sets in. Were you loved back? Maybe it was only an altered state of being that led you down into the most pleasurable of senses. Why, before the Galaxy of Disappointed Disillusionment, you’d even allowed yourself to become a little arrogant. Held your head a little higher—after all, you were in The Club. That Club with those heavy heavy gates—the ones that swing open randomly and without sentimentality. You often imagined the gates closing behind you, yet this time you are pushed back to the outside.

You want out anyway, you say. You want out and you don’t know when, or if, you’ll return. You want your space. You want time to think. You want to do other things. Find yourself, you say, wincing at the cliche. You’ll do: Fun things. Other necessary things. Things that don’t require pushing through that galaxy of hard knotted failings and failures and fails.

You soon forget (you say emphatically) what drew you to that love. You don’t remember (you think most apparently) the feeling of joy you had just by opening your laptop and your mind—flutter flutter went the beautiful creation butterflies—how lovely they were! Oh how you hate them now! Hate them!

The heart of you is crushing under the weight of the groaning Galaxy.

Who cares?, you say. I don’t!, you say. And you trippity trip about, laughing gaily on the outside, while on the inside you are slowly terribly dying. The Galaxy suffocates.

imagesOne day, you are alone. Perhaps walking in the woods, or down an aisle at the grocery store, or driving your car aimlessly, or most obviously of course staring at the darkened night ceiling. And a blinding light explodes while millions of hard knotted disappointments and disillusions Supernova. You are blinded for seventy-two hours; burned down to the bone for seventy-two more.

Then the quiet talks to you. You rise, walk through the house, glowing embers dying and ashes flying. Something gives way. A loosening.

You run then, opening windows and doors until every window and every door is wide, and out and out and out on a brilliant wind goes the ashes, and all that is left is You and You.

Something stirs. Something old and ancient. Something you recognize.

Fingers to keys. A letter appears. Another. Another. A word. A sentence. A paragraph. A page. Five pages, sixty pages, one hundred pages plus three.

Love.

Sometimes, you say, all else must be burned away so your new skin can feel anew.

Screen+Shot+2014-02-25+at+12.17.37+PMYour fingertips are alive. Push push push on the keys. It is like music.

You recognize, you say, that you never loved fully before but only with conditions. Love must Be, you say. It is its own and no other.

You say: each hard knot of disappointment must be kneaded and chewed and swallowed and digested and then shat out and flushed away.

A grand love. A passionate love. A true and honest love.

It finds you, grabs you by the beating heart and squeezes the life into you.

Fingers on the keys. Push. Push. Letter by word by paragraph by page.  Five, six, seven, eight, open up the heavy gates.

(. . . and still, as you push the keys, the if onlies and the what ifs and the why can’ts ind the little nooks and crannies of you and settle in. You push the keys and try not to notice the hard knot you couldn’t swallow as it falls to the ground and quivers.)

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Shoveling it (writing it)

13 Feb

snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 004

*UPDATE! : Can anyone tell me “what’s wrong with this picture” here to the left? *laughing* — Let’s make that around 10 inches on my driveway. *dumbass me* Yeah, the stick is upside down and the big numbers are not inches. Teeheehee.* There has to be a metaphor/analogy for the writing in this :D

Gawd. What a winter it has been. Ice, snow, sub-zero temps — my cove once dove to minus 8.5 degrees. This latest dumped fourteen inches on top of the driveway I’d just cleared 3 inches from. Welp, good, cause at least I didn’t have to shovel 17 inches. Huhn. Right? Riiight. And, as I wrote on Facebook (where I’ve been uploading photos of the snow and the beauty of Western North Carolina), how does a 111 pound 5’2″ woman clear 14 inches of snow from her longish driveway in less than 2 hours? One GD shovel at a time. I put my head down and did the job. I didn’t whine. I didn’t complain–no really, I did not. For what good would that have done? Just made me irritated and negative about it. I shoveled and I didn’t think about how much was left before me. I shoveled and I didn’t stop except to drink some water and stretch out the kinks. I shoveled and I didn’t think about my worries or my troubles or what lay ahead or what I would do next or if it were boring or if I’d rather be doing something else–nope, I kept my mind to he task. I shoveled and shoveled and shoveled some more. Until, at last, I had a pathway for my Boopmobile to clear out of so I can get out snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 028this weekend, and then, just to be sure, I shoveled a bit more–a sort of SO THERE! kind of thing.

snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 026I thought, at the end: Okay, Mother/Father/Grandm/f Nature, you bitch – I’m a bigger bitch. I’m a badass bitch. I’m a toughass kickass mountain woman, stubborn, too much pride at times, determined. I had a goal. I completed it. My arms were shaking afterward. My back and shoulders protested. But those things actually felt good because they felt like work; they felt like progress; they felt like I was in the real world doing real things; they felt like, actually, that Mother;/Father/Grandm/f Nature and I were at a truce. Oh, I know Nature can dish out some more if it wants to, and it could take me to my knees. It has done that to many of us–storms, and floods, and snows, and ices, and tornadoes, and hurricanes–and what do we do? We “shovel” out from under it one “shovel” at a time until we are done with the job.

Just Do It

Just Do It

Often people ask me: how did you write so much in so little time? What is your writing day like? How do you keep writing? I am pretty prolific. I have had published five novels and a novella, and published myself through Amazon some short stories, and I’m writing under two different pen names — one is C.W. Pomp, and the other is a secret. And you may be guessing already what I’m going to say after reading the above: I write one word at a time. I put my head down and get the job done. When I am working, snow storm 2014 cove walk and shovel 028I don’t think ahead or how much I have done or how much more I have left to do. I don’t worry about the future when I am working. I am a badass toughass stubborn determined novelist/writer bitch. When I am done, I may be shaking a little; I may let those worries creep in; I may falter because I don’t know how it’s all going to work out or if people will love my work; I could be taken to my knees by disappointment (and I have been!). But, then . . . I sit down and do it all over again, just as if it snows again, I will pick up that shovel and dig myself out from under what is dished out to me.

1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_nNow, I do not want to hit you good people over the head with this – my pride and my sense of “not bugging people” often have gotten in the way of me talking about my books, but, if I want to keep doing what I love, then I have to promote my books at least sometimes, and the sometimes is usually when I have news or deals. I thought The Lightning Charmer would be off its $1.99 sale, but it’s still hanging on – shhh! maybe they forgot to take it off! ha! So, if you haven’t tried my work, now is the time, or if you have and liked my other books, then give T.L.C. a try. I will love you for it – well, hell, I already love you all :D .

three set_edited-best_edited-1As well, my little short stories are on Amazon. I don’t talk about them much because they’re just little story snacks – things you can read quickly. Simple little things. I adore the artwork on the cover.

Okay, that’s enough of the car salesman pitch *haw!*

MUWAH! y’all. Pick up that shovel (sit down and write) . . . get busy.

Today at Writer Unboxed: The Isolated Author (by lil ole me)

20 Oct

I am at Writer Unboxed today. If you are not a member, then get ye over there and check it out. Not just for my ramblings today, but for all the kickass offerings there. A wonderful group! They’re on twitter and Facebook, as well.

I was on a panel yesterday in the beautiful city of Hayesville, NC, and was reminded of how much fun blogging and blogs and bloggers can be – I promise to do better here. I do! I do! I do! *grins at you every so sincerely*

At Writer Unboxed today:

_______________________________________

2f95c122-b7f3-4ea9-8afb-ed71deb90477_zps0f985647Today’s guest is Kathryn Magendie, the author of five novels and a novella published through Bell Bridge Books—most recently The Lightning Charmer coming out this month. She’s also the Publishing Editor of The Rose & Thorn (which just recently closed its doors after fifteen years), and former Personal Trainer. She lives in a little log house tucked within a cove in Maggie Valley, Western North Carolina—where all the wild things are.

Of her post today, Kathryn says…

Thoughts of the “isolation” of this job came to me when I realized most every character I write is lonely. Then I recognized that I, me, myself, lil ole Kat Magendie, was deeply, incredibly, sadly, lonely. Well, danged if I didn’t feel right pitiful. I then read other WU posts, other author’s FB updates and Twitter feeds, and realized that feeling of isolation is shared—we’re all at one big banquet table, but the banquet table has partitions so that even though we’re surrounded by people, we’re still eating alone. I allowed myself to feel pitiful for about a week, and then I decided it was time to do something about the isolation. We’re much more than we appear to be, we band of writers, we.

You can find Kathryn on Twitter and Facebook and on her blog. More about her books here.

The “Isolated Author”

We can see the clichéd “isolated author,” one who writes in her fuzzy socks, a bottle of vodka—make that a healthy smoothie, yeah—by her side, creating micro-worlds where tiny-in-our-peahead-but-oh-so-much-bigger-than-life characters frolic and play and bring joy and epiphanies to all the land of readers. Farther pan out and see the writer hunched over her keyboard, ever more pan out and see the study she sits in with books and pens and pencils and chapstick and good luck charms and crumbs littering her keyboard and lap, and farther still to see her little log house, and outward we go ever outward to the Moon. And there we’ll stop a moment and consider just how tiny this author is. Just how inconsequential, miniscule. All the scurrying and living and loving and being around her is muffled and dark because all she experiences is: “tippity tappity tippity tappity tippity tappity *slurp munch* tippity tappity.”

The truth is, the more an author puts herself out there (But of course I mean you guys, too—we’re genderless in the World of Writing), the more isolated she becomes. The more public her life, the more private she must be. It’s an insidious endeavor, one she doesn’t recognize until it is almost too late—when the crazies visit upon her *picture here the Harpies from Jason and the Argonauts, feasting upon the sanity laid out in bounty upon the table until there’s nothing left but scraps of rational thought.*

FOR THE REST OF THE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE

Joy to the Word! All you writer girls and boys now….

8 Aug


I read a blog post that I enjoyed so much, I nodded and yes’d! and You Got it Sister’d all throughout. The author’s name is A. S. King, and her post is: The Writer’s Middle Finger (How to grow it, groom it, love it, and stretch it) .

Before I wrote what would become Tender Graces, I remember thinking, “Me? Write a novel? I can’t! I can’t write dialogue–my dialogue sucks(back then, everything came out narrative)…I can’t write that many words … I CAN’T!” But, I sat at my computer, put my fingers on the keys, and began, and by time I stopped, I had many many words, a stunned expression, and I knew something had happened that would change the way I wrote, and what I wrote, . . . and for whom.

I learned a lot about what works for me and what doesn’t; I learned to write good dialogue; I learned to let the characters have their say without me constantly butting in; I learned to write from my gut instead of what I thought others wanted to hear; I learned to play with the language; I learned to take a few risks; I learned that it takes discipline to sit and write; I learned to write with a sincere heart, with joy and sometimes angst.

What I want to tell you this morning, and what A.S. King is also saying (or my interpretation of it) is —- Stop Worrying about the editor monster on your shoulder, stop worrying about whether your novel will please everyone, stop worrying about whether an agent will love your work, stop worrying about future reviews, stop worrying about “what if” – – Write what you want to read; write what you love, what brings you joy; write with abandon and love; write what connects you to that visceral gut reaction that tells you that you are where you are supposed to be and doing what brings you joy and/or accomplishment.

I almost let the same feelings of worry and angst weigh upon the Virginia Kate book2 I’m writing now. Just as King says, I let worries seep into my bones about whether everyone will like the second book as much as the first one–the stakes felt higher–will they be disappointed?, etc….I had to find that “center” again – that place of love for words and language, and write what gives me joy.

Or, as A.S. King says it, I’m “extending the middle finger to any doubt” and doing what I love. Let the chips fall where they may — We all just do the best we can.

Write with a sincere heart. Write for yourself first. If you go to 100 writer sites, or writers “advice” sites, you may find 100 different opinions on what you should or shouldn’t do or what makes a writer a writer. What rules to follow and what to break (heck, I have my own pet peeves, but knowing the rules so we can break them is fun). What makes a writer a writer is the one who writes! Don’t let “shoulds” or “you betters” or “this is what writer’s do and if you do not, you are not a writer” stop you. Do what you love. Say what you want to say, or have to say. Even if at first it is scary because you think what you are writing is somehow “wrong.” You don’t even have to listen to me – perhaps your way is completely different -perhaps the idea of an editor on your shoulder and reviews and agents and who will pick up your work is your motivator –good! Maybe writing is business only to you–you write to get paid, period; and you will read the market and write what’s popular. You write because it is a business. Well, I say: whatever works!

And remember this: Money is not an indicator of a gifted or talented writer. A writer who is making millions is not necessarily a better writer than you, just a lucky writer (or a writer who knows the business and knows it well).

Now, go to your space, open up that vein, and let the blood of your words stain the page . . . be fearless, have fun, be sincere, write with abandon – lift the middle finger to that negativity and GO!

(PS – We’re still in our discussions on this, ahem, “New Trend” of mother’s giving up their children (Posts below) . . . I’m still interested in your comments!)

image from google images: http://d2umcibyw4ztss.cloudfront.net/img/109498/109498-0.jpg

There is the sun, do do do do, there is the sun, behind the leaves . . . .

1 Jul

I love how the sun shines through the leaves of this little apple tree; I do believe this is the apple tree I snapped while taking a walk with GMR and Fat Lazy Labrador along Lake Junaluska.
It’s already July 1. I can’t believe June is gone already. Geez. And I woke up to a cool mountain morning as if it is spring again. I’ve been writing outside because I know when it begins to get too chilly, I’ll think, “Oh, why didn’t I write outside more often, now I’m stuck inside!” *haw* So, I settle myself with my laptop and write away, with the critters and breeze and ridges and distant smoky mountains.
I have just over 84,000 words on VkBook2. Rocking along! I added a chapter yesterday that I didn’t think was going to be there; a situation that I didn’t at first “see” but it began to appear yesterday as I re-read a chapter. There was a glimmer there, something along the edges, and suddenly the words began backing up against my pea-headed brain and I had to release them. I then knew that the situation had to happen and I’m glad I didn’t leave it out.
Did you know that snuck is really supposed to be sneaked? (and really, this one is not that big of a deal since so many say “snuck” and I said “snuck” until I found out the proper way is “sneaked” -now I can’t say “snuck” – a character can, but I can’t, huhn.) That could care less is supposed to be couldn’t care less? That I feel badly is supposed to be I feel bad? That one space after a period/question mark after your sentences is preferable to two spaces? That I didn’t say one period after an exclamation point because if you are using exclamation points!! at the end of your narrative sentences you should try to strike those suckers out and instead show the exclamation in your writing. What kinds of “grammar” or “rules” do you try to follow when you are writing? And if you do not write, what do you “notice” when you are reading?

I love it yeah yeah yeah, I love it yeah yeah yeah, and with a job like that, I know I should be glad….

23 Jun

“I often think that the best writing is done after you’ve forgotten what you wanted to say, but end up putting something down anyway just as though it were the actual evidence of your original intention.”—Clarence Major

This has happened to me with my fiction, and with the columns/restaurant reviews I used to write for publications. When I sat down to write, the idea would not come, the original thought would not work. The words stuck. Nothing revealed from the original thought. But…I kept writing, putting down the other words that wanted to come anyway, and soon something else emerged, something that did work. I kept going until I “finished” and when I was done, I went back to the beginning and took out what I needed to of the original thought and left the rest as the revision for my finished piece. Sometimes this happens. Sometimes our mind is changed before even we know it needs to be changed. There are many times when we must follow where we are led. What a journey! This is living, folks. This is writing. This is manipulating the language without constraint—ah.

The use of point of view is to bring the reader into immediate and continuous contact with the heart of the story and sustain him there.”—Tom Jenks

Your reader will see and feel and be through the eyes of the character(s) who is(are) speaking. To me, the characters are not just the heart of the story—they ARE the story.

The poor novelist constructs his characters, he controls them and makes them speak. The true novelist listens to them and watches them function; he eavesdrops on them even before he knows them. It is only according to what he hears them say that he begins to understand who they are.”— André Gide

Those who know me have heard me say and I will say over and again say—listen to your characters. Let them show you where they want to go. Yes, sometimes we must manipulate as the author, but only when you allow your characters to be who they are, and not who you wish them to be, will everything begin to make sense, to pull together. This goes for non-fiction, as well—don’t try to tell us who you are writing about, show us through their actions, and play with the language, fudge a bit if you have to. Just because it is non-fiction, doesn’t mean you can’t embellish a bit—for isn’t life one big story told a different way with each telling? (And don’t be afraid to use dialogue in your essay.)

Surely the test of a novel’s characters is that you feel a strong interest in them and their affairs,—the good to be successful, the bad to suffer failure.”—Mark Twain

If you are not interested in your characters, why should anyone else be? Alternatively, If you do not believe in your work, why should anyone else?—believe me, it will show. The reader always knows. Give them your best. Give them the truths—and this word “truth” means more than what first appears to you.

I was never too interested in starting with “ideas” and applying images. I wanted the stuff of it all, the pillow, the mint leaf, the crust of paint. Let the little things lead.”—Naomi Shihab Nye

Another thing those who know me have heard, and I will say over and again: those “little things” – those images, those sensory details, the little details and images make your story or essay come alive. Don’t be afraid to add something small as a curled leaf, a spot on the bedroom wall, tracks of freckles across a nose, a single red bird in a field of white snow (as long as you watch for cliché!), or images/sensory details, such as a woman chopping onions and then sautéing them in melted butter, a boy watching his father shave/work/laugh/cry/spit/scratch/leave, a girl placing a bare foot in the water and shivering—the foot is only the beginning of the entire body’s immersion in what will become…, a moment of discovery, a glance, a sigh, a well-placed touch with just the tip of the second finger from the left—play with your images, think of the big things, yes, but those little things, little images, will make your work live.

“….You start out putting words down and there are three things—you, the pen, and the page. Then gradually the three things merge until they are one and you feel about the page as you do about your arm. Only you love it more than you love your arm.”—John Steinbeck.

There are those times when the world as we know it goes away and our own inner world takes over, and soon the words are coming and the characters speaking and the story or essay is forming and there is nothing else but that, nothing but this world, this place, this feeling we as writers are creating. Hours can pass, and we lift our heads and, wait! It can’t be three o’clock, just a little while ago it was eleven o’clock—we have been to other-worlds, alternate universes, going gone, and the coming back is surreal—seemingly less real than the inner world we’d just come back from.

Not every writer loves his craft. Not every writer always enjoys writing and manipulating the language. Not every writer (and I doubt any of them…) is deliriously happy every time they sit down to work—especially when it comes to revisions revisions revisions. Well, if you do not always love it, so what? If you want to write—then write. I love it, but I get frustrated at times. There are times I say, “I wish I weren’t a writer. I wish I didn’t love it!” but I know I’d not have it any other way. I know I’d wither and wilt and die a bit if I could not write, create, do what I do—as clichéd as that sounds, it is what it is.

By the way, if you worry about what the editor or publisher wants, you will drive yourself crazy. Instead, why not write for an audience of one: you. The rest will work itself out, one way or the other . . . That’s what I did with TENDER GRACES.

Now . . . go do the day. Love, Kat

With a cliche here and a cliche there, here a cliche there a cliche don’t use a cliche!

22 Jun


You can find “writing tips” all over the web, in books, on blogs, under rocks, in the refrigerator behind the mayonnaise. But there are general things I think about as an editor, as a writer, and as a reader and from time to time I’d like to share them.

I want to talk this morning about things I see as “cliches.” I try double dip hard not to write cliche-ingly. Those cliches can be tricky; they can be sneaky. It’s not always the obvious cliche of “soft as a cloud,” or “hard as a rock,” etc. There are other things I think of as “cliche.” Those things that are over-used or unimaginative or sometimes just, um, “lazy writing.” And this does not mean one must try to be clever – if you are trying to be clever, it will show that you are TRYING to be clever. If one is constantly THINKING about what they are writing and how they are writing it instead of actually just writing, then the work will be stilted or the work won’t be done or one could freeze up and feel as if they will “fail” – there is no failing, there is doing what feels right for You–and if writing with the cliches below feels right to you, then for gawd’s sake write that way.

Some things I think of as “Cliches” (and yes my word “cliche” doesn’t have the emphasis mark but I’d rather have none that use a ‘ ):

Please don’t end your story with “it was all a dream.” Or, set me up with a situation and then I find out it’s a dream. As I always say: Rules are meant to be broken, but you dang sure better be good at it and convince me! I love reading dreams in a story, but I like to know they are dreams and not feel as if the author is trying to fool me or say “gotcha!” Those “gotchas” better be done in a way where I think “oh! I didn’t expect that! Cool!” and not the gotcha that has me rolling my eyes and feeling frustrated and “fooled.”

Watch those descriptions of characters where they look into mirrors and then describe themselves, for example: “Betty looked into the mirror and studied her strong determined chin, her curly red hair that framed a pale winsome face, the freckles across her haughty nose.” Who does that? Who thinks about themselves in that way? I can see something natural, though—the character notices something that we really would—hair all messed up or lipstick smudged or a spot of dirt on a cheek, etc. Just be careful that your character looking into the mirror to describe their physical characteristics to the reader doesn’t become a cliché–if you describe your character in a mirror, then it already is a cliche.

This is my own personal pet peeve, but, watch phrases such as when something floods a character’s mind or body or whatever, as in “Relief flooded Betty’s body,” or “Anger flooded her veins,” or “Happiness flooded Betty’s mind.” It’s just a personal thing for me – maybe it’s been overdone, but mostly I’m looking for something more compelling to describe the feelings Betty is having .

Oh well, those are just a few things I am thinking about this morning. More important for you is to get the words on the page; the more you practice, the more things that come to you naturally or instinctively or through an awareness, the more you will automatically do them so that in re-writes you have less work in front of you. If I knew what I know now back when I first wrote Tender Graces, that novel would have been completed and ready to go much sooner. Do I sometimes make mistakes – hellvitica yeah! Do I sometimes mess up and write out my own pet peeves? I do and I try to catch them. Will I ever stop learning how to be a better writer? Heckles no! Writing-words and language-is alive and breathing!

Now, I am going to go work on Virginia Kate Book 2. See y’all later!

google image: https://kathrynmagendie.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/cliche-bingo1.jpg

Wake up lil Kathryn Wake up! do do do dodo Wake up Lil Kathryn Wake up!

6 Jun

A covey of partridges
A muster or ostentation of peacocks
A nest, nide (nye), or bouquet of pheasants
A string of ponies
A pod of porpoises
A covey or bevy of quail
A nest of rabbits
An unkindness of ravens
A murder of crows

and they were all outside my window this morning at first light shouting at me to GET UP! *laughing* okay, maybe not all of those things…teehee.

Just thought I’ve give a little update on my progress. First, tomorrow I need to have another “PRESENTING!” as I was off-track due to the wedding trip, etc. And as soon as I have some wedding photos, I’ll share some of them!

Remember the 30,000 words I tossed out of VK2? Well, I’ve replaced them with up to 20,000 words; I think. I didn’t realize I’d written that many more, as some of what I’ve been doing is going over the first few chapters that had been written soon after Tender Graces (VK1) was completed. It didn’t seem as if I was making that kind of progress in actual new words. Maybe I’ve miscounted. No matter – whatever the case, I now have 60,000 words and Vk’s voice is coming through loud and clear.

The other day, I also read through a third novel that is “completed,” but needs some tweaking. I wanted to see if Sweetie could be a possible contender for BelleBook’s interest. The Affliction of Sweetie is a different voice from VK, a different kind of novel, but with the same kinds of themes: Home, Place, Belonging, Mothers, Daughters, (weak but gentle)Fathers. Sweetie is set in this area, in Western North Carolina, in a fictional town I called (so far) Big Elk Valley.

I sent out a short story the other day, as well. I’ve not done anything with my short stories and essays in a while, so I took one out, read it over, and then decided to send it out to a magazine. The last place this story went I never heard back – but, it was a “Big Ole Literary Magazine In The Sky” so I was shooting a bit high….why not? However, honestly, big magazine–little magazine: makes not much difference to me — I love them all. This story, however, is a little dark, so I don’t know. It’s funny how different my short stories can be from my novels. “Soft White Lies” is from a male point of view, too….I’ve not many of those, maybe three.
I went a-visiting y’all some last night and so loved seeing your places again, even if I had to hurry by. I am not pleased with the battery in this Dell! I was happily visiting, unplugged from the electrical outlet, and before I knew it my computer blipped off: battery gone. Harumph! It wasn’t long at all! All this technology and Dell can’t make a battery that lasts for a decent amount of time? Ah well, other than that, I’m pleased with my ‘puter.

So: 60,000 words on VK2. VK1 is out there, doing whatever it is doing and I’ve been pleased with the reviews and responses (more than pleased) – and I even had someone email me to say they’d called in sick from work just to finish my novel! OMG! what a compliment! I won’t say more on that, since I wouldn’t want to get them in trouble…but that made me smile. I have a short story out there in submits, and I think I’ll send another this weekend out somewhere; I woke up thinking about Petey’s story “Tastes Like Proud.” I have the third novel of Sweetie in my “Is this something that is publishable?” file. I am feeling happy: I get to do the love of my life, Writing. Yay!

What are your weekend plans? Where will you go? what will you see? Or will you be home relaxing? This is Saturday – I remember Friday nights and Saturdays when I used to work in an office, how I adored Friday nights because it meant I had all day Saturday off (Sundays were a bit of a downer because I knew I had to go to work the next day *laugh*). And Glorious Saturday! No Work! Now, Saturday is much like the other days, for I work at home. I forget about the Magical Friday Night and Saturday — is it like that for you? If you work outside the home Monday – Friday? That there is a Relaxed Feel to Friday Night and then Glorious Saturday?

Trade-Paperback writer, writer, writer, I’ll be writing more in an hour or two…

8 May

The library sent me some magic, because I wrote and wrote yesterday. Today I will be back at the library, as the carpenters will still be here; besides, I loved sitting in the library, working on VK, smelling the books, being near all those many many many books! I wonder if the librarian from yesterday is reading Tender Graces and what she thinks….I wonder this every time someone tells me they are reading about Virginia Kate. She’s become Our Virginia Kate, hasn’t she? Angie Gumbo Writer and I used to talk about VK-isms all the time *laughing* – those things she says and whenever someone would read Tender Graces, they’d come away with some VK-ism….teeheehee.
Here is something really cool that happens to me and I wonder if it happens to any of you. When I am in the midst of working on something – like VKbook2 right now for instance – I will go to bed and then in the middle of the night, or maybe first thing in the morning, I will awaken and the Very First Thought will be a sentence or phrase that is highlighted in my brain, like a neon sign almost, and I immediately think: “No, that’s not going to work….” or “Take that out….” or “Change that…” or “That’s out of voice…” or whatever. It’s the coolest thing because I won’t have been thinking about that part of my writing at all – or not even thinking about the work exactly, but something in my brain is working out something I didn’t even know was a problem while I’m sleeping and then wakes me up and tells me that something isn’t right in the manuscript….
…So, I woke this morning and one sentence popped into my head and I know it has to come OUT. The other morning, or middle of the night, an image of a description about Micah popped into my head and I knew I had to go in and fix something there. It’s really interesting how that happens, and I’m glad it happens, but it’s also kind of amazing how my brain works something out on something I’m not even thinking about! Probably when I’m reading over it or writing it, something in my brain files it away in that black hole where my words come from, and it’s all jumbled, but at night while I sleep, the jumbles organize and then start telling me what’s what on some more obvious things? *I’m shrugging*
Okay…last night I had the sillies. So I was acting silly and Good Man Roger was just shaking his head. Then I began flopping about the room, with my head kind of leading the way – my head went this way and that-a-way and I was being jerked around by my head, and I hollered out to Roger: “Help! Help! My head has a mind of its own!” …..Then I laughed at my own joke – I laughed and laughed and GMR laughed, too — but was he laughing at my joke or my silliness? Who knows – but don’t you think that’s pretty funny? Huh? Huh? …My head has a mind of its own? Get it? huh? heeeheheheheheheehhe :0)
Now, tell me if your head has a mind of its own – do you wake up and a something “comes to you” like that? Either if you ask a question or pose a problem, or if like what happens to me sometimes with my writing, does something just Become Clear to you upon awakening?
(PS – Look at what I saw, by coincidence, on my home page this morning after I wrote this post: Scientific American’s “Brain has ‘Moving Parts’” laughing- yup my head has a mind of its own…teehee
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