Thursday, December 4, 2014

WIP - DONE!

I haven't posted a true update in a while because honestly I've been so consumed with finishing my current work in progress.  I am happy to say... it is finished!  Well, at least the first draft.  But it is a very solid first draft.

I am debating submitting it to an editor for some feedback before getting all crazy and sending it out to agents.  (I am really tempted.)  But I'm going to practice some restraint and have someone else look at it first.  I already sent copies to some friends for review but I think this time around I'm going to have a professional take a look.

This book was so difficult for me but also so rewarding.  Who would have thought I would end up writing horror?  I'm the kind of girl who hates scary movies and can't sleep for days if I catch even a news story about a serial killer.  And then I go ahead and write something so disgusting and gruesome?  It's bizarre.  I guess I have a dark side I didn't know about.

I will post some sample chapters a little bit later on.  Right now, I'm going to start working on the dreaded query letter... ugh.

Speaking of scary, I'm going to end this post with my two little guys in their Halloween costumes: Dracula and T-Rex.  They just make me smile.  :)



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG and WIP Anniversary



Time for another post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. As always, this is a blog hop so please check out the other insecure writers here.

I can't believe it's already November. This is the month that I started my current work in progress one year ago. Yep, I tried to do NanoWriMo and figured--hey, I can write an entire book in one month! Well, fast forward one year later and here I am still trying to finish it.

It's been difficult for me to finish. I love the first half. I'm so proud of the first half... and now the second half just kind of sucks for me and I'm not getting excited as I'm writing it. Does anyone else have that problem? I'm wondering if I'm just bored of the same story/characters or if there is something wrong with the plot that I'm just not realizing yet.

At any rate, I woke up this morning with some good ideas on how to spice it up so I better get writing before I lose the momentum. Have a nice November everyone!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG and Other Updates

I can't believe it's already September.  Time for another post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  As always, this is a blog hop so please check out the other insecure writers here.

First off, here is my update on the creative writing class I took this summer.  The critique of my current WIP went really well!  I received lots of encouraging feedback and many positive notes as well as some places to fix up a bit.  Overall, it was a huge relief.  I feel that I'm finally on the right track in terms of plot/voice and so now I just have to push on and finish it.

I also participated in WriteOnCon, an annual online writing conference that ended about a week ago. I always find the forums very useful and this year I left with a completed query letter for my current WIP.  Sadly, no agents viewed any of my manuscript postings.  This happened to me last year too.  I guess you need a little bit of luck to get noticed.  :)

So that's it for now.  The weather in Minnesota is starting to get cooler.  My husband and I keep saying, "Winter is coming!"  Yes it is.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WriteOnCon 2014!

I just wanted to put up a quick post reminding everyone that WriteOnCon starts today!!  You can find a schedule of the programs here and of course the forums are up and running.

My current WIP is not finished but I put it up in the forums anyway (the first 250 words and first 5 pages) along with a rough query letter.  Already, I've received great feedback.  If you've never done WriteOnCon, I encourage you to check it out.  It's free!!
 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Update on Class

It's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post.  This is a blog hop so please check out the other insecure writer's here.

I want to start with an update on the writing class I've been taking.  It's been awesome!  The instructor runs it more like a reading group so every week three people submit the first 30 pages of their book.  I've found it so interesting to read all of the different styles and to hear our instructor point out places where the writer can improve.  My story is next week so I will let you know what everyone says!

I don't think I'm going to be finished in time to submit to Brenda Drake's Pitch Wars this year.  I'm so sad because it sounds awesome.  Stephsco commented on my blog last month and told me about it.  Thank you!  Hopefully they will do another one in the spring?  

On a brighter note, it looks like WriteOnCon is coming back this year!  I wasn't sure what was going on with them but they posted an update just the other day.  I'll definitely submit at least a query.  I'm pretty sure you can submit as long as you make a note that your work is still in progress.

So that's it for now.  Things are good.  I feel very productive and I'm pretty sure I have the class to thank for that.  I'm kind of kicking myself for not taking one earlier... but why dwell on the past.  Have a happy August, everyone!

I'm going to leave you with a photo of Samson.  He's finishing my book for me.  :)


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG and Time to Start a New Class!




Time for another post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! This is a blog hop so please check out some of the other insecure writer's here.

First off, I want to apologize for not posting last month and also for not responding to all the comments left on my blog the month before! I really appreciate anyone stopping by especially when you take the time to leave a comment so if I didn’t respond to you personally I would like to say THANK YOU now!!!

I had some personal/non-writing related stuff to deal with in June so I just didn’t have the energy to put together a post for the IWSG. Everything has settled down now so hopefully I can get back to writing. On a positive note, I considered and explored everyone’s advice that was left for me back in May about signing up (or not signing up) for a writing class. Here’s my update: I actually signed up for a class! Well, it’s more of a workshop so I’m hoping it’s a good mix of instruction and critique group. We are specifically going to focus on our current WIP. Perfect. I start next week so I will definitely be sure to let everyone know how it goes!!

That’s it for now. Hopefully in August I’ll have some great news about the status of my story. I’m really pushing to have it completed so I can participate in this year’s WriteOnCon. Has anyone heard anything about a date for this? I’m guessing it’s in August…

In closing, here are some flowers we planted around our house this year! Well, except for the Bleeding Hearts. We saw those spring up and were pretty much floored. So pretty. Gardening is a new venture for us so we are learning as we go. (That means we've already had a couple of casualties. Oh well.)




Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IWSG and questions about classes



It's the first Wednesday of the month which means time for my monthly post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! This is a blog hop so please check out some of the other insecure writer's here.

This month I want to talk about creative writing classes. I've never taken any. I've always been too afraid of sharing my writing in front of others and I'm guessing in a class setting you would have to! I'm wondering what other people's thoughts are on this? Have you taken a writing class that just blew your mind and changed your approach to writing forever?! Or have the classes been more like a writing exercise--good, useful, but didn't necessarily add that much to your process.

I'm working on my 3rd full-length novel and I know that after each project I've finished, I've become a much stronger writer. I feel like I'm finding my voice and I'm starting to take more risks in my style. I'm really proud of myself for improving but I know I still have more to do. But being self-taught, I'm wondering if I can only improve so much.

Of course, the easy answer would be--yes! A writing class will do you good! At the same time, I've taken other creative-type classes (not in writing) that, while fun, didn't quite jive with what I was hoping to accomplish and in the end, almost became a diversion to my ultimate goal?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Doggie Distractions

Why is it I have writer's block all day and  finally when I get some inspiration, my doggies want to play.  It's like they know and wait for the clicking of the keyboard.  Playtime!!

Not the most insightful of blog posts but seriously I think I'm going to have a difficult time finishing this book!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sadly, Nothing New to Report....

Time for another monthly post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  This is a blog hop so please check out some of the other insecure writer's here.

So... I logged into blogger this morning and realized I didn't post at all this last month. (Other than my IWSG post.)  It seems like March just slipped into a vacuum somewhere and now all of a sudden it’s April.  I wish I could say I was busy writing but I really haven’t progressed too much.  I started out writing this story in November (it was actually my NanoWrite project!) and I initially hoped to finish it by the end of 2013.  I suppose I should set a new goal to finish it by this summer. 

I really do like my current work in progress but now I’m starting to question if it fits my genre.  Initially, it was Middle Grade Fantasy and then I pushed it towards Young Adult Horror.  And now I’m wondering if it’s even teen???   Does anyone else have this problem?  I suppose the story goes where it’s supposed to go and I shouldn't fight it.  Still, if it starts to meander in one direction, I feel like I ought to go back and change things up so that it’s more cohesive. This, of course, means more work!!!

Hopefully April will be a good month for me and I can report back in May that I’m close to being finished!!  Best to luck to everyone else and I hope our long-awaited spring doesn't become too distracting.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Revisions, revisions, revisions....


It’s the beginning of March and time for another posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!  This is a blog hop so after reading mine, please take the time to visit some of the other insecure writers found here.

I am in the middle of a major revision of my current work in progress.  I’ve decided to go back and rip apart everything I’ve done so far and practically start over.  I’m keeping the characters, the setting and some of the major plot points but really it’s going to be a brand new story.

This is not the first time I’ve done this and I’m wondering if I’m unintentionally sabotaging myself.  It takes me forever to finish a full-length story and I find myself rewriting it over and over again.  Of course with every rewrite comes (in my opinion) a stronger narrative, more interesting characters and on the whole much better writing.  If I look at it that way then it’s totally worth it. 

But I don’t know.  It would be so nice to write it right the first time.  Does anyone else have this problem or is it just me?  I hear about people finishing a full length manuscript in less than a month and I just can’t see how it’s done…

Anyway, that’s the insecurity that’s bothering me the most this month, especially when I see my word count drop drastically with every chapter I cut.  So frustrating!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Winter Distractions

I missed this month’s IWSG post.  Darn it!  I was distracted by one too many things and just couldn't get it posted.  On a more positive note, the first few months of this year have been really great despite the ridiculously cold Minnesota winter.  (Now I know what it means to live here--days upon days of minus degree weather.  You sort of get used to it and when the thermometer actually hits double digits, it’s a celebration.) 

We did take a trip to Southern California which was a welcome break from the snow and then welcomed a brand new puppy into our family!  Sam!  He is so precious and we love him to bits even though he’s a bit of a monster.  He outsmarts me at every turn and I spend my days chasing after him and mopping up the floor after he’s done his damage.  I have a brand new respect for writers who also double as mothers… even though our little Sam is a ‘furry baby’ I can only imagine what a human child would do to your time management.
 
Today, I actually had a moment to sit down at my computer for the first time in what feels like days and tried to get back to my writing.  It felt really good!  I went through and reread my entire story (about 47k words so far!) and enjoyed a good portion of it and also picked out a couple of areas that needed revising.  It’s amazing what some time away can do for you.  I've been a little disappointed that I still haven’t been able to complete it--this is my NaNoWrite Novel, after all, that I started in November--but I’m liking what I have so far.  Even with the delays, it’s been worthwhile.


Here are some pics of Sam with his older brother Hugo.  I wish I took some of the little guy outside--he hates the snow.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sometimes Life Just Isn't Fair...



I know this doesn’t exactly pertain to writing but I wanted to post this video anyway.  In case you don’t follow figure skating, Mirai Nagasu placed third at the U.S.  Figure Skating Championships, which one would assume would then secure her the third spot for the US Olympic Team.  However, U.S. Figure Skating decided to award the third spot via committee to the skater who placed fourth.  The reason for this, they said, was that the fourth place skater’s “record and performance” were stronger than Nagasu’s (despite her being the only skater to compete at an Olympic competition before).  Although technically US. Figure Skating is allowed to do this the committee’s decision has stirred a lot of controversy over how Olympic teams are chosen. 


For me this hits home because sometimes life just isn’t fair no matter how hard you’ve worked or how wonderfully you’ve performed.  Mirai Nagasu should be proud of what she has accomplished and should know she’s a beautiful and talented skater even if she may not be officially recognized for it.

I hope you enjoy this video of her at the Nationals Expo after hearing the committee's decision.  I hope it’s not the last we see of her.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

First Post from an Insecure Writer

 
This is my first post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!  I signed up last month but chose not to post since I wanted to read some of the other blogs first to see what it was all about.  I must say it was very interesting reading everyone’s thoughts.  Some really resonated with me, some not as much.  One made me feel even more insecure only because based on her website it seemed she was already a well-established author with a number of published titles under her belt.  How could she possibly be insecure with all of the success that she’s already had?  And here I am basically floundering still at square one?!!

Now I know everything is relative and after putting some more thought into her post I started to feel better about the whole thing.  I guess the takeaway message would be everyone gets insecure once in a while…. no matter where you are in the process…. and no matter what kind of success you’ve had.  At least that’s the message I am choosing to take home.  And it’s okay to feel insecure as long as we don’t let it push us over the edge towards failure.  Right?

On a much brighter not, I actually do not feel all that insecure today about my writing!!  It’s a miracle I know and it’s kind of strange that it coincides with IWSG day.  I think this is because I’ve had a positive upswing on the story I’ve been working on and for once I’m feeling good about where it’s going.  I know this will not last forever but for now I am enjoying the moment as I think we all should when that moment comes.  That’s what makes writing so wonderful.  At least it does for me.


Thank you IWSG for allowing me to be part of your group.  I wish everyone a good month ahead with lots of finished pages!