Friday, September 3, 2010

A case of PMS or poor me syndrome

I'm having a PMS day or poor me syndrome day. Yup, got a rejection from an online query. As queries go this was pretty good rejection considering it wasn't just the standard thanks but no thanks.
Still, after 20 something years of rejections I'm sick of getting thanks but no thanks rejections. They still hurt, no matter how tough / thick you think your skin is - ALOT. I think I must completely suck as a writer if I can't even get past that stage. I think I suck big time if I can't even get past the partial stage.
But I'll still keep on going.
Still feel embarrassed when someone who's been writing for shorter periods final in contests, get an agent and / or picked up for publication.
Still keep cheering those people on, because they have worked very hard to get to where they have.
Still hold my head up when I go to conferences and writer friends ask kindly if I'm published yet.
Still make self deprecating jokes about myself to make them feel better when they get embarrassed.
I've decided that this year I'm going to try for a rejection more detailed than - not suitable for us, good luck with your career blah blah blah. Kindly meant, still a metaphoric knife to the chest.
Other than that it's been a pretty good couple of months. I've gotten submissions in for a contest, which I don't think completely suck and blow, but I'm not a judge - so who knows. I'll get the same love hate scores. At least my work is eliciting some kind of emotion.
Rock on.
Writers can't not write.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If you crossed Mr Spock with my cat you'd get....................

Hell if I know. But the possibilities are there when you're developing new characters.
Just think about it for a minute.
What a bizarre mix! The logic and coldness of Spock mixed in with the ruthless, killer instincts of a cat.
What a hero!
What a villain!
How about the deeply hidden passions of Spock mixed in with the passionate affectionate qualities of a cat.
What a heroine!
What a villain!
Just think of what genetics could come up.
The possibilities are out there. Just jump on the imagination super roller-coaster and hang on for the ride of your life.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Procrastination thy name is Sandra

So, we all procrastinate. Hands up............. Come on - be honest. That's better.
I'm a good one for it, especially after the standard, single paragraph of thanks but no thanks rejections.
It takes a day and then I get back up on that pony and go for it.
Will I succeed?
I don't know at times I think I'm wasting my time. I've been at it for a while now, but it's a case of finding the right editor, agent on the right day and the right minute. It's true. I believe that. How many times have we bought a book, picked it up to start reading it and then thought - 'why did I buy this?' Only to pick up the same book a month later and devour it.
Don't feel bad. Feel determined. Feel hopeful. Feel that all the blood, sweat and tears are worth it and you will be rewarded.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I think the Easter Bunny may be sabotaging my writing!

So, we've all had a massive sugar rush courtesy of the Easter Bunny. I know I'll be living at the gym 24/7 for the next year....
I've had a reasonably productive time since my last blog post. Reasonable isn't good enough. I'm in the process of trying to get another book plotted. I know my god - I'm a pantser and I'm plotting. Ah, this is no ordinary plotting it's also pantsing albeit pantsing with a difference. I'm using Break into Fiction which has a series of templates. It takes a couple of days and then I put the turning points onto a spreadsheet. I can look at the spreadsheet and see if the timeline and plot flows or if I need to stick any more pins into my characters. I've found it invaluable and this is from someone who has looked at A lot of different writing tools and gone to few workshops.
What was turning out to be a productive weekend has gone south. I find myself drawn to the dark side. The lure of a good book, dvd, sitting in the sun and eating chocolate doing all of the above. Yes, the Easter Bunny is evil.
That rich, luscious chocolate winking at me from across the room from its shiny colorful wrappings, is too hard to ignore. My gaze drawn with ever increasing frequency until I have no choice but to go over and visit - for a while. Yep, the Easter Bunny has a lot to answer for. I think the Easter Bunny is sabotaging my writing!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Submission done and dusted

Well... my sub is done and dusted. I can't hold it anymore. I can't procrastinate anymore. It's amazing what I can procrastinate over. But it's time to let the baby go and see if she sinks or swims. It's time for the empty nest.
I hope that she LOVES me or that she see something she likes and asks for something else.
I've worked hard on this sub and I've had some great writers read it for me. I can't thank them enough.
Now I need to start an edit on the rest and polish this puppy up. Plus polish another partial sub just in case.
Gotta think positive. It's a crushing enough business as it is.
Gotta be realistic. Not everyone likes your work and that's okay.
Gotta be professional. Get things ready on time. (I'm one to talk for this one - LOL)
Gotta write. It's who I am.
Gotta go.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Writing, Writing, Writing.....

Yep - I've been a bit slack blogging.
The upside is that I've been very productive with my writing. I've finally finished my submission and it is now in the hands of my trusty critters. Notice the word 'TRUST', that is very important. I like the blunt no nonsense - this sucks approach. I like to be told - 'What were you thinking! or 'Are you thinking?' or 'What book is this?!'
Anywho - the sub is pretty well done and dusted. I've found some tweaks. The favorite words that get used over and over and over again. Lazy words, the old favorite words. The characters are settling down and I'm settling down. The only major worry that I have other than 'she'll hate it' is this is primarily my hero's story and my heroine doesn't really come into it very much at the start. But that's the way it is. It can't be any other way and my hero is really very pushy.
I did get some good news and that is primarily why I haven't posted. I got a request for a partial from my 'DREAM' editor. That has been the impetus to push me forward.
So, I'm getting ready to send out my baby and furiously going over the rest of the book tweaking and tightening. Wish me luck.
I gotta go.
Bum to seat, fingers to keyboard.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Help - my book is being hijacked.

Day ____ (I won't say) of getting a submission ready.
Yep, my submission is being hijacked by my characters. I'm happily editing along when the plot takes a lefty, then a righty, then a u turn. What the...! Now, I have to go back and re-think this sucker.
I REALLY need to get this submission ready. I'm feeling the pressure to have it GONE! But I can't let it go until I think it's good enough for my beta readers to check over. As I've previously stated I seriously suck at grammar. I think it's the fact I'm an Aussie trying to write in the US market and I'm doubting myself at every turn.
But the story has some twists and turns and hidden agendas that are creeping out - thanks Warden! Yeah, you know who you are - just because you are the controller of my hero doesn't mean you can twist me to suit your needs. No sir'ie ma'am. I'm gonna take back my power and pull you into line!
I sound insane and yes, you would be correct. But I need to write this down - to trigger my mojo to overpower 'Gina hard-face beeatch' as I've started calling the Warden. To tell my brain to get on with it.
I'm back!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The dreaded BLANK page

‘I can fix a bad page, but I can’t fix a blank page.’ These sage words were spoken by Nora Roberts at a RW Australia conference in Sydney I attended a number of years ago.
Then not so long ago I attended a workshop with Barbara Samuel and she showed me another trick. Write in long hand, for a short period of time, on something from your childhood. No stops, no pauses. You finish and read and think, well, yes I can produce.
The words and the sage advice these women spoke are almost a mantra to me now and I find myself saying them when I stare at that blank page.
You’ve all heard, writing isn’t easy, if it was, my cat, whom I’m sure can talk, would be pumping out NY Times bestsellers.
A lot of things can contribute to you not being able to write.
I don’t call it writer’s block I think stress block may be a more appropriate term to use. Daily stresses like work, home, family and kids are big hurdles that put road blocks in your mind.
Another is self induced stress, the stress to succeed, the stress to produce, to meet deadlines. These things can stop you. They’re like devils, pixies or gnomes, sitting on your shoulders whispering in your ears to the point where you can’t concentrate enough to produce anything.
Yep, I’ve been there, but I remembered that advice and I found myself doing something else. I may not have produced much during that time but I edited and got the ‘girl’, aka my muse, to cooperate.
Yep, I’m free to write crap for however long it takes for her to start taking the hint.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The benefit of critique groups

I don't admit that I know everything - I think I should quote the immortal words of Sergeant Schultz, 'I know nothing, nothing, nothing!' These words would be closer to the truth.
Critique groups - love them or hate them? It's a mixed bag. I think we should all go into critique groups fully aware that you may not fit. It's nothing against you as a person, or as a writer, sometimes the dynamic isn't there or our expectations are a little different.
I belong to a genre specific critique group because of what I write. I find the members are a mixed bag of skills and knowledge and that's great. But beware the dreaded 'critique group voice', sounds dire and it can be. What can happen is that your voice changes to a blending of voices from the various crits from your critique group. Keep that in mind and your 'voice' won't change. No, not your singing voice, although come to think of it mine could do with a little changing, hmmm. I digress. I mean your writer's voice - your own special way of how you put your words together. But voice can be a lot of other things as well.
The benefits of a good critique group can be immeasurable - I’ve learnt to be a better writer. Although my grammar still sucks to the power of 10 and that’s not my critique groups fault - that's mine. I've learnt so much about plot, character, pacing, emotion, pov and the list goes on, I've experienced the truly wonderful writers of RWA and the FF & P Chapter who give, give, give of their time and expertise.
I submit critiques to my critique group and ask them to rip it up and then help me put it back together again. There's nothing personal about it – it’s business and I want to be a better writer. And they've made me a better writer by being able to point out things I can't see because I'm too close to the work.
We share in our triumphs and disappointments. There is always a shoulder to cry on and then a smack over the back of the head when we've wallowed in our pity party long enough. Then there's the hand that reaches out and helps us to get back up and put bum to seat, hands to keyboard and write.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What have I done?!

This is one of those insane acts that you question only after the fact.  'What have I done?'
My initial answer to myself was - I thought it was about time that I started blogging. 
That is the question I'm suddenly asking myself.  How about - it seemed a good idea at the time. 
No, what really made me jump in with both feet, damn the torpedoes, was the amount of time I was spending on Facebook.
So, began the idea.  I'm starting the blog at a strange time to most of you - but for me it's a pivotal time - you see, my birthday is in a few days and I want to show myself - where I am.  Yes, I know geographically where I am, what I mean is where I am in my writing career.
I need to write.  I love to write.  I am a writer.
I may be a light blogger but I hope to use this as a diary for the coming year and see where I am at the end. 
My plan is to have an agent and if the gods are good to me - an editor by the end of this year.  I will use this forum to bare all - metaphorically speaking - you really don't want to see me naked.  (I'm blind!) 
The ups and downs and what I'm doing to achieve this dream / goal.  The operative word is DOING.  Bum to seat, pen to paper, fingers to keyboard.
There I've said it.  It's in the public domain.  Now to go forth and work.

Welcome to my nightmare......