Posts Tagged ‘goals’

April Fool’s day is my book’s 4th birthday.

I is four

My book turning four is not a happy event, just so you know. It’s just one more reminder of unfinished business. That hasn’t stopped me in the past, querying, that is. I made a vow every year to be finished, like in ready to query finished, by April 1st. On birthday number two, I queried two agents. Birthday number three, I thought I was ready and queried three agents. You see a pattern here? But I won’t. I will not query four agents today just because I made a silly vow once. Wait. I won’t promise that. I don’t trust myself. Maybe I’ll send just one.

I have a beta reader I’m handing this to tomorrow, and I’m hanging back to see what edits or changes she suggests. I would kick myself later if I queried and sent a sample chapter that needed work. So no, I will not send out a query today. I won’t. I might.

On other news, I received Golden Visions magazine in the mail yesterday with my story Male Pattern Deadness published in it. It’s a serious piece; a psychological thriller, if you will. Also, forthcoming in Slow Trains, I wrote another serious piece—am I losing my sense of humor?

I don’t have a link to Male Pattern Deadness yet, as it’s only in their print edition, It may end up in my unlinkable page above. But the exciting thing is my story is right in the middle where the magazine staple goes. So the magazine wants to naturally open there. People picking up the magazine will be FORCED to see my story—muhahahaha.

To prove I still have my humor about me, I have a flash piece up at Fear of Writing called Mango Man. Fear of Writing has a list of prompts you can choose from should you want to write for them.

Last and most important is Linda Cassidy Lewis, my friend and member of my in-person writing group, has her debut book, Brevity of Roses, up for sale today. She is the first in my group to publish a book, so this is all very exciting, it’s also very sudden, and I haven’t had a chance to post reviews of it on Amazon or Goodreads yet, but will shortly. For now, just trust me that this is beautifully written work and I encourage you to read it. I command it.

Though none of the above is an April Fool’s joke—nor is the mention that I just forgot how to spell “above” and tried five different spellings before I gave up and asked the computer how to spell it—do any of you participate in this silly tradition? Did someone pull any tricks on you today? I’m alone right now. The day is still young. For me, it’s pending. When my eleven year old gets home, I’ll be in for it.

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This counts as a blog post from me.  Come visit Fear of Writing, you might learn something on What Not to Do.

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Weathering the storm

Fresno had its first big storm in recent history. It rained yesterday so hard and for so long that I could do nothing else but to stare at it all day long. As a rain-deprived person living in a rain-deprived city (state?), I cherished each moment; I was in paradise.

I loved rain my whole life. I sneered at weathermen (women) who called rain ugly. Or anyone else who mentioned the “bad” weather we’re having. I’d be a perfect fit in Seattle or other places with high rain count. The times I’ve visited tropical places—Jamaica, Hawaii, Cancun—I wanted to spend as much time in the rainforests as I did the beach.

But places that see little rain suffer when it finally comes. The trees that receive its nourishment from the three-times-a-week shallow watering have roots that grow near the surface, where the water is. So heavy rains result in easily toppled trees. And walking home from my daughter’s school this morning, I saw several semi-mature trees uprooted, lying on their sides, knocked over by a light wind and water-soaked roots.

The trees that still stand are the ones who will benefit from the storm, made stronger because of the deep watering. For each storm it survives, it becomes stronger because of it.

I feel the same about writing. For each storm I endure, be it writer’s block, rejection, self-doubt, I become stronger for it.

It can either make us or break us.

I admit wanting to lie on my side and call it good, over, done, finished—everyday. But the fact that I forge ahead against the wind, against all odds, says I’ll be here awhile, plugging away, letting the smallest of successes strengthen my roots.

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Part of devoting your life to writing a novel is shutting yourself away from the world, living in your own world.  Now I think I’ve lived in my own world long enough; because now I’m paranoid. And here’s how I know: I think “they” are out to get me. (Don’t ask who “they” are.)

“They” are the forces that keep me from reaching goals: from full-on tackling my revisions so that I can query agents, from entering contests, from …

Linda and I were talking yesterday about self-sabotage, and how we are both guilty of it. I think on my end I spend hours online doing anything but revising. I blog. I visit other blogs. I visit agent blogs (my biggest time sucker). I comment on agent blogs. I enter more silly contests than serious.  I join online clubs, groups, forums, critique sites, community writing sites, book reviews, ….

Then when I do take myself seriously it backfires. “I’m sorry,” says the voice on the other end of the phone, “but your submission to the essay contest you entered in May just came to us in July. The post office didn’t even apologize for hanging on to yours and eight others. I did read it though and I loved it. If you haven’t published it by our next contest please submit again. It was very lovely …”

On another contest, I needed a combined score of 300 points to qualify for finals. I got 298.

And only since I took writing seriously did the publishing world slide. I think a lot of writers are freaking on that one.

So when feedblitz sends me a new email with “more query do’s and don’ts” on their subject line, I find myself unable to resist opening, reading, then clicking onto other sites within that site, and finding that maybe I have a problem with addiction. (Admitting it is the first step.)

Here is where paranoia steps in. Could it be that agents are in on it? Could they tempt me and others online for hours to keep us from writing so they have fewer queries to field? Could it be the publishing houses are simply not taking on debut authors anymore and agents just don’t have the heart to tell us for fear of a mass suicide world-wide? “Keep em busy until the market picks up again.” They say to each other.

They invented Twitter! They invented all the distractions!

“They” are out to get me.

It’s a conspiracy. I won’t put up with it. I won’t.  Crouching in corner, perspiring, laughing evilly. I won’t, I tell you. Muhahahahah …

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