My Little Obsession

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If you know me at all, you’ve probably seen me with one of these close by. They are small notebooks, 8.35 in x 6.5 in. They’re made by Studio C and are called Ideal Books. I love these.

I have about 9 of them now. Maybe more.

Within those pages are magic— the magic of my stories. I now prefer writing in these, at least to get me going. And if I’m stuck, it’s within those pages where the muse kicks back into gear. Sometimes they contain a letter to a friend. Notes on the webinars I’ve been taking lately. A to do list like above. And once in a while, as I’m scribbling away, I come across pure gold. Because there are pages scattered throughout where the princeling has drawn pictures in Mommy’s notebook. Some were drawn while we were in the car are he was bored. I’d pass back the book (pen handily clipped to the front) and let him go for it. It makes for a lot of really nice surprises while writing.

Now, if you’re able to see the list I attached above, I have to admit a few things. First of all, the first 3 things had already been accomplished. I believe in making sure that I have some sense of accomplishment LOL. 6-10 all have to do with writing, although 7-9 are the only ones dealing with short stories that I’m actually working on right now. On those, I only worked on Broken, but.. But… I finally finished it. WOOHOO! I finished it! I finished it! AND, um, well, it’s going to have a part 2. But I finished it and sent it off to Beta’s!

So. On my list there were 3 items that I didn’t even touch. I thought a bit about two of them (which does count, but not for this list), but nothing was written down either in my lovely note books or on the computer so I’m not counting that. But, all in all, I’m happy with my little list and with what I accomplished today.

Back to Work

I go back to work on Wednesday and I’m excited about it. I’m excited about other things, as well.Things they are a changing.

There’s the passing on of knowledge, which will happen but needs to be deferred for a small time. I’m excited about it and cant wait to start, but will of course wait patiently.

Something a little weird happened while I’ve been off work recuperating. One is that I realize that I am currently a sprinter when it comes to writing. I would love to write long, involved epic fantasy novels but it’s not going to happen. At least, not right now. Right now, I’m still doing a lot of my writing longhand, in snatches that come in 10-15 minute bursts. If I’m lucky, i have a few hours to devote to the keyboard and will write that way. But if I’m stuck, or just starting a story… Out the notebooks come. I like them. They like me. The length of my stories has less to do with any of that than with the fact that the stories that are popping out of me are shorts. I can live with that. I’ve always been a fairly quick writer– I don’t agonize over that anymore either. Being a real writer only involves actually getting the stories out, right?

But something really interesting keeps popping up on me. Free webinars on copy writing.

Hmmm….

I’ve taken two so far (one last month and one last week), and am about to make another one on Tuesday. So. I’m thinking this is a pretty good thing. Because God keeps dropping  it in my lap I should probably pay attention. Perhaps as something that could at least help with the hospital bills, but hopefully become my full time job. Or main money maker. Who knows? But you know, there’s so much I want to do in life… and none of it has me chained to a computer or phone all day every day. Barring finding a multi-millionare to marry on the quick, this might be the way to go.

If something lands in your lap that many times, you kind of have to take that leap of faith, don’t you? It would be different if I didn’t have experience writing copy for businesses, but I’ve done that at my current job. I’ve been published in trade magazines both under my own name, and with no by-line just to try and drive business. If all I had ever attempted to do was fiction, I’d be very leery of this. Timid, even. But I’ve done this work for years.

And apparently have been valuing that talent too lightly.

Do any of you do this for a living? How did you start? Do you enjoy it?

Seeds of Change

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen the analogy of the seed: that it has to allow itself to be completely undone in order to change into something else.

I’m debating this one, hotly, right now.

And yes, I am talking to myself again. Loudly.

I had major surgery back at the end of June. One week from today, I’ll go back to the day job. But I’ve had a lot of time to think, think, think… Especially when I was waking up all the time for pain managment (making sure I got the ibuprofins at the right time) and hot flashes (back chohate really works!). I thought of what would make me feel good about my writing, what would make me feel like things were worth it.

Let’s face it, right now I’m a sprinter. I can do the short story, and I enjoy writing them. Even when I was writing novels, however, I never saw myself as sitting at a conference selling books and signing autographs. Would I like to be on the best seller list?  Of course.

But it was never my main dream.

Every time I let myself drift and dream, I find myself imagining not scores of readers… but talking to potential writers. Poety. Journaling. Story telling. All of it. I want to share my passion for words and how they have helped me every step of the way.

My seed hasn’t come completely undone. Perhaps it already had done that a long time ago. Instead, my branches are reaching for a different part of the sky. Maybe not the part you’re reaching for, maybe not the part others like… but the little slice that is mine.

Now… how to go about doing this? I have some preliminary plans in place… we shall see if they go anywhere. But I’ll never know until I start.

(The hilarious part is I’ve always shied away from teaching because of the public speeking part of it. Wheeee!)

Book Review: Fools Assassin by Robin Hobb

fools assassin

I told you a while ago to go forth and buy Robin Hobb’s Fitz & the Fool books. Did you do it my lovelies? Did you? Because I’m going to go right ahead and get my geek on over this book.

It starts a bit slow. I advised you to get the previous 2 trilogies under your belts because if you have, then the beginning of this will be fantastic. It’s like reading the happily ever after part of your favorite novel, except… umm… it’s Robin Hobb and the first in a new trilogy so it’s going to get bumpy. And boy howdy does it. By the end of the book, I was howling for book two already, and three pretty please because PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME HANGING HERE LIKE THIS. (Note: she is one of the few authors that I will read a complete series, waiting (im)patiently for the followup. Normally I wait for the whole thing to be published hehehe).

There are themes that are being woven throughout this novel that harken back to the other novels. Fitz’s natural tendency to be caught up in his own head, the feeling of aloneness, being pitted against everyone else, the other, and gender identity whispers through it.

I read this as a galley copy, but have already bought my very own copy for myself so I can love it, hug it and call it my own.

 

What books or series do you geek out on?

Stories can save your soul…

When the princeling was about 4, he started having horrible nightmares. I mentioned that we could go somewhere in our dreams and meet.

And thus, the candy garden bloomed again.

Fountains spilling Skittles, a Sprite stream filled with Swedish Red Fish and gummy sharks. You get the idea. I wrote a flash fiction story about it. The Princeling adds to it, or subtracts, depending on his current likes. He is now 8.

When I was in the hospital in June, he was with my sister in law. In talking on the phone with him, he asked me, sobbing, where to meet him that night. “Do you want to go to the candy garden?”

Sniffling, he replied: How about a candy ocean? The sand is sugar, and….

And we were off. Something amazing happened that night, something amazing that touched my soul in a way no other story that I ever have come up with has.

The Candy Garden is imprinted on my son’s soul. And when we’re separated, he knows, deep down inside, that he can go there and find his mom. It’s an avenue for our creativity to go wild, together, but more than that… It brings my child comfort.

So yes, one story can make a huge difference. Even if it’s a one off, a way to sooth a child at bed time. It can grow, it can morph and take on a life of it’s own… And can feel like a warm hug on a dark and scary night when you’re miles from your mommy.

Beauty for Pain: Poetry as Catharsis

The very best writers pull you in. They take all the pain of life, and they return it to you with beauty.

I have lots of imaginary conversations in my head. This one was about poetry, about how you can take the essence of something incredibly painful and return it transformed. Does the act of transformation also take away some of the pain?

I’m basically a happy person. There have been times when I went through hell. I haven’t really written about them, because every time I tried I got angrier and angrier. As a single parent, I couldn’t just walk around wanting to punch something 24/7. But those attempts were all more of a this happened and then this and then…

Not trying to do anything other than record.

I brought it up briefly in the novella I’m doing, but quickly brushed it aside. It’s there, but not present.

The one thing I have not tried is poetry. Of trying to take the pain and turn it into something beautiful and possibly unrecognizable.

I think it might be time to try it. Just as soon as I finish Camp Nano.

Take care my lovelies,

 

Wyn

Keep your mitts off my books!

There’s been a ration of poo slung around this spring/summer regarding women in fantasy fiction and, more recently even romance. I kind of have to shake my head at these posturing potential potenates…. who don’t realize that if the conversation were fictionalized and thrown into a fantasy setting… well. They would not be the hero. Oh, no. They would definitely be the evil wizard/king/crybaby trying to force everyone into their own way of thinking. You shall not pass.

I mean really. Are you truly trying to tell me that Robin Hobb, Lynn Flewelling, Carol Berg and Mercedes Lackey are… lacking? Shame on you! Don’t like the new crop of fiction coming out? Don’t read it. But don’t presume to know what’s good for me.

What really saddens me is that these kind of arguments have been going on for a very long time. Because something is popular with them, the masses, women it must be inherently bad. Suck it up, buttercup, cuz those readers are still going to read the books they want to. They will buy them in droves, propelling them UP the NYT Best Seller list while your own languishes in the stacks. 
 Oh, and by the way? Shakespeare? Wildly popular with the masses. All those bawdy jokes, don’t you know.
While I was at CSU, I often hid what I was reading due to jack asses. Fantasy was fine, but let someone catch me with a romance? I cringed at the thought. Until someone tried to book shame me, in my creative writing class, and the professor said something to the effect of… well… You can support yourself with that sort of writing. Live very well, if you have the talent.
This was the same instructor who told us on our first day not to even try genre fiction (especially horror or sci-fi / fantasy) in his class. I was terrified when I went up to speak with him. But I write fantasy, I said. “Prove it,” he told me.  Turns out he’s not against the genre, just the bad habits of new writers. I wrote my first novel under his guidance, a work of fantasy fiction.
A lot of what I read and write has to do with belonging. About taking what you’ve got and making it work. Finding a way through the darkness. There are books who have held me up (Anne Bishop) during the worst time of my life, and others that echo those days and reinforce that we are survivors (Cathy Lamb). There’s the joy of love (Eloisa James, Julia Quinn), and family and friends.
If you’re so afraid of women in fiction, then I kind of have to ask. What are you so afraid of?
No matter the answer, keep your mitts off my reading material. I don’t need that sort of help.
Ogres need not apply.