Tag Archive | writing

Nano 2019

So I attempted Nano 2019, with provisions.

There are always provisions lol.

It won’t be a novel, because I don’t write long anymore. It will be a collection of short stories. I can do this!

And then I cheated.

But that was ok, because I made up those words and deleted the rewritten story! I was doing this!

And then I got sick.

Call into work for 3 days, my poor kid making me dinner sick. (He’s 13, don’t feel too bad for him lol). It’s still lingering a few weeks later, and it’s kicking my hiney. Nano became no no for me.

So was it was a loss. Or was It? I wrote words…. lots of words that can be cleaned up and sent out. I learned that I work best in the early morning on Saturrday or Sunday, sitting out in mine and rays cave (more on that in a later post). I put my Christmas tree up Halloween night, and having the lights on with Christmas music playing on Pandora and the words just fly.

And I also learned it is entirely possible to finish one story and start another right away. No tears (well maybe a couple, it was a sad story).

Now I just need to get back into writing.

Ta, my lovelies!

You can write your own way….

I know. It sounds crazy pants, doesn’t it?

But you can write your own way.

You might not get published. You might self publish and not sell enough to make money. I know those are the dreams, the goals, the reason many park but in chair. But it’s ok to write what you want, what you enjoy. You don’t know where those secret little scribbles that you only share with your very best friends (If them) will take you.

Sometimes those secret scribbles take you in a direction you never knew existed.

Sometimes it’s where you hone your voice, cut your teeth on the truth your soul wants to release into the world. This is art. Our art. Shouldn’t we be writing what brings us joy and makes us giggle or touches our own heart first?

And sometimes…..

You find out that those secret scribbles that you never knew where to send have a place in the world.

So. Go forth and write your own way.

Who knows where it will lead?

Writing Cheerleaders vs. Coach

I have many cheerleaders when it comes to my writing and I adore them. They give me the lift of a bit more confidence when I need it. They have cheered me on when I doubted that I could write a sentence, let alone a coherent story. They have been invaluable in my getting to the point where I’m currently at.

And yet even as I’ve been writing stories that I am so proud of, I haven’t been submitting them. Don’t have time to edit, or find markets, weekend was busy, blah blah blah. There’s a ton of excuses and I’ve used many of them. I don’t know why…

So I called someone who I know doesn’t really put up with bullshit. During the conversation, I told her off the bat I don’t need someone to tell me I’m great, I have that confidence. I need someone who can kick my ass. We talked about what I needed to get done, how I needed to change the conversations with myself, and lots of things. Including making a dream board.

I had a lot of goals for that first weekend. I made not a one of them. So I messaged her, told her that and what my new plan was.

Crickets.

Not a word.

I’m sure she thought I was just going to stay stuck in my ways. I considered it.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I hit each and every one of my goals for the week. Made the dream board, checking in with her, got an “awesome!” Out of her and kept moving forward. My stories are submitted, I’m up to date in class and am working on my next submission.

The cheerleaders are invaluable. I wouldn’t be writing without them.

But I wouldn’t have submitted them if I hadn’t had the courage to ask someone to step into the role of coach. She’s not a writer, probably would never to think to read what I write if it wasn’t by me. But she’s tough enough to hold me accountable and not accept any excuses.

Thank you

Wyndie

It’s been a while

But never fear, I’ve been writing. I’ve been writing many many words.

I started back at WVU (Writers Village University). Now, you may not have heard of WVU, so let me tell you a little bit about it. It is not an accredited university, it’s a peer run site. And there are times when you sign up for a course and no one else does.

And then came the MFA program. It’s a certificate program. You have to not only do your assignments, but also leave feedback for others, and it’s a specific type of feedback. No “great job, bye bye”. And the classes themselves, doing your own work, taking the works of others and internalizing them and applying them….

My God, how I’ve grown.

I had begun to believe that I only wrote light and fluffy. And I was fine with that. Light and fluffy has a place. Even if I sometimes slipped the leash and wrote dark and twisty, sunshine has a place.

Just because someone seems all Pollyanna does not mean that they do not notice the world as it is, or cope with the shadows. I had a problem admitting to those depths in my writing, in shying away from the deep dark and twisty. I have these diametric opposite parts of me, and I wasn’t willing to admit to them. Or try and see how they work together.

I’m ready and willing now.

And with the help of some fabulous facilitators and a group of peers who are ready and willing to help… I’m very close to being there.

Thank you, WVU.

Redirection

So I received another rejection the other day. This time, it didn’t crush me. It just made me go hmmmm…

The first paragraph was pretty boiler plate. But the second, oh the second…. it broke it down. They liked the story, but the ending didn’t hang right for them BECAUSE there wasn’t enough setup and/or foreshadowing. It depended too much on those things being inferred.

Sometimes, it feels like you’re banging your head against a rock to get through the publishing door. This time, they told me how to move the rock, roll it away.

I know what I have to do. I know what specific things to ask my beta readers. And I know that in my editing I probably need to add words. Instead of tightening, I need to expand…. bring the reader with me.

I can do that.

Typing with my eyes wide shut

Soon I may have mentioned that I’m taking writing classes. I started taking classes at Writers Village again mainly to get writing again. Which I Am! Score! I’m pushing myself, writing new things and coming up with writings.

In one of my current classes, the goal was to write a flash story without looking at the screen. If you have a monitor, you turn it off. On a laptop, you change the font to white. I have a laptop. White on white did not work for me.

I tried, oh how I tried. But those darn red squiggles were driving me batty! What’s a girl to DO? The story was going nowhere.

So I tried an old standby: turned on my iTunes and started writing with my eyes closed.

And it was marvelous.

I’m not sure what it is, the symbiotic relationship between the arts. Music, writing, dance, painting and so many others. It’s as if we all have the ability to help spark that next person… no matter what our preferred form of art is.

Till next time

Almost

Today I was deep in my feelings of failure. I’d received another rejection– a very nice one, one that told me how much the editor liked my story and it invited me to submit again to their anthologies.

As soon as I saw the email, I thought to myself: Great, another rejection. I hadn’t even read it yet.

My inner critic came up and attacked me. It’s not an editor– an editor improves your work. The Inner Critic trashes your work and your soul. “Great, I’m still almost good enough. Not there, never there, but almost good enough.”

It  was enough to make me cry.

Last week, I showed a very personal short story that I had experimented with to some beta readers. Ok, only one of them was really one of my normal Beta readers. Mostly, while they enjoyed the story, it confounded them. It almost made sense. I haven’t read the notes my regular beta reader sent me, but I think I will soon. She reads as an editor, not a critic. My other, who actually HAS edited my work, hasn’t read it yet. It’s out of my wheel house.

It’s real.

No dragons, witches or even an AI or space ship. No elves. Just something this side of way too real. I wrote it for one class, rewrote it for another and… people didn’t get it. I completely ignored the feedback from a classmate whose writing and crits I highly admire, though. The one that said I had spot on characterization, and the details of being cold were right as well.

The class that starts on Monday I’ve been looking forward to. It’s on writing linked short stories. I have read the course page backwards and forwards, and it didn’t say anything about the stories we write having to be in the literary vein– i.e. no fantasy, sci fi, speculative fiction. Can I catch a break? The last “normal” story I wrote confounded people.

So I did what any good, self respecting sulking writer does. I called my sister. She’s been a second mother to me all my life, and we’ve gotten a lot closer in the last few years. We talk Monday through Friday. And she told me what I needed to hear.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

You’re not almost good enough.

You’re almost there.

 

 

Hello, let’s talk mainstreaming

Hello my lovelies! It’s been a while since we’ve talked. Never fear, I’m still writing.

I started taking writing classes and it is definitely keeping me on my toes. It has a secondary affect, which could have been adverse. My 11 yr old son is being mainstreamed in English Language Arts (ELA) and math. I am hopeless with math, but English? Who Ohio! I’ve got a degree in that!

This is important. If you have a child going from Special Ed to Mainstream you need to listen carefully.

His teachers are phenomenal. But most classes in the SDP range are focused on reading, writing and spelling. Parts of speech, well… So we have a child that has fought his way through everything and is ready to cross the threshold hold but doesn’t know half of what’s being asked of him. Not because he’s dumb. Not because of bad teachers. But because the program that got him this far didn’t teach him those particular things.

He also has a problem with short term memory. Don’t feel bad though, his brain goes so super fast, he’s able to convert to long term memory. It might take him a bit, but he’s able to do it. Pre Mommy taking classes it was no problem.

With me taking classes it is a problem. There’s only so much time in the day. Also, my kid will be a turkey with me:crying, pouting, fit throwing, you know the drill. Our kids will push us to our limits of patience, but will be perfect angels for everyone else. This just childhood, nothing to do with dyspraxia.

But a tutor? And a person he already loves to death? Who also happens to be card carrying member of the Grammar Police? Oh yes, that will do. That will do nicely, thank you very much. No crying, no fits, just lots of learning. And that is a wonderful thing.

Now, I’m off to do your own homework. Ack! I promise, tho, no crying… well. I won’t throw a fit…. no. I promise to do my homework. How’s that?

Boys and poetry

The princeling and I often talk about stories. Last weekend, I listened to him try to rewrite all of my stories. Every single one. 

While cleaning up some papers, I came across a poem we had started together. I remembered the first line, but had forgotten he had written the second. And now I know why he and I don’t work poetry much. He’s 11. And a boy. And I shouldn’t have been suprised….

Here goes…..

If I had a robot heart,

Would I be able to fart.

Yup, my son has mad rhyming skills.

Niht Dance

The stars were crisp and clear 

in the night sky. 

Tree tops reached, 

trying to touch the tiny dancers, 

but they spun away,

too and fro, 

in a dance only

 a master can teach.

 Did they spin to and fro,

 or was the world

 spinning in its own dance?

Or did I finally 

Finally 

have a chance to see 

Night in all her glory

and breathe?