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Archive for August, 2009

Editing

Editing: It seems that my life is full of it. : ) When I finished the Triune Stones, I loved it and sent the first book off to agents just knowing they would love it too. I got some bites but no takers. So I put it aside and worked on SO’s novels. Later I took out the Triune Stones and on the advice of an editor; I reworked it completely, giving it a whole new feel. I loved it. Sent it off to agents thinking they would love it too. I got some bites but no takers. I put it down and started on something new.

That something new is now under consideration by several agents and as I’m considering the possiblity that I may actually sign with an agent, my thoughts have turned back to the Triune Stones. Is it saleable? Does it need another edit?

I have heard some advice that says in most cases your first book should be considered ‘practice’.  I can see his or her point in saying that but technically Awakening, the first book in The Triune Stones, isn’t my first book. That would be Ilythra, the book on which I based The Truine Stones. I recently read through a few pages of Awakening. I can see where the writing can be tightened a bit, but all in all, I think it’s a strong book that is more a victim of circumstance than bad writing or plot.

This is a tricky situation for any writer. Over-editing is as bad for a MS as under-editing. I’ve seen a MS edited until it loses its soul, the thing that gave it life. It’s like over-stirring muffin batter… It just comes out wrong.

I’ve heard it said that you should write the best book that you can write today and I think it’s good advice. If we keep learning, our next effort will always be improved. Lets face it. I can write a better book today than I did three years ago when I wrote Awakening.

But what about Awakening? What do you do with your work that has gone through submissions and failed?

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Friday Funnies

77

Whole Milk

55

Gator aide.

 

88Bud Light.

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First days

 

Monday was my youngest daughter’s first day at preschool. She’s an outgoing child, but a little bit, okay a lot, of a momma’s girl so I was a little worried that when the time came to actually say goodbye, she’d panic… or I’d panic. She didn’t and I didn’t. However, it’s the rest of the morning I’d like to share.images

 My tenth grader starts school at 7:50, my fourth and sixth grader at 8:25. Prior to wee one starting school, I drove the tenth grader to school (or she never made it to first period, apparently there is some kind of time warp between there and here when walking) then I came home, made sure the other kids had brushed his and her teeth and then either walked them to school or kissed them at the door. We live about two blocks away.

 Now enter the preschooler into the mix. She does not go to the same school as fourth and sixth grader. She starts school at 8. The doors do not open one minute before and she must be signed in. So at 7:30, I piled all the kids into the car, drove tenth grader to school, headed in the opposite direction, past my house to take preschooler to school, with the idea that I’ll head back toward home to drop off fourth and sixth grader.

 The problem? Of course there is a problem or this just wouldn’t be interesting. The left turn into preschooler’s parking lot has a light. Good right? Yeah, except because of oncoming traffic, one car made it per green light. I was about 12 cars back. By the time I made it into the parking lot, I had ten minutes before I had to walk her up to the room. Another problem. images1Preschooler’s new school has a parking lot set up for about 40 cars. There were at least 100. Do I exaggerate? No. We played ring-around-the-parking-lot for 10 minutes. Just cars going around and around hoping that somehow, miraculously, an extra parking place would just magically appear. At 7:58 I said forget it and parked in a red tow away zone. What was I supposed to do?

 Side note: It is my opinion that the looks the other parents gave me were full of hidden admiration for my gumption.

 So we power walked to the door, I signed her in, helped her find her name tag, sat her at the table, looked into those big, brown, nervous eyes and told her I would be back to pick her up at 11:00, kissed her and high tailed it out of there. I reached my car and began to pull away just as a nice man with a walkie-talkie headed in my direction. Whew.

I did manage to get out of the parking lot and get the fourth and sixth grader to school moments before the school bell rang. By the time I walked back in my door. It was 8:30 and I needed a nap.

 I left at 10:30 to pick up the little princess just in case I had to play the traffic game again. I didn’t. I’d say the highlight of my day was that 20 minutes of sitting in perfect silence in my car with my eyes closed, but it wasn’t. It was my daughter’s response when I asked what was her favorite part of school. Her answer? When you came to pick me up.

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Tick Tock

I woke up this morning, read my email, checked to see if I had any @ replies on twitter, got the kids off to schook, poured another cup of coffee and thought about starting on the kitchen chores, reminded myself that this was writing time, and then I remembered. I haven’t checked Google reader, not in a day, not even two, but… well, I don’t know. There are a few blogs I check from links on twitter (thanks guys) but when I opened Google I had 95 unread blogs. The scary thing? This isn’t even the highest number of blogs that I have seen unread on Google reader. images

What to do? I can’t possibly read all of them. It would take all day. But the blogs I have saved on my Google reader are the ones I really love to read. I thought perhaps I should set up a schedule (I’m all about the schedule and to-do lists) Read blogs in the morning after checking and responding to email. The problem? I only have 2 precious hours until the little one comes home from preschool. That time will be spent writing. So after lunch? Oh.. that’s quality time with munchkin…. And then the kids come home from school and there is homework followed quickly by dinner prep and wait! I forgot about housework. Oh, I’d like to forget about housework but I like to make it across my kitchen floor without needing a pry bar to unstick my shoes. After dinner is chore time for the kids, I could sneak it in there, but then they kinda slack on the chores and we’re back to ‘son, throwing a towel on spilt juice is not cleaning it up.’

Sigh.. so after bath and bed time routine? I’d hoped to get a little more writing in there to be honest…. The weekends? That’s when I work on my blogs. By the way, if I haven’t commented on your blogs for awhile, now you know why.

So we’re back to sneaking it in when I can and hoping for the best. Problem? I like you guys. I like reading what’s happening in your lives, celebrating reviews, learning techniques or about the business.  So please tell me, how do you find time to do everything?

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Friday Funnies

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livingLola Cruz will grab your hand in the first page of LIVING THE VIDA LOLA and by the time you’ve turned the last page, she’ll have your heart.

Lola is a private investigator on her first big case looking into a disappearance. But when her missing person winds up dead, things turn dangerous fast.

This book is funny, sexy and I didn’t solve the mystery until Lola did. From ultra-sexy Jack Gallaghan, the object of Lola’s fantasies since high school, to her equally sexy boss, Manny Comancho and her close knit, if interfering family, LIVING THE VIDA LOLA is full of well rounded, interesting characters that you will want to know better.

And you can. This is only the first book in Misa Ramirez’s Lola Cruz Mystery series. The second book in the series: HASTA LA VISTA LOLA, will be released in early January.hasta

To learn more about Misa Ramirez and her work, please check at her website here. You can buy the book at your local bookstore or here.

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Do you play the lottery?

Today I read a blog post by my good friend and fellow writer, Jason Myers. You’ll find it here. Jason writes about giving up this crazy dream we call writing. It hit a chord with me so instead of leaving all of this in a comment, I decided to give my slightly darker thoughts in a blog of my own.

The writing industry is brutal. It doesn’t just take talent, or luck, or a good story, or technique. It takes all of them. A lot of all of them.

There comes a time when you start to wonder why. Why spend hours away from your family every day; why write story after story that no one, except a few peers who love it, reads?

If you’ve written for any length of time, you know you don’t write for a muse, you write for publication. This is a job. You’ve learned technique, studied up on your grammar and punctuation, invested much time in author/agent/editor blogs. You read your genre, know what’s out there. You write when you don’t feel like it, you write because you’re dedicated. You’ve received rejection after rejection and managed to hold onto the concept: ‘it only takes one.’ And when the last query/partial/full is answered with a ‘thank you but this isn’t for me.’ you think, okay on to the next novel. And the next, and the next, and the next.

At some point you start to wonder, if this is a job, what kind of idiot pays to work? Writing costs money. You’ve bought books on writing, books to read, sent out queries and partials, built a social network so when you do publish… and time is money. And when that time squeezes you and you realize you haven’t spent as much time with your kids or husband or family as you should, you begin to wonder if you should just put writing on the back burner, write on the weekends or when time allows instead of making it a priority. Or maybe… just maybe, it’s time to give up the dream.

Kids are growing up, bills need to be paid and there is no guarantee that you will ever be published. And when/ if you are? It’s scary to look at this industry without the rose-colored glasses. Have your read the statistics of how many authors don’t sell out of their advance? How many are dropped by their publisher after the initial contract runs its course? Would you take a second job that not only doesn’t pay, it costs you? Would you do the work for only the hope that someday, you may hit that magic combination that swings open the doors to the inner office?

Do you play the lottery?

So why do we keep on? Passion? Maybe. Foolishness? Maybe that too. Why do you write?

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