Monthly Archives: January 2011

And Then What?

Barring any major catastrophes, I’ll *finally* be sending off my Requested Full this week, and I’m not sure how I feel right now.

Along the way, I’ve been elated that someone besides me liked the story, frustrated that the editing wasn’t as simple as I hoped, and embarrassed that it took so long.  And if I’m 100% honest, at times I was jealous when I saw others doing their edits so much faster.  I grew tired of the characters, had them surprise me, and at the end I love them like when I first sat down to write them.

While getting my last read through I turned my brain to the next project and got stuck.  None of my WIPS seemed to jump up and go “Oh, oh, Me Next!”  Likewise, none of the new shineys I’ve gotten lately seemed appropriate either.  There’s also the full length that I got a request for that still isn’t fully edited (ugh).

So the game plan is to finish final tweaks on this novella and send, finish rough draft of WIP that has the shortest deadline, and then back to edits on the full length.  We’ll see how that goes.

Sasha

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The Downside of Publishing…

I should be thrilled. Buzzing even. Dancing on clouds. I’ve completed my next book, Forsaking Eternity. I’m being published for the second time.

So why am I not thrilled? Well, part of me is. I’ve made a sale. My next angel is going to be coming out… er, and it’s an m/m, so he’s really coming out… and I’m going to qualify as multi-published. But between now and then comes…

*GASP*

The paperwork.

As I write this blog, I’m up to my eyeballs in sorting contact forms, hunting down new forms, going over my cover art form, and trying to figure out of there are any other forms that need to go with all of these. The legalese, with all its T crossing and I dotting, leaves me feeling more than a little lost on the best of days. I think i need a little lawyer fairy who presents me with forms, tells me to sign here and there, and then sends them to the right place for me. Why? Because I am convinced I’m screwing everything up and selling the book to martians when I have to figure it out myself. I’m a creative person. All this contract stuff conflicts with creativity.

Unfortunately, there is not lawyerly fairy. I have to slog thorugh all the contractual information myself. But the good news is that by the end of the day it will all be done and Forsaking Eternity will be taking that first step on the road to you.

If I can get the paperwork figured out.

Voirey

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Definitely More Tortoise, Than Hare

Confession time: I’m more tortoise than hare.

Yes, shocking I know.  Or at least shocking to me.  With any other mental endeavor, I’m definitely the hare (sans the cockiness that caused the failure).  Give me any other task and watch me knock it out of the park, most often in record time.

Give me a MS to self edit and watch me grind to a halt.  Other tasks have a definitive desired outcome: I’ve solved for Y,  the colors all align on the Rubik cube, the reports are 100% accurate.  Writing is so subjective, it’s frustrating.  (I always like to refer to Titanic, which I thought was a 3 hr yawn fest and my friends thought was worth seeing in the theaters multiple times).

At the end of the day, the worst that can happen is a “no” which won’t kill me.  But knowing that doesn’t stop me from agonizing over every verb, POV/scene change or (when I really get going) the entire premise of the story itself.  The one thing that *does* keep me going is knowing that I will one day win the race.  Others might get there faster, but I’ll get there eventually.

Sasha

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My Advice to Writers

A few years ago I sat down and got serious about writing. I’d given stories halfhearted tries before, spent chunks of time in hobbyist mode, but that time I was serious about honing my craft and making that leap from writer to published author.

I sat down and combed the internet for information on style and the what-not-to-dos that would mark me as the dreaded ‘rank amateur’ unworthy of a contract. Most importantly, I took notes on the ‘never-ever’ lists. The ones that told me to never use an – ly adverb and that the word ‘was’ is passive. One POV per scene. Don’t use dialog tags beyond s/he said. Never use a semicolon. Never use an exclamation point.

The list of things to never do seemed endless, but being a determined writer, I sat down with a short story and edited it, working my way down the list one forbidden bit at a time. I cut, reworded, polished… did everything required of me according to the collected advice of people I believed knew the ropes. Then I read the finished product.

The story was ruined. Totally and completely.

It took me all of ten seconds to throw out that list. For writing, it was useless, but it did teach me something important.

Those rules that “everybody” chants as their writing mantra are a bunch of crap.

You heard me. There are a lot of things being tossed around the writing world as gospel truth that are flat-out wrong. You can use adverbs. Was isn’t passive. Dialog tags are perfectly acceptable, as are semicolons and exclamation points.

So, if all of these no-nos aren’t really no-nos, why does “everybody” tell you not to do them?

Simple answer: People don’t know how to use them and it’s easier to just say don’t do it than to learn the right way to use them.

My best writing advice on this subject is simple. If someone tells you that any word, any part of speech, any punctuation, or any technique is completely off-limits, make sure you are using it the right way instead of eliminating it. Then ignore the advice.

Nothing is forbidden in writing, You just have to know how to do it right.

Voirey

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What’s going on for 2011?

That’s a good question! haha

I know I’ll have edits sometime soon for The Game Of Love, for Carina. Probably in February, maybe early March. That’s definitely something new, seeing how a new editor handles edits. Plus, this is my first full length work. I wonder if it will really take three times as long as my novellas to edit.

I am finishing up Book One of my Semper Fi series trilogy. Timothy and Skye’s story is an interesting one. I keep finding little bits of myself in Skye. Not a lot, but little bits. There is nothing, however, of my husband in Tim! haha Then of course, I’ll be writing books two and three.

And past that, who knows? If there’s time between books, I might start research for a new series. I’ve got a few that I’m interested in doing, not sure which one I’ll go with quite yet. Definitely food for thought.

And along the way I’ll be working on updating and continuing to make changes with my website.

Oh, and I’ll be heading to RWA conference in New York this year! I’m very excited for that, since I think my husband and I will be turning the trip into a bit of a “second honeymoon”…except we never really got a first! ha But hey, a trip to New York for our 5 year anniversary (this April) sounds good to me!

Jeanette

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New Year, New Thought Process

I was raised that you bring in the New Year at peak of Youness.  This meant your house was spotless, you were groomed to Red Carpet Readiness, and all your business was handled.  You brought in the year as you intended for the rest of it to go.

This year I rung in the New Year lying on a couch in my jammies, mentally floaty due to pain medications.  In fact, I had to set my alarm to ensure I would be awake for the ball drop.  The Old me would have lamented that my 2011 was going to suck out loud and that I might as well not try.

But I thought about it.  I’ve been New Year Ready for most of my 31 years, and that perfection lasts 3 weeks tops.  I’ve had varying levels of success, but I’m sure it had nothing to do with my perfect outfit or my pristine closet — though I do long for both.

Due to my tooth, I had to research, I had to be proactive (I don’t believe I’ve ever scheduled so many appointments in one go before), I had to adapt knowing I couldn’t do things the way they needed to be done.  Again, I’ve had varying levels of success, but this time, I didn’t feel a crushing sense of failure. And that has made all the difference.

Sasha

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Snowdays…

Snow!

I can hear the word ringing through the house. The kids are thrilled of course. We didn’t get a lot, a couple of inches, but in this part of the world, snow means no school. We just aren’t equipped to deal the the fluffy stuff.

Well, snow days for them mean unproductive days for me. I can’t write hot smexxiness with kids squabbling, video games blasting and the kids going in and out of the house all day.

When I was a kid I loved snow. Living on the great plains, we got tons of it. I remember drifts which went to the roof of the school buildings. The sun would melt the top layer, then when the temps dropped, a glaze of ice would form. It was strong enough a smaller kid could walk right up to the roof of the building. We would sled on the drifts. Build forts. Have snowball wars.

Freeze out butts off.

I’m older now. Cold isn’t something I see the need to tolerate, and it certainly isn’t fun for me.

So, until the kids go back to school, I think I’m going to hole up with my Kindle and read.

Any of you have snowday books on your to-do list?

 

Voirey

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