Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Battle Bitterness and Despair with a Little Gratitude!

A downer day. A period of dejection. Insecurity. Loneliness. Times where everyone seems to be either walking over you or aiming at you with a steamroller. Everyone has these.

My best solution for getting out of these kinds of pits: forget about yourself. When things are at its blackest, search for someone else who is struggling and help them out. Unable to find an immediate service project? Make a list of things you're grateful for.

Since I'm surfacing from a very black period, myself, I thought I'd share some of my thankful list. Also noting how grateful I am that I did find some people to focus on rather than sit and stew over myself for the past week.

1- I am grateful for my mother. Not for the usual things only. I'm grateful she is a writer. I never received those "You must be crazy" or "Writing's just a hobby, right, dear?" looks from her. She understood. She persevered. She knows the sting of rejection. She knows how much a full-rewrite or line edit can take out of you. I can talk writing shop to her without having to stop and explain terminology or how the industry works. I've learned from some of her mistakes and she's learned from some of mine.

2- I'm grateful for the eccentric, oddball family I grew up in. We were geeks. We had lots of inside jokes and could carry on conversations in complete movie quotes. We mashed things up, spent entire evenings sitting around talking, and gave each other hugs each night before bed.

3- I'm grateful for my husband. He believes in me, pushes me, tries to conquer my insecurity dragons with the wave of a cape. When I become so stressed that I can't sleep, health issues flare up, and I have to pace, he lets me vent. He makes me laugh and can disarm my anger swiftly. I don't know what I'd do without him.

4- I'm grateful for my children. I love their imaginations, their questions, and their ideas. We have great conversations. I learn a lot from them. They accept the fact that mom does this writing thing nearly every day and take stabs at it themselves. We read together every day. The weekly trip to the library is always anticipated with excitement and when they've finished reading a book they like to give me a full synopsis along with their feelings about it.

5- I'm grateful that I have a life outside of writing. Without it, I would have been lost the past week. I have other creative outlets, books to read for fun, experiments in the kitchen to make, people to visit in person to talk to, places I like to go, and a newly fixed piano to express my feelings upon.

So there are my top five. How about you?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blog Tag: The Next Big Thing

Hopeful, if presumptuous title, isn't it?

My friend (read between the lines to mean verbal sparring partner during chats, someone who makes me laugh, and fellow writer on AQC) Peter Burton asked me if I would like to participate in the latest popular blog meme. I thought "Sure, sounds like fun!" Easier said than done, once I realized that I'd have to actually talk about not only myself but my writing. *Gulp*

As a reader, pleasure or beta, I'm pretty confident. As a writer, I hold no "delusions of gradeur." There are tons of good writers out there. Click on Peter's name and follow his links back to some of the other participants. Great stuff, some of which I wish were in print already so I could read them.

Part of the game is asking other writers to jump on board. It seems my pool of friends and acquaintances have either been tagged or aren't interested. However, if anyone reading this wants to do it too, go ahead. If you want me to link to your post, be sure to tell me. The Next Best Thing posts go up every Wednesday.

Alright, so here are the questions EDIT - my answers have been removed for privacy purposes:
1- What is the working title of your book?

2- Where did the idea for the book come from?

3- What genre does your book fall under?

4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

8- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

9- Who or what inspired you to write this book?

10- What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

And now, back to focusing on other things and other people.
Tell me which of those questions makes you inwardly quake or have to puzzle over it for awhile. Have you ever resurrected an old manuscript for a makeover and how did it go?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Epic Quest: Update #3

Here are some more epic resources for those of you writing and trying to sell epic novels.

The Epic Fantasy Books Blog posts new releases monthly. A great place to check out the competition and find comparative titles.

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Fantastic site. You can look up authors, find their bibliographies, dates, awards, new release updates, and much more.

Locus Online Magazine. An industry standard for all things speculative fiction. Author interviews, blogposts, awards news, new releases, lists of small presses, movie news, reviews - and I could go on. A great place to keep tabs on whether writing epic speculative fiction or not.

QueryTracker is not only a great place to keep your queries organized, but they also have a fairy up-to-date (but always double-check) list of who represents whom. The success story list can also give you a pretty good idea of the word counts that are making it through, in which genres, and to which agents.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Blog Spotlights #25: Everything Speculative Fiction

Technically, Everything Speculative Fiction, is more of an online newsletter than a blog. But it links to blogposts, articles, and other current updates from many sources, all in one convenient location. Edited by Kimiko, aka @kimidreams on Twitter.

Topics include: Stories, Education, Art & Entertainment, Leisure, Society, Technology, #kidlitcares. There are also videos of interviews, book signings, and links to book related news articles.

You can subscribe to the newsletter and follow updates on Twitter.

Pop on over and check it out.