Monday, October 26, 2009

Apple Time!

I'm done, but the satisfaction of having written a book in just under two months is tempered by the knowledge that it will have to be completely rewritten. Remember when my middle was truly awful? My book is like a string that is tight at the beginning, but slowly becomes unraveled, leaving several loose strands at the end.

The one good thing about my ending is that, as a couple of you suggested, I now have fodder for a sequel. And I have a better idea of how I want it to end when I rewrite it. Of course I have a feeling that my "the end" may take several tries before I really mean it.

However, I'm done, only I want to say I'm "done." I was going to celebrate with one of those big crunchy caramel apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, but the bad parts of my manuscript want to mock me and ask me if I really deserve that big crunchy caramel apple.

But you know what, Ugly Rough Draft? You can't dissuade me because I am going to turn you into something beautiful. I think you have a lot of potential, even though right now your storyline changes so much you must have Multiple Manuscript Disorder. So there! Now for that caramel apple...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why Moms Enjoy Twilight More Than Teenagers

When I was 17 I liked a boy who was 22, and he liked me. Naturally, my parents were nervous. However, he was fun, made me feel special, and danced with me on a picnic table. And what were my parents worried about? After all, he never so much as kissed me, although he did hold my hand at the horse stable.

After awhile I took my parents counsel to heart, began to see that it wasn't right, and broke it off. Oh yes, and a few months later a girl I was acquainted with was expecting his child, and they got married. Even if it did not end that way for him, the fact remains that my parents knew best, and that although for a few days it was love for me, it wasn't.

It is so easy as a teenager to think that you have met the end all in a boy and love will keep you alive. We remember feeling that way, right? We also realize that most of the time teenage love is not it. So, why are so many teenage girls looking for true love? Maybe they think it will complete that part of them that isn't complete, but how many of us really felt like a whole person as a teenager? I certainly didn't. I was still trying to figure out where I fit in, how I was supposed to act, and who exactly was I anyway?

Books about true love helped to fill that void, and I am probably lucky that Twilight was not published until I was an adult. Otherwise, I may have believed it. I may have believed that meeting a boy and falling in love could make me a whole person. Don't get me wrong about Twilight because this mom is a fan. But I think I can enjoy it so much because it is fiction, whereas I think that for a lot of teenage girls, some whom I have spoken with, hold it up as a standard and are bound for disappointment.

And this brings me down one more avenue of discussion. What is the love story like in your young adult book (for those of us that write in this genre)? My love story kind of starts out as described above, but I don't think it ends that way. I've posted at least one other post along this vein, but I really want my reader to come away thinking I'm awesome rather than me + boy = awesome.

Monday, October 19, 2009


7000 words.

That's all I managed last week, which isn't a bad word count. However, I wanted to finish my book.

But life happened, and then a couple books wanted to be read, and that daunting ending really gave me trouble.

Endings. Harumph. For awhile I was actually afraid of my ending and kind of repelled by my manuscript because it just felt like it was too big for me. I think I am over that for now, and I am pleased that I figured out a big piece of my ending (subject to change of course).

However, winding this book down is difficult. In fact where it is right now could propel my book into a new direction that lasts for tens of thousands of more words, but I won't let it.

My break was good and maybe I'll unplug occasionally, but it's good to be back and active in full blogging mode again.

So here is to finishing my book this week. Hey, not including about five- or six-thousand words I wrote previously, I can then say I wrote my book in 8 weeks.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blogger Break

I am leaving Blogland for a week so I can work on finishing this baby! See you then!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Searching for What Isn't Best

I am a stay-at-home mom. However, I must qualify that because I am mostly a stay-at-home mom. As some of you know, I still work a couple times a month as a cardiac nurse on phone triage. (I used that nursing degree to put my husband through school, but now that he's done I am much happier spending my time with him.)

Today, while working, I identified a particular type of patient. (This has to do with writing. I promise.) This is the I'll-keep-trying-til-I-LIKE-what-you-say patient. These are the patients that call back multiple times, hoping to speak to different people until they hear an answer that they like. (Usually one that doesn't involve changing their medications or undergoing a procedure.)

Sometimes they like to go to more than one practice until they find a doctor that will look at the same test results, but say something different...something like, "No, you DON'T need surgery." I mean, who doesn't like that answer?

They are the patients I offer advice to and then they disagree. I have to ask, (to myself, but okay sometimes not to myself) "Why did you call me then?"

Here is my analogy: (Have you figured it out yet?) I am trying to prep myself for criticism. When my book is good enough to be looked at by somebody else (fear and dread) then I need to be prepared to receive feedback I don't like. I need to find the people that will be honest and not just feed me the "answers" I want.

Example of answer I like: "You are the next Stephenie Meyer and Eron is the next Edward."

Example of answer I don't like: "I don't get it."

And I'm excited because I'm part of a writer's group now! (More later.) So girls, you gotta let me know if I my manuscript needs some serious cardiac intervention.

Incidentally, today is a very proud day for me, as I am the first ever to be awarded with the Evil-Eye Award. Kasie. What will she think of next?

Oh yes, and I have given much thought to the whole no-music-in-my-life thing. I think I will try harder to play more music because I know that it lowers my blood pressure, brings peace of mind, and maybe even heightens my creativity. So today I put in one of my husband's CDs while driving with my son. I asked my son if he liked it, and he said, "Mommy, stop talking." I've been Artist-I-don't-know.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life of Quiet

Jenn tagged me last week, and I am supposed to list seven of my favorite songs. The problem is, I don't listen to music. Ever. I mean, there are certain genres of music that I like, but I really don't listen enough or pay attention enough to list songs.

I'm serious.

I don't even listen to the radio in the car, and while I like to say it is because I am listening to my son talk, I'm more certain it is because in movies devastating car accidents happen with a soundtrack. If I eliminate the soundtrack, I will never get into a devastating car accident.

So, instead I will list seven musical things about me, which is probably cheating.

1) I don't ever listen to music. In case you didn't know.

2) I was in choir in high school. I got to wear these awesome shiny teal dresses with puffy sleeves that I think were designed for our high school choir in the 80's.

3) I was in musicals in high school. Mostly chorus roles, but a few minor roles. My most memorable moment was during the Potiphar dance when I twirled the cane right out of my hands, sending it clattering across the stage, and having to force a smile the rest of the dance while I danced cane-less.

3 1/2) That makes me a choir/drama geek in high school.

4) One of the first times my husband saw me I was singing...a front of hundreds of people (mostly teenagers). Yes, I did mess up by stumbling over a few words, and I'm sure it was because my subconscious and my husband's subconscious were too busy ogling each other.

5) I do like the Les Mis soundtrack. And besides the fact that it stirs something in the very core of my soul, I like it because my husband, who is a man's man, knows every word. He belts it out in the car (he listens to music in the car), vibrato and everything, which is more endearing than soul-stirring, but wonderful.

6) I love Irish music. We even had an Irish band play at our wedding reception. And I guess if I have to list any artist on this post it would be Connie Dover, who grew up in Weston, Missouri, a town nearby that I love.

7) I watched two seasons of American Idol. Starting last year I gave it up because it took too much time. However, I will always have a special place in my heart for David Cook because he's from Blue Springs, Missouri where I lived from baby to five years. And he's adorable.

And now I suppose I need to tag others. Only I've kind of morphed the tag into something unrecognizable. So I will copy Kasie and tag anyone who loves music. Or musical things. Actually, I'd love to find someone who also never listens to music, and then we can be friends.

By the way, once a long time ago Kasie gave me an award, and I never acknowledged it on my blog or passed it on, but I think it is because I was perpetually pukey or maybe somewhere in another country near the Baltic Sea. I don't remember what it was for, though...probably "Best Blog Ever Award" or "I Want To Be You Award." Just mentioning it now so Kasie knows there is no blog-love lost on her, even though I am already on a multiple number of her hate lists.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Truly Awful

As I wrote the first half of my rough draft, I knew that it was just okay and maybe slightly bad which is fine because it's my rough draft. And plus the book had direction and the ideas were spilling off my fingertips, and that bolstered my writing-ego.

However, lately I must say that my rough draft has reached the summit of Truly Awful.

The plotline is kind of spinning around in circles and making me dizzy. The writing, losing its spirit in the face of dizzy plotline, is rudimentary and dull. I feel like my characters are really unexcited about what I am putting them through, and they just aren't delivering their lines. In other words, my dialogue is also Truly Awful.

I am embarassed to read it to myself. Maybe if I just pretend someone else wrote it...

While part of me believes stopping and re-examining the storyline would help, I am more inclined to just plow through without looking back. I just need to get to "the end", and then I can clean up the mess later.

The end is so close. I'm almost there. Must. Keep. Going.