Sunday, April 29, 2007

Group work?

Goodness time flies. I can't believe the weekend is over and once again I got nothing done.
I did do one small, little thing but it wasn't actual writing. Lately, I've been frustrated because I feel like there must be a reason my writing isn't getting published. I know there can be many factors as to why and that even if my writing is great, I may still never get published. But before I go spending tons of money sending out submissions I would like to get some feedback on my stories so I can make sure they are not absolute crap. Of course, I show my writing to a few non-writers and I get the "that's really good" but since they have nothing to back it up with they could be lying to spare my feelings and if they aren't lying it would be nice to know why so I can do it again. So I've been trying to find a writing group in my area.
Also it would be nice to have some supportive writing friends. Don't worry I'm not forgetting about Jenni. I have asked her to look at some of my writing, other than my parts of Behind the Naugahyde. Believe me there is no better editor and reader than her, at least not that I have met but she is a busy lady. She's working hard teaching high school students to be great writers, readers and thinkers.
Anyway, I found a list of writing groups on the library website and I e-mailed the contact people to see what kind of writing group they were and if they were adding new members. Hopefully, I'll hear back with some good news. If not I'll try to find an online writing group but I feel like I'll be more committed if it's a face-to-face group. I get horrible anxiety when I think there's a chance that I'll run into someone I let down.
I just hope a writers group gets me back into the swing of things.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stamped on

In a few weeks the price of postage will go from $.39 to $.41. I still have a stack of $.02 stamps from when they changed it from $.37 not so long ago so I'm excited I will get the chance to use those up. And I'm not really mad about having to pay an extra $.02. What I wish is that they would announce this much further in advance. Remember back in January when I sent out all those submissions. The self-addressed stamped envelopes that I sent with all those submissions, in hopes of a reply, all had $.39 stamps on them and I've only gotten responses from about a quarter of those. Sometimes responses take six months to a year. I'm pretty sure that small literary magazines are not going to go buy a bunch of $.02 to fix this problem, if they even pay attention to the postage on the stacks of self-addressed stamped envelopes that they deal with daily. The reason I'm fairly certain that one of those theories is true is because I did not get one submission response after they changed postage rates last time.
It would seem like it's no big deal because they are all rejection notices anyway and if on the off chance someone did accept my story they might spring for $.02 or not even use the self-addressed stamped envelope but rather a nice big envelope with lots of cool published writer stuff in it. But the truth is I like my rejection letters. Sometimes they give me good advice, they always make me feel like I'm at least trying and if I completely fail as a writer, at least I can have the world record for most rejection ever endured by one person. And that is a goal all in itself.
Anyway, at least this time they are fixing that problem by creating the "forever stamp" that will always be good even if the rate increases again.

Just watched: The Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Answers to questions

Yesterday, I went to the LAAN (Lansing Area AIDS Network) volunteer appreciation party and was so excited to get my first responses to my written interview/surveys that I handed out. The volunteer coordinator said he had been working on it all day and his answers were great. They were just the kind of information I was looking for.
Of course now the pressure's on because I had to tell people why I wanted them to answer these questions so they know I'm writing a novel. That means I actually have to write it now. I can't back out of it and I have to do a good job too. I'm excited about the questionnaires, though. My hope is to realistically write about HIV, those who have it and the way it has affected our society, and hopefully do that well. That's why I've been asking for help from people who have dealt with it so much.
Although, I was a little bit worried about it because I asked some really crazy questions about "what if" scenarios. I thought they might think that I thought those "what if" situations were good ideas. Unfortunately, when writing fiction, you have to think like the good person and the bad person. Otherwise it gets kind of boring.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Birthday, BTN and comic books

I finally completed my part of chapter 11 of Behind the Naugahyde and shipped it off to Jenni. Not to get too far ahead of ourselves but once we're finished with our current chapters, 10,11,12, I think that it won't be many more chapters before we're done. It is so weird to have an ending in site, well kind of sorta anyway.

I have to admit that last week was crazy and I got nothing done. Thankfully though, the reason I didn't get anything done this weekend was because I was busy hanging out with my awesome friends, celebrating my birthday.
Not many people know this but I felt like the last year of my life was cursed. I know, crazy. But a day after my last birthday my landlord called and kicked me out of my house and after that it was money battles with him that lead to other money problems, a car that took off on its own and then finally wouldn't move at all, lots of medical problems with my family and so much other stuff. And since it all started right after my birthday I was convinced it was going to be a cursed year. So far this one is starting off pretty awesome. There have been problems but everything seems to be working itself out and maybe its just my determination that this is going to be a happy new year of my life. I'm very excited.

I did buy another giant stack of comics this weekend. That seems to be how I'm buying them these days. Am I the only person in the world that's bummed that Marvel's Dark Tower by Stephen King series is exactly like the book? Did I already complain about this? And my goodness I can't believe it's been almost a year since 52 started. Also I'm hearing super bad things about the new Wonder Woman writer but I bought them so I could decide for myself.

Tomorrow I'm back at work and I hope that this week I get started on some serious research or some character workouts for my new novel.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


YAY! I just got home from seeing RENT again! I am so excited because not only did I get to see RENT, LAAN(Lansing Area AIDS Network) threw an after party where you could meet the cast and crew. I didn't know about it until I was leaving the show with my fellow RENT goers and I saw some of the LAAN staff. I stopped by to say "hi" because none of us had the $50 per person fee for the after party (it's not that outrageous because it is for charity). The LAAN staff was so awesome because they invited all of us to stay for free! I was so out of mind with excitement. I got to meet and chat with the cast of the RENT national tour. It was so exciting. I got them all to sign my RENT poster. I was bummed because even if my camera had been working I wouldn't have brought it since I had no clue about the party and it's not allowed in the theater. It was so amazing. The biggest bummer was that Jenni couldn't be there with me.
And the show was unbelievable. I wanted to jump out of my seat when they started singing RENT, I got goose bumps when Roger started singing One SongGlory and when they sang Seasons Of Love, I was in tears when Mimi sang Goodbye Love and when Collins sang the I'll Cover You reprise and I didn't even realize I was moving along with Today For You Tomorrow For Me, La Vie Boheme and the Tango Maureen until people told me after the show. I want to see it a hundred more times. The music and lyrics have so much meaning and are so powerful and the cast's performance is always so intense. Once again I can't rave about it enough.

I know that I may seem obsessed with RENT and the truth is that I am. This is one of those things that I have writer's envy over. I wish I had written something so amazing that touches so many people. Johnathon Larson made something so incredible and I can't imagine every being able to create something like it.
The reason I love it so much is because I relate to it. There are tons of things about RENT that make me think of my own life. I would list them all but lots of it is just too personal to share with any random people that may wander by. But one reason fits right in on my blog about writing.
No one in my family gets me and a lot of my 'friends' don't either. I'm not even entirely sure that any of them remember I write and that's probably because I make very little money doing it. Alright, I make no money! Anyway, you get a good job that earns you lots of money. That makes you successful which equals happiness. That's what they think anyway.
I've rarely had more money than enough to cover the bills in all my life. Sometimes I can't even pay the bills. And I'm okay with that because I want to enjoy what I do. I don't want to spend my whole life working to pay the bills and be completely unhappy. I want to do what I love and writing is one of those things for me even if I don't make money at it. When I try to explain this to my family they look at me like I'm nuts. When I got this new "good job" my family wondered why I wasn't ecstatic but my first thought was 'when will I have time to write, and paint and play my guitar and I be all alone with no one to talk to'. I wasn't happy about it and I'm still not sure it was the right choice. But to my family it was the only choice because having money makes you happy. That's why when I see RENT, and there are people who are okay with being poor as long as they have time to spend on the things that really matter to them, I don't feel alone. I think to myself 'wow someone finally gets it'. And that's just one of the reasons that I love it so much.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Questionnaires and work

I wasn't going to post today because I had absolutely nothing to write about. However, I didn't want to go more than a week without posting in fear that people would give up on my little blog and I would lose the few readers I have managed to get.

So what's been going on in my world of writing? Well I did manage to get my written interview done for the novel I plan on starting. I would have preferred face-to-face interviews but the people I plan on asking the questions all have very crazy schedules that pretty much include them working while I'm working. And somehow I don't see my boss giving me time off to do research on a novel. Anyway, since I had to give written questionnaires now I have to hope that somebody sends it back and in a timely fashion. I don't want to call people bugging them when they are graciously helping me out. I did include self-addressed stamped envelopes so hopefully that helps.

I finally got around to typing up the few pages of Behind the Naugahyde that I managed to write at work the last few weeks but nothing new yet. I thought this week at work would be a great time to get writing done since I wouldn't have to worry about my boss coming in but unfortunately that's not the case. I had to spend the last two days calling a woman asking to charge $50 to her credit card because of a mistake an employee made this weekend. I wish it had been just one mistake but it was four mistakes that cost the store about $200 total. So I didn't get to write because first I had to figure out what happened then try to fix it. Thankfully my boss is in Mexico and will hopefully come back in a very good mood, doubtful but you never know. And no I'm not mad that I actually had to work at work. I just hate having to be the one to tell employees they messed up and tell customers 'we need our money back'. It's not fun. Good book material but seriously not enjoyable in anyway.

And of course nothing else got done this weekend while I had time off. I attended a funeral and a wedding on Saturday which was definitely a first for me.
This weekend coming up is going to be hectic with Easter on Sunday and I'm going to see RENT on Saturday. That means I better get something done during the week.

Just watched: Dancing with the Stars
Just saw: Blades of Glory
Finally read: 52 #40-45 (I know I'm still behind)