Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm sleepy, I smell like taco meat and I want to go home.

Okay, I didn't really have anything important to say but I felt I must post because I haven't in a while. Also, the title of this post was seriously my slogan at work today and I felt that it was so awesome that I needed to share it with others.
I stayed up way too late the other night reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. It was a good book, a tear jerker really. I know many debate about whether her writing style is the best but for me I couldn't put the book down because I was so anxious to find out what happened to the characters. And I felt a bit personally connected to them in ways. Anyway, in short, I stayed up way too late. I have yet to recover from all this because I haven't had a chance to properly sleep.
So I'm tired and then in my hurried state I somehow thought Taco Bell sounded good for lunch. I hadn't been drinking, which is about the only time I really crave Taco Bell, so I'm not sure what brought this on. My stomach, my breath, the after taste and the grease I drizzled all over my sweater, all made me regret this lunch decision before I even got to work. That's why I smell like taco meat. And it's pretty cold here today so going without the sweater was not an option.
Plus we're in the middle of our SAS sale, which brings out all the wackos and they are not wackos that can help themselves. Well, they won't help themselves. They need EVERYTHING done for them regardless of how many people you are trying to wait on at once.
All of this is why I wanted to go home. And here I am. I'm getting ready to edit a short story and send it to a contest that's deadline is tomorrow. Then I'm sleeping. I'm not even going to read before bed tonight because I'm so tired, plus I have no book to read.

Just watched: The Mist
Just read: Batman: The Long Halloween
Currently listening to: Refuge-Tom Petty

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Long Day

Yesterday I spent over eleven hours at work. I spent most of that time finishing the Golden Notebook and working on my short story-turned novel.

The Golden Notebook was definitely not what I was expecting. There was a lot of communism and a lot of women sleeping with married men. And there were quite a few characters with similar names as characters in Going It Alone such as Anna, Richard, and Tommy. Odd, I know. Also, there were a few similar things that happened to certain characters.
The book did cover an author and the stories she was writing and how her everyday life inspired those, which is what I wrote about. I definitely think it would be a good reference for a query letter but I almost wonder if it's too good of a reference.

As for the short story-turned novel. I'm not sure it's going to be a full novel but we'll see. Part of me thinks I could shorten it and part of me doesn't want to. Also, this is the first time that I've written a story out of order. I know what most of the scenes will be and every now and then I get inspired for something that will happen much later in the story than where I am currently working so I jump ahead. Yesterday, I actually wrote what should be one of the last few scenes.
Of course, this could end up being a big pain if I decide to change something.

Another day of work tomorrow and then I'm off for two days. Although, it never feels like that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We have a winner...sort of.

Okay it looks like the results are in and according to Jenni and D.B.Echo it can go either way pairs or pair. So I wasn't wrong and my boss wasn't right, which makes me happy. Not to mention that Missy, Jenni, myself, two fellow employees and a customer all thought that pairs sounded better so in theory I'm more right. Yay me!
Thanks to everyone for their research and opinions!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Which pair(s)? Huh?

I'm awful. It's been almost a week. How did this happen? Anyway, I have been hard at work. I've done submissions of two different stories, I have been editing Going It Alone and I've been writing in my new story. Also, I'm almost done with the Golden Notebook.
Other than that I don't have much to say. Although, we did have a question at work that I thought would make a good blog topic. I already messaged Jenni about it but I'll share it here as well.
Is it "2 or more pairs" or "2 or more pair"? We were trying to come up with a sign for work that advertised if you buy 2 or more pair(s) of shoes you double your coupon. My boss, the English major, said I was wrong but then two other employees and a customer said I was right. I'm curious. I should go forth and look it up. I'll post my findings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A field trip to other blogs

I was out and about on the Internet yesterday, checking out what fellow writers have to say. I found a few interesting posts through Author's Blogs.

The first was a very interesting post, about a writer's best work and how to know when you've written your best work.
I've never really given much thought to what piece of work is my best work but I hope that I haven't written my all time best work yet. The post really gotten me thinking.

The second had some great links to information for writers. I was happy to follow the links for advice on the importance of others critiquing your work. It had me longing for my defunct writing group and wishing for a new one.

The third blog had a post about what kind of things not to begin a novel with. Both of my novels start with something on the list so I stressed out. Then I read the comments and people talked about how there aren't any rules and everyone's got to do their own thing, which I agree with. That made me feel better, and while I may consider an eventual change, I won't be freaking out and changing the beginnings before going to bed tonight.

Of course, I guess it doesn't matter what my first novel begins with because I doubt I'll ever try to publish it and I kind of knew that when I started writing it. It was my test run, a lesson in novel writing, before I get to my best work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Today's not as bad as it seems

I must admit, there are a lot of things that happened today that would put me in the not best of moods, but for some reason I'm doing okay. I have a few ideas as to why I'm not so upset. Maybe I'm learning not to sweat the little things, maybe I'm just becoming to use to things going badly, maybe there are actually good things in my life out weighing the bad. Maybe it's a little of all of the above.
All I know is that I had intended to complain about all the reasons I'm annoyed with my boss, fellow employees, the United States Postal Service and the state of Michigan, but after a few minutes of annoyance I've calmed down.
Now my plan is to take it easy. I'm getting into bed with a notebook and a novel. First, I'll write in the notebook and then I'll read the novel until I'm sleepy.
I'd say I'll hope for a better day tomorrow but today was actually pretty good, despite all the bad things. I think that's a win for me, right?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Post-Birthday Report

I'm officially a year older. I had a pretty good birthday. Once again, my partner in crime and writing, Ms. Jenni, hooked me up. I got a Superman lunch box filled with wicked cool stuff. I got a pen, a journal, editing pencils and a new flash drive! Of course, the best gift was getting to see Jenni! YAY!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fake out phone calls and hopefully no fake candles

There are a few science fiction and fantasy stories that I have had laying around for awhile. My only problem is that there aren't a lot of magazines that publish this kind of fiction. At least not as many compared to those that publish literary, mainstream and contemporary.
So eventually I happened upon the Writer's of the Future contest. Yes, the same one started by the creator of Scientology.
They look for unpublished science fiction and fantasy writer's. This isn't the first time I had sent a story for their contest. In previous times they have sent an e-mail "we got your entry" and another "thanks but no thanks". Needless to say I was floored when I got home and found a message from them on my machine.
Don't get too excited that's what I did to. No, there weren't any problems with my entry. The lady that entered my entry noticed my address and realized she had grown up right near where I live. She wanted me to call back and tell her all about Lansing.
I knew she had nothing to do with who wins the contest, but it can never hurt to be nice or to "know someone" so I called. Sadly, there wasn't much different about Lansing except we have a minor league baseball team, the Lansing Lugnuts. And they no longer make sense since all of our GM plants are now gone, which was also a highlight. Anyone who has lived here before last year can tell you how weird it looks now that the GM plants are no longer standing.
Anyway, she didn't think I would call and she was super nice. She told me this was the best contest to get a start at and to keep writing. She also said she would root for me to win.

It was pleasant but I still can't help feeling it was a little bit of a bad joke like birthday candles that relight themselves after you blow them out. Maybe that's not the best analogy because the phone call was not meant to be a joke. I only used that comparison because it made a good lead in to the next thing I was going to say.

Tomorrow is another birthday for me. I get a three day weekend. I have lots of stuff to do but it's my birthday so if I don't get it done, it's the one time I can't be mad at myself.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Writing, editing and reading novels while slacking off at work

Yesterday, I worked a 12 hour shift. Since there were few customers I managed to write, read and work on submissions.
I worked more on my short story that I'm pretty sure needs to be a novel now. I've just barely got the story going and I'm already at 10,000 words. Novel for sure. Yikes, how did that happen?
I continue to read the Golden Notebook, and of course someone lent my Magic Study yesterday. I'm going to end up with another giant "to read" pile.
I'm heading off to work tonight at the slightly busier store so I'll probably work on editing Going It Alone.

It's a short post so here's a video from Going It Alone's playlist.

Someday by Nickelback

*Question: My spell check says it should be play list but my music player says playlist, any thoughts?

Monday, April 07, 2008

What was your name again?

A while back I gave a pseudo-description of the style in which I wrote Going It Alone, in hopes that someone would be able to suggest a book written in similar fashion, that I could then reference in my query letter. One of the suggestions was The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing.
At the time I was still absorbed in the Sword of Truth series but I figured I'd get around to reading it once I was done.
I kind of forgot about it until I was at the library today looking for Magic Study, the sequel to Poison Study, but that was checked out. Since I'm a little financially challenged at the moment buying the book I wanted was out of the question so waiting on that book was the only option. But what to read in the meantime? How about the Golden Notebook, which is not only reading but research to see if it really was the book I was looking for.
They had it and I started reading it and I was flustered by the first page of the story. Why, you ask? Because the book's main character, who is writing about writing a story, her name is Anna. Guess what the main character's name, in Going It Alone, who is a writer writing about writing a story, is? Anna.
And yes the book does seem to be written in similar fashion, so it would be a good reference in a query. I just don't know if I should use it now. Should I change my character's name?Or reference it without changing the name. After all it was mere coincidence. Of course, they could assume I'm doing a The Hours/Mrs. Dalloway thing where one book is written about the other. That assumption would be wrong since I hadn't even heard of the Golden Notebook until Going It Alone was finished. Hmm... something to think about.
I guess I should finish the book and look for any other similarities before I stress about this.

Just watched: Disturbia

Friday, April 04, 2008

Another long day

I spent eight hours at work yesterday with a total of three customers all day. Needless to say I got a lot of writing done on my story. I also went through my Writer's Market trying to figure some things out.
And to top it all off I started a new book. It's called Poison Study by Maria Snyder. It's published by Luna the fantasy branch of Harlequin. I didn't know that when I started reading it. Not that I have anything against romance novels, they're just not usually what I read. Anyway, I started reading it with optimism. It was recommended to me by a friend with similar reading interest and it has four and a quarter stars on Goodreads.com. So far it's a good book but no romance yet. I can see very slight potential for a romance but I'm nearly half way through. I guess we shall see.
It's also got a sequel as well, Magic Study so if this one is good I'll have something to read next.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The good kind of rejection

I got a rejection letter for one of my short stories, Something Better, in the mail today. I'm usually bummed by rejection but I've gotten used to it. Today was a little more pleasant than usual. It wasn't just a "Dear Author" letter. Of course, it got my hopes up slightly when it's actually addressed to me.
The magazine took the time to write me a letter telling me their thoughts on my story. They thought it was a good idea and that it was a good start but that too much happens too fast. They suggested that it could be flushed out into a novel.
I had never really considered it for this story, but the more I think about it the more seems like I could merge this story with an idea I had for a novel. It might work. It's definitely something to think about.
Regardless, it made my day. I get so many generic rejection letters and I wonder if my work was even given a fair chance or if it was just not that good. Even if the letter I got today was still a "no" the fact that they took the time to tell me why is more than most so that must mean there was something good about it. Maybe it's not a major accomplishment but it's reassuring and some days I need that.
It also motivates me. I push myself to try even harder when I start to realize that maybe I'm not so bad at this.