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Rain outside, Rain in my head

rainI live in Virginia, and although we dodged the Hurricane, we’ve been getting a lot of rain. I’m pretty sure that’s why I’ve been a little more sluggish than usual. Hence, the rain in my head title!

So the workshop I was so gung-ho on? Well, I slowly became lazy and stopped participating. I mean, come on! I couldn’t hang in there for a few more weeks? Evidently not. In my defense I had a few things going on. Work, writing, editing, my other job, painting a new room in the house… the poor, long list goes on. Fear not, I intend to print out all the lectures and read them with great concern. I will prevail with giving more meat to my characters in my books.

Last week I committed myself to self-publishing my YA novel. I never set out to write young adult, but I had this story haunt me at all hours of the day and night. Tapping on my brain, sending me dialogue through the inner speakers of my mind. I couldn’t take it. One day I sat down and began writing Lacy’s story. It had to be written. Otherwise I’d get no rest. So I’ve handed it over to a very experienced editor in this genre. She will read it, shape it, take the knife to a couple areas, probably, then return it to me in better shape than I handed her. Hopefully.

Then I will take the path of the unknown and publish it for reader consumption. Not really sure how it will play out, but I’m up for the challenge. I didn’t really seek a publisher for this because I don’t intend to write many more young adults. But who knows, another sad little character might take up space in my head until I write her story, too. Now to think of a new pen name, since it’s YA. It’s so much fun getting the chance to name yourself again!

If you’re getting rain, stay dry. If it’s sunny and beautiful where you live, consider yourself blessed. Actually, consider yourself blessed either way. But for some reason, I think my backyard is holding in one large burp from all the water its taken in:)

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Workshop Anyone?

WORKSHOPSeptember. The month the children go back to school, the month flowers seem as if they can’t go one day more smiling and blooming, and the month I thought I’d participate in a workshop. I’m usually the type that likes to saunter into a strange environment, find the seat at the front, and sharpen my pencil for some really good, mind-blowing note taking. Not this time. This time it was online. Online? How would I get anything out of it, I asked no one not listening. Still I signed up and introduced myself, as best I could, on the internet…wearing my pajamas! No one knew…right?

What can I say? It’s absolutely wonderful. I’m all about learning. You can think you know all there is to know about…say, bird watching. Then sign up for a class on it and learn at least ten new nuggets. Not that I, in any way, know all there is to writing. But for my one particular book I thought I had it figured out. Turns out it’s all wrong. Well maybe not every page, but the beginning sure enough is. This story stays stuck on the forefront of my brain. I loved writing it. It found me one day. Actually one night. I dreamed about the plot and then sat down at my computer for the next three months and bled away. But something is wrong with it. It staggers along, not getting enough oxygen, blabbering in my thoughts, reaching out for help. Lucky for me I believe my workshop is revealing the hiccups. Thank goodness:)

I had my best friend read the first two chapters, as always. She rarely finishes any of my books because I don’t send her more, but she never could get trapped in the pages of this one. Said my writing was different…aloof. Hmm…but it seemed right when I wrote it. So I stepped back for nine months, let it breathe, and am now taking a class for its malady, and I think I’ll have it licked!!! Happy dance for me. I’m so excited to be pushed and to be challenged with the way I thought it was right. Here’s a quick snapshot of my characters:

Meet Claire. She’s from Queens, New York. Raised by a loving mother (her only relative in the world), but never had more than hand-me-downs to wear and a lanky body that grew before she did. She’s just graduated from college, having lost her mother to multiple sclerosis in her last semester, and is now visiting (for the last time) the summer cottage of a family she spent time with growing up.

Claire-Danes-claire-danes-32910440-1920-1200

Now meet Colin. He’s the son of a wealthy entrepreneur. He attended college in London and hasn’t been back to the beach house for five years. Hasn’t seen Claire or the beautiful woman she’s become. This is the last summer before his father burdens him with the responsibility of taking over the family business. It’s also the summer he falls for Claire, the wrong girl for him by all of his father’s accounts. The girl who will challenge his thinking about what he really wants to do with his life.

COLIN