Sunday, April 24, 2011

New Authors Fellowship Reminder

I think it's going to become standard practice that Sundays around these parts are going to point to the New Authors Fellowship, since I'm blogging over there once a week.

S here it is, this week's link to my post: Of Easter and Ebooks Seems unconnected? You're right. I didn't try to connect them over there, but I'd still be gratified if you read the two "miniposts" over there.

I think next week is going to be "Beauty in the Weeds," inspired by a dandelion bouquet my 6 year old strenuously worked to pick as a surprise.

I hope you all had a Easter full of rejoicing. Now get thee over to NAF and comment. ;)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Curtain Closes

Here it is Saturday, and I'm writing this post from the business center of the LaQuinta Inn and Suites I spent the night in, (which, by the way, was unexpectedly nice) since my laptop and the internet access here had a tenuous truce between them, as best I could tell. I decided not to wake up the old laptop this morning, since who knows what surly early morning maneuvers it might have pulled.

I failed on my promise to blog daily about this trip, but well, I got too busy writing. Which is a good thing. I hit my stride on Wednesday morning, and since then have cranked out a handful of new scenes and nuanced countless existing areas of The Sword of the Patron.

So, in reflection, what am I coming away from this trip having gained? This won't be an exhaustive list, I'm sure.

Traveling alone is much easier than traveling with small children, but the wonder they have when they see things for the first time is well worth all the juggling at airport security as you wrestle 3 pairs of little boy feet from their sneakers. I wish they (and my husband, of course) could have been with me to go to Snow Canyon, for instance.

The secular writing market, at least from Dave Wolverton's perspective, is a lot less rules-bound than the Christian market. It felt good to be able to write and just turn off the internal editor that often hollers at me about word count. (Let's face it. I'm well over 90,000 words at this point, which closes a lot of publishing options to me anyway. I might as well write what needs to be told and shoot for the markets that don't care about wordcount until you start getting in excess of 150,000 words.)

Will you still love me if I publish in the secular market? It's on the table as a possibility.

The ebook is going to turn publishing on its head in the next five years, and well it should. I'll post a link later, but there's tangible evidence the big New York publishing houses are cooking the books beyond well-done when it comes to reporting on ebook sales, as a desperate grab at something buoyant in a sinking market. Shame on them for being scummy, but they'll reap what they sow. And I'm sure this practice is not isolated to big secular publishers. I wish I could say without reservation that Christian publishers would never do such a thing, but desperation is a powerful motivator, and publishing everywhere has taken a hit.

There's more, but if I'm going to go snuffle around the breakfast at my hotel before I need to hit the airport, my deadline is upon me. Thanks for dropping in, and my your Easter be filled with the joy of life Everlasting!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's come to this...

Writing Adventure, Day 3

I've officially hit the moment where I can't go on without some caffiene, I'm am sorry to report. In an effort to avoid the other less than desirable effects of the mini-drug, I decided I was going to try to do without as much as possible while I'm out here. Well, when I woke up this morning and felt like my head weighed about 250 pounds and I couldn't have strung a conherent sentence together had anyone actually spoken to me, I gave up the fight.

Now, mind you, that's not straight coffee in that cup. I'm not a coffee drinker, unless it clearly tastes like something else. I poured a packet of hot chocolate mix into that cup first, then added coffee instead of water. The result was reasonably palatable, to my taste. Though I'm wondering what would happen if I threw one of the Werther's Originals hard candies that are sitting on the microwave cart in my room in there.

But anyway, since I am in a state where I need pseudo-coffee to function at all, I fear I have no poignant analogy for you today. All I can say is: this writing stuff is hard. The first draft came easy. People said it would. Now that I'm trying to go back and analyze everything I did by instinct on the first pass? That's a whole different story. I admire those people who can use the snowflake method and have everything in place before they pen a single sentence. But then I wonder, is that just swapping the long, hard work in the beginning, where I'm doing it at the end? Maybe I'll try to be an in-depth outliner for the NEXT book, and then I can see just how the process plays out in contrast.

For now, my task is to take what's left in my unanalyzed, instinctual yarn, and calculate everything for maximum emotional impact. No wonder I'm exhausted. Reader manipulation is tiring.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Out West Writing Adventure, Day 2

You know what's cool about hanging around with a whole bunch of writers? They all have really big vocabularies. And nobody looks at you strange if you choose a word from your working lexicon that is a little, well, off-beat.

You know what's not so cool about hanging around with a lot of writers? The creeping sense of mediocrity that can set in...a feeling of being mediocre in a world where mediocrity is a death sentence.

So, that's where I am today: enjoying the conversations between people who "get" the writer thing, because let's face it, few do, and yet floundering in a thick mire of inadequacy. Certainly, the critiques I got back didn't say "I'm sorry, but this really stinks." But neither did they say, "Holy frijoles, you are so awesome I can't see how you will be able to avoid selling 8 million books the first day you release."

It reminds me of the bible verse that tells us that we should either be hot or cold, for those who are lukewarm are worthy of little more than being spat into a napkin. It's clear, in my writing endeavors, that I'm not cold. That would be easy. I could just say, "Hoo-boy, I stink at this" and never give it another thought. But I think, on the spectrum, I'm a few shades warmer than that temperature you take a bite of and worry if perhaps salmonella has gotten a foothold in that particular buffet item.

I need to keep the goal in sight: work my tail off until my lukewarm emits an enviable plume of steam. Can I pull that off? I pray I can use this week to stoke that fire to its greatest possible intensity.

For now, it's back to class!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Adventure Begins

so now there's proof. i am indeed in st. george. technical difficulties are preventing me from even capitalizing letters in this post! but all things considered, the trip so far has been pretty smooth. 

my object lesson for the first couple days has to do with mountains. on the way here, i had a layover in denver, and yes, i had a view of the snowcapped rockies from the airport, in addition to having seen much of the various types of terrain this great country has to offer, albeit through an airplane window. 

seeing mountains from a distance can never compare, though, to getting right up close, to finding youself enfolded in their towering presence, in places where only the noonday sun can chase their shadows off. i drove through a littke canyon in northwest arizona that showed me this. it made me think of how we can appreciate god's greatness from afar, but we really need to step close enough to him to have his shadow envelop us to really understand his majesty. i'm thankful we have a god who invites us to draw near.

well, hopefully my little shopping trip this morning will help me solve my internet access can have this post from my phone, but uy. i don't want to make a habit of posting on a blackberry keyboard.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It was quiet. Too quiet...

I'm hoping some of you have been missing my weekly (ish) ruminations on life, writing, and whatever else. If you have, I invite you to drop by my new home for all things article-like at The New Authors Fellowship. My next bunch of thoughts goes live on Sunday morning, April 10th, and I'd be gratified if you dropped in. Now, bear in mind, being a group blog, new content goes up all the time, so if you dink around, you might have to hunt a little bit for my article. Of course, even if you don't find me, you're bound to read something good, since the folks over there all provide a great read.

Tomorrow's article expounds upon one of the goals we as writers ought to have, as I learned from the wise words of the great Chip MacGregor.

Hope to see you there! More Windrider coming to this venue on April 15th. (That's something better to think about than taxes on that day, I hope.)