Feeds:
Posts
Comments

So, I went to Gina’s last night. I thought I’d be late–Husband had filled the gas tank this time, but I wasn’t on the road two miles when a stupid light came on about the tire pressure and the squall was limiting my sight and I wondered if I was going to get there at all. I did, and I don’t know, it’s always awkward for me to go anywhere anymore. I feel like an intrusion with all my thoughts and insecurities.

In my head, everyone is a thousand times more pulled together than I could ever be.

Anyway, we were all sitting around the dining room table talking and discussing our lives, then went into the nuances of our current works in progress then back to real life matters.

Does anyone else get how comforting it is that Mary admitted that she sat there and had a panicky bit of time when she was talking about my novel to me? She said she twitched, but I didn’t see it, but when she said that, I got it exactly. It’s how I feel when I think about writing a book review.

The thing is that no matter my thoughts on another person’s work, it’s only my opinion, and who am I to judge PLUS they have a book published. Whether or it’s by a big house, a small press, or even self-published, it’s out there. Someone had the testicular fortitude to print it. Isn’t that an automatic 5 star review? I enjoy reading, but the writing about what I’ve read, not so much, which is funny because I don’t feel people are attacking me when they comment on my work–they are just talking about the story I’m trying to tell.

Don’t mind me, I had another rejection this morning so the career self-esteem isn’t there. And I feel like quitting. Not the writing, just the agent queries, the short story/essay/poem submissions, etc. Which is bunk. My hopes haven’t been completely dashed. Yet.

I will be taking a break as it is for the weekend. If I wrap up this post and the holiday letter, I’m done for the weekend, which is good since a slew of people are slated to arrive, dine, sleep and be on their way. After, I’m looking at a quiet few weeks where I’ll be assessing Mary’s comment that I put too much plot and too many characters in my books. Luckily, I was feeling that way about the latest that I scribbled out during NaNo–about having too many characters anyway.

I feel a bunch of colored index cards are about to be taped to the glass door soon. I may want to start with one as it is so someone doesn’t run into the damned thing, though it is so funny when it happens–mostly because it hasn’t happened to me. Yet. It looks painful.

 
(These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

Often, I have a list of topics to cover before I start my blog. Not so with this one. What I have is increasingly annoying notices that I am close to using up all of my monthly “usage,” so no pictures this time. I blame Snovember and having to send Husband’s pictures to his friends and family. If you need pictures, you can look on my Facebook page at a building that crumbled under the weight of the snow. We didn’t get a lot of snow here and I’m grateful for that.

It’s #PitMad on Twitter today. That will drive me over my usage amount, but if I get a tweet favorited by an agent, I’m willing to believe it will be worth it. I did get a favorite from an acquisitions editor last time, but even as I sent the requested material, I knew in my heart it wasn’t going to work out. Sometimes, I hate my sixth sense.

Thanksgiving was dignified and respectful. I’m glad of that. My niece and nephew will be flying into Buffalo in a few weeks for a Christmas visit, so after neglecting the housework while I worked on my latest novel, I’m cleaning the house, kicking out the spiders, and debating if I need to hold onto everything I touch. I’ve put several sweaters and shirts in the donation pile and three cookbooks are on their way, too.

So that is the fun going on around here recently. I’m enjoying this “break” from the novel. When I go back to rewrite it, I know I now have a much better sense of the character’s motivations that I didn’t in the first draft. One thing I will always love about writing is how characters come alive, reveal themselves, and alter what you thought their plotline was going to be. It’s the best kind of magic.

 

(These are my creek side reflections. Your experiences should vary.)

11.20A

There has been a barrage of information about the weather. That’s all I’ve seen or heard about lately. The newspaper hasn’t arrived in days. When I’ve gone to watch a show or listen to a radio program, I hear about travel bans and record breaking snowfall totals. I’m a bit surprised since I’m from the area and my motto is “It’s Buffalo. It snows. Get over it,” and let’s face it, when my area gets hit, no one cuts me slack since I’m in “ski country,” and apparently that means I must like the snow, which I do, but that is beside the point. There is more to my world than the weather. What happened with the XL Pipeline? Are the Kardashians still exposing themselves inappropriately? Has ISIS taken over the world? I’m asking because I don’t know. I only know about the snow. There’s been no mail either.

I’m in a funky weird state after learning (via email) great news about one story I wrote only to have that information followed by a heart breaking email about a completely different aspect of my so-called writing career.

Are you ready?

My short story,”Between a Vacuum and Empty Space,” was not only selected for inclusion in a Sci-Fi anthology by Divertir Publishing, but it is going to be the first story and serve as the TITLE for the collection!

How does that happen? I don’t know, but it did. I sent a note to Jim Tuttle (Half of JT and the Law–go follow them) to let him know first because he helped me with the details–I am so grateful to him! His response made me smile. After that, I told Husband, members of Write To Be, and then Chyo. So weird and flattering. I still have a happy about it.

Then, of course, there was the ego-deflating bit. An agent who had requested the first 30 pages of L&C decided she didn’t want to see anymore. Eh. What are you going to do?

These new sagas are a nice breather from the truck needing repairs and the “Help! I don’t know what I’m doing in my NaNo story” angst. It’s fine. It’s life. It’s not French wine, but I could hum a few bars.

And that’s another thing! On the journey to Indiana, we bought wine to take as gifts. One being a strawberry wine from a local vineyard, which Susie got. She opened it and shared a glass with me. It was delightful. I mention this because we hit the liquor store before the storm and we bought another bottle, which happened to be on sale, and there is the odd chance it will be around for the upcoming Christmas Relative Party Shuffle.

Anyway, the excursion netted a bunch of canning jars. I was told of this in advance and thought “a few boxes” meant 20 jars–30 max. Yeah, I haven’t been able to fathom the idea of counting individual jars, but they take up four and a quarter shelves in the basement. Ah, but back to the wine aspect. In clearing the shelves, Husband brought up a black bottle with cobwebs all over it. I was talking to Chyo at the time, described the bottle and the label. Turns out, it is her favorite sparkling wine, Freixenet, from Spain. Neither of us can remember if it was a gift from her to me or a gift I bought to give to her and it was just forgotten. Regardless, it was on its side for years so the cork is probably still good and if you want to know, I had taken it as a sign that the agent I’d sent pages to was going to ask for more, but that didn’t happen. C’est la vie.

Back on the shelf it goes. Maybe tomorrow I’ll hear from “the” agent for me. Until then, I’ll be inside, staying warm because snow is best enjoyed inside a house with wood heat.

11.20B

(*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

I love going places. It relaxes me to go to other realms, walk around, and see how other people live. It thrills me to hear about other people’s way of live, see the sights they’ve grown accustomed to, and buy things from their local stores.

Ctrip

Being a tourist, I love that.

My problem is that I live in those moments fully. That means that I remember it, but not in the way others might.

Husband and I recently went slightly west. This year, we had planned to travel east and attend the huge summer party in Binghamton as a guest of Jefferson Rose, but that party was cancelled so our (and when I say “our” I mean Husband’s) vacation time was up for grabs. A “Hey I was remembering when we were there” email to my ex sister-in-law led to a “Buddy Guy is giving a concert in October, why don’t you come then” response and we had rudimentary travel plans.

Much was discussed, things were ruled out, but what we ended up with was a beautiful reenactment with variations of our first slightly west journey when the cat was a kitten. I think.

Anyway, when we went to Cleveland, we saw Michael Burke again. This time, it was calmer and less hurried. I got a tour of Berea, saw the house where Husband grew up in, walked around the town, bought a hat and explored this amazing riverside walk by myself.

Ftrip

 

Gtrip

 

I met a woman who I may-or may not-have previously encountered in my dreams. (Coming out of the Berea Historical Building as we were walking by, she arbitrarily started talking to us. Come to find out, she’d been big in Berea Theater scene and knew my mother-in law. Fine, right? Except I had a dream a few months earlier about running into one of Carol’s friends who asked me how she was doing and I thought, ‘well, you’re not such a great friend if you didn’t know she died almost a decade earlier.’)

The Barking Spider was frequented, as was The Cleveland Museum of Art.

 

Atrip

 

(Yes, that is a falling angel giving the finger) In the Cleveland Museum of Art, I did not heed Michael’s advice to take in a small amount of work, instead I ran from picture to portrait to sculpture and immersed myself with the almighty depth, breadth and longevity of the pieces and bought a lot of postcards. It is an amazing place, inside and out.

Etrip

I wasn’t aware of the chandelier (bad picture, I know) or that Cleveland had the largest bank lobby–The Huntington Bank. Cleveland’s nightlife is far more “happening” that I would have thought.

Dtrip

From there, it off to Indiana. We saw Buddy Guy in Elkhart’s Lerner Theatre. Great music and a beautiful space. (When I find the right cord, I’ll get the pictures off the camera.)

 

In Plymouth, we spent time visiting with Sue and Kevin. I got to see my niece and her family, my ex mother-in-law and the brilliant nurse, Nancy Coney. Husband and Kevin got the glass doors on the bookcases while Sue and I toured downtown. We got to listen to albums up in the sunroom and because life is just too funny, their neighbor’s Ford Galaxy 500 convertible started up and I got to take a ride in it to the Dairy Queen, which sadly, I’d forgotten about until I saw the picture of the car.

Btrip

On our way home, we stopped in Fort Wayne to see Chyo’s new place, then headed east. Cat was not impressed with our leaving, but I think she’s finally forgiven us–at least she isn’t as loud.

So, that’s the problem, I start to lose the details and nuisances that made the trip so interesting. *Sigh* I know, I’ll recall them when I write (I’m only down a day on NaNo) but the story I’m writing this time–the one that I plotted out, well, the characters have decided that the people I saw them ending up with don’t want anything to do with those people and there’s very little from my trip that relates to this new novel.

In my absence, the last round of edits from my editor arrived, so now I’m feeling out XO man to see if he and Girlfriend will have time to read it before they take off on a trip of their own.

Ah well, that is a sad little glimpse into the gorgeous problems (ones she loves) that this writer has gladly endured recently.

 

*These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences may vary.

 

 

 

 

Good morning! The Buddy Guy concert is coming up quickly and Husband is looking forward to taking a vacation and traveling to see a Blues great while stopping by to visit great friends on the way there and back. I’m worrying over the details and making lists so we don’t forget the charger for the cell phone.

I’m also looking forward time spent Internet free. I’ll have my cell, but I’m leaving all of my passwords at home. I’m the neurotic who changes them constantly to bizzaro combinations, so no, I don’t have them memorized and really will not be able to check my email, Facebook, Twitter or Ello for a week. And as I type that, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have my email password at least, but am telling myself no. Whatever happens–good or bad news–can wait. Besides wanting time away from the screens to focus on the people and the experiences of the trip, I want time to think about new characters. National Novel Writing Month is soon here and I’m excited!

If you’re not familiar with Tarl Kudrick’s On the Premises, you should be and I’m not just saying that because I made it to the top 25 in the last contest. He and Bethany Granger are close readers with great taste. I have made it to the Top Ten before–which comes with a free critique of your story. Being close this time, I went ahead and got one. Worth it! Mine was fair and honest, and included a few suggestions on how to improve the piece. Granted, reading criticism the first time through (good or bad) makes me cringe, but writing as long as I have, I know to shrug it off, look at what is being said, and if it’s valid, rewrite with that in mind. I did rewrite it and if something good happens to it, I’ll let you know.

Two good things happened to L&C: I participated in #AdPit on Twitter and got a favorite from someone at a Harlequin Imprint and so much more importantly, Jim and Julie started reading it and their initial impression is favorable. One comment from them was that the MC was compelling. Can I be happy with that and let it go? No! I panicked and started a letter apologizing for the end being a disappointment to them.

I swear to Pete and Peter my next book has got to have a MC who is NOT neurotic…

The Dark Arts Group Show at Van Over Fine Arts is fabulous and if you have a chance, you really should go see it.

Oct1

The Colden Arts Festival was chilly and wet, but it was great to see JT and The Law.

Oct2

Otherwise, I hope you’re enjoying the sweater weather; I know I am. Thanks for checking in!

(*Everything in this blog is based on my creekside reflections. Your reality maybe skewed–or better remembered.)

Doing an Unstuck

I don’t have “spare” time, but I had a chance to use mine differently last week. On Tuesday, I sent the latest (and hopefully last) draft of L&C to my editor. What a process! I hope the kinks are out because I’m close to deleting the whole thing. Except for two–minor ones that we’ve fought over since the first version–my darlings are gone and some gorgeous characters were completely eliminated.

*Sigh*

Also on that Tuesday, Husband left for the island. Without him being home at a certain time allowed me to change what I was doing and when. I used the treadmill a lot more often and got in extra Pilates time. The weather was perfect so I concentrated on the outside realm of my existence–picking up tools, clearing branches, filling in holes.

I also allowed myself cheap adventures outside of my usual rut.

On Wednesday, I met a school chum at a bar for drinks. He had bragged on Facebook about a bonus, so he picked up the tab. It was strange, unusual, but oddly fun.

Thursday was my “fun day.” After I shoveled dirt in the morning, I went to see “A Most Wanted Man,” for two bucks and then checked out the used CD section at Super Savers. Back home, I made a meal I rarely get to have–asparagus with lemon, fettuccini Alfredo and broiled scallops. I also started working on tomato sauce so my kitchen was a culinary mess, but that’s the way it went. Friday, Husband called to say he’d be home on Saturday so I returned the house to what passes as normal.

I remain with this feeling of being a bit unstuck.

I’ve started a new book, but I need to stop, plot it out and then write it. There’s too much to keep track of, which is saying a lot. If L&C ever makes it out of my hard drive, you’ll see what I mean. In that one, I had a clear view of what strings were going through it and in three different ways, I pulled them together. This book, however has me flustered.

Perhaps I just need more time away from the last book. I sent pages from an earlier novel to the critique group to hear if they thought it was something worth reading. The meeting is here on Tuesday. Until then, I’m going to take a break, read, submit, work on perfecting my mercury glass technique and figure out what I’m supposed to have done, and work on the plot–plus go see J.T. and the Law at The Colden Arts Festival!

MG2

*These are my piss-poor, cash-strapped, strangely over-exercised and toned creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

 

Thanks for checking in!

9.18E

This year was the earliest we’ve had a wood fire. I’m still appalled by my weakness, but it was so damp and cold, I really couldn’t help it; I needed the warmth. Since then, the weather has brightened but tomorrow a frost is likely. I swear I want to smack a school mate on Facebook who says “Thanks for the Global Warming, Al Gore” each time things like this happen. Climate change is something I notice; it’s regrettable that the words got confusing throughout the years. Crichton harped on the predictions made by the scientists in the 70’s about global cooling. The weather is weird though.

So is life.

I try to roll with the punches, but sometimes, I do wonder what the hell is going on. Yesterday, I started tossing clothes into the washing machine preparing to clean the tub then the rest of the bathroom before mopping the floors. There was a clump. I had hopes it was bit of mud. I feared it was a clump of animal feces. I went to pick it up and the damned thing jumped.

9.18B

The picture is horrid; it was early, I was stressed, the frog was covered in hair and dust and what have you. I gathered the creature, took it to the pond and checking on it later found it had rinsed itself off and was clinging to the wall like frogs do.

I have no idea what it means or why it happened. I still don’t know how it got in to the house.

My life is interesting that way.

Husband is going to the Island soon. The dates for that excursion changed; I’m still kind of stressed about the change, but I’m not going to be upset about it. I just hope there aren’t any YouTube videos about his Juice Box rants this time.

The houseplants are in and thanks to Betty, we got a piece of roofing for the wood shed and i’ts up now. Otherwise, I’m making my way through the latest draft of L&C. I’m on the last “hard scene” that needed reworking, then I want to eliminate a few more characters and send it off to my editor. I will be so happy to be done with this thing.

9.18C

 

I’m etching out the next book–which I have to have 25 pages written for the critique group soon. Way too soon! Plus, I’m trying to get a few things submitted while keeping up with stories coming into r.kv.r.y. and reading a few for Literary Orphans. Alex Pruteanu had his piece, “Bud’s Warehouse,” accepted at LO. I’m pleased Mike Joyce liked it.

9.18A

9.18D

I’m happy you stopped by! I hope to have book reviews put up in the next few weeks.

 

*These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 534 other followers