Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Counting Blessings

In honor of today, during which a great many people are advocating Marriage Equality, I thought I'd celebrate how far we have come (as there are so many others who could more precisely outline how far we still have to go).

I'm thankful for the great number of agents, editors, and other publishing professionals who seek out books with LGBT characters or themes.
But let's not forget that there are a great many books with LGBT characters already out there. You may also notice that many of these are/have been on various bestseller lists......

The Vampire Chronicles (Lestat, Armand...basically all of them at one point or another)
Hero (Thom)
The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (Pippa)
The Hunger Games (Cinna)
The Diviners (Henry)
the Gone series (Dekka, Edilio, Roger)
The Mortal Instruments series (Alec, Magnus)

and let us not forget my personal role-model, the old wizard I aspire to be: Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series (as if that needed explanation).

These are just the books that I can think of off the top of my head. These are books you know about, have passed in bookstores on the bestseller rack, have read about online and in the paper. In the literary realm LGBT people are everywhere - just like in reality - and that is a beautiful thing.
We continue to struggle for equality everywhere, but not in the pages of books, not in the hearts of readers, and not in the minds of writers. For that, I am so thankful.

Feel free to share books with LGBT characters I haven't already listed below!

Until we meet again...

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Prince of Purple Prose Tries to Abdicate the Throne

"Purple Prose" - sounds pretty doesn't it? Well, it isn't's awful.

I, like most baby-writers, am guilty of this terrible crime - a sufferer of this merciless disease. So much so that I've shamefully labeled myself the Prince of Purple Prose. This post is how I discovered I had a sickness, found hope, and began treatment of this woeful affliction.

I started what became my first completed MS on November 15, 2011. If you've read the blog highlighting my process (As the Gears Turn) then it shouldn't surprise you that I finished my first draft on January 16, 2012.

You can't imagine how thrilled I was.

My best friend Kim was there when the idea crept into my head in the wee hours of 3am on November 13, 2011. I texted her what I now know to be a very crude example of a Pitch. When she woke up she responded with "I really like that idea!" and so I plotted and planned book one for two days then I got started.

Just before midnight on January 16, 2012 I hit "Send" allowing Kim to be the first person to read an entire manuscript that I had written.

Mere seconds after e-mailing her, this was my face:

I realized that I jumped ahead in my writing - skipping over a part that gave me trouble - and never went back to add very important (like, lynchpin-of-plot-twist-important) information in! A text was sent informing her of this.

Days later, life intervened, and all writerly-thoughts/bookish things fell by the wayside for a time.

Finally the month of May rolled around.

I opened up the e-mail that I sent my Kim containing the first draft of my MS. I was certain it needed a little polishing. I definitely needed to go back and add that chapter, and a few other lines scattered throughout for foreshadowing and clarification. Come to think of it, I didn't remember Kim ever getting back to me on how she liked it!

Cue the most Humbling/Mortifying experience of my writer-life.

                     "It's just so AWFUL!"

The MS was garbage. Absolute garbage. I called Kim immediately.


God bless her for being tactful, the poor girl couldn't make it beyond chapter 5. It was just that bad. It was so bad my best friend couldn't bear it.

I set to what would eventually become a re-write. I called it "editing" to make myself feel better.

Many, many things changed (and actually there were a few paragraphs here and there that stayed the same) By October I had something I was rather proud of, but still needed polishing.

In November, I got a partial request by the very first agent I queried - within 2 hours of sending! I nearly fainted.

One of the very first things Agent A said to me was: "If it is a prologue then it could use some trimming." But Agent A still requested the first 30 pages. The next day I received a very helpful rejection. I made appropriate changes (calling my prologue a prologue for one, instead of trying to class it up by naming it a chapter), and added my MC's into the prologue - because I've heard some people like starting out a story by getting to know the protagonists - whod've thought?

The day I queried Agent B (after I had already sent the query) I went to Barnes & Noble after work, and was scouring the Acknowledgments pages of books that fit my genre to see who to add to my query list. The first two in a row I picked up were Agent B!

 "Kim, it's a sign," I texted.

The next day Agent B requested the FULL! If you heard a small explosion somewhere in the distance on November 29, 2012 - that was me.

                 "NAILED IT!"

I wrote each chapter of my MS in a separate word document. Even upon the manuscript's completion I never put the chapters together in one complete file. So, despite my querying, I had no idea of the actual word count of my MS.
If you're a querying writer, and have some idea of how this process works then you can imagine and appreciate my terror when I discovered that upon consolidating my MS to one, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt font Word Document my debut YA Fantasy novel was 500 pages at 113,139 words.

113,139 words.

Let that sink in.

I threw caution to the wind and hit send. By the next morning I had read every single blog post Agent B had written for the last two years, I went to QueryTracker and determined an average response time on requested materials. From my extensive (AKA insane) calculations, we would fit together like peanut butter and honey, and I had 12 days to wait....

It was almost two months.

I received a polite rejection mid-early January. But since the agent had requested the full, I hadn't queried anyone else. So from November (when the Agent made the request) until mid-early January I hadn't even glimpsed at my MS. I was too nervous. There were times I literally almost suffered a cardiac event when my phone would buzz with an e-mail. Then I would unleash a string of curses at Amazon for sending me spam and daring to get my hopes up.
I got the heartbreaking response, and immediately set to querying my next round of agents...

Until I read over what I had sent Agent B.

I literally almost fell asleep reading my own chapter two.

The audience doesn't need to know which hand she used to flip the lightswitch, or how the lampshade "filtered the bulb's soft, yellow glow giving the forty year old living room a lived-in, but well-loved atmosphere that made the formerly garish, floral printed couch seem warm, inviting, and full of memories." THAT, ladies and gents, is Purple Prose. My characters were leaving the house. Just. Leaving. The house.

After I calmed down, but before I stopped berating myself I set to revising. I got it clean. Pretty-ish. And better still, Twitter caused a new Agent to catch my eye.

Agent C had my attention instantly. New to the market, dedicated, intelligent, kind, many other positive things that I'll wrap it up with a bow and call it Perfect.

Except for the fact that Agent C didn't really represent YA Fantasy. There was a glimmer of hope though (I'm always hopeful) and after I cleaned some of this, and polished some of that I held my finger over the Send button for a few days. Agent C and I were Twitter-friends. What if I sent it and they didn't like me anymore?! What if they thought my writing was terrible? What if I had gotten their hopes up, and my story was a terrible disappointment?

The amount of patience I have only allowed me to wait three days.

I sent it, and it was mere days before I got the best writing advice I'd ever recieved.

Agent C rejected, not only was my intuition correct about them not representing Epic Fantasy, but because Purple Prose still could be found within my MS.

Agenct C - though they didn't represent my genre of work, and definitely had better things to be doing - took the time to actually read my prologue, and quote it back to me citing incidents of Purple Prose (though they were kind enough not to label it as such). Agent C also complimented my "knack for imagery" but warned me to be careful.

I was on cloud 9! You'd have thought Agent C had thrown me a parade, or presented me with a plate of Snickerdoodles. (Yes, Snickerdoodles make me that happy!)     

Thanks to amazing Agent C, some advice from Stephen King, and a suggestion by my excellent Critique Partner I have a prologue that barely spans 2 pages, and a clean, crisp, 19 chapter MS. Though I'm sure there's still an innane adverb hidden in there somewhere - there always is. Today I'm down to a tidy 96,309 words...and still shrinking. Every day I find a little more fat that needs trimming. My full MS is now in the hands of an agent, in part, because of these people.

My cup of gratitude runneth over.

All of that to say, if there's hope for me then there's hope for you.

Go forth! Write, Cut, Clean, Polish! Don't make my mistakes!

Until we meet again...


Settle in guys, this entry promises to be as lengthy as the film of the same name, but it's late, quiet and I have a cute little cat snuggled in my lap. So I feel like telling you a bit more about me.

This post began when my hometown best friend since seventh grade tweeted a photo of us on Prom night. There was a dance contest to determine Prom King and Prom Queen - Lacey and I won. We were kindof phenomenal.
For all the obvious reasons, I became very nostalgic, and began thinking about how much my wonderful friend means to me...

Lacey was the first person to ever read my writing.
It was back in seventh grade - the year we became friends.
We were in our Texas History class, the last period of the day, and I was writing down a story in my spiral when I was called away from my desk for something. When I came back Lacey had my notebook at her desk (behind mine) and she handed it back to me.
"This is good!"
I shook my head.
"No," she assured me, "it's really good!"

At this point in my life I was reading all things Anne Rice and Stephen King. I was bent on being a great horror writer someday. Thus she read the beginning pages of something too dark and twisty for a seventh grader to be writing.
But that was all the encouragement I needed (Words of Affirmation is my Love Language)
I continued writing. Eventually discovering that writing dark and scary things took my mind to dark and scary places that I wasn't comfortable being in for extended periods of time. I tapped into my love for fantasy. From a very early age I adored almost every ancient culture's mythology, and K.A. Applegate's EverWorld series was a tremendous catalyst for my jump into YA Fantasy - aside from Harry Potter, and Stephen King's The Dark Tower those are the only books I've ever re-read cover to cover.

***side note: I'm still missing Everworld books 1, 2, 4, and 12. I still hunt for them each and every time I go to a used bookstore***

I thought back to where it all started. Where did my love for books come from?

The answer is, of course, my Mom and my Nanna (grandmother).

Mom used to work the night shift so in my elementary years I'd spend the evenings with my grandparents. Nanna and I would sit in on the couch, or in front of the old gas heater at the end of the hallway and she would read to me. The very first novel I ever read (according to Nanna) was Black Beauty (which coincidentally will be the tongue-in-cheek title of my biography someday). It was one of the books she would read to me, and when I got old enough to try reading by myself I would sit down and start from the beginning - each and every time I picked up the book. I would set it down to get a glass of water or juice then I'd go back and start from the beginning again. The concept of picking up where I left off didn't come for another couple of years or so ;-p

Mom in my formative years while she was still in school, would read to me at night. Beatrix Potter, Frog and Toad...that sort of thing. But one collection of books I remember quite well. I doubt very many of you know of it, but it was called Alice in Bibleland...

It was a series (written in verse) about this girl who would read her Bible and a bird would come and deliver her a letter, when she opened up the letter her Bible grew big enough to become a magic doorway into the story. In every book the letter that the bird delivered said the same thing:

"Reading is the magic key to take you where you want to be."

I remember laying in bed with my Batman comforter (or Mickey Mouse, depending on the week) in the tiny apartment we used to live in. Mom would be cuddled up next to me, and every time she'd read to me we would say that line together.

"Reading is the magic key to take you where you want to be."

It's like a mantra in my mind. So my mother, the non-reader, was the one who instilled in me a love of books. Nanna perpetuated and cultivated it. My love for reading then grew into a love for writing, and now that's my life plan. Not to be famous or to sell millions of copies (though who wouldn't want such a thing), but really, truly, sincerely because my mind can't stop making stories, and for some kid someday who enjoys books more than he/she enjoys playing with the neighbor kids or sports my words will make him/her imagine something greater, and they'll go on to be amazing, and then they'll inspire more amazing in the world, and so on and so on forever. That's my ultimate goal. That's my dream.

Thanks to Mom for the bedtime stories.
Thanks to Nanna for broadening my horizons.
Thanks to Lacey for the early encouragement.
Thanks to my Anna for being my biggest cheerleader.
Thanks to my Kim for being my sanity and my soundboard for all the twists and turns.

So I guess that's the heart of it all. I'm sure as I blog more I'll find tidbits here and there that contributed to the writing mess that is me. Who made you love books? What is the beginning of your beginning?

As I crawl into bed tonight I'm going to crack open a book like I do almost every night; I'm going to say the little rhyme to myself, and I hope you do too.

"Reading is the magic key to take you where you want to be."

Until we meet again...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Conflict, Villains, and Motive - Oh My!

This may sound familiar to some of you:

"Whut a' we gonna do tonight, Brain?"
---"The same thing we do every night, Pinky; try to take over the world!"

Sometimes I feel the same way when I'm recommending a book to someone:

"So what's it about?"
---"Well, you know, the usual, ____ is trying to take over/destroy the ____."

If you couldn't tell from some of my previous posts I'm a big fan of Villains, but I also write YA Fantasy, and upon close inspection of many antagonists a reader could easily transfer villains from one book to another. Sometimes you feel like they all want the same thing.

It's the box that Fantasy has put itself in. There needs to be a wicked King/Sorcerer, a traitorous apprentice, a Dark Emperor, etc... The Lord of the Rings wasn't a metaphor for civil rights, The Immortal Secrets of Nicholas Flamel didn't allude to the terrifying nature of living in a war-torn, savage land....the list goes on. Some villain, somewhere, in some place is trying to take over/destroy something, and our world will suffer for it.

I couldn't have that.

I would love to hear of an author whose world began with a villain and she/he created a hero to combat it, but that wasn't the way with me, and I've yet to hear a behind-the-scenes story where that has come to pass.

I had my jumping off point, which gave me Bianca, Scarlett, and Oliver, but then I had to ask "Why?"

It would have been very simple to say "Well, because _____ wants to be King." or "____ wants to destroy the world."

But it wasn't that easy. My love for a twisted, fallen-from-grace Bad Guy overwhelmed me and during the outlining process I discovered a Villain who was more complicated than my main characters - two of them, actually.

Not that I don't love a good "Take over the world" story! Don't get me wrong, I'm not disrespecting any choice you as a writer make, or your favorite book, or anything else. I'm simply stating what my story ended up being, and how happy it makes me.

There's a certain challenge that comes with a complicated, three-dimensional villain: accessibility.

I recently watched Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (as those of you who follow me on twitter know). The depth of each character in that film, the grittiness, the realism of each heart is everything I want my characters to have. But Hunchback is one of the least remembered or successful classic Disney films.
I believe because the conflict was so real and dark that the target audience (children ages 6 - 12) didn't really latch on to it, or didn't understand it.
The villain was fueled by lust, and disfigured moral ideals! Perfect!
The hero wasn't the handsomest, best, or brightest - but was nothing but pure goodness. Perfect!
The damsel in distress didn't fall for the hero, could best a man in combat, was smart-mouthed, and almost fearless. Perfect!

But it didn't work. I can ask a 9 year old girl who Ariel is and she'll tell me excitedly, "The Little Mermaid!". I can ask the same 9 year old girl about Esmeralda, and I'll get this face:


....So as I crafted the first installment, and discovered the entire story arc of the series, I understood the Adult nature of the conflict, the convoluted motive, and I hear the voice of an antagonist that - at times - almost convinces me that he's in the right, and that I've written this story from the wrong perspective...
But I have to water it down for now; my girls start out as 12 (they have their 13th birthday within the first book). The villain is so sinister and insidious that if Bianca, Scarlett, and Oliver actually met them in the first installment there wouldn't be a series. The villain would win.
There are great stories out there that follow the Fantasy Formula and become bestsellers, there are those that reject it altogether and are fantastic successes - the opposite is also true on both counts.

All that to say, the characters I created have to live and breathe for me - even the Bad Guy, and I hope yours do too!

Who is Batman without the Joker?
Voldemort's quest for immortality is one of the greatest stories of all time.
Yeerks attempted to subversively enslave humanity.
The Evil Queen was maddened by jealousy.
The Wicked Witch of the West really wanted her dead sister's awesome shoes.

Could your bad guy conceivably win? What made them bad? Is there more to your fantasy story than good triumphing over evil? What is Evil to you? Is there a negative consequence of Good triumphing in your story?

Until we meet again...

As the Gears Turn...

I'm a meticulous planner. This is in reference to all aspects of my life, however mostly so when it comes to my writing.

I struggled with deciding on a blog topic for today, but I'm settling for revealing my personal writing process because it's one of those things that I'm so deeply curious about when it comes to other people.

If you follow a lot of writers on Twitter you'll notice many mention their daily word count with pride. In a way I envy these people - I'm a planner, but not in that way.

Honestly, I didn't even know the official word count of my MS until I sent the full to the agent who requested it. (I know, I know - slap my hand - "Bad Writer!")

Son of Stephen King, and storytelling powerhouse, Joe Hill, The absolutely fantastic Melanie Conklin, the hilarious Rick Lipman, and others tweet their word count accomplishments with pride - and I typically encourage or silently applaud them because they write in a way that I never could.

When I sat down to write what became my MS, and as I plan it's brother and sister manuscripts I do a chapter by chapter outline.

See, I'm a rather intense person. I want you to know EVERYTHING! Right Now. I want to tell you everything that I know about these characters and this world immediately.

So I have to plan my reveals. It works something similar to this in my head:

"In chapter one we need a good introduction to the girls. We need to know that they're adopted, that their parents love them, that they are normal, safe, and happy, but ____ happens and leads us to...

"Chapter two. In which the girls meet ____ who will have more significance in book ____ but we need to make sure we mention ____."

So on and so forth until I have enough chapters that tell the story that needs to be told.

Then when I actually sit down, I don't even consider word count. I write one chapter at a time. When I sit down to write I will get from point A to point B by the time I leave my computer - guaranteed.

Which proves frustrating some days, because I know exactly what needs to be revealed or take place, but I have no first line to the chapter. (Yes, I plan the first line to each chapter before writing it) or I get to a point where I'm fighting what can and cannot be revealed at this point (my world is big and some details would either be extraneous or hint too much towards a twist that isn't projected to come for two, three, or four more books)

So a chapter at a time. Per day of writing. Which you would think "Oh he finished this book in 19 days." much as I would love to, I don't write every day...I plan to sometimes, but it just doesn't happen. There are those elusive lines, pondering what to reveal about certain characters, etc.... See, I can't sit and write.
 I pace to think, I have to be motion for my brain to be in motion. So I have to pace around our tiny apartment (which bothers L when he's off work) and compose the entire chapter in my head then I can sit down with all the words in my head and write them down.

I notice that people have writing playlists as well. I can't do that. My brain is too easily distracted. Music with lyrics causes me to type the lyrics that I hear, and if it's instrumental music I tend to use a lot more exclamation points if the rhythm is exciting, and I use far too many commas if the music is slow and steady.
But I do edit with music. I'm focused on the rhythm in the music, and it paces the reading. If I come to a point where the pace of the story and the music are incongruous then I re-read what didn't jive, then I edit/revise/delete based on what best serves the writing.

All in all, I began writing my MS two days after having the idea, November 15, 2011. I finished my last (seventh) revision last week, and I have chapter outlines for two and half of the subsequent books; with the overall story arc for the series planned. I haven't started writing the brother and sister books because I know inevitably some things will change during the professional editing process...there's no point in getting ahead of ourselves.

What is your process? Is it word-count based? Storytelling based? Are you a meticulous planner of each chapter and sentence, or do you free-form write?

Until we meet again....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I had a very interesting and pleasant e-mail exchange with an agent who requested my MS yesterday.

"I'm not really a big faerie fan so it will be an uphill battle for me," they said...but still they requested it.

Naturally, I'm pleased at the request though not particularly hopeful regarding the outcome, but the funny thing is - I'm not a "faerie fan" either!

It was a long road to get to the point where I was okay with writing about the Faerie world, but once I allowed the idea to germinate it became like Jack's beanstalk and soared up into the heavens of my imagination. I battled giants (writer's block) and monsters (plot holes) until I finally found my goose with the golden egg (7 drafts later).

You see they always tell you "write what you know" - the most helpful and vague advice anyone has ever given to a writer.

I knew witches and wizards (thanks to Anne Rice, and J.K. Rowling), I knew vampires, mummies, werewolves (thanks again to Anne Rice...and...Ms. Meyer). See, I grew up loving stories about magic, more specifically I loved the magical characters in those stories. Not gonna lie, when I was seven I had my grandfather make me a Jafar-like staff because I thought his powers were "so cool". When Aladdin the Animated Series came out I would sneak into the kitchen and wear only one dish-glove so I could pretend to be Mozenrath with his magical gauntlet. I rode our household broomsticks like Sarah, Mary, and Winnifred Sanderson from Hocus Pocus. I never wanted to be Aladdin, or the hero who saved the day against all odds; I wanted Aladdin to ask Genie for magic powers so he could defeat Jafar...*sigh* simply wasn't to be - and that is when I started making up my own stories.

I have started a multitude of stories over the years. I would always stop around chapter six or seven - something always just didn't jive. The characters were good, the plot was engaging (or so I thought) but I would just get *for lack of a better word* Tired.

In the late summer of 2011 I was working on a project that provided me with much of the foundation to build what I've currently completed - but it had nothing to do with Faeries.

My...parter/boyfriend/hubby/significant other/etc for future reference we'll call him "L" ...anyway his friends invited us out for drinks one evening on this lovely summer night at our favorite hole-in-the-wall tavern.
Cory and Allison are a lovely couple, and absolutley perfect for one another. However, at the time I really didn't know either of them particularly well - only that I enjoyed their company.
Allison and I got to chatting about our mutual love for The Little Mermaid when someone, somewhere, for some reason said the words: "Golden Snitch"....

Allison and I exploded with Harry Potter nerdgasms.

As I sipped my beverage I was pondering the solution to a problem with the project I was working on at the time while Allison bravely and unabashedly admitted that she was most likely a Hufflepuff (the poor girl).
Then she said something that completely changed my (writing) life:

"Dude when I was a kid, I was like, 'Where the heck is my letter to Hogwarts?'"

Instantly I scrapped the project I was working on. For you see, with each and every project I had planned that was the one element missing.

I had created breathing characters, intricate worlds, and adventurous, fantastic plotlines...but I had yet to create or find a unique world that I wanted to be a part of.

Three months later around 3am November 13, 2011 I did. But to my surprise - and dismay - the Faerie world was the one that I had found. However, the more I began to explore it I found something rich, whimiscal, and dark - something so very inherently Me - that I could never turn back. The Faerie world - My Faerie world - is one that I so long to be a part of, and it is that passion and that longing for it that carries me through every revision, every chapter, and every sentence. As I write I still discover things that I never knew (most of which won't find its way into the series - alas).

But that's my gauge, that was my True Beginning; no matter the characters, setting, or plot it ended up being my need to belong to the world that I created to write a good story. That's what gives me my fire as an author.

What about you? What was your 'Eureka' moment? What gives you your creative fire?

Until we meet again...

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Race Card

In case you weren't aware: I'm brown.
As I was wondering what the topic of my second blog post would be I was scanning twitter when I found an interesting question posted by the fabulous literary agent, Jennifer Laughran:

"Let's say there's an Off-World fantasy where nobody is described by skin tone at all. Maybe some are PoC {People of Color}; it's never mentioned. Should it be?"

Readers and authors both weighed in, and the number of responses was considerable. I agreed with many of them, and thus the topic of this blog was set in my mind: Does a character's race matter in a book?

*steps up onto Soapbox*

My response is Only My Opinion...

My answer is Yes and No.

Caveats and variables abound in reference to acknowledging race in a story, but as a reader I've always found is that if it doesn't move the story forward or offer insight into the character/setting then it really doesn't bear mentioning.

Race only matters if a reader or author makes it matter. Period.

Remember the uproar when The Hunger Games movie came out and so many people were confused as to why Rue was black? Some foul creatures went so far as to be verbally hostile. Even though she was described as such in the novel, the characterization was done so naturally and so subtly that apparently some people who read the book didn't notice. That's how it should always be done *when it isn't relevant to the story's conflict*.

When you (as an author) say "I need a (Black/Asian/Indian/Irish/Italian/Peruvian/Etc) character." You do yourself, your reader, and perhaps most importantly your story a disservice. The story then ceases to be organic.

Some people reacted very strongly with: "Yes! {race needs to be mentioned}If not the readers will think the characters are white!"

I don't think this is a crime. Part of the beauty of reading is allowing your imagination to create pictures for you. If your brain sees black where mine sees white, or blue, or yellow, or green, or orange....who suffers for it? Does my Asian Harry Potter devalue the reading experience? Is your black Katniss Everdeen a killjoy for your friends? I didn't think so.

People argue that younger generations of (insert race here) need role models "of their own kind".
It takes a lot to offend me, but this argument certainly does.
It perpetuates racism. Even if it is positive, or well-meaning racism it is still racism. If you don't think a young (insert race here) child has nothing to learn from a (insert race here) professional/celebrity/successful person then you are....someone with whom I would not associate.
People will argue about cultural pride.
Again, when you make a decision based on "cultural pride" instead of sound reasoning, instinct, or intuition then you are succumbing to a passive form of racism.

All this rambling basically to say - Lighten Up.
You are the writer. You are the reader.
The amazing magic of books is that imagery is entirely in the hands of the person holding the text.
It doesn't matter unless you make it matter, and if you make it matter then it's an issue that goes beyond Hermione Granger not being an Inuit.

*picks up Soapbox and walks away*

Until we meet again...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Past Due Debut

It isn't in my nature to engage in fruitless activity.
For a long time that's what I thought blogging amounted to be. People so insanely hungry for attention that they stopped keeping journals under their beds or hidden in boxes in the back of the closet, and now opened their hearts to strangers on the Great Internet so that everyone could empathize, comment, etc... To say I frowned on blogging is an understatement to say the least.

Since I was eleven years old I wanted to be an author, a novelist. Of course, when I was eleven that was projected to be my side-career between film projects; for I was also going to be famous movie star.

The summer I turned sixteen I realized that film-stardom was probably not in the cards for me.  I panicked. My whole life everyone told me I was going to be an actor! That is the danger of coming from a terribly supportive, small family/community - you believe you can do anything, but you have no idea how to begin preparing for such a life. I held the shattered pieces of my imagined celebrity future in my hands for about two hours, until I asked myself the question: "What have I always done? What makes me who I am?"

Aside from drawing/sketching, I understood that I always made up stories. Since before I even conceived of writing I would pace around my bedroom, the living room, or the backyard just thinking up stories and characters (though I had never considered them stories or characters - it was just always something I did)

So the thing that has brought me to this point (and will take me further) came into focus: writing, my career.

I've completed my first work. I've let it simmer as I work on a side-project, and even wrote an alternate version of the story so I could still play with those characters while the original version was allowed to sit and brew. I'm now in the process of editing with fresh eyes, and loving every moment of it.

It wasn't until I allowed myself to trust the writing community on Twitter that I discovered that blogging isn't exclusively faux-philosophers, attention-seekers, and lonely housewives. So many amazing writers blog, offering helpful advice, and allowing readers to glimpse into one of the strangest, and most exciting creative processes.  

So here I am, throwing my hat into the ring as it were. Not because I'm particularly important or special, but hopefully to give you a glimpse into a little something different, entertaining, or informative.

I have a tendency to ramble, chase rabbits, go on tangents, and over-explain; It was a tremendous accomplishment not to tell you all the stories associated with almost every sentence of this post. Slowly but surely I'm learning the value of being succinct.

Until we meet again...