Sunday, October 21, 2012

I've Been Feeling Conflicted...

I’m feeling a little conflicted about my non-fiction project.  It’s a memoir, I think.  At least it’s about me.  It’s not my life story, but it’s about a significant part of my life.  A part of my life that when I mention it to people they’re reaction is something like "really?" or “what the fuck?”  I can’t believe it sometimes, but it’s true.  I felt the urge…the inspiration to write it after my recent job crisis.  The crisis is over and the project is a third to half finished (it's difficult to imagine how many more words I'll use to finish it).  I want to finish it.  But I wonder who I’m finishing it for.  Am I writing this for me?  To get the story off my chest/out of my head?  Or am I finishing it for you, the reader?  Either way, I now find myself wondering, am I really interesting enough to be writing about myself for others to read.  (Let’s call this feeling self-doubt.)  Who am I to be writing about my life for you?  Today I feel like I’m not anyone.  But I also feel like this story is interesting and there might be a few people who want to read it.

I stopped other projects to write this non-fiction piece and maybe that’s part of what’s getting to me.  I was working on a novel (that I wonder if ever will see the light of day).  I was also working on a short story collection, querying it, actually (I know it’s not the most lucrative form of writing, but I love it.)  I have other things I could be working on.  I have an idea for another novel that's been poking at me.  I have more short stories in me, waiting to burst out.  I just don't think I'll be... satisfied until this non-fiction project is finished.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Useful Link: Heroines with Hearts: Query Letters

I read this post about Query Letters the other day.  I thought it would be helpful  to share.  Click the link below.

Heroines with Hearts: Query Letters: My query letters follow a standard formula that I’ve found useful. First of all, the tone--I approach publishing as a business; therefore,...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Have You Been Saying To My Daughter?!?!

He's climbing, she loves climbing!
I'm a little mad today.  Someone, perhaps another student, told my daughter that she shouldn't wear her Diego underwear because it's for boys.  Ok, when we take our daughter shopping, for a lot of her clothes, we let her pick out stuff she likes.  When we were picking underwear, it was part of the potty-training thing and we wanted to make sure that she had stuff she liked. They don't make Diego underwear "for girls". Whatever, right?  We buy the underwear she wants and all is well.

So, this morning, my hubby is helping our daughter get dressed as I change our son.  He tries to hand her the Diego underwear she normally loves and she says, no, that's for boys.  What???  Who told her it was for boys?  She loves these underwear.  I have to wash them ALL THE TIME to keep her happy.  I know it's just underwear, but it made my hubby and I both sad that someone made her feel bad about something so simple, but makes her so happy.  Bah!

Look!  They're practically the same.
We talked to her this morning and tried to convince her that she can wear whatever she wants.  Mommy and Daddy bought all these things for her, Dora and Diego, so it doesn't matter if someone says that they're for boys.  (She has a Batman shirt that she loves, is someone going to tell her that it's for boys too?)  After talking to her some more, I think it was another student (a three-years-old girl) who told her it was for boys.  I can't really be mad at a little girl for saying something her parents probably told her.  Should I be mad at the parents?  I don't know.  Our genderized society?  I don't know.  I'm upset, but I can't focus my anger on anything.  I just don't like my little girl to be sad or made to feel bad about herself.  I thought it would be at least a few more years before I had to deal with her feelings about her self-image.  Am I reading too much into this?

She loves to watch Dora too,
but Diego usually wins.
I guess that I'm also upset because it has marred what was supposed to be a pretty good day. - It's my birthday and my hubby bought me a Kinect with Just Dance!  It's actually something I plan on playing with my daughter because she LOVES to dance.  I just want my children to be happy.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Word of the Week!

I have words!  I'm so happy to share a few words this week.  Thanks you Ms. Moran!

From How To Be A Woman, by Caitlin Moran:

Ebullience (pg 5):  The quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts and feelings.
(I thought the tree was ebullient)

Deleterious (pg 13): Harmful often in a subtle or unexpected way (as for example deleterious effects, deleterious to health).

Pilloried (pg 13): Simple past tense and past participle of pillory.  
Pillory (verb):    1. To put in a pillory.
2. To subject to humiliation, scorn, ridicule or abuse.
3. To criticize harshly.
(noun): A framework on a post, with holes for the hands and head, used as a means of punishment and humiliation.

Did you learn anything new this week?

*All definitions come from the Wiktionary.
*Both pictures are public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction: 6 Steps To Writing and Publishing Your Best Seller

Philip Athans' The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction:  6 Steps To Writing and Publishing Your Best Seller is hilarious. It's filled with great advice that I think can be applied to writing any story, not just science fiction and fantasy.  A lot of what Athans said, I knew, but it was nice to be reminded.

This is the first "How-To" book on writing I've ever read.  It was a gift and I was happy to receive it.  The steps are six, but they are not simple.  They are broken down and then broken down again.  The steps are summed up at the end of each section, but if that's all you read or remembered, you wouldn't be getting the full benefit of this book.

I think this book awakened in me some sort of fascination with “how-to” books.  (Though, I wonder if it’s just a way to procrastinate with my own writing.  Do I actually need to read them?)  Before I was finished with Athans, I entered to win The Fiction Writer's Handbook on Goodreads and I actually won it.  It’s less of a “how-to” book and more of a reference, but I plan on going through it soon.  I’ve also seen another contest on Goodreads for yet another book, and I downloaded a [temporarily] free ebook (You Are A Writer) on my Kindle app.  I also have a strong urge to read Stephen King’s On Writing.  Except for the King book, which I also want to read because he’s one of my favourite authors, I wonder if I need to read these instruction manuals on writing.  I don’t know…

In the end though, I really enjoyed Athans’ The Guide To Writing Science-Fiction and Fantasy.  It holds a lot of great advice, layered with humour.  He uses real-life examples of some prolific authors.  I also really enjoyed the short story by R.A. Salvatore at the end.  I like how Salvatore and Athans dissect the story so the readers/writers can learn why it was rejected (even though at this point Salvatore was already writing about Drizzt).  I think the lesson is that any writer can still have their story rejected, even if they are already established and/or famous.   One of the most important things I felt from this book was encouragement.  Athans says that if you’re a writer, then write.  If you can be persuaded to not write, then you aren’t/weren’t a writer.  Keep writing.  Don’t do it for the money, because, like him, many published authors still have day jobs.  Do it because you love writing.