Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You Just Never Know...

I love to read and write. (Why else would I be pursuing a bachelors in Creative Writing and English Lit?) If given a choice, I naturally gravitate toward women's fiction (yes, that includes some chick lit), and I tend to stay away from zombies or vampires. (Ok, I do admit to enjoying the Twilight series, sue me.) But I recently wrote a personal essay about something I feel very strongly about. The reaction that I got from people who heard me read it was overwhelming - in a good way. The encouragement to shop it around to different places, and a request to be interviewed are two things I never expected to happen as I wrote that particular piece. Who knows what will happen? But I was amazed and humbled at the reactions my writing garnered - and it made me feel good to be able to effect people in that way.  

In fact, it made me realize that this educational path I'm pursuing might just lead me down yet another path that I never planned on taking - but isn't that what all too often happens in life? 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Perfection....Or Not

Here I sit - at the end of a busy Thanksgiving "break". My break was definitely full of spending time with my family and lazing around in my pajamas. But it wasn't exactly what I would have wished for - because we all got the flu. But even throughout that ordeal, I learned there are a lot of things I'm grateful for - including the fact that the pukefest we endured only lasted from Tuesday through Friday. I'm grateful the man I love held my hair while I puked. I'm grateful to him for cleaning up after Maya (and me) on Tuesday night and cleaning up after Laely on Thursday night. I'm grateful for the dinner my mother cooked on Thanksgiving even if I could not eat very much of it. I'm grateful that no one passed out at the table this year. (What? Like that doesn't happen in your family?)

I've learned that the perfect holiday isn't always something that actually happens, no matter how much you plan for it. I'm grateful for my imperfect and flu-filled holiday, and I'm grateful for my beautiful  life - including all of the challenges we face on a daily basis as a family of four just trying to get through life, happy and healthy. I just have to wonder what in the gay hell is going to happen at Christmas....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just a Thought or Two....

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is generally one of the biggest bar nights of the year. During my 20's, I was often in the thick of the crowd, angling to get a drink or pushing my way onto an overcrowded dance floor. Truth be told, I always had a good time.

But now I'm in my 30's and things are different. Don't get me wrong, I still like to go out and have a good time. But tonight, as my youngest daughter and I are recovering from a nasty bout of food poisoning that hit us last night, I realized that I wouldn't want to be anywhere else than where I am right now. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, and being grateful for all that we have. So I'm sitting here, feeling extremely blessed that I am surrounded by my little family.

And of course, I am extremely happy that the food poisoning has run it's course and I will hopefully be able to gorge myself on turkey and all the fixins' tomorrow. ;-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reality versus NaNoWriMo

Ok, confession time. I am failing dismally at NaNoWriMo. At this rate, I'll be lucky if I get to 25,000 words by the end of the month. And I don't even know if I'll like those words. Quite honestly, I'm not sure what my problem is. After all, I like challenges and I'm kind of stubborn when I commit to something. I know where my novel is going (for the most part, however sometimes the characters surprise me). I love to write. Hell, I'm a full time student in a Creative Writing/English Lit program for the love of God.

 I have tried to cut the distractions out of my life. Namely, I've (almost) stopped playing Angry Birds and I haven't been a Twitter-holic lately. (I draw the line at giving up Words with Friends, though. Not gonna happen.) And no, it hasn't escaped my notice that I'm sitting here blogging about not writing. I think part of the problem is the word count. Getting 1667 words per day is somewhat difficult. I can easily hit 500, sometimes even 1000. (I actually went a little over a 1000 words while at Spawnderella #1's Girl Scout meeting the other night, surrounded by a gaggle of screaming girls ranging in age from 5-8. Go figure.) 

So what I guess I need to do is to not be hogtied by someone else's lofty goals and just be happy with what I can accomplish. Of course, that doesn't necessarily solve all my problems, but it may help to take the pressure off. In the meantime all I can do is keep writing, a little bit at a time. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Micro-Publishing? Maybe.

Although I am far, far away from ever getting a book published (if it ever happens at all), I am curious about the publishing process. After all, there are quite a few options writers have regarding getting published nowadays. There's the traditional route. Then there's the self-publishing option. I just learned of yet another option, something called micro-publishing. 

A local company hosted an information session at the library tonight and I decided to go see what it was about. It sounds like an interesting process. Micro-publishing doesn't involve agents - instead, the author and the publisher work together. The author pays the publisher up front and there are a number of services offered - editing, publicity, printing, etc. From what I understand, the author submits a manuscript to the publisher. If the publisher accepts it, the author and publisher work closely together to turn it into a book that readers will (hopefully) buy. After the publisher gets it printed, it is then sold on Amazon, B&, traditional bookstores, the author website and the micro-publisher's website. There aren't any book advances offered, and the micro-publisher actually requires their payment up front. (Along with assorted fees along the way.) 

Overall, it sounds like a viable option for getting published - especially for somebody like me who is a relative newbie to the whole process. Of course, authors should exercise due diligence and make sure the micro-publisher is competent and not just full of hot air. The people I met tonight from Gypsy Publications definitely seem like they know what they're doing. I talked with some of the authors they represent as well, and they seemed happy with their experiences. 

So who knows? I am aiming to finish the novel in December, provided I stay on my current writing schedule. (Yay NaNoWriMo!) And per the advice of the great Stephen King, one must let their manuscript sit for at least 6 weeks after it is finished before re-reading and starting the second draft. That means I might actually possibly maybe submit my manuscript to them as early as next spring. That's a scary and daunting prospect to be thinking about right now - but it also gives me a little impetus, a little something to look forward to. 

But first things first - I have to finish the novel....while going to school full-time, being a full time mom, part time freelancer and working on some other writing projects. Not to mention the myriad of other important things I do - like Facebooking, Twittering, playing Words with Friends & Angry worries though. I can do it. I think.