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Showing posts from February, 2013

Kicking the Bucket List

Recently a "getting to know you" question was posed at a (non-writing) online group I frequent: Three items from your bucket list. I was surprised how many women posted, as one of their top three bucket list items, some variant of getting published.  (I am assuming most meant traditional publication, not self-publishing.)

"Publish a book."

"Be a published writer."

"Publish something, maybe an article if not a book."

I shouldn't have been surprised that there are so many hopeful writers out there--after all, NaNoWriMo was conceived to help the millions of people who have said "Gosh, I would love to write a book" give that goal wings.  But I was, for a couple reasons, surprised how prominent writing and being published was on bucket lists.

One, I admit, was prideful.  I have worked darn hard to get where I am as a writer--and I'm not even published yet.  To put "publish a book" alongside "swim with the dolphins&qu…

Getting Stuck

So my child has learned a new trick.  She can roll over from her back to her tummy.  For non-parental types, this is to the parenting world a giant leap forward, a huge accomplishment which moms at play groups toss back and forth--"Oh, is Timmy rolling over yet?"  Your pediatrician will ask after rolling at your child's appointment (right before your child gets jabbed with three hypodermic needles).

It's funny, because the giant broohaha over rolling over usually fails to mention the fact that your kid learns to roll...but not to roll back right away.

So E rolls over, situates herself, and remembers--she hates being on her tummy.  So she squiggles around like a turtle flipped on its back, ticked at the injustice of the world until I come to rescue her and help her back onto her back.

Then she promptly does it again.

And gets stuck.

Again.

The weird thing is, I think we all do this.  We learn how to get halfway where we want to go before we learn how to push the rest…

Love Stories

I like Valentine's Day.  I know it can veer towards cheesy and Hallmark-y, but the thing is, I kind of like cheesy.  Plus I'll take any excuse to bake something.  And buy a goofy card.  And tell people I lurve them.

That said, I'm not a huge hearts and flowers romance person.  Maybe it's because of that that I don't really get into the romance genre.  Nothing knocking it--I just don't enjoy reading romance.  But I do love reading love stories.  I tend to find that just about every book I read is a love story.  In fact, I'm hard pressed to find a book that isn't a love story in one way or another.

And I think I know the reason why. This is where I know I go a bit off the grid, but here it is: Every life is a love story. I decided this, strangely enough, at my grandfather's funeral. Before the mass, there was a family-only visitation, to give us a reprieve from the hundreds of people at the open visitation the night before. And there had been hundreds. …

The Worst Part

I've always thought that the worst part of the writing process is the waiting.  Sure, rejection is awful.  And writer's block stinks.  And my least favorite task is probably formatting queries.  But the worst?  Waiting.

I'm learning that the bad news is, waiting isn't a part of the process that goes away.  When I was unagented, I associated waiting with the waiting for replies to queries--waiting to fill in my spreadsheet of emails sent with dates of replies and, inevitably, mainly rejections.  I thought of sending requested partials and--joy of joys!--fulls as the zenith of waiting.  Longer waits, but with higher stakes.

Then I signed with an agent and realized...waiting isn't over.

There's still the same waits you had before--the waits for crit partners or beta readers to get back to you.  Now there's the wait for your agent to let you know what she thinks, too--and even when you have the world's most encouraging, patient agent, there's a nagging …