Showing posts from June, 2013

Miss me?

Yeah, you probably never even noticed I was gone.

I was in Florida for the last weekend, visiting my mom in New Smyrna Beach. 14 hour drive down. 6 days of fun in the sun. 14 hours back.


Anyway, back to the daily grind starting tomorrow. It's terrible that on Thursday I woke up and immediately thought that I was going to have to deal with people on Monday. That's why I never take vacations for longer than a week. Any longer and I probably wouldn't come back.

I have a week to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo. I think I have my idea and characters straightened out. Not so much a plot, but whatevs. I'll get there.

In the meantime, I'd like to leave you with a word from John Hodgeman.

Where do you write?

I often see this question on blogs. I think a lot of them came from a blog hop a while back that I missed. Anyway, I got to thinking about this question about a week ago after reading this post at io9.

I was particulary fascinated by Terry Pratchett and his six monitors, and Neil Gaiman's garden office.

I really want Gaiman's garden office:

But alas, I'm far, far away from achieving that goal, and besides I'd probably be too distracted by the world around me to get any writing done.

So, where do I write?

Depends on how focused I want to be. If I'm just farting around, I'll do it on the couch, or even in bed. If I want to get some real work done, and I don't want cats trying to crawl on my laptop, I'll work at the kitchen table.

I've considered setting up a real, actual, Serious Writer™, work space, but a) I'm lazy, and b) I'm not sure where I'd put it. I have a three bedroom house; two of those rooms are occupied, and the third is a guest room/dumping ground for stuff I should throw away/donate/unpack (been here for 3 years BTW and still have stuff in boxes). I could clear out that third room, but it's so small that a twin bed and a small dresser take up most of the free space. There's no place for a desk.

So, kitchen table it is.

Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories

Happy Sunday to all.

Today I have a little bit for you. Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite authors, and if I could get as much out of as few words as he did, I would be a very happy writer indeed.

Anyway, enjoy!

Insecure Writers Support Group

I have been working on my MS for over a year now. I have written, rewritten, revised, edited, added punctuation marks, removed punctuation marks, and returned deleted punctuation marks to their proper places. I have taken a series of unconnected occurrences written out of order and put them into a semblance of plot. I added chapters, removed scenes, had characters misbehave and come out the better for it. I have read through the whole thing four separate times, and had CPs on it twice (getting ready for a third time).
I hope to start querying soon, and I'm really worried about that. I even considered skipping the whole process and just self publishing, but my reasons all boiled down to me being afraid of the inevitable rejections. And I know I'll get a ton of rejections, because I know writing a successful query will be just as hard as writing the novel. I technically know what a query letter is, and what it's supposed to look like, but applying that to my novel is really hard.
Last week I discovered Query Shark. I don't know why it took me so long to find this site, but it has been a revelation. Anyone looking to query, or wondering why they keep getting rejected, should probably stop by and read a few of the critiques. I have already learned a lot, I just haven't figured out how to make it work for me yet.

Inspiration Monday: The Craft of the Short Story

This month for Inspiration Monday, I'm bringing you an interview from Stephen King about the craft of writing short stories.

To me, Stephen King is a master of the short story. Often his novels can become bloated, filled with too many characters, and tangential plot lines that add nothing to the overall story. Don't get me wrong, I will pay for - and read - every last word of it, but there's a huge difference between a collection of his short stories, and something like The Stand (the one novel of his I have never finished reading.*)

I started out with short stories. I'm sure most people do. But somehow, over the past few decades, the idea has taken hold that you're not a writer until you've got a novel under your belt. Nobody buys short story collections from modern writers anymore (with the exception of Stephen King, and that's only because he's Stephen-effing-King), and I wonder if that's the reason why. I feel the short story has been devalued, relegated to middle school English classes, and I wonder if many writers shy away from them now because there's no big money in it.

Like there's big money in writing  a novel (for most of us).

I chose to go with this interview, because my goal for this month is to start working on expanding some of the short fictions I did for A to Z. I'm sure that many of you who stopped by to read them noticed that they weren't always (read: almost never) complete stories. They were ideas that intrigued me, but in the interest of space, time, and - to be honest - a bit of anxiety, I never got around to fully exploring them. Last month for Inspiration Monday, I said that I planned to get some of them together and self publish a collection. Fingers crossed that I don't screw it up too badly.

How do you all feel about short stories, both reading and writing them?

*I came along too late to read the original, abridged version of The Stand, which my mother tells me was much easier to get through.