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So here is the way things are.

The contract I signed didn’t amount to much in the end because a couple of weeks after telling me editing was starting on my book, the publisher announced he was closing up shop. No heads up, nothing. In fact just before the general email went out I’d been messaging him about cover design.

That was a bitter pill to swallow. It is hard when something you’ve worked so hard for falls apart in your hands.

images.jpegThen I had to decide what I was going to do. Getting an agent is damn near impossible, getting a publisher as difficult. So then there is a third option, one that is much easier these days and a great deal more profitable than it used to be.

The last option is the one I have settled on. So I’ve taken steps to ensure I do this as well as I can. I swallowed my fear and paid for a professional edit. I had someone doing some art for me and I decided that was going to be my cover art.

Stage one then complete with those decisions made.

Stage two, the editor got back to me in a more than timely manner and the feed back was pretty good all things considered.

Stage three, work on the edits from my end. This is turning into a series of levels. A few big edits and then a few smaller ones. The big ones have been done and now it is just some final tweaking. I have also picked up the art I’m using and it is now in the hands of a graphic designer who’s putting the other touches on for me.

I have it planned. Really I do, or at least that is what I keep telling myself. I will do the final edits. Use the art to get promotional stuff printed up. Contribute to a website where people discover new authors and then get up the courage to hit send on the publishing site.

I want this to work. I really want this to work. Despite that hunger it’s still a scary thought.

Stay tuned.

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So Many Thoughts

I have so many things spinning around in my head.

Some times it is so confusing in there. There are so many stories floating around at times. It’s difficult to focus on just one. So right now I’m working on a couple of things. First edit of book two is a current big red mess. Well the first 100 pages at any rate.

My other project I’ve not touched whilst I’ve been on leave. Instead I’ve worked on knitting and sewing projects. Creative is creative after all. I quite like doing creative things with my hands there is something incredibly satisfying in it. It is just something I don’t do very often anymore as I have so many things going on.

It can be a very full schedule when you’re a wife, mother, full time employee and a writer. Oh there is also my convention habit.

I love my life, mostly. I guess I just wish things would happen faster. I wish I was already published, I wish certain other things had gone my way and a few other things were different. Things that I don’t need the world to know but that would make my life a little easier.

Part of the problem with the internet is it is so easy to over share. I could complain about the things that have gone wrong, the problems I have, but ultimately what would be the point? Complaining online won’t solve my problems. It may be cathartic in the moment but what can it possibly achieve? It won’t fix anything, it won’t make anything go away. I don’t understand why people do it.

Whining doesn’t help in anyway. You know what does help? Getting on with life. Doing what you are good at. Fix your sights on the goal, pick yourself up out of your pity party and put one foot in front of the other. That is how you get to where you want to be.

Life for most of us is not about the quick fix, it is about the long journey. Sure there are lucky people in life, those for whom things come easy. For the rest of us we work at it. We take one step after another, stopping to recharge, refocus and step again towards that goal we hold so dear.

And Then There is Work

Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about being a writer is the fact bills still need to be paid. Even for a lot of published writers a second job is required in order for all to be covered. For me though writing is something I have to do, but as yet it contributes nothing to my bank account. So I work at a regular (or not so regular many would say) job.

It is a job that allows me flexibility to travel to conventions, which is my stress relief from the pressures of that job and general life, so that is a very good thing. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at my job, and despite its peculiarities I like my job. I just wish at times that writing contributed a little something so I could spend more time focussing on that and not need to clock in the overtime shifts in order to pay for my convention habit, and my book habit.

Ahhh the first world problems of a writer-in-training.

 

A Little Break

So, writing is a slow process, unless I suppose you are a well known and already published author. A contract has 12 to 18 months on it and that’s if things go smoothly. Sometimes things don’t go smoothly.

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They haven’t for me. I wish they had. More than anything I wish they had. My life is busy and rough enough. There are times I just get tired of pushing, pressing and moving forward. Sometimes I just want to give up.

Thing is I know well enough that I can’t walk away. I’ve been a writer, an unpublished one, for a very long time. I used to sit at my parents dining room table with an old typewriter when I was about 13 or 14 and write up my first stories. Mostly they were mystery/adventure because thats what I read. When I got older I tried my hand at bad high school romance, with characters unlike any I read because I always identified with rougher girls, more troubled girls than I read about.

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I have always written. Writing is my outlet. Sometimes there are so many ideas that I can’t keep up. If I develop even half of those ideas I am going toe busy for a very long time. Problem is I write because I have to write but there is still part of me that really wants to share my stories but I’m not willing to give all those stories away. I did start publishing a couple of stories on line years ago, but I didn’t see it through and no one seemed to care.

Publishing is a difficult mistress. Writing is a cruel bitch to be enslaved to. But I am and I find I don’t mind it much, mostly. Sometimes though the frustration. You try to hold onto the highs but the time between them is so far it can be disheartening.

During one of those lows, when my publisher had things to work through, (life interferes most inconveniently at times) I had to walk away. I was getting irritated and frustrated because nothing was moving forward.

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Creatives can’t just stop being creative though, so I walked back to the theatre. I put on another persons clothes, hair and damn four inch heels and played make believe for a little while.

It was fun and exhausting. See a writer is in many ways a homebody, this writer particularly. Oh I love being on stage, it is an amazing, adrenaline filled experience. Some of those nights though, getting myself off my couch and out of my house was a drag. The reward though… the laughter, the camaraderie, the total shedding of self to play dress up as someone totally differently.

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I love being on stage. The wonderful side effect is now I feel energised and ready to write again. I’ve been able to put pen to paper on a couple of things and feel ready to push in to the bigger ones.

Sometimes you need to step away and reinvigorate the core of you.

No News is…

Writing is a fickle mistress at times. Mistress? Why mistress? Anyway, that little pondering is not for now.

So, no news is good news right? I don’t know, regardless, waiting is hard. I had hopes but I’ve managed to let go of those by now. What I haven’t let go of is my belief in myself. I believe my writing is good enough to sell. I believe my story is good enough that people will want to read it.

All of which is great, but that really isn’t why I write. I’ve already talked about this though. I write because I have to write. If I go for a longish period of time without writing I feel out of sorts. It may not make sense to anyone who isn’t a writer but it is something that just is and I’m good with that.

The problem with creative arts is that for all it is an isolating task, it also needs other people. I need people who can keep me focused, people who are happy for me to use them as sounding boards for some ideas. People who are prepared to read my work and be honest with me about it.

Also in my case I need a publisher, because for me I don’t know that I have the time to wade through the intricacies of self-publishing. I could never do anything without doing it properly and that takes time. The thing with a publisher is they have all these other things going on with them as well. It would be a wonderful thing for me if I could have someone focussed entirely on helping me achieve my goal but this is the real world. So things happen according to other people’s time frames.

I guess this is part of what being a grown up is, understanding that some things take time, and a little, or a lot, of patience. In the meantime I will keep writing, reading and creating.

 

Still Writing

Okay so book one is finished, with beta readers and hopefully my publisher, I’d like to say these things are set in stone but unfortunately I’ve been around various aspects of the creative industries to know that nothing is certain until it is actually out there in the hands of the consumers.

Oh believe me I want it to be done, I want the book published, I want people to buy it, read it and hopefully like it. I also want to get paid for it. Selfish of me I know. I write because I have to write. If I don’t write things feel out of whack. I will probably always write regardless. Is is too much to ask though to be paid for it? I hope not.

I had an argument with a young chap once about not paying for books, just reading pirated versions. I told him he was an arrogant, selfish toad (possibly in more colourful language) for expecting others to entertain him with no compensation. Problem is many feel that way. They don’t see the creative process for what it is, someone’s hard spent time for which they should be compensated.

I am not here today to get into a rant about this. Today is a brief update. Book one is finished, book two has a complete rough first draft and book three has elements to it already complete. For now that series is being walked away from as a delve into another idea. Oh I am so excited about this idea but that is all I can say at the moment. I have been involved in this industry long enough to know sometimes you are just better off not saying anything because so many don’t understand and the heartbreak of rejection is terrible. For now this will be my secret work in progress. I know the first series will likely be finished first, before this second one is properly given it’s wings.

Still I write because I must write.

Oh My Glob!!!

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Wow! I totally had no idea that I’d neglected this page for so long. That is simply terrible. For myself not so much for anyone else. This is my writing blog. The one that details my journey and, let’s be honest, my geeky stuff as well. If I can’t regularly add to this how am I going to manage when I’m published and needing to keep a profile as an author. Of course that is the hopefully vain part of me that dreams that someone will care. A girl has to dream right.

So.

Where did I leave things?

June Nova and a signed contract. Both great things. Now six months have passed and what has changed? Nothing and a whole heap. November bought another Nova tour. Yay!!! These events are my stress relief. They give me the chance to catch up with friends from around the country and shmoose with people I admire from various reactive pursuits and pretend they will remember me the following day. It’s okay I know they won’t but I’m a writer I spend a large amount of time living in a fantasy land.

12279208_10208499849113168_8893095336609938655_nYou may wonder though, how the chaos and busyness of a weekend convention, where I barely get to eat sometimes and grab pee breaks when I can find a minute, can be considered stress relief. Well when you have a day job that many would consider one of the most stressful out there, any kind of change is a relief. Plus I get fun stories and sometimes ever funner (it is a thing now) pics.

12305998_896270337135300_2107145663_nWriting takes up a chunk of my spare time. I have finished my first run though of book two. Even though my intention had been to step away from Evayn and her story for a while and work on something different. The story it seemed had other ideas. It simply would not let me go. I’m not sure whether that was because it was the most unformed part of the whole thing and I had a whole heap of world building to do, or because the characters weren’t ready for a holiday yet. Whatever the reason, the second act is now loosely formed and I’m happy with it.

Now I’ve finally been released to step away from them and have completed three short stories for a friend who wanted to collaborate on a project. The worst part of it all is I’ve written them and sent them off and now I’m waiting for a response. That as we all know is the worst part. What if he doesn’t like them? What if they really don’t fit his interpretation of the very loose parameters he gave me? What if?

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I’m not sure how much that matters though. Well it does and it doesn’t. See writing is really very complicated in it’s simplicity. Full of double meaning and both sides of coins. It matters in that I really do want him to like them. I want him to feel they are useful for the project. On the other hand though, I am really happy with the stories and have a special place in my heart for the characters I created. So yes,it does matter if he likes them, but also it doesn’t.

Confused yet? I probably am, but that is pretty normal for me.

Now those stories are doing what they will in the ether I have begun working on a different project. I’m finding it fun and interesting and not at all sure where it will take me story wise. I have an overall view of it in my head but it is very unformed. How it all shakes out in the end will, hopefully be a very interesting journey for me.

So I have finally done another post, hopefully with this new year, all its potential and all my plans (and a book launch baby!) I will maintain this page in a better manner than last year. That is about as close as I have come to any kind of New Years resolution.

Take care peeps. Enjoy your journey.

I Haven’t Left

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Not really, though with the time that has lapsed between posts it probably seems like it. There is a reason though. I think it’s pretty good but I’m not sure if others will.
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June was my SupaNova month. Mid year con time and I just love it. Sometimes the experience you get from a con is so very different to what you think it might me. Some of the guests will be everything you expect, other far more and some, not at all. It all goes together to make one awesome melting pot of experience. I always love my time at con, I love my con family. For me it is a world so removed from my everyday job they should allow it be a tax deduction under stress relief.
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However that is only part of why I’ve been so absent from this page. I informed my munchkins that due to their materialism Christmas presents were going to be made this year. Sounds great in theory but in practice that means I have to make stuff. Argghhh! That’s not because I can’t but because it is another time consuming thing I’ve added to my list of time consuming activities. Still I have made progress on that front I’m already well into gift three and I’ve found it not a bad counterpoint to my work day. Also I can do it whilst I’m binge watching shows so all good, two birds one stone and all that.

However that is still only part of the story. The biggest part of the story is… I’ve just signed my very first publishing contract!!!! You have no idea how much I’d like to type that in all caps, but then I’d be shouting at you, ah to hell with it…I SIGNED MY FIRST PUBLISHING CONTRACT!!!!
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You have no idea how happy that makes me. Or maybe you do. I know there are plenty of dreamers out there with the same dream as me. What kept me busy though was I went back on the finished manuscript to check a few details and, as always with something you’ve put away for a while I saw things I could tweak. So I tweaked the whole 100 000+ words. Then sent it off and joy of joys got a contract back to sign.

The problem is I know that is just another step on a long road but others think that means the book will be out in a couple of months, so I’ve had to explain that no it will take a bit longer than that. Still not even that takes the shine off my news. So now I’m motoring along through book two so it will be in a really good spot by the time book one is set for release. So all in all my writing journey is progressing well and I hope to make it back here more often from now on.

The Creative

So I am still writing. In fact the writing is going pretty well for the most part. Ideas are coming together, the big picture is falling into place and I really love some of my characters.
But I’m still waiting and it is hard.
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I have however roped in a couple of friends to mock me up book covers. Why you may ask. The answer is simple, visualisation. I want to be able to visualise what my own book may look like. Sure it may look nothing like what they come up with for me but still it gives me something to hold onto.
Also I want to use them as props for a photo shoot I have coming up.
Things at the moment though are busy. There is work, the thing I have to do to pay the bills, whilst I dream of the day that writing will at least help with some of that and I can stop doing OT.
I still network because I believe the day will come when that will really pay off. Of course everyone that knows me will have to buy a book, I’ve told them I don’t even care if they read it, as far as I care once they’ve bought it they can use it to prop up a table if they want.
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On other writing news I’ve been invited into a world and asked to collaborate. That in itself is all sorts of exciting and a little daunting. When writing for yourself you only have to please yourself with the story. When entering someone else’s world and collaborating you also have to please them. Arggghhhh! What if they don’t like the idea that seemed so very cool to me?
Self doubt, such a bitch. I’m sure most authors experience it to varying degrees. Though I can really only speak for myself.
Then, yesterday, my little miss hands me the start of a story she had just spent the last hour typing on a typewriter (yes you read that right – she has in her room an old typewriter I salvaged from when my dad died). The thing is, it was… well I know I’m her mother but it was good, really good and so far above what I’d expect a 7 year old to come up with. She handed it to me and all I could see was potential. And the need to find out what the heck happened next. Yeah the hook was that good. So now, I am determined to find the time to help her develop this as far as she wants.
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There just aren’t enough hours in the day sometimes.
The problem with being so busy is finding down time.
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Or more specifically when I do, when I’m flaked on the couch in front of the tv binge watching some series, I feel guilty for wasting time. The thing is though it’s not wasting time. Not really. It is easy to think it is but truthfully we all need to find time away from our projects to decompress. To just step away because if you don’t know it yet, stepping away from your own work can bring a clarity to it. You can see what has been holding you back, what isn’t working, or how to get past that thing that has helps you up for a week. Investing time in the work of other creatives can have the very effect of reinvigorating your own juices.
The other thing I like to do is walk. Running often just clears my mind, sometimes it does more but often walking gives me the chance to clear and pick at story ideas.
Sometimes you just need to do something very different, go and play a game with your kids, have coffee with friends, connect with family.
Writing can be a time demanding mistress but it does us well to remember that sometimes the best use of our time is to walk away.
Keep writing, keep believing.

The Waiting Game

The waiting game sucks, that is all.
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Book two is well underway and there are a few other ideas stirring around in the back of my mind, some are even making it to paper.
Life has been very full. Sometimes the juggling game is a little tricky but the truth is I’m happy with where I am at the moment. Work is good, family are mostly happy (when the preteen isn’t moody) and writing keeps me busy and sane (or insane as the case may be).
So onward I go into the realms of my own invention.
Waiting, waiting, waiting for the day I can say I have a publication date.
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