My friend Priscilla gives the best writing advice (hi P! *waves*). Every time I start over-thinking and worrying about which publisher to submit to, how the next three sequels of each WIP I have will progress, how I'll never get my synopsis right, she tells me the same thing. "Shut up and write."
I've been worrying about this trilogy I'm planning on completing. Shifting Her World is the first of the three. This week I completed a scorching sex scene. I'm having doubts about whether I should include it. It's so hot it makes the final sex scene pale in comparison, so I'll have to ramp that one up in my edits. If I keep this scene, and the book gets published, I believe I'll have to keep that level of eroticism for the others. This blog entry from agent Jessica Faust at BookEnds confirmed my suspicions. I'm not sure if I can do it.
I've also been having doubts about the second book in the trilogy because it departs in tone from the first pretty drastically. The second one is rather dark where Shifting Her World has been pretty light and quirky.
As a reader, if I enjoyed a book enough to buy a second by the same author, I think I'd be disappointed if it varied too greatly from the first in tone or temperament. But only if it were drastic. Like a huge change in attitude - from hot to inspirational, from dark to everything is sunshine and roses. Though I think I'd be a savvy enough buyer to realize through the excerpt and how it was categorized that it would be so different.
So, hmmmm. I don't know. These types of questions plague me and can some days bring my writing to a halt. I borrow trouble from the future, and if I'd just follow Priscilla's other wonderful advice and, "Just finish, already!" it'd probably be best.
It's pretty depressing that all the exercise I'm getting is the spontaneous attack dance parties that happen every so often in my kitchen. I'll be doing some mindless chore, when a song comes on and it's like a catalyst. I'm attacked by two small urchins who lurk until some secret sign and then pounce, forcing me to dance. What's really sad is that I'm totally winded after one song and gasping for air. They show no mercy though, and I usually can't run them off until after song four.
Here's the song that started it up today. (One of my favorites, so I can't complain too much.)
On a completely different note, sad reality whomps me right in the gut when I read in the items the soldiers request on anysoldier.com things like Clearasil, or other acne preventing medicine. These guys are so young out in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nineteen and twenty years old. I think back to what I was doing at that age and it was definitely nothing like they are.
So I was in a restaurant yesterday where they actually played muzac. I tried not to let it annoy me, but it made me think. (Scary thought that muzac made me think. Now I'm thinking I might need to get out a bit more.) Anyway, here's what it made me think. Who are these people who play the muzac to be recorded? The musicians that actually play annoyingly mainstreamed instrumental versions of the songs on the radio. Who are they, and how did they come to this career choice?
Did they not make it in "The Show"? No symphony orchestra accepted them? Is this like figure skaters who don't medal in the Olympics and end up wearing a Snoopy costume in the Ice Capades? ("Yeah, I'm in the Capades.")
Or do they love to play the cello so much that they couldn't let go of the dream to play professionally and ended up at muzac headquarters jonesin' for a gig? "I'll take anything, man. I'm desperate, here."
Maybe they just needed a paycheck and went slumming for a while to make ends meet. But then do you put that on your resume? What type of self respecting musician would list muzac on their resume? Hmmmm.
So here's where I'm going with this. Every once in a while I get the fear that I'm going to end up hanging on to the dream of writing too long and eventually wind up doing the equivalent of wearing a Snoopy costume on ice skates while playing the violin as I record Put A Ring On It elevator style.
Now if that isn't a scary thought for the day I don't know what is.
My sea monkey colony is organizing. I can tell. They definitely have designs on escaping. Scouts are out casing the perimeter, and I'm noticing suspicious activities (digging, being alert, popping up from the bath tub to check on noise). I think it's an uprising.
And it came at such an inopportune time. I've been making progress with Shifting Her World, and if I have to quell a sea monkey coup, it will decimate my word count. Oh well. Those are the pitfalls of balancing writing with your day job.
I wish writing were my day job, but it isn't at this point. Someday I might be able to get a more equitable split in the amount of time I can spend on writing versus my day job. Right now it's about 90%/10%.
So for now I have to go and do battle with the sea monkey tribe. I think I hear their war songs bubbling up from the deep dark depths of the tub. Looks like I'll be participating in some chemical warfare. I feel no remorse. Don't let their all-American image fool you. They fight dirty.
I loved The Shining. The book and the movie. Jack Nicholson was a badass back in the day. The story is the epitome of the psychological thriller.
There are times when a sadistic streak comes out in me. That part of me loves the villain, or the gratuitous violence. Just that little tweak of mean. For example, in the Supernatural episode, Back to School Special, when Dean pegged a middle schooler point blank with a playground ball, I giggled my a$$ off.
I love hockey. There's talk of banning fighting in the sport, and the rational side of me agrees, but the side that craves the blood lust devoutly refuses to even entertain the arguments for it.
I haven't watched a horror movie in years until My Bloody Valentine. Horror, when in high school and college, was my genre of choice. Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Carrie, the Shining, Hellraiser. I doubt I could stomach them today, but Wednesday, I'll be going to see Friday the Thirteenth. And I'm really looking forward to it.
So don't be surprised, when I finally finish something, if the climax gets gory. All part of the total package. You know what they say, "All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy."
Oh today is a dangerous day. I hear the siren call of my motorcycle from the barn. "Come and ride for a little while!" "Slip the bonds of your house for an hour!" "Come and have fun!"
It's beautiful outside right now for the middle of February. 65 degrees and sunny. The promise of spring teasing the school children at recess. *sigh*
The one thing I'm wary of is the cinders/washed out stones from the last ice storm and resulting melt off. Gravel like that on a tricky curve or quick stop can be nasty. Even an experienced rider can slide on those. And since I've taken a spill on this bike already (see my entry Two Kinds of Riders)I'm a little wary. Besides, I don't think I can get out on parole, even if I wear an electronic anklet. Just not in the cards. *damn*
On the upside, I've written over 900 words so far today. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it, but at least it's writing. Need to bounce it off of Priscilla. She's been reading this story for a frickin' year. She'll tell me if it's not in character or if the flow is off. *double damn* We'll see.
On another note, I bought my first book in a long time. It's an ebook by a "national best seller" who wrote a novella. The plot sounded like a somewhat intriguing concept, I'd heard of her, read the excerpt and went ahead and got it. Dismal mistake. It was shallow and flat and I couldn't suspend belief for it if a gun had been pointed at my head. The alien world the heroine was taken to seemed like Strawberry Shortcake on steroids. I was waiting for unicorns to prance around farting rainbows out of their butts. I kid you not.
So, if this person (resting on their rep and fan base) got this piece 'o crapola published, maybe if I actually finish mine, there's a chance for me too. And if mine gets rejected, I'll just seamlessly weave in the rainbow farting unicorns. That's gotta make it sell.
Everybody has their two cents to toss in on almost every subject. Here's your chance.
I read an entry from Rachelle Gardner on her blog rants & ramblings on life as a literary agent. (check it out here) It dealt with genre specialization. Picking and sticking to a genre in your writing career to increase marketability and build a fan base. I've heard this advice several times before, and I generally believe it. I've also heard the established ranks scoffing at the newbies who say, "those rules don't apply to me" when it comes to the tried and true axioms of the publishing world.
That being said, I do believe it's best to specialize in a genre, but I just hate it.
I have two favorite tee shirts right now. The first shows a picture of Will Ferrell in a costume from an SNL skit with the caption, "More Cowbell" underneath it. The other is a shirt that reads, "They say I have A.D.D., but they just don't understand . . . Oh look! A chicken!" This sums me up quite nicely. I flit from topic to topic, and interest to interest like a monkey on Red Bull. My eclectic tastes run the gamut in everything about me. Just check out my music and movie selections on my Blogger profile. It's the same with my writing ideas. I have notes written in my book file for WIPs in Romance sci fi, BDSM, Contemporary, M/M, Erotic, Historical, Paranormal, Western, plus two non romance action adventure/suspense.
Part of me wants to be stubborn and do what I want like a defiant child, but I'd also like to make good in my new chosen profession. I respect experience. I do not feel that I'm the exception to the rule. It just goes against the way my brain is programmed to settle down to one genre.
So let's hear from some of you experts out there. Give me your two cent spin on this. Just be forewarned. I don't give change.
Hi everyone! I got out on parole and headed to the library for about an hour and got two pages written. That's pretty good for me and pathetic for all you real writers. So I'm drained and will cop out on my entry today. Time to see the sites.
How many times was I up in the middle of the night last night? Four. How many times was it because I couldn't sleep? Zero. How many times was I up in the middle of the night the night before that? Three. How many times was it because I couldn't sleep? Zero. How many times was I up in the middle of the night the night before that? Five. How many times was it because I couldn't sleep? Zero. How many times was I up in the middle of the night the night before that? Three. How many times was it because I couldn't sleep? Zero. Need I go on? I'm not getting any writing done because I'm a comatose basket case! RRRRRGGGG!!
How many words could an Avachuck chuck if and Avachuck had time to chuck words?
Time. Slipping through the cracks in my life as I speed around like a toy car on a closed circuit track. Seemingly getting nowhere, but making good time. Trying not to fly off in the curves, and still make it quickly to the next one.
I made my writing goal for this month. It wasn't that big of a goal. My oldest doesn't go back to preschool until March, and my youngest is too little for any of that, so I need to find the time around their schedules to work on my writing.
I had some earlier goals that don't look like they'll pan out. I had thought to enter a contest, but I actually talked myself out of that one. My other goal was to attend the RWA conference with Brass In Pocket completed. Maybe do an editor appointment. Money being what it is, makes attending a conference look too frivolous this year. I haven't discounted it entirely, but in two more years it will be in New York. I'm thinking attending that one may be more beneficial for me. I'd have more experience under my too tight belt, and perhaps something published in e-book form.
E-books are my goal. I've spoken with several other members in CPRW, and a few have questioned me on this - in a tone that made me wonder if I'd slipped and told them I was running for Empress of Chatahoochee and asked them for their votes. I guess at this point I don't have that drive yet to have a book in my hand with my name on the cover. *** ***** ******* (Sorry about the delay. Some men in uniforms just broke down the door to my home, demanding that I revoke my aspiring author status. I told them they had the wrong house and directed them two towns over. If they come back I'll be sic-ing the sea monkeys on them.)
I'm not saying the desire won't come in time. It just isn't riding me right now. That's probably a good thing for my mental stability at the moment.
So I guess we won't know for a few more years how many words this Avachuck could chuck. But the important part is to keep on chuckin'. And as I chuck, I'll try not to hit the sea monkeys.