Monday, October 31, 2011

Taking charge...

"You are responsible for the success of your writing career..
And you are responsible for it 100% of the time."
Christina Katz

This has never been more true than now. There are so many options out there for a writer, it's sometimes hard to know which direction is the one to follow.  And, publishing is changing so rapidly, it's actually hard to keep up.

As I mentioned not long ago, I've made some decisions, set some priorities, and have started setting some goals along with the steps to reach them.  I'll be sharing some of that soon but as the year is coming to a close -- Can you believe it's almost November??? -- I want to encourage each of you to consider what you want to accomplish, what you have accomplished and then make some plans to get to your goals.

For me, it meant setting aside my fantasy writing for a while and focusing on my mystery writing.   As Earl Smooter said, "You can't ride two horses with one ass." Yes, I'll still play with my dragons and such but the main focus will be mystery for a while.  And I'm happy with that.  It was the right decision for me. 

It also meant setting my sights a little lower than the "Big Six" and New York.    Yeah, it took me a while to acknowledge that, and it's still a bit irksome but there is no way I can sit and wait for NY.  By the time I got an acceptance, then wait the 18 - 24 months for the book to hit the shelf, it could be three years or more down the line. 

By going with a small press, I'll have something out much sooner, have more input in the process and since I have to do most of the work anyway, why shouldn't I get most of the earnings.  So, I'm happy with my decisions.

Again, I want to urge each of you to consider your writing goals and decide just what's the best way for you to achieve them.  Yes, some decisions may be hard to make but it will be worth it in the long run.

When I first read the quote from Christina Katz, I tweaked it a bit, made it my own.  I then typed it up, gave it a little color and shape then printed it out as bookmarks and even a "flyer" thing.  I've included the picture below.  Copy it, post it where you can see it, take control of your writing career!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Cell

Not long ago I discovered chainbooks and have been writing for them when I have a chance.  One of the things I really like is I can play in different genres without having to finish a whole story.  I can have part of an idea, play with it a bit then let someone else finish it. 

Here is part of one of those ideas.  You can read the rest of it HERE then if you'd like, add the next chapter to it.

The Cell

I hurried down the aisle, past the shoes and artificial flower stuff. By the time I reached lay-a-way, my jaws ached from clenching them so tight and I was doing the 'from-the-knees-down' kinda run that every woman who's waited too long to go knows about. Finally rushing into the restroom, I made it to the first open stall, barely closed the door and settled it into a sitting position without doing something I'd not done since first grade. I'd been new in school, my first day. I still remembered how they kids laughed and teased. After that, I taught myself to delay the need to go for hours at a time. Course, not drinking a lot of liquids helped but I'd never had an accident again. Oh, I'd cut it close a time or two but nothing serious.

Momma had always said "a bean's a bean but a pee's a relief" and while sitting there enjoying the relief, I took a moment to read the graffiti on the stall walls. Nothing much there, just the usual 'for a good time call Glenda at' with a phone number along with a couple 'I love' and the boy's name kinda thing. Above the toilet paper holder someone had scrawled a really crude poem about farting. I snickered a bit since I was alone.

That's when I saw the cell phone. Just laying on top of the toilet paper holder. It was one of those cheap, twenty dollar phones you buy to placate the kid who thinks she'll die if she doesn't have a phone to text her friends. I knew cause I'd bought the fifty dollar version. And for another fifty dollars a month I had unlimited talk, text and web. Not a bad deal really when you compared other plans. And believe me, I had.

I picked up the phone, pushed the green send key and watched the screen come to life. The airtime info showed just under fifty thousand minutes available and twenty-nine service days. Someone had just reloaded it and would probably be angry they'd lost it. But hey, my own phone was about to run out of service days and since things were a little tight in the cash flow area, I figured this was a gift I couldn't refuse. And like momma had said many a time, "finders keepers, losers weepers."

I finished up my business, stuck my new cell phone in my pocket and left the stall. After a quick washing of the hands, I strolled out of the restroom. No one had been looking for a lost phone in the restroom and no one stood at the service desk asking about a lost phone so I snagged an empty shopping cart that appeared to be abandoned and headed to the grocery section to get some ice cream to celebrate my good fortune.

After settling on fudge swirl along with some chocolate sauce to top it off, I used the self-checkout machine and headed across the parking lot to my car. Sliding the cell phone from my pocket, I deposited it in a cup holder then started the engine. I'd just sifted into reverse when the cell sang "you've got mail." After shifting back into park, it only took a moment to open the message and read, Time to play a game. Strange message since that wouldn't be possible on this version of phone, no games. It was one of the things that kept me from buying this model to begin with. I shrugged and then deleted the message.

I'd just returned the phone to its spot in the cup holder when it sang its "you've got mail" announcement again. Sorry, wrong number, no game playing here. I picked up the phone anyway, opened the message. Yes, you! Drive out of parking lot, turn right on Gibson Road. Go to the Sonic. Order a cherry limeade then wait until you hear from me. The phone sang again. I opened the message. Don't think about disobeying Carol. I sucked in a deep breath and dropped the phone. It slid between the seats and down beside the gas pedal. Glancing around the parking lot, no one seemed to be watching me. There were a couple of shoppers going toward the store and a guy with a cart full of stuff coming down the aisle but no one close by or that paid any attention to me.

"You've got mail" came from the phone by my foot. I jerked away bumping my elbow on the door. Maybe if I ignored it. But, whoever was on the other end, they knew my name. How could it be possible? I reached down, picked up the phone. Dread washed over me, my stomach churned. I touched the view button and swallowed hard. Go NOW or you won't live to regret it. Wrong, I regretted picking up the phone already.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Motivational Monday

I really like this!

How many times have you not done something because you might be wrong?  I know I have.  Many times. 

As a writer, it's so hard sometimes to put words on the page that might not be the right ones.  I think that's one reason writers are such great procrastinators.

So, today I challenge you.  Yes, you.  Put aside those doubts and fears.  Stop worrying about getting the words perfect.

Remember, great books aren't written, they're rewritten.

You can't revise what you haven't written.

Write from the heart.