Category Archives: December 2011

Two Thousand and Twelve

Before I get into the 2012 New Year’s talk, I want to take a quick look back on where I was this time last year. I remember feeling overwhelmed, knowing I wanted to finish my first draft of Amelia, edit it myself, and then get it professionally edited. I was naive enough to think I could possibly get it self-published by the end of 2011 too. That makes me laugh now, but the fact I got the first three goals accomplished makes me feel great! I had no clue that a complete rewrite would be in my cards, and the book I had just finished in March, would be changed and headed in a whole new direction by October.

In 2011, two other things came into my life, blogging and the wonderful world of Twitter. This time last year, I had no clue what blogging was, much less start one. I wasn’t on Twitter and hadn’t given any thought of jumping onto that social media bandwagon. Thankfully, my husband’s daughter, Paige, was spending New Year’s with us and explained the blogging and Twitter world to me. After hearing how the details of both worked, a light bulb went off, and I decided to dive into both simultaneously! I started my Twitter adventure on Jan. 1, 2011 and I posted my first blog post on Jan. 2, 2011. Thanks Paige! Now, I’m addicted to Twitter, and blogging, well, I’m still learning.

I have learned so much in 2011, and I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve had from my husband, family, and friends. I’m also appreciative of all my new writer friends that have come into my life. The writer’s support that you’ve given me has pushed me through some difficult writing and editing. All of you are the best. Thank you!

Okay, now on to what I’ve got planned for 2012. I’m not one for resolutions, but I do like making goals. The goals I will share are reading and writing related. I will spare you my wonderful and lofty personal goals (honestly, I haven’t thought through those yet).

First, my reading goals:

1. Simply, I will read more. I want to set aside one day each week to dive into a book (or two). I’m VERY ashamed to say, in 2011, I did not read one book all the way through. I started a couple, but writing always took over. I tend to think that if I have time to read, I should be writing, but why should I deprive myself the joy of reading? I refuse to do that to myself in the upcoming year, and truthfully, I believe reading other people’s works of writing can help improve my own. I have a long list of books I want to read, so I can’t wait to begin turning the pages, literally and digitally.

2. I want to read genres I normally don’t read. I usually stick to mystery, thriller, or women’s fiction, but it’s time to jump into the many other genres out there. I want to open my mind and discover what they have to offer. It doesn’t mean I will love, or even like, everything I read, but I will respect it.

3. I will rate and  leave reviews on the books I read. Obviously, I will leave positive reviews for the books I enjoyed. For the ones I didn’t enjoy, I will keep my mouth shut, but I will rate them. It’s hard for me to leave a bad review. I couldn’t imagine reading a bad, scathing, or negative review of my own work, so I don’t want to do that to someone else. No matter the body of work, and how bad I may perceive it to be, I can’t speak negatively towards another author. I may leave positive criticism, but that’s it. Call me a review wimp; I’m okay with that.

4. I want to add more self-published authors to my “to read” list. Actually, my iPad is loaded and ready with plenty to get me started. That being said, I’d like to take this moment to encourage anyone reading this to do the same. There are so many wonderful authors out there that aren’t represented by a major publishing company, and a lot of their work is available in e-book form for as little as $.99. Give indie authors a chance. You won’t regret it.

Now, my writing goals:

1. The most important, and the most obvious goal, I will finish my rewrite. Is it an attainable goal? I surely hope so. I’d like to have my my manuscript in my editor’s hands by the beginning of October. The obstacle I face is, I’m still working on the new plot line and characters. Essentially, that means I’ll have to write a new book by October. If I stick to my guns, I might can do it. I’m putting it out there, so let the hard work begin!

2. I would love to say I will write everyday of 2012, but come on, everyday? We all know that life happens, we travel, and we take breaks. I want to be realistic in setting such goals. I will say, out of seven days a week, I will dedicate 5 days to writing. If I write more than that, GREAT! If I write less, I will make up for it. The goal will be to keep track and to hold myself accountable. If I want want to take my writing to the next level, I need to be more persistent and consistent.

3. I will do NaNoWriMo! For those who don’t know what this is, it’s where you have to write a book with 50,000 or more words in the month of November, from start to finish. I’m a bit nervous, but mostly, I’m excited. My brain is already spinning with ideas and plots. Thankfully, two of my favorite Twitter friends, Jennifer Gracen and Karen DeLabar, will be by my side to start off the month with a bang. They’re going to join me at my house in Vermont to start the NaNoWriMo party! For all of you on Twitter, be ready for some great Tweets!

That’s it! That’s all I’ve got! Time to bring in a New Year and make wonderful things happen! I wish you all the best for what comes your way in 2012!

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Until next time….

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ReRouting….No, ReWriting

Shame on me! I haven’t posted since September, but honestly, the book has been a little overwhelming. In my last post, I announced that I’ve decided to rewrite Amelia. If you haven’t read my last few posts, I would love for you to read them so you get the full sense of where I am in the process.

Rewriting is exactly what it sounds like, but “starting over”, is another good way of saying it.  At first, I thought I would simply cut out large portions of my first draft and rewrite them. Yes, that’s the way it starts, but then the domino effect takes hold: One change causes another change, and that change causes another change, and so on and so on. Now, I’ve put away my first draft and it hasn’t seen the light of day in over two months. The names of the characters, except for one, are the only things that have stayed the same. Every other part of the book is on a new journey.

I’ve had people ask me, “Doesn’t it make you mad or upset that you have to start over?”

Plain and simple, my answer is, “No.”

First of all, I don’t HAVE to rewrite my book. Nobody is making me do this. I WANT to rewrite Amelia. There’s a better story to be told; there’s dimension and depth that need to be added.  I’ve created new characters and added more conflict. I’ve also changed my mind on where the book should be set. Learning how to ramp up Amelia has allowed me, and taught me, to enjoy writing even more than when I wrote the first draft.

This speaks loudly of my personality, but when I started writing Amelia, I dove in head first. I didn’t do any research on how to write a novel or what to expect. I’ve never taken a writing course, other than my college English classes, and those had nothing to do about writing a book. I’ve done this by good old trial and error, paired with the love of the written word. This is my passion and I will stand by this book until I’m happy with the finished product.

All that being said, how long will it take for me to finish the rewrite? I wish I knew. Yes, I have a better feel of how to write a book. I have better feel for editing, and I’m learning each day how to be better at rewriting. Having routine calls with my editor definitely helps me stay on track, but I can’t set a time limit or a deadline. I wasn’t very disciplined while writing the first draft, but this time around, I’m dedicated to writing each day. It’s amazing how far one, committed hour of writing each day will take you.

What happens when the rewrite is done? Well, another round of edits. Then we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully, I’ll be closer to having my novel self-published. It’s a process that no one can understand until they do it themselves.

Three last things:

1. Readers, respect the process an author goes through to get their book into your hands.

2. Writers/Authors, never forget the wonderful stories your words create.

3. A journey is never short.

Until next time…

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Filed under December 2011