Observations from my writing desk: February 12, 2017

Location: In front of the big window in my living room, sitting in a green leather, studded wooden chair, my back supported by a pillow that looks just like my cat, with my feet propped up on the lower level of a 5-foot cat condo.

Hello again, my twice-yearly visited blog. You have been resuscitated because I have a deadline: In May, I’m attending a three-day writer’s conference, and during the event I will meet with an agent who will have reviewed the first 20 pages of my novel. This is important because I love deadlines; I cannot function without them. With no accountability, I will transform into a slug: naked, slimy, and doomed to be annihilated by excessive salt. Pretty picture, huh?

Luckily, I have this deadline, which means I will absolutely, positively, without any sliver of doubt complete a comprehensive draft of this book. I’m already on draft #49567, but the current draft resembles only about .04% of its first incarnation. Amazing how that happens. And as I complete the final chapter of this draft, I’ve already begun researching and taking notes on what changes I’ll make to the next draft. I also have to do my full time, paid job when not working on my flights of fancy. But the two cannot exist without each other at this point in my life.

This meeting with an agent does not guarantee anything but useful feedback, and that’s what I desperately need. Should I continue with this book? Should I make some major changes? Is it ready to be shipped off to agents for consideration? Should I bury it in my parent’s backyard will all of the fish I had growing up? (RIP.)

Not to mention the many workshops and lectures I’ll be able to attend that weekend. I can’t wait. It feels good to keep moving forward, to keep feeling like I’m getting closer to one of my biggest goals in life.

Life goals for me are basically the following:

  • Help and love my family
  • Be healthy
  • Write that book. Love it no matter what happens.

 

 

Here’s $25, will you read my story?

I made my first short story submission yesterday–well, my first story submission at all, ever.  It’s a piece I wrote a few years ago, and have made slight, slight edits to it over the years, sharpening it up in places as I learn more about what good writing is (not that I do that, exactly).  I paid Writer’s Digest $25, ignored the fact that I have a credit card payment due in a few days, and clicked “Submit.”

I don’t know much about statistics, but I know my chances of being chosen in the top 25 are slim.  The thing is, I really like my story.  I’m entertained every time I read the thing.  So, even if the (wonderful, intelligent, luminous) people over at WD don’t think my story is quite the right thing, I’m honestly just happy that I finished the story.  It’s done.  I’ve never had a story that was officially, truly, undoubtedly (at least for this week) done.  Says a lot about my writing process, huh?  I have dozens of stories that are works in progress, some more so than others.  I always envisioned my scraps of stories to one day fit together into one magnum opus, stitched together from the vignettes composed over the course of the erratic years of my twenties.  If nothing happens with this submission, I’ll just keep sending the story off, hoping someone else will enjoy it as much as I do.

Instead of jumping back into my novel, which has almost convinced me that I’m stuck in a bottomless pit of something I don’t have the skills to control, I’ll test the waters with another short story.  Something brand new.  Not pulling from that sloppy, but oddly adorable, quilt of past works in progress.

But first, sloppy joe’s for dinner.