Ok, so right now Shannon Whitney Messenger is hosting an awesome giveaway of some of my favorite books! If you love Kiersten White (Paranormalcy & Supernaturally), Andrea Cremer (Nightshade & Wolfsbane), and Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss)
Yesterday, one of my favorite beta readers called me to discuss my story. Now this beta has also been one of my best friends since 7th grade, and she's never been afraid to give it to me straight. But I must admit that for a teensy moment, a small part of me filled with dread over her verdict. I was afraid that either she'd pacify me or that she would just hate it.
Well neither happened. She actually loved the story, the premise, and the characters. She also gave me honest opinions about plot points that she didn't think were working or that confused her. I found myself not growing defensive, but agreeing with her. A lot of the problems she had, were issues that I was already struggling with and had bothered me. We talked for about an hour and a half, discussing ways I could fix said problems. I got off the phone loving her even more, and eager to dive back into my manuscript.
Last night she sent me an text letting me know how proud of me she was. And as if that weren't encouragement enough, she sent me another one this morning saying that she had dreamt about my book last night, and hasn't been able to stop thinking about it since.
It really doesn't get any better than that! So Charito, if this Beast ever gets published your name is going up in bright lights in my Acknowledgements!
Now to finish editing the last thirty pages she demanded. Till next time...
Lately, as I've been winding down to the last 30 pages of my editing, I've been wondering about my actual writing. Is it good enough? Are my sentences poetic and flowing, or do they sound clipped and dry or are they somewhere in between? Am I trying too hard? Does anyone actually like my book?
Now I know that every writer feels this way, that is a given, but I'm in desperate need of some genuine feedback. I'm starting to feel like every single one of my beta readers (who happen to be related to me or have the pleasure of being one of my best friends) are afraid to tell me that my work sucks. No one is giving me the feedback that I crave, ie: plot points, flow of story, originality of story, plot holes. Most are focusing instead on punctuation or a misspelled word here or there. Not what I was really hoping for, even though it is extremely helpful.
Instead, the response I'm getting is a general "I like it." That leaves a lot to the imagination. I keep stressing that I want an unbiased opinion, but I also don't want to hound or beat a reponse out of them. Also, instead of "I like it", how about some examples of what you liked and why.
Am I being too sensitive, or is this how it is for other writers? Please let me know if you have experienced this, and if possible, how you dealt with it.
Do you ever have one of those days? You know the ones I mean. It's the kind of day where every blog you follow has some kind of witty, inspirational, snarky, or outright hilarious post, while you can't come up with a single solitary idea. This is one of the main reasons that I don't blog everyday. It would seem that this edit is sucking all of the creativity juices from the very marrow of my bones.
I discovered this rare talent my senior year of high school, due to a dare. After impressing my parents and siblings with this hidden ability, my Grandma showed up. After some prompting from my Mom, I demonstrated said ability. My Grandma nearly peed herself laughing! Seems that she discovered the same hidden talent her senior year of high school as well. Big Mouth + Little hands= Crowd Pleaser (My husband was equally impressed when my best friend pressured me into showing him when we were first dating. Might be why he married me?! Wait that sounded dirty...)
2.I am hopelessly addicted to HBO, Showtime, and HGTV.
Ok, ok..and maybe Jerseylicious and America's Next Top Model.
Ahhh....Sookie + Eric=Swoon (I am so not a Bill fan)
3. Last night I totally cleaned the house for 2 hours, just so I could have the extra calories to devour two brownies. (They were desperately needed)
4. I am a compulsive butt pincher/slapper.
I really don't know why I do this, I just do. I like to sneak up behind people and bam I've tagged them. But let me clarify, these people are usually related to me and I have NEVER pinched/slapped a strangers tukus. My favorite bum to pinch/slap....that would have to be my sister, she always gives the best reaction.
5. Awkward, Inappropriate, and Strange things spew loudly from my mouth on a daily basis. Really, I do try to control it. I even have conversations with myself, declaring what is appropriate and what is not. But in my defense, half the time I'm only doing it to get a surprised laugh from my husband. (He is the only one who really does fully appreciate my unique brand of humor) However, if I am among my siblings and parents when this happens, it can quickly escalate to embarrassing proportions. Then I go home and berate myself..I mean who really jokes about their parents having sex? (Yea that's what I meant by awkward and inappropriate....although I strangely find this hilarious because my Mom gets super embarrassed and my siblings cringe.) But honestly, my parents had 5 kids, obviously they enjoyed making them. See what I mean? I can't stop myself.
Well that's it for now, and please remember that I never claimed to be normal. I mean what writer can actually claim that moniker? And hopefully, there isn't a mass unfollowing after this post, because my sincerest wish was that I could make you laugh, giggle, or grunt-choose your flavor.
Feel free to comment some of your own truths, I promise not to laugh. Ok maybe I will, just a little.
I just want to start this post by declaring that I'm an idiot. Yes, you heard me right....a complete idiot!
Why in the holy loving world did I ever forget about the library? Ok maybe I have been a little busy in the past five years, what with raising two rambuncious boys and writing the Beast. Or maybe it was the ten dollar fine for that one book I lost, then found and returned a month later? But whatever my reasons, they were not valid enough to have caused me to stray.
For goodness sake, my own Mom is an Assistant Librarian at the local elementary school. And to top that off, I worked as a library aide all through junior high and the beginning of high school. In eigth grade, I even won second place in the Scholastic Writing Awards for my short short story entitled, what else, "The Library." It even included my favorite Librarian Barb. After the story was published in the local paper, Barb wrote me a thank you letter. This made my year, because in my world, she was a rock star.
But I digress. In August, my entire family is trekkiing northward to Maine. We try to make this trip at least every ten years to visit my Dad's side of the family. Due to gas prices, food, lodging, and other necessities, the Hubs asked me politely (ie: rudely) to not purchase any books (kindle included) in June, July, or August, to which I foolishly agreed. (see eye rolling and sighing)
Now, I'm the type of person who hates being without a book, but at the time of said agreement I still had a cache of books on my Kindle, including hardcovers of Passion by Lauren Kate and Where She Went by Gayle Forman to read. I had mistakenly thought that these would last me. Well the joke was on me. I don't know if it was the pressure to make them last, or if it was the fact that they were excellent books, but I tore through my entire stock. (hangs head in shame)
It was right about this time that I had my Mom watch the boys for the afternoon, so that I could accompany the Hubs to some of his doctor appointments. When I returned to pick them up, they were gushing about going to the library with GaGa. My three year old had actually cried when he had to leave. To which I made sympathetic noises, but secretly my heart was bursting with pride.
It was in that moment that the light went off inside my head. I quickly conned the Hubs into taking me to the library. I don't know if it was the welcoming musty scent of paper or the words floating through the air waiting to be devoured, but the moment I stepped through those familiar doors I went crazy.
I left with eight books, and the librarian's disbelief that I could read them all in fourteen days. Hubs kept rolling his eyes at me, as I clutched my bag of free books, giggling as if I had just gotten away with a crime or something else just as nefarious. But how could I explain to a non-reader that heady rush of undiscovered words and worlds.
Well I read those eight books, and I got ten more today. And quite a few of them were titles that I have been lusting after.
However, even with the library, I am still plotting about how to secretly purchase Supernaturally by Kiersten White. I feel a bargain lurking on the horizon. Hopefully I don't have to trade my soul for it, because I just might! (Just kidding...not really...ok yes I am)
And as a side note, I finally got to read Anna and the French Kiss and totally discovered my favorite line ever in a book. "Toph is an insensitive douchebag motherhumping assclown" I laughed so hard!!! For any who know me personally, douchebag is always a go to insult for me. I was super excited when I finally got the oppurtunity to borrow this phrase. Believe me it was much deserved!