Thursday, September 22, 2011

Writers Block, Awards, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, What I've Been Doing Instead of Writing, and the Highlight of My Week...

These past two weeks have been a series of ups and downs, with the downs heavily outweighing the ups.  All that I seem to be able to do lately is stare at the same freaking paragraph.  I  read it again and again and again, until the words go blurry and I either slam my computer shut, disappear into FB games, or fall asleep.  Yeah that's right, I fall asleep at the computer.  (lame)

It's as if my brain is revolting.  It seems as if my writing has become uninspired (see dictionary entry for writer), and my imagination has decided to take an extended vacation (hopefully to Barbados, because that is where my body wants to be).

The completely normal and rational extension of my brain reasons that this has to do with one or two things.  Or maybe a combination of both.  1. My newly altered sleep schedule, due to school schedule or  2. The three (count them three) sick individuals currently residing in my abode, who have become completely dependent on yours truly.  The crazy erratic part of my brain has commenced to screaming that I've lost my touch and that I will never EVER finish The Beast. (As I have resulted to calling it in an affectionate/scathing way.)


However, there is a shining ray of light in the form of my new acquired Critique Partner, Carrie Bastyr.  If you aren't following her blog Where I Get Wordy, you should be.  She is completely awesome and amazing, and has a intuitive knack for unearthing the hidden problems of my WIP that have been needling me unrelentingly in the back of my mind.
She also recently awarded me this wonderful and flattering blogger award, that of course in my current state of mind I absolutely felt I didn't deserve.  But that is just her!  So thank you Carrie, for attempting to keep me a little bit sane!

Now away from the depressing and onto the AMAZING! Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor,  which I happened to be able to purchase early through Amazon by using the gift certificate I won through My Next Life.

Um, words cannot even begin to describe the sheer AWESOMENESS of this book.  It is magical and touching, whimsical and haunting.  The language flows in smooth languid prose, and it never releases you from its beautiful grip. I literally devoured this book, and I now fully understand Kiersten White's caution about reading this while attempting to write.  You will feel like a hack, but you just won't care.  I'm still disturbed by the one bad review she received, which was in fact more a personal attack than a constructive review.  Down with haters!

So the thing I procrastinated on instead of writing...

I was looking for a bit of inspiration, so I decided to alter a picture of my sister to imitate my protagonist, Fiona Banks.  For those of you who don't know, Manda is my muse and I have totally ripped off her likeness (with her permission).

My best friend upon reading my WIP, "Um, you do realize that Fiona is Manda to a tee right?"

Hangs head in shame, "Yes."

"Ok, just checking."

Thank God that Manda is such a good sport, because I have totally blurred the line between the two.  She assures me that she actually enjoys it, because she is effectively able to imagine herself in Fiona's shoes.  She really is the coolest of the cool with the greatest sense of humor, and there wouldn't be a Fiona without her.

The Highlight of My Week...

My baby boy promoting Library Card Month at the Manheim Community Library.  The promotion is part of Mission G.O., which encourages first-graders to obtain library cards.

How this boy was extremely sad to see big brother off to school, so Grandma and Momma took him to the library to cheer him up.  (He loves the library almost as much a Momma.  I am so proud!)  Just as we were gearing up to leave, the head librarian asked if I was willing to let him take pictures for the promotion. (uh, no brainer)

He was super excited to hold the giant library card, hence the ginormous cheesy grin!

Big Brother seeing the picture today in the paper not too happy (was mad that school kept him from being in the paper), while baby boy can't stop looking at himself and saying "That's me!"

At this point in time, I would like to apologize for whining like a baby and for the overuse of parenthesize.  Oh and for the super long, super annoying title.  But it's been a while, and I had a lot to say.  

I promise to have myself back in control the next time I write.  

*crosses fingers* *crosses toes* *ok crosses everything*

Friday, September 2, 2011


My Baby Boy 5 1/2 yrs ago!

My oldest starts kindergarten on Wednesday, and the very thought of that makes me want to burst into tears.  Wasn't he a baby not that long ago?

And then my mind started doing the calculations.  Wait, has it really been five and a half years?  Is that even possible?   I haven't really been working on my manuscript for that long have I?  But I have.  Yes,  the shape and content have changed much over the years, but the bones remain the same.

And as I thought about this, I couldn't help but compare my journey with my son, to my journey with my WIP.  I guess in a way they will both always seem like babies to me.  They are both my firstborns.

They both started out as helpless creatures, completely dependent upon me.   I watched in awe as they slowly evolved, taking those first shaky steps on fat wobbly legs.   I remember those hours of deciphering the halting dialogue until it gradually expanded into coherent sentences.  And then, in the blink of an eye, trying to keep up as they both zoomed every which way, constantly surprising me with the crap that spouted from their mouths.

Before I knew it, BAM there they were, both ready to take that first step into the unknown and unprotected world.  For my son, that path is kindergarten.   For my book, it's the nail-biting, self-doubting, painful, and excruciating process of querying.

And while I feel like clutching both of them into the safety of my arms, I know it's time to let go.  I have to take that risk, to trust that the stars will align and they both will be alright.

If only I didn't feel like being violently sick the entire time...