Sunday, September 29, 2013

October is for contests!

My rewrite of Query Bait: A Novel is nearing completion. It’s not an easy thing, but I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. And as if to celebrate the nearly ready to go back to the trenches, all the blogs are holding contests!

And an as yet untitled contest from Writerly Rejects.
Also, there’s Miss Snark’s First Victim’s Baker’s Dozen which starts kicking off with Logline critiques coming up on the 30th (there are three rounds, so don’t worry, there’s plenty of time).

So, am I the only person in love with contests? I think it must be a sickness. Statistically speaking most people don’t get picked up from a contest, but I love the feedback and meeting all the other writers. Now back to rewriting and polishing so Query Bait can go back out into the world.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The First Casualties are the Keenest felt

Life in my neck of the woods went from uncomfortably fast paced to OMG PACK ALL THE THINGS!!!! over the weekend. And the longer you live somewhere the more likely you are to just leave the cracked tiles because you have to paint the bathroom, fix the faucet, weed the garden and otherwise do everything that owning a house entails.

We're now trying to sell our house. When you sell a house, you paint it. You fix the tiles, the funny doorknob that never worked right, you pack everything that's you so you can make emotional space in your house for other people to envision their life there.

Yeah, a writing comparison seems obvious, except that last one. You want your characters to be so vibrant they paint the walls florescent orange (or a very tasteful mint to compliment her doilies depending on the MC).  But you want your reader to feel like the book itself doesn't have any leaks in the roof. You want them to have the emotional space to escape with your florescent painting MC (or you know, your doily crochetting quiet detective with a black belt in Aikido... I think she gets her hair done at the same salon as my grandmother used before she passed).

But that means fixing the roof, painting the walls, chipping out the bad scenes and replacing them with better ones. It also means cutting stuff you love.

Why is it that the BEST SCENE EVER is always the one that has to go? Well writing and home repair are similar in that they both make you bleed. On Friday (yeah, the 13th), I got clipped by a random tile piece and it nailed me in my elf pride: my ear. The ear is a very dramatic place to get hit because it just bleeds and it won't stop, no matter how tiny the cut. So I have a picture of my ear (I don't know what it is about people wanting to see this kind of stuff, but for those of you squeamish, I'm going to put a picture of laughing horse first. Don't scroll past the pony if blood makes you run for the hills).

No really, turn back, there's blood in the next picture!  

It got me! (barely).  And this is why we wear eye protection!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dragon Con (or as some like to call it: Line Con!) ::warning, this is full of pics so if you're low on data wait for a hotspot::

Over Labor Day weekend, I had the pleasure of going to my third DragonCon. I've never been to any other convention, so before anyone says anything about how New York ComiCon is better, or San Diego ComiCon is where all the real stars go, don't worry. I have no intention of comparing. I go to Dragon Con because that's where my friends go.

We started at four am on Thursday, drove to the airport and stood in line to check our bags (only two checked bags this year! w00t). Then we stood in this line:

So they could search my shoes for naughty things:

Then this line:

Then this line:

Then we stood in two more lines (not pictured here because I was sleep deprived and I'd forgotten about the line thing). And then we were in Atlanta. Since I'd been up late the night before (last seam at midnight, up at four to make the flight), we checked in to this hotel:


After a nap, we partied with L-Rond. 

And of course the king of elves, Galadriel, and much silliness ensued.

Then it was time to start breaking out the costumes, where I learned some things:

I look good with pink hair.

Dr. Horrible Hello Kitty is a ton of fun.

Elves are elvish.

More elvish

and then it rained. The problem with rain was that I had planned to wear 10th Kingdom Snow White, but it has a floor length white gown. and it was raining. So instead we went to panels and had fun as muggles because nobody wanted to wreck their costumes. That means I have Halloween all figured out.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ummm.... Post goes here?

Okay, so my posting has gone from intermittent straight to "Where's the beef?"

I really don't know if it's going to get better anytime soon. I'm currently packing my house, crossing my fingers and hoping for the best--oh, and revising my manuscript, because for real, packing my house up so I can sell it isn't even remotely stressful enough--so Editing!

I love how trouble and stress in life come in packs of three. It seems impossible, but really the whole world seems to move in threes.

Next time I'll have D*Con pics (how did I go another year without taking half as many pictures as I wanted?) and a report (hint: FUN!!!).

Back to the revision cave!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

IWSG A little can go a long way

For those of you who don’t know, this is the monthly installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group hosted by The Ninja Captain and his lovely co-hosts Chemist Ken, SL Hennessy, Michelle Wallace, and Joylene Nowell Butler. And this month is the two year anniversary. So hop on the Linky, release your fears and securities into the world (or offer up some words of encouragement), and join us.

Usually I have something about how you have to dig deep in yourself, or how this whole process can crush your heart and soul beneath the cog of publishing, but I’ve been really slim on words of encouragement.

I’ll admit, I’m not that good at them. I feel awkward when I’m trying to tell someone that I’m over the moon about their work. At DragonCon, I got a book signed by the wonderful and lovely Beth Revis (she was so awesome!) and the whole time I was thinking “be cool, Rena, don’t do the crazy fan girl thing. Someday you’ll be in her shoes if you’re lucky. Freshmen who freak at the seniors have a much harder time than the ones who just recognize the world turns.”

And then we left, with me having barely said what I’d come to say “I loved your books. Thanks for writing them!”

And that made me think about the words of encouragement I’ve received. A tiny little sentence floated to the top.

Many of you may remember that I was sewing like crazy before Dragon Con to get my costumes done. I was moaning about how there was so little time left, and I hadn’t even started working on one of the costumes. The fearless Ninja Captain commented something really simple, “I bet you finish.”

It was transformative for someone else to have faith in my ability. And I was cutting things close (last seam at 11:30pm with a departure at 6 am the next morning), but having someone say they thought I could do it transported me from the anxious “OMG am I going to finish????” To, “I got this, just a matter of time.”

Too often, I see people out there just killing it, and what I should be saying to them is “Bet you can.” I know the writing community has the whole support thing covered, but sometimes you just don’t know how much simple words can change attitudes.

That’s all I’ve got people: say the words of support that are on the tips of your fingers. The small effort on your part could be the difference between a novel and yet another project trunked when the going got tough.