Thursday, April 17, 2014

I'm Still (Mostly) Here

Dearest Reader,

How are you? I have thought of you often. I'm sorry I've been away from blogging for so long. The problem, of course, is time: full time job, part time job teaching kickboxing, second job writing and trying to get an agent, and the job of keeping up with life and house and friends and husband and animals.

Reader, I feel stuck and lost. My job is not a career. Depending on the season, it can be draining and stressful. Lately it's been pretty rough. I'm sure there are ways to minimize this, but it's not something I'm good at. I let everything cut too deep: every rude comment by a stranger, every sad phone call. I make everything personal and it takes its toll.

I am querying my YA novel. I am writing a new middle grade novel. I am tentatively starting to plot the potential sequel to the YA novel--just in case.

I don't know how to do this. How to be a writer with a job and a relatively normal life. How to have the life I want. How to ask for help. I want to be self sufficient. I want to succeed on my own merits. I don't want to need help.

Well, it's been a long winter. Maybe as the ground thaws, things will change again. And for the better. I can't stand stagnation, even though change can be hard.

Maybe I'll blog more. I've missed you. I hope you missed me too.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We Are The Capitol

So I just saw a commercial for the new Cover Girl line of Hunger Games-inspired cosmetics. You can see the line here.

I appreciate the marketing tie in. I mean, it makes sense. And yet, it underscores precisely why some stories work better as books than as movies. And I love when someone helps me make that point—because I think it's important to remember that while there are advantages to telling a story as a movie, there are specific advantages to telling it as a book, too.

See, when you read The Hunger Games books, you ARE Katniss. It's written in first person, so you're in her head. You are her and she is you. You are suffering and fighting and struggling and surviving.

When you watch The Hunger Games, you are all those complacent people at the Capitol who allow atrocities like the Games to continue simply for you own entertainment (and out of fear but let's not get too into the weeds here, people.)

And when you buy into the accompanying marketing tie-ins, you are one of the worst offenders: thoughtlessly buying into the festivities of the Games for the frivolous fun of dressing up and going to parties and—sure, some children die, but they were going to die eventually, right? Might as well be famous before you go.

Maybe I am reading too much into it, but the whole thing makes me uncomfortable in a creepy, crawly, I-just-saw-a-spider-therefore-there-are-phantom-spiders-all-over-me kind of way. Makes me think the publisher didn't get what Collins was really talking about in her books.

Or worse, and more likely, just didn't care.

And yes, I did think this random thought was worth coming out of blog hibernation to talk about. Now I'm back to my full time work cave. What else have I been up to? Novel revisions, new story idea, Halloween prep, and killing a deer with my car.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I Hit Send

I sent the partial.

I sent the partial.





It's to an agent who requested November 2010. I met her at Bread Loaf and she gave me some wonderful feedback—not the least of which was that I should consider aging down to YA. And after Editor Friend said the same, I started really thinking about it. And then I heard a teen voice in first person. Which meant not just quick find replacing her age (haha!...ha) but changing the POV and her state of mind and her hopes and dreams and...everything.

But sometimes I think the most important thing this agent gave me was the spark in her eyes when I told her what the novel was about...and then realized the novel never went there. The Bad Thing never happened. And it had to happen. This agent's eyes told me that. And it was scary and I didn't want to do it, but I did it anyway.

The book is so much stronger now. I'm a better writer. It took a few years but here I am.

I. Hit. Send.