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10/31/13

Done

When I finished my manuscript revisions yesterday, I didn't hear a heavenly chorus of angels singing or feel pixie dust raining down on my head, but still...it was a great feeling.

I printed it out and made my way to the post office this morning, passing costumed people at the bus stops (that was fun) and smiling like a goof the whole time. However, I know the hard work has not stopped.

When I wrote the first draft, I thought that was the hard part.
When I revised it the first time, one word or phrase at a time, I thought that was hard.
When I tried to land an agent, I thought that was hard. (It was! I don't even know how many queries I sent out and how many rejection letters/emails -- or rejections in the form of "no word means no" -- I received.)
Now...now comes selling it. And I already know it's going to be hard!
But I also know it'll be rewarding when I get that phone call.

After all the "no's", all I need is one "yes."

8/14/13

News

I used to write a craft blog, which I loved. I virtually "met" a lot of like-minded people (mainly knitters) and that particular niche is much warmer and friendlier than much of the rest of blogland (which can be a scary place). I finally stopped writing it and am currently focused more on my writing career, hence this blog.

I don't like blogging about writing, and this includes the process, where my ideas come from, how long it takes to get a book published, what I'm doing while I wait, etc. I really don't want to read about it from other aspiring novelists, so why would I want to write about it? I have better things to write: stories and novels.

So, if you came here expecting daily ramblings, you dodged a bullet.

The good news is that I now have an agent. I'm excited! And happy! And working on revisions so that my manuscript is the best it can possibly be!

Enough with the exclamation points.

I'm not going to update here often in hopes of boring you to tears throughout the entire process. If you're an aspiring author, hopefully you already belong to writers' forums, which are full of helpful information. Eventually, once I have a snazzy book cover to show, I'll transfer this blog to a proper site full of pictures and other good stuff like links to my Bio, News and Where to Buy.

Meanwhile, I'll continue to be a terrible blogger. But hopefully a better writer.

6/20/13

Random

1. Finding out that summertime publication of a journal I'm in has been pushed back to the fall. This isn't all bad news because the publishers want to make sure we get all the marketing and publicity needed to make it a success. I'm glad they care enough about us authors to take that additional time.

2. Waiting for the First Day of Summer tomorrow. Anxiously. Wanting to forget all about spring.

3. Looking for the next book I want to read.

4. Since novel #2 is now finished, wondering what to start next. Or finish what's already started.

5. Having a helpful, brief "convo" via Twitter with a publisher on marketing, money and the publisher/author relationship. You can find out a lot in 140 characters or less. Who knew.

2/2/13

Sometimes

Sometimes...

...giving up seems so easy

...you get discouraged

...it seems you'll never get the good news you want.

And then sometimes....

...an early morning email (on a day you planned to stay offline all day -- ha) holds the good news you've been waiting for and hoping for. And lets you know not to give up or be discouraged. That this writing life is hard at times, but sometimes it holds sweet surprises as well.

My short story will be published in an upcoming volume of Magnolia Journal. More to come...

10/24/12

Crossroads Crossing

Crossroads. Such a ubiquitous metaphor for life happenings. Even though it's a big cliché, I find myself returning to it often. It all started when I was laid off from an online gig I loved; I'd worked at this one site for four years, gradually working my way up from a writer to senior writer to editor. It paid decently and I was happy having a regular gig.

Then the bottom fell out.

After I mulled things over for about a day, I kept seeing myself at a crossroad of sorts, but I had no idea which way to turn, which direction to begin moving in or where to go. I suck at marketing and I stink at networking so it wasn't like I had a ton of contacts to start going through.

One thing I did decide at that point, in all my uncertainty, was to devote time to writing I wanted to do, not just writing someone paid me to do, and which, frankly, was depressing me. I decided to work more on my fiction.

It hasn't exactly paid off (yet) and some days, I still feel like I'm in the middle of a vast wasteland. BUT...I also know that one step can lead to two and then three and then who knows -- you're off and running.

Sitting in the middle of a crossroads isn't going to do anything but get you run over.

7/6/12

A Boy and His Gat

What prompted yet another writer to begin yet another blog?

A while back, I and a fellow writer and good friend were bemoaning the lack of quality black literature lining the shelves of bookstores and libraries. When I say "quality," I mean something along the lines of Morrison, Wright, Walker, et al. I was so tired of seeing yet another hooker-to-wifey story taking space alongside classics like Tar Baby. Not to say there isn't a place for gritty, urban tales -- because there is. My chief complaint is that we aren't seeing enough good black literature taking up space. It seems publishers think all black readers fit neatly into an "urban" box and push titles by the dozen with this subject instead of trying to buy more stories that other folks might like to read.

At the same time, I was having no luck getting my novel published (still no luck, but I'm working on it as well as working on novel #2). I told my friend that instead of trying to write something that readers would remember, I'd just throw some ghetto-fab tale together, slap a title on it like "A Boy and His Gat" and watch it get snapped up by some publisher super quick. Then I'd watch the money roll in.

Heh.

No, I'm not writing "A Boy and His Gat" -- though that tongue-in-cheek title amuses me to no end. I'm still plugging away on stories that I'd like to read myself. As I hope you are.