I don’t know if it’s because I’ve finally reached the point that I don’t care anymore, the day is no different than any other, or the fact that I’m approaching a milestone that I really don’t want to approach. Maybe it’s because I still need to lose about 30 lbs. and start working out regularly, like I used to (curse you Curves, for closing all the damn locations near me!), because I need to start feeling younger again. Or maybe the fact that I now need glasses and will be getting them in a week or so is hitting home. The tests the doctor wants me to take. Hey, other than the standard female things, when did I start needing a doctor regularly, damn it?
Lately my 16 year old heart has been feeling more 30-ish and that can’t be a good thing, can it? Somehow, it bugs me. I want to hold onto my youth and keep partying like I did when I was 19, and I find it’s not so easy anymore. Not that I’m going to give that up – just have to get and keep my partying self in better shape, for better stamina! 😀
Literally. At this time last year, I was in the throes of a very emotional roller-coaster ride in my pursuit of publication. For close to twenty years, I’ve been a member of RWA and my local chapter, as well as other organizations and chapters. I’ve taken classes, attended conferences, pitched my manuscripts in various venues, and done all I could to improve my craft. I wrote at least seven 100K+ word manuscripts. My writing improved, I developed some wonderful friendships, and I basically enjoyed the process, as frustrating as it could be at times. I’ve always prided myself on a thick skin, and welcomed comments, both good and bad, with eagerness. After all, every suggestion or comment to my work could only improve it, right?
Last year, it all came crashing down. Many of my critique partners know that last summer, when it all came to a head, was probably the very worst time for me, in all my years of writing for publication. Suddenly, there were no good things to hear, only bad, and some of it was truly scathing or harsh. Even after pitches and requests for partials and sometimes full manuscripts, my submissions either vanished into the ether, and my follow-up emails went ignored, or I was dismissed with haste. I was at the point where I almost gave up writing altogether, for other reasons as well as the rejections. I took steps to make a clean break – big steps. I disengaged from various writers’ loops, unfollowed a lot of people on Twitter, and cut myself off from the writing world. When Healing the Mage placed dead last in Passionate Ink’s Stroke of Midnight contest, it seemed to be the final confirmation of the new path I was about to embark upon – one without writing in my life. Two very dear friends, and fantastic critique partners, Janet Walters and Kathy Attalla, were critical in talking me back from the ledge, and encouraged me not to give up. I had publishers on my list I really wanted to submit to, but after the beating I had taken up to that point, I was really afraid to chance it again at that time. After all, when more than one editor sends you standard one-line form rejections (this happened several times after glowing comments and very eager requests for the full), and another tells you not to submit to them again, and still others just ignore you outright, it kind of throws you off course and tarnishes the dream. And I guess I’d hit my limit for how much rejection I could take.
Of course, that all changed when Noble Romance Publishing contracted In The Devil’s Arms. I’d long had Noble on my list of targeted publishers, but my ego and confidence in my writing skills had taken such a blow, I almost didn’t submit. Obviously, I am glad Janet and Kathy were there for the push I needed, and we all know how it turned out! 🙂
So here I am after a rough year, and as eager to write as I was way back when I first started. As my critique partners know, I cut my teeth on historicals, particularly medieval. And last November, I decided to go back to that time period and wrote the first draft of an erotic medieval tale, one that involves capture-fantasy, and features BDSM and ménage elements. Now I am in the middle of revising and polishing, and enjoying the tale as I do so. After I finished it, I pretty much put it aside to get through the holidays and finish up my revisions on Healing the Mage, so the story is feeling rather new to me again, Of course, there are some plot holes to fix, and plenty of typos to correct, and as I am working to fix those, I am realizing that I don’t think I could ever not write. Somehow, some way, whether it be fan fiction, or my own little fantasies, I would write.
I’m not sure what brought all of this to my head in the last few days. But I’ve been thinking the last few days about how close I came to throwing it all away and how very glad I am that I didn’t. Thanks to some friends who knew better than I did, even if at that particular moment, I didn’t want to listen. Thanks guys!
I’ve seen the talk increasing over the last few weeks, and think I might actually sign up for NaNoWriMo this year. I never “officially” join in, but the last two years, I did participate on my own. Last year, I wrote almost the entire story of Lily and Aidan (Healing the Mage), even if I did end up cutting a good third of it. The year before was a huge chunk of In The Devil’s Arms (won’t even mention how much of that got cut!). I’ve been toying with which ideas to focus on this time around.
This year, I think I’m going to focus on my sci-fi-ish ms, Prince of the Universe ( a little Highlander influence showing up there!). I’m about 25 pages in with it, and the characters there are really calling to me. Since I’m losing a nice chunk of November this year (family Disney trip, little guy’s b-day, Thanksgiving, though I don’t host, thank God!, and very busy at work), I’ve decided that I will, for the first time ever, see if I can write something less than 100K words. Actually, I may shoot for half that with this story. I’m hopeful, even if my last “short story” ended up at 113K words! I figure the lack of available days may help in that goal.
Authors, are you planning to participate this year? If so, what are your plans for the month?
Welcome to my blog. It’s rather bland for the moment, I will spend some time sprucing the place up soon. Check back to see what craziness I decide to include here.
This will be the place where you can learn about me, my current and future works and various other tidbits I may feel like sharing. My new book, In the Devil’s Arms, is a paranormal BDSM themed novel set in the Magiste community in New Orleans. While the Magiste people are magical, it is unlikely you’ll find much based in real practices of witchcraft and Wicca. I tend to make my own rules for my world. In the Devil’s Arms will be released soon by Noble Romance Publishing.
Currently, I am 3/4 finished with the sequel to In the Devil’s Arms, and I have at least two other books planned for that world. In addition, I also have a WIP that has a sci-fi theme to it, and have a plan for a second book in that series, as well. We’ll see if I’m inspired to do any more in that universe.
Finding the time to get these all written is a challenge, with a full time day job and two children, I tend to suffer from a lack of sleep trying to squeeze everything into every spare minute, but it’s so easy to get lost in my unique worlds, that I don’t mind.
From time to time, I’ll share parts of my work as I progress – particularly difficult scenes always tempt me to share my agony. Doesn’t that just sound like fun?