Friday, February 23, 2007

In Between

So I've seen a few posts around about Totally Unfamous and the first messages from the website are beginning to trickle in. I've been getting good feedback but even as I posted today's new poems, I felt my heart squeeze as I read them, aching for this fictional girl. I wonder what it is that makes me like that. Why I cry at a good movie or book. Why my heart doesn't care to discern that these are pretend people, just stories.

I'm just glad I'm not the only one.

My writing process is one where I discover the characters and their stories as I go along. It's probably a little like sculpting might have been for those artists that took a huge hunk of marble and from it chipped a beautiful statue. The statue is inside the marble already, and the sculptor peels away those pieces that are not needed. I definitely start with something,usually a character, who I think about until they seem real, and I am compelled to let them tell their story. Then as I begin to write the story, I learn more and more as I go along. And here's a confession - I don't always know the ending. Oh, I have a vague idea of where I might be headed but there are always changes, shifts in the plot, that I never foresaw.

I know it sounds crazy to anyone who is not a novelist. As most of you who read this blog regularly know, I am in-between contracts, and have been for quite some time. I decided to write Totally Unfamous because frankly, I was going a little nuts without purpose in my writing. I am so glad that I did it, because I ended up adoring the story. I have another series going to a publishing week, I believe...but since it's a co-author deal, it doesn't feel like it's really all mine. Which is why I have also started a new novel. It's the first time that I have tried working on two projects at once. Normally, I like to tackle each book all by itself. But these new characters, and their story, will not be quiet.

So this morning, I am blogging, feeling pulled by each story, unsure which one to devote my morning to. This is exactly why I am "one project" girl. It's like I have two kids and I want to spend time with each of them, get to know them better.

Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Deliver me from Mochas...

I love coffee. I really do. So much so that when our church cafe needed a new person to manage it, I stepped up to help out. I enjoy being able to greet people at the church and make a great mocha for them.

But this past weekend our church hosted a conference with more than 1600 people in attendance...and boy am I tired of making mochas! It was a lot busier than we expected but God always provided an extra set of hands to pitch in when we needed it the most. Since I spent most of the weekend with a head cold, I found myself just trying to get through it rather than enjoying it.

I don't like just "trying to get through" things in general. I'm of the opinion we need to enjoy today, and not miss it looking towards tomorrow. But as sometimes happens, philosphies don't always translate into real life quite so neatly. That's why I guess I feel like I lost a weekend. I always felt like I wanted to be somewhere else. If I was home, I was thinking about what needed to be done in the cafe, and if I was at the cafe, I wanted to be home with my family. Sometimes things just end up that way.

I'm still a little bit in "recovery mode", trying to take it easy and let myself catch up. For that too, I find I start to feel guilty for resting, or neglecting something I feel like I should accomplish. But rest, like many things in life, can't be avoided, or we come to regret it eventually. I want to get better, and to do that, I have to give myself permission to take it easy and allow my body to recover.

Easier said than done!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Braced for...a mess

Once again, a storm is going to blow through here. We've had nothing of any significance this year and while I'm okay with that (snow days really mess with my writing schedule after all), I still want us to have one good snow so that the kids can go sledding and have some fun. We've got a great sled hill right in front of our house and while they did get to sled for a while the other day, you could see the grass through the snow.

But this storm is the yucky kind - the wintry mix. Around here that means some snow, and a lot of sleet, freezing rain and ice. It's not nearly as much fun. The kids are already counting on a snow day tomorrow (since they cancel school as soon as three flakes hit the ground around here) and I am trying to decide how I will still meet my exciting deadline this week.

What's the news? So glad you asked!

This week I'm premiering my brand new blog-book, Totally Unfamous.

I know, it sounds weird but it's pretty simple. It's a full novel but it's written completely in poetry and will be published like a blog, a few pages at a time. It will be a reverse platform so when the main site comes up, the first page of the site will always be the first page of the story. Then you can read on from there. I haven't figured out some of the logistics since WordPress is new to me, so I have my work cut out for me this week.

But I am SO excited about this project! I know that you're not supposed to play favorites, but I had so much fun writing this novel.

You can check out the site at Totally Unfamous, which I think has a fabulous design. I've got the "About" page up and working finally (that old learning curve thing...) and the story will start going up on Valentine's Day!

So check it out, let me know what you think and if you feel so inclined, spead the word!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I was driving to pick up my daughter from kindergarten when a migraine swooped in and, well, wrecked my plans yesterday. It wasn't that exciting of a day, really. I just wanted to get the tax stuff together for our fabulous tax guy but migraines for me mean dark rooms and sleep. Computer screens bother my eyes for several days after a migraine.

If you get them - I know you're feeling my pain. There's nothing like a migraine. I'm just so glad I haven't gotten one in a while. When I was pregnant/nursing (over the course of six years) I sometimes would get several a month. That was really bad! Especially since I couldn't use my good drugs and babies won't sit quietly while you flop and moan in pain in the dark.

But now that my "babies" are older, they have actually become helpful. I was able to rest some and while I still don't have my sea legs under me today I will be able to function.

The tax guy can probably wait just a little longer:-)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Moving On

This month was a month of deadlines for me, but as of today I have met all but one of them. I can almost feel the relief hovering close by. I turned in an article this morning and mailed off my screenplay today at the post office. I was so excited about this but since I was at the mall post office, there wasn't really anyone to celebrate with. And the postal lady didn't seem to get while I was smiling. Still, I am very pleased with all the changes I made and even if I don't win the competition, I'm glad I at least made the effort.

Another project, the one I am not quite done with, is in its final stages. I feel like it just needs a tweak here and there abd then it will off to the publishers. Publishers aren't very...quick with these types of things so I know I'm in for a bit of a wait to hear back about this new series.

In the meantime...

I don't know!

I have learned this much about myself - I work best under deadlines. And since I won't have one, I need to figure out what to work on next and create my own deadlines.

The possibilites are:

> another screenplay (already plotted out, just needs to be written)
> another book proposal (on a new adult novel I'd love to sell)
> or...something else?

I could work on both but frankly I'm not very good at that either (work to your strengths!). I do know that I don't want to waste time surfing the Internet or answering e-mail. So now I will finish this other project up and trust that God will give me an answer to my dilemma. I am torn, and will gladly work on either project but since He knows what should come first, I'll trust the One who knows!

New projects always give me a thrill (almost as much as finishing a project). It gives me a chance to ponder and dream - so it should be a nice weekend. They say it may even snow...