Thursday, June 21, 2012

More Fun with Editing

I have new-found respect for people who edit books for a living.  It's a laborious job.  Going back over my own work is fun but also draining when you consider that it warps your own view of your work.  I've had the same problem in the past with other projects--you invest so much time and energy that you are bordering on hatred by the time you complete the job.  In writing, though, I have only been writing characters I love so it is easier to spend time with them.  At some point I will have to branch out and invent a darker character that I don't like.  It's all a part of the growing and learning process, pushing yourself to test boundaries and step outside your comfort zone.

Currently listening to:  "I'm Kissing You" by Des'ree

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Heat Exhaustion

Some random observations for today:

-I can't believe it took me so long to join the Pinterest craze.  It's like a mural of every picture I love, and the kind of thing kids have been doing for years when they cut and paste magazine pictures to a piece of paper.  Except that I've always hated the idea of cutting up my own magazines!

-Summer showed up with a vengeance on its first day.  Stepping outside this evening was like stepping into an oven.

-I finally got to see the movie Practical Magic.  Sandra Bullock is always amazing.

-My book is not selling in mass quantities, but the free Kindle version was downloaded way more times than I expected.  So maybe, slowly but surely, my name is getting out there.

-Editing my second book is pretty intense, but also kind of fun.  I'm really proud of it.

-I have likely read more books in the first six months of this year than I did my entire two years of graduate school.  Seriously.

-I want to wear cowboy boots when I get married.

Currently listening to:  Hands to Heaven by Breathe

Monday, June 18, 2012


A certain amount of worry in life is healthy.  It keeps you from making an endless series of stupid decisions.  However, I’ve always leaned way too far toward the neurotic side of worry, letting it consume me and even affect my mental state.  Currently I worry about my writing and if it will ever take me anywhere.  So far I am still waiting on reviews, if any, to come in.  Everyone with whom I’ve shared the book so far has enjoyed it.  Then again, I tend to worry about everything.  I worry when I can’t buy something I want.  I worry that my bills will never be paid.  I worry that I will never be financially stable.  I worry about too much rain or not enough.  I worry about commercials on television.  It’s a miracle I haven’t worried my hair prematurely grey (wait a minute…).  With all the said, I am still kind of on an emotional high after publishing my book.  The only thing that could make it more amazing would be to find it on a library shelf someday.

Currently listening to:  “Drinkin’ Me Lonely” by Chris Young

Friday, June 15, 2012


A short five months after I first put pen to paper, my novel is published in paperback form.  It's been an interesting journey, a learning experience, and a fun ride.  I didn't really have a goal in mind when I started other than writing a story and finishing it.  It was, without a doubt, the longest thing I'd ever written.  I'm not even sure how far I was into the process when I began to explore avenues for publishing it.  The writing process was very easy for me.  I only struggled when it came time to wind down the story and let it reach its conclusion--a topic I've written about previously in other blog posts.  I have faced a similar conflict in finishing my second novel, something I also did this week.  It has been a momentous week for me when it comes to my writing.  Anyway, I write quickly but it's the editing that takes the longest.  I also had to come up with a good cover for my first book, which was another unexpected challenge.  It allowed me to get in touch with my artistic roots again.  I'd never used watercolors before so that was another learning experience.  I'm thankful to already have a cover in mind for book two, something that will speed up the process when I go to publish it. 
My foray into publishing became reality around midnight last night.  My eBook had been online for a month but now a physical copy is available to be placed in the hands of friends, family, and, hopefully someday, a library or two.  Seeing the proof of my book, unfinished as it turned out to be, was pretty exhilarating and exciting.  First of all, I was astonished that it was ordered, printed and delivered within two days.  Second, I was shocked at how many typos slipped through--I have literally read the entire work about seven times now, so any remaining typos must be really stubborn. Finally, I placed the eBook in a free promotion for a few days.  If anyone discovers my blog via the Kindle book, I thank you and hope you will stick around.  I will likely focus more on this blog now as I take a break from writing.  If my mind lets me, that is.  I didn't intend to write two novels back-to-back either.  Now that I have, my goal is to pursue this writing thing as far as I can.  I only hope there's an audience out there for me.

Currently listening to:  Come Wake Me Up by Rascal Flatts

Monday, June 11, 2012


“Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts that most.  So don’t forget to give hope a chance to float up…and it will.”

That’s an approximation of the final lines from the movie “Hope Floats”, a film that has a lot to say about resiliency and the unexpected paths life takes us on in our search for happiness.  Anyway, my purpose for pulling out that line is because it reminds me so much not only of life but also the writing process.  The process of completing college was terrifying each time I did it because I had no clue what my next path in life would be.  Losing that structure, that timetable, is always scary.  It’s still scary to be without a pre-determined schedule.  Anyway, writing is similar for me.  Attempting to sum up everything I said in a book into one final statement, something that will leave an impact, is difficult.  Even as we speak, I am trying to write out the perfect final line to make it all worth reading.  Like the line in the movie says, though, perhaps it’s more important to make that impact with the story itself and not at the end.  The end makes it worthwhile, but the story is the meat in the sandwich. 

Currently listening to:  “Great Big Love” by Rascal Flatts

Saturday, June 9, 2012


How much is it necessary to censor ourselves in everyday life? Clearly there are situations in which we need to maintain decorum and standards of niceness.  The weird thing about my writing is that, well, I never seem to find the need to do much editing.  Since so much of it just goes straight from mind to keyboard, I don't find as much need as I should to edit or reduce.  It's also hard to find constructive criticism, so even if someone told me to edit my work I would be hard pressed to follow through.  I'm sure all authors, and indeed any person who creates, struggles with this--letting your work go out into the world in order to be examined, disseminated, and scrutinized.  How will I feel, react, when I receive that inevitable bad review?  As long as it's not from someone I like, perhaps it will all be okay.

Currently listening to:  Forever Changed by Carrie Underwood

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Tonight I decided to make lasagna from scratch.  And when I say from scratch, I mean jarred pasta sauce and a box of noodles.  Still, without my input, they were but a set of separate ingredients.   If cooking is a chemical reaction, what is creativity?  Is it chemical or something deeper, more meaningful?  The jury is still out on that one.  Anyway, the lasagna didn’t come out box-top beautiful, but it did taste good.  Perfection is always our ideal, but not what we need to succeed.  So many other factors come out of creativity—listen to an older song and look for errors in music (bum notes, wrongly-sung lyrics) that were left in and became a part of the song’s magic.  In writing it is important to wring out any and all typos, but sometimes from a mistake comes inspiration—you realize you wrote exactly what you were meant to write all along.  That’s a word explanation, but it’s the best one I can come up with.  When things are too pat and too perfect, you forget how to adapt and think.  With that said, who can ever tell what my next project will be.  I’ve already spent the past month cooking, writing, and painting.

Currently listening to:  Like a Rock by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band 

Monday, June 4, 2012


This is the time of year when I begin to consider my age.  My birthday is coming up soon and it feels weird to see each year pass quicker than the one before.  I begin to wonder if I am working my best to accomplish goals and establish a firm path in life.  Naturally, though, life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.  My life as it stands now has little connection to the future I envisioned ten years ago.  Writing this blog and joining Pinterest has no connection to my life even six months ago, and becoming an author, while always a dream, was never something I could have seriously considered until I started and finished writing that first book.  Even now, I don't have a projected plan for the next
year. I would love to find a job but it seems more and more that I should expand my reach outside of the library world.  I may not be cut out for library work, at least not on paper.  It's difficult to say how good you would or would not be at something unless you actually do it, and I was pretty good at working in a library in the past.  For now I am enjoying creating and being creative and enjoying myself, hoping that good things are in my future.

Currently listening to: Stand by Rascal Flatts