Friday, October 31, 2008

Making It Fun Again

I was watching last week's episode of One Tree Hill and Hailey and Brooke were wondering where things went wrong in their careers, and wondering how they could make things fun again.

I guess I'm sort of going through the same thing. When did writing become 'not fun' anymore?

In the 5th grade, we had a teacher who would put on classical music and tell us to write whatever popped into our heads. My first 'story', my take on the movie Logan's Run, was the first 'original' thing I ever wrote. And since the basic story was taken directly from the movie (and a 10-year-old's perception of it!), my second story, a fairy tale about a dragonfly, was more original.

Sadly, the only papers to survive are my Firefly tale and a stupid story about a gentle giant.

My 9th grade teacher announces we are going to spend each Friday writing creatively. Bam! A story based on the song 'One Tin Soldier' pops in to my head, and instead of waiting four more days, I wrote it in Study Hall. I recieved a 'B' on it, because of some spelling errors. Two weeks later, I started boring her with my ending to Star Wars, which I finally finished in early May! And two days later, another fairy tale popped into my head, so I went to my room and wrote it. My mom loved it; it earned me an 'A', and four years later I turned it into an illustrated children's book and read it to kindergartners and 1st graders. They all loved it. Where is it now? Locked in a file cabinet with the original sketches. My finished book? Probably long gone. I don't think I ever got it back. (I could be mom might still have it somewhere!)

I got bored during the summer and started writing down 'what if' I flew to California to see my 'boyfriend'. Three months later, he came back; I kept writing. See my website for what happened next!

My first book is published, and suddenly I'm in a panic and want to crawl in a hole somewhere. What the hell have I done? Everyone is going to yell at me because of the language; the un-Christian-like attitudes; my parents are going to disown me! Surprise, surprise...everyone who reads it LIKES it! Okay...poking my head out. Whew! I'm not going to be publicly flogged!

I get two bursts of creativity and write 100 pages on a wip that is scarily coming true in a friend's life. I can't work on it anymore; I'm too afraid for her! The second writing stint results in my first book, Wild at Heart. I like it; not everyone 'gets' my first hero. Give him a chance! I guarrentee you'll love him by Ch 3! Oh yeah...I also burn myself out during NaNo. I was sooooo sick of this story, I literally didn't even look at for three months. Delete the final 10K words, and hey Kenzie...this story's not half bad! My critique partner enjoys the first 5 chapters before health problems plague her. I'm still wondering whether or not to go ahead and submit it.

Between blogging every day, a husband who resents me spending most of my waking moments at the computer, and a massive case of writer's block, I somehow manage to write two more short stories. I also started 4 or 5 more. Will I ever finish them? I'm going to spend NaNo trying to finish at least one. But I'm not going to turn into the Mad, Screaming, Lunatic Bitch of the Century. No; if I come up against a day where I can't make my daily word count, I'm not going to fret about it. I'll simply do something else until the idea returns. And I've done a much better job of preparing my kids for what lies ahead this month.

So how do I go about recapturing the 'fun'?

I guess I'll start by not putting so much pressure on myself. My goal this year was to submit, submit, submit my work and get my first e-contract. And rejections keep coming. However, I was contacted last week about a possible contract, so maybe things are starting to look up again?

And maybe I'll also get that grant, so I can attend three upcoming conventions this year. Or lock myself in a hotel room until I finish a manuscript or two?

Any other ideas you'd like to toss my way? I'm open to suggestions!

And Happy Halloween, by the way:)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another Rejection...

I got a surprise over the weekend! One of my Caveman submissions has already been rejected.

"Although the storyline and writing is very good, we don't feel this story is right for us at this time..."

I was definitely surprised...this particular one, All She Ever Wanted, is the one I thought best suited for the anthology; however, I'm wrong. Maybe there is hope for Appetite for Desire? No word on it yet, and it is the one I thought needed to be longer!

Oh well...keeping my fingers crossed!

And in the meantime, maybe Freya's Bower will like it?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another Dream, and Venting

First of all, the dream.

I'm with my favorite hero, and we are at a party/outing with friends/something like that. Things are going well; he's by my side and making me feel pretty darn special.

But there's another girl who is also being witty herself, and I can't help but feel slightly insecure; after all, I've been in this position before. I was confident of my hero's love and was therefore shattered when I realized the idiot had just dumped me for the other one.

I feel like I need to trust my sweetheart, but at the same time, I can't help wondering if in another week or so I'll find out they've been seeing each other behind my back? I try to stay calm and civil; after all, any show of jealousy will ultimately destroy our relationship, and give him ideas that may or may not be already crossing his mind?

And then the scene shifts...and we are alone, eating breakfast.

"I thought we'd just stay in today, Kenz, and laze around watching football and eating popcorn." He reaches for my hand and gives me that special smile.

My heart melts. I love lying in his arms, sharing a bowl of popcorn while we cheer on out teams!

Maybe I really do have nothing to worry about??

And now the rant.

My spouse has been living with his niece while he's working, and paying half her rent. Fine; I have no problem with that. It is cheaper than the weekly motel and eating costs of last year, and this way he gets to spend time with her and her kids.

My problem? She lost her job last month, and while she's picked up temp jobs and is still bartending, she doesn't have any extra money for her half of the rent this month. And her new job starts next week. She WILL have the money for her half...on Monday!

And her brother, who is ALSO living there, is lying to his father about his living arrangements!


Yes, my spouse is suddenly making good money, and yes, I certainly understand the need to help her out once in a while. But where the hell has all her money gone? My hubby puts gas in her car; he's buying the groceries; he's even made her car payment! So...where did all her extra income go?

And I wouldn't have been so upset about it, except this is the paycheck where we paid for my van to be fixed. So half of it went so I could have reliable transportation again. I now need to put off paying MY utilities for a week, just so her rent is paid on time.

To put this in perspective: I was looking forward to having a $500 cushion, so I didn't have to worry about checks beating his paycheck to the bank, or if he needed gas, the money would be there. After all, next week I'm going to need gas, too, for when I take the kids north! But no...I've been reduced to a little over $300 for the week. And that includes any groceries I have to buy.

I was just beginning to breathe easy again for the first time in three months. I'll just have to hope nothing unexpected comes up. And no, don't misunderstand! The only shopping I do is grocery shopping. But, I still have some medical bills I'd like to get rid of.

Guess they can wait another week too.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Stuck in Time??

I got a phone call last night which boggled my mind.

"Hey...our Homecoming is next Friday, and everyone's going! I was thinking of you and wishing you could go too, and see everybody!"

Heeeellloooo.....I did not go to your high school; I'm really only fond of one of your other HS friends; so why the hell would I even go?

I don't even keep up with my own HS homecomings! Am I the only one who feels this way?

Granted, she still lives in her HS area; I do not. The urge to return to my HS games ended quite a while back; however, when my HS Basketball team made it to the State Finals and my mother had an extra ticket, yeah I went! But that was different; I wasn't there to reconnect with any of my old crowd.

I love my friend dearly; we've been friends for 24 years. But while I've moved on with my life (married, kids, pubbed author), she's stuck in a time warp. She calls me when she can't believe the latest gossip about whatever celebrity; she wants to go to concerts and the latest movies; she calls me every fall to talk about the new lineup on TV. I could really care less at times, but as I'm one of the few friends she can vent about things, I patiently listen to her. Yes, sometimes I've expressed my impatience with her, but this is her life, and she's happy.

And more importantly, she misses me, since we used to get together for lunch every few months or so. But since I've moved 2 hours away, we've not seen eachother in 18 months. She's hoping I'll be able to go see her when I go to my parent's house in two weeks, and I'm going to try.

See there? I'm a good friend.

And speaking of good friends, remember the grouchy one over the summer? We finally connected the other day for breakfast, and everything was forgiven. She even asked about my book sales, without my hinting about it! Will she show up tonight at my signing? Highly unlikely. But at least she's able to laugh at herself again. And yes, she admitted she missed the way I cheer her up!

Maybe her life is finally beginning to stabilize once more?