Times flies when you in a ‘funk’!

First let me say that I apologize for the bottom of my heart for abandoning you guys.

 (Isn’t that the creepiest thing, a Ferris wheel long abandoned still moves with the wind)

I am truly sorry. I am not sure what happened to me, I have been assured it is just something that writers go through whether it be a ‘funk’, ‘withdrawal’, ‘burnout’? I just know that for me over the last few months the thought of writing would not bring me joy, but panic attacks.

My heart said, write, my mind said don’t you dare! I was truly in a place I never want to be again.

I have actually never experienced anything like this. I am the one who would tell everyone, do not let it bother you if you don’t get picked or even win a writing contest, it was okay and not a personal reflection of your writing. I even received several very positive comments back saying that it was good but others were just better. I told everyone it’s okay, it is not a personal judgement. Rejection is a HUGE part of this business and you have to bet tough.

(Okay Nobody’s tougher than Daryl, but you know what I mean)

I was in a very bad place, and I’m not saying that I won’t go there again. (I hope not) But something amazing happened during my time away.

I wanted to just stop writing. Give up completely, thinking I will never get this. I will never be good enough. (I’m telling ya, I was in a really bad place writing wise). Little by little though, that part of my soul that I was trying to kill continued to crawl its way out. (My own little Daryl Dixon.) Never give up, Never Surrender kind of things.

My Characters screamed in my head to be heard. 

So while I typically would give up on something after so long, my self doubt taking control and wearing me down, this time it’s different. I am excited again about writing for the first time in a while.

So thank you for staying with me. I am working on several things on my blog including excerpts from what I am PLANNING on being a published book (Cause I have a great story you know.)

I am changing my life, one way or another but always for the good. So let me just say I love you all and I am excited to be back to writing once again. (And yes I am entered into yet another writing contest but this time, If I fail to make it through, I simply will learn to make things better and stop feeling sorry for myself)

So this is for all of you who stuck with me. 

What I’ve learned.

As sad as I am to make this announcement, I must.

Many of you are aware that I entered a contest to have my book reviewed by a published author and then presented to agents.

Unfortunately my story was not chosen. What does that mean?

First of all, there were over 2000 entries so the odds were not in my favor.

Second, there are some extremely talented writers and stories that will be coming your way very very soon.

Some may think that not being chosen would make me sad, frustrated and defeated. But it actually did quite the opposite.

I received a note from one of the published authors about my story. It was the most encouraging thing I have ever received about my writing.

She said, that she could not pinpoint the reason that she didn’t chose me. The writing was polished, the story and characters compelling and the premise intriguing. She also went on to say that if she saw this story in a bookstore it would be one that she would buy.

WHAT I LEARNED.

I learned from this experience, that I still have a lot to learn.

I also had to remind myself that NO is not a negative thing. NO is a positive thing.

Yes you heard me right. NO is POSITIVE.  Why? Because what if I never sent my story in? What if I never put myself out there for others to see. Because I did send a submission, because I took the chance. It is positive.

Even though the answer was no, it would have most certainly been a no had I not tried. So the effort of trying is a positive thing.

Think about the times in your life when you didn’t take that chance, you were too afraid to put yourself out there. When you stood in the corner and waited for something to happen, without taking the steps to make it happen.

Besides the new friends I have made through this experience the one thing I learned from this is that if I want something to happen, it is up to me. Sitting around waiting for it, doesn’t bring you that thing you want. You have to at least try to get it, no matter the answer.

So hater’s gonna hate, but you know what. I will not give up. I will not give in. I will make my dreams come true no matter what!

 

So, what brave thing will you do today?

 

A Whole New World

Good Morning

It is a cold wet Monday morning here in Georgia. But I have to say that I have always loved the rain. (As long as I’m inside)

I wanted to share a few things I have learned over the past few weeks as I venture into this contest called #PitchWars. 

1) Writers are truly amazing, kind, and giving people. (I have met some amazing new friends during this entire process that I wouldn’t trade  for the world) 

2) I still have so many things to learn about the craft of writing. I am loving the helpful blogs that my new friends post. I hope soon that I can share some wonderful, insightful and inspiring words as well. 

3) There are so many stories to be told. Some that I have read and helped other polish (Although I’m not great at that, I do my best) My brain is in overdrive. I have added more things to my idea book in the last several weeks than I have in a long time. (Not stealing anyone’s idea’s but when you open yourself up to a creative world, those juices start to flow, I have ideas that were once just fleeting thoughts now re-emerging as actual coherent plots.  I am a little excited) 

4) I need to pump up my vocabulary and grammar skills. (I have learned new words that I never took the time to learn before, and I almost wish I was young and in high school again so I could go back and start my English classes over again.)

Yes, I still have a ton to learn but I am going to do it. There is nothing in this world that I want more than to be able to give these stories that float in my head a home, either on a bookshelf in a store, on a kindle or nook. 

One day I will be able to write freely without the constraints of stress (other than hopefully deadlines or writer’s block) 

Most of you that know me, know how rough of a year 2013 has been.(Loss of family members and friends)  This is the first time in my life I have ever looked forward to starting a new year with new thoughts, new goals and a new outlook on life. 

A Bio of Me (for Pitch Wars Mentors)

Okay so many of you already know me. But I need to share a little bit of me with some new friends and Hopefully new Mentors.

First lets start with the easy part, I am ___ years old. (Nope not gonna say) I have been around a little while.  I have a wonderful hubby and a very handsome 24 year old son.

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My Young’in ‘Jesse’

I also have 7 four legged kids. (In order) JJ and Lilly, Fred (our neighbors cat that hangs out here) Jack and Mollie, Clea (Cleopatra) and Lady Bell (My son’s dog), that are like kids to me

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The black one is ‘JJ’ the gray Tabby is Lilly (They are siblings)

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Mr. Fred “The neighbors cat that lives here”

003 (9)

My Jack and Mollie (Jack is the black one) They are also siblings

058 (2)

Ms Cleopatra “Clea” (Also the neighbors dog that lives here)

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Sweet Lady Bell (My son’s dog that I have spoiled rotten)

They all keep me very busy and entertained.

It took me quite a while to find my passion, and that is telling stories.  (I am working on the ‘Showing’ stories.)

I grew up thinking that everyone created stories in their heads (like I did.)  I can see stories in all sorts of things.  But when my current story created itself inside my head. I only found relief from the characters constant screaming at me by putting it down on paper. I have learned a ton about writing, and am still learning. I have stories to tell.

While I am still learning how to make the stories compelling to read (That is a WHOLE other story) I feel like I have a talent for creating a worlds where reader can escape (even just for a little while.)

My day job, is that of a Realtor. Helping people find a home is very fulfilling, while frustrating at times, the end result is very satisfying.

While I’m still finding my footing in the writing/publishing world. (This is also me when I try to wear heels),)

I am not the type of person to give up on a dream. I am persistent and stubborn to a fault. One day I know. I KNOW. My dreams will come true and I will be in a position to share all of my stories with the world.

Oh I also have huge celebrity crushes which include but are not limited to the following actors

Nathan Fillion

Jensen Ackles

Matt Bomer

To name just a few.

So If you are considering me for a Mentee, Please ask me anything.

I am easy, I want to learn, and I am good with revising and following instructions. I believe you can only make me a better writer and make my story shine! (In other words I’m ready for anything!)

And I promise that I like to have fun. I work crazy hard, but sometimes you just gotta laugh!

So Pick my story, help me make it so good ALL the agents will choose us!

It is official now

It’s almost Christmas!!!  

It is actually quite near are you ready?????

For me, Christmas is usually always last minute. We haven’t put up a tree in years mostly because of our four legged kids.  

I am participating in a contest on Twitter called PitchWars. Basically you submit you query letter (sales pitch) and the first five pages to a mentor. If you are chosen then the mentor works with you for a month editing and polishing your manuscript to get it ready.  Then it is submitted to selected agents. It’s actually quite exciting the twitter feed has been something to see.

So, with all of that said I have until Monday to have everything ready. You can only submit to four mentors and I have narrowed it down to five. Picking the right mentor who will like what you write is also very stressful. 

So here’s hoping that one will pick me.

I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving and got to spend time with your family.

A little poem for you all.

When Christmas grows near

it’s a time of great joy

Families grow closer

and parties galore

It’s easy to forget so

you must always remember

Keep  love in your heart

All the time, not just December.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk to you soon.

Happy Thanksgiving Week

Today is Monday, and in just a few days we will be celebrating Thanksgiving (in the US). This holiday, at least in my family is special. We all pile in at my Mom and Dad’s house with lots of food to go around. Play a little football in the front yard, we eat, we talk and we enjoy our family. This year is no different. 

Even though I am the worst cook in my family, the one thing that I can do is duplicate my Grandmother’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe. I have to spend the coming days on a seek and search mission for the right noodles. They are difficult to find, but so worth it when it’s done.

Our family this year has had a very difficult year. We have lost family members and dealt with health issues and for me, it has been a struggle to find things to be thankful for. But the one thing I realized is that no matter how hard life hits you, no matter big of bully life can be. There is always ALWAYS a reason to be thankful.

Whether it be the warm cup of coffee in my hand, or the abundance of love in my home. No matter how hard things are I will always be thankful for what I have.

I know this is a short post, but I want you all to think about the good things in your life, they are there for a reason. Even the things you think shouldn’t be there, there is a reason. There is a reason to be thankful.

Enjoy your holidays, hug your family and eat Pie!

 

Hello Again

Hello and Welcome!

My attempt here will be to transfer my Blog from my website, so we shall see if it works. 

If you read the one on my website, this is going to be eerily similar (Fair Warning)

Let me start by telling you a little about myself.

Okay… Okay… Loki.  Wait a danged second.

I am 29 years old (which is quite a feat considering my son is 24, lol) I will never edit this post lol.  I am happily married to my wonderful husband who believes in everything I do and who makes me laugh every day.

No, not married to him.  But a second fact, I have a huge crush on Dean Winchester.

I have in fact written a book (actually a couple of them but not sure if one will ever see the light of day)

So yes that makes me a writer! (Published or not)

What I have discovered is that the publishing world is a nightmare. There are no real clear cut answers or instructions. It is a very subjective business.

This is the reaction I generally get from agents I submit to:

 

I love cats!  I have 4 of them that live inside with me. (No 4 does not make me a crazy cat lady, just enough to be concerned.)

 

No those aren’t mine.  With all of that said and you now know a little about me. I am setting up a blogging schedule. In it I intend to share any little tidbits I pick up in my world. Whether it be writing, cooking (Oh I’m not a good cook), handsome men, kids, cats, dogs, helpful info…  You get the idea, sort of a mishmash. So if you are new Welcome to my world, if you are not new. Welcome anyway.

Emotions

I sit here today and my emotions are all over the place. For any that are not aware I am having to take medication for a skin condition that effects the bottom of my foot. I know TMI right. Unfortunately, in order to clear it, I take a low dosage of a chemo pill.  While it appears to be helping my foot, the amount of pain my body is enduring during these treatments has been excruciating. I take the dosage on Wednesday morning and by Thursday I can’t move. That is one of the emotions for today.

I will add this, anyone that has to endure chemo at higher dosages has my utmost respect. I cant imagine the pain and you have all my prayers.  

So maybe pain isn’t an emotion, but pain creates emotions. It is a mix between fear, frustration and uncertainty. My blood feels like it is on fire when I imagine what the chemicals are doing inside my body. It makes me wonder about the long term damage that may be done.  My stomach hardens as the frustration takes hold. My body is fighting my body and am desperate to have it return to normal. No pain in my foot, my bones just normal.  Then the uncertainty the tears stream down wondering if all of this will fix the initial problem. Am I doing the right thing treating it this way. Despite the actual physical pain, my mind wanders and my heart aches to get everything resolved.

{Insert sigh here}

Okay if you’re still with me, my emotions went over the top today. In a good way.  The reason I explained and rambled above it to show that the toll all of this has taken on my body has made me question everything writing related.

(I Know, I know. No ninja butt kicking needed. Please already hurting)

But today I received a request for a full copy of my manuscript. With words like  “I think this sounds great. I’d love to read this!” “Thank you I’m excited to read.” Now without all of the emotions listed above, I get to add elation.

I swooped in, lifted my heart and soul. I completely broke down in tears, but this time, happy tears. Hopeful tears. Calming tears.

I don’t know where the request will go but with my emotions heightened, it shows me the thrill of why I write.  Not for the rejections but for the possibilities of sharing my story.  It is the same elation when I get notes back from a beta reader. Saying that I kept them up at night to finish, am I writing more.  The wonderful support I have received by the selected few that read my story. Telling me they believe in me and they are in love with my story.

The last emotion is yes, you guessed. Love. You heart explodes with joy. For me, I have fallen back in love with my story and am now excited for November.  50,000 Words first draft for the second part of my story. For the first time the medication will not beat me. I will finish it and I will reach my goals, because I really want to feel accomplishment ( Okay Satisfaction would be that emotion but hey, I can make my own rules.

 

Wow, I Never Knew

The entire process of publishing is a new world to me. I have so much to learn.

What I have found is that the door opener is the query letter. Oh my, the query letter.  This is the opportunity to get in the door to have someone look at your work.  With that, no matter the amount of studying, you are not going to please everyone.  Agents all have specific requirements for the query that you send them. One thing they all want is they want it personalized.  Why did you chose them.  Really? I chose you because I want someone willing to give me a chance. I have no connections, I have no previous publishing experience. I chose you because you state in your information that you consider new writers. That isn’t really personal enough. So you add, in that you are looking for my genre.  Hmm.

Then they also would like to see a synopsis.  This is your story on a page, plus the ending. There are so many twists and turns in my story it has been horrid to pull into one page.

Then of course some ask for the first five pages, or ten pages or fifty pages. Some ask for the first three chapters.

Whew it can be overwhelming.

I have several queries still out, I have had several heart-stinging rejections.  I have taken a small break from sending them out. I still continue to search for agents to submit to but it is a frustrating world. I need that one agent willing to take a chance on me.

Where does my novel fit?

Over the last few weeks I have sent out a number of Query letters. (For those of you who do not know, query letters are basically a sales pitch for your novel.) 

For me this has been the most difficult part. I have had one positive response (a request to read the entire story) Still waiting on their response.  I have had eight rejections (which is to be expected). At this point I have eighteen still out waiting for a response. This is a nerve wracking wait by the way.  

With all of that said and researching agents I have discovered that I truly do not know exactly what genre my story fits in. There is Commercial fiction, Literary fiction, upmarket commercial, upmarket literary, fantasy, new adult, young adult, paranormal thriller, mystery, historical. Oh good grief. 

I have a very cool story about a girl searching through her past to discover who she is and move forward. A connection to the Salem Witch Trials and family and friends full of secrets.  Nothing is what it seems. Plus romance.  I honestly don’t know what genre it fits in. When I wrote my story, I didn’t write with a specific genre in mind, which is making it very difficult to figure out who to query. 

Reading and studying genre’s I can tell you that my story falls into the following categories without one prevailing over the other:

First, Drama. There is drama, 

Fantasy – Witchcraft, magic.  Yep Fantasy

Horror – Well maybe not horror, but scary in parts. 

Legend – based on real events and real people. 

Mystery – duh duh dum…. uncovering essential elements till the very end.

Realistic fiction – Everything is as real as possible when telling a story about magic, but it a real world setting. 

Romance – yes. in fact there are two guys in love with the same girl.  Who will she chose?

Series – yes, I have so much more to her story. 

Here hoping I can figure out where my story fits soon.