Editing: Fun? Not so much.

Peanuts/Editing

Peanuts/Editing

Editing.

Oi, some would say it’s easy and others would lament it’s the hardest thing they had ever done.

What's in my head? by Cynthia

What’s in my head? by Cynthia

I’m with the latter group. Haven’t I already poured out my heart and soul out to these pages? My wrists have bled out and tears have been shed. Now I have to go back, review the yarn that spewed out of my head, and clean it up.

Crap. There’s bad grammar, cheesy dialogue, and flat scenes. And what the hell was I thinking when I wrote that chapter?

But, unfortunately, it must be done. If I want a good product then I have to correct the mistakes. Yeah, yeah I know if it was easy everyone would do it.

I’d like to take this moment to give props to the professional editors. They’re superheroes in my humble opinion. Editing is crazy.

Mighty Mouse by Paul Terry

 
Mighty Mouse by Paul Terry

My other half

Now I know it’s a known fact writers can be insane but I want to talk about our spouses. It takes a special kind of person to be our other halves. Does this mean it’s a possibility they could be just as insane as we are? I do believe there’s a grain of truth to this idea. But let me explain how my wind beneath my wings has proved my theory.

DIY Fireplace Mantel

DIY Fireplace Mantel

Today, the hubby and I were discussing a new mantel for our fireplace. I’ve been researching Pinterest for ideas and cost effectives (aka cheap) alternatives.

Me, “Babe, I found a great website. The mantel shelves are under $200.”

He immediately responds he can build, stain, and install one for less than that amount.

Spartacus

Spartacus

…Okay

Him, “You doubt me woman? Never doubt me, woman for I am man. I will hammer and saw and build mighty things with my hands and all will be awestruck by my great skill and courage!”

Do you remember the old saying, Birds of a feather flock together?

Today’s proof he’s just as crazy as I am.

It all comes down to love

Green Eggs and Ham

Green Eggs and Ham

Lately, the question “why do I write?” has been buzzing in my head. I could talk in circles and be very artsy but it all comes down to a love of books.

The invoking of emotions, imagery, and yes, romance has been my own private love affair since I first picked up Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs & Ham when I was young.

As an only child, it was my chance to battle dragons, chatter with siblings, herald kings and queens, and soar through the clouds. It was a means to escape reality without the worry of repercussions.

The Ordinary Princess

The Ordinary Princess

There were so many books that have impacted and shaped who I have become. The fairy tales, the horror stories, the romances, the tear jerkers, and the mysteries.

Of course, I haven’t stopped reading. The difference is now I call it research.

God, I love being a writer.

Hey Mikey, they like it!

On Sunday, I attended my critique group. :cringes: Yeah, I feel this way every time I hit send. I know my grammar mechanics suck and my fears rear their ugly heads.

What if no one likes it? What if they don’t get what I’m trying to say? Oh my God…I might need therapy. Lucy-Therapist

I persevered and pushed on, my friends. Onward and forward, I hit send. :prays silently:

Don’t judge me because apparently it worked. They liked it, ha!

Of course, I was still taken to task about commas, exposition, point of views, etc. But they liked it. Then someone said the words every writer longs to hear and yet is terrified of, “I’m hooked, I want to know more.”

labyrinth_goblinsUh oh. Feelings of euphoria, excitement, nausea, and giddiness tightened their grip on my soul as little goblins of nervousness and oh crap danced around in my head.

A friend once told me it doesn’t get any easier. In fact, with each book it gets harder.

I’d like to take this moment to thank my hubby for having health insurance.

My reality

blindersFor the past few weeks, I’ve had blinders on to everything else except what was absolutely necessary and my current WIP. I’ve struggled with writer’s block, tackled computer issues, and shouldered parental responsibilities.

When truthfully, sometimes I feel as if all I want to do is lock the door, shut off the phone, and become a hermit for the next few months.

But the reality is that’s not my reality. Life isn’t going to stop and I need to interact with people. I start to go a little batty if I spend too much time by myself or with my dog. :crazy eyes:

social-mediaI’m the kind of person who needs social interaction of some kind like some folks need cake, even if it’s based in the virtual world of social media. (Btw, thank goodness for my Twitter friends. They’ve helped me out a few times with writing tips and inspiring words to keep pushing forward.)

With that being said, I might forget to post a few entries on my blogs but in my head, I’ve posted witty and humorous blogs on a daily basis. So let’s pretend shall we?

We’ll say I did and go with it. I’m okay with a little white lie.

Cheers!

Saying No to Resolutions

It’s officially 2013 and time to reflect on the past year or make resolutions for the new one to come.

Eh, I might take time to reflect later. I have a daily word count goal to meet and editing to do. As for resolutions…well, I don’t believe in lying to myself unless it concerns my weight or age. I refuse to get caught up in the propaganda. It leads to broken promises and guilt. I’m over it.

For years, I swore I’d lose weight, learn a new language, stop cursing, etc. etc. I’m still on the yo-yo scale, speak only 2 languages, and can curse with the best of them. I could lie and say this year will be different.

But it won’t and you know what? I’m okay with it. I’ve got goals and aspirations.crossing fingers

My main goal isn’t only for the New Year. It’s for my life. I’m going to finish and publish my book this year. Yes, I’m saying it and putting it out in the universe.

All of the other stuff will happen in its own time. Losing weight requires a lifestyle change (boo). Learning another language isn’t priority right now, maybe in a few months. And cursing?

Sugar Honey Iced Tea, there’s always next year.

Cheers!

In the middle of the night

journal-011Scribbling furiously, my mind is still hazy and drowsy from sleep. It’s the middle of the night and for some reason, I’ve woken up out of a sound sleep. I’ve been dreaming about my novel. I’m trying to remember the details of my dream because it was a great scene. The colors, the characters, the feelings. Gawd, I can’t see without my contacts. I hope I can read what I wrote in the morning.

I know it’s important…

sleeping woman

It’s only baring my soul, what’s the big deal?

For months, I’ve been hearing about the importance of joining a critique group. You’re not serious about your writing if you aren’t in a critique group. Sounds harsh, huh? Well, it is and it isn’t.

Yes, you should join a critique group, for the support, information, and the kick in the butt. It’s hard to take the first step and let someone else read your precious WIP. I’ve been avoiding it for awhile, kind of like making an appointment for a necessary check-up but don’t want to go to.

Critique-Group-300x300But I sucked it up and went to my first critique group meeting this past Sunday. My tummy was in knots and nerves made my voice quiver a little bit. When I first walked in, I glanced at the door wondering how silly I would look if I made a dash for it and ran out screaming. To make matters worse, I was late for the meeting. (Yes, I have my train wreck moments. Ugh I hate being late, it’s horribly rude.)

So much angst for nothing…sort of. After all, it isn’t easy baring your soul for others to critique with a (gasp) red pen. Fortunately for me, this group of writers are very kind, respectful, and talented. (score). They gave me some great tips and editing advice. They also asked questions about my character and plot that made me think about where I was going with my story.

All in all, I’m glad I finally took the leap to challenge myself and join a critique group. The suggestions and questions they offered were positive. I can already see how helpful joining a critique group will be to my novel. (Oi, apparently, I have some challenges with grammar I need to work on. Blasted commas and tenses, they get me all the time.)

Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

He wasn’t wrong about the bleeding.

typewriter_1240160c

Thieves are bold because…

Can writing be therapy for the soul? Purging the emotional chaos whirling within the confines of our minds? It’s often recommended as a way to rid ourselves of negative and tangled emotions. The written word can also be a powerful tool and weapon. Which is something businesses should never forget, especially in today’s age of social media and technology.

Last weekend a friend and I went to Las Vegas for the weekend. On our way home, we stopped at Stateline/Primm, NV to get gas, something to eat, and waste a couple of hours at Buffalo Bills hotel and casino. This was a horrible mistake.

Apparently, parking under a light less than 100 feet from the front door with a security guard and cameras is not responsible nor safe. My car was broken into and our luggage was stolen. I was lucky the thieves were professionals and didn’t break anything.

The head of security advised I should have parked in the back parking lot (WTH?!). The police advised they would not file a report if there wasn’t any surveillance footage (there wasn’t). I was told by risk management, “Well, that’s how life is…” I was also reminded I was parking at my own risk (nice, huh?).

I’m pissed about the whole situation, the lack of action from the authorities and the thieves who stole our personal property. I’ve taken the necessary steps to protect ourselves (changed passwords, added security alerts, blah, blah, blah). Every time I do something extra I never did before I’m reminded of the why. I refuse to be a victim and I’d rather be mad than live in fear. I know it isn’t healthy either way but I have to work with what I have. Perhaps if the authorities did go after the criminals maybe, just maybe it would dissuade thieves from stealing and breaking the law. Why should they stop if they know authorities won’t do anything about it?

“I’m sorry I couldn’t help you.”

Yeah, I’m sorry you couldn’t help me either and therein lies the tragedy.

The Next Big Thing

I was invited to participate in “The Next Big Thing” by the wonderful Charmaine Brackett http://charmainzbrackett.com/. 🙂 So here it goes…

What is the working title of your book? Innocent Labor (Maybe…)

Where did the idea come from for the book? From a dream or nightmare, depends on how I remember it.

What genre does your book fall under? I would say thriller. I never thought I would write under that genre but there you go.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Cote De Pablo, Karl Urban, Maximiliano Hernandez, and Queen Latifa to only name a few.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Elena, a survivor and no stranger to the cruelty that lurks in the shadows of society, must find the inner strength to face her past to search for a missing girl and hopefully, heal old wounds.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I’ll be going self-published. I have too many control issues to go with an agency…um yeah, that’s the reason why I’m going indie.;-)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I’m still working on it. My main character isn’t finished telling her story yet.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I wouldn’t compare it to any other books. I’m nervous about doing things like that. I always think, “Oh, that writer is so much better!” No, you’ll have to read it and decide for yourself.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? I was hounded by a good friend and my husband, “You have all these great stories to tell. You need to put them on paper!” And this might sound cheesy but I’m also inspired by the writers I see who publish their work. When I read their updates and blogs about a new book that’s coming out, I know I can do it too.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Human trafficking is much more than having your body taken into prostitution, it’s having your entire life torn away. It happens all over the world and it hits home in Innocent Labor, when a young Elena is kidnapped and years after her escape revisits the nightmarish events when one her students is reported missing. Elena is called to help find the missing teenage girl. This sets off a chain of events that leads Elena to the men who orchestrated her kidnapping so many years ago. Will she set aside her need for revenge or will she take advantage of her chance for retribution?

I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did. Thanks for hanging out. 🙂 Also please be sure to take a moment to visit these other great writers and catch up on their latest news. You won’t be sorry. Cheers!

Paula L. Jones http://yourvervemagazine.weebly.com/pretty-words.html

Linda Bloodworth http://lindabloodworth.wordpress.com/

Tania L. Ramos http://newauthorpublishing.wordpress.com/

Rusty LaGrange http://aflairforwords.com