Wednesday, July 6, 2016

ISWG: A Case of The Hum Drums



It's time for the monthly installment of the ISWG hosted by the illustrious Alex J. Cavanaugh 
Click on the link if you'd like to learn more about this fabulous group.


Well, it's been slow going but I'm on chapter six of my new novel and I'm not very excited about it. Seriously, I'm unsure if it's the sunshine or the long days, but I haven't felt much like writing lately.  The mere thought of it seems hum drum.   In fact, I've had to force myself to peck away at my novel.  The results of this are similar to going to the gym--after a dreaded work out I feel like a million bucks. Yet, each day I still struggle to make myself write.

 I'm insecure that if I continue down this road, I might give up writing all together.  Has anyone else felt this way?  If so, I'd welcome any and all advice about how you overcame the writing hum drum's.  Until next time my friends.  Happy writing.  

This month's theme was to post the best compliment I've received on my work.  Short and sweet of it, posted below is a rejection letter from an editor at a small publishing house who read my book PAWN OF THE GODS.  Although the company didn't pick me up, the editor's words inspired me to write-on.  We'll see how the second novel turns out, LOL.

Dear Andrea,
We thank you for considering SkyAzure Publishing for your book. We are very sorry for the delay in responding, this does happen occasionally when we receive high numbers of submissions. We have thoroughly reviewed your work and, although it was very interesting and enjoyable, we feel we are not able to take it any further. As a small independent publishing house, we can only commit to a very small list every year. Due to the demanding level of production we feel is deserved by each and every author we take on, we think it would be inappropriate to accept submissions just because the work is good. Quite often we are already working on similar books, do not have enough expertise in the subject area, or the most suitable editor has already filled their quota. There are a whole host of reasons for rejection and quite often rejection is no indication of quality or talent. We at SkyAzure regret that we are unable to accept this piece on this occasion. We wish you well in placing your work.

On a personal note, I have to say I came close on this one. I am disappointed I am unable to work with you. I do believe some stories should be told and some books have something special to say, this is one of them. Unfortunately, however, this is a very subjective business and quite often we editors make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the company and the goals it has set. Please do not take this rejection as an indication that the quality of your work was not respected. I hope you find an editor who is in a position to offer you the passion you deserve in bringing your book to publication. I would urge you to keep writing and, although we cannot and do not endorse any other company, there are many options available should you not find a traditional publishing house able to commit:

Editorial services are available, these can easily be found by doing a quick internet search. Finding a good editor/agent will help to improve your work and overall proposal, although I’m not really sure that is needed in this case. There are also self-publishing routes like Amazon etc. Also, there are some pay to publish services, such as Copyhouse Press (copyhousepress.co.uk), who seem to offer a very jargon free, cost effective, publishing route which will reach far more prospective buyers/readers than that of self-publishing through Amazon. Again, always do your research.
Best of luck in placing your book.
Regards
Jack
---
Jack Kraster
SkyAure Publishing
Submissions Team

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

To Write a Story That May Be Offensive, or Not To Write It: That Is The Question.


It's time for another installment for the Insecure Writer's Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavannaugh.  If you'd like to learn more about this fantastic group, please click on the aforementioned link.

The controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling's depiction of marginalized cultures in her latest book made me nervous.  I haven't read the story, so I can't say whether the contents are offensive to Native Americans. However, given her reputation as a writer, I doubt she'd purposely insult an entire culture. Unfortunately, in this case, her intentions don't matter. At the end of the day,  her works do--works that had an unintended effect.

This brings me to the reason I'm feeling nervous. I'm in the throws of writing a YA Fantasy, set on the Indian reservation in Lame Deer, Montana.  My MC is Native American, as are 99-percent of the characters. After living in Oklahoma for several years (a state with strong Native American ties), I always wanted to write a story based on the culture. I'm also a big fan of the Longmire series, which only fueled my fire to write the book.

Now, I wonder if I should abandon the project and go to something else. I'm insecure that no matter how respectful I am toward the culture, how much I try to promote awareness about issues confronting many Native Americans today, it may still offend someone.

Maybe I'm putting the horse before the carriage, because my novel may never be published. On the small chance it is, I'm feeling wary.  A friend of mine advised me to write the story I want to write and let the chips fall where they may. I shouldn't hold back out of fear of offending someone. Ultimately, that could happen regardless of what I write. I mostly agree with that advice, but on the other hand, I'd hate to be known (if I was published) as "That writer who used folklore from a marginalized culture to progress her career."   I'm just not sure what to do.  Any suggestions?  Until next time my friends, happy writing.

P.S.  Sorry the writing in this post isn't my best.  I composed it from my IPhone.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Insecure Writer's Group: Feeling Disillusioned


It's time for another installment of the insecure writer's support group. For more information about this wonderful group, please click the following link: Alex J. Cavanaugh

Hello all, I hope you had a productive writing month. I keep hoping to find time to make headway with my new novel, but life keeps getting in the way. I'm insecure that neglecting it will cause me to throw my hands in the air and give up.  I love writing, but lately, I feel like it's not meant to be. The more time that passes between writing sessions, the more disillusioned I feel. Have any of you gone through these conflicts? If so, how did you overcome them? Until next time, my friends. Happy writing. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Struggling To Get Into The Mind of A Sixteen Year Old




It's time for another installment of the Insecure Writer's Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. To learn more about this fabulous membership click on his name.

This month I've had a heck of a time completing chapter three of my new YA novel. The words just aren't coming. In the past,  whenever I've been blocked, it was due to writing myself into a corner. Essentially, I didn't know where I wanted my characters to go. This time around, I took measures to prevent this from happening again. I outlined the story and completed an extensive character sketch. Despite my efforts, I'm still struggling to get into the head of my sixteen-year old main character.

In chapters one and two, it took me forever to capture her voice. Thanks to feedback from members of my writer's group, I finally did it. Three is tough because I'm introducing new characters. My MC, who is an urban girl, is experiencing a rodeo for the first time as well. I keep asking myself how a teen would react to this, what would go through her head. I should know since I have three of them running around my house. Yet, I keep drawing a blank. I even went as far as asking my kids for feedback, but they gave me that lights are on but nobody's home look, which didn't help. I've read several YA books, so what gives?????

I'm beginning to think my muse took a permanent coffee break. Have any of you had similar experiences? If so, I'd welcome any and all feedback on how to get my muse to return to her day job.  Until next time my friends, happy writing.

Signed, sincerely frustrated.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Struggling With The Right Writing Process

Hello all, it's time for another Insecure Writer's Group installment, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you'd like to learn more about this wonderful membership, please click on his name.

January was an eventful writing month.  Although I only completed the first two chapters of my new novel, I'm quite proud of them.  I'm working on chapter three right now and it's a bear.  I have to introduce three new characters who are pivotal to the plot. It's a YA novel. I didn't want to do the cliched, meet everyone in high school gig, so I'm introducing everyone at a rodeo instead.  Since the piece is set on a Cheyenne reservation, I thought this would be appropriate.  Needless to say, it's challenging to present all these components without slowing the pace.

Given how slowly I write, it might take a month to complete the chapter. Several authors I've met have suggested I write without worrying about content, etc, but I've found this makes more work at the end. I understand the "Writer's Trance" as S. King calls it, helps the writer get down her ideas, but I outline so they're already on paper. I've tried to write without stopping time and again, but my Type-A side won't let me get far. I have to mull over the prose, then rewrite until I'm satisfied. I'm insecure that my process is wrong and it'll take forever to finish my story. Do any of you struggle with these issues--If so, how do you get past them? Until next time, my friends. Happy Writing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Trying To Get My Writing Groove Back

Hello All,
Well, I guess the El Nino heat wave has passed. We're about to get slammed with snow here in WV.  This could be a good thing.  I'm working on the second chapter of my new novel, a YA Fantasy set in Lame Deer, Montana.  Several months had passed since I finished my last novel and I'm rusty.  The words aren't flowing like they did when I wrote on a near daily basis.  Hopefully I'll get my groove back.  Have any of you experienced similar problems?  If so, it would be nice to know how you overcame them.  Until next time, happy writing.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hello All,
It's time for another ISWG.  If you're interested in learning more about this wonderful group, please go to Alex J. Cavannah's site.

First of all, Happy New Year. As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short. Better late than never I say.  I'm really looking forward to what 2016 will bring. I won't bore you with the usual resolutions, etc. What I will say is I plan to have a completed first draft for my new novel by the end of the year.  Yes, it's ambitious, but I'm going to try.  I've dove into my second novel and so far, I've completed the first chapter and am slowly moving through the second one.  Do any of you have ambitious plans?  If so, I'd be interested to know about them.  Also, if you have a special writing schedule set up that streamlines the writing process, I'd welcome some new ideas.

Last, but certainly not least. I wanted to thank everyone in this wonderful group for all the support you've offered me over the years. I truly couldn't do this without you all. Until next time, happy writing.