I mailed out the first 50 pages of my novel and a two page outline Wednesday afternoon.

Yeah!!!

I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I’m going to do it anyway.  I’m extremely proud of myself.  I worked my butt off to get it to the Post Office on Wednesday.  I had some problems and wanted to give up several times.  I wanted to give up because I didn’t know why I was putting so much effort into something I probably I’m not going to even get close to winning.  There were other things I could be doing….like sleeping.  I didn’t know why, but I kept typing.  Then I got a comment from ohnaturalgirl125 on my blog that said I inspire her.  That made my day and inspired me to keep going whether or not I was going to win.

Even though I didn’t want to I kept typing.  I kept thinking of how I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo.    I started strong, but things came up and I didn’t finish.  It bothers me that I didn’t finish.   I didn’t want to admit to people that I didn’t finish this goal either.

I wanted to work on it last weekend, but I hurt pulled my bicep muscle while I was sleeping (don’t ask).  I was out of commission for most of the weekend.  I started typing on Sunday after I took three Ibuprofens.  I continued typing my 50 pages on Sunday night.   I edited my outline on paper at work and came home and edited my outline on my computer.  Monday night I stayed up until 2 am and woke up at 9 am and started typing.  Tuesday night I started typing the last 17 pages I needed and on Tuesday night I finished at 3 am.  On Wednesday I woke up at 8 am and printed the outline, the 50 pages and typed and printed my cover letter and got it ready to mail.  I mailed it at 12:23 it was at the post office.

Yeah!!!

I haven’t posted anything this last week because I’ve been focused on my first 50 pages and outline.

My next goal is to rewrite the whole novel one chapter at a time.  Hopefully, I will be able start this in the middle of April at the campground.

After I finish moving…..

 

 

Figuring Out My Inner Critic

This is what my inner critic was babbling in my ear this morning

 

Who do you think you are trying to write a novel?

That sentence is terrible.

I don’t know why you are editing these fifty pages.  You’re manuscript isn’t going to win anyway.

You must think you are better than everyone else.

I don’t know why you are even trying.

 

It’s snowing outside.  We got about five inches of snow overnight.    I cancelled my annual exam appointment this morning so I could stay home and edit my manuscript while laying in bed in my jammies.  I needed a little TLC and downtime.

As I started editing my inner critic jumped in full force babbling all the crap from above and all my insecurities came to the surface.  I felt my manuscript was kinda of blah.  My sentence structure wasn’t the greatest.  I didn’t have the warm, fuzzy feeling that I normally do when I edit.  I felt like there was a dark rain cloud hanging over manuscript.

Usually my inner critic isn’t this loud or critical or if it is I ignore it, but not this morning.  It was hard to edit this morning, but I kept pushing through.  I edited the pages that I wanted to, but I’m not feeling confident about it.

I know the phrases Who do you think you are trying to write a novel and You must think you are better than everyone else are from my childhood.  I’ve wanted to write since I was little.  I’ve always had lofty dreams.  My two younger brothers were always labeled “Learning Disabled” in school and my mom still uses this reference once in a great while in reference to something.  Maybe this is why I haven’t finished my novel because who am I to go after my dreams when they are learning disabled?  It’s just this old shit from my childhood that I need to sift through and figure out.  My brother’s are far from learning disabled.  My angry brother built a truck from the frame up and I’m sure my other brother could do the same.  So why I am holding myself back?  What if I would publish my romance novel?  Would it make me better than them?  No.  Would it make me better than anyone?  No.

I love it (not really) when this crap from the past comes up and I have to deal with it.  Especially when I thought I already dealt with it.  I know I have dealt with parts of it, but not all of it.  This is something I’m definitely going to have to write about in my journal.  I’m grateful for my inner critic today for showing me another brick that can be taken down from my wall of armor.

What does your inner critic say to you?

 

 

March 2018 Goals

Below are my goals for March 2018:

Pack up 85% of my house.  I have my fingers, toes and boobs crossed that this house works out.  We plan to close on March 30 so after that we can start moving.  Yay! We plan on giving my cousin 30 days notice on April 15 that we will be moved out by May 15.  That will give us six weeks to paint, move and clean the place we are currently in.  I still have a lot of stuff packed in boxes from last time so I’m sitting pretty good.  The bad thing is is that I don’t know how to tell my cousin.  We’re not on good terms right now.  He still thinks I’m three and that I should sit in the corner and not have an opinion.  That doesn’t work for me.  He doesn’t see me as a grown up.  He still thinks I’m his little cousin who he needs to look out for.  In a way, it’s very sweet.  I get that.  But I’m 52 years old.  I’m fully capable of making my own decisions and having my own opinions.  He’s also a tight wad.  I’m sure this will be another post.

Submit the first 50 pages of my novel and an outline to the James Jones First Novel            Fellowship.  I’ll be finishing this up in the next couple of days.  I plan to mail it on March 8.

To edit and rewrite the next 50 pages of a Time To Leave

To write a new post every Sunday and Wednesday

This seems like a very boring list.  Maybe this is why I don’t post my goals.  Oh well.  I thought I’d give it a shot.

Have a great day!!

I Am An Author

As I’ve been packing things up this week to get ready to move I realized that I have been basing my decisions on whether I keep certain things in or not in my office, bedroom and basement is if the item will help me move along in my writing career.  This is amazing to me because I have never thought this way before.

It makes me happy that in a way I am owning the fact that I am an author.  I’ve always known this in the back of my head, but I rarely vocalize it.  I don’t portray it in my day to day life.  I tell my family and my husband that I am writing, but I don’t call myself an author even though I am author.  I did get one of my essays Why I Walk Alone published in Walking Magazine seven or eight years ago.  I didn’t get any money for it, but it didn’t matter to me.  I was published in a magazine.  I had a clip to use.  Yeah!

I realize if I want to move forward in my writing career I need to call myself an author.  I have to put myself out there.  I have to admit to others (besides my blogging community) that I am writing a novel, essays, short fiction or whatever I am working on.  I need to join a writing community.  I need to be present as an author.

The only problem is is that I am not an author to the people around me.  I am a factory worker.  A (awesome) aunt.  A stepmom.  A sister.  A daughter.  A coworker.  A friend.  A sister-in-law.  A niece.   But not an author.  In a way, it is kind of sad that no one really knows the author me.  My family and my husband know I want to be an author.  That I am writing.  I didn’t tell anyone that my essay was published.  I don’t know why.  Maybe because I didn’t make any money for it.  Maybe because I know people would expect more of me than I could deliver at that time.  Maybe.  Maybe.  Maybe

I don’t know why I am telling you this.  This isn’t what I wanted to write about today, but it’s what filled my head and I had to get it out.  I am an author and I am proud of what I create and it’s time to share it with the world.

Maybe it’s because I am working on my romance novel and all of my dreams about having a romance novel published are coming back to the surface and reminding me of who I really want to be and what my dreams are.  I need to get back to being that person.  I think it’s the reason why I am on this earth.  To write.  To create.  To help people through my writing.    The more I blog the more comments and followers I get on my blog.  The more posts I post my writing gets stronger and the more confident I become in my abilities.

I’m glad I’m letting more of the real me to the surface.  It’s scary, but it needs to happen.  I can’t keep hiding my author self to the world.  I need to own that fact that I am an author.   I need to scream (well maybe not scream) from my rooftop  I Am An Author!

I Am An Author!!!!!

 

 

A Time To Leave

A Time To Leave is the title of my romance novel.  I didn’t post on Wednesday because I was working on the outline.  I’m going to submit it to the James Jones First Novel Fellowship.  This award is awarded annually to an American author of a first novel in progress (according to Writer Magazine January 2018).

My novel has been in progress for the last 12 years.  I started writing it when I first started dating my husband.  We’ve been together 15 years.  The date on one of the manuscript pages is 2-26-06.   I probably worked on it for a good year or so before the first draft was complete.  I would go to Hardee’s one or two mornings a week before work to write and grab breakfast.

I never completed the second draft.  The completed first draft was sitting in my hope chest up until a year ago when I decided to put it on the first shelf of my bookshelf.  I have looked at it.  I have moved it to dust and thought about revising it.  I maybe read part of it and then edited it some and then put it back to collect dust.   I haven’t done a major 2nd draft revision.

Until now.

The 2nd revision is on my 2018 to do list (along with how many other unfinished writing projects).  I read the prologue and the first two chapters and edited it on the way back from Vegas in early January.  I read the entire manuscript one night when I was sick.  I’ve been rewriting the prologue (which you read in my last post) and I started to rewrite the 1st chapter.

The submission guidelines for this award is: a two page outline of the entire novel and the first 50 pages.  I have most of the outline complete and the first five pages typed.  Deadline is March 15, 2018.

I set this award as a goal because I knew it would kick start me to edit/rewrite my novel.  I know my chances of winning are slim.  Probably very slim, but I’m not doing it to win.  I’m doing it to submerge myself in my novel.  To get to know my characters again.  How they live.  How they interact with others.  How they talk.  How they love.  How they feel.  In the last couple of weeks I have learned a lot about my characters and my novel.

I’m happy and excited to be working on it again instead of it collecting dust.

A Time To Leave by Chrissy.   Coming to bookstores in 2019.

If there are any brick and mortar stores left……

 

 

 

 

To Prologue Or Not To Prologue

 

Last night I didn’t post because I was working on the outline for my romance novel and watching the Olympics.  This morning I thought I could cut and and paste what I wrote below from Word to WordPress.  I thought it would take ten or fifteen minutes to write my post and I would be done.  That didn’t happen.  I could copy my manuscript in Word but I couldn’t paste it in WordPress so I typed it tonight when I got home from work.  You live and you learn.

What I am sharing with you is the Prologue to my romance novel.  I know some people don’t like a prologue and some people do.  I don’t mind it as long as I can relate to it throughout the book.   What are your thoughts on prologues?

I feel like I’m using someone else’s blog post title.  If I am, I apologize.

My Prologue

“That son of a bitch,” Cindi Reeves stormed into the shipping area.  “He’s the reason you didn’t take the job isn’t he?”

Becky Larsen opened her mouth, but nothing came out.  He, the HE, she is referring to is is Becky’s husband, Tommy.  Tears came to Becky’s eyes as she looked at the wall.  What could she say?  It was true.  She didn’t take the job because of Tommy.  “Women shouldn’t make more money than their husbands” were Tommy’s exact words.

“I’m pissed off,” Cindi kicked an empty box across the room.  “Do you realize how I put myself on the line for you?  Management had another person in mind for the job, but I asked them, several times, to give you a chance.  And they did.  And you turned them down.  Now I look like an idiot.”

“I’m sorry,” Becky tucked a piece of blond hair behind her ear as she felt her cheeks get red.  “I really did want the job.”

“Then why didn’t you?”

Beck shrugged.  She really did want the job.  She wanted to move up in the company.  She was excited.  Being on different shifts would be an adjustment on both of their parts, but she thought they could make it work.  Later on that evening, Tommy didn’t share her excitement or her positive thoughts.  There wasn’t a discussion.  He got pissed and told her she was being selfish. Who would make him lunch and his lunch for work?  Why should she get to work first shift and he be stuck on 2nd?  He deserved it more than she did.  He threw his beer bottle and missed the garbage.  It crashed against the counter, leaving broken glass and puddles of beer on the floor.  “Clean it up,” he hissed and walked out the door.

“Why don’t you just leave him?”

“Leave him?  Wwwhat,” Becky stammered as her head jerked up.  “I can’t do that.”

“Everyone knows you didn’t take the job because Tommy had a fit,” Cindi sighed and sat down next to her.  “You are perfect for the job.  Why do you put up with his shit?”

Becky turned her head away from Cindi as she blinked back tears.

“I can see how unhappy you are,” Cindi said quietly.  “Marriage isn’t suppose to be like that.”

Becky nodded.  She admired Cindi. She was a good leader.  Strong yet flexible.  She wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.  She weighed 110 pounds soaking wet, but she didn’t take shit from anyone.  She was happily married.  She and her husband worked hard and as a team for what they had.  Becky wished she had that.

“Just leave and don’t look back.  He won’t find you.  He’s not that smart.  You deserve so much more.  Go find it.”

I can’t leave, Becky thought to herself as she watched Cindi walk away.  Their marriage wan’t the greatest these last couple of months, but she thought they were just going through a rough spot and it would work itself out.

She loved Tommy and wanted to make it work.  She wasn’t giving up on her marriage even if it meant not taking a promotion she really wanted.

It would work eventually.  Wouldn’t it?

 

I’m not entirely happy with it.  It’s only my 2nd rewrite and I know I’ll probably have 500 more before I get to the end of the novel.  I feel that something is missing.

Please leave a comment.  Good, bad or otherwise.  My skin is tough.  I can take it.  If it sucks, it sucks.  I’ll try again.

Thanks for reading my blog and my prologue.  I appreciate it and you.

 

 

Girl On Fire

What I loved most about this years Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is Angelica Hale from America’s Got Talent singing “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keyes.  9 years old and kicking butt!

I love the parade.  It always inspires me because almost everyone in the parade is living their dreams.  The musicians and dancers.  The actors and actresses.  The screenwriters and playwrights.

If they are living their dreams why can’t I live mine?

I’ve been thinking about this for the last couple of days.  Why can’t I?  I think that part of my problem is that I don’t have a specific goal.  I know I want to be an author but I don’t have any specific goals.  I want to get my essays and short stories published and I would love to write the final draft of my romance novel, but I don’t have any specific goals.  Goals that I write down on paper and achieve.   Goals that I work toward every time I sit down to write.  I don’t know why I don’t write down my goals.  I have goals in my head.  Floating around in my head.  Sometimes they are close.  Sometimes they are far away.

I need to get my office (my half of our office) in order.  I have a stack of papers for my blog on one side of my desk.  Old blog posts that I have typed and need to file.  Partially written blog posts that I need to file or finish.  Magazine articles and other stuff I find interesting to possibly write about in future blog posts.  I keep piling stuff on the pile and not dealing with it.  On the other side I have notes, a notebook and two folders for my first draft for NaNoWriMo.  (I wrote a couple of scenes over the past week).  I would like to have a clean desk.

I think I have a lot of stuff that I don’t need on my bookshelf.  Notebooks and notepads.  I love notebooks.  I usually write the 1st draft of my posts in a notebook of some kind.  College ruled.  Spiral works best for me and preferably with a pocket.  I have a notebook in my office, in the living room, in my truck and in my locker at work.  The goal for my bookshelf is to have all of my writing projects on the shelves so I can easily see and access them.  If I write notes for a project I can easily file the notes or grab it and work on it.

I realized this weekend that I don’t have any rhyme or reason to my desk.  It holds my computer, keyboard, mouse and piles of paper.  Because my desk is a mess I have no idea where I am with my writing projects.  My goal for my desk is that I would love to be able to walk into my office and start working instead of looking at it and mumbling “WTF!”

What is in my head and what is in my office are far apart.  I’ve been putting off dealing with my office issues because I was hoping we were moving and I would have my own office.  That didn’t happen so I need put my big girl pants on and deal with what I have.  A very disorganized writing life….and then I wonder why I don’t accomplish anything.

I want my office to have only what I need in it and not what I think I might use some day.  I get distracted by my stuff.  I have a lot of “things” in my office instead of a lot of writing.  This definitely needs to change.  I want to have a place for everything in my office and everything in it’s place.

Right now this girl is definitely not on fire, but I would like to be.  I think I’m going to use “Girl on Fire” as my 2018 mantra.   I want to be able to describe and/or think of myself as a girl on fire.   Moving toward her goals and not letting anyone stop her.  I’m going to put this on my bulletin board (which only has a picture of snoopy hugging woodstock on it.  I know.  Sad.  It could be used for so much more) and look at it every day.

A girl on fire who writes everyday.  That’s me.

What is your mantra for 2018?