I’m Reading it

Okay, I decided to give in and read my novel.  My daughter left with my mom for her sleepover.  I went for a run, ate my takeout Thai food and decided that I was in a decent enough mindset to give the book a try.  Here’s a blow by blow update:

8:22 – One hour in and I’m on page 40.  It doesn’t suck. It’s actually far from sucking.  There are a couple of plot features I’d completely forgotten about that I think I can tie to later in the story.  I got teary eyed once.  I laughed once.  Good signs!  The kittens like my book too.  They like chewing on the spiral binding.  I’m going to eat a Halloween Oreo, or two, and get back to it.

9:28 – It’s still good, and I’m on page 75.  Two scenes I thought I would cut actually flow well.  Not ideal since I need to cut quite a bit, but there is still plenty of book to go.  One of my favorite scenes feels way too short.  It was drawn out and dramatic in my head, but was over in an instant when I read it.  Another teary scene, another laughing scene and a surprise dinosaur-with-short arms joke.  I’m feeling pretty good!

11:11 – Page 102, and I’m getting sleepy.  Over halfway through and only 90 pages left.  I’ve had a couple of, “that person would never say that” moments, and “this sentence make no sense” thoughts, but overall I’m still happy with it.  The plot moves quickly, which I like.  Unfortunately I went past another major section I thought I would be able to delete and it works.  I’m hoping at the end I’ll be able to see the sections that may flow but don’t add anything.   So far, I’m glad I’m reading it and thinking I need to make time for a second draft.

Pile of books and magazines on a table

Weekend Writing Update #1

It’s time for my first Weekend Writing update, where I let all you excited blog readers learn what steps I’ve been taking to inch my way toward blog publication.  Last week I came up with a list of nine items to get me started.  Shall we see how things are going?

I start all new projects at the bookstore.  I know I should start at the library, but I love owning books, especially when they are books I am going to need for some time.  Also, just the mere permanent presence of books in my home makes me better at things.  The whole shelf of parenting books with uncracked spines lead me to be a caring, disciplinarian, listening, happiness inducing ninja of a mom.  It’s a form of osmosis I think.  But, I digress.  These writing periodicals and books have already been opened and perused.  (Okay, the top three in the pile have been opened and perused.   The others are feeling jealous.)  Here is what I have learned from my study this week.

  1. If I don’t have a blog, I should start one right now.  How awesome is that.  I HAVE a blog.  Check off that item that wasn’t even on my list.  One article said I should make lists in my blog.  Yep, I’m making a list.  I’m awesome.
  2. My blog’s URL should be firstnamelastname.com to make it easy for agents and publishers to find my blog.  Uh oh.  Well I’m keeping Afthead and purchased my name URL to redirect to Afthead.  If anyone is interested in the land of domain registration and how you redirect multiple domains to you blog let me know.
  3. There are short story competitions out there, and you can only publish stories that have not been published before, except on a personal blog.  What!?!?  This means I can dust off The Fisherman and submit it.  That’s my plan for the next couple of weeks.
  4. The Guide to Literary Agents freaked me out at the beginning.  All the examples of “new authors” seemed to be “Joe Smith has worked as a freelance writer since he was born, and has been editing 18 periodicals since he was weaned. He was approached by his best friend, who happened to be an agent, who asked to represent him when his novel was a mere 1000 words long.”  Translation: the only “new” authors that get published are people who have been working with words their whole life.  Downer.  However, I skipped to the back of the book and started looking at the listing of agents and lots of them take new writers.  That made me feel better.
  5. I read a fascinating article in the Novel Writing magazine about the genre of magical realism.  I’m thinking my book could be in that genre.  (Previously I was thinking science fiction or fantasy.)  The downside is that the magical realism genre is “controversial” so I should be aware of that.  I am always amazed at the specific areas of controversy sprinkled throughout all aspects of humanity.  The other plus of this article is that I realized I LOVE magical realism books and now have a whole new list of books to read.
  6. My meeting with my boss was put off for a week, but I’ve filled out our “Conflict of Interest” and “Approval for Outside Activity” forms.  Once those are signed I can actually set up my name URL and formally tie myself to Afthead and stop living this crazy double life…OR I could get a cape and a mask and start introducing myself in my best Batman voice, “I’m Afthead”.
  7. Once I’m out of the writing closet at work, I am going to see if a colleague will introduce me to his ex-wife, because she just published her first novel.   They are still friends, so this is not a completely weird request.  Before I ask him, I want to read her book.  That seems polite, right?  I’ve got it next to my bed to start tonight.
  8. My mom found an online class at our local community college on getting published.  I just missed the start date for the August class, but may sign up for the next session in September.  It’s 6 weeks and covers some things, like copyright, that I haven’t even considered.  September is an easy month at the Afthead house with school starting, coaching soccer, playing soccer, and normal work stuff., so I’ll have lots of time to take two online classes a week.  Tee hee.

Things are moving along on this adventure.  My book is still hiding in my desk, calling out to me when I’m in my study.  I am ignoring her though.  I reread On Writing again, and am convinced this is a good path forward for me.  I’ve still got some work to do on my pitch and CV, but that will wait for a couple more weeks.  For now I’m enjoying my little dips into this new world of publishing.  Hopefully by next week I’ll have identified a contest or two to submit to, have my paperwork done and my new domains set up.

Have a great weekend and enjoy whatever adventures come your way.