Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Should I do this? Should I do that?



Trying to decide which is the best way to catch a tennis ball can get a little confusing for a little puppy. The same way a newbie-ish, prepublished, novelist (me) is trying to make a decision on the best plot idea.

I have come up with my characters, setting, etc. etc., for my new project. The problem? Two plots!

I'm outlining both of them and switching back and forth. Should I do this in plot one? Should I do this in plot two? Is this better for plot one or should I move it to plot two? Maybe each plot should have their own characters and be separate projects or just scrap the whole thing.

Am I the only one who goes through this? Every other writer I know seems to have it all together from the start.

The puppy eventually somersaulted and her problem was solved. I'll just take a nap.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"It's an honor just to be nominated...."

I used to hear actors and actresses say that when they didn't get the Academy award and I thought it was just a nice, classy way to hide disappointment. Then one actress, can't remember who, explained her feelings when asked by a reporter if she really meant it when she said it was an honor just to be nominated. She explained that it was so much better than sitting in the audience and getting no recognition at all. Being nominated meant that she was "good enough", her work was validated, even if she didn't win the ultimate prize.

Today, I understood that all to well. I received a rejection from Pockets magazine, a wonderful, uplifting, magazine for children. It was not my first rejection from Pockets, probably won't be my last, but this one meant something more than the others. Pockets works with a special theme for each issue, and in April,2009, I submitted a story for their July, 2010, issue, and the long wait began.

Five months later, in September, I received a coveted Hold post card. I grinned like a little kid! My story was "good enough."

Five months after that, today,  I received the rejection. Disappointed? You bet. Crushed? No.  Would I have preferred a contract in the mail? Oh, definitely, but... It really and truly was an honor just to receive the Hold card...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin

I know Nancy Werlin's  The Killer's Cousin was published in 1998, but it could have been written today. It is a superb psychological suspense with a tiny bit of the paranormal included. As a reader, I was immersed in caring about what happened to all of the characters, but especially David. This was one great read!
As a writer, still learning the craft of writing, I saw what is meant by weaving the back story into the plot. The book begins after the main character is aquitted of murdering his girlfriend. What? I read that and was dying to know what happened. But, Werlin kept me so engrossed in what was happening to David as he forged ahead with his life, that I didn't feel anxious from wondering or impatient to know. She presented the back story slowly and only when it was appropriate to do so. I never felt like she was creating places to "dump" the information.
 I'm now getting ready to read are you alone on purpose? originally published in 1994. I've got a nice little stack of her books that I intend to read and savor. When I have finished them all, as I writer, I will have some goals to work on, but as a reader I will be tapping my toe impatiently for her newest one to be released.
Sending a special thank you to whoever posted on Verla Kay recommending Nancy Werlin!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

San Antonio has been blessed with two beautiful sunny days after a week of rain and clouds. I'm not complaining about the rain, after all we've had two years of drought, but it was nice to see the sun.

I haven't been exercising as ordered by the doctor and bad weather is such a good excuse. I really wanted to stay home and read, but...well...the guilt was too much.

I put on my cross-trainers, popped on sun glasses, and grabbed my tire buddy (big stick for stray dogs--just in case). I set my pedometer on steps and power walked out the front door and up the street swinging that tire buddy to the beat in my head.

I was feeling frisky with the cool, 50-ish, breeze so I decided I would just add an extra street. Going that way would cut out a straight line home, but doing the visual math, I figured I would burn those extra brownie calories from last night to make room for more.

By the time I hit my street and saw my little cottage, I was huffing and puffing. No more was I "inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth"! I was panting like a St. Bernard, and I was holding that tire buddy with two hands.

Five minutes later I collapsed in my recliner and pulled out the pedometer. That extra little jog actually cut out a tenth of a mile! And the steps were only 2,776! I don't even want to understand it, I'm just going back to my regular walk, it looks better on the chart.

As I poured my glass of iced tea and grabbed a brownie, I wondered: How does anyone get in 10,000 steps as recommended? And is that a day or a week?

Whatever, the most important thing is I'm now guilt free. That means I can settle down with a book I just ordered by Nancy Werlin called The Killer's Cousin. Somehow I missed this author. After I saw her recommended on Verla Kay, I ordered several of her books.