Saturday, March 19, 2005

Living Writing

Just a quick note this time. I wanted to say thanks for all the encouraging comments on my last post. Spring is definitely on the way here in western PA. Just today we had three flies and a wasp in the house, and our snowman melted away. I'm also feeling more positive about my writing.

I felt a profound sense of deja vu when a few days ago I found myself living out a scene from one of my novels. It wasn't exactly the same, but the general setting and about a dozen details matched the ones I'd written, and I wasn't even trying. Even the phase of the moon and the day of the month match. Kind of strange, and very neat.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Writer's Muck

Today was just warm enough to melt some of the snow we got over the weekend. The unappealing result made me prefer to stay inside.


As the seasons struggle to change, March is rarely anyone's favorite month. People are sick of the same old snow, bored and restless. The same is true for my writing this month.

Review books pile up. I love books. I love receiving stacks of them free in exchange for my reviews. But as my reviews leave the 100 mark in the dust, it's a constant battle to keep them fresh. I don't want to repeat myself.

My novel has stalled in the revision process. I just rewrote the ending, but length requirements are calling for another subplot. That involves more character development, research, and plotting before I can increase my word count.

My short story circles aimlessly. The characters are great, but I have no idea how I want the climax of the story to play out - nor whether the tale will remain a short story in the end.

I ache for the infusion of fresh ideas and the long typing sprees that follow them, but I need to get some of this wrapped up first. New ideas refuse to take off when I have too much baggage.

So I'm slowly plowing through this season of slush and mud - not writer's block, but nearly as disheartening - as I wait for spring. I know I'll get through this sometime, and the warmth and freedom of creativity will return. I'll wonder what was so hard.

In the meantime, perhaps I should get some boots.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Reviewing the Situation

Well, after the talk of not-so-good books last week, today I got a package that drove me crazy - trying to pick which book to read first! Among the choices were Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge, Club Sandwich by Lisa Samson, A Table by the Window by Lawana Blackwell, and With This Ring, I'm Confused by Kristen Billerbeck. Yes, advance copies, all (go ahead and drool). The latter was easily voted out since I still need to get the first two books in the series out of the church library. Chick lit and its companions have fascinated me ever since I read Flabbergasted, but it's so much fun to read that I think of it as book candy and feel guilty about indulging. Solution? Pick the last book in the series to review, that way with my perchant for reading books in order, I'll have to read all of them. Guilt-free.

I finally chose Captivating since I have several fiction books partly reviewed and I didn't want to mix one more in the bunch. It's good so far (btw, all of these reviews will be put online, so look for their links in a month or so).

I've been hearing a lot about how most published authors can't support themselves full-time. A bit discouraging for an unpublished author. Yesterday marks one year since I sent out my first book query. No nibbles, but then I've been concentrating mostly on book reviews this year. It's hard to find a balance between long- and short-term writing projects. I do better consistently working on one big project, but reviews have deadlines. I wouldn't want to give up reviewing, though, unless a publisher was waiting for me to write my next book. Then I might have money to buy the books I love when they release. Or not, considering the first sentence of this paragraph. Perhaps if I split my work into weeks - 1-2 weeks of novel writing followed by 1-2 weeks of reviewing. That might work.

Does anyone get the idea that my problem-solving is done through writing things out?