Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In the same boat

I attended a workshop at NJRW about conquering your writing demons. RaeAnne Thayer presented it, the handout she gave us had quotes from accomplished authors admitting they had their own fears when it came to writing. Now I have read a lot of quotes from writer's offering inspiration and and how to advice...and they do just that. However, reading the quotes, where fears similar to mine have been faced by authors who have accomplished literary success hit home with me. That we share the same fears, are in the same boat as it were, inspired me even more. So I thought I would share some from the flyer and that I have discovered elsewhere...

"Writing itself is an act of faith, and nothing else"-- E. B. White

"A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down."--Edna St. Vincent Milay

I'm scared all the time, which is always good. You have to be scared or you're not working hard enough.--Sue Grafton

"If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it as an act of courage."--Cynthia Ozick

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.--Virginia Woolf

Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil - but there is no way around them.
- Isaac Asimov

The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home.
- John Campbell

The book is done, the writer wants to cry out ‘bring it back, let me rewrite it, or better, let me burn it. Don’t let it out in the cold world in this unfriendly condition.’ I never lost the weight of clumsiness, ignorance or aching inability
-John Steinbeck

All my life I’ve been frightened at the moment I sit down to write.
-Gabriel Garcia Marquez

'A book is so much a part of oneself that in delivering it to the public one feels as if one were pushing one’s own child out into the traffic.’
Quentin Bell

"The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better."
(Stephen King)

When asked about the most frightening thing he had ever encountered, novelist Ernest Hemingway said, "A blank sheet of paper."
The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.
William Faulkner

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.
Gustave Flaubert

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
Oscar Wilde

"Every writer's nightmare...Is the idea worth writing about? Will the readers hate it? Am I wasting my time? And there are no answers--until the book is published, then you bite your nails, hold your breath, and pray like mad.-- Sydney Sheldon

((HUGS))may you find the courage to push past your fears and doubts and pursue whatever dreams you hold in your hearts!


Monday, October 08, 2007

I really needed that!

I just noticed its been a little over 2 months since we updated, and I’m sorry about that. Life has been a Bitch there is just now milder way to put it. First I want to send big hugs out to my co writer, Melissa, Her dad is very ill and I ask you keep them all in your prayers.

As for me…It is amazing how your emotions can make you feel so drained. My mom passed away on August 27th. Two weeks before my mom passed away my third son, who has severe Cerebral Palsy, had tendon surgery on his left leg, which was a success but as usual he had a hard time recovering from the anesthesia so I was with him at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital for a week. While my mom, the person I would be leaning on through it was ill and then passed away. And on the same night she left us a family neighbor, who was like a second father, passed away too.

It was Ironic because while I was growing up every Labor Day weekend our block would close down and we would have a block party. All the neighbors would get together and barbeque in the street. My mom and Tony were the organizers of this annual event. There were a group of neighbors that we called the Curbsiders, because as dawn started to break they would be found sitting on the curb still celebrating. (no keg was ever returned to the store with any contents remaining.) Four of them have now passed and on Labor Day weekend, my mom and Tony joined them in the same section of the cemetery. And all the neighbors and the children that grew up on our street were gathered around. They managed to bring us all together one more time. And you know for sure somewhere in heaven they were all sitting on a curb.

But I did feel like I was caught in a riptide and couldn’t reach shore before something else pulled me under. And I had to go through the motions of getting my kids back into the going to school and extra curricular activities routine that takes place as the summer ends. By the end of it I was physically and emotionally exhausted and sitting down at the computer and writing was the last thing I wanted to do. No scratch that I wanted to, I just couldn’t seem to.

This past weekend I attended the NJRW conference. I was scared because I was going alone. Yes, I am a shy person although many of you roll your eyes at that idea, but I knew it would be a way to help me get my feet back on shore. And it has.

The NJRW do a phenomenal job with this event and the presenters were awesome. I attended an awesome chat with Sherri, a workshop on taking control of your writing demons, (did you know procrastination is a writing demon!?!?!? Gasp!) and how to develop a truly unique Author Brand (Marissa seems to be on the right track there) and Show me don’t tell me, (all about staying out of the characters minds… no deep introspection, avoid excess words and portray emotion through actions. Yes I seriously needed this one!!) I also was able to meet our EC editor Nick Conrad, and let him know we are still here. Also get a few teasers in about the title of his presentation being dangling the carrot.

But as inspiring as all that was, that isn’t what put solid ground beneath me again. It was the women who attend. It was my fourth year attending and I ran into a few women that I have begun to call my same time next year friends. Stacey from NY pulled me in and introduced me to some fantastic women. Liz Maverick and Marianne Mancusi were a riot and I love their energetic approach to things. They have a cooperative venture coming out with Dorchester called the shomi line. Sherri Kenyon will always amaze me with her generous and compassionate nature, she is such an inspiring woman and her hugs are truly the best. She is co-writing a story with Dianna Love-Snell who I was also thrilled to meet. Dinner conversation with some of these ladies is always interesting. I always love hearing about Sherri’s family, she could definitely go into stand up comedy if this writing thing doesn’t pan out *blink* *g*

This year topics ranged from our children and fights with the board of Ed. Rawists who eat only raw food including chicken, to vegans and vegetarians, Graveyards we enjoy, hot spots in Boston and NYC, how to dig up a body, what the most painful wound is, ComicCon… Dinner lasted 3 hours with lots of laughter.

One highlight was a friend Beth Ciotta won a Golden Leaf Award for her book All About Evie! An awesome book and an awesome lady I was so thrilled for her!!

One devastating moment was at the end of the book signing as I helped pack up pins and tattoos I realized I lost my camera. Thankfully the next morning Sherri called me and she had found it in one of the boxes. And I will soon have it back along with photos dating back to Christmas, a special Christmas since it was my mom’s last with us. You’re my hero Sherri!!!

All in all it was a great weekend that started with my planning to hide in a corner and gather as much inspiration as I could to a lunch time speech by Sherri that had us all declaring over our pasta “I am the Best writer in the world and I deserve my dream!” to an after conference dance and Karaoke that had Marianne and another new friend Leanna teaching some of us Goth dances!

Hugs to you all and here’s to getting back to writing and living HEA.