Still at it

I’m nearing the end of Jasmine, and it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. I have had to delete a whole chapter, and a few scenes were eliminated or rewritten entirely, but on the whole, it’s been a fairly quick rewrite.

I have asked a friend of mine to read it for me and give me her input. I have to know if the story works, and if there’s anything that needs to be tweaked, rewritten, or deleted. I want to know if the characters are believable. I need to know if it’s a good book or not. I don’t want to waste time on a dud.

If I hear good news, I’ll move on to looking for someone to proofread the book. My real issue will be cost. I’m just a poor boy, after all, but I don’t want someone cheap who doesn’t do a good job. I need someone with reasonable rates, preferably with some experience and recommendations.

Then I’ll need someone to do the covers for me. I have absolutely no experience in making covers. What’s more, I have no artistic abilities. I’ll have to find someone at some point. I guess I can ask around. I’m sure someone can point me in the right direction.

Until then, however, I’ll tinker with Jasmine, maybe eventually settle on a permanent name for it. It was Unseen Obsession at one point, but I hated that name. Maybe someone can help me with that, too.

No NaNo for me

It’s July 1st, and another Camp NaNoWriMo has begun, without me. I know you are all so disappointed. Okay, I doubt anyone cares. I know I don’t. As militant as I have been in the past about NaNoWriMo, I just haven’t been able to muster any level of enthusiasm for Camp NaNo. Oh, I’ve tried to participate several times, but I seem to lose steam and interest. I just don’t feel as passionate about it as I do the main event in November.

I think part of the reason stems from the amount of time and energy it takes to sit and write. I spend 10 hours a week driving to and from work. I’m so exhausted after a long day, and I’m usually bombarded with other things that distract me from sitting down and writing. I miss having time to myself to write. I want to sit and write, without distraction, without anybody disturbing me, needing me to do something, anything for them. I need my own place, closer to work would be preferable.

Until then, I’ll make do. I wonder if I should give up the idea of publishing and simply write for the enjoyment. I don’t know if that would make me happy. I want to be read, even if only by a small audience. Nope, I need to write with publishing as my goal. I’ve been so inconsistent with my goal that it may take a small miracle to actually get it done.

When I first started writing, back at the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, I had a fire smoldering within me, a desire to prove that I had some inherent worth. I needed to write as an act of revenge. Now, I don’t have that motivation. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone, but I do want to prove to myself that I can do it.

While I may not be participating in Camp NaNo, I’m still quietly working away at my own leisure. I’m having to make peace with the idea that I may never put myself out there, but the dream still lingers, and as long as it does, maybe I’ll find a way to cross that finish line.

Redirecting my focus

I just wrote and posted my last book review. They have been an experience to do, but now I feel that the time is right to move away from that and start to focus more on my own writing. I don’t plan to drop it all together, but I have no immediate plans to continue doing so as I have been, taking  requests and scheduling them out months in advance. For now, I’ll only review a book if I want to. Simple as that.

As for my WIP, I’m not as far along as I would like to be. I’ve spent the whole past week feeling rather crappy. Turns out the cold I had was really strep throat, and I’m having a heck of a time getting over it, even with the antibiotics. At least I’m seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. I can breath again and hopefully I’ll have my voice back to normal in the next couple of days.

So for now, I’m keeping my goal of being done with my rewrites by the end of the month, though I’m starting to feel that’s overly-optimistic, especially considering the week I’ve spent moaning in bed, refusing to do any significant work. Forget that. I want to be done and get someone working on proofreading my book. I really want to have this out this year.

The time flies by

Four years ago today I started my blog. I can’t believe it’s been so long! Though most of my post from 2011-2013 have been archived, 396 posts in all, plus the 155 posts still available to be read, that’s 551 times I opened myself up and let people in.

From heartbreak to working towards my goal to be a published writer, I have confided in you my fears, my pain, my struggles to get over they obstacle of the moment. I have shared my hopes and my dreams. I have shared my despair and my joy.

I have no grand plan for the future, other than to continue to do what I’ve been doing. I’ll admit that sometimes I feel like I’m too old to earn any measure of success, but then I realize that it doesn’t matter how old I am. All that matters is that I have finally decided to succeed.

Let’s see where this next year takes us. I’ll continue to write the occasional book review, publish a short story or two, and bring you along as I meander towards my ultimate goal of ruling the world…I mean publishing a book.

For now, I’m going to do some reading for Monday’s book review and perhaps do a little writing of my own. Unfortunately I caught some bug that’s going around so I’m not up to doing much, but I’ll do what I can. Every little thing I do gets me that much closer to what I want, and that makes me happy.

The joys of outlining

That has to be one of my most sarcastic titles I’ve ever written. The joys of outlining…excuse me while I weep silently into my pillow. *Muzak version of Pharrell Williams Happy plays in the background while writer wails miserably into a pillow* Sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I’m a little tired right now. Maybe I’m still emotional after Seattle’s Super Bowl loss on Sunday. Back to the reason I’m writing today….

I’m working on outlining my book, hoping to get a visual of my story main points and how it fits together so I can rip it apart and put it back together. I’m deconstructing the book scene by scene, highlighting the main points in each. It’s been slowing going so far. I’m only on chapter two, but I also didn’t do a thing yesterday. I’m off from work today, so I play to catch up and get as much done as I possibly can.

I’ve never worked with an outline before. I confess this to my friend who wrote back in astonishment that I could have gotten through college without learning how. In fact I did learn how, but it’s not a practice I’ve kept up with. I always felt that it constrained my writing so I didn’t bother to remember. It’s coming back to me, and I still hate it! But as I put the outline together, I’m grudgingly having to admit that it may be a useful skill to have.

Though I am far from done, I’m convinced this exercise will help me make a better umpteenth draft. There is one scene in particular that bothers me, but not so much that it’s there but rather because of the person to whom the story is being told. I’m hoping to find a better place for it and maybe this process will help me locate it. The other option is to cut it out, which I’m not entirely adverse to, but I believe the back story the scene shows is important. We’ll see how it goes.

If this works, I will apply this process to another book I’ve already written but needs a lot of work. Maybe this is the tool I’ve been needing in order to progress to the next step in my desire to become a published writer. Only time will tell, as the saying goes, but there’s another saying that may be more appropriate. “Get off your fat ass and get to work!”

I think we can all agree those are truly words of wisdom. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an ass that needs getting off of, but ironically I’ll have to sit on it to get this particular work done.