It is not “OR”, but both

Writing.  As many will point out, it is work if you want to be published or make a quasi-living at it. You have to meet deadlines, talk to people (texting does NOT count), meet “quotas” in word counts, and have a better than usual working knowledge of the English language.

You need to budget your money, hope you have an understanding partner if one is present, and manage your time skills. You have to be polite and keep a smile when you would rather smack the snot out of someone. You must develop a thick skin, because not everyone will love your work as much as you.

IE, you have to adult. And adult big-time.  (Hush, you. I know the word is not a proper verb -yet. Just go with me on this.)

What brings this up? I am editing a work I wrote many years in hopes of getting it published. And I find I am filled with…..

trep·i·da·tion
ˌtrepəˈdāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. 1.
    a feeling of fear or agitation about something that may happen.
    “the men set off in fear and trepidation”
    synonyms: fear, apprehension, dread, fearfulness, fright, agitation, anxiety, worry,nervousness, tension, misgivings, unease, uneasiness, foreboding,disquiet, dismay, consternation, alarm, panic; More

I am full of fear. It has great potential. The characters are realistic (at least to me) and I think others can relate to them; the plot is sound and the magic system solid.  I think my twists are good and unexpected.  yet there is so much wrong. I tremble at the amount of work required to make this happen.

As an adult I know the work needs to happen. Yet my inner grown up trembles, saying, “You’re not good enough. Time to get real and drop this nonsense.”

And here is the crux of the issue. As I read it, despite the red ink flowing ankle deep like a sign of the end times, I remember the joy I had plotting it out. My heart sings as it recalls when the story took over and became something new, yet still  *my* story.  I fell in love with my protagonist, antagonist, and all other characters.

My inner-child still squeals when I am reading it, saying, “GOOOD!” (Of course, I heard it Palpatine’s voice. I am SUCH a twisted thing.) My imagination-side can still see the clouds over the graveyard, smell the burning flesh, feel hope and dismay for the characters.

And here is the dichotomy of being a writer, of being any type of artist: we are by nature bi-polar. So what the hell is the point of this meaningless ramble?

Simple. Too often I see people who are all OR nothing; black OR white; one OR the other.

To be an artist/writer requires you embrace both sides. The adult who is never satisfied, but knows when enough is enough. The grown-up who can set the discipline needed to do the work.

And the inner child who can dream. The one who can feel the world outside the known. The one who give the adult the impetus to make the dream happen.

Without both, the dream and reality fail.

Thank for putting up with my ramblings. See you soon, I hope.  😉

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A late post on the Con, and my writing adventures

First, and I am late in this (very, very late) a report on my two favorite things from ConCarolinas, which I highly recommend any writer to attend. First was the Slush-pile readings, then the packing party for our own Faith Hunter.

The Slush-pile readings was a two day event comprised of a panel of published authors. Aspiring-to-be-published authors submitted anonymously the first 300 words of a work, and the panel would listen. If an author (David B Coe, Misty Massey, Faith Hunter, and others) raised his/her hand, it meant there was a problem an agent or editor would slush-pile the manuscript for. Once three hands were up, the reading stopped; there was no comments from the authors about “But I meant this” and so on. The vote was final.

What I loved was the feedback. The panel was courteous but firm. Why was discussed and then suggestions made.  At the end, the author could identify him/herself if desired. I learned so much from those discussions. A remarkable experience, and I do plan to be present for both (or more, we hope) days of it. 

Faith’s packing party is where her fans at the con help her out sending out flyers, announcements, and packing swag. Our group chatted, had fun, and bonded. Can’t really say more, but it was a hootenanny. (Faith, I still got some wonderful pics I need to post on FB or send you.)

On to why I am glutton for punishment. I am currently doing three WIPs at one time. Stupid me. I am thinking I will drop one for now, and continue with the other two.

Why drop the one? Because the world-rules have changed. the story took a different direction than I planned, and I will have to overhaul the whole thing. Sometimes it happens. David Coe said, “Characters ‘and plot’ [sic] are like children: they need their freedom and discipline at the same time.” the discipline is the story arc is the same, the plot generally is the same, but certain rules of the world have altered. I like the new direction, but it will take some fixing to make it worthy of an audience. 

The other is my epic fantasy (I submitted to the slushpile). It needed some work in just the first 300 words, so fixing it day by day. This one I vacillate between with new WIP.

New WIP is hard to define. A steam-punk era historical urban fantasy. The hardest part with this one is the research. And more research. And more. Not posting any of it until I am closer to half way through. 

An artist, no matter the skill, no matter the medium -words, paint, stone, cloth, clay- plucks the stuff of dreams from the aether and creates wonders. 

 

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It is not one who makes it so

I have recently been involved in a crowd sourcing fundraiser.  This experience has taught me a valuable lesson. It takes more than one to bring a dream to fruition. While some like to think it is a solitary effort, it is not.  One can raise a child by oneself, but the creation of such a life is easier and more fulfilling when done with a community, and never without another’s help. Allow me to explain this from a an artist’s ( here an author’s)  point of view. 

To an artist, our work is like a child. We have the dream, we work to bring that dream into reality: to make it possible, to see it grow, to watch that spark of ourselves become more than what we originally hoped for. It involves sweat, pain, joy,ecstasy, work, and hope. We have the dream. We nurture it. We cry over failures and sing for successes. We hope it will touch lives beyond us for good things.  Yet in the end, we cannot do it alone.  

We have those who support us in our struggle to find time to write. We have those who encourage us to to continue even when we have doubts about our ability. We have beta-readers who give us feedback on what what we might be doing correctly or wrongly. Those who lift us when we need it, and those write us ‘reality checks’ when we are too full of hubris. 

In the end, we authors, no matter how independent or alone we feel, have whole community ready to keep us afloat, to bring our ream from conception to birth to adulthood (ie publication). Be those people beta readers, friends who remind us we need to keep moving forward, or just clue-by-four upside the head, they are there. 

We do not act alone. While final say and keeping true to the vision is our own responsibility, we depend on others to bring the dream to manifestation and maturity.  

And we need our readers to show support by buying the product of our sweat, dreams, and tears. While the work has its own rewards, authors and all artist are bound by the reality of eating, a home, and so on. In my case, taking care of my baby puppy, Monster. Some have children to send to college, or mortgages, or those and other things. 

Sometimes this dreaming thing is sweet as apple-blossom honey, and sometimes bitter as gall, in the end it helps us create a thing beyond what we hoped for: a thing that will live beyond our own lives, and touch other lives. 

This holds true in the artistic world, the spiritual world (for how much easier is it to develop a connection to the Divine when you have other to help you in the Great Work?), and the mundane realm. One can move alone, but to have a community to support you emotionally and spiritually is beyond compare, unless you have also a life-partner who helps. But barring that, our working requires more than a single person.

An author’s works are his/her child of the heart – the result of dreams, conception, and manifestation. but to bring those concepts to a mundane world needs more than single mind.  

My GoFundMe fund raiser has reminded me of these things. I am blessed to have such people in my life. Even if I never am published, my community has given strength to continue, to pursue the dream, the bring my children to readers everywhere, and in hope beyond hope, to touch lives beyond my fragile mortal frame. 

It take a village to raise a child, and make that child something more than the parent. You all are my village. 

Thank you. 

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I am so honored, twice over

Today I was honored in two ways as an author. 

First I have been raising funds on a crowd-sourcing site to attend ConCarolinas. I have exceeded goal. I am so honored that so many people believe in me. Even the written word –

Second, I was told today my stories about writing and the joy it has brought has inspired someone else to start writing. 

I think that is the greater of the two. To be told an unknown person like me inspired someone else to write is humbling. It is an honor (again). It brings me to tears of joy. 

Even if I am never published, to have moved another soul like that is a shining star in the dark sky of life. For both of us. 

There are no real words, except I am glad I could touch another like that. 

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Nothing more need be said

Just watch. It is enough. 

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So been away for a while, but I have gifts…..sort of. Mindy Klasky has a giveaway contest for you all. Great author, a personal mentor, and all around good person. So here it is. 

http://www.mindyklasky.com/index.php/2014/01/another-wednesday-another-contest/

 

Consider buying her books. Faith Hunter, also a friend of mine has a new release, Black Arts. Kick ass heroine, easy reading style, and lots of action. 

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More of the 200 word challenge

The story I chose to continue above, and below the stars, my 200 words. I wonder what the originator will think?

http://auguris.dreamwidth.org/959684.html

To Auguris: my contribution to the story you started. Your words first; mine after the lines of stars.

 

I’m in the middle of my Witchcraft and Feminism in the 18th Century essay when Ree texts me. The preview says THEY SHOT M and I can feel heat and power rising to my face involuntarily. It takes three tries to put in my password correctly and I have a curse on my tongue by the time I get to the actual message: THEY SHOT MY BROTHER.

Mild relief.

Before I can ask how long it will take to heal, SILVER BULLET pops up.

Relief gone.

Hunters in Boston? This isn’t some ladydamned podunk white trash middle-of-nowhere town. I flip open my trunk and grab a salt solution and my favorite amplifier, an obsidian wolf carving. Nana passed it to me when I hit sixteen. Did she know, somehow?

I send, Where are you?, before throwing on clothes. I don’t bother with a bra; the wolves walk around half naked most of the time, they won’t care.

RILEYS PLS HRY HES DYING

I mutter to the building to bring the elevator. Owen catches my eye as I pass his room.

“Shouldn’t do that, Sanders.”

“Hunters shot Ree’s brother.” I turn before reaching the elevator. “I could use your help.”

**** *****

. “Shit.” Owen and Henry had been close: not as much since Ayla had chosen Henry as mate over Owen, but still…. “This is more than you and me. It’s Pack now.”   He slipped in beside me.

It took forever to reach the third floor. We both were growling deep in our chests as the stupid box crawled up floor by floor. Two of our kind antsy, in an enclosed space, would normally equal blood. Lots of it. But not when Pack had a single focus.

The doors finally opened. Owen was sprouting fur and canines already. Unable to wait, his hands slammed the door apart.

Owen’s shouts rang down the halls. People yelled and screamed. Several howls bounced from rooms.  I slipped by him and ran into my room. Peeking out the window, it was near nightfall. The moon was not yet full, but close enough the Eldest could morph. I had Nana’s gift.

I ripped open my dresser and threw the false bottom against the wall. I really didn’t hear it shatter. I grabbed the Glock nine mill, checked the chamber, and slapped a clip in. I was joined in the entryway by the whole pack. Owen, as acting Alpha, waved us forward.

Only humans and wolves can move so quietly, yet with such fury. I cradled the gun with one half-hand half-paw. One claw scraped the handle as I flipped off the safety. Amplifier or not, I was going to be ready for those treacherous bastards.

If blood-lust didn’t burn so hot, someone would have noticed how empty the streets were. 

 

 

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