Saturday, December 4, 2010

Yeah, who do you think you are?

"How's your book coming?"
"Get published, yet?"
"Oh, you're starting a new book? Didn't you already have one? What ever happened to that?"
"Oh... that sounds... interesting."
"I have a friend who's writing a memoir."
"I'm also a writer, I'm writing a memoir."
"Sci-fi? Um... that's cool. I guess."
"This sound like every bad thriller movie I've ever seen. I mean, no offense."
"Wait, you're still going to school, right?"

As a writer, as are all of you, I'm sure these questions have arisen at least once. If not more. The overall scheme of the world seems to believe that doing something with a long shot at professionalism is far-fetched, unrealistic, and honestly kind of silly.

How dare we dream, right?

How dare we ask our friends and family to take an interest. To read for us. To support that we spend copious amounts of free time doing something that may or may not pay out in the end. And heaven forbid that we may actually do this for our own enjoyment, our own sanity.

Do I sound bitter? A little miffed? Do I sound like maybe I'm getting a little worn down?

I'm not going to be the next Jean-Paul Sartre, and I'm never going to write a full-out memoir. I'm never going to be a multi-million dollar author, or be able to do it as a full time career.

But I will be published someday. Because I have things to say, things that are interesting, things that are fun, words that will bring people to tears and keep someone up at night. I'll challenge someone's imagination. I'll have an review shredding my lack of substance and comparing me to sparkly vampires.

I'm not comparing myself to Anne Rice, and I'm not putting my work up to Stephen King. But I'll have an review telling everyone that I did it, someday. That I wrote a book they loved. That I meant something from page one to the end of a too-long epilogue.

That's why we all write, isn't it?

That's why we wake up early before work, and stay up after the house is dark and the sound of the keyboard is all that remains at 2 in the morning.
It's why we dance around our homes, bang our fists on the table in frustration, throw red pens across the room, skip out on Friday night plans, and why we have Twitter accounts.
It's why we cry at rejection letters, grit our teeth at loved one's biting statements, and why we secretly wake up at 4 in the morning just to jot down words we can't read in the morning.

For that feeling of finishing a chapter. For that rush of writing the perfect scene. For the overwhelming surge of uncontrollable joy when you type the words "the end".

I don't really know what this post is about. I'm sure I'm just making you all think I've lost by mind. But on the random chance that maybe you needed a little bit of reminder on this beautiful, cold, Saturday morning - don't EVER stop doing what you love. Don't ever feel like you're alone in this. We're all here, we're all miffed, and we're all on Twitter babbling nonsense just to make it through the day.

So keep typing, and know that you have a friend in the unpublished writing business.

Lots of love for you all, and stay out of the wind. Shiver.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Life/Muses for WIP

Part One: The new job/house

Wow. I feel like I haven't had enough time to do anything for the last month. I've been chugging away at plotting - in my head. I have concepts and scenes for two different novels written - in my head.

Despite all that, I'm feeling more confident in myself than ever before. I have a truly "grown up" job, and it feels really nice to dress business casual, have a badge to get in a building, and sit at a desk and process some purchases. I REALLY miss being a nanny, though. I went to collect my last paycheck, and the beautiful little lady is walking! We worked so hard on that for a month... and she picks it up in the week and a half I'm gone. Sigh. She's amazing, and I'll miss being with her everyday. But still, the new job is pretty swanky.

The new house is amazing! Exactly perfect in every single way. The kitchen has more space than I know what to do with (a nice problem to have, eh?), the living room is the same way - even with our brand new, chocolate brown couch! Our bedroom has room for our huge bed, two bookcases, a dresser and my own TV and XBOX - all that besides the walk in closet (that I need more clothes for, haha). Even the bathroom is oversized, which is silly. Not to mention having my very own laundry room - where I can keep the litter box out of sight! I'm overjoyed, it's wonderful.

In my writing life, things aren't quite so settled. I can't seem to stop cleaning, working, and oversleeping enough to get anything out of my head and onto the computer. I figured out today what I needed to do.

Part Two: Inspiring Myself

So, here are my muses for the new WIPs I'm working on.

1) Finding strong female MC examples. Here is what I found.

Rowan Mayfair. One of my favorite all time favorite female characters. She's strong, and in charge of a power she doesn't want to recognize, and can't seem to harness. She's amazingly resilient, loving, yet cold all at the same time. I love her. 

A new find, the amazing Elena from Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Underworld series. This is book one - and I'm totally hooked on Elena. Her voice is so strong; her badass-ness is off-putting in a charming kind of way. She's also finding a way to meld her circumstances into the life she wants for herself - finally realizing that you can be happy being exactly what you are. She is amazing, and I love her as much, if not even more, than my lovely Rowan. 

2) Finding the perfect playlist. 

So, I'm usually not a fan of YouTube playlists... because I don't need the videos while I'm writing. But sometimes, they really do have all the best songs in one place. 

So I made a playlist consisting solely of strong females, all with great songs, amazing lyrics, and a passion for energy. 

It starts off with kind of a silly song, but Nellie McKay has long been a favorite of mine. I don't regularly listen to "this kind" of music... but all of these songs really get me pumped about the female race. 

Part Three: Sneak Peaks of the new WIP[s]

More than anything I've ever written, I'm so excited for my new WIPs. They're more than thoughts thrown on a piece of paper... they're genuinely thought out from beginning to end. Please keep in mind these descriptions are super vague. They'll get better.

First up: Espionage Suspense

Izzy Ventamilla is CIA. Turning her back permanently on her small town drug-peddling mafia family, she requests to be sent out of the US - as far away as possible. After serving her country proudly for years, she catches wind of a full-out extermination of her small town. The modern Sodom and Gomorrah, Clover, Nebraska has moved past small time prostitution rings and drugs to weapon development and all-out anarchy. With developing backers in Vegas and New York - Izzy herself knows all too well that her father's power has spread. 

Going back as an operative, her first item of business is to throw her own sister in jail, alienate her former fiancĂ©e, and win the trust of her father's organization. Not as clever as she believes, Izzy all too quickly becomes involved in the day-to-day of helping a town the government turned its back on years ago. As a farming village without enough water and subsidies running out years before - they've been doing what they had to do to survive.

In the end, Izzy will have to figure out who is more corrupt - her own father and hometown, or the government who is willing to let a town burn when they're no longer of use. Her decision will lead her to the depths of her own CIA organization, and a literal gun to the head of the President she had worked so hard for. 

Second: Sci-Fi Thriller

Since the meteor hit six years ago, Cat's job has been to monitor the water recession. As a long-time Kansas resident, she watched the news reports as the meteor hit somewhere in Europe, and sent the ocean floods all the way to the Missouri and Colorado border. Only a strip of dry earth remains, running from southern Canada to the middle of Oklahoma.

In a drowned world, the rain never ceases to fall and the constant lightening storms shred more crops than they can harvest. Not to matter though, the oceans surrounding are flooded with the non-survivors of the deadly gas that erupted from the meteor. The undead fill the oceans, finding their way to land eventually. The Turned reek of deterioration and thirst for unbloated, living flesh. Problem for Cat and the rest of the survivors - it's not just the humans that became infected by the alien gas. But the animals as well. Constant attacks come from wild dogs, crazed cats, and the occasional beached shark. The humans they can sometimes outrun, the limber cats that rain down from the rooftops are more of a problem. 

Six years after the attack, the water recession is bare, and the food has been scarce for months. Running from the outnumbering Turned and human cannibals is getting exhausting. What will Cat do?

That's all from me, folks. Sorry for the novel post :)