Workshopaholic

I’m searching for writing workshops I can attend (that don’t cost an arm & a leg) that are local, and I haven’t been having any luck!

For some reason I’m really craving a writing workshop. Maybe I’m feeling nostalgic for my college classes, or the summer workshops I would attend in middle and high school. School, but only involving writing. I could do that all day!

However, earlier last week I came across a few helpful websites!

http://writing.shawguides.com/index.cfm?action=search&fSearch=arizona&fSiteID=6&fSearchPointer=1&subaction=doSearch

http://www.azauthors.com/event_calendar.html

I’m pretty interested in a few of them–hoping I’ll be able to attend! I don’t mind conferences, but I’d really like a genuine workshop more than anything. Something that feels like I’m back in the classroom.

In other news, I have been severely slacking in the October Writing Challenge…! I’ll forget for a couple days then catch up a little, then forget again. I just feel like I need a “boost” with my writing lately. Not feeling motivated. Last night I randomly got inspired/motivated to work on my book some more, so that was good. I’ve decided to change quite a few things. There are more elements of mythology I want to add, after reading up on it more. It’s funny how these mythological elements keep popping up, matching what I already have in the story. I love it!

Writing Residency

So have you seen this? Amtrack to possibly offer free rides for writers?

I think that would be incredibly fun/interesting to do! It also got me thinking about residencies in general. I would love to do one… ! I should look into that for this fall. What with needing to have a full-time job to you know, pay my bills, I doubt I’d be able to do anything longer than a 4 day weekend, but that would still be beneficial.

What a dream… to just go somewhere and write. Eat. Sleep. Write. Walk around in some nature and what-not. Heaven!

If I was by myself I think I might get scared, though. Haha! I’m imagining being out in the woods… or up at the Grand Canyon or something… renting a house for the weekend… and I think there probably wouldn’t be much sleeping going on. My childhood fear of the dark and noises in the night would likely come back fairly strong. 🙂

In my dream life I’d be like Ernest Hemingway (and I’m sure so many other writers in history) and have a little studio apartment to venture off to when I needed to focus. THAT would be the true Heavenly scenario for me.

I wonder what a residency is like… has anyone done one? Let me know in the comments if you have any input!

Light at the End

I believe that by Thanksgiving my book will be 100% complete (all finishing touches done with), as will my synopsis and query letter. My only issue is that I want to have it looked over by objective eyes–another editor to go through and catch what I’ve missed. However, my financial situation at this time isn’t really going to allow for that. Ugh!

Hopefully I will be able to find someone to do it for a reasonable price, or perhaps will find a connection where I could get a free manuscript edit, like I did for a client… ! THAT would be fabulous. 🙂 Maybe an I.O.U. situation? Edit for edit? I’ll figure something out no matter what. Ideally, Pitch Wars will pan out!

Thinking about doing this all over again with the sequel is just too much for me to think about right now… it keeps popping into my mind and I keep pushing it out. HaHa! It will be fun to continue the story–I already have it all mapped out in my mind–but it’s a long process.

Also, I will be participating in Pitch Wars prep… ! The things you can come across via Twitter, I tell you. I got my editorial internship with Underneath the Juniper Tree, I discovered a fabulous editor who helped me figure out query letters, submitted a Twitter pitch for Write On Con, and received feedback… all from social media! 🙂 The things the Internet can do…

 

@jashanawriter <–Follow!

The Never Ending Story of My Story

I finished making all the changes to my book from my first round of edits on my novel… !

And as I went through it I came up with MANY new changes to make… ugh! 🙂

I’m beginning to wonder when (if ever) I will feel that it is complete. Probably never. I’ve heard from a lot of authors that there just comes a point where you have to stop yourself. So I’m going to make some further edits–change a few details, add in a few scenes–and hopefully be able to stop myself then.

In the mean time, I’m now working on my synopsis. Which is actually not as daunting as I originally thought, since the way I keep my novel details organized is by using note cards. Each note card is one chapter, and has the highlights of the chapter written on it. So I can use that to get all of the plot highlights for the synopsis, versus going through the entire book again!

I’m starting to get busier with other editing projects, and am feeling the need to relaxxxxx… mostly in order to get my mind organized so I can turn right around and be a productive editing beast. Wish me luck with that… !

Snippets – Part One

There are countless blogs and sites online where writers post chapters of their book… and I am always tempted to do the same, but for some reason it makes me nervous.

Your work is your intellectual property as soon as you create it–that much I do know. And obviously if someone wanted to copy your published book and call it their own they could do that just as easily as copying it from a blog… but for some reason it just seems way easier for them to copy it via the Internet and call it their own. You know? Am I the only paranoid one here?

That all being said, I’ve decided to post snippets of my book from time to time. Because I can’t live my life in fear! Haha! It IS something that I would like to share, and if the writing is good and people on this lovely World Wide Web enjoy it then they will be excited for the actual BOOK! They will follow me on this journey and anticipate the day they can purchase the book. 🙂 That is the theory, anyway.

So without further ado… here is the first page of my book. Enjoy!

One

            The first time I can recall watching a person die I was ten years old. It was my elderly neighbor, Mr. Graham. He died because Mrs. Khline down the street was having a baby. And because Mr. Khline was a nervous, scatter-brained wreck driving his young wife to the hospital to have their first child. And probably mostly because Mr. Graham couldn’t walk very fast and wore dark clothes to go out to search for his deceased wife’s tabby cat.

            I’d been watching him search from the living room, with my brother. I asked him, “Why doesn’t he just let the cat stay outside?”

            “Because, Thana, animals might eat it. We’d find it tomorrow in the field being picked apart by crows or something. It’s just a little cat.”

            I wrinkled up my nose at the image.

            “Maybe we should go help him find it then.”

            “You can go help. I’ve got better things to do.” He shoved me over onto the couch cushion and retreated toward his room.

            “Oh, like play more video games? Really really important stuff!” I shouted after him as I adjusted my sweatshirt. He turned and smiled a big, cheesy smile at me and I couldn’t help but grin back. With or without my big brother’s aid, I was determined to go help our elderly neighbor.

Closing the front door I turned and walked down the three concrete steps of the small porch and peacefully trotted down the walkway.

By the way… my book is not titled “Snippets”. 🙂 I just realized that this post’s title could be deceiving. The actual working title of my book is “Dead Ones.”

A Great Read

I just finished reading an incredibly good book (“The Prisoner of Heaven” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon) and am feeling quite thirsty for more!

Few things in life can compare to that feeling. Of being inspired… your imagination awakened… an entirely new world brought into yours… aching for the story to continue… dying to read more from the author. 

The book caught my attention at Target because of the title and cover, as most books will at a store. It looked interesting, so I read the back cover. It is set in Barcelona, so I admit that I was already kind of hooked. The storyline sounded intriguing and mysterious and I figured it would be a good enough read. 

It was. These characters are excellently crafted, in my humble opinion. I need to take a page from Zafon as far as molding characters is concerned. They were detailed… flawed, but likable. I found myself completely rooting for one in the end who at the beginning I thought might be not so important. Fermin. Oh, Fermin. He was such a CHARACTER! Ugh! And his stories needed to be told. 

Basically, I liked the book. 🙂 Am I making my point well enough? HaHaHa. 

Next week it’s back to the proverbial drawing board for me with my book, and I hope that some of this inspiration from Senor Zafon carries over. 

Disorganization in Writing

I need an organizing session in my life. 

The part of my book that I am currently working on is the part that I was the least sure about, as far as where it would go and what would happen next. A lot of sections came naturally and I knew exactly what came next. 

This part–the next few chapters leading up to the end–have left me confused. I need to sit down and hash out the timeline. I have a few different scenes already written, which I know I want to use, but I need to put them in the proper order. 

It’s running away from me! Once I get these next few chapters figured out and put in order, it will be an easy road to the end. But then… revisions. Editing. Fixing. Ugh! It really never ends, I suppose. But I will at least be SO so close to being at the point where I can work on finding an agent and/or publisher… ! Eeek! Just thinking about it kind of freaks me out… and makes me really jazzed at the same time. 🙂