Day 1 – It’s Not Over

As you may have noticed, my posting were almost zilch last month. That’s because it became very apparent that my manuscript would not be finished by the end of the year and indulging in the holiday spirit was more enticing than writing blog posts or spending hours at the computer. So I spent time with friends and family instead of pressuring myself to be done done done by deadline. Being done by the deadline wasn’t so important to me in the end. The lessons this project had to give were already given and fully learned (very long blog post to come on that). This show will be going on though. It’s not over until my manuscript is completed and submitted to agents and of course picked up and sold for a wildly large advance (ha.ha.). Hey, a girl can...

Day 338 – Back

Joe and I took a much needed vacation to see friends in the UK. I didn’t write a word. Not a single word for a whole 9 days. There simply wasn’t time between historical sites and indulging in play time with my friend’s children and, frankly, I didn’t want to write. I wanted to consume instead of produce. So that’s what I did. I filled myself to the brim with so much food and wine and little British towns that I’m bursting with happy. There is no place better than England to visit while you’re writing a book. I walked the same streets as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, T.S. Elliot, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien to name a few. I let myself believe I could feel the magic of them there. Yes, it was probably just...

Day 327 – Rejected (Again), Still Alive

Another rejection showed up in my inbox over the weekend. This time it was from American Short Fiction. I won’t lie. I was disappointed. American Short Fiction is one of my favorite literary journals and it’s based out of Austin so I had wishes and hopes heaped up on that submission. An acceptance from them would’ve really made my day or year really. Anyway, I got over it quickly because my vacuum cleaner broke and that was much more disruptive and emotionally taxing than a rejection letter. I am starting to wonder if I should revise my piece though. It didn’t feel quite at it’s peak when I sent it out. More resolution was needed at the end. I sent it out anyway because I needed to move on to my next project. The revision will have...

Day 325 – Loneliness

Loneliness is on my mind lately. We are all alone in this world. In our bodies, we are alone. Nobody can truly touch you because you are not your body. You are something else, something immaterial, something untouchable. And yet that immaterial thing yearns to be touched, to be seen, to be understood. Writing is an attempt to do this, I think, to create a physical manifestation of  the immaterial, of thoughts, theories, and feelings. The result is usually only a fragmented mess of the actual thing, if you can really call it a thing at all. Fragments are inelegant. Fragments have gaps. Gaps need to filled. Filled by others and often they are filled with all the wrong things. A strange thing occurs then. You are thought to be seen, but you are not seen. Your clumsy...

Day 319 – One Rejection Closer to Acceptance

Every rejection letter brings you closer to an acceptance letter. I really truly believe that and because I do, I delight every time a piece is rejected. Another rejection letter arrived in my inbox yesterday morning. Before this project, I probably would’ve used each rejection as as a whip to lash myself with, proof that I CAN’T, that investing my time in writing is a foolish, irresponsible, EMBARRASSING, LAUGHABLE. That’s a choice though, a reality you choose. It’s also a reality that kept me from doing my best and sending work out for years and years and years. Or even sending work out that wasn’t my best because really? Are you ever “your best” and how would you even know if you were? Tomorrow, you might out write...

Day 313 – Occupation

Last week, I renewed my passport in preparation for our trip to England at the end of the month. There is a field on the application form for occupation. I stared at it for awhile then typed WRITER. In the past, this would make me panic because I have no proof that I’m a writer. No degree, no published body of work. NOTHING. No institution has deemed me a writer so I’ve felt like a giant fraud saying it. That didn’t happen this time though. I waited for the cringe and panic to come, but it didn’t. All I felt was calm and centered. I’m a writer. It’s a fact. Nobody can tell me otherwise. I mean, people can tell me I’m not, but I won’t believe them like I have in the past. Saying it out loud at parties isn’t...

Day 305 – Slow & Steady

My long project is moving along slowly and thoughtfully. I’ve been bolstered by my classmates. We’ve been so generous with one another. It feels good. I’m getting braver too to say what I mean and state my opinions and offer up advice on how to flesh out or restructure a manuscript to a group of women writers who are older than me. That bravery is paying off too. Not only are my classmates thanking me for my input, it’s improving my own work too. When I write, I write intuitively and every time I get something good, it feels like luck, a fluke. Definitely not something I can replicate. But after critiquing my classmates manuscript, I’m not sure that entirely true. I definitely calculate details through my manuscript, subtle little...