Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Then the rage followed. Me, my friends and family all raged. My best supporters in anything that I do, know from me telling them all of the extra stuff that I do on a daily basis that is not in my job description. I was more hurt that those who knew this meeting would occur, and knew how much I dedicated myself to this position, didn't warn me in advance.
Then I got productive. Looking for other jobs, while compiling evidence in case I am wrongfully terminated and need to take legal action.
After days of a blind rage, I realized what this really was about. Attacking my performance was complete BS. It's a numbers game. That's all the new people care about. How many people there is. And if the numbers are not what they expected or have dreamed up there should be, then it's my fault. I'm the person to blame. But it's not in my job description to secure numbers.
Now after weeks to calm down enough so the anger is just below the surface, I'm being truly careful to really use the internet at lunch, still looking for another day job where I'll be appreciated, see everyone involved in the situation as backstabbers and opporuntists, and still making a case (if necessary). To say that I work in a hostile environment is putting it lightly (only they don't know it).
What I did learn from this experience is that I'm not intimidated. I know what I've done and what I'll continue to do until I leave. I can't wait for that day, cause that will be the day I'll speak my mind.
With the computer issues at home now resolved, there is only one thing to say: It's good to be back!!!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Rant over. I feel better now.
Monday, September 13, 2010
This morning I reached 25k (actually passed that) on my newest WIP (Work In Progress). This small feat means several things to me: 1. I'm committed to finishing this WIP. 2. My projected deadline for the first draft is doable. 3. I'm actually writing, despite bouts of writer's block and being overworked at my day job.
Very little can destroy my natural writer's high. It's a personal accomplishment that no one else will be able to understand or savor the way that I'm doing right at this moment. Even a rejection email for my manuscript wouldn't be able to diminish this.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Hearing my recent plight, everyone is telling me that it happened for a reason. It would be nice to know what that reason was. Sure, I'll be able to focus more on my writing considering I only have my full time day job to drive me crazy, but I had that "break" all Summer and I was looking forward to teaching again. Plus, missing this semester blows my accumulated succession of semesters, making it no longer free to take non-credited courses. Although I didn't partake on them, I just reached such a status last semester ago (ergo, not enough time).
Now feeling really down about this latest debacle (though the anger has helped with my writing), I'm left speculating what "reason" there is for all of this opposition. Here are a few that I came up with:
1. Writing related. I will finish the first draft of my latest project, and receive representation for my previous one. Therefore, my days will be pretty busy juggling the two (i.e. revisions of two different levels).
2. I will prepare this Fall and get an even better adjunct position for the Spring.
3. Since I'm looking for new full time employment (keeping my options open), I receive an offer and begin a new journey at a different college.
4. Nothing happens.
Being a complete skeptic, I vote for option 4, but there is a little glimmer of optimism in me that I'll be surprised and have a mixture of the top three. Who knows, it could happen.
To Be Continued......
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Would it be in bad form to say, thanks?
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
In "Mixed Reviews," I ranted how it's mind blowing agents can decide on whether to see your manuscript based on a query (and possibly sample pages). Those rejections I can handle without seeing it as personal (I received five in the past two days and I'm still standing-unfazed). Agents (and gatekeepers) are bombarded with writer hopefuls, praying that someone will find interest with their work. But when a agent finds interest, requests more and than rejects you, how can you not take it personal?
Take this analogy if you will. To me, the query letter is like an annoying door-to-door salesperson ringing (and/or knocking) on your door. A request for a partial/full manuscript is the same as offering that person into your home. Do you know how rare access is? So once you get inside it's up to the salesperson to convince the homeowner to purchase what he/she is selling. In the world of publishing, once a substantial sample of your work is in an agent's hands, it's your writing that will have that impact necessary to obtain representation.
There are many reasons why an agent won't offer representation. Either he/she didn't connect to the material. The writing sucked. The story sucked. Too much to revise. Not easily marketable. Unfortunately, the agent most of the time gives a polite form rejection letter that usually implies that the manuscript wasn't the problem, but the agent's enthusiasm towards it was. It's (again) polite and encouraging, but still gives the author hope that one agent will have that fervor the others lacked. But, if the writing and/or story sucked, an agent's acceptance will never come. For some that might be okay, but for me I would like to know.
If a writer's growth is based on how he/she progresses through revisions and further projects, then it would be helpful to know an agent's honest opinion. Especially, if she/he thought it was worth reading. I'm not asking for line to line analysis, just one's overall perception. It still can be polite, just straight to the point. Why should I waste another agent's time if the manuscript is completely doomed? Besides, I'm still going to possess the same thoughts with a formed rejection then I would without being told the truth.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
But when procrastination does hits, whether it's writer's block or not, here are a few types that have helped me:
- Discover the cost - Is procrastinating keeping you from getting what you want? If the answer is yes (which it usually is with me), then this might be the kick in the butt that you need to do the tedious chore (whatever that might be) that you've been putting off.
- Let feelings follow action - Do it first. Your mood will catch up. Once I'm in my protagonist's world, it doesn't matter how I got there, I'm still riding the wave.
- Be aware of your best time of day - That's when you can get your work done. I'm a night person. I rarely can hit my stride before 10pm.
- Learn to Say No - Ignoring your own responsibilities to do something else, is one way to lose the grasp of what you need to do.
- Ask “What’s My MIT (Most Important Task)? - Finding the answer to this question will help you realize what needs to be done.
- Break Down Large Tasks - Expand the task over days for completion. Unless you're one of the lucky writers who don't work or have other responsibilities besides writing, the likelihood of getting all your editing (etc.) work done in one day is impossible, besides unwise (you'll miss something).
- Plan Rewards - Rewarding yourself after completion of assignment is essential. It fosters positive reinforcement. It’s your own “pad on the back” for completing the job. And besides, you might not fall into the procrastination rut if you know a reward is waiting for you once you finish this daunting task in the writing process.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
My usual query letter has two paragraphs dedicated to the manuscript (paragraph one: the hook; paragraph two: the synopsis), followed by a paragraph dedicated to me as a writer (my inexperience in the writing world and my marginal successes in other writing realms) and then I end the letter with why I thought the agent would be interested in my book (sometimes citing examples of work they've represented).
That is not hardly enough to base a decision if you like it or not. So obviously the agent (or gatekeeper) must be going on subject matter alone. Not the YA part, because I wouldn't have queried them if they didn't represent YA, it's the type. This seems to be the problem with my creativity.
I write YA (which I mentioned before), but not the fairytale "everything's going to be fine" type. I feel that if the voice is to be believable, there can't be a fairytale ending, just comprehension - growth. My protagonist has a journey to make, and she comes in contact with others on their own journeys. Naturally there's no smooth sailing, she's a teenager. That alone should scream the makings of an emotional rollercoaster in the land of the unknown (which could be anything).
Isn't that the goal of writing YA? To capture the uncertainty, while showing the growth that comes from discovering the unknown? I admit my world is darker or "edgier" than some, but it's still the same world. Nothing is sugar coated and syrupy sweet, but does that mean because of its rough edges, it will be passed up? Where only a brave few will be willing to read passed the initial query? Has it come to me making the edges disappear so that more agents will be interested? I can't even fathom an unrealistic imaginary world of force fed happiness.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Today I found myself wavering between a don't-mess-with-me-or-you'll-get-the-wrath-meant-for-someone-else mood and a just-leave-me-alone-and-let-me-be-glum mood. Since I'm borderline paranoid, I won't go into specifics. Let's just say that I am having a difficult time with a recent meeting I had with my supervisor, that left a bitter taste in my mouth. One that has me loathing waking up on a weekday. Couple that with my mild case of writer's block and a chest cold that refuses to develop or defuse, I'm a snarky force to be reckon with. Therefore, my soundtrack today thus follows:
Jayz/Linkin Park - 99 Problems
Kittie - Brackish
Beth Hart - Learning to Live
Howie Day - Collide
Howid Day - Sorry So Sorry
God Smack - Whatever
Garbage - Bleed Like Me
Everly - Maybe
Korn - One
Eminem/Rihanna - Love The Way You Lie (I guess the secret's out, I'm a closet Eminem fan.)
With the weekend almost here, I wonder what tomorrow's soundtrack will be. Stay tune...
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
The downside is this, blogging and doing whatever else computer needed task at work. As I previously mentioned, I write pencil to paper, so that's not a problem, but it's the ability to create on paper or edit, and then be able to instantly implement it on the screen. Not to mention, I'm an Internet junky. It's hard not being able to go on whenever I please.
So forgive me when it looks like I have given up voicing my journey. I'm still here, just periodically.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
If you were unable to figure out from the post title, I write Young Adult (YA) Contemporary fiction. What does that mean? I write about teens and their journey through life. Essentially, through my characters, I'm reliving my high school years over and over again, one book at a time.
Then there's the role of the reader in me, who just wants to read it. Not to mention, the writer hearing the voice from the protagonist of the other project, ready for me to pick up where I left off. With the addition of bouts of doubt creeping in, per title, I'm drowning in words. Despite my complaining, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Moving on to what this blog is about, my journey as a writer, it is important to start at the beginning. Not the very beginning, such as conception, but when my creative mind unleashed.
It was senior year in high school, second half of the year and the class was creative writing. Taught by an young adult author, my world was rocked. As a shy teen (for those who weren't, might still understand), I already imagined different scenarios of how my life could've been different and at times, lived in the land of make believe (though unlike Mr. Rogers, it didn't exist with puppets).
It was then characters began to talk to me. The first one was named Reed. Of course, they're not characters to me, they're people (voices really) who have a story to tell and chose me to tell it. Only fellow writers, creative types and eccentrics would understand that I'm not really hearing voices. It's my creative mind giving me an avenue for expression. Anyway, Reed and his "brothers" grew up together on the streets and became a family. Now I realize how much similar it was to The Outsiders. Although I can't remember the title or the rest of the characters' names, I know one wasn't named Ponyboy.
Fast forward high school graduation, college graduation, work, graduate school graduation and career, with many dallances in creativing writing (i.e. short stories, etc.), we arrive at the present. Not quite 2010, more like 2008 when this strange rollercoaster ride began. After reading a book and the further researching the author for her bio, I had one of those "if she can do it, I can do it" moments. So I did it. I wrote a book. And wrote it again. And again.
Three drafts and two and half years later it's finally ready for the public. More to the point, ready for literary agents to either love it or hate it. So far I've received more hate than love, but who's complaining. The hate doesn't weaken my determination, while the love (when I get it), strenghens that presistence within.
As most of the rejection letters (emails) state, "it only takes one agent." Who knows, he or she might be reading this very post. Regardless if he or she is, let me extend this to all: welcome to Lost and Delirious: Incoherent Thoughts Of A Writer.