Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round...

I found myself unable to sleep late last night, or early this morning, depending on how you look at it. My imagination siphoned itself onto my Word document until finally my mind was quiet. But there was peace because my mind wasn't empty (haha, yes, go ahead and insert your joke here). Instead, with the scenes that have been going round and round and round inside my head finally out and "on paper", its as though there's now this massive, blank canvas ready and waiting for more good stuff. Sleep made itself surprisingly more elusive as new plot points began to weave their way through my imagination.

Alas, though I near the end of my manuscript, I met with another writer-friend who just finished with my first three chapters. Holy macaroni do I still have work to do! But it's all good. December is the worst month for querying agents, so this gives me another month and a half (probably all the way through til February) to polish and get it as close to perfect for submission. Which then becomes extra exciting because I have an agent I met in April at the Emerald Coast Writer's Conference who wants the first three chapters when it's finished! (I stroke her business card every time I see it in my wallet!)

Not really off topic, but I just read "The Dead Tossed Waves" by Carrie Ryan (which I enjoyed). The first chapter shows the very exciting possibility of Gabry finally developing a romantic relationship with her long-time-crush, Catcher. Only to end up (sort of...there's a 3rd book still to come) with a completely different boy. Which gives me great hope that readers won't be turned off by my major plot twist 2/3 of the way through the book.

What do you do when your story won't let you sleep? Do you fight it and toss and turn (like I did for two nights)? Or do you throw off the covers, grab your pad and pen, laptop, whatever, and throw it up all over your canvas to finally expel it from your mind and find momentary peace?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Time Heals All Wounds...

...but most of the scars never fade.

It was quite an unfortunate coincidence that August was the month it came time to kill off someone very important in Kylie's (the main character in my story) life. Losing Bandit (the first boy we had to put down) became a very real life experience I had the misfortune of being able to use for my story. But it was so raw, so fresh, it took me over a week before I was able to even begin to think about writing it. Then we lost Ashton.

I hadn't been looking forward to killing this character to begin with- I even had some threats (*clears throat* Anna). The biggest loss I'd had in my life was my grandfather several years ago. I wasn't quite sure how I was suppose to write about this massive, life changing loss, but I knew I'd figure it out. Life offered me more assistance in that than I would ever wish on anybody.

Suddenly, I doubted my story. How could I do this to my fictional character? How could I do it to me-I had to write it and live it as I did. So I procrastinated and wrote a few pages then deleted them, knowing it wasn't enough and I wasn't doing it justice.

So today, two months after I lost my precious boys, we finally picked up their remains from the vet. What an awful word- remains. These two playful, active Italian Greyhounds who lived and breathed and cuddled and loved are reduced to ashes that fit into a wooden box smaller than what most people put their jewelry in. I will never hold them, smell them, play with them...they will never play with my children (when I have them) like I always envisioned they would.

Now, I'm stuck with this female character who has lost someone who was her future, someone she envisioned a whole life with. She's captured by the enemy, tortured, beaten, and is trying to stay strong and hold true to his memory. But how much a part of this new part of her life do I make him? How much is too much? Not enough?

I think about Bandit and Ashton daily. Miss them, not as much as I did a month ago, and my heart aches from their loss. At what point do I have Kylie's wounds begin to heal? That red tissue that shows blood is coming to the wound, beginning the healing process. The scab formation as the tissue knits itself together beneath. And eventually the scar.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Maiden Voyage

So here I am, having previously forsworn blogs and ever creating one, making my maiden voyage on the vast sea of the internet.

Kind of dipping my toes in the water, trying it out, I'm sure I'll be a spotty blogger for now. But for anyone who follows me (even those of you who do it out of kindness or strong arming!), be honest and open with your comments.

This might be my easiest blog ever- because I'm going to talk briefly about myself! I met my husband ten years ago when I proclaimed I didn't want a committed relationship, was tired of looking for love and never finding it, and God plopped him in my lap less than a month later! All five of my dogs (all Italian Greyhounds) are in my heart, but my three boys reside only there now. My two girls, the Queen and Princess (really Shadow and Sasha, but they know their places in our house!), command belly rubs and treats from my husband and me, their most faithful servants *bow*. 

I am currently a nurse and absolutely love it. The patients are the best, the skills I get to utilize fascinate me, and my coworkers...let's just say as I type this I'm being distracted by my iPhone and Words With Friends!

But the purpose of creating this blog is because of my writing. I wrote my first short story when I was eight years old. I've written hundreds of poems, half of them torn up and tossed as garbage, in true fickle poet form. And finished my first novel a year ago this month. Then I started working with a critique group (who are the best!) and realized how much work starts after you finished your sh-tty first draft! And now I'm almost finished with my second and could never have gotten this far without many people-most specifically Anna and Lisa. So, even if this comes to naught, which I don't expect it to, thank you both of you. And Anna, you'll be my first follower so you can tell me how wonderful my story is and how it would be nowhere without your guidance and critiques!

My girls are commanding attention-they feel I owe them for forcing a bath on them! So until later...

Heather Rebel