Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Writing Spaces

So, I was curious about everyone's writing space. :) Sometimes I write outside (if it's cool enough), and sometimes on the couch in the living room, but most of the time, I'm on my bed, with my computer infront of me. I surround myself with all sorts of things: music, movies, and pictures! Some of my favorite, are the creative things my Aladdin makes me.

Here's our graffitti, lol:

We did this last Summer.

And here's a picture Aladdin made me. This is a ship he painted from my book! :)

And last is my collection of pictures on my bulletin board:

There's a ship I painted (my first painting ever!). A picture I drew of the Victor and Victoria, pictures of my characters, pictures of wonderful friends, cards, movie tickets, notes, and beautiful people, lol. All these things inspire me!

These aren't the only things I surround myself with--I have pictures all around me, certificates that remind me of my success thus far, more pictures I have painted. Somethings hold memories, others are just pretty to look at.

What's everyone's writing space like?

I got a wonderful book from my boyfriend's mother. It came from a cheerio box! It's the cutest thing since my shitzu pup.

As you can see, it's called How Do You Hug a Porcupine? or Como Abrazas a un Puercoespin? lol. It's for me to learn some Spanish. You should all check it out. It's by Laurie Isop. I'm not sure if you have to buy some cheerios, but the book is well worth it!! lol.

Also, I recieved another wonderful, wonderful award from Donna K. Weaver!! Go check out her blog Weaving a Tale or Two!  I really enjoy it!

Here's my award:

Next, I must list 7 facts about myself...through movies!!

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (or book, mainly): is the reason I write.
2. Pride and Prejudice (mostly book again): I love chivalry! :)
3. How to Train Your Dragon: Cause I'm a kid at heart. lol. And it's the most amazing movie ever!!
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Because obviously I love pirates!
5. Zorro: Cause action, comedy, and romance are all cool.
6. Taken: Liam Neeson is awesome! I love him.
7. The Wizard of Oz: Classics are always amazing, but when I was young, I was terrified of the green witch. lol.

Then, I must gift this to 5 people this time, lol. Much less stress! And I have plenty of new friends to give this too and well-deserving, too. :)

Steve Whibley (lol...it'll compliment your blog! :D )
P.K. Hrezo
Michelle Teacress
Monica Mansfield
Jeana Watters

Check out these wonderful blogs and follow them if you wish! :) I will notify everyone...but if you see this before I get a chance, that's even better, lol.

I'm 18 away from 100 followers!! I must do something to celebrate! I had an idea, although, I'm not sure anyone would be willing to do it... :/ But I'll tell you about it, and maybe we can all come up with a virtual way to do this?

A Notebook Challenge...sorta?
I love collages, paintings, words. We're all creative, and it would be amazing if I started a collage and perhaps everyone could add to it? Or maybe make their own? I don't know. I'm not good with technology. Just a pitch. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hey guys!!! I feel like I've been away forever. I found a job! I start Wednesday, I'm a cashier again. :/ However, I make more money than I have ever made as a cashier. Also, I am getting a new car--2011 Ford Fiesta:


Daddy said maybe I'll win the lottery and be able to pay in cash. lol. Until then, I'll make payments, but isn't it pretty?! The sad side of this--my first car a 03 Ford Explorer died. It was my first car and I paid all of it off myself! Just in January, actually. Rest in peace SUV! You will be missed.

I think I'll name this Fiesta. She seems feisty, lol. Any ideas?

Also, I finished my rewrite of the first 6 chapters of my book and let me just say, I LOVE it!! I also feel really good about the changes...like it's where it needs to be now. I know when I read it a year from now I'll want to change it again, but maybe I'll be close to being in print by then and I won't be able to!

That brings up a question: How or when do you feel satisfied with your book? Do you ever feel like it's "there"?

I've read most writers are never quite satisfied with their book, they always see something they wanted to change. Perhaps this is a more present feeling for Trilogy writers? By the time I got to my third book, I went back to the first and realized it need to change a lot!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Queries are thorns.

Maybe I should say the process to writing a query is a thorn--the result, you hope, will be a rose. I think that works.

As you know, I've been working on a query letter. It's not the easiest task in the world. First of all, I know my book way better than anyone in the world at this point, so when I'm trying to condense the now 120,000 word thing there are a lot of things I may leave unanswered without realizing it. My subconscious fills in the blanks while I'm writing, therefore I don't see what questions objective readers would have.

This is where my friend Shelby comes in. I let him read the query I posted [here]. He could pinpoint all the things I hadn't referenced. He had questions for me, and I could answer them easily enough, the point was, I hadn't done this in my query. At first it makes you feel like a bad writer. Or at least, I did. Especially after you write query after query and none of them are quite spectacular enough. : / I'm still at the point where I feel like a bad write because I'm not able to do this whole 'query thing' easily.

I feel as though, part of what makes it difficult, there is no 'universal' query. All of them are as unique as a writers style. Maybe I'm wrong though. lol.

I rewrote my query again. It is very short. Is that a bad thing?

Barren Reed, a pirate and notorious enemy of the government, never thought searching The Orient for his father's treasure could kill him.

 For Barren, it isn’t greed that motivates his search for the treasure, but his nightmares, which seem to be telling him something vicious lies in place of Jess’s so-called “treasure”. His fears turn out to be correct when he discovers the treasure is cursed and may kill, not only his wife and closest friend, but his entire Elvish race. Barren must destroy the treasure before everyone dies, but there is one problem—the device cannot be destroyed without killing its assailant. Barren must make a choice—cease to exist himself, or watch his world waste away.

I've reread and reread it, and I cannot think of anything else I'd place here. Or anything I would elaborate on, again...I still know my book better than anyone...so maybe people have questions?

On an almost related note, and I'm sure most would agree, you should never tell a writer, "I just want you to be realistic"...I think we've all been told that. Realistic about what, honestly? We're all writers, publication doesn't 'make' us writers, so I wonder why so many people tell me to be realistic about "becoming" a writer when I already am one. Granted, I know they are referring to 'making it' in the publishing world...but that is also a reality of our own. No one else is going to understand the process, the hard work, the dedication it takes for something like getting a book published.

It's really funny, those of us who have queried, and research the markets, we all know the difficulty it takes to get a foot in the door, we of all people know best! Outsiders, however, aren't as clued in, and still think becoming an author is an unrealistic goal...and yet the writers stick with it.

I don't believe things are impossible. Things only become impossible when you give up.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Writing is like...

Anita at A Still and Quiet Madness and Marian have tagged me in a meme! My job was to come up with a metaphor for what writing is like. : D Well, that was easy. 

Writing is like a hiding place. 

Anyone watch Finding Neverland? The young boy, Peter, who inspired Johnny Depp's character, Sir James Matthew Barrie to write Peter Pan didn't actually like Barrie all that much, he also struggled with his mother's illness, and letting his imagination run freely. Barrie, however, used his worlds to show the boy how wonderful a world outside of reality could be without completely separating the young boy from his own true reality. 

I've been accused of hating reality--finding it boring and dull. I must admit, I am one of those people who wish, more than anything in the world, that Middle Earth was real, that there is a wardrobe somewhere in the world that leads to Narnia, that people in the world actually go to a school of wizardry. The cleverness found in The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Princess Bride--all of it captures me. Let's not leave out the characters. I wanted Elves to be real. I remember asking my Dad, "Are Elves real?" he said, "Well, they are real if you want them to be." I think that is a wonderful response. You see, one thing my parents never did was discourage me from believing in my imagination. That's all it is, really. It does no harm (well, daydreaming in class isn't really all that positive, but that's beside the point!), and allows me to withdraw from my anxiety (and believe me, I stress out far too much) into a place where I am...not really in control, but rather, where my fingerprints linger. I know everything about my world. The people within, well, they act just like you and me. They make decisions on their own, and oh do they surprise me sometimes! Tragedies take place and I cry, and despite dire situations, the manage to make me smile, too. 

In all honesty, I do not believe reality is terrible or boring. I have a wonderful, wonderful life. I have been given the world with the gift of writing. I have a Prince Charming, an education worth millions of dollars, wonderful friends, a wonderful blog and even better followers! Best of all--I get to write about worlds and characters I love. Within my power is the ability to transport someone to another place, and to make them yearn, as I did, for my world to be reality. 

Outwardly, writing might seem like a complicated task if we break it down. Let's see...we have editing processes, queries, synopses, publicity, websites, blogs, agents, editors, publishing companies, sales, best seller lists, critics, critique groups....and oh my, isn't it exhausting?! Sometimes, I get so caught up in the fear of these things, the worry of never finding an agent, the fear that I'm just not good enough...I forget one very, very simple thing--I am a writer, and when my thoughts, emotions, energy is pushed into this complicated web, I forget writing is my hiding place. 

If we think of writing, stories, books, anything really, as our hiding place, the barriers of what is good and bad, well, I think they disappear. And for a moment we all, as we should, appreciate the time it takes to write a story, appreciate the imagination used to craft it, and the bravery it takes to share it. 

I hope I inspired someone. : D lol!

Now, I must tag three people! :)

I choose: 

The wonderful K.V. Briar
The ever so helpful Kayeleen Hamblin
And another helpful blogger, Jennifer Daiker

Yay!! I hope you guys have as much fun as I did writing this. Now I'm off to nurse and earache and write. :)

Ciao, Ashley

P.S. - I hope to start catching up on everyone's blogs soon. I feel behind, and sad because I have no internet connection at home. :/