Sunday, August 30, 2009

My muse is nuts...

So, I got home from my business trip to Austin on Monday and found out that our family reunion was moved to my house. Today!

It turned out to be fun, and I think everyone had a good time, but I’m glad it’s over. Now back to writing.

I have three works in progress, and I know I should be working on the other two, but the one that’s really speaking to me (I mean that literally. My characters won’t shut up.) is a sequel to Personal Demons—which I have out on submission with agents. I’m trying really hard to redirect my muse, but he’s not hearing any of it. Problem is, even if my muse isn’t, I’m smart enough to know that spending time and energy on a sequel of a book that hasn’t sold is a waste to time. I’m thinking about writing it anyway—just to shut him up—and leaving it in first draft while I work on the others. By the time I finish those, maybe Personal Demons will have found a home with a really cool agent and editor. Who knows?

Along those lines, I’m still getting requests for manuscripts, so I have lots of really amazing people reading my work, and it’s very exciting and a little scary, but in a really good way. I’m staying optimistic. I will get a call from one of them. Soon. Maybe now… *stares at the phone*

Okay…maybe not right now…but soon.

So, what do you think? Should I bash my muse unconscious with a baseball bat and move on to a new manuscript, or just do the sequel and get it out of the way so my muse will be happy and move on to other projects with me? Truth is, I’m pretty sure I can’t write without him. After all, my job is really just dictation. So he may get his way in the end whether I like it or not.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I'm lecturing in Austin this week for a great group of really nice people. One of my local teaching assistants took pity on me. She loaded me in her car last night and showed me around her lovely city. Though I've been to Austin before, I've never really seen anything except the airport, my hotel room, the hotel ballroom where I'm lecturing, and the inside of a really loud Irish pub. (which I only vaguely remember) It was fun seeing the city, but I'm starting to question my grasp on reality.

Part of my first novel, Dusty Lane, is set in Austin and, as we were driving around, I found myself looking for Dusty's (my lead character) truck. And I was sure I saw his aunt's ranch from the air as we flew into the airport., I'm mostly joking. I know he's fictional. But it's kind of fun to look around a place I've written about and see how accurate I was with descriptions. It's also fun to imagine that I could actually run into my character here.

Does anyone else do this, or am I in serious need of professional help?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sing something for me

I wanted to start my first post of my brand new blog off on a wicked (I can say that—I’m originally from Boston) positive note by sending a HUGE and ENTHUSIASTIC shout out to my crit partner, Andrea Cremer, who just signed a two book deal with Penguin! Woot! Look for her amazing Nightshade in late 2010! She was the first of us to prove my New Year’s Revelation wrong.

My news is also wicked positive. I’ve officially been writing for one year (so sing something for me) and am loving life. The truth is, the books just sort of write themselves. The only effort on my part is taking dictation and trying to keep up with the voices in my head. I went to the SF Writers Conference and the Big Sur Writers Workshop and got really fabulous feedback at both, so that was fun.

On sort of a whim I entered the SF Writers Conference contest with my first manuscript, Dusty Lane, and my submission finalled. (And shocked the hell out of me!) So, for kicks and giggles, I entered my new manuscript, Personal Demons, in a few contests this summer. I just heard from the first of those that I finalled there too. I’m starting to think maybe I don’t suck at this. So it’s pretty much been: writing, writing, writing—submitting, submitting, submitting—waiting, waiting, waiting. But it’s all good. Response has been very positive and I have several manuscripts (both Dusty Lane and Personal Demons) out with major (and majorly awesome) agents. So, while you’re singing for me, cross something too!

So a question for you… (yes you…the only one besides me reading this)

I can pick at a manuscript forever. When do you decide to quit? I’ve read agent blogs that say “when it’s perfect” but in my world, perfect doesn’t exist. I can edit out all the typos, grammatical errors, etc, but that doesn’t stop my characters from coming up with some new, really witty line that I have to add, or some really cool new scene from popping into my head in the middle of the night. When do you stop?