There’s a story in that somewhere…

There’s Christmas in my nose.

That was my thought driving home from work today at 7 am. I work a retail job and we’re gearing up to launch a full Christmas attack on the store. Yesterday, I was covered in glitter. Literally, every surface of my body was covered. I had glitter in places I couldn’t scratch in public. Today, it was the scent of pine cones and styrofoam which my brain translated into Christmas. In my nose.

Inspiration comes from the most random things, doesn’t it?

A piece of a conversation heard while walking: “Bruh, that is the jankiest thing ever.

Could turn into: How a surfer became famous because of his vocabulary.

A warm breeze that blows back a stranger’s long black hair.

Could turn into: He was a Zephyr that had fallen in love with the feel of her hair and liked to play in the silky strands.

A litter of kitten’s cuddling innocently.

Could turn into: A bitter diatribe about a mother cat birthing 5 mewling little bitches and how she couldn’t wait for them to grow older so she could send them to do her evil bidding. “Yes, drink mother’s milk and let the hate flow through you.”

The smell of books in a secondhand shop.

Could turn into: A blind savant autistic boy that has the power to differentiate books by their unique individual smell. Also has the power to tell which book will change a person’s entire life but he doesn’t know if it’s for better or worse.

Anything can become anything with an open imagination.

A lot of my story nuggets come from random text conversations with Owen. Yesterday I showed him this picture: (not mine…found randomly on the internet)my cabbages

 

And after rolling around for awhile laughing hysterically, suddenly we were writing a one Act singing monologue about cabbages and the destruction thereof with stage directions and a dramatic sound track. (kudos for anyone who knows what I’m talking about and who this is. YOU ARE WORTHY.)

Another random conversation about fat burning cardio exercises turned into a curious conversation about fat-sucking vampires. Like, why is it always blood? The body needs fat to survive too. Which turned into what other kinds of things in a human a vampire could suck instead of blood. (Don’t let yourself fall into the gutter here….)

“There’s a story in that…” I said.

I used to keep a notebook with me wherever I went so I could write those little nuggets down. Until it became a journal/grocery list/budgeter and the significance became inconsequential. Now I have a handy dandy cell phone with a notepad App.

Anything can be a story. Even the play of shadow on the sidewalk (maybe an assassin that lurks even in the smallest of shadows?) or the screaming child in Walmart (maybe it’s a Banshee and it can hear Death coming!) Here’s an exercise: find something ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary and unexpected. These are a few I’ve collected in my phone (feel free to take and expand as you see fit!! Sharing is caring!):

-Mermaids that need prosthetics and build them from the junk in the ocean

-Old grannies that are “The Chosen one” while the jilted grandchild becomes the petulant villain. (A spin on the Chosen One trope after reading too many young adult fantasies.)

-People that name Yarn colors getting high in a room together: “Teenage dream” “Henry’s purple scribbles” “Midnight Ninja” (I was stocking yarn at my work when this one got dreamed up xD)

-Adults can “take vacation” back through their history into their childhood and relive it for a few days. But there is an unexpected murder and the adult has to figure out who did it in their child body. (My mom said she wished she could go back to the 70’s for vacation.)

-Vampire who helps hospice patients fulfill their bucket list wishes in exchange for a peace death, draining their blood for them: “Climbing Mt. Fuji”, “seeing a Buddhist temple”, “getting a picture with Tom Hiddleston” (Inspiration from the Dexter episode where he finds “the perfect Key Lime pie” for his dying friend *cries*)

-Grease stain on your favorite shirt that looks like Gene Simmons from Kiss and then suddenly you can summon him at will.

There’s a story in that somewhere…..remember that. AND KEEP WRITING!

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Je ne sais pas…WTH are you saying?

I was browsing pinterest this morning as I am wont to do while I sip my coffee and I clicked on an interesting writing article (naturally.) It was by a semi-famous blogster K.M. Weiland, someone I happily turn to for good writing advice. (Click her name for the specific article). I settled in for a good read.

Well—

Either the coffee hadn’t kicked in or I truly had the Dumb today because I was confused as hell 😐

The article explained about character arcs using a “Truth chart”. This was the outline of it here and she went on in detail what each of them meant:

Story’s Big Truth (Main Theme):

Story’s Big Lie:

Character’s Specific Truth:

Character’s Specific Lie:

The Thing the Character Wants:

The Thing the Character Needs:

Ghost:

1st Act—Specific Manifestation of the “Big Lie”:

1st Act—The Story’s “Small” Introductory Truth:

2nd Act—An Aspect of the Truth Acting as an Antidote to the Specific Lie (Moment of Truth):

3rd Act—Remaining “Biggest” Chunk of the Lie:

3rd Act—Climactic Truth:

The first bits I kind of understood after I read the descriptors but I could not grasp the rest of it. Hell even the titles confused me! Truth acting as an antidote to the Specific Lie. Climactic truth? Is this a brain teaser? A treasure hunt map? Speaking in tongues? One of those complicated Chinese puzzle things in word form? Was this a MATH EQUATION WITH NO NUMBERS!???! WHAAATT ISSSSSSSSSS THISSSS??????????

My brain freaked out a little and I felt the head ache start behind my strained eyeballs.

There were so many links in the article to other blogs she’d done my eyes felt like they had ADD, tripping over all the links and re-reading the sentences again and again to try and understand. I was convinced half way through the third complete reading that this was like, deeper level writing. Like, writing 201 or 301 and I needed a dictionary, three text books and an interpreter to decipher it.

My god, she even had an EXAMPLE, using the Black panther movie and her own book (although it only made me more confused doing that). I tried to follow. I made a valiant effort: So his main truth is opposite his main lie and the Ghost influences his truth but the specific lie helps him grow and comes out in the second act but not all the way and the character’s needs aren’t the same as his wants—–

I clicked out of it and got a second cup of coffee X_X

I think I may have pinned it to try and give it a go another time but for today, I let my brain whimper and limp off back to bed.

Part of being an author is the discovery of what works for you. There’s a lot of incredibly useful information out there obtainable through the internet and book stores. It’s daunting trying to sift through it all so when an article comes up like this, don’t allow yourself to be defeated. Think instead “that’s one less piece I have to worry about.” That’s what I did. Like the teacher saying you can skip chapter six because it’s a little too complicated right now for you to grasp.

HALLELUJAH!!

So what’s the lesson for today?

NOT ALL ADVICE IS GOOD ADVICE.  (for you)

If anyone wants to read that article and break it down for me using Harry Potter or Twilight or something recognizable though, please link me to it 😀 Knowledge for knowledge’s sake is always helpful and appreciated.

Arigato my peeps ❤

WIP 0.8 Take 197! Lets start again with your fingers ON the Keyboard, kid

I’ve been stuck staring at the meager 2,500 words of the first Act of Faustus for—I don’t even remember how long. It’s been up on my computer screen, dormant, for longer than I care to admit and I’ve re-read it enough times that I know it by rote.

But that’s all I’ve done.

Not that I haven’t been working on it. I started writing this with only the first act planned out and a vague inkling of the middle and ending so I’ve been trying to hammer those out. I’ve taken to pen and paper writing lately as I find the thoughts come more organically and I can fill the pages with ease. It is it’s own kind of reward. The computer is so impersonal and intimidating for me.

For all the writing though….

Characters are still not totally fleshed out. The anti-hero and I have been doing battle since the beginning, as some of you may know from previous agonized entries. The villain’s goals don’t really make sense. I’m trying not to fall into certain awful Tropes and it’s like playing hopscotch around Bouncing Betty Bombs. I’m finding fallacies and plot holes everywhere the more I dive into it and I’m losing focus through the fog of details.

It is a rabbit hole situation here.

My inner turmoil: “I’M A PERFECTIONIST AND I NEED EVERYTHING TO BE OUTLINED WITH EXACTING DETAIL AND MAKE TOTAL SENSE IN THE FIRST DRAFT” 

It is with this in mind that I am VERY RELUCTANT to write and I look at my progress dismally. Because if I write a novel with only vague outlines and character bios, that means lots of editing afterward. LOTS and LOTS. Might as well write a whole other book because I know the story will take a wild turn away from the crappy outline and not make a lick of sense because I’m a pantser at heart and the characters will do how they do.

Oh GAWD I get queasy even thinking about it. I can’t even ._.

Also my inner turmoil: “IF I DON’T WRITE ANYTHING AT ALL THEN I DON’T HAVE A NOVEL AND CAN’T GET PUBLISHED”

This is always at the forefront of every argument I have with myself. It is what every author I’ve ever seen interviewed has said is their best advice: “JUST WRITE”. And yet I still can’t manage to take it to heart. It is a horrid struggle trying to wrangle the two warring thoughts into submission.

But this is not a bitch-fest or a pity party. This is the triumph of me clinging to the edge of the cliff of Hope by my bloody, torn fingernails and not giving two fucks about perfection.

FINALLY.

Yesterday, I wrote two whole new paragraphs in my novel.

I KNOW, RIGHT?!

That is 100 words that didn’t exist before! And bonus props: I didn’t edit a THING. My GAWD it felt good to ball-gag the Perfectionist and forget that I don’t actually have a fully functioning story. I mean, I had my fits and starts. My mother was laughing at me as she watched me reach for the keyboard, type a few words and then lower my arms in doubt. Apparently this happened for like, half an hour. BUT I WROTE!

(And I would have CONTINUED writing if my mother didn’t feel the need to listen to the depressing state of the world via NBC at the exact moment I was trying to write >_<)

The lesson taken from this though is that…I love to write.

How did I forget that?

It’s relaxing to let the words flow and not worry about sloppy descriptions, bad dialogue and plot holes. Actually, at the end of the 2,500 I had written previously there was a bold-faced paragraph of suggested notes to make the first part better. I was surprised at my own genius and pleased that I allowed my inner editor to have a voice about a good thing.

I felt a little of my stress melt away as my writer’s butt cheeks unclenched for a few precious minutes. I am taking the win. I am putting a protective barrier around this feeling and I’m going to repeat it. It is amazing how much more positive I am just having written something that wasn’t a blog or part of another story. Yes I know that a paragraph written for ANYTHING some days takes hours of focus and tribulations but that’s one more set of words that didn’t exist before that will bring me closer to my dream.

TAKE THE WIN.

Don’t open your novel document and stare at it in despair. If you open it, write in it. 197 fails in a row is not acceptable.

Feel the journey. Revel in each agonizing step.

WE GOT THIS *fist bump*

Pictoral Premonition Paired Perfectly Per Practical Prose

Or, in plain English, Book Covers.

(None of which featured here are mine! I don’t claim credit for anything! All pictures were taken from public forum google images.)

The first and only visual glimpse of the story you’ll ever get outside your imagination. The first of three chances to win you over and pluck it from the shelves or click the “Buy” button. (The second is the back cover blurb and the third is the first page/last page skim but this post isn’t about those today.)

I am not ashamed to admit that I’m a sucker for a good book cover. What is better than having shelves full of endless entertainment that double as conversation pieces of artwork? Seriously, the best of both worlds! A cleverly created cover can entice intrigue, which means it’s a job well done by the artist. This was one example that drew me in solely by the beautiful cover:

Shatter me Book cover

 

 

Gorgeous right? Genius and beautiful imagery! I was so beguiled. Is it paranormal? Is it about the elements? Can a girl cry and make trees grow? OH GOSH I NEED TO BUY IT!

(Unfortunately for the reader, this was a case of a cover successfully selling a book that was utterly lacking. But I bought it so achievement accomplished?)

Double Kudos to the artist that actually has some inkling of what actually happens in the book and designs accordingly. There are some covers that just don’t make a damn bit of sense to me without some explanation:

Brightly Burning book cover

It’s a book that’s supposed to be Jane Eyre meets the Bachelor in space. And the book is called Brightly Burning but it has a shattered key? How am I supposed to make the connection here? What the hell was marketing going for? It’s pretty I guess. This was the originally released cover which makes more sense to me:

Brightly Burning original

I get a better sense of what the book is about, even if the color is somewhat subdued and not bright at all.

Maybe I’m taking this too literally.

ANYWAY, the reason this comes up is because a lot of the AuthorTube personalities and podcasts I follow say pretty much the same thing when it comes to book covers designed by others: Authors rarely get a say in it.

I, for one, am APPALLED by this fact! I mean, for a lot of authors it probably doesn’t matter what the cover looks like as long as it sells books. They’ve done their part and now it’s time for the publisher to do theirs (if they’re going the traditional route). I look at these people and I’m flummoxed.

What….why…HOW can you just give up that power?! How can you not FIGHT for at least some say?

Can you imagine writing a horror novel about a serial killer and THIS is what they decided your cover was going to be:

Horror woman with knife

This reads sexy vampire killer to me more than serial killer horror. But this will sell books.

Do you see my point?

I got to thinking about my own book cover for the far-off publication for my current WIP, The Faustus Affliction. One thing I am definitely going to do is negotiate a clause in my contract that says I get a say in my cover design. I know that it’s not for MY benefit but I am an avid reader and I know my genre pretty well. I absolutely abhor generic book covers and I will have an EPIC TANTRUM if anything like these end up on my book:

YA book covers

I die inside when I see these on the shelves now. It’s unfair to the author and the book itself that I utterly ignore them because the cover offends my artistic aristocracy. But I cannot buy churned-out, cookie cutter, made-in-a-day bland book covers. These have no soul and no story, pardon the pun.

I mean, a book called Dragonswood and she’s coming out of a lake in a pretty stark white dress. Yeaahhhh no.

GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME WITH THAT CRAP.

Now, a refresher for the eyes. Look at this brilliance:

Sabriel book cover

This is one of my most beloved series, written by Garth Nix (bonus: Audible book voiced by Tim Curry!)

THIS is the kind of cover I want for my book.

First of all, it’s DRAWN. It’s not digitally enhanced photography. The colors are rich and wonderful and accurate to the story. The details of the outfit like the shine of they keys on the fabric and the runes engraved on the sword add dimension. All deliberately placed per the story. And then there’s the Bells in the bandolier. I’ve never seen anything like it! Why is she ringing the smallest one? Why are there seven of them? How could she possibly use a BELL to vanquish the monster behind her?! This is the kind of cover that continually makes me break away from the book to look back at it. I wish I could shake this artist’s hands and get an autographed copy of the cover. Because DAMN it’s genius.

I WANT this for my novel. Story art for a story book.

OH my gosh I can’t even! I get girly fits of ecstasy whenever I see the original Abhorsen covers. (I’m the kind of person that will buy used copies of the books at thirft stores just so I can save them from neglect and possible oblivion.) I say “original” because when Garth started to write additions to his ALREADY COMPLETED SERIES A DECADE AFTER IT WAS FINISHED (I hate when authors do this), they remastered the covers. It makes me want to shrivel up and die inside:

Abhorsen new covers

How is that appealing to anyone ever? (Clariel, btw, was awful. Stick with the original trilogy. No need to go beyond that.)

These are some more covers I adore and aspire to envelope my printed words:

Rhapsody book cover daughter of the forest book cover

Night World series

Yes these are all very dated and there’s a theme of them all being drawn but can you blame me? They’re so much more fascinating! You can tell a lot of time and effort went into them and the artist may have actually READ the book to get the details so accurate.

But if I MUST go digital and modern for a cleaner, sleek look, these kinds of covers more than are acceptable:

 

circle of three scythe book cover lunar chronicles books arcana chronicles book covers

The symbolism is there. It gives you an inkling about what you’re about to read. It has color and shape and POIGNANCY. It will stand out amongst the frilly dresses and buff naked guys with swords.

*Insert exaggerated eye roll here and throw in a deep sigh for emphasis*

Please please PLEASE let this be a thing. I want it to be a thing.

If all else fails, I will hire an artist, create exactly what I want and self-publish. The End.

Note to my Future agent and editorial team: I will not apologize or back down from this rant. I feel passionately about my book being represented by an artist and a publisher who cares about my opinion and ideals.

Other than that proclivity, I’m absolutely flexible and eager to please.

Thanks for the consideration, xoxo J. Jordan

Side note, I’ve read all of these books aside from the Pretty Dress collection and highly respect all of the authors.

Happy reading and good luck in the trenches, those of you on the writing journey. I feel you; I’m with you!

 

My thoughts are a Mosh Pit

I am so disorganized. Not just right now but ALL THE TIME. Have been my whole life. My brain has too many tabs up and I’m not sure if I should put them in order alphabetically, in order of importance, newest to oldest or vice versa. It’s a constant shuffle until they all rebel at once and it’s suddenly it’s anarchy.

Today is that day.

I’m trying to write in my Faustus novel today. (Yes, present tense. This is merely a break to unload some frustrations.) I opened up my meager 5K word file and re-read what was written to try to pick up the beats of the old rhythm and it all sounded discordant. Staccato. CRAPPY. I know part of it is my current mood. People-ing and adult-ing this morning did not go well so I’m left with a bitter taste in my mouth. Even my coffee this morning leaves me wanting.

I know myself well enough that it is at this point of a novel that I scrap what little I’ve done and start over. I delete all the files and bios and notes and start from scratch. In other words, I table flip and throw an epic author tantrum.

Yes yes, I hear all of you saying “NOOOOOOOO don’t do it! It’s a trap! You’ll regret it!” (I usually do which is why I learned to have back ups.)

The perfectionist in me still has a large influence on my writing life and I combat it daily. Sometimes it wins. Other times I just switch directions and write something else (like now). But that doesn’t help me write my novel. The one that I want to get into the hands of an agent and an editor and eventually a publishing house. I can fool myself with excuses and say “I’m practicing Voice writing” and “Writing on my blog is important too!” It’s true, but they’re still productive excuses to turn my attention away from my novel. AGAIN.

So I sat down with myself and had a mini pow wow before I tantrum’d.

*Insert unhelpful distraction here*

This morning I watched a video on AuthorTube about Processes. How this particular writer has kind of mapped out how her novels come to fruition. She was talking about thrillers so I didn’t take much from it since I write paranormal/ fantasy fiction but it did get me thinking about my own writing processes. Made me question how my own novels came to be and how I map them out. Turns out—-

I don’t have a map >:\

I have crayon scribbles all over a blank white wall.

I am not pleased. But this is nothing new. It’s just disheartening to see how little I’ve changed in this regard over the years.

I’m not exactly new at writing but all my past experience before has been complete pantsing and wish fulfillment. The enjoyment of writing fluidly with no arcs, plot, conflict or goals. When I made the shift into a professional author’s mindset, I started to pay attention to these things and I feel my shoulders tighten with anxiety every time I think about it. There are RULES to writing books. I liked English class in school because I could bullshit my way through assignments by being creative and loosely adhering to the rules. The Big Leagues are different. Here, you have to learn the rules first—and THEN learn how to break them.

I’ve heard advice that says to learn rules and story structure one should watch movies and plot out the beats or reverse plot books you’ve already read. It’s good practice to get better at picking apart manuscripts. I can’t do this. My brain enjoys the story too much. I can re-watch/re-read Harry Potter ten times in a row and still not pay attention to the Story Structure. I’m very much a Reader in this regard. I get sucked in too easily.

I’m still at the stage where I’m learning the rules and it is a slow going process, which is infinitely frustrating to a pantser, especially to one that HATES editing her own stuff. That’s the root of it I guess.

I’m a Creator, not a Constructionist.

Big picture, YAY. Small details, BOOOOOOOOOOO.

So where does that leave me as an author? Learning to wrangle the scribbles of my own making.

It also leaves me still in a bad mood.

I’m a mess. Please someone come help Unf&#k me.

WIP Diaries 0.7 YAY!!!!–but THEN

YYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

I should be feeling nine kinds of accomplished this week on the writing front. For a brief period I did, actually. All of about two minutes worth.

But THEN.

Yeah you know what I’m talking about. Hence the big sigh.

Writing is hard :\

The other day I had a few hours alone in the house I’m staying in and I decided to force myself to write. I wrote a scene previously in a short story that I recently had my bestie look over and I changed some things based on his feed back. But I decided that it was time to get back to my Real project. My Faustus novel. Figured I’d been stewing about it for enough time that I might shake some things loose if I prod my brain a little.

Apparently I poked a hole in an over-full kiddie pool because I was suddenly drenched with ideas. It was so intense I couldn’t even type properly. My fingers couldn’t keep up on the keyboard (because I’m a terrible typist). I took good old fashion pen and paper and I laid down on the carpet and wrote.

For like an hour straight.

Pages and pages of arrows, side notes, question marks, paragraphs and scribbles. In BLACK pen, I might add, which is a shocking thing for me. I hate black pens. (Yes it’s a strange quirk). I prefer blue. This is an indication of how desperate I was to just GET STUFF OUT. Rug burns on my elbows, neck and shoulders knotted from holding myself aloft over a notebook, my eyes hurting from close proximity and intense focus–but GODDAMIT I WROTE!

And as I looked back in stunned disbelief because OH MY GOSH I THINK I FIGURED IT OUT.

I mentioned before I’ve had a difficult time with one of the characters in this novel because I didn’t know his purpose. Bad guy? Anti-hero? Hate-to-love Snape-like side character? He was an enigma and I kept begging him to please please PLEASE just throw me a bone!

Ehhh he gave me the whole frickin’ dinosaur. Bastard.

What I had written in my frenzied rush was all about Him. It was a complicated but beautiful plot thread that tied his character up in an almost perfect bow. A good guy doing bad things for a good cause which kind of made him a bad guy? (Sound familiar? Hello Potions Professor!) I was so excited I felt like human Jell-o, jiggling and happy.

–but THEN the side of my brain that is a cynical bitch came roaring to the forefront and started pulling threads in my gorgeous lexicon tapestry with her proverbial Red Pen of Death. (I think this is why I’d be a good editor. Just not for my own books >_<)

From a writing point of view, the plot thread made sense. Every single subplot had been braided into this new version with an ease that made perfect sense. I was amazed that I had even conceived it! But then RPoD Editor Bitch flipped it on me and asked me a question that stopped me from my gloat Parade:

Does it makes sense to the reader? 

Oh GOD. DID IT??

I looked back on the proposed plot scheme and I suddenly started to doubt. Wait, is this sending the wrong message? This guy basically started a world-wide genocide. A huge fuck up that he didn’t anticipate and tries desperately to fix throughout the book. His original intention though, before things went wrong, was Love. Love of his Father, his Fallen Brothers and his Father’s Beloved Children. He wanted to stop a genocide but instead created one.

He did terrible things to try and stop what he started. But everything he did was out of love.

WAS THIS GUY REDEEMABLE?

Would readers forgive him if they understood this concept at the end? (It’s not supposed to be very obvious in the beginning. he’s supposed to be seen an an asshole.) Would they RAGE if I granted him Redemption? Would they see it as rewarding bad behavior?

Would people forgive Hitler if what he did was out of “LOVE”; to try and save people from a worse fate but made a huge mistake he couldn’t take back? (Okay BAD EXAMPLE but it was off the top of my head!)

My morality scale was suddenly through out of whack as I turned the questions on myself.

Unforgivable, heinous things have been done to me personally in the past. Things people should be locked in jail for. Do I forgive them? HAVE I forgiven them? SHOULD I?

Everything I had just proudly written was put under a microscope. I, myself, shrunk down to the size of an atom, trying to hide from the weight of failure suddenly riding on my shoulders. I thought I had the answer. I thought it all made sense. I thought I could finally move forward! But now I have to look back. (Guess I should get used to this huh?  -3- )

My triumph turned into turmoil.

I called for back up. My poor Owen. He got bombarded with my emotional Morality and manuscript word vomit. He took it well, if in a very confused state. There was a lot of back pedaling and reiterating and Hard Questions.

I am glad that after an hour of back and forth with him some things did become clearer about the proposed plot and I was relieved I didn’t have to throw away the entirety of the days work.

Stupid RPoD Editor Bitch.

On a side note, one I will perhaps turn into a longer story later, I had a rather shocking lesson in modern day Christianity and a truly surreal look at the religion I used to identify with.

My book, after all, is about Angels and Demons.

WIP Diaries 0.6 Hope on the Horizon

Well.

I wrote. For like, more than ten minutes.

I wasn’t working on The Faustus Affliction but anything is something these days and today was a win so I’m taking it that way with a glass of Yager and cranberry.

I was writing in a new story, one that I was putting off to the side for a long while but I had renewed interest in.

Part of it was an unexpected boost of confidence when I was cleaning out my email boxes (to which there were over 1000). I was going through the archives and the sent mail folders and I ran across a bunch of old stories I’d sent to my bestie. One of them I saw the title of and couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was about so I opened it.

and I read it.

annnnnnnd………it wasn’t awful! I was genuinely pleased with the way it was written and almost thought to myself “Wow, as a reader, I may actually like myself as an author!”

Does that make sense? Or sound stupid? I don’t care. I’m legit!

The second part to my binge writing was in part to a very unexpected encounter which I can only describe as star-crossed. Or the Universe throwing it’s hands up and giving me a swift kick in the creative rear.

I had a customer come in to my shop looking for fabric (of course) and I help her out with a huge list she had complied. When I asked her what she was making she said “Mug Rugs for her daughter’s clientele.” (A MUG RUG for those of you who are curious is a small quilted rectangle, bigger than a coaster and smaller than a place mat, that you are able to put a mug of coffee/tea and a small snack item on.) And then when I asked who her clientele was, she said her daughter was a copy editor and she sent them to her authors.

My mouth dropped open.

“Wait, WHAT?”

And it was strange that at that very moment, the daughter walks in, and I swear that behind her a path of flowers and verdant growing things bloomed. MY path. Because I had been firmly considering the option of going back to school and starting my English Bachelors degree in the spring. Work hours get cut tremendously and over the holiday season I could probably save a little to take one or two classes.

She introduced herself and said she was a teacher for an online certification program that earned students a Copy Editor certificate. There were four classes and each of them were ten weeks long at $550 a piece. I didn’t even flinch at the price because I know college students paying $6000 per semester for just two classes. I could afford this! Best of all, she said students had up to 5 years to complete the entire program. And they help with job placement.

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

Is this a scam? Is this real?! I was vibrating with excitement. I had to contain myself and not give this woman a crushing, inappropriate hug.

I’ve held a long time fear of editing my own manuscripts because I don’t like to look back. I’ve always prided myself on doing everything once and acing it. Writing gave a hard lesson that it wasn’t like that in the real world. You had to eat your own crap sandwich of a manuscript over and over until you were sick of it and then there were still more helpings.

But I never had any problem ripping other manuscripts apart and wielding the red pen of death. I have a distant dream of being at a Publishing house as an editor and eventually an author. Or vice versa.

I ripped my life apart and I think I’m finally starting to see pieces that I can pick up and fit into the new puzzle frame that is ME.

So today, I kicked ass, got stuff done, and I am excited for the first time in a long time. And I am happy to make an entry that is hopeful.