Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Sunday, September 13, 2009

So, it begins...

It seemed wrong not to have one post. I've had a blog for a seriously long time between a million different sites, but I've never had a public blog. I'm paranoid by nature... seriously paranoid, so all my blogs have been private for family.

Last October, I started writing. T had started Kindergarten, and I was under spectacular amounts of stress. My brother Adam suggested I write a book, and I can't remember what the reason was. My blogging posts have always been exaggerated and embellished to the point of fiction, so shifting to actual fiction was easier than I imagined.

I loved creative writing in both highschool and college. In fact, several teachers told me that they expected to buy one of my books some day. I typically swept the categories in school-wide contests and I once had something put in a regional book. I don't think that I was necessarily the best writer around, but I do have a dark sense of humor that I'm not afraid to let out to play with others. I think most writers in high school are still a little timid.

Anyway, I took ten years off of writing actual fiction to pursue life. (Family and friends may remember the gallon of milk short story as the exception to this rule. In this story, the narrator kills her husband for buying 2 percent milk as opposed to non-fat milk. My husband worried that this was auto-biographical and I think he was relieved that my fiction writing tapered off again after that.)

So... last year, I started writing and it was a monumental mistake... in a few ways. I'm a terrible insomniac and now sleeping only comes after emptying my head of the stories... and there are always more stories. Also... well... really... isn't that enough? This week, for example, I haven't slept more than five hours a night... and there are worse weeks. Then, there is my OCD which compells me to finish off a chapter before doing something... and then... I might as well finish off a thought, and suddenly, I've been writing for eight hours. Plus, let's face it, with two Autistic children, there will be days when my fantasy world is a vast improvement on my reality. I also sometimes struggle with remembering my characters don't exist... but that's not really a negative thing... entirely. My characters are fairly awesome... even the evil ones.

On the other hand, I love writing. I love my characters... even the evil ones. I love the stories. I love the jokes that I write and then promptly forget so they're funny every time. (My OCD meds cause massive "head blow" memory loss... which is another reason why I can't go to sleep with ideas still in my head. There is a very real possibility that it won't be there when I wake up.)

So, initially, I had no intention of being published. I felt like it was a huge invasion into this perfect little cozy world of no criticism. Then, writing absorbed my life and my family insisted... particularly Heidi. Now, I write too much for it not to become a profession. Besides, and while bringing up the root of all evil seems a little wrong... we need the money to pay off bills. One autistic child will cost enough in therapy to bankrupt you. Two children... well... it's not pretty.

So, in March, Heidi and I started shopping around for an Agent and that was a miserable and horrible experience that I don't wish on anyone. The form letters aren't so bad, but I actually got a reply that consisted of "Pass and God bless." That was it. That was the total sum of her comments. I felt like invoking the name of diety while squashing someone's hopes and dreams should require at least a full sentance. Others never responded. It was frustrating.

So... currently, I have one book at the publisher DAW. I sent it off on August third and got my postcard saying they'd logged it in two weeks ago. After I get either accepted or rejected by DAW, I'm going the route of looking for an agent. In the meantime, I have my other series that Heidi has taken on as a revision and shopping project. I also have a completed YA book... and I have this other book that I'm nearly giddy about. I'm going to send out this other YA book, after completing it and revising it, to a few publishers.

If you're family or a close friend, you know that I've gotten into the habit of printing hard copies at Lulu just to check for errors... and to pass around to those that refuse to go blind proof-reading on a computer screen. It's all done in the same method as printing at Kinkos, but there is something cool about seeing your name on a book and its fun to create covers just because you can.

Well, this is a huge monsterous first post, so I'll call this done and come back later.

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