Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


So, I've been reading quite a bit lately, and it's muddled up my inner voice, but dealing with T's issues would have done that anyway. Anyway, I was reading a book by one of my favorite authors and in the forward she mentions that it was her debut novel and not as polished as the others. Honestly, you sort of expect this sort of self-depreciation among authors... well... most authors. I know that Stephanie Meyers has said as much about Midnight Sun which went viral and was thus never finished but is widely regarded online has her best work. So, self-depreciation usually doesn't speak to anything other than a polite sort of humility.

WHOA.... let me be the first to admit, there was much depreciation justified in this case. I mean, her later books have shown that she is talented beyond measure, so it's very interesting to read a book that just... well, frankly, it sucks. It was painful to read. It was an adverbial quagmire of awful. The male protagonist has the "voice" and "POV" of a Disney princess. Everything was so contrived that it was a caricature of fiction--nearly a parody. There are no words to describe how little of a plot or conflict was present. I can't figure out how this book was published or how it managed to be so long. I finished it purely for the reason of finishing it. In short, this book should have been drawered or shelved. Several flavors of awful.

On the other hand, it was charming to read a book that was a first work of an author clearly before she came into her own and really learned to write. It made me think of my own writing. I find myself grateful that things didn't happen so quickly that I found an agent for my first... or second... or even fifth book. I've learned so much from writing and more writing and even more writing. The books I learned to write on... are currently shelved... the whole series is, actually. Maybe if I was a much slower writer, that would bother me, but I find myself thinking that it was worth the time it's taken for me to improve as a writer. I've learned so much in the year and a half I've been at this.

Yesterday, I was shocked to discover that the book I took the excerpt from might not be drawer-bait. When I wrote the book, it was painful to finish because it came in so short... and it was meant to be that short. Adding onto it... well it would have seemed like padding something. I loved the premise of the book. I did so much research for the book. Seeing it drawered was killing me, but adding to it just wasn't right. From the beginning, I'd meant for the book to be right for the same crowd as Ella Enchanted. I wrote it with that in mind. For some reason, it never occurred to me that it would thus be placed in a mid-grade slot instead of a YA slot. The length for mid-grade is right around the length I had. Yesterday, I was nearly giddy that I wasn't going to be forced to leave the book languishing in the drawer. I was so excited that I wanted to query right away to see if an agent was as excited as I was. (Di rained on my crazy parade... luckily. That's why it's important for a pragmatic half of the brain.)

I have things I should be doing today. My lungs are putting me to sleep, though. I can't believe how tired I am. I need to go get some tires replaced on my SUV. The son had a rough night last night, so I'll need to work on therapy right when he comes home.

Daylight Savings Time wipes me out. My internal clock is rigid and forcing my mind to accept the time change in spring... doesn't work. It takes weeks and sometimes months for me to adjust. I struggle with depression and insomnia and it's truly miserable. So, have a little faith in me as I try to cope with the stress of the son's issues and my own. I'll be weird and grumpy for a bit, but I'll pull out of it soon. I'm cutting back on the modifications I made to my OCD meds. There are times when obsession is timely... and benefits my kids... this is one of those times. Isn't that just odd and a little sad? I think so, but it was perfect for B's first few years. Without my obsession, she'd never have come as far as she has. The cost was great, but so were the benefits. OCD is a complicated problem and nothing is as simple as what you see. Plus, I don't even know who I am without OCD. I'm not certain if anything of me exists without its constraints. It's that pervasive.

By May, I should be back to normal... well, my version of normal. ;)

Have a fantastic Tuesday, everyone... if you've opted to accept that it is indeed Tuesday. Some of you may be choosing to have two Wednesdays this week and, to those, I can only say, "Bravo!"

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about being grateful that your first works weren't accepted for publication... yet, not regretting them at all. I don't regret that I wrote my shelved books. I do regret how much time I spent realizing they were learning experiences, but not at all that I wrote them. I needed to learn, and writing is definitely a learning-by-doing experience.

    I am excited about Sheri's Tales! I know I rained on your parade but I didn't want the parade to be cancelled :) I'm excited by the thought that you'll be getting hopefully MG eyes to read and comment on your work. Sheri deserves to have a turn on the query-go-round too!