Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Writing Groups Are Wonderful!

If you're trying to write, find a writing group if you can.  I wouldn't be where I am today without the support of my group.  They encourage me to keep writing and provide invaluable feedback.  There's a scene in Moonlight Cafe that I know I need to include, but haven't written yet and have been dreading.  I just didn't know how to write it.  Anything I could think of was B-O-R-I-N-G.  I had almost decided to just leave it out, though deep down I knew I coudln't do that.  My writing group gave me some absolutely wonderful ideas for how the scene could work.  I am so thankful for that.  Now I can't wait to sit down and write it, whereas before I was dreading it.  Sometimes stepping away and getting an outside opinion from other writers is the best thing you can do.  If you can't get an outside opinion from other writers, ask non-writers.  Any outside advice can be helpful.

If you do a google search it will give you a bunch of websites listing writing groups.  Not all writing groups are there though, I'm sure there are many, many more, smaller groups that you will just have to search to find.  Or form your own.  But I highly recommend having a core group of writers for support and input.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Writing Retreat

A few weekends ago, the Zen Writing Group took a retreat in southern MO.  It was the second retreat weekend for the group, but the first I was part of.  It was absolutely perfect!  The cabin we stayed in was great - comfortable and roomy, with a large screened in porch that was perfect for writing in nature, without the bugs.  It was so peaceful there, and the lodge had great meals for us 3 times a day.  I’m sure I gained a couple of pounds, because I never eat 3 meals a day, and sometimes only eat 1 if I’m extra busy. Not very healthy, I know...

We all got a lot of work done.  I edited a short story I had written the past week and worked on my query letter. This is also where I started work on my second novel. I'd had the idea floating around my head for a few months, and when I started work on it, the story took right off! I am very excited about it. 

In addition to all the writing I did, there was another organization having a retreat that weekend.  I can’t say what, because it will give away some key elements of The Moonlight Cafe.  But I will say that it was fate that we were there the same weekend.  The group is related to something that happens in the novel, and it was so wonderful to be able to talk to some of the people there to get real life perspectives on the experience.  I didn’t even know this organization existed.  I am still amazed by the synchronicity of it all!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!  Thank you for stopping by and reading what I have to say here.  I hope you'll enjoy what I have written and will write in the future.  I haven't published anything yet, but my writing group will be publishing a collection of poetry in the next few months.  We don't have a date yet, but are working on the final edits of the collection, and hope to have it out by the holiday season.  As soon as I know when it will be available, I'll put the information up here for you all.
I'm working on the final revisions of my first novel, The Moonlight Cafe.  It is a young adult romance novel.  I've had two people read through it, and am waiting for one more person to finish reading it before I make the final revisions.  I'm excited to get to work on the revisions, but want to wait until I have all the input.  I've read through it so many times and already revised parts, I don't think I have more than 1 or 2 more read-throughs in me before reading it again would be unproductive.  There comes a time when the novel is just too close to you, and no amount of pondering will show you anything that can be improved.  I have a bit more research to do to make a part or two more realistic, but for the most part, the end is in sight.
I am also ready to start looking for an agent.  I am trying to mentally steel myself for the inevitable rejection I know will come.  Agents receive so many hundreds, if not thousands, of queries each year, and they are so limited in the amount of work they can take on.  It will just be a matter of perseverance and time.
If all that's not enough, I have also started writing my second novel.  I won't say much about it now because it's in the early stages and could change drastically before it's complete.  It is not a young adult novel though.  I have an idea or two for another young adult, but this story must be told first.  It is already taking on a life of its own, with the main character having already shown me the error of my initial view of her.  She's going to be a feisty one.
That's it for now.  Thanks again for stopping by, and please check back often!  I'm going to try to post several times a week to keep things lively around here.