Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Old Friends and New

We had a pleasant surprise at writing group on Monday. Rick, one of the founding members of the group (though he hasn't come in several years) came back! I love his whimsical writing! And he brought along one of his friends who had never been to writing group. The Monday night group is growing! If Rick and Jordan continue coming, that will put us at 9 members! Wow! That means our meetings could run quite late, depending on how much reading, writing, and sharing we do. With the newer members we have started doing timed writings again, which I had missed doing. I don't know if we'll do them every week, but I do enjoy those very much. When I'm at home, I almost always work on my current novel. Rarely do I merely write whatever comes to mind just for the fun of it. That doesn't mean working on my novel isn't fun. Don't get me wrong there, if it wasn't fun I wouldn't do it. But the free-writing we do on Mondays is purely pleasure. Often something we write has the makings of something longer, but it might not. So here's to the growing group!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ideas, Ideas, Everywhere

I've been slowly making progress on Discovering Family. This one is going to take a while, I think. Partly just because it is going to be longer than The Moonlight Cafe, but partly because it starts in the late 60s or early 70s, before I was born. It is going to require a lot of research on the time period so I can make it feel authentic. It also takes place in a city in which I don't live. One I have visited before, but not lived in, so it will take location research as well. I guess it gives me a reason to take a trip back there, for it's a city I love. Vacation in the name of research. :)

I also had another idea pop into my head yesterday morning. What's that? Creativity on a Monday morning? I know, it's very strange. So I had to get the first 4 paragraphs down on paper before I logged into work. The first sentences were very loud in my head, and I wanted to get it down before it went away. So next time I go to look at it, I'll have a starting point.

So now i have 3 idea on which I want to work, in addition to others that are patiently waiting their turn, and a possible major revision to Moonlight. Yes, I'm already sending out query letters for it, and it is done, but that doesn't mean I can't keep playing with it, right? It might be a while before I find an agent. Out of 8 letters I've received 4 rejections. Oddly enough they haven't hurt. Maybe because they're all form letters, very impersonal. Maybe when I get a personal letter it will hurt more. As Tina has found, the ones that say "I like your novel, BUT..." are the ones that hurt most. Makes sense. We'll see.

So many ideas, so little time. I'm not complaining. I'd rather have this problem than the opposite.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Busy with research

I've spent the past week doing a lot of research.  It's not for my novel though, it's for something my writing group and I are going to do.  The beginning stages are the hardest and take the most time, I think, but the research for it has taken away from my writing.  That's ok, though, because I've been kind of stuck at a the current scene anyway and needed a break from it.  Hopefully I'll get back into it tonight.  If not, I'm going to work on some ideas for another young adult novel.  One or the other, I will do creative work tonight.  This other project is very exciting though, and I'm not at all complaining about the work on it.  It's left me a bit wiped out though, which is why I haven't posted anything recently.  The last time I got stuck on a scene I started freewriting about the fact that I was stuck, why I thought I was stuck, and where I needed to go with the novel.  It helped.  After about 2 pages of handwritten complaining, ideas started flowing.  I will try that again tonight if I don't get anywhere.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Writing Day

Yesterday the 5 members of the Zen Writing Group gathered at Tina's house for our now-monthly writing day. We scheduled dates for each month through July to meet, just the 5 of us. Monday nights are for anyone, but these Saturdays are just for us five. Yesterday was a very exciting meeting, as we came up with some new ideas for the group. I'm going to leave it at that for now, until we have the details hammered out, but there will be much excitement in the coming months. I can't wait until I can tell everyone about it.

I made progress on my new novel. We spent an hour of solid time writing. Next month we are going to aim for two hours. Between planning out the new stuff, talking, lunch (Tina made a fantastic potato soup!), and sharing what we had written, we didn't write as much as we would have liked. But that's ok, the day was absolutely wonderful.

I also have ideas for 3 more young adult novels. Moonlight Cafe has 2 main characters, and the main characters' best friends. I am going to write stories of the other 3 characters, which will encompass the timeframe of Moonlight Cafe, but also what these characters did before and after. Now I have to decide how much time to devote to Discovering Family (the new novel I am working on), and the first of these three.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ready, Set, Query!

I have my first query letters to agents ready to go. Tomorrow on my lunch break, I'll go to the post office and send them off. This is so exciting!

I spent the majority of my holiday break editing The Moonlight Cafe. I finished editing tonight, and spent the rest of the evening putting the finishing touches on my query letter and synopsis, and preparing the packets to be sent out. Each agent wants something different. Some want the query letter and synopsis only. Some want the first 5 pages, or 10, or even 50. I have carefully researched agents, what their requirements are, and what genres they are looking to represent. Wish me luck.

And of course, happy new year to you all. I hope everyone had a safe new year. I spent a quiet night in with Cory, which was a nice change. Usually we host the party at our house. We don't like going out New Year's Eve. Too many amateurs. But this year we spent the evening just the 2 of us. It was very nice and relaxing.

I made one of the most stereotypical resolutions ever - to get in better shape. I didn't set a specific goal, just the generality of "better." Maybe I'll actually use that gym membership this year.

My other resolution was to write at least 4 days a week. It doesn't have to be a lot, just something. I figure 4 days is reasonable. Sure, just about every writing guide out there says to write EVERY DAY, no matter what, but when it comes to setting goals, I think being reasonable is much better than every day. That doesn't mean I won't write more than 4 days, but it does mean I will write at least 4 days every week.

Good luck on any resolutions you made. I'm really going go try to stick to mine this year. The writing one should be easy. Getting in better shape, well, we'll see.