Thursday, February 14, 2013

Someone Who Believes

I got cut from the ABNA contest yesterday.  While I was disappointed, obviously, I was relatively okay.  Getting to Round 2 is always something of a long shot, and I was very lucky to make it to that (and beyond) last year.  Getting cut at this juncture hurt a lot worse than getting cut as far into the contest as I did last year, to be honest.  By this morning, I was more or less fine.

However, I happened to stumble upon this quote by Stephen King from his book On Writing today.  And after yesterday, when a lot of people were telling me they were sorry I didn't make the cut, it spoke something more to me than I originally read it in the book a few years ago.

"Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don't have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough."
The thing is, I'm really lucky to have several people who believe in me.  And after yesterday, and all the other rejections they've seen me get, I feel like they need to be thanked.  Because I am grateful.  I truly am.  So here are just a few of the people I'm blessed enough to have in my life and who have made it very clear how much they believe in me.

That's me when I was 2 years old playing with my parents' typewriter (and that's my dad with me).

  • My parents.  When I was still too young to read on my own, they read to me nightly and took me on trips to the library to get books.  I firmly believe they're the reason I have such an active imagination (because of all those stories in my life at such a young age).  And when I told them I wanted to study Creative Writing in college, they didn't scoff or tell me no or tell me to major in something more likely to get a job quickly--they told me they wanted me to be happy, they wanted me to study something that makes me happy.  And ever since graduating and beginning querying, they've cheered me on.
  • My sister, Laura, because she's a good enough sport to beta read for me when she has the free time.  And then she gets just as excited about some of my stories as I do (the ones she's read, anyway).
  • Obviously my writers group, the Marysville Writers Group, who welcomed me with open arms a couple of years ago and have been my writerly support system ever since.
  • My friends and my two roommates, all of who are just awesome and who support me in their own special, sometimes sarcastic ways.
  • My boyfriend, Alan, who hung out with me last night after I got cut and seemed to make it his personal mission to get me to smile.  And then when he asked what I do now that ABNA's over for me, and I told him I'm going back to querying, he seems to have made it his personal mission to make sure I get my querying done.

So I'm pretty lucky when it comes to having a support system for my writing life.  And I'm so glad I have all these people in my life.

Monday, February 11, 2013

LIFE UPDATE: Write Stuff, ABNA 2013, and Revisions

I know.  It's been forever and a day since I posted here.  On the bright side...I've been journaling more since the New Year (and by "more" I mean...more or less once a week...but coming from someone who hasn't kept a journal in probably a good decade, that's pretty impressive), so I haven't been completely idle.

It's been a rather busy start to the New Year, which is why I haven't gotten around to writing an update post on this blog until now.  In my non-writing life, it's been a blur of my day job, family stuff, friend stuff, HPA stuff, hanging out with the boyfriend, Irish dancing, stupid weather, and meetings meetings meetings.  Or that's what it feels like.  I've been on the move practically the entire start of this year, so I'm having a lot of trouble processing the fact that it's already mid-February.  Time flies.

In my writing life, however, I kind of highlighted the big three things going on in the title, so how about I highlight them down in the actual post as well?  Sound good?  Yes?  Awesome.

Write Stuff

I'm going back to the Write Stuff conference again in March.  This will be my second year attending and I'll be doing some of the pre-conference stuff this year, so I'm pretty excited about that.  Granted, I haven't actually gone yet, seeing as how it's not for another month, so really all the time it's taken up thus far has to do with me picking out what I wanted to do and then registering...and then booking flights and hotel.  Always an adventure.  If I can just avoid last year's travel nightmare, I'll be a happy camper!

ABNA 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm entered in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest for the second year.  In the weekend before entries opened, I was scrambling to clean up my novel more (meaning I reread and did minor tweaks on it for literally six hours the Sunday before entries opened).  However, now we're in that wonderful stage of waiting.  We're in limbo.  And all of us are just commiserating with each other over on the ABNA forums and counting down.  The cuts for Round 2 are announced on Wednesday of this week, so the panic has set in pretty effectively by now.  I should probably make sure I have some antacids at home.


I've been a crazy person and trying to revise multiple projects at a time.  Which might account for the fact that little has gotten done on any of them.  I think of these revisions I should be doing and my brain seizes up and I quickly get distracted by shiny objects.  It's an entertaining, if highly unproductive, process.  I should probably just focus on one project to revise right now, but they're all so wonderful.  I can't choose between my babies.  In any case, the procrastination monkey is mostly what's been going on on the revisions side of things (and pretty much every other side of things writing-wise too...I'm surrounded by procrastination monkeys).  However, I have novel documents open on my computer at in the right direction, yes?

There's your update for now.  I'll hopefully update again in the next few days.  But tonight?  Tonight I'm going to a Harry and the Potters concert and will be nerding it out hardcore with my fellow Potterheads.  All is right in the world for tonight.

Stay awesome!