Sunday, March 30, 2008

New Awareness

I've found a really nice place with my writing, a new awareness that my stories are good. I like them. For a long time now I've been questioning my talent. It happens. Writing/reading is very subjective and when you are actively pursuing publication you get a lot of rejection. Rejection is bound to make you question your abilities.

I was on an agency blog last week that was running a competition where writers were invited to submit a portion of their work and one winner would be chosen. I'd missed my category otherwise I'd have given it a shot. Ah, well. Next time. Anyway, one person was very disappointed in the result of the Thriller/Suspense decision. I could hear the pain in the voice and I want to say I think it was a guy. He/she had said they might as well chuck the whole writing thing. I've been there and done that. I think I lasted three weeks then I starting turning up at the computer and playing. I finally figured if I was going to sit in that chair I might as well work. Rejection is very hard to take, even when it's a kind rejection, or one that offers you some good advice. Bottom line is, it's still a rejection. Everyone gave the writer all of the emotional support possible but I knew how he felt. Words wouldn't cut it. I wanted to reach through cyberspace and give him a big hug and take him out for a beer.

Anyway, with my new awareness I'm relaxing more, having fun again, playing around with ideas and really enjoying the process of outlining my current story. The setting is the Coachella Valley, so no travel required. I've written three chapters and am getting a good feel for my characters. I think this one is a winner. Well, it will be if I can just get myself down to the Police Station and get some questions answered. I need answers on horses, too. Have a couple of guys on the Polo circuit living across the street. Yesterday I asked one of them if I could pick his brain on horse stuff. He smiled. I think he felt quite pleased to be asked. Now I just have to make up my list of questions and go ring his doorbell.

Books read this month:
Blue Dahlia and Black Rose, Nora Roberts (now I have to find the third book in the trilogy, Red Lily. This is a great ghost story intertwined with fantastic gardens and a nursery business.)
Crazy in Love, Lani Diane Rich (A very sweet, smart, funny book. I like Lani's voice. Also, her setting was in some ways similar to my setting in Saving Sarah so I enjoyed that aspect.)
Fugitive Nights, Joseph Wambaugh (Can't believe I've never read him before. I love this guy's humor. It's great cop-speak, raucous, rough at times, but laugh-out-loud funny. I've ordered every book I can get hold of on his back list.)
Getting Rid of Bradley, Jennifer Crusie (adore everything she writes and this was a re-read and just as enjoyable the second time around. She has incredible turns of phrase and wit and I think I own everything on her back list. This one will be featured on Jenny's Cherry Forums bookclub this week. We get to discuss, answer questions, ask questions of the author. Yay!)
The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, Julia Quinn (just started this one and am absolutely hooked. Ms. Quinn will be the guest speaker at LARA's workshop in May. Can't wait to learn everything she's willing to impart.)

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