Writing Updates

Do you believe in magic?

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Horoscope chartMy December 29, 2012 Horoscope:

Today is a 7.  Now’s perfect to start a new writing project; no need to wait until next year.  Put down your thoughts without worrying about form, one word at a time.

Prior to 12/29/2012 I would have stood by my belief that Horoscopes are merely faulty predictions by faulty people provided to those of us who are humored by such baseless declarations of personalized present and future outcomes.

But that personalized declaration for Irene on a day in late December 2012 was right on the money.

Computer stationThe backstory: During the summer of 2012 I made the decision to write a novel that focuses on the lives of caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other dementia.  The focus would be split with equal attention spent on the person with the disease.  My book’s mission: to put a personal face on those every day people (that’s you and me) thrust onto the memory-removing disease journey.  Once I made the decision to write a book, I set January 1, 2013 as the start date for my project.

That start date was moved up based on the extremely accurate Horoscope (see above) for this wannabe author whose birthday fell under the sign of the bull: Taurus.

I obeyed the directive and sat at my computer that very day and managed to write page after page of content.  Wow!  I’m writing a novel!  It was quite exhilarating being able to spew page after page of fictional story line based on experiences I had with my father, my sister-in-law, and the many people with whom I became acquainted during my years of work with vulnerable adults.

I finished the “final” version of my manuscript earlier this month and set the timeline for next steps: starting January 1, 2015 I will actively seek representation for my novel.  Oddly enough, that seems to jive with today’s Horoscope (2 years after the first timely Horoscope) if you force a few of the jigsaw puzzle pieces to fit what’s currently going on in my life.

My December 29, 2014 Horoscope:

Today is a 6.  Hide away somewhere peaceful and you can get some productive thinking in.  Inspire intuitive leaps.  Creative work pays well now.  Don’t squander an enticing opportunity.  Meditate on it, and your choice comes to you.  Nurture your physical health with exercise, good food and rest.

Glass Now TAMI guess I may as well get to it based on previous personal declarations that brought me to this stage of my writing career.  Seriously, why wait when I can do it now?

If you’re interested in how this all pans out for me, I hope you’ll Follow my blog for updates.  If you’re already a Follower, stay tuned for more predictions and/or fabulous outcomes.

 

 

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The ups and downs of writing

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My manuscript before I cut it down to size
My manuscript BEFORE I cut it down to size

The first weekend of October, I attended my first writer’s conference, a conference that inspired me to live a life filled with high risk writing.  The risk?  I might get rejected.

I entered two contests within a week of returning home.  Alas, I found out on Wednesday, November 12th, that I did not win the Writer’s Digest Dear Lucky Agent contest.  This was a contest wherein a writer’s completed – but not yet published – manuscript is front and center.  Entrants submitted the first 200 words of their manuscript and a one-page query letter that provided an “elevator pitch” type of synopsis of the completed work.  Three winners were chosen from a field of many; those winners won the privilege of having the first 10 pages of their manuscript critiqued by the agent judge of the competition.

As soon as I discovered that I had not been chosen as a winner for that contest, I entered another one.  I sincerely believe that the more you write, the better at writing you become.  I’m counting on that to be true.  I am now researching other contests to enter so that my high risk writing career will have a better chance of taking off.

I'm not done yet!
I’m not done yet!

I’m not ashamed that I didn’t win the very first writing competition that I entered; I’m happy that I had the guts to take a risk.

 

Stay tuned; win or lose, I will provide updates on every contest that I enter. 

High risk writing

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Edmonds Waterfront October 2014
Edmonds Waterfront October 2014

I attended the Write on the Sound writer’s conference in Edmonds, Washington October 3rd thru 5th.  I participated in numerous workshops – most of which were very beneficial.  One of the challenges I heard many of the instructors tell us wannabe authors was to enter as many writing contests as possible.

Put yourself out there; take a risk; keep writing.

That sentiment really resonated with me.  Since returning home from the conference, I’ve already entered one contest and have two more lined up for which I’m preparing submission pieces.  And I’m stretching myself by trying new genres.  Case in point: I submitted a 3,000 word short story called Variant in the Horror genre.  Shocking, right?  Winners of that Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards contest won’t be announced until the end of the year.

Later this week I will be entering the “Dear Lucky Agent Contest” by submitting only the first 200 words of my completed novel, Armed for Bear, (current working title) plus a query letter.  Winners of that contest will be announced early November.

Writer in the making
Writer in the making

Additionally, today I wrote the first draft of a short story that I’ll be submitting later next month.  The story must begin with the following sentence, “I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over.”  This was a fun piece to write because it can only be 750 words or less.  It takes lots of discipline to slim down a story so that it’s still entertaining and says what it’s supposed to say.

Wish me luck as I keep on submitting pieces!

Just like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t enter.