September 12, 2009

about

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… Or maybe not. Thanks to an impromptu write-in at Starbucks this morning, I had my work done early today. And that left time for not one but two walks before I headed to my day job, which is really more of an afternoon/evening job.

I wish I worked more regular hours, like 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., instead of getting off between midnight and 1 a.m. But someone has to stay up late to get the freshest news in your morning newspaper — and that someone is me.

I used to be a reporter, but decided to move into page design so I’d have more time to write fiction in my off hours. When I was writing all day at work, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was write some more. I figured that the opposite would also be true: If I didn’t spend all day writing, I’d spend more time writing at home.

That worked for a while … but writing fell by the wayside for a while – longer than I want to admit — after the Sept. 11 attacks. I just didn’t feel much like writing “funny” after that.

Thank goodness I got my groove back.  And now that I’m requiring myself to do some actual writing work before I start messing around online, I’m making some real progress.

Still, a part of me wonders if I really am good enough … Those who’ve read my stories say they like them, but they’re not the powers that be in the publishing world.

It’s probably the same part that’s holding me back from getting to my goal weight, that piece of me that doesn’t think I’m quite good enough.

Can I kick her a$$?Please? It’s time to put myself out there and risk rejection.

September 10, 2009

Contests, Progress

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I spent some more time editing my Golden Heart entry today.

The good news is that the pages I plan to submit, including the synopsis, total exactly 55, the required amount.

The bad news? I still think the synopsis is better than the manuscript itself.

There’s more good news, though: I’ve cut the manuscript down to 58,000 words, leaving myself a couple thousand for rewriting. And I still have about six chapters to go through, so maybe I can cut some more.

September 9, 2009

Progress

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I spent some time working on my Golden Heart entry today. It was the first time in a long time I’ve looked at my synopsis. Upon reading through it, I had two thoughts:

— This is good. I may be more ready to submit this baby than I thought.

— The synopsis is quite possibly better than the manuscript itself.

How does that happen? Well, the story is the first one I completed, written back in 1998-99 and rewritten sometime in ’03 or so. The synopsis was written later than that, when I entered a contest — I’ve forgotten which one.

The bigger question may be, “How do I fix it?” I’m open to suggestions.

Perhaps it’s just that I’ve been reading and re-reading the manuscript for a week or more now, trying to cut it from 71,000 words to 60,000, whereas I read the synopsis for the first time tonight.

I sure hope so.

September 8, 2009

about, quest

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“Julie & Julia” inspired me to start a blog of my own. I’m sure I’m not the only one. How many people have rushed home after seeing that flick, eager to share their thoughts with the world — or at least the blogosphere?

Actually, this isn’t my only blog. I have a weight-loss blog at Blog to Lose, and I just branched out with a weight-loss blog here at WordPress.

But as I sat there, watching poor Julie struggle with a directionless life and a milestone birthday, I realized I’ve been stagnant myself.

I’ve known since second grade that I wanted to be a writer, you see. As I got older, I realized a writing career isn’t exactly practical. In my high-school-age wisdom, I decided to go into journalism because I could still make a living with my writing while I was trying to sell my first novel.

Well, I’ve been out of college for 15 years and … there’s still no novel of mine gracing the shelves. I’m pushing 40, and I’ve been muddling along as a journalist — making a living writing, yes, but not in the way I had in mind. I figured that by now, I’d have at least one novel sold. Best-case scenario, I was going to be the next Danielle Steele by 30.

Today, it hit me: Blogging has helped me lose weight, so why can’t it help me get published?

Between the support I get from Weight Watchers and my friends at Blog to Lose and SparkPeople, I’ve lost 60-ish pounds. (I have at least 15 more to go, but that’s another story.) If I spend as much time writing romance as I do with my weight-loss endeavors, I can’t fail!

So here we go … follow me on my quest to be published by 40. My first rule: No online time for the day until I’ve written at least two pages (or edited two chapters, depending on what I’m doing that week).