It’s been a while since I’ve posted. And, there’s a lot going on good stuff, mainly. My day job’s been quite busy. My children are growing up but still needing time and attention. (Gee, imagine that. They still need a mom…) And, to boot, I added in some fun work in mid-April — curating the Horror Writers Association Twitter feed. I am one of the contributors.
Did I mention that my New Year’s goal for 2016 was to write a new short story each month? Oh, and then try to submit a story, or two, each month? (Not necessarily the one just written. I do have quite a few stories written from previous times that I NEVER did anything with; except write them.)
So, I’m in the middle of all of this. Hubby just keeps watching me and asking if I’m alright. As well he should!
Going along now for several months and my writing goal is going as planned. But in April, I hit a snag. Yes, that’s when I took on a bit of extra fun work and I had to get used to fitting in the work curating entailed. That took a few weeks but then all of a sudden it was PitDark (May 12, 2016)! I had only a few days to prepare. It crept up on me. And that’s when the big wham-o happened.
What the heck was I doing writing a graphic horror novel?! (This thought comes fully two years after it’s written; 102K+ words.) Shocker to my system, I tell ya. You think you know yourself and then — oops, you don’t.
Somehow, this book poured out of me and characters were born (a few died, of course). An awesome book cover is all in place and I’m feeling like a skittish bride — right before PitDark. You could say it was classic cold feet as it was my first online pitchfest. You could say it was fear of rejection. You could say it was regret at not having written say, a romantic comedy. You could. What do I say? I dunno.
I ignored the sensations, prepped my tweets in advance. Had writer friends peek at them. I revised them. Took the day off so I could focus on the tweets and possibly revise my tweets as the day went on (as advised by many experienced pitchfest attendees/hosts). I was as prepped as possible. And what happened? I received one ‘official’ like late in the day after having held my breath ALL day. Imagine my exultation at knowing someone out there in publishing wanted to take a gander at my full MS! Wahoo! I happydanced until my heart felt it would burst (all of 30 seconds). Then, I got to work submitting my book the proper way. It took me a couple hours to get it all done. Now, for the hard part — the waiting for a response. I’m still waiting. LOL. That’s publishing folks.
During this time, I re-focused back on my short stories and wrote two new stories in May and increased my stories in submission by 3. Total stories in submission right now is just under 10.
Even with all of this activity, there’s a thing still happening with me. What’s that thing? The question of what kind of writer am I. I researched and talked to some writing friends and researched some more. The most helpful article I found is this one by Holly Lisle:
Ten Steps to Finding Your Writing Voice
There are many pieces out there but this one resonated with me especially because it suggested I create lists — I love lists! 🙂 — More importantly, you’re supposed to play games with your lists. How frickin’ cool is that? (Yes, yes. Nerdy writer.)
Feeling some kind of way about having hit this particular wall so many years into my writing career. I definitely thought I had my ‘voice’ down pat. It seems I didn’t, don’t. This is the underlying discomfort I had surrounding the horror novel.
But, here’s the thing. That novel? It came so easily! The voice, the characters, the plotting, the plot shifts — it all flowed so well. Some of it scared me out of my wits. It’s supposed to — it’s a horror novel. But, I didn’t think about it, I just wrote. I was also pregnant with my third child during the majority of the writing of that story. Maybe that freed me up and allowed the story out.
Now, I am past postpartum emotions. I’m back to ‘me’ again. And, herein lies the problem. I’m back to me. The horror novel? I did what Hemingway suggested. I sat at my laptop and bled a little. Maybe, more than a little. While pregnant, it didn’t bother me. Now, not pregnant. It bothers me — a lot.
It seems I played it ‘safe’ with my stories and my readers. Without getting pregnant again, how do I bleed onto the pages? That’s the question. Working through it. Will let you know when I come out the other side…