Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Look Back at 2009 ...

I'm officially stunned into silence.

This year has brought with it so many amazing things that I don't know if I can express enough excitement over what's occurred ...

First, I completed my first novel, the 77,000-word MANAS, about a prodigy spy and a gorgeous hacker who band together to decrypt the mystery behind a genetic experiment aimed at creating the perfect soldier. In addition to finishing it, I also cut my teeth sending cold emails to agents, and even got a few very interested responses. To my first book! Unreal ... It's out under exclusivity right now, and I'm over the moon about the possibilities!

Second, I planned, started and completed my second novel, the 80,000-word ARCANE, about a girl drawn into an alternate plane of reality ruled by magic. This decaying, post-apocalyptic world is under the rule of chaos twins aimed at rebooting the flow of magical energy for their own evil greed, but Drew and her rebels are the obstacle standing in their way. This story also was send out to agents and has gotten a few nibbles. More to come on this in the new year, I think ...

Third, I planned and began my third novel, GLOW, about a woman living the paint-by-number life her father planned for her -- until she meets a stranger who teaches her how to color outside the lines. Add in that he is a being from another universe send to judge whether Earth is worth saving from the evil Dark Entity, then you've got the mixture for a great paranormal romance! I'm between 1/3 and 1/2 completed the first draft, and I'm in love with the characters ...

In addition to the book situation, I'm also thrilled with my writing progress. This year, I looked outside my comfort zone and joined Writers United, a local writing group that has opened my eyes to a culture I didn't know existed. My dear friends are a talented bunch who inspire and drive me to write better. Thank you, ladies.

And, as always, I've got my happy, healthy family! My husband is just the best man in the world and a real hard-ass critic (which I love and need), and my boys ... well, they are magic in and of themselves every moment of the day.

The best part about this past year is what wonderful things it will lead to in 2010. Keep moving forward!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Writing Affirmations to Keep Me Focused

While I continue to field rejections for my books that I legitimately don't remember sending out (they all blur together after a while into a cacophony of bad decisions by those agents), I wanted to share with you all something a dear friend of mine sent over to keep my mind focused!

The following affirmations are happy reminders of why I began to write in the first place. I don't read them daily or anything, but it's nice to skim when I'm trying to tune the mental dial into my muse for my afternoon writing sessions!

From: LIVING THE WRITER’S LIFE, by Eric Maisel

Writing Affirmations
Negative self-talk is a weakness. Positive self-talk is a strength. Cultivate your strength! -Replace your doubts with affirmations like the following ones.

-I will write forever. There is no mandatory retirement age.
-Anxiety comes with the territory. I can manage and even embrace my anxiety.
-To write is to allow fortunate accidents to happen. I am open to the next fortunate accident.
-I will astonish myself. Then I’m bound to astonish others.
-A knowledge of beauty is already within me.
-I am interested in my own ideas. That interest is another name for love.
-I can say it well.
-I mean to write with integrity.
-I am taking up my writing tools.
-If I grow quiet, the writing will happen.
-I will grow savage and create whole new worlds.
-I mean to listen to myself.
-I write by myself but with people in mind.
-Will they laugh at me? Let them laugh. I’ll write anyway.
-I can learn my craft by practicing it.
-I am mine to make and make over again.
-I will stay close to my work. Writing requires intimacy.
-I expect gifts. They only come if I keep writing, but then they miraculously appear.
-I will create my own culture.
-There are infinite ways to fail. So why worry? I’ll just write.
-I will ask great questions and provide amazing answers.
-I will go deeper. Writing means cracking the surface and diving in.
-I will be the cream and rise to the occasion.
-To write is to improvise. I will become jazz.
-Writing is a way to be fully human.
-I will write big and let out the immensity inside of me.

I hope these made you day and strengthened your conviction in yourself. Things happen for a reason, people. It's your job to make sure that reason isn't wasted on someone who doesn't appreciate it.

I've found that you never can understand the true meaning of things until they are in hindsight, and I know as surely as I know the morning breeze will freeze my still-wet hair into tendrils of icicles tomorrow morning that this next year holds the key to my writing bliss.

Repeat after me: I AM good enough. Someone WILL read my story. I WILL be published. NOTHING can stop fate and talent from finding each other in the e-mail ether.

Happy Holidays from 'Suspending Disbelief,' and here's to Happy New Year full of possibilities and, of course, stories :)