Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blog Chain - Hills and Valleys

Eric challenges us this round of the blog chain with the question:

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of being a writer? What is your greatest reward from writing?

I can honestly say that right now, I'm experiencing my greatest challenge so far as a writer. Since going out on submission I've been asked to make some pretty major revisions to my novel. Not once, but twice. The changes require me to take the characters I've spent over a year with and tweak their personalities. Not much, but just enough to make a subtle difference. Let me say, the whole thing is making my head ache. Whereas I'm usually a good reviser and a thoughtful one, this last round was done hastily and thoughtlessly. The end result: a tongue lashing from my agent that I 100 million percent deserved. As it turns out, my downfall in this situation was my inability to relax and realize that publishing moves at its own pace. Period. I can do NOTHING to change that fact. For me, the most challenging aspect of being a writer is the waiting. I struggle with being patient every day. Once I get a grip on the pace of things and learn to accept the fact that I can't hurry it along, I think I'll find my Zen.

My greatest reward in writing is seeing the end result of my hard work. And I'm not just talking about signing with my agent or going out on submission. I'm talking about the creation--the story crafted from my mind and laid out on paper. The intricate weaving of plot and character and story that comes together to form this real-to-me world. Knowing that I can sit down with a stack of Post-its and a Sharpie and outline an entire adventure puts me in perma-grin mode. The smiles and wonderful comments from readers is the icing on the cake. Nothing can compare to the feeling you get when someone tells you: "This was a great book. Really. Great."

Want to know what my fellow blog chainers consider the hills and valleys of their writing experiences? Check out Kate's post before mine, or Sandra's tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blog Chain - So.... What's Up?

Superhero incognito Cole Gibsen came up with this round's blog-chain topic. Kate posted before me and check out Sandra tomorrow. Cole asks:

Are you querying? Gearing up to go on submission? Writing? Revising? I'd love to hear what's new with you. And if you'd like to share a snippet of your WIP, even better!

I've been in a literary limbo for the past couple of months. My novel, SHAEDES OF GRAY went out on submission at the beginning of June. And while I play the waiting game, I've been working with my agent of awesomeness, plotting and writing synopses for the next three books in the series. Before that, I wrapped up an unrelated WIP, HUNTER'S MOON and it's resting until I get the opportunity to re-read and further edit.

So... though it's not anything I'm actively working on, I'll go ahead and share a snippet of that WIP with you. It's been on my mind lately, I can't wait to get back to work on it. Maybe I'll make it my "waiting" project. It's a little rough... just barely a first draft, so go easy on me. Enjoy!

The three of them whispered in his ear. They'd prodded him for weeks, urging him to take action against those who’d wronged him. They spoke as one, not nearly as strange as the fact that he couldn’t see them. But he felt their touch. Their hands never left him.

“We can give you pleasure,” they said. “We can make you the object of her obsession. We can give you anything you crave if you unleash us. All you have to do is ask.”

“No. You’ll hurt her.”

“Why would we do that?” they seethed. “If she is not your enemy, she is safe from our wrath.”

“I—I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t think this is a very good idea.”

The hands pulled away and their hissing voices raised the hairs on his neck. “You want what is just beyond your reach. You crave what we can give you. We are vengeance.”

“No. I want you to leave. I want you to go away.”

Their laughter came as through dusty-dry throats. “It’s too late for that. You called to us and we are yours until you give us purpose.”

“If I do it… If I—give you purpose—then you’ll leave me?”

“Of course,” the three replied. “Once we’ve tasted the flesh of your enemies.”

He shut his eyes, the tighter the better. But he couldn’t banish the sensation of their invisible hands caressing him from head to toe. He wished he were dead. The suspicion he’d lost his grip on reality wore him down. If he told anyone, he’d be put away for sure. But they were as real to him as anything. It didn't matter that he couldn’t see them. He could hear them just fine. And his body knew their lover’s touch.

He was willing to do anything. Anything to get rid of them.

Tears squeezed out from his tightly shut lids. “Fine. Do it. Take revenge for me. Give me what I want and then leave me alone.”

Invisible lips took turns kissing his mouth. “They will taste our fury. Who is first?”

He knew who he wanted it to be. But just to be safe he’d try it out on someone less important. He whispered the name, barely audible, but they heard him and for the first time in months, left his side.