A (much overdue) Explanation

I would like to extend my hand in apology for withholding information from this blog, for not keeping up with my regular discussions, for not posting in awhile. But I’ve been busy.

Wait, wait, I know, everyone says that, but honestly I have! Work, as usual, takes up more than half my day. Then my sister and I just moved out of our parent’s house and into a condo – which took a month, at least. (I never noticed how much stuff – how many clothes, how many books, and how many random items – I’ve accumulated over the years until the moment when I looked at the box I had chosen specifically for the move… and found it was tiny.) My freelancing business randomly decided to rear up again. (Something I am more than happy to pursue, I’ll speak more on that later!) I’ve also decided to get a master’s degree in publishing so I’ve been researching universities and writing essays. (Did you know some schools they don’t need that GRE? This is brilliant, because I didn’t take it!) So I have been busy.

AND, I’ll have you know, I finished editing my novel. Okay, the 2nd draft of the novel, at least. (Who knows how many drafts it’ll take to get this work polished enough. The editing process is long!)

Anyway, I finished the last chapter last Saturday then put it upon myself (however foolishly) to wait an entire work week before looking at it again. Some people can go a month without looking – heck I know an author who went three months without even peeking at her manuscript – but I must give them the respect they deserve because just a few days seems hard for me. Anyway, last weekend, I closed the word document and left it, alone, for a whole five days. I might die from anticipation.

Tomorrow’s the day though, tomorrow I get to read my entire novel all the way through and see if I like it… see if it needs some more tweaking… see if the characters still ring true. If everything sits right for me, I’ll send it off to a few select readers willing to look it over to catch bigger things – plot holes they see, characterization issues, tech terms – while I move on to a different story. If not, well then, it’s back to the editing process.

I’m excited about it, either way.

But let’s hope for the former, shall we?

So while I am sorry I have neglected this blog for such a long time (over a month, at least) I am still doing a happy dance in my head.

Also – I’ll be updating this pup much more regularly, once a week at least. I have a few interesting ideas I’d like to discuss and can’t wait to share my thoughts.

Until then, though.
Warm regards,
Kellie

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Updates and Crosscurrents

This week I’ve decided to give an utterly random project update…

1) The first half of my novel is done!
2) I’m officially onto the second half of my novel!
(yes, I realize this reiterates my first point but I’m excited so I’m throwing the usual writing guidelines into the wind)
3) My novella has a first sentence!
My novella has, thus far, only been a seedling in my mind. It hasn’t had the chance to develop and push it’s tendrils onto the page… until now!  (Cue scary, unintended, music here.)

And tell you all about the Crosscurrents event that I happened to attend…

It was awesome. Yes, awesome. Held at one of our museums in town, Crosscurrents is an event that only happens a few times a year. 49 Writers, the local creative writing organization, invites authors to come up to Alaska and speak about their books, how they made it big, and what inspired them to write. I have only attended this one time but quite a few people showed up considering it was a random Wednesday night.

Two authors stopped their hectic lives to chat with each other (and all of us) for an hour. They covered aspects like why they decided to write, how they got into writing, what degree they each received, how often they write, why they wrote their novels, and how to really get into the setting and world (among other things).

The back and forth was enlightening but the one aspect that really stuck with me is this… in response to a ‘how did you make it big?’ question the author of The Snow Child said roughly the following: “The stars aligned. Really though, nothing could have prepared me for it, I did nothing special to get it. I wanted to write this story and so I did.”

Do you know what that all boils down to, fellow readers and writers? You can write about vampires, you can write about werewolves, you can write about magicians with a lightning scar. You may cater to the current wave of fierce magical and fantastical elements in the literature trend today. You may get published. You may make it big. And you may not. When it all boils down to it? Write the story in your mind, get it down on paper, solidify the characters, know the plot, describe the setting, do your best to tell the story the best way you possibly can – write what you want to write. In the end, as long as the story is told, you did good. The piece of advice spoke to me, it’s what I’ve been writing about (and thinking about) these past few blogposts and I’m glad that others feel the same way.

I was wondering, though, have you been involved with a discussion such as this? If so (or if not, for that matter,) what is the best piece of advice you’ve gleaned about writing?

Warm regards,
Kellie

Postscript – By the way, I encourage everyone to attend the writing discussions in your own area, don’t say there isn’t any around – there’s always something somewhere. You just have to look for it. It’s a lovely experience, really.