Tag Archives: write

A Room of My Own

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged – sometimes life has the habit of getting in the way, something I’m not always proud of. I wish I could say a lot has happened on the manuscript front, but there is not much to report.

After my first round of submissions, I have yet to receive the “yes” I was hoping for. But I won’t let that hiccup stop me. I was given some constructive advice and now I’m in the process of making those necessary improvements. Unfortunately, it’s been a little more difficult than I expected, especially since my whole creative process has been thrown into a tailspin.

In the past, I’ve always had my own space – a room away from the pressures of everyday life. With my laptop in front of me and my books nearby, my bedroom was a writing sanctuary of sorts. Now, living with my husband, everything suddenly went from “my” to “our.” It’s not “my” room, but now “our” room. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great – on a personal note, I’m happier than ever, but I’m now struggling to find my place to think and write.

Words that originally failed to resonate with me in university are now ringing true, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Virginia Woolf must have been married when she wrote that.

Now more than ever, I realize that I need my own space. Away from the disruptions of life and household chores, a place I can just be with my thoughts. Since I don’t have that perfect room, I think I’ll at least try to find the mental space I need and give myself a designated time to put everything else aside and just write.

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Unpacking My Way Into A New Life

It’s amazing to think that my wedding and honeymoon are really over.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not one of those mournful brides, sad that this amazing, happy time is over.  It’s just that sometimes, I can’t believe that it really happened.  And I need to look at pictures just to reassure myself that it really did.

The wedding was perfect.  A cool, comfortable September day with ideal weather for our outdoor ceremony and the evening was a party that I will never forget.  The honeymoon was dream.  We visited places I’ve always fantasized about seeing – from Bath to London and Paris to the French Riviera.

But now that I’m home (even with a little jetlag), my husband and me (still getting used to using that word) are settling into our new place and trying to make it into our home.  And with all of the wedding craziness behind me, I’m ready to get back to my writing.

While I didn’t really have much time to write in the weeks before my wedding, I somehow managed to rework the beginning of my book.  I always knew it needed some tweaking.  But it wasn’t until I received an email from an agent I was querying who suggested that the beginning didn’t grab her as much as she’d hoped it would that I realized what I needed to do.

I spent the next couple evenings rewriting the first few chapters, trying to find a way to really hook my reader.   Even with those early changes, I know I’m not nearly done.  But I’m excited to see what I can do.

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The Countdown Is On

With my wedding now a mere three days away, I haven’t found much time to write.  In between vendor appointments, hair trials, and dress fittings, things have been really busy, to say the least.

I’m sitting in my bedroom now, looking down at my wedding speech (guess I’ve managed to do some writing) and glancing at my gown and veil, which are hanging on my closet door.  It’s hard to imagine that in no time I’ll be reading this speech and wearing this dress – completely surreal.

Even though life as I know it will change forever after this Labour Day Weekend, in some ways, it will still be the same.  I’ll still be writing, I’ll still be working, and I’ll still be doing every thing I can to get my book published.

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An Interrupted Holiday

Even though I am away from the city, up at the cottage, overlooking the still waters of the lake, my laptop still tethers me to my everyday reality.  I can’t help but check my emails and stay in touch, even when everything here – the beach, the pool, and the Muskoka chairs – are screaming at me to relax.  I guess I refuse to let myself really get away, even when every morsel of my being knows I need this little break.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when I received another response to one of my queries today.  And even with the beach calling, I still needed to see what it said.  But this time I didn’t hold my breath, I didn’t pray for a ‘yes’ (even though I definitely wanted one), I just let whatever was going to happen, happen.  So I read.

Like all the others, it began with a pleasant greeting and a thank you for sending my interesting query.  Then this one continued, “The concept has many worthwhile elements, but due to our workload, I do not believe we are quite the right agency for this project.  We are rarely able to add new authors to our roster.”

All right, so it wasn’t a ‘yes.’  But at least it was a positive and somewhat encouraging ‘no.’  They thought my book was worthwhile.   And I know that someone else will feel the same, someone who can take on more authors.

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The ABCs

For some reason, it’s always amazed me that the 26 letters in the English alphabet have been used to write some of the most amazing stories.  The same letters have been used to write Jane Austen’s Emma, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series, to name a few.  These simple letters can make us laugh, make us cry, and can take us on adventures we never could have imagined.  It fascinates me.

What makes it even more incredible, there are still so many more stories to tell.  There is no shortage to the memorable characters, touching moments, and exciting tales.  Just some simple letters, those ABCs we learned as a child, and there is an infinite world of possibilities.

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Calmly (or Slightly Anxiously) Waiting

Do you ever stare at a blank Word document and watch the cursor blink like one of those obnoxious metronomes?  Tick.  Tock.  Tick.  Tock.   I was sitting in front of my computer today, staring at the cursor, trying to do anything except think about my writing future.  At this very moment, an agent might be reading excerpts from my novel and with every word, determining my fate as a published author.

It’s not that I don’t have enough to do in the day except sit here and think.  I am a fairly busy person – with a job and a quickly approaching wedding.  But somehow I find myself sitting in front of my computer wanting to do nothing else except write.

My thoughts flutter about possible sequel ideas – imagining where my characters might go and what could happen to them in their future.  But for some reason, I can’t let myself go there.  I won’t let myself go there.  Until I know that someone really believes in my story, it’s hard to start something new, hard to continue the story.

The weird thing is, from the very beginning, my novel wasn’t about anyone else.  It was about me.  It was about me exploring some other strangely familiar place, filled with characters that I know so deeply, like some old, cherished friends.

So why now?  Why am I suddenly so hell-bent on what others think about my world and my characters?  I know I want other people to love them like I do.  But why should that stop me from doing more, from creating more?

Maybe it’s time for me to stop analyzing and get back to where I started.  Brave the tick tock of the blinking cursor and do what I love – write.

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