Sunday, August 31, 2014

Busy writing query letters... (just in case you missed me ;) )

Where I am the curious reader might ask?
I am in absolute writer's hell.
No, actually I will be once I am ready...
But I am advancing and am bathed already!
I spent the entire weekend searching and forming individual query-letters.
Yes, those horrible thing that you have to send out 
and then starves in a slush pile after you have spent all your nerves on it.
copyright at   
And you know what is the absolute horror?
Upload forms.
So you copy and paste.
Hit send.
And then you realize that you have copy and pasted the wrong query.
With the polite and individual greeting for another agent.
Guess I won't hear from THAT agency.
Better concentrate on the 13 drafts still in my mailbox.
Yep. THEY are addressed correctly.
I checked 37 times.
Wait... brb.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to editing my manuscript...

After first draft, revisions, discussions with a bunch of teenage characters in my living room, rewrites of scenes, more revisions, more discussions with aggravated characters, rereads and more revisions and a little crittering break - 
I had to get back to my manuscript.

No was not an option.
But I'm definitely not ready to let go.
copyright Debbie Ridpath OHI at
I hope I will - eventually.
In absence of my own critters I'm on my own and dwelling in the hell of cut.
Since I won't bore you with details,
 I thought I share some of my favorite editing quotes.
They always make me smile - before I crash face down again.

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
Dr. Seuss

 “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft 

 “I've found the best way to revise your own work is to pretend that somebody else wrote it and then to rip the living shit out of it.”
Don Roff

 “I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
Shannon Hale

 “Edit your manuscript until your fingers bleed and you have memorized every last word. Then, when you are certain you are on the verge of insanity...edit one more time!”
C.K. Webb

 “I edit my own stories to death. They eventually run and hide from me.”
Jeanne Voelker

 “It’s easy to see what to do once it’s already been done. The difficult time is before it’s to be done, and while you’re doing it. This is the difference between writing and editing. 
Jarod Kintz, This Book Has No Title 

 “It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.”
C.J. Cherryh

 “Your first draft is a petulant teenager, sure it knows best, adamant that its Mother is wrong. Your third draft has emerged from puberty, realising that its Mother was right about everything.”
Angeline Trevena

“We never end up with the book we began writing. Characters twist it and turn it until they get the life that is perfect for them. A good writer won't waste their time arguing with the characters they create...It is almost always a waste of time and people tend to stare when you do!”
C.K. Webb

I am sure we will have discussions about the last two tonight. Oh well...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Busy critter-ing away... but beware when you finish that book!

Thought I share with you how I felt last weekend 
after finishing of a manuscript I was critter-ing for another writer:

It has happened many times before - stories just become alive around me once my imagination is sparked, my heart won over and my living room is soon bursting with unseen people I am more to be willing to meet and feel with. Sure, that's not unusual, but in addition to my own characters it can become quite crowded. But I don't mind - if a story captured me I actually hate to see them go at the end.

While my own linger, there lives pressing on whether I'm behind the keyboard or not, these guests dissolve when I put down the book or manuscript. (Yep, my characters might see that as a moment to rejoice, but I definitely don't!)

It's rare to get sucked into a critter manuscript - most are in an between state - with air and life slowly being pumped into them with each new round of crittering. Most you don't even see a second time. But this one was whole and I was thoroughly shaken when I realized that I might not see these characters again in a very long time - after all book one wasn't even out, so who knew when the critter writer would actually move on to number two and keep me on track with all the things happening meanwhile to those she got me acquainted with?! Just think about my earlier post on "the little prince" - I was after all responsible for them now as well, just as I am still for that little fox!

How tigger-bouncy-joyously happy was I when this Morning an attachment arrived in my mailbox. The manuscript had been worked over and with new twists my attention was asked for again! What a pitch-wonderful surprise - and what a happy reunion in my living room! Yeah, my characters may not be happy about me spending so much time with other teenagers, but even they have been moping around all week, rather subdued and not focusing on their own problems. Nee, they won't say so - teenagers - but they love to have the others back I know!

So we shall make good use of the additional time we have been granted together.
Probably should read waaayyyy slower this time too - maybe not what the writer has in mind, but we just can't deal with this kind of heartache again any time soon -
Sorry Alisa ;)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Syncing your writing with dropbox... Scrivener

Ok, so I had a procrastination day and decided to focus my attention on where to save my MS. Sounded like a useful thing to do. I work in Scrivener - I shall introduce you to writer's heaven another day - it's another over-the-top ten lines rule thing. Scrivener happily saves my progress every minute and backs it up upon closing. Alas I work on a PC and a Mac and thus have my project on this sweet little USB-stick. Since I've had USB sticks turn monster before - especially between these two systems - I saved until now my projects to different regions of the planet called hardware - until the notion struck me that like in my story doom may lay ahead for this world one unsuspecting day.
I checked clouds. I've always loved clouds - and their different shapes - especially during summer.

Turns out the virtual clouds come in different shapes too - some are bigger, some charge you to drift on them. Google Drive would have been my first choice alas the inhabitants of scrivener-word screamed of havoc descending on my manuscript if I did (because Scrivener is a feisty but multilayer
system that most clouds have problems to progress).
Dropbox then. Now Scrivener Mac version has that nice built in sync thingy that works great with dropbox. Would be perfect - IF the windows version would have the same tool.
Nope. Not yet.
I questioned the wise scriveners to see if I could just save my entire project to dropbox instead of my stick and simply work from there?
I may - master Robert Guthrie advised - BUT not without bending to the rules of the house - and I can see why he stretched that, because scrivener got once REALLY pissed at me, because I had not ejected the stick properly on the PC. It simply refused to play with me until I went back to insert again and reject properly before inserting it in my MacBook. Now if you have an entire first draft on that stick, you're instantly bathed when that tiny screen of "opening error" appears and you are locked out of your own world!

So here are the magic rules - I assume they work everywhere else as well:

close scrivener, move/copy your project to your Dropbox folder. Let it sync up all changes to the cloud.

1. Open the project (which is stored in your dropbox folder) in Scrivener. WRITE (that's essential!)
2. Close your project.
3. Monitor the Dropbox icon to make sure it is syncing,
and when it finishes.
Once 3 is done, then your project is stored on the Dropbox servers,
ready to be downloaded to another computer.
4. Log on to your other computer.
5. If it was already running & connected to the internet,
the sync may have already happened. If you just booted up,
look for DB to start and finish syncing the files of your project.
Go to #1.

That's blond-safe I believe ;) I shall keep you informed if it worked on both machines. Once I have the courage to open it somewhere. Think I continue procrastinating just a tad longer - until my MS decides to land or so ...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

No blog today... her mind is gone away!

I decided against it and re-write instead - how's that?
Have a resourceful and inspirational day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

J.D. Salinger: Writing your heart out?

"Do you know what I was smiling at? 
You wrote down that you were a writer by profession.
It sounded to me like the loveliest euphemism I had ever heard. 

When was writing ever your profession? It’s never been anything but your religion. Never.
I’m a little overexcited now. Since it is your religion, do you know what you will be asked when you die? But let me tell you first what you won’t be asked.

You won’t be asked if you were working on a wonderful, moving piece of writing when you died. You won’t be asked if it was long or short, sad or funny, published or unpublished.

You won’t be asked if you were in good or bad form while you were working on it.
You won’t even be asked if it was the one piece of writing you would have been working on if you had known your time would be up when it was finished—I think only poor Soren K. will get asked that.
I’m so sure you’ll only get asked two questions.  

Were most of your stars out? 
Were you busy writing your heart out? 
If only you knew how easy it would be for you to say yes to both questions."  
J.D. Salinger

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rainer Maria Rilke on writing...

Did some reading between editing and found the following:
"…Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty – describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember.
If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place.
And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories?
Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. —
And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it."  
Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, August 15, 2014

But ... writers should hear voices!

“Don’t expect the puppets of your mind to become the people of your story. 
If they are not realities in your own mind, 
there is no mysterious alchemy in ink and paper 
that will turn wooden figures into flesh and blood.”
—Leslie Gordon Barnard, WD
And I hank every deity that I do!!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Reading day break!

And yes, I read old fashioned BOOKS!
And I'm waiting for the day that someone
asks me where to get one and how to turn it on.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Define a writer?

Any more suggestions?!
Writers should be able to come up
with even better descriptions - so?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Maybe you're a good writer, but you still need a lucky fairy... Really?!

 Today I want you to visit another blog as there is no way I can explain the subject and my own feelings about this in the ten sentences I promised (and which I never manage in truth - honestly if I'd stick to the plan of compensating you the over the top day, then my next blog would probably appear close to December...
With two manuscripts in the forever-revising-contest and the hovering cloud of "when will they be ready to send out in earnest" over my desk, the following guest-article really snapped me to full attention. I hit my head on the light in the progress.
#Author Mary Farmer on "The passive voice" "Is it all a matter of luck?"
When you read through all the wise suggestions around the web, you come to the point that that's indeed what you need. I mean you can study all the submission guidelines and could still hit the worst of all days: Coffee is out, dog puked on Agent, she/he just caught the magic "no, that's exactly what I don't need" virus, your words arrive with 132 other similar sounding ideas in a crowded mailbox, somebody dumps a box with chocolate on your maybe print-out - sticking it to the bottom in a 98° office...
The article was somewhat encouraging, although I am not sure I have THAT much time - I mean if my hour arrives I might already be lost in dementia and can't even remember what the heck you're talking about!
But don't just stop there: I recommend reading the comments as well, because there are some wise people out there. Not as encouraging after all, but one stuck in mind: the thing about being "good".
It has a little bit to do with self-confidence. If you feel it's good, you will learn and work and read and work some more - and believe in yourself and your work. And if that sparkles out of your eyes and your manuscript - maybe the good-luck-fairy invites her mate thumbs-up to the ball somewhat sooner!

Sunday, August 3, 2014