Wednesday, January 3, 2018

IWSG - first meeting of 2018

It's another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group - we meet to well, support each other in our crazy desires to be part of the writing life. If you're interested go to the link above and sign up or at least have a boo - lots of great blogs to visit!

It is another meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group and I'm excited! I love the new year with its lovely blank pages awaiting. I plan on sullying many of them - or smudging them, or decorating them, or utterly ruining them. The main thing is that I will use each day. I will be awake and on the ball.

Here is this meeting's question - January 3 question - What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

This is a bit of a slippery question. So many steps and plans and schedules between me and writing. Hmm... I will write every day. I am writing every day and I will continue to do so. I usually do a thousand words a day on my current project (Ruby's House - a memoir of our time here in Labrador). I have also committed to sending out 11 poems this month and will see how that goes. I tend to send poems out in mad batches and then wait. I did get one published in December so feel chuffed! I have had two batches rejected and one batch I haven't heard back from yet (sent all in June).

I would like to revisit my plans with Bright Angel.  It is currently out to 7 agents or publishers but some of those have had it for quite awhile with no peep. I had a strong nibble last year (request for full) but it didn't pan out. I am considering rewriting the first chapter or making a prologue as it gives a false example of the book as a whole - yet it is the right first chapter. As I say, I'm considering these things. Part of the problem is that I don't like to consider it a YA but some people do because the main protagonist is a youth. This annoys me - what if Catcher in the Rye was considered a YA? Maybe it is, but when it came out there was no such genre.

I have a mystery that I worked on for the past couple of years ( Crooked Knife ) but I am not happy with the ending. Okay - we're all kind here - there is no ending. I can't do it and it is kind of crucial for a mystery. I really really like the book though - the voice, the mystery, the passion and so on. So it deserves some of my time or I need some help with it.

So - with that I bid you adieu as I have some writing to do today and perhaps a bit of research on a new place to send some poems.

I hope you are full of enthusiasm for this new writing year and I will swing by to see some of you...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What would I change? Nothing.

It's another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group - we meet to well, support each other in our crazy desires to be part of the writing life. If you're interested go to the link above and sign up or at least have a boo - lots of great blogs to visit!

It is time for another meeting of the IWSG - a chance for all of us to unload the burdens of our writerly hearts about our writerly arts. The question - As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

And I would answer - quite honestly - nothing. Why wouldn't I relish the opportunity to go back in time and polish up my behavior a bit? I know that all of it is worthwhile. If I changed anything I would learn less. I learn from bumping up against the world, not from sitting fat and sassy in the center of the tree, holding onto the solid trunk, but from dancing out on the skinny branches, falling through the sky, landing so that the air in my lungs explodes out of me leaving me panting on the ground to stand up, climb up and try again. 

This year I learned a ton - I failed muchly and biggly.  I failed at understanding the Indigenous culture here in Labrador - I learned so much. I failed at trying to impart wisdom hugely and catastrophically at times - I learned so much. I failed at finishing the mystery I've been working on for two years - and I learned it isn't ready to be written - yet! I started a memoir about my time here in Labrador and I did get my words done for NaNoWriMo but more importantly I won a hard and good appreciation for the memoir form. I have been deeply energized by that. I got a new hip this year - in April - and I learned with great difficulty that my body is precious and being able to move is a gift that I will not take for granted. I struggled with politics both here and in the world. I do not like what is coming out - the poison - but I am so grateful it is surfacing and being dealt with and not rotting the world from within. I learned that no matter what - I don't know what I don't know and I must keep humbling myself in the eyes of the teachers - I will bend down low. I know that next year I will know things I can't believe I hadn't learned before but there it is - 65 and I am such a foolish student. But I do know that - so good on me!

Now - back to working on my memoir. What fun this is and terrible too - full of memories that I would not touch up for all the world. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Celebration!

Yesterday evening I received news that a literary and arts magazine will publish a poem of mine. This is such welcome news after a spate of rejections.  Today I will celebrate by sending some more out, working on a memoir, doing my Buddhist meditation practice for a few hours, and watering my plants. I might even start a new poem as I have seen the edge of it the last few days. It slips around the corner but I may be able to grab it by the coat-tails next time. I'll be gentle.  There may be a bit of it in this photo of my fella making a boil-up on the trail.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Oh I'll never go a nanowing again! Or will I?

Hello all peeps - it is the first of November which makes it a double fun day for us writers around here - it is, of course, another meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group.  Sign up here if you are so inclined.

It is also the first day of NaNoWriMo which gets lots of us in a tizzy. Will we enter? Will we finish? Will we ever finish the last twelve novels we've started on hopeful November the firsts? Okay - time for some fun facts (or recollections which might be true but remain a bit fuzzy in my head).

I think I've done five NaNoWriMo's plus a couple of BuNoWriMos (similar but in June and much more intimate). 

I have one novel that is completely finished and being shopped to sell - Bright Angel. Not sure whether I started it in a NaNo or a BuNo and too lazy to check.  Two years ago today I started Crooked Knife in a NaNo and last year finished it in the same - only I didn't really. I have a novel's worth of writing but the ending isn't really done and I've been pushing against that now for another year. I've also got a not-finished mystery called Earth Bound that isn't finished and is actually quite a big schmozzle though I believe still salvageable. That means I have a love hate relationship with NaNo-ing. I love the challenge and I think all but once won (meaning I did my 50 thousand words) . I'd much rather write a new novel than struggle along beating some poor dead horse - but - arggh! This year I'm struggling again. I really don't have time. I work full-time and I've taken on a Buddhist practice that takes about 45 hours a month to do properly. 

I'd sort of like to do a memoir of my time in Labrador. This is our last year. Could I do it? Sure enough. I'd definitely finish my words if I promised to write them. The only NaNo I failed was because it had no word challenge attached. But it begs the question  - what do you win when you hit  Noveber 30th with your 50 thousand words? You win a hot mess, or a good start or maybe both. I know that if I say I'll do an edit I won't. I've tried. So I'm stymied. I'll think on it and I'll add to this tomorrow to tell you my decision. Because it isn't really November 1st here now - it is October 31st. Boo!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October's meeting of the IWSG

It's another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group - we meet to well, support each other in our crazy desires to be part of the writing life. If you're interested go to the link above and sign up or at least have a boo - lots of great blogs to visit!

October....mmmmh.....fall colours, Thanksgiving*, beautiful light, hunkering down for the long Northern winter.

So let's go around and see how we can support each other. I'll check in first. My name is Jan and I'm a writer. This last month has been strange because I've been getting lots of rejections. That's because I sent out a whack of queries in June and they are coming home to roost (or rot!). Logically I am aware that I'm getting so many because of how many I sent out but it is bumming me out. Also, I'm trying to finish Crooked Knife and it is soooooo hard! So I feel kind of whiny and like a little kid. What I'd like to hear from you - my support peeps - is that this feeling will pass and I should just carry on - that it was brave of me to send so many queries out and of course it is unpleasant to be rejected over and over again. And that Crooked Knife will be shit-hot when it is done and I need to not give up on it either. Yah, like that.


In other news, next week I will read two poems at a poetry reading of a new friend. I'm the one that suggested since she was visiting this remote northern paradise she should read. Now I'm organizing it and will read two of my Labrador inspired poems. Looking forward to it.

And here is a photo I took last week at about 6 AM after watching Venus rise and seeing Northern Lights. This is our gate onto the beach. Heaven.

* - for the last time, Amuricans - Canucks have it earlier because our Harvest is earlier. Deal with it. And Thursdays have zero to do with our Thanksgiving. Neither does football. Turkeys, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce (only it will be redberry here) and all that sure, but football? No.