Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Insecure? Me?

I'm secure enough to admit I'm insecure. 

Yes, it's another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click on it to see the list of insecure writers and go visiting. We writers get lonely. Or sometimes we want to be distracted. Or maybe you live on the range and have an encouraging word - where the skies are not cloudy all day. But part of the day perhaps.

Here we are having a blizzard. Yay! It is a virtual winter wonderland. So beautiful in our new wee house. Yes, I've moved - but it is only the 45th time so no biggy.  We've been here six weeks. Six weeks that included my birthday, Christmas, New Years and a huge writing deadline. And that is what I want to talk about - my writerly life right now.

First of all - Grain Magazine (a prairie literary magazine) is publishing two of my poems. Yay! And I even got paid! How good is that. Cannot say what  it means to have  this nod in my direction so that I feel seen in the world of writing.

Second of all - I sent off my finished draft (which one? beats me!) of Crooked Knife and sent it to an editor that I've hired to give it a good look and see if I'm heading in the right direction. I have no idea how it will pan out - but it is already worth the dough I've spent in that I made a deadline for a finished story - as in the plot - all the way - beginning to end AND I met it. Two nights ago, on January 6th (Twelfth Night), I finished it. This is a novel I started a couple of years ago, and while I quite liked what I had written I had not finished the story. I knew roughly what happened but not really. This is the absolute curse of the pantser (those of us who write without outlines are sometimes called Seat of the Pants - or Pantsers for short).  Part of the reason that I struggled with the ending is that it involves an ongoing mess called the Lower Churchill Project - a mega hydro dam that is destroying Labrador - (ooh, can you tell I feel rather charged  about this issue?) which itself is unresolved - or not resolved how I would like it. Like the mess of Great Britain, Canada and the US when it comes to political issues, it is easy to become despairing and believe that there are no victories in the making. Without going into it too much, I will say that somehow I found a way to at least have a small victory of conscience within the novel.

The sensation of finishing the story was immense. I'm still reeling from it. Now it is in the hands of the editor and I have a few weeks to think about other things. What other things? Well, I need to keep sending poems out. I usually make some sort of challenge for myself and my one for this month is that three sets of poems need to start circulating. I can also look at my records and see what ones are still out there looking for homes, and which have returned home after being rejected. This is the kind of work that actually appeals to me, especially this time of year, when one is naturally prone to taking stock.

Here is this month's question (optional - but hey) January 8 question - What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?

I wrote a story on what I did on my vacation in Grade Two. We drove from Ontario to New Brunswick and PEI and I wrote about a place of great interest called The Magnetic Hill (nope, no magnets, just an optical illusion) and a moose baby I met at the park. The teacher looked upon it favorably. I was hooked. Of course, like many young women, I felt a strong bond to Jo in Little Women, and Anne in Anne of Green Gables, and Brenda Starr, ace reporter comic hero - writers all! None of them got old that I know of, but there you go. I have gotten older - but inside me is a spunky chit of a girl, who, any day now, will take up residence in a Parisian garret. Until then I will keep writing in my little room in the last residence I care to inhabit. And here is a painting by Norman Rockwell of Jo. It makes me happy.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A moose once bit my sister...
Sorry, had a Monty Python moment there!
Enjoy staying inside in your new home during the blizzard.
Congratulations on the poems and finishing the story.

Chrys Fey said...

Congratulations on your two poems! I wish you all the best with working with your editor on your story. And being in a new house for the holidays is often an adventure. I remember when that happened to me once. It felt more festive for some reason. :)

Pat Garcia said...

Happy New Year!
Congratulations on your poems being published. I have two poems out to editors and I am still waiting to hear if they will be accepted.
Wishing you all the best in this new decade.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

Carol Kilgore said...

My aunt always said I reminded her of Jo. Congrats on FINISHING! That's huge. I hope your editor loves it and gives you lots of suggestions to make it even better. Happy 2020!

Liza said...

I am so happy to hear of your poems, and your novel! Such good work. And who could not love Jo, or Anne...although I don't really know Brenda, I'm guessing her character must have been a kindred spirit, too. Happy New Year, Jan!

Margot Kinberg said...

So happy for you, Jan, that your poems are getting published! That's fantastic! And it's good to hear your novel's out for editing, too. That's such a feeling of accomplishment, and hope you'll get really good feedback. Stay warm!

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NIKE said...
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