Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The downhill battle

So I was going to post another little snippet today, but yea...left my flash drive at home on the coffeetable. Whoops. Perhaps tomorrow.

I was hella productive again writing-wise on Friday. I'm over 56,000 words so it's all downhill from here. I'm now getting to the point in In My Mind's Eye when everything starts to turn upside down for Sophie and Brody. And I'm finding the "bad stuff" hard to write for two reasons: 1) I think I've just grown so close to my characters that it actually hurts ME that bad things are about to happen to them. Is that weird? Probably. It's just hard to write the conflict that's going to mess everything up for them. Trust me, I know it has to happen. A story that's nothing but sunshine and daisies is far from interesting. I just think I'll be in as much pain over it as the characters are. Anyway, 2) I'm almost sad that I'm moving on so quickly and that the story is inevitably going to end. Again, weird, I know. It's the same feeling I get when I'm close to finishing reading a really good book though. I want so badly to finish it and see what happens, but then at the same time, it's just...over. Bittersweet, I guess.

And of course, with the ending of the story comes the scariest part of all: querying agents. Well, after I revise it and revise it again and am absolutely 100% sure that it's completely perfect. I'm already proud of it, but me thinking it's great and an agent who wants to help me get it published and sold thinking it's great are two verrrrrry different things. I'm bracing myself for the rejection that's bound to come in, but I'm also hoping that with that rejection I'll get some good ideas for how to make it even better. Or, how to make my next story better and get THAT one published. I'm not delusional here. I know it's a farfetched dream to think someone will snatch up my very first manuscript and declare it the next Twilight (and I'm totally not going for that anyway- but um, if Rob Pattinson wants to be cast as the lead role if/when it's made into a film, by all means, let's go for it...), but I am definitely hopeful that something will come of it. The power of positive thinking, right? It's just not an option for this to NOT happen...someday, anyway.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Center Stage

So guess what I realized last night? I am never going to be a ballerina. *gasp*!

Seriously, you guys. Ok, so I actually figured this out a long time ago. But at one point I really thought I might make a career out of dance somehow. I was probably about ten years old, but still. I remember my ballet teacher back then telling me that my legs were attached "wrong" at the hips- meaning my turnout would never, ever be what it was supposed to be. But I kept trying. Then a year or so later an orthopedic surgeon told me I should never dance in toeshoes- the bones in my feet were all jacked up (it was heredity- my dad and gramma also had jacked up feet). What did I do that same year? Yep- I went out and bought my first pair of toeshoes. And not to toot my own horn, but I was good at pointe. I think all my physical issues just made me try all that much harder at it.

Fast forward another 10 years or so to when I had to have surgery on my right foot to correct all the bones I messed up even further in ballet class...yeah, whoops. I suppose the doc was right.
Meh. And then to make matters worse, I broke my foot four years ago in a jazz class. Hit a slippery spot on the floor during a tour jete' and bam! Broken fifth metatarsal and 8 weeks on crutches.

So I'm taking ballet just for fun right now. I haven't taken it for several years- I can't remember if my last class was the summer before or after I broke my foot. Regardless, it's been a while. There are only a few people in my adult class, and two of them are really well trained. As soon as I saw the newest girl last night, my heart dropped a little. She just looked like a ballerina. Tall, thin, no hips to speak of, and totally graceful. Every move came completely effortlessly to her. Ballet always used to make me feel graceful...last night though, I felt a little bit like a frumpy, stumbling, clumsy troll. Especially next to Ms. Ballerina. She made me want to be her. And I'm sooooo not on her level. Not even close.

Sigh. Well, my pique' turns still kickass though. Even though I'm totally paying for them today with my cramped up calf muscles. Hopefully every week it'll start to come back to me a bit more and more. This blog is all about living the dream, right? So I may not ever be a real ballerina, but at least for an hour each week, I can pretend that dream is still a little bit alive.

Monday, September 20, 2010

8 years

I'm picking up my first new pair of glasses this week in 8 years. The last time I got glasses I still had good vision insurance through TMP, so they were practically free. My insurance for vision care now, quite frankly, blows. But it was time to just bite the bullet and get a new pair anyway. My eyes are seriously horrendous (-10 in left eye, -11 in right), but I'm hoping that MAYBE I'll even be able to wear these out in public from time to time. We shall see.

The fact that it's been 8 years since I've had new glasses got me thinking about where I was 8 years ago in my life as a whole. I shall summarize (and this is difficult for me, because I don't have the best long-term memory):
  • I was 25 years old. It's funny to think that at one point in my life, I thought for SURE I'd at least be engaged by this age. And now it's funny to look back and realize that if that had actually happened, I'd be soooo much worse off today.
  • I had just moved into the Chaunticlair condo with Mel and Tracy. My first time out on my own, unless you count OU (which I kinda do and kinda don't). Before moving in with them, I was on the brink of moving to Columbus. Some people might say I was trying to escape from my past on the eastside. Some people might be totally dead on right about that.
  • Ollie was just a teeny tiny kitten, much resembling a baby squirrel. He was also still pure evil. He didn't mellow out til Stewie came two years later.
  • I was still, on the whole, completely miserable. I was in a relationship that I knew wasn't anything that I wanted, but boredom and loneliness kept me in it.
  • Obviously, I hadn't met Dan yet. When I met him, around this time of year almost, in 2003, as Sophie says to Brody, he "changed...everything".
  • As I mentioned, I was still at TMP in a job going totally nowhere. When I started there in 2000 right out of college, it was the best job in the world. God, we had so much fun there for a couple years. Unfortunately, it all started to go downhill around 2002. All I can say about that place is I got some absolutely amazing friendships out of it. Karyn, Debbie, Barra, I'm looking at you guys. And of course Rose, Mel, Tracy, Sarah, Rachel...I'm so glad to this day we all still keep in touch as much as possible!

I know they (whoever "they" are) say that your past shapes who you are in the future. I'm pretty proud of the person I've become. I'm happy and content with my life for the most part now. Of course, I wish we were living just a liiiiiittle more comfortably, and that we weren't worried about Dan's job situation, etc. But to be able to say that I'm really, truly happy is a big deal. And I'm proud of the fact that I'm really going for my dream now, after so many years of putting it off. Even if nothing comes of my story, at least I can say I went for it, that I finished something I'm totally proud of. And then I'll move on to the next one in my little brain and try all over again. I'm not giving up this time. I refuse to put what I want on hold ever again.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Historical stuff

It's been a busy few days, so I don't mean to be ignoring the blog here, but things have been a little crazy. Well, at work anyway. I've been spending my evenings in true nerd style with my nose in a book. Specifically, a book called Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen. My sis in law lent it to me a long time ago- to bring on my honeymoon actually, I think- and I brought it, but never started it. It's a huge paperback, another one of those historical fiction novels my sis in law loves so much. I've never really been into the historical/time period stuff. At least, I wasn't until Debbie Lamb introduced me to the Outlander series. But I left the historical stuff at that series. I guess I kinda figured nothing could really compare to Diana Gabaldon's writing.

But now I'm finding myself fascinated by these books. I got all into the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig (again, thanks to seeester), which takes place in early 19th century England. Through a Glass Darkly is set in 18th century France & England. I think I'm more amazed at the author's talents to truly transport the readers back in time. It's something special to be able to write dialogue and descriptions set in that time frame. I think, anyway. So much research must be done to be able to write as though the author was really part of that time period.

When I become a successful author (ahem), I'm totally writing a book set in the 1940's. WWII era. It's still going to be YA, but from a teenager's perspective back then. I have the best resource too- my awesome Gramma. I'm not sure if I'm more excited to write the book, or just to sit and listen to all her stories from back in the day. I can't wait to hear about how she met my Grampa, all the dancing and crazy things they used to do. So it'll be loosely based on her life and stories- with her permission, of course.

But for now, I need to move forward with Sophie and Brodie. One step at a time.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The name game

I recently read an interesting blog regarding your professional name vs. your personal name. Actually, this blog was more of a married name vs. maiden name discussion, but the blog author is a published author, who happens to go by both her married and maiden names (check out her blog, here). One of those hypenated deals, but without the hyphen. And maybe I'm jumping the gun a little bit, because I haven't had anything published just yet under any name, but it's still something that's on my mind for the future. If and when I get published, what name will I use?

I like my married name. I consider it an "upgrade" from my maiden name, since it looks nicer and is easier to pronounce (if you're not a moron, anyway. It's completely phonetic, yet people still find ways to butcher it). However, I do realize it's a bit of a mouthful. My first name alone is three syllables, and my last name has four, and there are a lot of N's and A's involved. I always sort of thought I would end up using a pseudonym, just so it'd be easier for everyone, including myself. I would keep my first name, but probably use my husband's middle name or something for my last name. That way I'll still keep a part of him involved in my pen name.

I kinda like that idea best, but then there's also that egomaniac side of me that says, hey- if you're not using your real name, who will believe YOU really wrote the book? I mean, of course, once I'm a bestselling author and doing book tours and readings and whatnot, of course people will know it's me (riiiiiiight?). But starting up as an unknown, I think I'd be more like, hey, look at me!! I did it!!

It may be a moot point...who knows if I'll ever get published. I know I'm going to try my damnedest though! I feel like it's a dream within my reach for the first time in my life. I'm not really sure why- maybe I just believe in my story that much.

Anyway. Thoughts, anyone?