Friday, October 29, 2010

Writer's Block

I woke up this morning intending to begin on an erotic historical piece.  I'd gone over dialogue in my sleep and knew exactly how I want to proceed.  But, a inexplicable sadness hung over me all day and words just would not come. I tried to work on an edit that I printed out last night to work on today.  Again, I just couldn't concentrate on anything productive.  Finally, I gave up and cleaned out my Farmville giftbox.

Then about 8pm, I got the news my spirit had been waiting for all day.  A dear friend had been found dead in her home.  She and I had worked together for almost 10 years, but had lost track of each other, when within weeks, we both got fired.  I'd been so busy trying to get my head together, that I hadn't thought about Dottie in months.

But, tonight when I heard that she was gone, I felt a wave of emotion crash over my soul.  Strongest was anger with the hospital where we'd worked for so many years.  They fired her, knowing she had health problems, knowing losing her insurance would mean not getting her medications and access to specialists, knowing she was a single parent.  And they did it without a blink.  I know the hospital is in business to make money, but damn.

As I sit here,  updating my status, fielding questions from mutual friends, I feel so guilty.  I have so many people in my corner, wanting for me to succeed as a writer and Dottie didn't have anyone.  No close family, no lovers and if I am friends.

Intellectually, I know that there is probably nothing that I could have done differently that would  have Dottie alive today. But in my heart, I also know that I let a friend down.  She died alone on a kitchen floor.  I can't remember if I ever told her how much I valued her friendship.  And now I never can.

Tonight, I feel my mortality.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Social Networking

I have discovered the joys of networking. Among my new "friends on Facebook, I have established authors, spoken word artist, aspiring writers and book reviewers. Writers from every genre have graciously allowed me to become a fly on their walls. I even picked up my very own "Literary Fairy God-Mother". A professional editor who read a brief prologue of mine and helped me to tweak it.  Gotta love a woman who with a few minor edits makes me better.

There is so much more to this writing gig than just typing words into the computer.

What I've learned this week:

Since I started sharing about my literary aspiration, quite a few of my friends have come out of the closet. A guy I went to high school with is an independent author. He utilizes both print and e-publishing. Another friend, who is an accountant, clued me into the fact that she had self-published a book years ago and would like to get back into writing. Still, another friend shared that she was not a writer, but her 13yo daughter was already showing signs of being a wordsmith. I love it.  If I can help someone else to feed their creative soul with words, I can justify every breath I take.

Also learned that many established writers are willing and eager to offer advice and encouragement. I don't want to become a cyber stalker, so I tend to just write little notes when someone accepts my friend request. In response, I have received a fair number of commercial posts to buy this book or that. But I have also received personal words of support. I can't tell you how thrilling it is to read a post from someone whose book is sitting on your shelf. Those post, somehow, make me feel one step closer to making my dream a reality.

I think my favorite new friends are the pre-published authors. More than anyone else...we understand each other. Non-writers watch in fascination as we agonize with finding just the right words to breath life into our characters. Established writers can become so jaded that they forget the hunger. But another writer who is just beginning to work up the courage to share their words with others...gets it. I don't know if there will ever come a time when I look at a book contrast with bored disdain. But I doubt, for a writer, if anything can compare to the rush of that first book deal.

Finally, I'm learning that all e-publishing is not created equal. To be honest. I never thought about submitting to an e-publishers. In my mind, I kinda classified them as a step sib to "real book publishing". I couldn't have been more wrong. Not only is e-publishing a million dollar industry, but for some genre, it is the ONLY option. For someone like me, who wants to introduce paranormal plots that have a little more flavor than True Blood or Twilight, e-publishing may even be the best choice.

One of my mentors sent me a comparison chart of some of the major e-publishers. Reputable companies aren't too much different that print publishers. The process of sifting the gold from the dross is pretty much the same. On the other hand, there are companies that allow a writer to sell their work, no matter how poorly written, without external review. It might be nice to have an ebook to sell to family and friends, but even with a small readership, my pride would want a fresh set of eyes to evaluate my work. Hell, my name is on that book. I want to be published, but I also want to be remember. And not for putting out second-rate trash.

Dak and Elise got pushed to the side this week. should be online in the next week or so.  I'm working the last edits on a series of shorts that I'll offer online.  As for writing, I'm working on  breathing life into a friend's fantasy. Have a few interviews lined up with interracial couples. Been a while since I was with a white boy, wonder if the rules have changed.  Doubt it ;-)

Happy writing,