Saturday, June 30, 2007

Where I'm At on My Writing ...

Aneeka recently visited my blog and had a good question. She asked how my fantasy novel is going. I realized, that I've never talked a whole lot about my writing so thought I'd take this opportunity to tell ya all about it!

That fantasy novel I referred to earlier is called The Knotted Heart. It's a full epic fantasy about a girl, a wizard and a beast of a man and the way the journey they take to find love. I wrote it, it's done. BUT it needs HEAVY revising. I missed putting in a lot of the necessary detail ... At 200 pages it's basically only a detailed outline, lol. I thought I would revise it, but so far I've been enjoying working on other projects. The Knotted Heart was the story that called to me and made me want to be a writer, so the story is special to me. Some day, maybe, I'll have the courage to go back and revise it.

I've written three children's pictures books: The Famous Mouse of the Opera House, The Lullaby LadyBug, and It's Hard To Be A Dragon. I turned out to not be too much of a fan of the Dragon story, but I love the other two stories! The LadyBug has an original song with it too. I've sent The Opera Mouse out to publishers, but did not have any luck. I have not done anything more with it or The LadyBug, even though both are totally done and ready to go. Submitting is a weakness I need to work on strengthening.

Next I wrote a Middle-Grade novel called The Jump Boys. I entered The Jump Boys in the LDStorymakers contest in the winter and I won second place for the first chapter contest. It was great to get that validation! I haven't published anything and I think deep down I thought maybe I wasn't much of a writer after all. Maybe I had neat stories, but no talent for writing.

At the Storymakers conference I took a class from Tristi Pinkston. Oh man, I was there for that class alone. It gave me all I needed. She talked about how if you've felt that little feeling "I think I should write a book", it's not just a whim, it's a calling. If you've gotten the call, it also means that at somewhere deep inside of me I Do have a talent for writing, and if I desire it enough I can work on that skill and make it a useful talent in my life. Tristi's lesson changed my life.

I came away from the conference feeling like "I AM a writer!" Since then, I've been treating myself like a writer, acting more like a writer and working (though that could still use more help) like a writer.

I finished The Jump Boys, wrote a short story, "The Kings of Chaldea" and began work on another book. The Devil's Daughter will be a Young Adult novel about the literal daughter of Statan who desires to be good.

But I know, I know, I've GOT to start submitting. Jump Boys is done, yet I put it aside and work on writing other things, with Jump Boys gathering dust. I did submit it, my short and several poems in the League of Utah Writers contest, but otherwise, I'm not doing it justice just letting it sit around. I need to take some time, conquer my fear and start submitting.

I'm honestly not worried about rejections. At least I don't *think* that's why I'm hesitating to send it out. I think it's just that I don't feel skilled at finding editors/publishers to whom to submit my work. I need to work on that. Like I said, submitting is my weakness.

Goes back to that "Just Do It" thing. Life is really worth LIVING and ought not to be filled with TRYING, but DOING. So I think, starting now, I'll take a spoonful of my own medicine and start submitting!

I shall return and report!