April 28, 2011

My Mid-Week Writing Goal

Did I meet my goal? Drum roll, please....

That would be a hell no, but hey, it's the thought that counts, right? It seemed totally feasible, and yet, life stepped in and drop kicked me. A very unexpected personal crisis came up this week, one I really don't care to talk about. It affects me, but it is not my story to tell. The only thing I will say is, "How do you help someone that doesn't want to be helped?" If you have an answer to this question, I'd love to hear it. I've had to deal with it in nursing clinical too and am still clueless. Nothing makes me feel more useless and helpless. I think I'd rather be bitch-slapped, to be perfectly honest. Anyways, it's getting late and I have clinical tomorrow so I'll say adieu. Until next time...

April 21, 2011

Upcoming Writing Conferences

Want to meet new people with similar interests and goals? How about meet agents and editors? Find a critique partner? There are some upcoming conferences you might want to check out. Pennwriters annual conference, being held this year in Pittsburg, PA, is next month from May 13-15. I went last year and had a wonderful time. I also got a request for a full copy of my manuscript by Jenny Bent, whom is one of my top choices for an agent. (This lady is put together, let me tell you. She knows her shit. She oozes confidence, and yet, seems totally sweet too). Another upcoming conference, also the May 13-15 weekend, is the annual SCBWI Canada East conference, held in Niagara, ON. Of course, the latter conference is for for those of you who write YA novels or children's books. And for romance writers, the RWA annual conference takes place end of June in NY.

I was torn between which conference I wanted to attend this year, but due to my clinical schedule, I still do not know if I'll be able to attend either of them. The sad thing is, I probably won't know until the first week of May which means not-so-cheap flights. Alas, I will probably have to miss both this year.

Is anyone out there going to Pennwriters? Have you been before? How about SCBWI? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

April 20, 2011

What I'm doing to reach the impossible dream...

Two posts in two days. Go me! It's not hard to tell my life has finally quieted down a little bit. Currently, I'm waiting to begin my third year clinical on a medical/surgery floor. After that, a month of vacation followed by seven weeks in either Cornwallis, NS or Vernon, BC. No, I don't know which one. No, I have no idea when I will go, although I'm assuming it will be before July 3rd. When you're in the military you kind of come to expect last minute travel plans and changes.

Concerning writing, I'm working on a YA manuscript right now that I'm very excited about. I'm 8,000 words in and the words are flowing this week. It's been a while since I've written with so much ease. Also, I can tell my writing is improving which is very encouraging. I believe this is the result of my perseverance, constant reading, and writing support groups. I have a critique partner, whom I met through Pennwriters, and a critique group (SCBWI affiliated). Plus, I've been reading romance novels like mad lately. Not only has this helped my writing, but it has helped my love life too. My husband and I are on the upward swing of the love train right now. Toot, toot!

What else am I doing? I am taking a course through Pennwriters called Writing With Authority by a couple who are published and teach at a popular college in the U.S. Through critiquing my writing submissions they have helped me take a much closer look at the flaws in my writing. I am happy to say I am already editing the MS I'm working on and am enjoying it. Before this course, I could have screamed, "I HATE REWRITES," but now, not so much. I think that before I was just scared to take a closer, more critical look at my work because I feared I might recognize my failures or inadequacies.  Plus, it's so much more fun to let the writing flow and live the scenes in your mind rather than worry about grammar, adverb overuse, and passive voice. But writing and rewriting are equally important, and I finally get that. The satisfaction of moving from an okay paragraph or page to one I'm kind of proud of makes me feel warm and tingly.

What is next you ask? My goal before I start clinical (Apr 28th) is another 7,000 words, for a total of 15,000. Totally doable, only a mere one thousand words a day. It'll be like a mini NaNoWriMo. Care to join in the madness?

April 19, 2011

Writing Groups

I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted. Not surprisingly, not much has changed. I am still unpublished and without an agent. That's okay, though. I've found some wonderful groups to belong to and they are helping me to improve my writing. Plus, the people in the groups are fantastic and so very helpful. If you intend to be published one day, I strongly suggest you join one.

I went to my first Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada meeting last month and am joining the group at the next meeting. It was a great time and the topic was Root, Root, Root for you Heroine. It was about what makes us root for some characters and not others. I made some new friends and got to bump elbows with some published authors, one of which was Donna Alward. I love, love, love Donna. If you are into romance, check our Sold to the Highest Bidder and Breathe. I couldn't put either of them down, and Breathe even made me teary. There has only been one other book to do that--The Time Traveller's Wife. 

So, if you live in the Atlantic Provinces and your writing involves romantic plot or subplot, come to the next meeting. I know they'd be glad to have you.

Until next time...