Monday, November 26, 2007


I must confess, I haven't the foggiest idea what NaNoWriMo means. I put off writing this blog because I was hoping one of my blogging colleagueswould enlighten me, but it looks as though I am out of luck.

Okay, so I'll approach this the way I tell my kids to approach new words when they are reading. Break it down. "NaNo." Hmm. Maybe I'm supposed to write about Mork from Ork. I never actually saw the show, but I did see the one where he appeared on Happy Days, or was it Laverne and Shirley?

No help there. I'll keep going. "Wri." that's probably something to do with writing. Mork from Ork writes? Writing about Mork from Ork? Hmmm. That has possibilities I guess.

"Mo." More? Month? Missouri? Mork from Ork writes about Missouri? What would Mork write about Missouri? It's the Show Me state, and Mork probably has lots of things to show us earthlings about how to live. And it has a pro football team. It used to be the Cardinals, but they went to Phoenix. Now it's the Rams, which used to be in Anaheim and before that were in Los Angeles, which is referred to as LA. Hey! I could add another syllable to this month's topic, making it NaNoWriMoLA!

I'm not Robin Williams and I'm lousy at stream of consciousness ad lib. I think I've about taken this topic, whatever it is, as far as it can go. So from Texas, which is not LaLa Land, Nano Nano! and good night!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ginger, Enspiren Press, and all things nice!

Recently had the pleasure of cyber meeting a few new writers and editors over at Enspiren Press. One such writer who keeps me smiling and giggling is Ginger. To get a taste of her humor click on her icon to the left and visit her blog.

Ginger goes into the frenzied holiday season of gift-giving, that time of year where you need to have common sense, a wad of bills in your wallet, a list what to buy or else you'll end up with crap just because it was on special, an arm like Superman to push your way from the crowd...ahhh, don't ya' love it?

But for us writers it also means a turning point- a new year about to begin where we have another chance to begin anew with fresh resolutions to make. Well, I don't make resolutions anymore. Figure if I don't make one I don't set myself up for a boo-hoo episode. I tell myself the same thing once New Year's chimes in: I'll do the best that I can. I figure this covers it all and allows me to 'do the best that I can' in everything.

Now, I mention Enspiren Press and all things nice. The publisher, editors, and authors I've met so far are the 'all things nice'. It encourages me to find a whole group of writers and editors who are as giving, helpful, and gifted with a sense of humor like me. And this, for those who have heard my 'sob' story and know me, is such a delight compared to the ignoramus writers group I had joined when I first started out. Hogging and never sharing...ANYTHING!. Crits were basically what I deplore, "You suck!" Geez, thanks, now care to share what part sucks so I can hone it?

But what has this to do with Ginger, Enspiren Press, and all things nice? Tons. It's the season of giving and to be involved with a group that keeps your motivation and spirits high for a writer only intensifies the writing muse in you.

So to these newfound friends I say "Hello and Thank You!"

Lea Schizas

NaNoWriMo and Inner Demons

This year, I have too many half-done projects to start a new one, so I'm using the month (and the Catholic Writer's Guild challenge, 30K for Christ) to work on The Miscria: Hero Psychic. This is the third book in the as-yet-unpublished Miscria Trilogy. I've had the story in my head for two years now, but couldnt' make myself write it down. Even now, I've got mixed feelings about it.

On the one hand, I'm at 15,000 words and the story line is starting to take shape. I have a very general outline of events, but this always changes in writing.

However, it's not been a comfortable experience for me. You see, I've been trying for seven years now to sell this trilogy to a publisher or agent. So far, the best replies have been rejections. About half of the folks (and these are reliable agents I've checked out) haven't even bothered to reply to the original message or follow-up. So even as I feel driven to finish the trilogy, I'm also confronted by my personal demons: inadequacy and low self-esteem. Am I just kidding myself, wasting time and losing money on a hobby I pretend is a career? Other authors, some of whom I frankly think I'm better than, are well published in big publishing houses. So what am I missing--and why can't I seem to find it when I let the house go to waste and feed my kids too much pizza and burgers while I pursue it?

This is why I'd put off finishing this manuscript for so long, and now that I've dedicated my month to getting 30K words into it, I find myself battling these thoughts on a daily basis. Do I need a contract from Tor or do I need to give up, accept that I'm a fairly talented, but mid-range author, and settle for never seeing my books lining the bookshelves next to Mercedes Lackey's latest?

Second, there's the problem I mentioned above--no matter how carefully I imagine my stories or how detailed my outline, the characters change it when I actually start to write. Deryl has completely thrown my plans out the window--he's grown up in the months I left him festering, and he understands his place on Kanaan better than I imagined. Of course, that means I needed to revise the conflict--and I needed a new reason to send him back to Earth. Of course, no sooner had he solved that than I realized my Joshua-Sachiko subplot won't work: it takes too long and doesn't really add to the story. But it's fun, and it's the one I've been imagining for two years, so now I'm back to square one with them.

I'm 8,000 words behind, but I couldn't stand the house any longer, adn cleaned it just in time for thanskgiving weekend, which will mess it up again. The holiday season is coming--and for a squadron commander's wife, that means extra (though fun) obligations. I have a list of things to do and people to contact for CWG and the conference. I'm beginning to daydream about being able to split into four people. Such is the life of a stay-at-home writer/Mom. Frankly, it's probably about the same for anyone for whom writing is not a full-time breadwinning career. Still, despite the demands, the disappointments, and the inner demons, I wouldn't give up this life for the world.

I'd still like a juicy contract from Tor, though. Say a prayer, please.