Monday, March 26, 2012

The Glass is Half Empty

I'm a half empty glass kind of person. I don't see it as being pessimistic, I see it as realisitic. I mean, if the glass has potential for more, it is only half full. But something got me to thinking the other day, and I realized it is all about persepective and where you are in your life.

I was at my brothers house and he was saying how sad a life his autistic twins live that being allowed to play in the front yard was a huge treat. I told him it was kind of beautiful, the way they could be so happy about something so small. I was thinking of my own kids who took major outings to feel like something was memorable.

Another friend of mine said how she wished someone had told her ten years ago how perfect her life actually was. She was sad she had wasted so much time trying to change it. I had a simliar experience and told her that we all felt that way, and hindsight is 20/20, as they say. But I also thought maybe if someone would have told us this years ago, we wouldn't have listened, because we weren't ready to hear it.

All this got me to thinking about character arcs. Sometimes it feels like we need to make something vastly significant happen to change them, but really all it takes is a change in their persepctive. A way to make them look at things differently. And maybe something bad, will turn into to good, if we all just look at it a different way.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Social Media: Is it good or bad?

As hard as it is to believe, there are still some people who aren't involved in any kind of social media. I know some who hate the idea of it so completely they refuse to give it a chance.

As a want to be author, I really don't have a choice. If I don't have an online precense I can most likely kiss any book deal goodbye. Though I see the downside to it, the complete and total wasting away of hours and a time, I think it has merit.

Not only is it a good way to advertise things, but it also helps me to connect to people. There are people I have known my whole lives, that I didn't really know, until facebook. I like hearing funny, or interesting parts of their lives I otherwise would have no idea about. I like being connected.

I do get overwhelmed sometimes. I started with facebook, then worked my way to twitter, and then started this blog. But now I keep hearing about pinterst, and it's like, how many do I need to have an on-line presence?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Try, try again

'Tis a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again.
If at first you don't suceed
Try, try again.

Thomas H. Palmer

I am terrible at trying again. I can't actually think of something I have stuck with, hobby wise, for an long period of time. I quit ballet after a year, I quit softball after a season, I quit gymnastics after a few years, and I quit the piano. My mom always said if I didn't do it right the first time I just gave up.

I have been working on a book for more than a year. I have edited it so many times I have lost count, and really thought it was close to ready, maybe even there. Then I sent out a query. On the positive side I got back a personal letter telling me specific things to fix about it. The problem is she didn't like the voice of my main character, said it was too modern for the historical time period.

So now I am fighting my instincts to give up, and force myself to try again. I know so many people have queried hundreds of times and continued to fix their books, to perfect them. But others got it right the first time. So if we have to keep trying, do we really get it.

People have to work on anything they really want to be good at. If it were a musical instrument, and I had a bad performance, I wouldn't just give up. Or a bad interview wouldn't make me stop looking for a job. Still it is rejection, and rejection is always hard to take.

I guess at some point or another we all have to get back on that pony and ride.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What makes people read a particular book?

I've recently signed up for Goodreads, which is really great, and I noticed the wide variety of books the people I am friends with read. It got me to thinking, what makes people pick up a book? To actually read, that is.

For me, the biggest draw to a book is a recommendation from someone else. (Goodreads helps out a lot with this.) If someone I trust tells me to read a book, I usually at least give it a try.

Second, it is the author. If I have read something of theirs, or something about them, or even met them, I am willing to give their book a try.

Lastly, it is a bit shallow, but if I think the title and the cover are interesting. Along with that is the synopsis on the back. If it looks good, it draws me in.

I asked some people and they gave similar answers, but also interesting difference. My mom said she looks at the rating on audible, if it is above 3 she buys it. My husband says his number one thing is the price, though he often looks at the best sellers list.

So I wonder, what makes people read a particular book?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Grocery Shopping Rant

An exercise in writing about how much I loathe grocery shopping.

I try to avoid grocery shopping as much as possible, but to my great dismay, it is somehwat unavoidable. I mean, you gotta eat right?

I hate walking through those doors with the high ceilings and the artificial lights. I hate trying to find a cart that doesn't pull too far in one direction or the other. I hate when someone is standing in front of what you want just staring at it as though it is will magically change. I hate searching for items on my list that are in the completely wrong place-like how canned mushrooms are by the spaghetti instead of the canned vegetables.

The thing I hate most about it, the money I spend. It is so much more than anyone I know, and I can't figure out why. I do all the ad shopping, have tried coupon clipping, and even went as far as price matching. (A somewhat humble experience). And still I end up spending far more than I think I should. It just ticks me off every time. Spending so much money on stuff that in two weeks will be literally, waste.

The other thing that irritates me is the time I spend. I usually go to two stores because I don't buy my meat at the same place I buy everything else so it ends up taking me almost 3 hours. There are a million other things I want to be spending my time on.

If I could, I would pay someone to do it for me. Too bad I can't afford it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Trying to overcome the fear

Right now I am nearly paralyzed with fear, and when I am afraid of something I just procrastinate it for as long as possible. I don't think I can come up with anymore excuses though, it is time. Time to start sending out queries and trying to get an agent.

The reason I am so afraid is because of past failures. A few years ago I wrote a book and thought okay, great, wrote a book, send it out. Anyone who knows anything about publishing could tell you what a mistake that is. Thankfully, I joined the League of Writers and learned the process.

So this time, I wrote the book and then edited it 12 times. I had other people read it and then edited it again. Then I paid a local company to edit it. Then went through it a few more times.

Then I wrote my query letter. I read a book about writing query letters, I attended several conferences about it. I read tons of examples on the Internet. Then I begged a local author who wrote the book I read about querying to take a look at my letter. She graciously did, and sent back some changes.

For the last few months I have been using the excuse of the synopsis. I attended a conference where they gave some good advice. I read some examples and some advice on the Internet. I had a few people read it, and then sent it to my most trusted writing friend to review.

Now I am basically out of excuses, but I am still to afraid to send it out. I don't think the work could be anymore ready, but it is still bound for rejection. Tons and tons of rejection. Tomorrow I will test it, and send out a query letter, and hope for the best.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Why Women Read More Than Men

I read a twitter post today saying that you want women to like you book because they are the ones who are reading. I wasn't sure if it is true, I mean, I come from a family of readers. My brothers read, my dad does, and my husband reads a lot. My best friends husband is the one who got me into reading classics.

So I looked it up. According to an NPR article (Why Women Read More than Men)48% of women reported being frequent readers, while only 26% of men do. Of them, only account for 20% of the fiction readers. So men aren't reading, but when they are, it is non-fiction.

The article suggested that women are more empathetic and have a greater emotional range, allowing then to enjoy fiction more.

My first thought was, women enjoy the escape from reality more. I don't know if that is just me, but when I asked my husband he said the same thing. It isn't that life is so bad, it is just nice to have a break once and awhile. I love to escape into a world of fantasy where kids can fly and vampires are perfectly beautiful. I want to create this world for other people, so they can have an enjoyable experience for an afternoon, before they have to get back to real life and make dinner.