Writing

On Swimming. And Writing. And Love Affairs With Story.

It’s consuming in a way. No, in all ways. Like a love affair. Or a roller coaster. Or a horror movie. It overshadows everything else in your world. It IS your world, Right Now In This Moment, permeating into every pore, every cell. This thing called creation. This growth of a story. This incubation period. Gestation. Evolution.

This immersion.

When you step away for a break or because other commitments make it necessary, it’s almost scary to return. You dip your toes in the water and think, am I ready for this? Am I ready to give myself over? To lose myself? To have this otherness responsible for whether I float or drown? To become dependent on it? To have it swallow me whole? To submerge? Am I ready to immerse?

Am I ready?

I will have to put everything else on the back burner, as they say. Bottom of the totem pole. Lowest priority. Things I’ve enjoyed being wholly present for while not consumed with Story. Things I love. Things I don’t necessarily want to have fade into the background. But it’s the price, isn’t it? The creative muse is selfish that way. “All or nothing,” it tells me. “I want you all for myself,” it purrs.

“You leave me,” my husband once said of my affairs with Story. Not literally, of course. I’m here. But I’m not. My body is here, but my mind is in bed with Story.

“MOM,” my son yells, because he’s had to say it four times before snapping me out of my reverie. “Mom, did you even hear me?”

No, I tell him. Because I’m not here. I’m not this mom you speak of. Not at this moment. I’m a character. In her skin. Or his. I’m seeing through other eyes. I’m reacting to other stimuli. “I’m sorry,” I tell him. “I was in my story.”

IN. As if I’m in another dimension. Inside. Part of.

Not merely treading water, or my senses would still be open to receive. Vulnerable to distraction. No. I’m under the water. Submerged. Baptized. Sound and light muted. Buffered. Protected. Shrouded from anything other than Story.

Like a siren, Story calls for me from its watery depths, luring me, pleading. My characters grow impatient. Pacing, checking their watches. “What’s taking you so long?” they say in unison, their features rippling just under the water’s surface. “Come back to us.”

“I’m coming,” I assure them, kicking the water with my toes, leaning ever so slightly over the edge of the dock, but even as the words come out of my mouth, butterflies swirl in my stomach. The thought of giving myself over so completely is both tantalizing and earth-shaking. Tempting and timorous. Irresistible and…..

Irresistible.

Irresistible. 

To be incapable of resisting. How totally and tragically accurate.

With a quick glance back at my life, at my family, at my friends, at my house, at my pets…my eyes say it all: Forgive me. I’m sorry. Be patient with me.

And then I slide into the water. Down. Further. Into the waiting arms of Story.

Immersed.

 

Secret Circle of Awesome

Most of you know I started this blog a couple years ago to build a platform, but after about three months, my motive flipped on its head when I fell head-over-heels for this new (to me) and exciting method of writing. Now? I blog for the love of it. It’s cathartic, fun, and I adore the community.

Some readers are here for my blog silliness. Others showed up after Order of Seven published and are here for book news. Only interested in blog content? Look right and you’ll see the “blog only” sign up, which you may already be subscribed to.

But for those interested in book news, I have something special for you.

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Hold My Tiara. I Have to Pee Again.

My hair is an oily, tangled mess. I’ve been in the same pajamas for three days. Okay, four. A soft, wooly layer of hair covers my legs, and that one, stubborn chin whisker gleams in the sunlight. Wrappers from food I don’t recall eating litters the floor at my feet. I wince every time my 8yo’s basketball hits the wall, and for the hundredth time, I ask the boys to be quiet, please, mommy is writing.

The hubs is not here today – he’s off competing in an endurance race.

But so am I. Only mine requires brain cells, not fitness. And instead of one day, it lasts thirty. (more…)

The 5 W’s and a Pile-o-Poo

I thought this might be a timely post with the recent end of Nanowrimo and all its stress-induced writer’s doubt. I know quite a few talented writers who aspire to publish (you know who you are!) but they haven’t started yet because it’s scary as hell. Fear of not being perfect freezes them. They choke at their keyboards, unable to let the ideas sprinkle through their fingertips.

I know exactly what the voices in their heads are saying: What if I fail?

I know because I thought those same things. So I ask you, what is your definition of failure? And regardless of your definition, wouldn’t you automatically fail if you never tried? (more…)

Author Beth Teliho’s Savvy Advice for First-Time Novelists

In which I dump all my writing/pubbing/marketing knowledge in one place. Paying it forward.  Use *THIS LINK* to read full post!

An Unedited Life

Beth Teliho Beth Teliho, author of “Order of Seven”

In May, I featured a review of a book titled “Order of Seven” that was blowing the mismatched socks off young-adult, paranormal/fantasy readers. Since then, first-time author Beth Teliho has continued to sell copies and rack up glowing reviews of her captivating book.

I asked Beth if she would consider writing a post for An Unedited Life about what it takes to write, self-publish and market a successful first novel, and she was kind enough to consent. Today, I have the honor of sharing that marvelous post with you. It’s packed full of need-to-know information for first-time novelists — or for anyone anywhere who is considering becoming a self-published author.

What follows is a post abundant with common sense, priceless links and sound advice — all offered up from Beth’s own first-hand experience and in her distinctive and humorous voice. Trust me, you’re going to…

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I DON’T WANT TO SEE DEAD PEOPLE!

GUYS.

I’m not even kidding. In exactly one week I’ll be staying in a haunted house for four whole days. HAUNTED. Like for reals.

You know I love this shit. I mean, duh, I wrote about it. I’m obsessed with the paranormal and I love watching shows about ghosts or ghost hunters. But that’s on TV.

As in from AFAR.

I am not down with close and personal ghost encounters. I repeat: I am not down with it.

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Because you’re smart, I give you this

You want to know why books like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl are such a hit? Because they’re smart and unexpected. In the literary world, plots tend to get diluted and predictable, and it’s awesome when an author is enlightened and brave enough to break out of formulaic confines and actually surprise readers.

(cough-giveaway ahead-cough) 

Because I consider you to be the savvy sort of reader, I bring you a novel whose author did exactly what I described above. DEAR STEPHANIE by Mandi Castle. (< hit that title to go straight to Amazon and order! Released TODAY!)

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SKY ROCKETS IN FLIGHT

Sometimes little gifts fall out of the sky into my lap. That’s exactly what happened when my friend, Sister Wife, and blogger-buddy-extraordinaire, Samara, agreed to guest post here. If you don’t already know her (how could you not??), be prepared for passionate, fiery, sweet as pie, and funny as hell. Without further ado….

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WAHM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM

Quite early this past Saturday morning, I was in Writer-Beast-Mode with a deadline dangling over my head, typing busily on my laptop while my eight-year-old twirled around me, talking nonstop as he’s known to do. I was half-paying attention to him, nodding and smiling, certainly not 100% present, I admit. Until he said this and my world came to a screeching halt:

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YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW!

Guys. It’s live. Right this second. Order of Seven is on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It has my name on it. Because I wrote it. My name is on a book.

MY NAME IS ON A BOOK.

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