July 30, 2010

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow...

Last week I noticed noises coming from my laptop, sort of like a low buzz that had never been there before - I thought it was static on the old radio in my office. But no! It was my baby, starting to groan a sad good bye.

The next morning I turned on the laptop and was flabbergasted. There were multi colored stripes running horizontally, a loud wall paper kind of thing, in shades of pink and brown. Not at all unpleasant but I knew the meaning behind the sight was not a good thing.

I'd seen that look once before on the unit and that was when the video part of the computer went bonkers and had to be fixed, both costly in time and money.

I'd hoped the laptop would last until fall. But it was living on borrowed time. It had been fixed two years earlier. I bought it used in the first place, though it wasn't cheap. Macs never are, it seems.

So, a quick trip to my Mac Lady told me that the innards on my baby were shot and could not be fixed. Even if it could be fixed no guarantee came with the costly repair this time.

Off I went to Micro Center and purchased a Mac Book Pro, on sale and just what I'd dreamed of having. A printer came with it for $30 plus a $30 rebate.

The Mac Lady - Lynn - at Mac Mobile in Columbus was able to save everything on my hard drive and get my programs set up on the new machine.

So begins a new love affair with my new Mac.

However each time I sit down at this new machine, I can still see my old baby opened up with all her parts strewn across the desk of the repair shop. Not a pretty sight.

Oh, parting is such sweet sorrow. Then, again, I'm sitting here smiling as I write.

My best to you as I now return to my corrections on HUNGRY!

July 23, 2010

Writer & Story: A Tale of Lovers...

I'm totally excited at this point in my editing of my novel. I'm nearing the last 20 pages and as the story comes full circle - and I must say well edited by several friends and myself - I can see why I've always believed in this story centering on Vada Faith Waddell's quest to be "somebody" more than who she is when the story opens.

I'm excited as I begin to think of marketing this novel - again.

I was burned out a year or two ago when I worked to come up with a new marketing plan. My feet were dragging and I was no longer interested in the project. That's called STORY BURNOUT. It happens to all of us, especially those of us who have labored to birth a particularly difficult story over the period of several years. What started out as a glorious projects brings one into the depths of despair as they realize the story may never be read by anyone other than oneself and his/her friends.

The story wasn't difficult in the creativity phase. That was the biggest high I'd ever been on. It seemed to me it was the best story I'd ever read. Women's fiction anyway.

The relationship between myself and this story has gone through many phases. We were lovers in the beginning in the best of ways - we could not get enough of each other. Then the togetherness started to get on my nerves - what the characters had done in the beginning to excite me now depressed me. What was I thinking, writing such a story? Too many people going in too many directions. It involved much thinking, sweating, rearranging, rewriting, copying and pasting. Moving everything around was much like moving a house full of furniture cross country on a rickety pick up truck.
Pieces fell out, pieces got jostled, some pieces simply got crushed during the ride.

My relationship with HUNGRY FOR CHOCOLATE has come full circle and I'm in love again and ready to market the heck out of this story. With all that I have and all that I am I will see this story through to publication, one way or another.

That's dedication and my story of the changing relationship between this writer and her story.

How's your project coming along? What phase are you in on this hot July day?

Blessings on whatever and wherever you are with your writing and life!

July 14, 2010

Backstory on HUNGRY FOR CHOCOLATE

Just a quick update on my progress reading through HUNGRY FOR CHOCOLATE. Since getting the BOLD print debacle corrected, things are going along much more smoothly with the story.

I'm going to skip back to the story behind HUNGRY because of a few questions I received. That manuscript was with an excellent literary agent for four years. It didn't sell after repeated efforts. It may be that the story was before its time. That's why my next marketing efforts will be directed at a publisher in WV.
Its tone is distinctly West Virginian.

HUNGRY is set in WV and is about a surrogacy gone wrong. The main character, Vada Faith Waddell, wants to make some extra money - she can't seem to make enough for a down payment from her job at the beauty shop for a down payment on a new home out in the fancy subdivision of Crystal Springs -SO she decides to answer an ad in the local paper and become a surrogate mother. She figures it can't be all that hard. She already has a set of six year old twins girls. She knows pregnancy is no picnic but in nine months she'll have her big new house and this dear sweet couple will have the precious gift of a baby.
An uninformed and impatient person, she agrees to use her egg to create this child, making it her biological baby. BIG MISTAKE.

Before long she realizes the couple is unscrupulous, and are in trouble with the law for bilking old people out of money through their home remodeling company. Their story is on national news.
But Vada Faith is already pregnant. Then she realizes she cannot give up her baby. Her husband, John Wasper, will do anything for his wife except raise a baby belonging to the alleged criminal Roy Kilgore and his ditzy wife Dottie.

Vada Faith miscarries before her nightmare of giving away this baby is ever realized. She nearly loses her husband and her family along with her unborn child. She's only a few weeks into the pregnancy but the time element makes no difference when you've lost a child.

The setting of the fictional town of Shady Creek, WV is almost a character as the townspeople rise up against surrogacy and make Vada Faith question her reasons for making this decision in the first place. Some of their battles are fought out on local television on the Maddie Magill talk show.

Vada Faith's story is one of complicated human emotions but also of redemption and the rebirth of a marriage.

July 10, 2010

Update on editing HUNGRY...

As I was printing off the 300+ pages to read, I decided mid print that for some reason I'd put the manuscript in BOLD and that I needed to put it in regular print to save on ink. Not sure why I did it in bold in the first place as I was setting up the novel. Anyway, I went in and corrected the problem. Changed the print to plain for the rest of the pages.

After printing, I read the first 100 pages with no problem. Actually the novel read like a book off a book store shelf. (I always joked that my goal was to have a book on the bargain table at Big Lots.)

When I got to page 101, the material no longer matched though the page numbers were in sequence. It took a while for me to ponder the situation and figure out what was wrong.

Taking away the bold print had re figured the pages. I was now missing several chapters which I had to go back and print.

Anytime I come across a problem like this I've finally figured out at my age that I have to work on it first thing in the morning. As the day goes on my brain turns to mush and seems to concentrate on chocolate and other necessities of life. IT cannot wrap itself around problem solving.

I'm happy to report that the pages continue to read well and I'm excited. I hope as I finish this project for the tenth time that I can find a publisher.

I'll be seeking publishers in West Virginia as I believe that's the market for this particular story.

It's interesting that as long as I've been writing I still don't know everything there is to know about writing. I've learned how little I know - and that's part of the fun and excitement of writing. There's always something else to learn.

Did I tell you I started writing on a typewriter back in the seventies. Not electric either, with typewriter paper and carbon paper. I used to sit at the dining room table and I felt very writerly in jeans and t shirt with orange ear plugs sticking out of my ears to ward off the noise of children playing on the floor beside me. Those were the good old days. Really, I miss them.

Though I have to admit I love my laptop and all the luxuries it affords me.

Here's to happier editing days for all of us. Keep writing.

Blessings!

July 4, 2010

Hungry for Chocolate or endlessly editing...

HUNGRY FOR CHOCOLATE is the novel on which I worked this past week. I finally finished making the changes my writing buddy/professor/friend Liz suggested. Now it's time to read the story through to see how it reads.

This is a work in progress that I've worked on for far too long. But in writing a story, how long is too long?

The story was born over ten years ago via a short story titled Joy Ruth and Vada Faith, twins - it never went beyond my desk, it may be more a character study than a finished story.

Then it branched into a novel and became Vada Faith's story - a much changed VF from the first story. It became the story of her life, her relationship with her twin sister, and with her husband and extended family, then gathers around her surrogacy- a surrogacy that goes wrong, both in hilarious and heartbreaking ways. She's always wanted to be something more than she was and goes about it entirely the wrong way.

More on this as I go through the endless process of editing.

Blessings.