Wednesday, September 6, 2017

This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as the Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by the one and only, Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you're a writer, insecure, or just supportive of writers—insecure or not—please join us. It happens the first Wednesday of each month.

I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words will be appreciated. 
Today's optional IWSG day question is: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? 
  
I’m a poet...
And I never would have thunk it...
Except...
Many years back...
My mother always kept a shoebox in her closet...
I always wondered what she kept inside...
But never a snoop, I never opened it...
Until after she died...
When I found that old shoebox again.
After years of wondering...
I opened it...
Wow!
Inside were poems I wrote as a kid...
She saved them!
I had totally forgotten about them.
Here's one I wrote when I was ten...
I was very much influenced by Edgar Allan Poe at the time...

THE NIGHTMARE OF THE OLD WINDMILL

Through a field and over a hill,
There I found an old windmill.

Deserted of course, I went inside,
Thirty feet long and twenty feet wide.

Would make a good hideout, don't you think?
A candle for light and a basin for a sink?

Out of the mill and down the hill,
Through the field I race.
Into the house and into my room,
With such a goodly pace.

To tell my pets, to tell my dolls,
On my bedroom shelf,

To tell my friends, Maggie and Joe,
And of course to tell myself.

Through the field and up the hill,
And into the old windmill,

There I find in the window,
A head upon the sill.

It's coming closer and closer to me,
Above the head my mother I see.

Out of the mill and down the hill,
Through the field I fall.

Now I hear the breakfast call.

The morning sun fell on my bed,
And I wake up filled with dread,

Remembering the nightmare of the old windmill.

And what’s cooler than finding these old poems? 
Is that this one actually got published...
In my sister’s high school paper, no less...
Yeah, she passed it off as hers, but hey!
I got published!!!
So...
If I hadn’t found and snooped in that box my mother kept...
I might have forgotten that my first writings...
Were poetry.
What about you? 
Ever write poetry?
Ever snoop in your mom's closet?
What writing of yours surprised you?

Always,
Em-Musing



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

DON'T DIS ME

This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as the Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by the one and only, Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you're a writer, insecure, or just supportive of writers—insecure or not—please join us. It happens the first Wednesday of each month.
I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words will be appreciated. 

Optional Question for today's IWSG blog: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

My pet peeve for all three is... 
Distractions!
Wait, that’s not true...
It’s not distractions that irk the crap out of me...
It’s my brain... 
Allowing distractions to distract me.
People always ask me...
“Why do you get up so early in the morning?”
Because at 4:30 there are less distractions.
Actually, there are no distractions...
Unless you consider an occasional bad cup of coffee a distraction.
For me...
In the dark of early morning...
When the house is totally quiet...
And I make my cup of java...
Burn my palo santo incense...
My brain is calm...
Creative thoughts form and flow...
And I and my brain are at peace...
Allowing me to focus on writing, editing, and sometimes reading.
But once the sun starts peeking over the palm trees.
The kiskadees start singing...
And my jungle kitty endlessly pesters me for food...
My mind wanders to:

BILLS:
Lord! Did I really spend that much on Amazon?

CHORES:
I don’t want to do the wash, but my hamper smells like an elephants butt.
(not that I've smelled an elephants butt...but one can imagine)  

PHONE CALLS:
I should call so-and-so, but Lord! They don't know when to shut up. 
(thank goodness my family and friends hardly ever read my blog) 

HUNGER:
I don’t feel like cooking. What’s in the fridge anyway? Should I go out? Where?

COMPUTER ISSUES:
Have I backed up? Downloaded the newest version of ‘whatever’? 
(does it ever end?)

SOCIAL MEDIA:
I need to work on building my web page. Get more active on twitter.

PUBLISHING
Ah, the many choices! Which way to go?
For a great resource on publishing check out Jane Friedman's site 

NETFLIX
No explanation necessary

As you can see my mind can go from creative to chaos faster than a roomful of grannies yelling, "BINGO!" on a Friday night.  
So?
What about you?
Got pet peeves?
Get distracted?
How do you deal with it all?

Always, 
Em-Musing

P.S. and my biggest distraction this summer? My two-week trip to Italy with my two daughters and four grandkids. Here I am at Vernazzi,Cinque Terre, northwestern region of Italy on the Ligurian sea. (oh, the planning details!)


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

VIRTUE REALITY

This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as the Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by the one and only, Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you're a writer, insecure, or just supportive of writers—insecure or not—please join us. It happens the first Wednesday of each month.
I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words will be appreciated.   

Today’s optional question: What is one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?

What lesson have I learned? 
Everything takes longer than you think. Find patience.

"Patience is the greatest of all virtues"- Cato the Elder 234 BC-149 BC  

**years ago** 
Me:       My manuscript’s ready!
Patience: Not yet. Edit.
Me:       Did it. Now I’m ready.
Patience: Nope. Keep editing.
Me:       Did it. For sure, my manuscript is ready.
Patience: Not yet. Firm up the storyline.
Me:       OK, done, now can I query?
Patience: Flesh out the characters.
Me:       OK, did it. I have to be ready now, no?
Patience: Not even close. Find a beta reader.
Me:       OK did that too. I’m ready to query.
Patience: You need to research agents. Personalize each one.
Me:       EH! This is taking too long!! I want to query now!
Patience: Your query isn't ready. It can’t be over 300 words.
Me:       Seriously?
Patience: Cut, revise, tighten. Have someone read your query.
Me:       I’ve written a whole manuscript! Why can’t I write a query?!
Patience: Just do it!
Me:       Phew! Done! Finite! Now am I ready?
Patience: Yes. Let the querying begin!
Me:       Hey Cato! Maybe patience was a virtue to you...
           But to me...
           Patience is a royal pain in the patootie! (with benefits)

How 'bout you? Got patience?

Always,

Em-Musing

Thursday, June 15, 2017

JUXTA ALTERNATIVE POSITON

I’m querying again... 
Eh, eh, eh…and EH!!!
Also...
I’ve been getting emails for dating services...
Eh, eh, eh...and EH!!!
(Yes, I admit it. I checked out a few)
And then I got to thinking...
Querying is like trying to find a date...
That perfect match with all the right qualities.
Eliminating all the wrong, icky, or...
"Are you frickin'kidding me?" ones.
Whoa,wait a minute...
Ah HAH! I got it!
If I was queen in my very own universe...
I could do things my way...
I would juxtapose how querying works.
In my universe...
Agents would seek out authors and manuscripts at:
Find Your Perfect Manuscript.com.
Agents would put in what they’re looking for...
Genre, age categories, word count, author’s platorm...
And then...
Find Your Perfect Manuscript.com.
Would have bots or spiders perusing manuscripts...
And of course they'd edit and make corrections as they crawled...
And then...
Find Your Perfect Manuscript.com...
Would match up agents with all matching manuscripts:
And then...
We writers would get wonderful emails titled: 
“He winked at your query”
“She chose your query”
“These agents like what they see”
Wouldn’t that be perfect?
Querying would become a thing of the past...
There'd be publishing websites...
Where authors could see how getting traditionally published used to be...
Links would show actual query and rejection letters... 
Authors would leave comments like:
I can't believe agents actually expected authors to do all the hard work.
How did authors survive rejection letters?
So?
Are you with me on this?

Always,
Em-Musing

P.S. After working more hours (weeks) than I need to share...I have a query to be proud of thanks to my writer buds. And to be honest...I loved the journe

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

PLEASE RELEASE ME, LET ME GO!

This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as the Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by the one and only, Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you're a writer, insecure, or just supportive of writers—insecure or not—please join us. It happens the first Wednesday of each month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words will be appreciated.



This month’s question? Did you ever say, “I quit”? 
If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?
Me?
Quit writing?
Never!
But I have quit a manuscript.
But not for long because
It was painfully annoying
And the guilt was killing me.
Manuscript: Hey Em! Why are you putting me away?
I don’t want to be put into a file.
Me: It won’t be for long.
Manuscript: I don’t want to be forgotten like all those poems you’ve written and haven’t looked at again.
Me: I just lost passion for them. Got insecure. I promise
I’ll bring you out again.
A few months went by
Manuscript: Hey Em! Remember me?
Me: Oh hi, manuscript.
Manuscript: See! You did forget about me. Didn’t you ever wonder how I was doing? Didn’t you care that I might have felt abandoned? Lonely?
Me: Well now that  you mention it, yeah I did wonder.
Manuscript: Then take me out. Give me life again.
And I did. 
Because the guilt I felt for abandoning my manuscript. . .
Wasn't worth it. 
And actually I am in the process of working on the query for the manuscript to send to agents. . .
Yet again! Lord help me!!
So?
What about you?
 Ever abandon a manuscript?
Did you feel guilty?

Always,
Em-Musing