Friday, October 29, 2010

Panic, frustration and school daze.

Hi fellow readers  sorry I am late, busy week. Maybe you can sense my feelings by this weeks title. I could add more, back ache, head ache and sore throat. It is amazing how many emotions you feel in one week, how many tiny things that you must get done, these  seem to creep in one by one so that you end up feeling as if you are always running. Anyway, even with the week being cut so much shorter than normal because of the two half days for teacher conference, reason for my sense of my fear, panic, and frustration. I realise that from now on, the rest of the year is going to pass by in a blur too. Most weeks in November have a day set aside for the kids to be off from school, taking into account curriculum days or inset days, holidays.We will be into December before we know it, and with all the frenzy that month brings of school activities, parties, buying presents and family visiting I feel I am getting an ulcer at the thought of how I am going to fit any work in !!!! No really part of me is joking I will fit it in!!!!

Believe you me, any time I have I spend glued to the computer, I am having to be very strict with my routine, my gym has been put on hold this week, which although I love going , I love writing more. However I did make it out for a walk, and coffee with some friends, which was my treat to myself, and a delight thanks, ladies!!!!Working my way through my manuscript I can now empathize with such author's as the great  Stephanie Meyer, and as to why and how she only took three months to complete hers . Because it is consuming, it is difficult to focus or give attention to anything or one else, so to get it finished as quickly as possible must be top  priority, when you have family. I feel this strongly for two reasons, 1. When you are in the throws of the story to stop break away means it is so much harder to get started again and you just want to keep going. So it is, work, work, work, it takes dedication, commitment, and a passion to see it through.I have them all. 2. Don't want to miss out with all the things that the kids are doing or want your attention for . The family needs to be so patient, and supporting during this time, as they are for the most part !!!!!

With the teacher conferences I am the one who goes, my husband working and at meetings so it is impossible for him to attend. I know the issues, know the teachers and love the kids getting excited as they manage the conference, and show me their work, as they are student led meetings, they want your admiration, need your support, so I am there. I am there cooking their tea or dinner as my friend would scold me, I am there to ensure they study, read their books, and do their homework. I have three at home that need this time, and attention.I help to organise crafts for the school Halloween party and arrange play dates for the kids so they are Happy, take them to their Art classes, and pick them up from their Ultimate sports events, drag them to their Basketball camps, and sign them up for a variety of Fall activities to further keep them, and in turn myself busy. Deal with the friction that is caused by having siblings who argue over who is in their seat, or who has had their candy, ipod, money, toothbrush sweatshirt?? You get the idea! Does, this happen in your house at 6am 2,30pm and anytime we are all in the car together. My boys punch each other to say hello, my voice is hoarse with telling them to be nice and not mean to each other argh!!!! Yet at the end of the day they settled in together in one of their rooms reading listening to music, they can be nice...sometimes I even got 2nd choice from my son who came home with his first ever bowl from pottery, guess who got 1st ????  This is my week to vent my frustrations sorry !!!!! Sorry then there was the day that Luke was sick and my back ached from the uncomfortable seat etc !!!!!

Having said all that I am writing, trying to stay calm, knowing it is my first attempt at such a project, so not to be too hard on myself. Yet I want to get to the end of the story so I can feel as if I have achieved that and then I need to go through everything and change things around until I am happy it is ready. Generally it is coming along fairly well, my husband did have to reinforce that I needed to save my work on the computer as I had been writing for so long and just closed the file. However, I must have automatically just pressed save, because if I hadn't I would not be here, but in some loony bin. However  he is good like that, telling me to do something after the horse is bolted!!! I do love him. I have now saved it onto a memory stick as I was concerned I would lose everything, which would not be my finest hour.I am about 5 chapters away from starting on the new work which is about where I thought I would be, so  with everything going on, this is great. I have called my next chapter the Sunday roast I took that name from my brother in laws radio show so I just wanted to let him know I am always thinking of them in many ways, and appreciate their help xxxx and input xxxx .

When you are writing for sometime it is funny how you begin to analyse the plot and the way it is going and the little things that you can add to it .For example in one part Mia the main female character has a necklace stolen  this piece has  quite a significant part to play.The necklace has more meaning that it seems, they have to  discover this, and then get it  back to help them in their quest. I love this, I had it in my  head that she would have this necklace,  the design and everything I wanted it to stand for, so I have used that into the design.Then I wanted to use the actual necklace to somehow be something they could use as a tool so I have written that as well .This I find so exciting and exhilarating, as I find it is in the details that the story seems more alive and real to me.

Anyway I know this week is a bit all over the place, letting you into my sometimes crazy world, but I love it. Time does go so quickly and there is not enough of it I try not to lose sight of what is important which is my family, they are my first concern, this comes a very close second . Also I came across an almost new copy of the idiots guide to getting published ... just fate!!!! .. it is quite a funny read, anyway had a brief look, through any publishers out there ??? In time, all in good time .Have to finish the book first !!!!

 "There are good days and there are bad days and this is one of them"
Lawrence Welk.
"Drama is life with the dull bits cut out"
Alfred Hitchcock.
That's all for now cheers Jen xx

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hard work

"The power of change is always in your hands"   Barbara J.Hall

Life is funny sometimes just as you settle get into a routine and feel confident that you have chosen wisely what it is you want to do .Life throws you a curve ball .This week I had a phone call from a school principal offering me a job .At the beginning of the summer I had applied on line for a noon time attendant position within the elementary schools in my town.I love being around children and I was hoping to get a job at my youngest school so I could be involved and see what went on .Perfect start back into the work force school hours local holidays perfect .However there were no vacancies .Now middle of October there is a full time position .I really had to think of how to decline the offer so committed now to my writing that I cannot consider such a break in the routine knowing I would never finish the book .So as I returned the call to the Principal I spoke very carefully,hesitantly  thinking maybe next year I will be regretting this ...... I hope not.Needless to say my husband reaction was "He offered you the job and you turned him down" he was gutted! .

Anyway another point I wanted to share this week is my complete ignorance of technology.Since the beginning of writing this story "The Promise" I have written every word, thought by hand .Going through reams and reams of paper I have it in my office, on my shelf, in my drawers,and on my bed side table .My ever supportive partner,husband has been telling me to put it all on the computer it is so much easier blah blah blah.I resisted not just because he mentioned it but because I was worried I would somehow lose everything .However one day last week I started typing it in and OH MY GOD I have been there ever since .Of course all I get from my wonderful husband is I told you so but it really is making life so much easier although whereas I was getting to start on Chapter 20 .I am now going through and typing out Chapter 8 and as I do this I am making amendments ,changes so  I reckon it will take me about 2 weeks to get up the point where I can work on the latest chapter again.

I have however sent out my prologue and Chapter one for my sister and my oldest son to have a peek at hoping for some much needed feedback.Really wanting an opinion as to whether I should just chuck it all in now or do I have a chance at creating something other people will be interested in ? I am going to ask for my oldest son to become an advisor as well as my brother in law to help with the music/band side of the book offering to name them in the credits as I will for all who help me in my research.
There are still so many gaps I need to fill and I have a plan to find the information I need.

The more serious  I have become  the better I feel about actually visualising the end of the book .Each day my kids come home and enquire how many pages today mum ? Oh also I asked my middle child would you read my book his reply was "A.depends how many pages it had B .If everyone read it then so would I" . I guess he doesn't quite understand the unconditional love part or does that only apply to us as mothers and not when it comes to how our kids feel about us !He made me laugh and the fact they are curious about what I am doing gives me some hope they may read it sometime.

Everyday day I am still eager, and excited to get to the writing and not to miss any time I could use to develop the story.Some days I have brilliant inspiring music other days I just prefer the absolute silence.

Until next time,

"I am a great believer in luck,and I find the harder I work the more I have of it "
Thomas Jefferson.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dont give up

This week has been a bit of a big dipper of weeks .The first weeks of anything new is exciting, challenging you know that honeymoon feeling .As things settle, and take shape it becomes harder to maintain the original feeling of euphoria.You begin to doubt how far you can go, whether you will ever finish ,will it be good enough for anyone other than yourself .Self doubt creeps in .

As the chapters before have been relatively easy to create so now the story gets more challenging to sustain .Trying to bring in the sub plot ,and maintain the original sense of romance ,and develop the story further, is really scary .Then trying to make the characters seem real ,and come alive before your eye's is a major concern .I find myself dreaming of how they look, how they sound ,what kind of sense humour they  would have , their quirks, their sense of fashion, music, oh my God what have I done, it goes on  .It is truly endless .Creating someone that seems authentic, real, someone people will  be drawn to and interested in ,one can only try .

I found myself avoiding the next couple of chapters not sure of how I could put the message I wanted across so instead I went back ,and rewrote the first chapter which was difficult anyway ,and in doing so found I could then carry on ,and just wrote .I read somewhere I think it was in the, "Idiots guide to writing a novel", that it is important  to write something , anything , it can be amended, improved upon , altered , rewritten but if there is nothing on the paper, there is nothing to change or redo .This is so true .

Writing has become an  addiction ,which once you have that craving ,you just want to spend all the time feeding it .This week has been so productive I am so pleased with how organised I can be when necessary .I need to work on feeling less guilty about not doing other things like being more social or volunteering in the school .However ,this is my  job now, my career that is how serious I am about this .I am not published ,and so  will not call myself a writer until I have something that I can tuck under my belt namely a book, but I feel I am on my way .,

I leave you with this thought as I need to finish the chapter I am on ,
"Never be afraid or hesitant to step off the accepted path ,and head in your own direction if your heart tells you that it's the right way for you ."
Edmund O'Neill .
This is what I have to do right now, and go wherever it takes me and I just love it !!!!

Bye for now Jen xx

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Live the dream

I have discovered on my venture of becoming a writer, that most must live very reclusive lives. Maybe not  always but  certainly whilst in the throws of  writing their best selling books .You find yourself saying," No" to so many social events ,coffee mornings, lunches ,school volunteering .It is even difficult to manage the desire to go food shopping apart from the fact there  is no food in the house and the kids are starving .Ironing is out the window, my house is still a mess even though  I am home all day .God forbid the kids should be ill !!!!  I have not even gone shopping for anything ,clothes ,Halloween decorations ,birthday presents, and I need to go !!!My husband is very pleased with this though,  I wonder why .

However , I find I need to stay ,and get on with the writing whilst my story is going along so well .
Therefore I am so curious as to how other writers manage with anything outside of their writing, do they stop to eat ,what about the kids , homework ,school activities ,any kind of social life etc .Or does all of that just freeze for the time it takes to write a book .You see I am trying to dictate, that I write whilst the children are in school but it is difficult as sometimes you don't want to stop but have to .I know for example, Stephanie Meyer did not cook ,they ate out a lot .I wonder how Jodi Picoult manages ? I love them , and admire them ,how do they manage, they are mothers too . So I wonder if they all have it set up so that every day activities ,the normal run of the mill things would be done by someone else , so they are free to research and write but is this every day, and for how long ??

This might make my husband flip his lid ,"Honey I am at home all day but I think we need someone to do the laundry, ironing,cooking and a child minder for the kids. " Also , when the kids have been gone all day they want, crave your attention how can you ignore that ,well  I cannot  so I have to work within those hours of school or at night which is tricky in the week as by 9.30  I am ready for bed . Sad I know. 

Writing consumes you . When it starts to flow you have to keep going whether it is going to end up a train wreck or not I am not quite sure yet .I read one chapter to my ever patient husband ,and he seemed fairly intrigued , he stated that it sounded really good ?? I remembered very quickly though that I am the one who checks his work emails , as his grammar is worse than mine ! It makes me question therefore , who would be a good judge of the standard , and quality of what I have written so far At one point I thought maybe to include part of my book in the blog ,and see what feed back I received .However, being such a novice in this area I am also very protective of my work ,and I am not sure I could take too much criticism when the work is still very rough .Maybe later when I have refined it to such an extent I deem it worthy of such an audience we will see , what do you think ???

Therefore , I am tempted to try my sister as she will be honest ,and I can take it from her better than my hubbie .  I have 14 really rough chapters so far ,I am probably on my way to being about half way through the story .This is where is gets tough, the chapters I have had been working on I had previously  written  last year ,and it had taken me 4 months then .Now I am starting new chapters .I find when you write initially it is very scanty so it is only with rereading ,and rewriting that the real words take shape , this can be laborious .I don't know how a book can be written in 3 months but that is how long ,"Twilight "  apparently took , believe you me I am going to need my entire year to finish my book .Selling it will be another story let's finish this one first .  

Alice Laughed ."There's no use trying ", she said ."One can't believe impossible things".
"I daresay you haven't had much practice,"said the Queen."When I was your age ,I always did it for half an hour a day .Why , sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast ".

Lewis Carroll ."Through the looking glass"

Keep living the dream ,and make it reality .