Sunday, September 9, 2012

If I Were Dead, Would that Get Me Published?

First of all, I'm not dead. This is not some cousin sitting at my house and hacking into my computer right after my funeral (though that would make an interesting short story).

Nope. I'm still alive and kicking. And that makes my writing worth less than my mid-sleep drool. No, that's not true. I'm too used to writing fiction, it seems. I don't drool. Perhaps my writing is worth less than my toothpaste foam? I do actually brush my teeth. A lot. And I floss, too.

But I digress. I spent the last week or so reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the first 100 boring pages left me wondering why an editor didn't tell the writer to cut half of the exposition at the beginning. Or all of it. Then I realized that the writer was dead. An editor couldn't exactly cut it out over the author's dead body, could he? Or could he?

I know the book is a bestseller. I don't mean to criticize, really. But I did wonder whether the book is not far more popular because its author is dead. In the same way that an artist's paintings suddenly cost twice as much when the artist is no longer around to paint any more of them. 

And I still wish the first part had been edited down a LOT. And I didn't find the prose in the least bit "steamy," as the back cover promised. I wish I'd liked the characters more. I wish the justified deaths of the bad guys had been more satisfying. I wish there had been more suspense. More than anything else, I wish the author were still alive so that he could revise a little, improve, and make his books utterly spectacular.

I guess that makes me grateful. My best draft of any of my books isn't very good, but I'm not dead. I have time still to work on them.

What have I learned from all this, besides the fact that I hate exposition?

1. I'm not dead. (Whew!)
2. I don't want to be dead.
3. My writing still needs work.
4. If I don't become a published author until after I'm dead, that will stink big time.
5. I need to get to work on my writing!!!!

Come to think of it, so do you! You won't live to be 300, so you might as well get to work on your big life's project right now. Go do it. Get off this page. Stop wasting time reading my drivel and create some of your own. And then revise it. Cut out the damn exposition. Make it better.

Geez, are you still here? Go! Really! Why are you still reading this!?

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I believe my last post was in APRIL! I so suck! No, please don't comment that I don't suck, for I won't believe you. This is not the blog where people are supposed to be all nice to each other and say polite things. Nope, not the place. Give it to me honestly, or don't comment.

Fine, then, don't comment. Who said I wanted your comments anyway...

Besides, I'm posting, so nobody should complain. I'm sure you're so giddy that I'm here again that you almost spilled your coffee on your new pajama pants. And I'm only posting so that you can know why I'm such a non-posting goofball.

You see, I pretty much took four months off. Yup, May to August, to be precise, and now that I'm back on a roll and as busy as it is physically possible to be, I'm posting. Weird, huh? I had far more time during the summer, and I managed to accomplish absolutely nothing. Also weird.

Anyway, now that my kids are back in school, I find I have a TON of new work to do. These are my current jobs. I've put a dollar sign by those jobs which actually pay money, but don't believe for a moment that this is why I've added them to my weekly schedule. I'm a month in to most of them, and I'm a bit out of breath, but I finally feel like I have stuff to get up for in the morning, stuff that makes my heart beat wildly with excitement. I've also marked stuff that's new for this year. So, here's the list:

1. Director of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Center for the Arts (New)($): I was on the board last year, but everything shifted over the summer, and now I handle publicity for classes and art shows for a beautiful, historic Bainbridge Firehouse downtown which has been turned into an art gallery and meeting center.

2. College Instructor (New)($): I'm only teaching one class, but it's English, so it still gives me plenty of grading.

3. Director of Children's Choir: As I did last year, I'm directing 2- to 11-year-olds in my church's annual musical for Christmas.

4. Mother and Homework Helper: I'm on kid duty every afternoon, sometimes all afternoon and evening. The hardest part of this so far was getting my kids to realize they were back at school, and homework was a requirement.

5. Zumba instructor ($): I've cut down my classes a bit, but I still teach this two days a week. Many people want me to teach more, but I'm determined to leave my evenings free.

6. Author/Researcher of Spirits and Legends of the Chattahoochee Trace ($?): This is one of those projects that hopefully will pay off in a little bit, but I'll have to put in all the research and time and travel first, most likely. I'm excited about it, though, for I love research into legends and ghosts, especially when the research involves both.

7. Editor/Ghost Writer ($): I've done three of these projects over the last few months, and I just received another assignment. This latest one is just for editing, though, and I could not be more pleased. She's a great person and a great writer, and I am grateful not to be ghost writing, for that is a far harder task to undertake, as I have discovered through the past year. Editing is also great for my own writing, so this is good practice.

8. Organizer/Board Member for Women's Shelter: This is just starting up in our town, and we're busy collecting furniture and donations for it, organizing fundraisers, and, in my case, creating brochures for it, editing policies, and figuring out ways to get the whole thing going. I am by far not the most active board member, but that is only because the other ones are SOOOO hard working!

I'm also busy on other continuous projects--things like sewing for my kids and myself, painting and drawing, framing projects, and my continuous list of chores to keep the household going. I may very well have missed something, but I can edit this post (Thank God!).

So, what have all of you been up to?