“Arrr! Lick Me Nipples”

Hi all. Hope everyone had a great week.

I’ll explain the title of this blog post in a moment, but first a brief writing update:

As I mentioned on Wednesday I finished a new short story and sent it off to my critique partner. Now that it’s done (or close to it) I realize I feel like I’ve spent months with those two guys, writing a novel, not a short story. Hopefully that means something good. I don’t know.

Since then I’ve been focused on TAKE ME HOME. Now that I have all the revisions in place I’m working on another read-through to polish the dialogue and descriptions. Today I read the first 5 chapters, and I think they are ready to go. I still need to do my final checklist of common mistakes and get my critique partner’s input, but other than that, I finally feel like this book is close to submission-ready.

Now on to review the next 20+ chapters again.

(c) istockphoto.com, davidf 2010

Before I get back to it, I wanted to share a link. This week I blogged at Loose Ends, the Loose Id author blog, where I talked about the importance of having someone else proofread a story. The blog is titled: “Arrr! Lick Me Nipples” Or the Importance of Another Set of Eyes. I’m curious how much errors bother readers. I’d love to hear what you think. Feel free to leave a comment here or at Loose Ends.

Hope you all have a great weekend. My little baby nephew is getting married tomorrow. I guess that means he’s not a baby anymore. When did that happen?

Quote I Love: The heck with sugar and spice

Today I finished a rough draft for the short story I mentioned in my Monday post, and I’m really happy with it. Writing isn’t always easy, so when a first draft emerges without too much hair pulling and head banging, it feels really good.

Saw this quote the other day and thought I’d share since I think this relates so well to being a writer too.

“Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.”

– Bethany Hamilton

Quote I Love: The more you write, the better you get.

Michelle Obama “on what she and Obama tell their daughters to help them achieve their goals.” (Yahoo News)

“Read, write, read, read. If the president were here–one of his greatest strengths is reading. That’s one of the reasons why he’s a good communicator, why he’s such a good writer. He’s a voracious reader. So we’re trying to get our girls, no matter what, to just be–to love reading and to challenge themselves with what they read, and not just read the gossip books but to push themselves beyond and do things that maybe they wouldn’t do.

“So I would encourage you all to read, read, read. Just keep reading. And writing is another skill. It’s practice. It’s practice. The more you write, the better you get. Drafts–our kids are learning the first draft means nothing. You’re going to do seven, 10 drafts. That’s writing, it’s not failure, it’s not the teacher not liking you because it’s all marked up in red. When you get to be a good writer, you mark your own stuff in red, and you rewrite, and you rewrite, and you rewrite. That’s what writing is.”

Michelle Obama
Q&A at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School

Yes! As is often stated…writing is rewriting.

“The first draft means nothing.” I’m not sure it means nothing, but in my case it’s only a start, and a rough start at that. It’s the bare bones of what a story will become. So much happens from that first draft to the last. That’s when the characters come to life, when the plot issues are ironed out, when the emotions become more relevant and intense, and when the descriptions are made more meaningful.

I just finished making a character motivation change to TAKE ME HOME that required I rewrite several scenes and revise some internal monologue throughout the story. I cannot tell you how happy I am with the outcome. I love these characters and their journey together even more.

Revising is where such magically things happen to the manuscript that even the writer is surprised.

Quote I Love: Naked in front of this crowd

Was listening to music this morning and heard Breathe by Anna Nalick (which of course always reminds me of my Breathe). As a writer, I can relate to this part…

“2am and I’m still awake writing this song. If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside me threatening the life it belongs to. And I feel like I’m naked in front of this crowd, cause these words are my diary screaming out loud. And I know that you’ll use them however you want to.”

– Breathe (2 AM) by Anna Nalick

Sometimes we all need a little encouragement

Whenever I have a frustrating writing day and the words don’t flow the way I’d prefer them to, I like to watch a clip or two from one of my favorite movies, Rudy. Talk about determination and dedication…