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Weekend Battles: Pricetags

This weekend I knew not of full price items or spending exorbitant amounts of money on clothes. This weekend I knew only of taking an additional 50% off already reduced prices, an additional 20% off of the entire purchase, and more surprises at the register.  This weekend I indulged in shopping.

The more I want things, the more likely I am to purchase them.  Therefore, I made a list of necessities and desires.  For example, before the weekend, I only had 5 acceptable pairs of shorts.  Now I have 7!  And I bought them both for less than the sale price because of surprises at the register!  I have enough shorts for a week without repeats.  I know the high-waisted shorts have been in now for a while, but I’ve never been into trends.  My two new shorts were mid-rise so that I can continue my pattern of being “so last year.”  Even last year, I was “so two years ago,” and high-waisted shorts go with crop tops.  I think I have one? maybe.  No need to show off my mid-riff to random strangers.  I’m not an attention whore.

I don’t know if shopping makes me a materialist.  I did buy necessities, like the shorts, but at the same time I bought a sweater for winter because it was 50% off.  I didn’t need the sweater then, and I don’t now.  I suppose that was the point of the sale:  to start moving merchandise early and kick off the fall clothes season.  It was a great deal, and I stand by the purchase.  But I do wonder whether I’m a pawn of the retail industry, whether I’m just a typical American seeking sales and spending more just because it’s a “great deal.”

I’ll think about this the next time I go shopping, but on the other hand, I do need these shoes….

Weekend Battles: The Beginning

I’ve spent this past weekend embroiled in bitter battles against hygiene (I’m not dirty. It’s my roommate) and paying full price for new objects (viva outlet malls).  I know, two completely separate topics, and I’m so tired that I can’t think about either in much detail except to say that it happened.

More to follow tomorrow, but I just wanted to say that I’m thinking about blogging.  I will get better at this, and bear with me so that I can try to entertain you.

Perspective

I don’t know why I’ve been slacking on the blogging.  I guess it’s just not part of my daily routine. Of course, a blog seems like a perfect place to talk about my day.

It seems like my lack of focus has nothing to do with a lack of topics.  I have plenty to talk about between my dog’s failure to rule over the backyard and intimidate the other animals with her fierce hunting skills to actually waking up to go running this morning despite the impending pain of restarting the exercise routine.

Perhaps my problem is not in the blogging but in the writing.  After the WD Conference, I’ve spent about 6 hours a day editing and thinking about my novel to the point that I need a break. They always say don’t rush, and I’m not.  I’m taking my time; I’m just devoting a lot of time to it.

Perfection is this idealistic goal that we will never achieve.  As a perfectionist, I don’t believe that until I force myself away from the project and understand the bitter truth.  With distant comes perspective, so I will take the this weekend to relax and not let thoughts of revisions consume my stream of consciousness. I will take a break and come back stronger.  I’ll also catch up on writing for Revolvist before I’m really a slacker.

A beta reader will also help, so if anyone’s interested or knows anyone interested, please let me know.  It will be much appreciated.

Teaser Tuesday: Turning Points

After the conference this past weekend, I’ve been knee-deep in revisions to tighten up my manuscript. The process of splitting my book in two has been challenging. One speaker at the conference said “Nothing is sacred.” I definitely believe her. It’s not difficult making these revisions but wrapping my head around two books, two beginnings, two endings instead of one.

It got me thinking about plot and character mapping. And turning points. Through this exercise, I’ve dug deep into my characters to identify the events that cause a major shift in their thinking or their actions, that have the greatest impact; a turning point. For example, when Anna first meets Thomas, she is depressed loner without a purpose. After her meeting, she’s not quite so alone. She has a new purpose, and that brings her happiness. It’s a turning point for her, and she grows as a person.

In identifying these turning points, I’ve also changed. Fighting for Daybreak is becoming more real. Plot points are written down on paper instead of invisible threads floating around in my head.  I’m making the novel accessible for discussion not just with people who’ve read the book in its early stages. I, too, am growing as a writer.

Writer’s Digest Conference

I had a great time this past weekend at the Writer’s Digest Conference!  Shout out to all of my new writer friends!  It was both a fun and informative experience, and I suggest that everyone attend a conference whether you’re looking to get publish or are just starting out.  There are sessions on craft, marketing, and realities of publishing (and self-publishing).

I never thought I was good at small talk before this conference.  I didn’t think I knew what to say, but I found that I could talk about books all day long.  I also found that I needed to read more … way more.  With just three weeks of summer left, I don’t know how I’ll manage my time to fit everything in from new revisions to contributing to Revolvist, which you should all check out, to read all of these new and highly recommended titles.  But I suppose if there’s a will, there’s a way.

I apologize for my long absence, and I will be posting every other day.

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Gearing Up for the Writer’s Digest Conference

Last month I signed up to attend the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York, and now it’s only four days away!  It’s a place to network, meet and pitch to agents, and get a feel for the publishing industry.  There will be workshops, cocktail hour, and so many agents!

I’ve done my research, so I know which ones are must-haves in the business.  I’m excited to learn something new and, if I’m lucky, meet my future agent.  Maybe I sound overly optimistic or naive, but I think that comes with being 18 and having the whole world of possibilities ahead of me.

I know that in this business, I have to stay optimistic amidst the pile of rejections that will inevitably follow.  J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times, but look at Harry Potter now.

The Query Process: Obstacles

I sent out my first query letter last week, and I was filled with such relief that it was over and anxiety about hearing back that I took the next day to just stare at my email and decompress. Then I started my research for the next agent on my list.

The next query I will send asks for the first ten pages in addition to the query.  You’re supposed to query agents when you’re manuscript is complete so that you’re ready when an agent asks for it. My obstacle is my 8 page prologue (a length I’ve been trying to reduce for years because I know agents don’t like prologues unless they’re done well).  This process has distracted me from querying as I slave over what the proper course of action is.  Having to change what has been a long-standing opening to my novel has filled me with self-doubt, and I’m forced to get down to what I really want to say in this prologue.  Should I keep it?  Should I shorten it?  If I shorten it, what parts do I keep?

To my fellow writers out there, any thoughts on my course of action?  Any advice would be much appreciated.