Saturday, March 31

A Writer's Life in Rhyme

Hubby pulled out his collection of Shel Silverstein books yesterday, and I came a cross one that seemed to succinctly portray many of my writing days, so I thought I'd share.

:-D  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 29

Con De Plume

Lets talk about con artists... I mean pen names. My agent and I decided that since I am writing in two genres, that it would be beneficial to have two names--Marian Vere for my Women's Fiction, and the newly created Julianna Scott for my YA.

I have spent the last week setting up Julianna Scott with all the usual suspects: website, Facebook, etc., and I got to thinking that in a lot of ways, being a writer isn't all that different from being a con artist.

  • We spend our lives making up stories that we hope others believe--or at least believe enough to be willing to take the journey with us.
  • We use our experiences and the experiences of others to build our stories, deliberately preying on readers emotions to create a lasting impression.
  • We create false identities that are not only practical in the business but, let's face it, make us feel delightfully shifty and mysterious. :)
So, while I get beck to grifting... er, um... pen name building, I'm curious, do you have an writing alter-ego? Ever thought about it?

Monday, March 26

Luck Seven - or - A Fun Quickie

Quick blog post I mean! Sheesh, get your minds out of the gutter! :)

I've been tagged onto a very fun Meme called Lucky Seven. As I love the idea of this (and could use an idea for a fun and easy blog post) I'm all in! Ha! Get it? 'All in'... Poker reference... Lucky Seven... Ha!... umm... *ahem*... Anyway, here we go!

The Rules: 
Go to page 77 of your current MS.
Go to line 7.
Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences, and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
Tag 7 other victims …er, authors.

   “Sure, there’s a great place just down the way.”
After two stores—the first having been a juniors store with no tasteful options—and countless racks of suits, I am at my wits end.
   “Where are the normal suits?” I huff, as I leaf through yet another rack.
   “Well, that depends on what you mean by ‘normal suits’.” Susan says, with a smile at my tone.
   “Normal as in—just because I am relatively thin and have a decent rack doesn’t mean I want to look like a hooker—suits.”

Now for the Tags... You are supposed to tag three friends, and while I usually don't do this, but I will go ahead an tag a few of my buddies, as this is a really easy way to get your weekly blog posts in. :) As always, only partake if you want to!

Wednesday, March 21

Test Post and How do ya' do?

Hello my lovelies!

This is a test post, so nothing much to say. Been having MAJOR blog issues, but an email from Blogger this morning assures me they will have me fixed by the end of the day. Yay!

Provided this post stays up and you are all able to read it, I hope you have all been having a great week, and I will be talkin' to ya' soon!

In the meantime, Tweet with me, won't you? :D   @MarianVere

Wednesday, March 7

Horrible Advice Writers Hear All the Time - or - In which I May or May Not Rant

Advice: Once your work is on submission to agents/editors, work on your next book. That way, you won't obsess about your submission because you will be focused on your WIP.

Truth: This is a lie. NOTHING will EVER take your mind off your queries/submissions. Ever. Period. Just accept it. Yes, it can help to have distractions like other hobbies, or a new WIP. However, trying to dilute yourself into thinking you will somehow forget that there is someone out there who currently holds, not only your dreams, but potentially your entire future in their hands, and may or may not be deciding your fate right now at this very second, is not only impossible, it's ludicrous. Furthermore, the people who tell you that you should be able to 'distract' yourself are really doing nothing more than making your stress worse. It makes you think that something is wrong with you; as in , "Everyone else seems to be able to work on other things and not obsess, why can't I? Is something wrong with me? Maybe I'm not cut out for this." And that, my friends, is bullshit.

Querying/submitting will take over your mind. You will think about it countless times, every day. Embrace it. If you don't find yourself obsessing over the agents you query, and the publishers who have your work, going to their websites and looking up their stats, and 'about us' sections, and doing pointless searches on Google trying to find out how long it will take to hear back, even though you know that no matter what you find it won't make you feel any better, then YOU are the one who is not normal. The normal people spend most of their days wearing out the refresh button on their e-mail user face. In the world of the aspiring writer--that IS normal.

Advice: Show, Don't Tell

Truth: Now, before you point your fingers at me and screech blasphemer!, let me explain. Yes, 'show, don't tell' is excellent advice for many writers on many occasions. I have gotten many a comment bubble on my MS from my agent during revisions that said exactly that. However, too many writers lately have taken the phrase 'show, don't tell', and translated it to mean that 'telling' is this horrible, terrible thing that should never be done ever--which couldn't be less true. Tell is extremely important in writing. You can't possibly show every little thing that happens in a story, or your book would be the size of a cinder block. I recently read a story where there was a scene in which the main character was meeting her friend for coffee. The author described the MC's arrival at the coffee shop, getting in line, standing in line, looking at the menu, deciding what to order, arriving at the register, placing her order, taking the money out of her purse (I kid you not), paying for the order, walking over to pick up her drink, looking over the open tables, choosing a seat, and sitting down. THEN her friend arrived and the scene actually started. And no, there was no symbolism, or deeper meaning behind the process, and the book was filled with other pointless wordy descriptions that addend nothing to the story but word count. Instead of showing us everything, she could have said, "Mandy arrived at the corner coffee shop, ordered a caramel latte--her favorite--and took a seat by the window and waited for Sarah to arrive. There; in one sentence we've summed up what was literally three and a half pages of writing.

Some writers, like the above author, seem to believe that all you have to do is 'show' everything, and you will be good. What is rarely explained is that the idea of 'showing, not telling' usually applies more to emotional content, as in, 'don't tell me Sally loves Greg, show me', or 'don't tell me that brothers Matt and Bill have a tense relationship, show me.' Show me what should be seen, but it's okay to tell me the rest. A good book is about balance. Finding the right combination of showing AND telling that allowes your story to come to life.

Last, here is a little advice from me: Do what works for you.

If Nora Robbers, or JK Rowling, or Stephen King, or (insert wildly successful author here) gave you advice about writing, would you take it? Why? Because they are successful, or because it's good advice? What it it wasn't good advice, would you try to do it anyway? How many of you out there have tried to force yourselves to 'write everyday', because it's what everyone says you should do? What about social media, how many of you have joined sites you never would have simply because you 'should'?

Well I say to hell with that. I am taking a stand.

Twitter is one of the social media avenues I 'forced' myself to join, but now very much enjoy, and in the spirit of writers everywhere who are tired of being told what to do, I am starting the hashtag #DoWhatWorksForYou. I invite all of you and anyone else you would like to share it with to join me and stop taking crap from all the writing world's know-it-alls. I am sick of reading tweets where people do nothing but post their word count for the day (because come on, we all know you are just bragging, and want us all to say, 'wow, good job!' Well I say screw you!), or the people who say I need a 'special writing space', or that I should schedule my writing time and allow for to no interruptions (yeah, tell that to my kids' diapers!), or anything else that people 'in the know' say I need to do if I want to be 'successful'. I write on my couch, whenever I have time, sometimes not at all, can't write past 8 or 9 o'clock on most days because I am too tired, and that's what works for me. So there.

#DoWhatWorksForYou  Join the uprising.

*End Crabby Rant*

Sunday, March 4

Vacations, and Races, and Colds, Oh my...


I've been gone for two weeks now, but after a vacation to Florida, a half marathon, and a post-trip cold, I am back! Who-haw!

While this post will be a shorty, there have been a few things going on these past few weeks I wanted to mention before I get back into the swing.

First, one of my virtual-buddies, the lovely, talented, and sweet, Angela Cook has landed herself an agent! YAY! Stop over and see her at The Starving Novelist and give her a virtual high-five!

The fabulousity that is Agent Carly Watters, recently wrote a blog post about what happens to submissions after you hit the 'send' button, and it has created quiet a buzz. Check it out here.

To all of you that wished me well last week for my half-marathon, thank you so much! Obviously I made it, and my time was actually the best one I've ever had! Due to heart issues I wasn't allowed to run, so I walked it and finished in 3:27:12. I was very happy!

Over the next week I will make up for all my lost time with several posts, including a meme, passed to me the aforementioned fabulous Angela Cook, so stay tuned!

Have a great week, and I'll talk to you soon!