Show and Tell

Lately I have been playing a little game of Show and Tell with my first novel. Unlike when I played this game in kindergarten it has not been very fun. I am on a witch-hunt with my manuscript. Finger poised over the delete key I’m hunting for signs of telling. Rifle locked and loaded I am on a deleting frenzy. Those pesky little tells are littering my manuscript. Worse, they are quirky, delightful little sections.

A trembling hand highlights the ill-equipped section. Eyes closed I hit delete. Allowing a single tear to fall in honor of the fallen I brush it aside. Now the fun begins again. It’s time to show.

So, it’s not as dramatic as all that, just doing a little practicing.

Sadly, unfortunately, undeniably I am also on the hunt for adverbs. Apparently I like adverbs. I use them a lot. Found a sentence with five of the little buggers in my very first section. (Sadly I knew that I was not only trapped but way too drunk to successfully avoid spilling my guts, thankfully only metaphorically. Yikes!) The adverbs are fighting harder than the tells are. They are frantically screaming as the cursor comes close, trembling, hugging the other words tightly. Yet most will go.

So when you finally read Project Torture and see a little adverb smiling gleefully at you be nice to the little gal. She’s a survivor and just wants to be loved after watching her friends and family massacred.

Quivering Member

I am very fortunate to have a job where I can write during the down time. Having spent the last ten years of my professional life in social work I truly appreciate the novel (get it, ‘novel’ – ha) concept of having an empty desk. In social work there is no such thing as an empty desk. There is always something to be done, between paper work and clients to visit. Think of it as a never-ending and constantly expanding To Do list. Especially in current times where budget cuts create more work and less support.

There are downsides to letting the creative juices flow while at work. I can be in the middle of a steamy scene and need to put down my work in a flash to help a customer. A few weeks ago I felt like Ms. Perky from 10 Things I Hate About You.

Not sure who I’m referring to? Watch this clip to learn more. My apologies to my Deaf readers, I was not able to find a clip with captioning:

 

Now, “quivering member” has not made its way into my books as of yet. If it were to I might have to wait until I was at home to write. I wouldn’t handle the situation quite as smoothly as Ms. Perky did!

The Fear of Sharing

Writing is a very personal experience. As an author I have “given birth” to characters. I’ve named them, given them quirks, personalities, and appearances. I have grown with them and come to love them. They play in my head, telling me where their stories should go, often times arguing with me over creative differences. Their story is my creation, brought to life over blood, sweat and tears. It’s only logical that sharing is often times scarier then putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

Yet we often write for an audience. We write in hopes that someone will love our characters as much as we do. Now that I am a mother of a living breathing human being I can see the similarities. I want my son to be liked. And should he ever choose a mate I would want that mate to love him as I do, in her own special way, of course.

Those first few steps in sharing a beloved novel are nerve wracking. Finger nail biting. Cold sweat inducing. Those precious few who are the first to peek at the novel, the first to offer criticism, are often met with resistance. We know our work needs improvement. Doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.

Even after years and years of edits it’s still scary. Starting this blog was one step out of my comfort zone. I remind myself that as the author of a finished piece of work I AM a WRITER. However just a little bit of criticism leads me to wonder: Am I a BAD writer, or a GOOD writer?

In all truth there will be good and bad in every novel. It’s aesthetics, personal taste. What one person likes another can’t get into. Sometimes bad writing can have an excellent story line. Sometimes good writing can have a lacking storyline. Sometimes all come together in a masterpiece.

Currently I am hoping there is more good then bad in my first novel. I am proud of it. As a storyteller I feel I have a lot to say. Perhaps as a writer mom I am not ready to fully let go. For that means having a thick skin. Being open to criticism. Drowning it out in a box of chocolates. And searching for the few or many that have positive things to say.

For someone, somewhere, will like your work. Will like my work. It’s all about finding the right audience at the right time.

More importantly: never give up. My characters deserve the chance to live in someone else’s head for a little while. They’ve grown much to comfortable in mine.

Book 1 – Project Torture

Project Torture is my first novel. What exactly is Project Torture? What is this illustrious first novel about? Can I really write?

Well… Have a peek. Here is my pitch used to enter a contest. Think of it as a jacket cover description. I need to thank the help of some mighty talented writers for helping me to fine tune this pitch.

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Never let your friends get involved in your personal life.

Lila and Nate learn this the hard way. They are the star-crossed lovers of Glendale High. For three years the students waited for the two to get together. They begged Nate to put his past relationship behind him, and cringed when Lila started dating Bryce. Just your typical teenage romance, except that they’re the teachers.

Lila, a guidance counselor with a sweet demeanor, has an answer for every problem. Every problem but her own. A visit from childhood friend Bryce thrusts her calm world into turmoil, as emotions buried deep inside are dragged to the surface. He soon realizes what only a friend can notice and a lover regret, that Lila, unbeknownst to herself, is in love with Nate.

Nate has seen better days. He is a history teacher stuck living in the past. Depression has kept his love for Lila unspoken, his ego frail after being cheated on.

Now Lila and Nate’s coworkers must unleash a scheme and uncover Lila’s true feelings. In a school this nosey what better way to get fast results than to involve the student population? The students are all too eager to get involved.

If everything goes as planned Lila will have to choose between two men. If her friends fail they might destroy these three and ruin their friendship. No wonder the scheme is called PROJECT TORTURE.

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PROJECT TORTURE is told through Lila, Nate, and their meddling friends’ points of views. The story has a strong group of supporting characters. Here’s a small who’s who of the main players:

Ette (Jeanette): Lila’s roommate. She works at the same school as Lila and Nate, as a teacher of the Deaf. A CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) herself she is fluent in ASL (American Sign Language). She is a flirt and a party girl.

Kent: Fellow counselor with Lila and close friend to Nate. He is the grump of the group

Tracy: Nate’s younger sister, an elementary teacher in a neighboring town. She is very protective over her brother. She is also close to Lila and desperately wants the two to get together.

Meddling students: There are seven students, three of whom are Deaf, who are active players in causing chaos to their teachers lives.

Introduction

Welcome to my author blog! As an unknown, unpublished, author there are not a lot of places to share my writing with the masses. My goal is to change that in the near future. I look forward to having a place to connect with my fellow writers, give those that know me updates on my books, and hopefully one day have a place for fans of my books to come and learn a bit more about me and my process.

Let me start in the beginning. I recently put the finishing touches on my first novel. This has been my baby for a long time as it has taken me a decade to get to a point where I can call it finished. I started writing it in 2002 upon graduating from college. Soon I found myself in a full time job and trying to juggle professional, personal, and writing lives. In 2006 I took a break from writing to focus on getting married. Until recently I struggled to get back into a good groove. It’s a common story: marriage, house, cats, kid… Where does the time go? More on my family later, as I do love to talk about them!

Finally I found a new focus and am proud to call myself an author of a finished work. Since finishing I dug up my work in progress, a sequel, and became lost in the creative process once again. Having finished the first draft of this sequel I am currently taking a step back and deciding which project I want to continue developing.

My current goal is to seek representation for my first novel. Ultimately I want to write and I want to share my stories with others. I do plan to self publish if I am not successful in other avenues. One step at a time, I need to try plan A before moving onto plan B.

That’s my writer self in a nutshell. I look forward to seeing where this blog takes me. Hopefully it will be a wild ride towards publication!