Dare to Suck

This is one of my fav posts from 2017

Not My Straitjacket

You heard me. Everyone says, dare to be unique, different, bold, daring, and all those other lovely verbs most of which are vivid descriptions of what a person could be if they applied themselves (as a writer in this instance) or maybe already are or already relate to or know someone with some or all of these character traits. Today my friends, I tell you all, dare to suck. In fact, don’t just dare it: succeed in spades.

Prologue: I was on my way to have dinner with the family when for no reason at all I struck up a conversation with someone about their music. (The giveaway was the guitar case on their lap. It turns out they have a passion for music like most people have for the ones they love. Their passion is intense and admirable. So they tell me about how they became a musician, how…

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Drown your coffee instead…in donuts

My 40th birthday has come and gone. I’ve had time to reflect on the fact that I killed a book in its early stages and thankfully I have no regrets. Sometimes the hard decision is the best one. For me looking at my blog objectively I had the opportunity to assess how it would serve as a book on a store shelf compared to the readers I reach simply by blogging and frankly, for this blog I am grateful for the readers that take the time to follow the posts on this blog.

I have to (okay choose to) take a moment to reflect on what turning forty has done for me as a writer: it has reinforced that at my age I am more worried about quality and less worried about quantity so if you notice periods of less posts or see periods of more posts that is in part the reason why. This blog has become less of an instructional pursuit and more of a record of my personal progress as a writer, scriptwriter and human being.

I am taking a children’s book writing course and I have offered up my first kids book to the gods of the underworld (I mean my classmates and esteemed writing instructor) to rip apart during our next class so I can get real world feedback on what did and didn’t work about my first attempt at children’s writing. My instructor is someone I would love to see sitting over coffee with Stephen King who first said, “Kill your darlings” and my instructor who in our first class called out, “You have to be willing to drown your children”. (children as a metaphor for writing). I will refrain from mentioning their name for fear that someone may misinterpret the translation of their statement in which the reference was to be willing to edit your manuscript with an objective eye and be willing to make sacrifices to get the material that belongs there, not the material you want to see there by cutting out what is inessential.

This same instructor had several other tidbits of deep, well thought out quotes which spilled out of his mouth much like he was reading a passage from one of Munro’s books. Rich and alive with thought.

I finished another short script recently and at present I’m deciding which script out of my collection I want to shoot for Digi60. Film pre-production, production and post-production is a very time consuming activity and as any filmmaker would tell you there are sacrifices to be made if you want to produce something of quality. This would be my second short.

Time for coffee.

Ciao for now.

 

 

Virtual World Tour

 

So I am a writer of my word. I practised what I preached. I Dared to Suck Dare to Suck and I published my second book, a compilation of my favorite posts from Not My Straitjacket which I only recently realized I hadn’t celebrated the two year anniversary since its creation. If you have read this blog in whole or in part I invite you to rate my book on Amazon.com The official launch date for this book is September 13th, 2017.

Thank you for reading! Time to celebrate and let the virtual world tour begin.

Remember it is said: Sharing is caring.

How to be a Successful Business Writer

When Kristy wrote her first book she had gone from being a vet tech to becoming an entrepreneur home staging and later would become a successful three-time author. Kristy Morrison built her career from the ground up and has reaped her success in spades. Make Life Happen, the influencer’s latest self-help and business guide for the savvy business man and woman is a must-read you don’t want to miss out on if you have dreams of business success or are even thinking of becoming an entrepreneur.

Morrison says she learned her marketing skills through trial and error. “I read a lot actually.” Morrison says when asked how she learned everything she needed to know about becoming a successful business woman. During the interview she points to a gap in the publishing industry that even now is just beginning to fill. There aren’t and haven’t been until as of late a lot of books on business written by and even for women. So what does she do? She identifies a gap in the market and she fills it.

“Building my business in the past few years there wasn’t a lot of business female authors as there are now. I love Arlene Dickenson. I think more recently when it comes to female authors they are coming out more recently. I didn’t really have any to grow up with or learn through my early ages of business. I think maybe that was why I was like, I need to write a book. (She laughs). Get more women book writers out there!” And then, she did.

Her first book Competitive Edge: Transform Your Home and Maximize Profits through real world home staging cases is an informative read. Especially if you want to learn from a pro. “For Competitive Edge I worked 10-14 hours a day. I hammered out the core notes of that book in I’d say, a month.”

Morrison says Successful Systems: A Home Stagers and Decorators Guide which is her second book covers all principles based on how she built her business. It received glowing reviews and has contributed to her already impressive following on social media. “I wrote it just last year. It only took me about six months to start finish and deliver.” Morrison says.

And she has recorded the results of what efforts such as hers produce in the business world with a bit of hard work and perseverance in her latest book Make Life Happen which saw its book launch July 13th.

“When I have a goal in mind and I just keep going for it so regardless of whether someone tells me I can or can’t succeed, someone tells me I’ll never make it, someone tells me it’ll never work, someone tells me I’m crazy for thinking of trying I ask myself: Why? And I think that question Why? Why are they saying this has pushed me to seek out the answer, it means I just had to go forward.” Morrison says, so she did.

“I never thought in my life I would ever write a book ever. That was never a goal of mine.” Morrison says and when asked if she enjoys the author or entrepreneur aspect more she points out that she is a very strategic woman. “I don’t look for things that I’m passionate about to make money with I look for things that can deliver me to my passions.” Morrison says. A long term goal for Morrison is to have an animal sanctuary.

Is the ability to life a fulfilling life at our fingertips? Can everyone be as successful as Morrison? “Everyone’s different and I find, I personally feel every single person in this world can have success because success is defined by the individual first of all, so we need to define what it success to that person? Is success to you having multi millions of dollars? If so, you’re going to have to work really, really, really hard. Or is success just as simple as being happy?”

“Everyone’s goal is different and that’s why I love the women in this book Make Life Happen that I was able to feature have different backgrounds, different walks of life, different stories, different struggles and they were all able to achieve their own version of success.”

“I never thought of myself as an influencer until people started walking up to me and they’re like wow you really inspired me to do this, you really made a difference in my life.” Morrison says. Her writing also speaks for itself and it comes as no surprise that the results can be life changing once you’ve read her latest book from cover to cover.

“The best part of the book Make Life Happen for me out of the whole thing, painting the vision of hope and that you can do anything as long as you are willing to commit to the learning process, I’ll say. Everything in life is a learning process.” There is much to be learned between the pages of her three books and on her blog  KristyMorrison.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How To Pass Time Waiting For a Publisher’s Response

 

Write. Check email. Play with kids. Clean house. Feed kids and make sure they get ready for the day ahead. Check email. Google “standard publishing contracts, tiered rejection letters and what they mean, how to get a literary agent and reading the success stories of those whom have already, ‘been there, done that, read the book and wrote the sequel.’ Read more of the book Writing the Character Centered Screenplay by Andrew Horton. Watch more TVO with the kids. Play the drums with my daughter and guitar with my son. (Please note I do not know how to play a musical instrument so my definition of play is not dependent on talent.) Do anything but check the email for the rest of the day if I can help it. I easily could have chewed to the cuticles of my nails by now with all the anticipation I’m feeling (but I haven’t and likely won’t) while waiting for the results: I’m waiting to know whether or not a certain publisher is going to accept or pass on my manuscript Nuka.

It started a few days ago when I received a reply to a follow-up email from the publisher who is aware I have been waiting a few months for a verdict on my manuscript. I can’t say I expected so much as a boo from the editor before he makes his decision as editors are notorious for their crazy and demanding work schedules but the response he took the time to provide to my follow-up email was more than appreciated. I was told I’ll know this week whether or not they are interested in publishing my work.

I am hoping to being offered a publishing contract but I am also realistic, it could go either way and I have to prepare for that. I’ve received form letters in the past on projects that never moved on to see the light of day while other work has gone on to be published or optioned so I can anticipate how I might react if the answer is not what I’m hoping but it doesn’t make the wait any easier.

Past rejection letters have pushed me to write more and work harder on developing my prose and scripts. I’ve contemplated writing the crappiest rejection letter I could possibly receive to alleviate the stress I might feel if the answer is not in my favor but honestly, that’s been done and these writers are either still twiddling their fingers at their desk or they’re published or optioned and writing more. (It still for some reason sounds like a good idea to at least pass some time).

And then I remind myself that even famous authors have had their share of rejection letters and that it would not be an anomaly if it happened to me. http://mentalfloss.com/article/26662/try-try-again-rejection-letters-received-bestselling-authors

I’ve been thinking of ways to pass the time this week and so far they include generating story ideas, photography fun at Mud Lake, getting my nails done, going to the beach, taking the family to the museum, eating chocolate sundaes at Dairy Queen, work on trashing a wedding dress I have for a potential short I might shoot for Digi60 which is coming up soon see http://www.digi60.org

Honestly I don’t know why this response waiting period feels different than the others. It’s my first novella but not my first published book. It only carries with it the weight of my blood, sweat, and tears I put into it metaphorically bleeding to death at the keyboard, searching for the right word, eliminating sentences that end with adverbs, keeping the story in the present tense, creating roadblocks for the protagonist along the way, building suspense, all that great textbook stuff writers’ ought to include to make a compelling story. But I remind myself, my book is not me, I am not my book. The book and I are not one and therefore any decision that is arrived at is completely impersonal and in no way a reflection of who I am or my worth as a writer. It will either complement the books that the publisher is looking for or delivers, or it won’t.

I would just be ecstatic to receive a positive response but I am open to all the possibilities that lay before me with the answer just out of my grasp at this time.

So I have made the decision that whatever the result I will dedicate the next few weeks devoted to finishing rewriting that feature length script I’ve been working on. I will research self-marketing a little more, look into getting Loved Like Me my children’s book on adoption formatted for circulation again and perhaps I will research literary agents that work with traditional publishers and continue work on a novel I have more than 100 pages written on so far.

For good measure I will drink a plethora of coffee, write more blogs and update my social media posts with everything hopefully unrelated to this self-torture of counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds, another milestone of my life as a writer will either be made or missed. My children will continue to keep me busy playing with Play-Dough, singing those wonderful songs from Mary Poppins, (because we all know what a spoonful of sugar does) and how that’s helpful if coffee is your drug of choice {at least if you’ve seen the film this may resonate with you}, and right now a word like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is exactly what I need to explain what I’m feeling inside.

Whatever the results I do not know when or if I will have the resolve to publish them.

Will the manuscript be accepted or rejected? Contract or form letter? Tiered rejection letter? Some other response? Will I need an agent? Would I want an agent? The possibilities are numerous. I don’t know. But I do know that my current project won’t get written by itself. I tell myself I’ve got this. What writing projects are you working on these days? What has your experience with publishers been like? How did you react when you received rejection or acceptance letters? I’d love to know.

Back to work.

 

 

There were no love letters written in the notebook I lost, no confessions to crimes of any kind, no I.O.U’s, grocery or honey do lists, no secret missions, no confessions of secret lovers, no crimson lipstick kisses on the faded blue lined pages paper to fix my lipstick, no cheques attached, no dog-eared pages, no poetry from my youth, no notes on famous people?, no directions to the moon (or back for that matter), no regrets, no heartbreaks that actually happened, no heartthrobs, no plans for vacations, no numbers that I actually needed ( I hope), no larger than life events that weren’t made of fiction, no news on that publishing contract I’m waiting to get, no passwords that might have held the gateway to personal info, no personal info, no, there was nothing written that mattered at all unless:

A fictional crime was committed and a character confessed, an I.O.U was written with said found, new-to-them paper, grocery lists were made for someone else’s honey, secret missions were being planned by characters, confessions were being given to secret admirers, lipstick stains were those of the finder, cheques were written for the pages of their youth that were later written in poetry by said finder on pages they dog-eared, famous people bought copies of said finder’s later released found notes and they then wrote their address for adoring fans, the moon was within reach for those who dared to believe they could do the impossible, heartbreaks happened anyhow, heartthrobs were all around, vacation plans were made with the blank pages that remained, the people whose numbers I may have needed? called me for no apparent reason and then I have lost not, the fiction in those pages was larger than life, the news of a publishing contract found me, of course the passwords got changed, otherwise it may have contained personal info that was already made public.

In short, I want my notebook back. The universe has swallowed it whole somewhere in its vast space and despite me owning a few *cough other notebooks, this is the one I need, the one with the outline to the plot I have been working on most recently, the one with the heartbreak, the drama, the tension the, the d*mn outline and the only copy of it at that. #stopwritingoutlineslonghand #makebackupcopies #makebackupcopies #makebackupcopies.

I retraced my steps back to the coffee shop, public transit, and walked the path I went that day at least a thousand other times. If you see said notebook with said details, let me know. It may (or may not) be what I lost. On the bright side, that day I met a very business savvy author that day for those of you focused on the business side of writing. In-depth interview coming soon.