It’s been a crazy weekend. From the inauguration on Friday to being out in the rain on Saturday to just staying holed up in the house in my pj’s yesterday…
I have so many feelings about the events of the last almost 18+ months… I’ve seen the best of people and I’ve seen the worst. I’ve seen things that scare me for my children, for my family, for my friends, for myself, for my country, for the world. I’ve seen things that give me hope, that touch me deeply, that give me chills in the most amazing ways.
Everyone is entitled to their thoughts, their choices, their opinions. We can all come up with justifications and reasons and excuses for why we do the things we do.
You don’t have to agree with me and I don’t have to agree with you. That was once the beauty of this nation, of this planet we call home. We all have the right to believe as we wish, express ourselves, show up to what moves us and what matters to us as humans, as women, as men, as individuals and collectively. But we’ve got to start talking without hate, start finding ways to bridge the differences, ways to love, ways to hold one another accountable that are productive rather than destructive… We have to, as people, come together…
There have been times in our history where we have been divided, where we have been silent, where we have been vocal, where we have rallied, where we have won, and where we have lost. There have been times in our history where blood ran in our streams and rivers and soaked into the soil beneath the feet of those fighting for what they believed in. There have been times war has divided this country and times war has brought its people closer to one another. There have been times we’ve been incredible and times we have been a disgrace to ourselves and to the world.
We all deserve better. We all deserve to do better. We all deserve to be better. For our kids and their kids and those who will come long after we’re dead and gone. And if we’re not trying to do and be better human beings FOR ALL, then what the fuck are we doing?
I think I’m going to take a page put of Kathleen Kelly’s book in You’ve Got Mail and begin as though we’re in the middle of a conversation… Or, maybe I’ll just talk. Or maybe… Who knows…
I’ve been writing and wondering and second guessing every word, every phrase, every scene. Time is really of the essence and I don’t have it to waste. This is a busy writing year. Or supposed to be.
See, I’m going to end something in a way that will pass off the majority of people who read it. That’s just all there is to it.
It’s like in Stranger Than Fiction. Emma Thompson’s character Karen is at a point in her novel where she doesn’t know how to kill off her main character. She doesn’t believe in writer’s block, but she’s struggling to land on the death of this man.
I was struggling, too. Not on how to kill a character, but on how to end a book.
How do you end something when you never intended it to be what it became? How do you do that without passing people off? The truth is, you can’t. I can’t.
People will hate it. Readers will be disappointed. Upset. And that’s rather daunting for me and perhaps other writers as well. To know that I’ve written a tale that has made someone else FEEL something.
But if those who read it, dislike it… Then I’ve done my job. Then I’ve stayed true to what had evolved across the pages. Do I want that? To have my words disliked, my work reviewed harshly? No. I’d rather people love it. It’s much easier when they love it than when they hate it. At least, that’s what we tell ourselves.
Staying true to the work, to the words, to the characters… That’s my real duty. And once I freed my brain of the knots holding my creativity hostage, the What if’s, the Maybe I should’s, the Oh no, I can’t do that’s… That’s when I landed on what I am supposed to do, what the characters and events are leading me toward.
After all, it’s their story. Not mine. Not yours, the readers. But the story belongs to the characters.
One of my favorite lines in yet another movie, Wonder Boys, a classmate says of another’s writing, “He respects us enough to forget us. And that takes courage.”
I’ve quoted that line before on the blog and it has relevance here again.
I respect everyone who reads my books. I respect their opinions, whether good or bad. But I can’t write the story anyone else wants. I can’t only write the story that belongs to the characters who’ve come to life through me.
I haven’t announced this myself yet, but couldn’t hold my breath any longer and wanted to let you know, dear readers, that I will be participating in Mari Carr’s Wild Irish Kindle World.
The first release launch will be April 6th, so mark that on your calendars!
There are so many jaw dropping, incredibly talented authors participating and joining this Kindle World. I am so humbled that Mari said yes and is letting me be part of it.
Just look at this list of names… These are some pinch me I must be dreaming names to write alongside.
These names will be in the October release launch. There may even be more added
The title of my book will be Wild Ever After and as soon as I get the cover, I’ll be showing it off everywhere.
There is a Facebook group for you to join if you’re interested. It will keep you up to day on all things Wild Irish from Mari herself and from all the participating authors in the Wild Irish Kindle World. Click below to be taken to the group so you can join us!
I Love Lindsey Stirling. So. Much. She’s got the most incredible and amazing talent.
The visualization in her videos is simply stunning. They tell a story through music and those types of videos have always been my favorite since the 80’s and the mini-movies that Duran Duran’s music videos seemed to be.
I hope y’all are doing well so far in January… It’s been cold. We have snow and ice and a couple of snow days. I’ve been keeping busy with writing and revising and you’ll soon have a new old book to download.
When I get an older book back from a publisher or in the case of Christmas Wishes, out of an anthology, I tend to not release it back into the wild blue yonder of the book world without a few tweaks.
I often go back and add words. Most of the time, double what it was originally, or more. Different writers have different philosophies about revisions on older books, but here’s mine, or at least, here’s one of mine… There’s more to the story than was previously told.
Take, for instance, The Swing. It is a re-release from Ellora’s Cave. It was part of a line of theirs that limited word count to a certain number. No more than 13K or maybe it was 15K. I told the very basics of the story to meet those requirements. I did that a lot. I could write a fairly completely story in 15K words or less. I didn’t write a lot of extraneous words. I didn’t use a lot of backstory. I simply told what needed to be told right then and there.
Other things that were considered when writing for publishers, was price points. The longer the book, the higher the price and a lot of readers balked at paying $5 for a 20,000 word ebook.
With many of my older books, my first books, they were short for those specific reasons. But now that I self publish most of my writing, I can play with price and I can add length, give more story to the readers.
I don’t write long winded epics. I don’t write sagas. I don’t write 300 books in a series. I don’t write 400 page novels.
I write novellas. It’s where I’ve been most comfortable and happiest. I’ve been experimenting with length and series or on-going tales and I’ve enjoyed it and will begin incorporating more of those things in my work. But I primarily write novellas. 40K max for most.
My books don’t change the world, but for a couple of hours in someone’s day, they can change a mood, a moment, provide an escape from reality. Some readers don’t want to spend 3 days reading the same book. I don’t. I like all in one sitting books.
I have added new scenes and extended scenes and changed scenes in The Swing. I have added a bit more emotion. A lot more tears. The sex is still there and is still hot. But I am leaving the time frame of a few years after 9/11. It works for the book. It works for the story. It works for the characters. I’ve freshened things up some. And I think that’s important with books coming back from publishers. As indie authors, we have the freedom to make those decisions now and I like that.
And I’m glad that you, my readers, have enjoyed the books that I’ve re-released, re-worked, and made new again.