Hi all, sorry to not update for a while. Life seems to naturally get much busier for me in the fall, and I've been trying to squeeze out one more draft of Move before the holidays. Thank God, I finally managed to finish draft #4 last night. I tell you, I struggled with this one. I found out that both of my publishers now require a minimum 60,000 word count for mystery novels now, and the last draft of Move came in at a little under 50,000 words. I had to add over 10,000 words. It resulted in six new chapters and adding a lot of detail. I beleive the changes are well worth it and make it a much better novel, but this wasn't easy. I have done three read throughs to make the additions and make sure that everything is "plugged in" and fits together correctly. I'm happy with this draft, though. The plot is much stronger now and I feel the story benefitted from the additions. I hope to have a final draft of this done and submitted to one of my publishers by May 2013.
Oh NaNo participants, this is what you have to look forward to. Yes, writing that rough draft is the hardest (and most time consuming) part, but the rewrites can be a pain too. But don't worry about that now. Just get that draft out there and you can worry about editing hell in 2013.
I also managed to squeeze in a revision of Feathered Frenzy this morning too. That's a very short work - I actually call it a guide because it's more the length of a novellette (at 15,500 words). I'm going to self publish that one, so it will get done when it gets done. Maybe I'll have it ready in late winter or early spring 2013.
But for now, my current writing projects are caught up and I'm putting them on hold for the holidays. Life is just too busy now. We're doing a major housecleaning to prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that season is always a whirlwind of activity. There's just too much to do and trying to squeeze in time for ongoing writing projects with family activities, social activities, and work is more stress than it's worth. So I've decided to just do promotion for my published works and blogging for the remainder of 2012, and I'll pick up my ongoing writing projects again in 2013.
In other news, Rick's term on council is drawing to a close. He and the other three members had nominees put forth to replace them next year, and the congregation will vote on them December 2. Rick has one more thing to follow up with on his committee and he's helping with the congregational meetings for the elections, but it's winding down. Only one more meeting in December and he turns in his office key and goes back to being a regular member of the congregation. I say yay. He's done a lot the past 3 years. We all have (meaning the fellow council members and their spouses). I wish the nominees luck and blessing as they take over the reigns.
You know I left my committees? I'm helping Rick with his through the end of his term, but I had to come off the other committee. They're planning ongoing activities on weekdays and I just can't do that with my work schedule, so I had to quit. It's too bad because I did enjoy being more active in church, but my writing is building up and my workload is increasing since one of my colleagues resigned to go work for another section in the agency. The good news is that she has a window office and I'm moving in it when she moves out in a couple of weeks. So for the first time in my almost 15 years of working full time, I'll have a window office. The bad news is, I'm also getting her Board - so there are more meetings I have to put on and disciplinary actions to deal with until a replacement is hired. *Groan* And we all know that can be a slow process. But I'll survive. If the Lord brings you to it, He'll bring you through it. It just meant that I had to quit my church committees. Too bad really, but hopefully I'll be able to help out with activities here and there in the future. There are a couple of things I really enjoy helping with like greeting and our free thrift day, and I'd really like to continue helping with those things.
So that's where it's at for now. Things are coming along and I'm happy for that. Thankfully, I have today off for Veteran's Day, so hopefully I'll be able to get even more in order and on track. I've already made great progress today, but now I need to log off to deal with other matters, like holiday shopping and housecleaning.
Thanks to all the Veteran's that fought and gave their lives so we're free to live our crazy, hectic lives under the blessing of freedom. God bless all those who have served and continue to serve our country and to protect our freedom. We do appreciate you and pray for your safety and well being every day.
That's all today. Take care and have a great week.
Many people have asked me recently about how things are going with my writing, so I thought I'd update you through a blog entry. I've stay very busy with it between promoting work that's already published and writing new work. Here's a rundown of where things are at:
As you probably know, I'm in the middle of an Author Feature Week on The Edible Bookshelf. DelSheree Gladden read my young adult novel, Blurry
, and is doing a feature on me that's focused on this book on Monday - Friday of this week. Today's entry is the best so far with an author interview on Blurry
. You can check it out at http://www.theediblebookshelf.blogspot.com/2012/08/interview-with-sherri-fulmer-moorer.html
. Be sure to drop by http://www.theediblebookshelf.blogspot.com
tomorrow and Friday too to see the remaining entries in the feature week. I'd like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to DelSheree Gladden for reading Blurry
and giving me this wonderful opportunity to reach readers through her outstanding blog!
I was also surprised to get a very flattering review of Anywhere But Here
today. It was so encouraging to see that this story touched someone and that they recommended it because they believed that others could relate to it too - even with the twist ending! (Folks, this book has a BIG twist in the end!). Dealing with personal setbacks and depression are the major themes of this fictionalized novel about a young woman whose life falls apart in the weeks after college graduation, and it was my hope that others would read this tale and find hope to face their own challenges. I'm glad people are relating to this story. That is, after all, why writers do write in the first place - so their stories can entertain and inspire others. I'd like to thank Goodreads for their support of indie authors and for helping people to find me and my work. If you love reading, this is a great site! You can check them out at www.goodreads.com
I have several book reviews for Blurry
and Anywhere But Here
pending, and I have my fingers crossed that they continue to get good reviews! I'm also planning to pick up promotion for Quarantine
, my mystery novella, and Resonance
, my horror long story, in September and October. Both of these stories take place in October. In fact, Resonance
is a Halloween tale. I believe these are good, quick reads that people will find interesting as a fall read. Plus, they're cheap - only a dollar!
On the publication front, I signed a contract with Whiskey Creek Press to publish Splinter
, my sci-fi novel that I wrote for National Novel Writing Month in 2010, in late May. I should get more information from them on a publication schedule in October or November, and it should be out sometime in mid to late 2013. I'll let you know when I get a timeline for publication. In the meantime, here's a synopsis:
The end of the world is just the beginning.
Dr. Leigh Lorene Lybrand, a thirty-three year old geophysicist, is content with her humble life on Earth. She has good work studying the reversal of Earth’s magnetosphere, a loving fiancé, and a supportative family. It’s a life most people would be happy with, until she’s offered a chance to make history. Developing interstellar habitats in the Jovan system will make her famous and financially secure for the rest of her life. She’s willing to put aside life on Earth for two years to have a chance to establish humanity in outer space.
History takes a critical turn when Earth is destroyed by a solar flare, and the crew of Jovan I are responsible for the survival of humanity. As they explore ways to survive in space, dark matter starts to rip open the fabric of
space and time, allowing Leigh and one of her colleagues to see parallel universes. When the visions take a sinister turn to reveal that a radical religious group planned Earth’s destruction, Leigh must make a choice: Accept her fate or use what she’s learned to save humanity; even if it means sacrificing herself in this universe.
I obviously need to clean that up into a more intriguing back cover blurb, but I beleive you get the point. And let me tell you, I'm super excited about this book! It's the most work I've ever done to write a novel - it's my longest book to date at 50 chapters and took over six months of research just to plan the plot! But the work was worth it, because I believe this is my best book so far.
On the writing front, I have two books in progress right now. That's right, two! The first is a mystery novel titled Move
. The tagline - be careful what you wish for. I don't nave a formal synopsis for it because it isn't complete, but it's about a woman that's stuck in a rut that unknowingly makes a deal with a djinn to help her with people that are getting in the way of her progress. Unfortunately, the djinn isn't really good with the whole wish-granting thing, and he makes a bigger mess of things than she ever imagined. And I'll be honest with you - I love working on this book. This is the most fun I've had writing a book since Blurry! It's just a good, intriguing story and I love the characters I work with. Well, except one of the villians, but I'm having fun helping things bite her in the butt. These are the experiences writers live for - to get absorbed in our work and fall into the world we've created. This is why I love writing. To create new work and share it with the world. I think the only thing better than reading a great story is writing one. Well, one that you think is great anyway.
The other book is a short non-fiction book titled Feathered Frenzy! A Quick Guide to Adapting Birds Into Your Life.
I'm writing this book as a way to share what I've learned from over twenty five years of bird ownership with others that have birds for pets. I might not have advanced degrees, but I believe that a lifetime of having birds for pets gives me plenty of advice to share, and I have picked up quite a few tips, tricks and lessons throughout the years that I beleive will be helpful to other bird owners. When I say this is a short book, I'm not kidding - I started it last week, and I've written 8 of the 10 chapters already. Hopefully, I'll complete the rough draft in the next couple of days. I plan to self publish this book. In the meantime, I posted a sample chapter in this blog last week, and I've posted another snippet on the bird blog over at Conure Corner at http://conurecorner.weebly.com
So that's what's going on with my writing. Thanks to all of you for your continued support and interest in it! I'll return to my usual musings and shenanagins next time. Until then, I hope the end of your week goes well.
I was just on Goodreads and found a discussion thread on "the best writing advice you can give." The discussion was interesting because on it, many writers attest to the fact that the common advice writers are given usually doesn't work. I agree with this. I've been writing for over 11 years, and I can tell you for a fact that much of what's out there is a dud. For example, here are a few tidbits I've been offered that I either ignored completely as impractical or that I tried and they just didn't work:
You must write every day to be a "real" writer. Oh, please. Do you go to your job every day? Absolutely not! You expect weekends and holidays, don't you? Well, the same applies to writing or really, anything else in life. We all need breaks, even from things we love from time to time. The truth is that sometimes the well runs dry, and the only way to replenish is is to allow the groundwater to refill by giving it a break. Forcing yourself to write every single day doesn't give your muse time to absorb the world around you and generate creativity from it. Simply put, forcing yourself to write every single day turns writing into work, which breeds contempt, which makes you hate it. While it's true that you need to practice to improve, don't do it to your own detriment. Write when you have something to write. When you don't write read, or study up on building the skills and knowledge you need to become a better writer. But don't just write for the sake of logging in your word count every day. Then, it just becomes a chore.
You must have an agent to get published. I'm living proof that you don't. In fact, I chose the epublishing route because I didn't like the idea of turning over the potential success (or failure) of my creativity to a third party that has no interest in it, save financial. There are some things you can't fix by throwing money at it, and this is one of them. You can pay an agent to beg to get you published, but that doesn't guarantee an offer, or that they'll keep you, and I can tell you for 100% sure that they'll NEVER care about your writing as much as you do. Do you trust the boss at your day job 100% to look after your best interest and to ensure your success throughout life? Or better yet, are you where you're at in life right now due to the work of your superiors, or your own work? I believe my point is made. You're better off getting behind your work and pushing. Because other people always have their own agendas, and they will look after their own interest first every time.
You need to retreat from life to write well. Have a special place, or take a weekend at an exotic location to take time out to devote 100% to writing. I tried this one time. I participated in National Novel Writing Month in 2010 - that's an online event where writers sign up to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. So I signed up, had all my ducks in a row, and informed everybody that other than work and basic necessities I was not available until this novel was done. Surely, they would understand and respect my creative endeavors, right?
Wrong. To say that all hell broke loose would be putting it kindly. Things spun out of control, everything in the world that my hand was supposed to be on went wrong, they were pissed off, it was my responsibility to make it right, and I needed to quit being selfish and get back to setting all right with the world. I emerged from that experience to literally find everybody I knew at war with one another because they determined that self control was for stupid people if I wasn't going to be around to "reign things in." And there was not 1 person in my life not guilty of this - not a single one. I did get the novel done and completed the challenge, but I also realized that, bad attitudes notwithstanding, I have a lifestyle way too active and busy for me to cordion it off to "just write." I've whittled out a lot, but the Lord has put many things to me that I simply can't (and in some cases, won't) cast away or even put on hold, like marriages, home, family, and a job. It's a nice fantasy, but it doesn't fit the reality God gave me. While I have a job, a home, church, friends, both families nearby - yes, writing will have to fit in where I can. And I am finding as I work on my current novel that it is much easier to just fit it in where I can instead of trying to shut out the world. In fact, I've found that keeping one eye open on life around me is actually feeding my muse and helping me by inspiring the plot.
On this advice, I tried it and it failed, but I also learned a lot. I see how this can work for others, and I encourage it if there's a way to do it without ripping a hole in the space-time continium like I did. But if there's no way around time paradoxes, alien invasions, and that little thing called Thanksgiving that tends to happen every November when NaNo is in progress, then you simply must do what you can and be patient with timeline of your progress. My solution was that I will never ever Ever EVER participate in National Novel Writing Month again while I'm employed full time. It just can't happen. For now, I need more than 30 days to draft a novel - I know and accept that now. But if you can safely withdraw from the world to write your masterpiece, by all means do it. It might well work for you.
You must attend a writer's conference to break into the industry. And I would have done that very thing if any were offered in my area, but alas, they aren't. While there's an active arts scene where I live, it's not focused on writing (it's more visual arts or music). I know this is ironic because I live in a college town and you'd think the opportunities would abound, but they don't because the schools in this area don't focus on the arts (it's more of a business focus here). Attending a conference would require traveling, which harkens back to the last item I discussed and the same limitations apply to this that apply to that. I've filled in the gap with online groups and educating myself through reading books, participation in social media, and the occasional online class to bring me up to speed on how to become a better writer.
Write what's popular right now and you're guaranteed success. Ok, was the person that offered this advice on crack? Seriously, what planet are they from? There's absolultely no way this can work and here's why: Trends are always changing, and publishers (along with everybody else in the entertainment industry) are looking for "the next big thing." Unfortunately, nobody knows what that is or when people will catch on to it, so it's an inexact science. It's like the thing I heard someone say about publishers always know a bestseller six months later. The whole entertainment industry is based on their best guess on what will sell, and publishers are in that boat with everybody else. So if you write what's popular right now, then you're already behind the curve. A better piece of advice is write what's in you and the audience will follow. Even if you don't hit the "big time" you can find a great niche market, and you'd be surprised at how successful you can be in that area. It's not New York Times best seller fame, but you can get recognized and respected as a reputable author and have a more moderate success as a writer, if you're willing to redefine your definition of "success."
This isn't to say that all of the advice I've been offered is bad - these are just examples of things that didn't work or that I simply couldn't try. In my next entry, I'll offer up some tips that have worked for me, and things I'm trying as I carve my own path through the jungle of being an independent author.
Have a safe Memorial Day all. Take care.