Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Show me Your Irish!

Shamrock Graphics: Stained
I just got back from a weeklong vacation with my mother-in-law’s side of the family.   And they’re Irish (which means I’m Irish by association; this is important to remember later.).  Before I continue, I must point out that they aren’t your typical Irish family.  Sure they’re loud and passionate and always right but they don’t drink.  Except for the kids in my generation.  The adults are all non-drinkers.  So while the rest of us are stumbling around the adults sit back and laugh at us.  It’s a great time!
Let me back up a bit and offer some info.  We went to Ireland last year.  (If you haven’t gone you must.  It was absolutely beautiful and the history is amazing!)  During and after the trip, my kids are now super aware of everything Irish.  At least flag colors, certain words and possibly part of the culture.  So my kids are all excited about being part Irish and we all think that’s pretty cool.
So a few weeks before we went on vaca, we were at the pool and my son said “Hey Dad. You wanna see my Irish?”  I refrained from jumping up, rushing towards him with a towel to cover whatever he was calling his “Irish”.  The entire scene played out in my head in slow motion.  Instead, I turned my attention towards them in time to see my son lift his swimming trunk legs to expose his white as snow thighs.  We all laughed and thought he was gosh darn cute.  For the next couple of weeks, he’d continued his little bit.
Vaca time and I was chatting up my husband’s cousin who is also super proud of her Irish heritage.  My son again said to his cousin, “Hey you wanna see my Irish?”  Now, I was little more prepared and he showed her his thighs again which compared to his now tan skin was more white than before.  He then turned to me and said, “Mom.  Show me your Irish.”  Now I could’ve played dumb and been like I’m not Irish, but I just didn’t want to admit that (did you remember?)  Instead, I turned to him and said, “Mommy’s Irish is not something everyone should see.  It’s covered up.”  He then said, “Why?  Is it your butt?” 
How does this relate to writing?  Let me explain.  Writing is personal and very hard sometimes to show other people.  You work and work to make it just right but still, you’re never sure if it’s good enough.  Just like my Irish.  It’s personal and hidden and I work out to make it look good but never really sure.  (Is this a bit of stretch???)  I like to be as free as my son and show off my Irish all the time just like my writing.  I’m sure one day I’ll feel okay showing both whenever asked.
So I ask you.  Show me your Irish!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Outline, Outline, Outline

When I first started out on this writing journey, I'd read everywhere I needed to make an outline.  Uhhgg.  Really?  Was I back in 9th grade english?  I hated outlining then and with age my dislike never changed.  So, I thought, heck, I'll just wing it.  And sure I wrote a 75K word YA Paranormal but I never got anyone to look at it.  I started again on my second YA Para and 65K words later I had another finished product.  Still no agent but I did make a "rough" outline and the writing did go easier. 

But I still wasn't a believer.  Until I started working on a novella for submission to TMP.  There were parameters to the story that needed to be met and maybe, just maybe, that drove me to the insane act of...wait for it...making an outline.


I know.  It took me a few minutes to come to grips.  So, I made an outline.  Again, it was still rough but more complete than the previous.  And ya know what?  I am now the proud owner of a YA novella that will be published next April by TMP!  *toots horn*

I know what you might be thinking.  So what, total luck.  And sure, maybe but let me prove my point some more. 

You've recently read how I'm having a rather tough summer with family illness and now her recent death and during this time, I've tried pouring my pain into my writing by working and completing another novella for the same publisher but my juices just weren't flowing and I didn't find myself thinking about the characters.  My reasoning?  I honestly believe if I had an outline created for this new story, my juices would have a place to flow to.  Structure, form, purpose.  So, now I back track, read what I've written and create a much needed outline to follow and create another novella I hope to get picked up as well.

If you're new to writing, I know it can be overwhelming.  You have stars in your eyes and fire in your belly to see your name in print, or like me, on an e-book.  But first, you have to do the leg work.  We can't all be top selling authors over night.  Heck, I read an article about how JK Rowling outlines.  Really, she does.  Do the leg work, take your time becuase with hard work and passion, it can happen to you as well.  And remember, ask for help.  There are tons of places to find writing budies.  Good luck!