I’m Getting Sucked In

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I can feel it. This new topic has snagged my attention like a shiny dime on blacktop.

Sexual Tension.

It’s not because that’s the topic of discussion over at RWKF this week. Sexual tension has been an interest since I read Roxanne St. Claire’s book Dangerous Curves.

I read it because it was an entry in the Daphne Published Division contest and I was a judge. But I immediately noticed this author had a way with attraction and heat and sex. I was so intruigued that after I’d read it and judged it, I reread it for the specific purpose of figuring out just how she kept that spark so friggin’ hot.

As I mentioned in my post on RWKF today, I’m taking a class in Sexual Tension with Mary Buckham. She’s guiding us step by step through the stages of intimacy, explains how the elements relate back to evolution (which also illustrates why these stages are so powerful and meaningful in the sexual cycle) and showing examples in other authors work. The subtlety is amazing, the results awesome. Something I absolutely have to master.

I haven’t been so fascinated with a subject since I took Empowering Character Emotions and The Deep EDITS System with Margie Lawson.

And everyone who knows me knows what happens when I get caught up in something new.

I’m in big trouble.

Are there subjects, either general or writing craft that grab your attention and don’t let go until you’ve thoroughly explored and/or mastered them?

>Stages of Writing

>After I’d been writing a while, maybe a year, I had a hard time reading because everything I read was so good. I was past the honeymoon period and had come to realize not just how much work and talent was involved in writing, but how much of that talent I lacked.

I was in the deep bend of my learning curve, struggling to get that grand vision in my head down to my fingertips. I found myself reading a book thinking, oh, my God. How do they do that? Where did they come up with that? How did they learn to write like that? And my Eeyore syndrome would peak: I’ll never get there. That’s just not me.

But the compulsive part of me pressed on. I wrote, I learned, I read. I took courses, attended conferences, and read some more. And, of course, I wrote and rewrote.

I got better — almost impossible not to do when you work at something so damn hard and actually take the advice given you from those talented people in your writing world.

I started reading again with a fresh perspective. Oh, I like that. They did that well. I can do that, too. I’ll just tweak it and do it in my own way, to fit my voice and my story. And I continued to get better. I broke some temporary ceilings in my writing, took that laboring next step.

Then I found myself at a stage where when I read, I find one of three categories of writer:

  • 1) The author who really shouldn’t be writing. Their work would never sell if they were starting out in today’s market. (There aren’t many of those, I have to admit, but a few I’ve noticed.)
  • 2) The author who’s a decent writer but has some major problems with their craft–they lack characterization or their characters aren’t consistent or their characters are emotionally challenged (as in–they don’t have any). Their transitions are choppy and pull me out of the story. Their pov is all over the place and I can’t figure out whose head I’m in. Their craft lacks authenticity, originality, freshness.
  • 3) The author who is a true craftsman/craftswoman. They struggle to improve their work with each book. Strive to push their own limits. Don’t settle for the common metaphor, but go that extra step and dig deep and pull out something fresh and perfectly suited to their character. These authors are character driven writers and their plot and conflict grow organically from there. These are the authors that I used to read with the I’ll-never-get-their woes, who I now read with the I’ll-get-there-someday perseverence.

It’s the second category of published author that gets under my skin the most. I can’t figure out the “why” of it. Why them and not me or my critique partner or that other writer I know whose work I’ve read and that is so much better than what I pull off the store shelf? I know a lot of good, even awesome writers who struggle day in and day out to get published and continually garner rejection letters. And I can say that I think I’m one of them without the intention of conveying conceit. I’ve worked my ass off to learn the craft, dedicated myself and sacrificed other things in my life to get there.

Robert Gregory Browne just released his debut novel Kiss Her Goodbye and recently taught a seminar at the San Diego Writer’s Conference. On his blog he said:

Later that day I did something else I’ve never done: ran a “read and critique” workshop in which participants read a portion of their work in progress then sat quietly while the rest of us critiqued the work. It was a wonderful hour and a half and I can say without hesitation that the participants were all talented writers. I was, in fact, amazed by the quality of the writing. As I listened I kept thinking, why don’t these people have book deals?”

It was nice to know I wasn’t alone in my thinking.

When I get really frustrated and discouraged with this whole industry, I remember what Randy Ingermanson describes as writing stages: Freshman, Sophmore, Junior and Senior. Based on his descriptions (and of course my own evaluation of my writing) I judged myself to be a Senior. He’s what keeps me sane (for the moment anyway):

Seniors are those few who are ripe to graduate. A Senior is writing excellent stuff. Explosive. Powerful. Moving. But still unpublished. Seniors are worried sick that those mean editors are never going to notice them, that they’ll be submitting proposals forever. Seniors don’t realize that the editors are watching them, hoping to see the perfect proposal that can make it past the committee. Seniors are closer than they think. There is nothing worse than being a Senior. There is nothing better than being a Senior on that magical wonderful stupendous day when your son is busy ironing the cat, rain is leaking through the hole in the roof that you could swear you patched with toothpaste just a week ago, and the phone rings. It’s one of those cranky editors you sent that proposal to last year and . . . she wants to buy your book!

What stage to you think you’re in? And how do you keep going in the face of the it’s-never-going-to-happen monster?

Stages of Writing

>After I’d been writing a while, maybe a year, I had a hard time reading because everything I read was so good. I was past the honeymoon period and had come to realize not just how much work and talent was involved in writing, but how much of that talent I lacked.

I was in the deep bend of my learning curve, struggling to get that grand vision in my head down to my fingertips. I found myself reading a book thinking, oh, my God. How do they do that? Where did they come up with that? How did they learn to write like that? And my Eeyore syndrome would peak: I’ll never get there. That’s just not me.

But the compulsive part of me pressed on. I wrote, I learned, I read. I took courses, attended conferences, and read some more. And, of course, I wrote and rewrote.

I got better — almost impossible not to do when you work at something so damn hard and actually take the advice given you from those talented people in your writing world.

I started reading again with a fresh perspective. Oh, I like that. They did that well. I can do that, too. I’ll just tweak it and do it in my own way, to fit my voice and my story. And I continued to get better. I broke some temporary ceilings in my writing, took that laboring next step.

Then I found myself at a stage where when I read, I find one of three categories of writer:

  • 1) The author who really shouldn’t be writing. Their work would never sell if they were starting out in today’s market. (There aren’t many of those, I have to admit, but a few I’ve noticed.)
  • 2) The author who’s a decent writer but has some major problems with their craft–they lack characterization or their characters aren’t consistent or their characters are emotionally challenged (as in–they don’t have any). Their transitions are choppy and pull me out of the story. Their pov is all over the place and I can’t figure out whose head I’m in. Their craft lacks authenticity, originality, freshness.
  • 3) The author who is a true craftsman/craftswoman. They struggle to improve their work with each book. Strive to push their own limits. Don’t settle for the common metaphor, but go that extra step and dig deep and pull out something fresh and perfectly suited to their character. These authors are character driven writers and their plot and conflict grow organically from there. These are the authors that I used to read with the I’ll-never-get-their woes, who I now read with the I’ll-get-there-someday perseverence.

It’s the second category of published author that gets under my skin the most. I can’t figure out the “why” of it. Why them and not me or my critique partner or that other writer I know whose work I’ve read and that is so much better than what I pull off the store shelf? I know a lot of good, even awesome writers who struggle day in and day out to get published and continually garner rejection letters. And I can say that I think I’m one of them without the intention of conveying conceit. I’ve worked my ass off to learn the craft, dedicated myself and sacrificed other things in my life to get there.

Robert Gregory Browne just released his debut novel Kiss Her Goodbye and recently taught a seminar at the San Diego Writer’s Conference. On his blog he said:

Later that day I did something else I’ve never done: ran a “read and critique” workshop in which participants read a portion of their work in progress then sat quietly while the rest of us critiqued the work. It was a wonderful hour and a half and I can say without hesitation that the participants were all talented writers. I was, in fact, amazed by the quality of the writing. As I listened I kept thinking, why don’t these people have book deals?”

It was nice to know I wasn’t alone in my thinking.

When I get really frustrated and discouraged with this whole industry, I remember what Randy Ingermanson describes as writing stages: Freshman, Sophmore, Junior and Senior. Based on his descriptions (and of course my own evaluation of my writing) I judged myself to be a Senior. He’s what keeps me sane (for the moment anyway):

Seniors are those few who are ripe to graduate. A Senior is writing excellent stuff. Explosive. Powerful. Moving. But still unpublished. Seniors are worried sick that those mean editors are never going to notice them, that they’ll be submitting proposals forever. Seniors don’t realize that the editors are watching them, hoping to see the perfect proposal that can make it past the committee. Seniors are closer than they think. There is nothing worse than being a Senior. There is nothing better than being a Senior on that magical wonderful stupendous day when your son is busy ironing the cat, rain is leaking through the hole in the roof that you could swear you patched with toothpaste just a week ago, and the phone rings. It’s one of those cranky editors you sent that proposal to last year and . . . she wants to buy your book!

What stage to you think you’re in? And how do you keep going in the face of the it’s-never-going-to-happen monster?

>Lazy Saturday

>I haven’t had one in…I seriously don’t know when (and I’m truly not just saying that).

  • The friend I spend most of my time with went away fro the weekend with her family.
  • DD #2 has a by on her basketball schedule.
  • DD #1 (aka the social butterfly) is off at a friend’s house for the night.
  • I sent off two bracelets that had been on order.
  • I paid the bills.
  • DH is home — getting used to his new schedule, but that’s a whole different post — and he cleaned the house (well, the major stuff).

O.M.G. I’m not pressed for anything! What am I going to do with myself?

Write…right? That’s really the only right answer. And, yes. I should. So, why is it that when you actually have time and space and silence to write, you don’t want to?

I did write for three hours this morning. I’ve gone to the grocery store, surfed the internet, went to a movie, now I’m blogging. Um…I’m running out of ideas and it’s only 5pm. I should excercise or just relax. I could oranize or do laundry or finish my friend’s scarf. But I don’t wanna do any of that.

I’m much more productive when I’m busy. Giving me downtime is giving me a license to do nothing-just till and toil until the time is gone and I’m mad at myself for wasting it. (I think there’s some psychological problem in there somewhere.)

Anyway, in my surfing, I found a great blog by agent Susannah Taylor over at Magical Musings. Definitely worth reading.

Also, a week or so ago, there was a hilarious blog on Paperback Writer that I’ve been meaning to link to. Again — worth the read.

When you find yourself with these unexpected down-time blurps, what do you do with yourself? Better yet, what do you avoid doing?

Lazy Saturday

>I haven’t had one in…I seriously don’t know when (and I’m truly not just saying that).

  • The friend I spend most of my time with went away fro the weekend with her family.
  • DD #2 has a by on her basketball schedule.
  • DD #1 (aka the social butterfly) is off at a friend’s house for the night.
  • I sent off two bracelets that had been on order.
  • I paid the bills.
  • DH is home — getting used to his new schedule, but that’s a whole different post — and he cleaned the house (well, the major stuff).

O.M.G. I’m not pressed for anything! What am I going to do with myself?

Write…right? That’s really the only right answer. And, yes. I should. So, why is it that when you actually have time and space and silence to write, you don’t want to?

I did write for three hours this morning. I’ve gone to the grocery store, surfed the internet, went to a movie, now I’m blogging. Um…I’m running out of ideas and it’s only 5pm. I should excercise or just relax. I could oranize or do laundry or finish my friend’s scarf. But I don’t wanna do any of that.

I’m much more productive when I’m busy. Giving me downtime is giving me a license to do nothing-just till and toil until the time is gone and I’m mad at myself for wasting it. (I think there’s some psychological problem in there somewhere.)

Anyway, in my surfing, I found a great blog by agent Susannah Taylor over at Magical Musings. Definitely worth reading.

Also, a week or so ago, there was a hilarious blog on Paperback Writer that I’ve been meaning to link to. Again — worth the read.

When you find yourself with these unexpected down-time blurps, what do you do with yourself? Better yet, what do you avoid doing?

>What Color Is Your Aura?

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Your Aura is Blue


Your Personality: Your natural warmth and intuition nurtures those around you. You are accepting and always follow your heart.

You in Love: Relationships are your top priority, and this includes love. You are most happy when you are serious with someone.

Your Career: You need to help others in your job to feel satistifed. You would be a great nurse, psychologist, or counselor.


What Color Is Your Aura?

What Color Is Your Aura?

>

Your Aura is Blue


Your Personality: Your natural warmth and intuition nurtures those around you. You are accepting and always follow your heart.

You in Love: Relationships are your top priority, and this includes love. You are most happy when you are serious with someone.

Your Career: You need to help others in your job to feel satistifed. You would be a great nurse, psychologist, or counselor.


What Color Is Your Aura?

>Inspiration

>I don’t know about you, but I could sure use some. What a crappy, stressful day. Thought I’d try fighting off my Eeyore syndrome with some inpirational quotes.

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
~ Calvin Coolidge
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all.
~ Dale Carnegie

You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
~ Margaret Thatcher

Inspiration

>I don’t know about you, but I could sure use some. What a crappy, stressful day. Thought I’d try fighting off my Eeyore syndrome with some inpirational quotes.

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
~ Calvin Coolidge
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all.
~ Dale Carnegie

You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
~ Margaret Thatcher

>Eye Candy

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I’m in the mood for a little more eye candy…how about you?

Huuuuuuuuuuuunky!