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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

News From The Subtle Front

Heya Blogpeople,
I'm just stopping in to say hello. How have you been? Good. Think about that for a while while I ramble a bit.

Lately I've been thinking about book 3 more than pretty much anything else book related. Which, considering the massive amount of other stuff going on in my life, isn't all that much.

But it's building. Like an infection. Eventually the book will fester in my mind until it comes to a head then *bam* it has to be written. Then, meh. And then I'll have to try to sell it but I'm not worried about that anymore. I failed to sell the last book and you know what? I survived. It's okay. I'll live to write again.

And, speaking of the next book, I don't exactly know what it will be about but I do know some things about it already.

It will not be written in the first person. 

It will not take place anywhere near NH. Or TN. Maybe. Probably. 

It will not have any exposition in the beginning. None. I think a little well placed exposition, just for context, is a good thing but what do I know?

It will have one plot line with a couple of tiny subplots. Or maybe a tiny secondary plot. None of that complicated crap.

It will not be a mystery. All books are mysteries, in a way, but this will not be a murder mystery.

It will have a simple 3 act format. Why make it difficult?  

It will not have a time traveling monkey even though I totally want it to. Maybe it will. We'll see.

It will take me fewer than three months to complete. Let's be realistic here for a moment- if I only become better by writing book after book, and I want to get published in the next five years or so, I'm going to have to pick up the pace a bit.

Plus, writing is the fun part and I need some fun in my life. I have two teenagers, one of them is deep in the throes of individuation (all those dev psych classes- woohoo I can put a name to the obnoxiousness) and it's a lot to deal with. I turn 40 this year. Forty. Four decades of under realized potential. Four decades of... you know what? Writing to please myself may be an indulgence, but it is a much needed indulgence. 

And, oh yeah, our kitchen renovation is at the penultimate point of awfulness right now. I have one tiny counter, a working sink, stove, refrigerator, and a couple cabinets to hold the dishes. By Monday we won't have any of those things. Wiring has to happen. A floor has to happen. Some drywall work will occur, as will a bit of painting. I believe some kind of holiday is coming up pretty soon- my kids seem to think so. We're taking a break for that.Then we get to put everything back together and the kitchen should be done by the first of the year. Mostly done. This is phase one of a three phase (haha a wiring pun there helpme) renovation plan. 

And that, cat, is where we're at. Happy holidays and etc.

Best,
M.B.







Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Chatty Letter From Home

Hey Howdy Blogpeople,
Everything is back to "normal" here at Hubris House. No more allegory stories for you all. Sorry. That was a one off. It was also supposed to be humorous but, I suspect, didn't read that way quite as much as I would have hoped since I was also pretty pissed (the American kind of pissed- not the British kind.)

Anyway. 

I hate losing even though I'm oldish and even though I have, generally, a great attitude, losing blows big stinky chunks. I do not like working really, really hard only to learn that I still suck. Okay. That's an exaggeration. My work is still "promising." Mnh. I knew this was going to take a long time, but really. It's frustrating.

Don't get me wrong- frustration as a part of the learning process isn't new to me, and I have dealt with this kind of frustration many times before. For example, I felt it when I was learning how to knit and what I knitted turned out to be mostly holes. I felt it when I was learning how to parent two very active toddlers. I feel it now while I'm figuring out how to parent two rather rebellious teenagers. I was pretty freaking frustrated when I was trying to train my Bernese Mountain dog how to put clothes into a laundry basket* but I've given that one up as a lost cause. Who am I kidding? I never give up even if I have good reason to do so. 

Frustration, for me and probably for lots of people, is part of the learning process but it's the part with which I struggle most. 

I do not, however, suffer silently. 

There are plenty of people in my life who are poised and ready for tales of my latest "failure". They love, love, love to hear me talk about how disappointed I am by whatever hope has been most recently dashed against the rocks. I frequently oblige them- why not? Ultimately I know I'm not actually a loser because I, unlike they, am trying. And talking makes me feel better. Letting upsetting things fester in the deep recesses of one's soul causes bitterness and, I hear, wrinkles.

Besides, here in this place 1000 miles away from almost everyone I used to know, I am able to surround myself with supportive people (including my husband and kids). It's pretty cool and, in fact, I couldn't do this writing thing without them. 

Thanks to the interwebs, I'm also able to talk to real actual writers who generously dispense actual, real advice. Maybe a lot of writers are jerks, this is what I hear anyhow, but you can't tell it from the working  writers I know. I've run into some incredibly fabulous women and men, lo these past few years. I don't think I could continue to improve (and I am improving overall- just not quickly enough to suit me) without their encouragement. Some writing professionals (including agents) have been incredibly helpful even though my stuff was not for them, thanks. They make up for the mean ones (and I have run into those, very rarely, but they are real.)

I've also met some amazing non writers through my writing. These people take an active interest in my work, they offer up suggestions and encouragement, and more than make up for the crappy people. I am very fortunate. These people are why I can bounce back after I have a week or two like the last week or two. I have to be better so I can give them a published copy of the book they helped to improve. It really isn't all about me.

So that's what's going on. I'm putting this book on the back burner for a few weeks. My husband and I are engaging in an intense low budget, high impact kitchen renovation over the holidays and it has pretty much taken over my life. Frankly, it's a welcome diversion. Nothing puts life into perspective quite as well as wielding a sledge (or any other kind of) hammer.

Until next time I remain,

Yours,
M.B.
*She learned how to open the hamper and take out laundry, but I still can't figure out how to get her to either put it in the laundry room or back in the hamper. She carries the clothes (only mine- for whatever reason she knows not to take any but mine) to the basement door and then sleeps in the pile. This is an example of a project I probably shouldn't have started but am determined to see through until the end. The basement door isn't that far from the laundry room. It's progress. What?