Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When I Knew I Wanted to be a Writer

[*According to my blogger dashboard, my last post was #100. It's taken me a couple of years to get there, but it's a nice marker to reach. :) ]

Since the statehood post, I've been thinking about my childhood a bit more. Then I saw a post or two about writers who knew they wanted to do this since they could write, or even before, because they were storytellers. I realized, that was not the case for me.

My kindergarten class was set up as different stations--little square spaces where you could draw/color, play house, read, there was a small sandbox to play in, and other puzzle games. I think just from this you can see what I preferred, I can't even remember most of the stations on the other side of the classroom. we were supposed to move around, not stay in one area all day, but I loved playing house, though I seem to recall not necessarily needing the typical mom, dad, baby set-up (I wish I could remember what I -did- want to play, wizards?).

I still have a single page story with picture about a girl catching a butterfly, but I remember I actually didn't like the color station--we were given pages of animals that were supposed to be certain colors, blue bear, red cat, etc., that would be compiled into a booklet. I thought it was boring. But I did like that single page story I came up with. And I loved to read. I still have the book (similar to a "See Jane. See Dick. See Jane's dress." ones) and it was the first thing I read all by myself. I went and read it to my teacher and she gave me a post-it with a stamp of (or it was printed with) a 'good job so and so,' with the teacher's signature. It's still in that book.

Drawing and writing have always been tied for me. From those early years to fifth and sixth grade, whn I drew countless characters, just waiting for stories, and then the stories develop concurrently with the pictures. Outside of class, I didn't do much writing, but I had the pictures and notes, and the stories in my head. In school, the drawings were never as good (rephrase--I actually did most of my drawing at school, but when it was assigned, it didn't look at good). And I remember a story I was supposed to write in 6th grade--I never finished it. I have no idea what I got for a grade, but I think it was passing, because at least my teacher saw me working on it in class. I just couldn't get to the end.
Ending stories...From the time I started writing stories, I couldn't finish them. A one-page, or even 7-page story for 8th grade English, I was able (barely) to wrap up, but I started so many stories that I didn't finish until my undergraduate years of college. I joined the Honors program in order to finish a novel. I've finished two since then (the second novel is the one I'm querying agents on).

When I was thinking about this, I would have said I didn't know I wanted to be a writer until intermediate schol/high school. The latter is when I started what would be that first novel. And I had another story that I worked on during PE, while still adhering to teh activity of the day. During the former, I started finishing what I began, at least if they were short.

Now, though, I think maybe I've wanted to do it for a long time. I didn't know it at first, but I -did- love drawing and writing and coming up with stories. I just wanted to write on my own terms.

And now I am. hee.

Happy writing, everyone.
[PS. The redhead is Kelin, and the silver-haired lady is Phoenix, my two mage protagonists for that first complete novel. Not my best work, but I was rushing to finish them for a poster at the time. I still tend to draw a lot of my characters as I write their stories.]

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Editing Updates <3

Here's my good mood: I finished my edits. I do believe, my dearies, that 'Hounds' is ready to go out amongst agents.

Here's my less-than-good mood: That means jumping out amonst the agents, handing over my novel, and waiting for rejection.

I like to think I am knowledgable about the publishing industry (although less so about the spelling here--knowledgeable?), but at the same time, I hate rejection. I have, one can argue, led an occasionally boring life, partly to avoid rejection. But I know rejection is part of the game, as much as I want to be confident and say, "I'll get an agent with my first query sent." People like confidence, they like certainty, they like to see that you (read: me) can handle stress and not fall apart at the drop of a hat.
Well, stress is fine, good, I can deal with that. (You guys haven't met my family. Stress is daily entertainment in this house.) I love writing. I want to write for the rest of my life, to get better with every story, to make a living out of this skill and passion. I just hate rejection.
I commented on a post on Sherwood Smith's journal once, a few weeks back--the topic revolved around conversations, conventions and introverts, but it reminded me of this feeling I struggle with from time to time. I shared my example. For introverted me, stepping into a conversation is like a game of double-dutch jump rope, rocking back and forth, waiting for the right moment. Unfortunately, my "right moment" never seemed to come. I would stand there rocking, waiting, and someone else would jump in on the other side.
I don't want writing to be another missed opportunity. [And my writerly instincts scream at all the 'I' statements.] But I need to screw up the courage (a weird cliche out of context), and just do it. Query is ready, book is done and edited, and there's an excel sheet with a good number of agents and their requirements listed, just waiting for me.
Everything waiting for me. ~cue scared kitty again~ I think I'll be okay once I start. So here I am, watching the rope as it slaps the hot pavement. Someone nearby sings a silly rhyme. I'm gonna