It was a bad new good news good news week.
It began with bad news. The (very awesome) agent who'd asked to read the whole novel, wrote to say no thank you. She said (and I paraphrase) that she just didn't love it as much as she'd hoped. The good news was the timing. The rejection freed me to submit a section of the novel for consideration in the 2014 Undiscovered Voices publication.
In the past 10 days I've travelled from Amsterdam to Calgary to Cabo and back to Calgary again. Ostensibly the trip was to visit friends and to attend a wedding but... the entire time my (often bizarre) brain has been occupied with inventing aliens.
It turns out that alien invention is a team sport.
The only thing that could make this writing week better would be a book contract.
What a week. Sitting down to write this blogpost all I could think of was how lonely a writing week can be and how this week was anything but lonely. It was filled with amazing writers and illustrators, bookbinders, fiction-writing angels (those wonderful folks who organise events) and my writing group. It was the people who made my week, so this will be a blog about those people.
I was speaking this week with a mom whose teen was facing the big decision – what to study at university? The teen was seriously considering enrolling in a creative writing degree at university. As someone with a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and a bucket full of undergraduate courses in the same, my response was disturbingly ambivalent, edging toward hostile. It was a big fat warning... NOOOOO!
When I started studying writing at university the first thing I learned was how much I didn't know. I sat in my first ever Creative Writing Class with Fred Wah, Governor General's Award winner and Canada's current Parliamentary Poet Laureate, with my pencil ready eager to record his gems of writing wisdom. Instead I filled an entire page with literary words I had never heard of before. Things like ostranenie and duende. What the heck? I was terrified. And in those pre-Wiki days it wasn't so easy
I'm so so very excited to hear from people and to talk to people about writing and writing related stuff. BUT for all you folks who just want to find a place to advertise your drugs, your websites or your website service, and most especially your penis extensions....
Keep Your Grubby Paws off my Page!
In February I applied to a Literary Boot Camp run by Orson Scott Card, author of Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead. Five intensive days of writing and rewriting with the king of ‘world builders’. Applicants were asked to submit the first page of a manuscript - just one page. I sent the first page of my YA novel - the same one that I’d been circulating to agents for a few months now without much success so I wasn’t holding my breath. Yesterday, I received an email from Orson Scott Card’s as
I’ve been a bit spotty with the daily word count on the new novel. Some days I wrote 4,000 words. Some days I wrote nothing - always with an excuse handy. It was an awful lot like my exercise excuses. Telling myself that I still had months and months to get in shape before summer and fit into those pretty beach dresses I had packed away in the back of the wardrobe. Each time I missed a daily 1,000 word target, I told myself I still had time. I could still finish this by the end of May.