I know I've promised more Santa tales but before I hitch up the sleigh and head down that icy trail I want to cover a few other things. So today is going to be one of those conglomeration posts with no real theme.
I've said it before, but I'm gonna say it again. Writing Fiction has as many ups and down as a bordello's bed springs. I could take the analogy farther, but not without grossing a few of you out so I'll leave that metaphor alone. In the span of a week I've gone from, Yeah the story is flowing now, the characters are engaging, the plot is tight, the novel is tight, someone is bound to take it on, to -- This is all mindless dribble, I don't know how I'll finish this thing and keep the tone funny, and even if I do who the hell would want to buy it.
Do the rest of you writers go through these cycles? Do you force your thoughts out of the negative and will yourself to keep going, or do you wait until your mood improves?
I have always willed myself to keep going, but the task seems to get harder each time.
But I am lucky in many ways when it comes to support. My wife's faith in my ability has never wavered, I have numerous friends who say things like, I don't see why no one will publish your novels. I 've read lots of books that aren't half as good. And then there is my network of writing friends here in Amarillo.
Last night my wonderful critique group talked me away from the ledge when I hinted that maybe i should abandon Plundered Booty as a novel and simply try to market the short story. Despite my concerns they have convinced me to finish, that the project has commercial merit.
That got me to thinking how fortunate I am to live in a community where there is a strong presence of knowledgeable and talented writers.
Amarillo is home to Panhandle Professional Writers. PPW is the secodn oldest writing group in the nation and home to many talented and published authors. The group offers an online community as well as bi monthly workshops. PPW also hosts the annual Frontiers In Writing conference each June. If you live within an easy day's drive from Amarillo, basically anywhere in Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, western Kansas, western Arkansas, and most of Texas you should make an attempt to attend. The full lineup is not set as of yet but here is a bit more info, FIW 2008.
The conference also host a contest that anyone can enter whether they plan to attend or not. I can't find the info for this year's contest but here is a link for last year. The rules will be pretty much the same and the deadline is usually around the end of February. The first round is always judged by published authors and the finals are judge by either and acquiring editor or a literary agent. If you are interested let me know in the comments and I will make certain to get you the rules for 2008 as soon as I can get my hands on them.
And if any of you know of some good contests coming up let me know. I would like to get some feedback on the start of Plundered Booty and many contests are a great way get a bit of insider take on a work in progress.
Now that I've sufficiently bored all my non-writing friends, I'm going to call it a day. Guess this post had a theme after all. Tomorrow, I'll get up a Santa post, or at least I'll try. I am scheduled to work 8Am till 4:30 PM for one shift and then I return at Midnight to pull an all nighter. Trust me by the time I get off a 8:30 Thursday morning I'll be as worthless as a bulletproof vest in a grenade fight.
Oh wait. I probably shouldn't talk about bulletproof vests and grenades being as I am a Postal Worker and this is our busiest and most stressful season. have I ever mentioned I hate red and green envelopes especially when people fill them up with festive glitter which plays hell with the machines I'm supposed to work on. And don't even get me started on flocking.
I wonder how many people would stand in line and pay to sit on the Grinch's lap and take a picture. Just a thought.