The Writer’s Lament

It is not that I am silent.

Rather, my voice is missing.

It went out one day and never came back–

I am not sure if it is lost,

Or stolen.

I only know that it is gone,

And I have no way to call it home.

Gouache and ink on watercolor paper.

Gouache and ink on watercolor paper.

Many people talk about how to find your “voice” as a writer. I always thought of it as something that was organic–the way you phrase your sentences, the variety of vocabulary you use, the rhythm of your words on paper, your written personality. It can be modified, or shaped, like a garden–you can add things or take them away. But I never thought of it was something you go out and find, almost like a shopping trip: Hey, there’s a voice I like–I’ll take that one!

I’ve been having trouble with mine, lately. Nothing I write sounds like me. Or at least, not the way I think I should sound. It’s not that my voice is changing or growing, it is simply that it isn’t there. I have ideas, boundless ideas, and can’t get them out on paper. It’s very strange.

So when, as a writer, your voice just…evaporates, what do you do? Has anyone else ever experienced this?

BOUND is forthcoming!

My hearts, I have made the decision to self-publish my novella, BOUND. And I’ve just launched a description of it on its own blog page, here.

Please check it out. I am currently researching cover art, and once I have a designer locked in, I will start making an official timeline for the release.

Tell your friends! Stay tuned!

Decision 2014

All right. I’ve received the latest feedback from a publisher where I had submitted my Viking novella, Bad Dream Entertainment. Unfortunately, BDE passed on it, but they had some really encouraging feedback, which was to say that my characters appeared fleshed-out and relatable, the story was interesting and I had “a good thing going.”

That’s some pretty stellar feedback for two sample chapters, I would say. The editor encouraged me to continue shopping it around. I took a little while to find some other viable small presses, but couldn’t find one I liked.  The third I had on my initial list appears to be strictly horror, and I don’t think my novella would fit well there.

Full disclosure: As my novella began more as a side project, I had told myself I would shop it around for a bit, and then consider self publishing.

I’m going to take that leap of faith and attempt this self publishing thing.

*cue existential panic*

Many, many thanks to Bad Dream Entertainment and World Weaver Press for taking the time out of their reading schedules to provide awesome feedback with their declines. I highly recommend both places if you’re looking for a home for your book–just be sure to read their submission guidelines carefully, as always. Five of five stars for both places, would submit again.

Be on the look-out for updates, new blog formatting, and possibly a dedicated page (or site) for my forthcoming book. Oh my God, I just said forthcoming book.

*hyperventilates*

 

A Tide of Thoughts

I know that I have not posted anything of substance in a long while for various reasons–personal, professional, it doesn’t matter. I have been derelict in my duties. I can’t promise a return to regularly scheduled posts, but I do promise to try harder and post more frequently until I can get back to weekly or twice weekly posts. That said, let’s perform some updates.

I have sent my Viking novella out to two small presses; a no from one (they were intrigued, but booked) and I have yet to hear from the other. While the novella is making the rounds, I am tweaking my “wizard story” setting and reevaluating the diversity of my characters (which is a daunting task–I’m struggling with the feeling of phoniness. I’m not _____, so how the hell would I know? If any of you have tips, or wish to share you experiences, please do so in the comments).

Thus ends the writing updates. Secondary thought process: this week is family beach vacation. Except, I was not able to attend this year. Not going has made me all out of whack, as the ocean re-calibrates my soul. I’ve been trying to recreate the oceanic effect with listening to ocean wave videos, drinking Hames Gin and Tonics (traditional liquid mascot of the beach), and reading as much fantasy as I can get a hold of, but it doesn’t quite have the same quality. Sigh. There’s always next year.

How do you all re-calibrate?

This is me, from a long time ago (aka college), sitting on Virginia Beach. The beach is my happy place. Remember to visit your happy places, my darlings, in reality or in your mind.

This is me, from a long time ago (aka college), sitting on Virginia Beach. The beach is my happy place. Remember to visit your happy places, my darlings, in reality or in your mind.

The Hames Gin&Tonic

You will need:
Tonic water
Gin
Lime
Maraschino cherries
Angostura bitters
Ice
Glass tumbler.

Put the desired amount of ice in your tumbler. Sprinkle ice with 3-4 drops of bitters. Take a slice of lime, squeeze over ice, and then drop it into the glass. Pop two cherries in there while you’re at it, maybe a splash of cherry juice if you like your drinks sweeter. Pour in a shot of gin–or two, if you’re feeling rebellious. Top with tonic water. Serve immediately.

Don't mind the blurry cell-phone picture. The important part is that your drink isn't blurry--if it is, stop drinking.

Don’t mind the blurry cell-phone picture. The important part is that your drink isn’t blurry–if it is, stop drinking.

Advice for Writers

jackiehames:

This is a nice reminder, as I am frantically overhauling the mythology of my next project and anxiously awaiting responses from publishers for the novella I just sent out. Oy.

Creativity is hard–but so worth it.

Originally posted on The Blabbermouth Blog:

photo 5Last summer, at the Writing Yoga® Retreat that I host with my colleague Stefanie Lipsey, I learned something that some might say, “No, duh!” to, but that I’d kind of forgotten. It was during one of our afternoon yoga sessions, and Stefanie was leading the yoga. She reminded us to focus on what was happening on our own yoga mat. That is to say, it didn’t matter if the person next to me could balance on one foot while wrapping their other foot behind their head, all while humming a satisfying OM to the universe, while I might be struggling to figure out which way to turn my head, where to place my hand, and how my foot happened to get where it is. Yoga isn’t a contest. It’s not a competitive sport. When I focused on what was happening on my own mat, not only was it a much…

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