Saturday, January 24, 2009

Catching up on the past few weeks...

Hello again!

I've finished my second round of antibiotics for this stupid sinus/ear infection now, so let's hope that it's cleared everything up so I can feel human again.

So, what have I been up to while living in medicine-head-land? Surprisingly quite a bit of writing. Sadly, most of it wasn't on Instinct, but it's still writing. I really wish that I had been able to work on Instinct these past few weeks though, I really miss the story and the characters. Unfortunately sinus medication + full length novel plots don't mesh up that well in my brain.

So, what did I write then?

Well, first off, the one thing I did write for Instinct was for a blog that I frequent regularly, Dear Author. Every Saturday, they post what is known as "First Page Saturday". Here's a blurb from their site that explains what it's all about:
"Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others."
So, I spent a good amount of time polishing the first page of Instinct to send it off for this. Now, I'm pretty sure that this is a popular program, so I'm not certain how long it will take for my first page to be posted, but it's worth the wait. The advice and critiques that have been posted for previous entries are wonderfully helpful and insightful, not to mention brutally honest. So, I'll be checking back every Saturday, waiting to see if my page gets posted.


The other project that I've been working on is a short story for a contest held by The Pen & Muse blog.
"The Pen & Muse Blog proudly presents a Romance Short Story Contest! This contest is open to published/unpublished writers. There will be two categories/divisions for winners, published and unpublished.

Story length: 10,000 (no more than 10,000 for minimum)
Deadline: February 19, 2009"

(Click here for more details.)
Strangely enough, about a week before this contest was posted, I felt inspired to start writing a romance short story. I think I typed up about half of it and outlined the other half before sending it off to a friend to read. I was pretty doped up on sinus medication, so I wanted a healthy, outside opinion of it before I finished it.

I hadn't written a short story since high school, almost nine years ago... okay, feeling a little old saying that... I really didn't think that I could still write something so short and have it turn out well. Ever since I first sat down to outline Instinct, I've been hooked on writing novel length fiction.

But, anyway, this story came to me in a fever-induced dream one night and kept haunting me the entire next day. I figured that since I was having trouble remembering what I ate earlier in the day, that the fact that this story from the previous night was sticking around in my brain meant that it must be important. I really liked the characters and thought their story was cute, but was willing to discard it initially because I couldn't see how they could be used in a full-length novel. I can't believe that I almost threw out a story that I liked for a stupid reason like this... the medicine was really strong I guess. Glad to be writing anything though, I typed it up and put it aside, figuring that I'd find a use for it someday.

A little under a week later, that use appeared in the form of this contest. I knew that I'd be able to finish the story in well under 10,000 words and that my friend absolutely loved what I had so far, so I went for it. I've spent my free time since then writing, and re-writing, and editing, and re-editing this story. I have a couple of sentences highlighted that still sound wrong to me that need to be fixed, but I'm really liking what it's evolved into.

The goal for me is to straighten out those last few sentences that are being a nuisance before bed tonight. Then, I'll read it out loud... again, before going line by line doing spelling and grammar checks tomorrow since you can't trust MS Word to do this correctly 100% of the time. I'd like to send it off by the end of the week.

Giving myself 'til the end of the week should be plenty of time to have a couple of friends read over it for me. I have the friend, who read it in it's original format, who I'm sure will read it again for me. My husband has also volunteered to read it over, even though it's definitely not a genre he'd usually read. It's hard to imagine him reading a romance story in any format though, even a short story. Luckily for him, it's at just under 3300 words right now.


In other literary news...

I've won a couple more free books online. All of my research into the publishing industry is really paying off for my personal library. Thanks to various contests on publishing and review websites and blogs, I've won the following things:
In case you haven't noticed, Bitten By Books is an awesome website, not just for winning contests, but for amazing interviews with authors and book reviews. Someday, when I'm published, I'm definitely signing up to do an interview and contest with them.

I love my iPod and can't imagine not having it now. I've read Eternal Seduction and really enjoyed it, I even did a review of it on this blog. (Click here to read it.) I just received Unleashed in the mail today and am looking forward to reading and reviewing it as well. And I've received word that my information has been sent to the publisher so that I can receive my copy of Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand soon. I'm really looking forward to reading and reviewing it once it's here.

I plan on posting reviews of every book that I win in an online contest as a way to thank the author. I can't promise that I'll like every book that I read, but I'll be honest and explain what I did or did not like about each one.


I think that's about it for what's happened in my literary world since my last post. Of course, I could have missed something, those sinus pills were really strong... If I think of anything else cool that happened, I'll make a new post with it.

Oh, and I'll keep everyone up-to-date on the short story contest as well as any other cool contests that can be entered as I find out the information myself.

Until I blog again...
Talk 2ya later...



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