Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A birthday and Random Thoughts

Happy Birthday Ruby!!!!!
I hope this birthday is an absolutely wonderful one. You've been a great friend. Have an awesome day! You deserve it.
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(hey, it was the only way I could think of to separate the two - whenever I published, they ran together - any suggestions?)
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So, just what is it with the title of this blog? The long and writing road (besides a play on one of my favorite Beatles songs) is a journey that many of us "un-published" writers travel every day. Its a quest for just THE book that will get our proverbial foot in the publishing world. It's a wild ride, sometimes lonely, sometimes so full that its hard to breathe, but never, never dull. Hard, frustrating, tragic, wrenching ... but never dull. For me the journey began in childhood with the fantasies and mystical worlds I created everywhere I turned. This fantasy world filled me, sustained me through some very tough times in my life. I'd spend my days in Collinsport, or on the bridge of the starship Enterprise (where I really was going to marry Chekhov). As I grew older I started to solve mysteries with a girl named Nancy, dumped Chekhov for Keith Partridge, Dave Starsky and Joe Hardy (wait, Keith Partridge and Joe Hardy? Isn't that kind of incestuous?) and continued to dream. Then my mother introduced me to some very fine ladies named Violet Winspear, Mary Burchell, Betty Neels and Mary Wibberley. I became hooked on this thing called romance and dumped Donny Osmond for aristocrats and doctors. And my dreams broadened. That's when the voices began ... you know those voices - the weavers of stories, the narrators of vivid tales of love, romance and adventure. I even tried writing a Presents once somewhere around the 9th grade (that was just 7 years ago - watch it!). But then something happened. I suddenly developed this fear of mistakes. I became obsessed with homework, agonizing over every word, every comma, every grammatical mistake I was making until, suddenly, I couldn't write anything down. Not a good sign for a writer. So I shelved that dream and went on with my life. But the daydreams continued, the voices still whispered to me, and the self-imposed exile to the land of no writing became a silent torment. About 13 years ago that began to change. Slowly my world started coming into focus and the voices became louder until they would no longer be silenced. So I began to write, to push those boundaries I had erected around me. I even joined a writer's group ... and for someone with agoraphobia that was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. And the words began forming, the ideas sprang from me sometimes so much, so fast that I couldn't keep up. It was if someone had opened the floodgates and I couldn't stop it. I wrote a book. Yep folks, I actually have one. Oh it needs a lot of editing, and the story is really ... mediocre at best. But that's not the point. It's written. So what's the problem? Well, other than the fact that I hate the book? That's about the time I began taking care of my parents, dropped out of the writer's group and pretty much gave up writing again. Until last year. Until I began blogging and the muses sprung up in me and all gave a shout of Hallelujah! That's when I decided that writing, for me, wasn't just a hobby. It was a passion, an all-consuming need to write down the stories of all the voices in my head. So this week I decided that I had wallowed in depression for long enough. That I was going to get my life back in some sort of order (hence the cleaning of the desk) and I was going to start back on that journey, back on that long and writing road. Wanna walk with me?

34 comments:

Rene said...

Sorry, "Puppy Love" played in my head the whole time I read your post.

I firmly believe that the muses will find a way to force you to write one way or another and sometimes those bumps (or mountains) in the road serve a purpose. Your experiences will be evident in your voice. So go for it.

Bailey Stewart said...

"And they called it ... Puppy Lo-o-o-ove" I know, me too.

Oh believe me - those muses are starting to resort to sledgehammers.

I didn't expect anybody to come by this late - well, it's late for me ...

ruby55 said...

Hey, Eve,

Look who's here bright and early this morning. Well, no, I haven't been to bed yet. I've been trying to find your new blog and the first thing I see is "Happy Birthday" for the almost 16-year-old. Missed Feb 29 by less than 3 hours. Was my mother ever glad. I was born with only a midwife and my grandmother present. When my mother went to the hospital before my due date, the doctor said that they could only offer her a bathtub if she really decided she needed a doctor and to go with a midwife instead. She said I looked like Snow White when she saw me for the first time and the midwife later admitted that she didn't think I'd survive. But here I am after all.

Thanks for the Wishes. You're a great friend. And let's not forget the two people who really brought us closer: our mothers who ended up suffering from the same disease.

ruby55 said...

Good for you, Eve. I think we've both had a sort of epiphany lately. I've decided to seriously look into the part of writing that you hate: grammar, etc. See, I can't be creative for the life of me. I always needed my mother's guidance for anything that didn't deal with facts, or another time, two friends with whom I wrote a booklet about a dog with pictures, no less. One of the other girls was really good at that. I guess I probably was the one who edited it. Not a creative thought in my head. In that way, I can't empathize with you but I can in wanting to accomplish something that I know I'm good at. And I'm finally admitting to others that I'm good at it. So, I'll do the grammar, etc. you do the creative work. No fee required. What are friends for, after all. To help each other.

Go for it.

Dennie McDonald said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RUBY!!!

I guess it migh help me write if I actually put my computer back on the desk and not had it in the family room so I can watch Mini-me play games while I blog...

Peggy said...

Good for you, Eve. Don't let the demons of doubt win. Write for the mere fun of writing. Worry about the rest later. Everytime I got a rejection, I felt the same way. Went back to "real" life and put my dream on the back burner. Then one day (on my 38th bd) I realized time was moving a hell of a lot faster than I expected. If I wanted to see this dream realized, then I had to get behind it fully. No surrender. And if I leave this earth without ever being published, at least I know I gave it my everything. The only part I could control in this business.

Bailey Stewart said...

Happy Birthday Ruby! Thanks for the offer - Bebo does a pretty good job of keeping me in line, but I keep you in mind.

Dennie - yeah, that would help *g*

Peggy - Thanks. Yes, that's all we can control.

Guess what I did last night folks? Go ahead, guess.

Toni Anderson said...

Happy Birthday Ruby!!!!

Hey, did you write Eve??? Self doubt and second guessing will kill you!

I was listening to some RWA workshops in the background of trying to redo my website last night. It was Allison Brennan and Patti Berg called 'No plotters allowed'. It was basically how everyone writes differently and to use what is right for you. But what I found more interesting was Allison's opinions on negative critism and self doubt. Basically ignore the bad stuff, learn craft, keep moving forward and trying. I related--this is what I do :) Sometimes you get some contest judge (or agent or editor) who hates your work. Other times they like it but not quite enough.
Sometimes people love it--what a thrill!
But you have to keep going and finish the book. Have you thought of short stories? Lots of erotic novellas being published and honing craft on a short piece of work is a lot of fun (compared to rewriting a 350 page novel!). You lie hot stuff--why not think about it?

Toni Anderson said...

like--not lie!! And I meant to say well done for starting to write again!!!

Toni Anderson said...

PPS. One of my favourite all time songs. Long and Winding Road.

Bailey Stewart said...

I lie hot stuff? Not too often *g*

I wrote a little and then worked on characters. Yes folks, I worked on writing. It felt good, but I didn't like being up so late, but it seems lately that the only time I can really have quiet and work is after everyone has gone to bed. So maybe I'm looking at 4 hour night sleeps after all.

I've thought about short stories - but IMHO I think that takes much more work and talent to tell a complete, wholly (sp?) developed story in such a short space. But that's just me. I do have a short piece (more magazine size) called "Everything I Know About Sex I learned From Rosemary Rogers" which is okay (Bebo likes it). I'd like a few more opinions on it (since I have no CP)but it's not bloggable *gg*

Bailey Stewart said...

Let me rephrase that - its not bloggable here because I do try to keep this one pretty tame (PG-13).

Bailey Stewart said...

Any website that wouldn't let you see my desk deserves to be scrapped *g*

Sorry about the PC problems.

Shirley said...

Welcome to Blogger. I'm late ... I'm having pc problems ... grrr! Anyway, glad you ditched Bravenet because they wouldn't let me see the 'clean' pic of your desk. It's looking good. :o)

Bailey Stewart said...

That's strange - how come my comment came in before yours? That looks really weird, like I'm clairvoyant or something and I knew what you were going to say. That's it - I'm gifted AND special! I like that ...

Tori Lennox said...

Hey, I went through much the same bunch of guys as a kid. Funny how that works out, huh? :)

I hear you on the self-doubt. I go through it way too often.

Bailey Stewart said...

I think they were pretty universal. I find that a lot of writers (even well published ones) have moments of self-doubt. So I guess we're normal?

Susan said...

Happy Birthday Ruby!

Eve, I have faith in you. Keep up with your writing and sooner or later I'm sure you will become a published writer!

Bailey Stewart said...

Thanks Susan - your check is in the mail *gg* Actually, that means a lot to me.

glenice said...

Hey girlie!!!


I loved the Rosemary Rogers story! I thought it was too funny...not too mention oh so true :)

I still can not get over how clean the desk is :) And I thought it looked better than the last time I was there :)

Happy Birthday Ruby :)

Long and Winding Road was the theme of our Jr. Prom :) :) :)

Repeat after me....

I think I can
I think I can
I THINK I CAN
I THINK I CAN

I know I can
I know I can

I can
I can

I WILL
I WILL
I WILL WRITE :)

Bailey Stewart said...

Do I have to repeat all of that?

I've sort of fallen off the cleaning wagon - no, the desk still looks good, I just haven't filed anything. But I am taking the mail every day and putting stuff in the recycling, to be filed and to be shredded boxes - so that's doing good, isn't it?

I'm glad you liked the story!!!

christa said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RUBY!!!
There was Shaun Cassidy and The Dukes of Hazard(John Shneider and Tom Wopat) posters lining my walls. I think what got me on this whole romance reading was books by Jackie Collins.

Bailey Stewart said...

It was actually Rosemary Rogers (contemporary) stories like "The Insiders" that got me off of the series books.

This room was my bedroom during those days and this wall above my desk was plastered (like wallpaper) of the glossy magazine pictures of Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy. Ah, those were the days.

Siobhan said...

Hi y'all! Snow day has meant a home day for me. Not too tired to write and I AM going to do it just as soon as I've checked out a few blogs. I think I know what's wrong with my WIP. I've been writing it in first person and it suddenly dawned on me it should be in third. So 22,000+ words need to be reworked before I can move on with the story that I've been stuck on for the past couple of weeks. Hope this really is what's wrong with it. I think it is: 1st person POV too restrictive. The long and writing road is an apt name for this passion that grips us. Like you, Eve, I've completed a book. Entered it in the RNA New Writers' Scheme. Basically, it sucked! (Though they were nice enough not to actually come out with those words). When I read it now I'm embarrassed that I even dared to send it off. But I realise that I need to learn the craft of writing and the only way to do that is to practise, practise, practise i.e. write, write, write. Good luck to everyone on the "long and writing road."

ruby55 said...

Thanks for the wishes, everyone! They are much appreciated and I do hope for a better new year. The last one was not pleasant by any means.

Even though I'm not a writer, I'm constantly plagued by self-doubts. I know some people seem so confident in what they do. My family always tells me to "focus on the positive." That's very hard to do when you don't see any.

Shirley said...

You are gifted and special. It's official. Wow!

Amie Stuart said...

happy birthday Ruby!!!

Rosemary Rogers huh? I LOVE that title BTW.......

My mom, God rest her soul, never restricted my reading so after devouring every Barbara Cartland ever written and some ancient Presents (hey I was 11!), I moved on to Harold Robbins and OMG Jaqueline Susan (sp?) -- Valley of the Dolls anyone?

We writers are SO hard on ourselves. Be good to yourself. And for God's sake make sure its FUN! Cuz when it ain't it's like slogging through sewage.

Bailey Stewart said...

Siobhan - oh no! But at least you figured it out before you finished it. That's one of the reasons I won't write first person - I like getting into everyone's minds *gg* Good luck on the revisions and thanks for the words of encouragement.

Ruby - yes, lack of self-confidence is definitely not the sole possession of writers. Focusing sounds good - I ought to try that some time :)

Shirley - I like being official (uh huh - I miss my smilies)

Cece - you and Raine make it fun for for me (oh, and Dennie too!!!)

Okay folks, I just returned home with a TON of groceries that I'm sure is going to take me several days to unpack - well, not that sure. Talk atcha later.

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Yay for Eve on that long and writing road! I'm chugging along right there with you.

Oh, sorry about the lamebrain misunderstanding on what you needed re: links. It looks like you have them working now. If you still want to separate them into multiple lists, you can. Let me know if you're still interested and I'll send you the code to copy and paste into place (depending on how your template is set up).

I do wish Blogger had smilies, but otherwise I've been happy with it. I keep thinking I'll upgrade to wordpress someday, but I'm too chicken to try it on my own without like a whole weekend to devote to it. If I had a whole weekend, you know I'd rather be writing!!!!

Bailey Stewart said...

Yes - I do want to divide them up!

So far so good on the blog. And don't worry about being a lamebrain. It's my middlename :)

I just wish I were more computer savy (sp?). Would you believe that I made high marks in DOS, but I still can't talk "technese" - I don't understand a word technicians say to me. I couldn't understand the textbook either. I just had to sit down in the lab and figure it all out myself. And since that was 15 or so years ago I have forgotten everything I learned then. Oh well, like I'm ever going to have to build my own computer program - NOT!


Oooh, and I bought books at Walmart!

Three Blazes:
"When She Was Bad ... " by Cara Summers (I like her stuff)
"Basic Training" by Julie Miller
"No Regrets" by Cindi Myers

and two ST:
"The Hunt" by Allison Brennan (do I have to read the other ones first?)
"Awaken Me Darkly" by Gena Showalter

I'll just add them to the 50 million other ones I have over by the bed. Sheesh - its a sickness I tell you ...

Toni Anderson said...

It is a sickness and I have it too. So is redoing websites (ie. mine LOL!). I think Allison's books are stand alone but have related characters in them? I'm going to buy the Hunt and the Kill soon too :) Just need to distract DH :D

Bailey Stewart said...

I'm sure you could figure some way to do that ; )

glenice said...

Oh I am soooo tired...but I have to go hold the gecko while Krystal cleans out it cage!!!! Ugh!!! it is a MEAN lizard....always tries to bite....then I am going to read my new book...Stella Cameron :) Body of Evidence...so far REALLY good!

Talk to you tomorrow :)

Bailey Stewart said...

Tomorrow sweetie - get some sleep!