Happy anniversary, George

A year ago today, I self-published my first story with help from Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. It was short. It wasn’t overly promoted except perhaps in these pages. It never went viral. My fantasy of appearing on late night TV has not been fulfilled. But it was an accomplishment nonetheless.

I’d estimate that a couple hundred of you read it. Frankly, I have not. Not since doing a final run through anyway before hitting click and committing it to the electronic world forever. I just can’t. And especially now, eight weeks into my writing class. I already suspect what my flaws were. I can be at peace with it all by thinking that someday, you all will call it my ‘early work’.

My full-length novel, which does not feature an appearance by George Clooney, is developing nicely. The Stanford online writing class has provided me good structure, feedback and a community of fellow writers. In two weeks, 5,000 words of my ending will be workshopped. While at the start of this class, I dreaded my workshop week, now I look forward to it.

I can’t say for sure how far along I’d be right now in writing my novel if I hadn’t taken the baby step of writing My Night with George Clooney. So on this, our anniversary, I think of George and apologize that he’s been folded up in a box since our return from Hawaii.

I promise to pull him out to celebrate the completion of No Working Title Yet.

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getting closer

I’m working hard. I promise. I thought I had a final product yesterday. I was so sure I was done that I registered my short story with the Copyright Office. But then when I took on the project of formatting my story to Amazon’s recommended specs (a task I could not have done without the technical and emotional support of DC Celine) I started making tweaks here and there.

Out of Thursday’s Day of Irrational Tears I have salvaged an energy and motivation whose roots I don’t understand. But I’m going with it. I spent all day Friday on my story (I mean, working from home) and even after midnight, with Nancy and her Belmonsters sleeping over (thanks, George, for helping with bedtime) I snuck in some edits on chapter two.

Today, two soccer games and an Oktoberfest party will keep me mostly away from the computer, but my mind is racing, my heart is pounding and I’m ready to embrace the fear I feel at publishing something for the world to see.

Frankly, I’m just ready for you to read it.

I resolve to write more

Goals. Resolutions. Whatever you call them, many of us set new, higher, more challenging expectations for ourselves at the beginning of a new year.

As you saw, I did mine visually in the form of a goal board. But all you seemed to notice were the shoes.

Yes, shoes figured prominently for both literal and figurative meanings, but what you never would have guessed, given how little I have written in the new year (as in, this is my first 2012 post) is that I made some writing resolutions as well.

Of course, I resolve to write more.

Last night, tired as I was, as I was falling asleep a post was taking shape. I thought about getting up and retrieving the computer, but then I made the age-old writer’s mistake of thinking my idea was so brilliant that I would remember it all in the morning.

I was wrong.

I resolve to write my ideas down when they come to me, even if it’s after midnight.

As Congress continues its journey toward deeper and deeper dysfunction, my job is going to feel akin to waking up every morning and beating my head against a wall.

I resolve to use writing as a means to personal and professional satisfaction.

When it comes to the blog, I would love to add an outfit-of-the-day component, though that option may be on hold until I find a boyfriend who can take daily photos of said outfits. (Honestly, I would probably suggest he take a week’s worth of shots over the weekend that I trickle out Monday-Friday since there is rarely surplus time in my weekday mornings. Doing so would be great for wardrobe planning purposes, and might give me more precious time in the morning to eat breakfast or sleep later.)

There is a goal I’ve had in my head since I was oh about 15 years old, and that is to write a book. How angry was I when Bridget Jones Diary came out. I could have written that book. I essentially did write that book in the form of the scores of journals I kept in my neurotic 20s. Sigh.

Last winter, when I was confined to the house in the back brace, I got about 10,000 words down on the latest idea in my head. But then the doctor cleared me to sit and drive, which essentially lifted my social confinement, and I haven’t touched these novel beginnings since then.

I resolve to finish my book.

I probably only have about 70,000 words to go. Give me ten days of solitude in a gorgeous setting that doesn’t have sightseeing distractions, wireless coverage or Congress but does have good end-of-the-day rewards in the form of wine and food and I know I can get it done.

Or find a new reason to bang my head against the wall.