Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Writing Goals

At first I was going to apologize for posting about writing, but then I thought, "No. It's what I love to do. It's what I need to do. So, I'm going to blog about it."

I've been away from the writing for a while, working on revisions for 40 Weeks, submitting to agents, waiting ever-so-patiently for YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE to call to tell me they are so in love with the book they cannot live another day without having the permission to sell it to a publisher.

[Disclaimer: yes, maybe this is a not-so-subtle hint for you, but if it works, well, you've got my phone numbers ladies! Well, you've also got my email address, so if you're going to shoot me down, please do it gently and kindly.]

Enough groveling and begging for my dream agent. That'll get me nowhere. However, knowing that sitting around and waiting will really get me nowhere, I had an epiphany the other night.

Originally when I wrote 40 Weeks, I often said, "There will be no sequel." I had no desire to ressurect the characters I grew to love and write about for almost five years on and off (okay, mostly off, because I was busy raising three babies, but still...).

But, as I said, there was an epiphany and I discovered I didn't want to be done with them. At least not all of them. I wanted to bring to light some of the lesser front-and-center characters because I felt they had their own story to tell, and one night, seriously, in a dream, or maybe in that fog-induced-almost-asleep state of mind, I figured it out.

And now, I'm putting the words back onto paper.

Swishy has been an incredible source of energy to get me writing, and we've been encouraging each other to get out there and do what we want to do. We continue to say someday we'll go on the Swishy and Manic Book Tour, where we'll have to come up with some entertaining and exciting things to do!

So, she and I have been talking and setting personal daily goals, although I haven't talked to her at all today (Swishy? Where are you? Oh, I just popped over to your blog and see you're out getting a black eye in softball... sounds fun). I don't even know if she knew my personal daily goal for today was the same as yesterday's which I proudly met and exceeded both days.

To write 1,500 words for the new novel.

I wrote 1,857 yesterday.
I wrote 1,842 today.

This amount of words averages about 6-7 pages. I think that's about all I am able to handle late at night. I think it's a start. So far, Novel #2, Sequel to 40 Weeks, consists of 9,921 words, 33 pages.

Which means, I am one-tenth of the way done with my first draft.

This makes me happy. I used to wonder when I read about authors who wrote six or seven manuscripts before selling one, I would think, "How can they write so many? How can they just give up on their first and find something else they will want to write about and love more than their first attempt?

I think I'm figuring it out. I hope so anyway. And I hope I'm getting better at what I already know I love to do. And I hope with my T.P.T method of writing-and-not-giving-up, that someday, the right person, or people, will find my work and love it as much as I do.

Talent.

Persistence.

Timing.

Here's an excerpt:

By the time he got to the hospital, Jana was already being prepped for surgery. He didn’t even get to see her. They just whisked him into a room, and tried to explain everything.

“I need to be in there with her,” he said, after a nurse told him.

“Mr. Pederson, we don’t recommend this in this kind of circumstances. In fact, we’ve heavily sedated Jana, so she’s likely not to remember much.”

“I have to be in there with my wife. And my children. They are my children.”

So, they handed him the green scrubs that were too short on his legs, and told him the best-case, worst-case scenarios, which both sounded bleak.

“You do know that the boy twin…”

“Will.” Josh said.

“Yes. I’m sorry. Will is no longer breathing. He’s…”

“You can say it. Say it. I know he’s dead.”

“The baby girl is…”

“Charlotte. We’ve named her Charlotte.”

“We’ve still got a heartbeat, but we have to get her out of there as quickly as possible. We’ll take Will out first, and then Charlotte. It’s going to be quick. You won’t get to hold either, or see them for very long, but we will give you a chance to say your goodbyes.”

He knew the nurse was trying to be as kind as possible, but he didn’t like the sound of this.

“You mean my hellos,” Josh said.

“Yes. Well, then, shall we go?”

The nurse led Josh into the sterile operating room after they scrubbed up to their elbows, and he put on his surgical mask. When he saw Jana lying on the table, arms spread out, tubes attached to her wrists, he couldn’t help but think of Jesus on the cross. Dear God, he had thought, this is our cross.

This is our cross.

He couldn’t even kiss her, could barely make out her face. She was heavily sedated.

“Jana?” he whispered to her, voice cracking. He had to keep it together for her. Later, later he would let himself cry. Later, he would let himself tear up anything that got into his way, because he was so full of rage, he knew he had to let it go somehow, but now was not the time. Later, he would scream as loud as his lungs would allow him.

“Joshy?” Jana asked. “Our babies. Our babies.”

17 comments:

Swishy said...

YOU ROCK!!! You are so awesome to do over 1,800 words both days! (For those reading who don't write, that is VERY GOOD.) And it's great stuff too! I am so proud of you.

We are in each other's heads tonight, because I was driving home and I was like, "In my acknowledgments, I'm totally gonna be like, 'Thank you to Manic Mom, who kicked my ass when it needed kicking most!'" You are the bestest of the best, my blogger BFF.

mad muthas said...

good onyer for achieving so much when you clearly have so many calls on your time. hope you get scooped up by an agent v soon. x

Ramblin Rose said...

Give us more Give us more!!! Loved the excerpt!!!!! Well done!!!!

RR

Susan Senator said...

Really good!!! I felt a little teary tug when I read, "Joshy?" a little scalp tingle.

Nicola said...

Well done on the writing!! That's a huge effort, I loved the excerpt too, can't wait to read more! I should take a leaf outta your book (oh dear, see below!) and get writing myself, got 10,000 words over the next two weeks. Although I get to copy other peoples work at least.

Keep up the good work :)
N

PS, sorry about the pun, so not intended, lol, but had to leave it there :P

Save Sheila said...

Love the excerpt! Too bad you can't write the whole book as a blog!

Jen-t said...

Whenever I get that really big day, you know, the 20 pager, I'm shot for the next day, so pacing yourself is good.

Great excerpt!

pog mo thoin said...

I will buy it! Keep us posted on how you get on with agents and publishers! I am expecting to see this in bookstores soon!

reddragonsangel said...

more more!!! it's good - great job! keep up the good work!!

Trish Ryan said...

Omigosh - Manic Mom I LOVE your excerpt! So good. The "this is our cross" line sucked the air right out of my lungs. Please write the before and after scenes and send them to me, because I want to know these people!!!

(And please don't ever feel like you need to apologize for blogging about writing :) )

Allison Winn Scotch said...

MM-
I'm so thrilled for you that you're back on the writing horse. DON'T GIVE UP! I am proof positive that you just need to keep writing...and it can lead to really good things. Keep it up!
Allison

Brony said...

Wow, you are an inspiration. I really do need to do more writing.

Good luck with the waiting. It will work out for you. I have a good feeling about it.

Can't wait to read more. You will give us more, right?

Jeannie Morleith said...

You make it seem easy.
Nice excerpt -- very moving.
Keep at it!

Hotwire said...

awesome!!

Kim Stagliano said...

Write on! I've been working on 500 - 1000 a day for a short story. Somedays I get there, others, I delete more than I type. Keep at it!

KIM

Christa said...

What happened to Lemons? I've been rereading the draft you sent me, and though I'm no professional you should keep at it. It seems more refined. I feel a little left out, all you cool blogging chicks have met and are al acquainted, and I have been so busy with my mundane real job that I am,just tonight for the first time in I do not know how long, going to sit down and write. Because I NEED to. Like a fat kid needs cake.

kathie said...

I love what you're doing. Don't you just love when the characters make you tell their story. Sounds like a good plan...