A Preposterous yet Informative Q & A

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It seems like everyone across the US is experiencing the blusteries. Today I feel like I should be tethered to the helm of a pirate ship weathering the high seas in my best pair of Wellingtons.

As it is, I’m in the country office hoping the building holds together. With every gust of wind something rattles, walls crack and I dive under the desk should a piece of the ceiling fall in. Since I’m still trying to finagle a posting schedule (due to the high volume of my extracurricular adventures obv) I thought a Q & A was in order for today. So with no further ado:

From Karl in Az*

Question 1: How do I know my WIP (work in progress) will be published? Liked? Read by millions? I don’t want to put in all this work for nothing.

I used to consider myself a hard editor. I enjoyed nothing more than to put on my green fedora and pull out my red pen to mark up someone’s brain child. I thought I knew it all. I had read enough and been in the trenches long enough to know what was “good” and what wasn’t.

Then Fifty Shades of Grey came out. And became bigger. And bigger.

I read the first few paragraphs, took off my green fedora and dived off of the Irish cliffs (I was in Ireland at the time, for the Chudley Cannons match) and swam home to the US. It took me a year, the last thirty days of which I was drug through the water by a fishing boat as my strength had all but left me. During that time I realized that no matter how much you think you know, you can’t predict success. Not in this game. Not as a beginner.

Just ask any of those publishing houses who turned down JK Rowling.

If you’re looking for a sure-fire job to guarantee success, applause and prestige then writing is not the field for you. Otherwise, write what you like. Chances are, if it’s written well, others will like it too.

From Cindy in Mi

Question #2: I cook a lot but every time I make anything with onions my eyes tear up so badly I end up chopping off fingers or worse, burning my gourmet meal. My husband is getting tired of ER bills and Ramon for dinner. Can you help me?

Dear Cindy,

I, too, cook most nights and while I’ve never lost any extremities, onion blindness has blocked out many important Sherlock Holmes moments I can’t get back now that Amazon has taken the show off of their prime access. Too late I have found out that sticking an un-lit (that part must be added for certain readers of this blog of questionable intelligence. I by no means mean you, dear reader. I know YOUR intelligence is of the highest caliber) match between your teeth miraculously wards off onion vapors. Try it. It works.

Tune in next week for more Q & A’s with your resident writer in the trenches. Until then, please feel free to contribute your own burning writerl-y, kitchen-y or literature-y or any-y questions for me to answer.  I’d love to hear from you.

 

*all names and places have been altered to protect fragile writer/cooking egos.

**photo source: wikicommons. But if you look closely you can almost see me in the birds nest protecting my hide from cannon fire.

You Don’t Choose to Be a Writer. Writing Chooses You.

You’ve no doubt read other writer-author blogs. You may have even read about what life as a writer is really like. You’ve heard boring things like “Sweat pants” “coffee” “laptop” and “deadlines” included in such reveal-alls.

Let me be the first to say that this is simply NOT TRUE. NOT AT ALL.

Just the other day I strapped on wings made from dragon hide and boomsling and set off over London under the cover of darkness (this was obviously to prevent the kidnapping of a baby which was although not completely successful, we nonetheless derailed said kidnapper’s nefarious plans. You can read more about that in my complete report due out sometime this year).

Another time I was deep in the heart of the black forest with death’s heir. (As a side note, He’s simply the most handsome man I’ve ever met. In another life, something more might have been there between us, however..) He passed me a mouthpiece breath device and we dove into the middle of a channel that snaked through the forest. I can’t tell you what we found underwater but I can say it took me a good month before I would go near water again. (Many a complaint there was about my corn-chip odor. Also, I was quite thirsty.)

The life of a writer is in fact one of the grandest adventures in the world*.

I don’t believe that you choose to be a writer. Rather, writing chooses you. Like a bad cough, you can’t get rid of the need to put words to paper no matter how many remedies you try. (Like leading a taser-whielding revolt against people who talk loudly on their phones in public, taking up clog dancing and touring with Riverdance or seducing wealthy senators. Although in my defense he was unmarried.)

So, even though you may say “I’ve decided to become a writer”, the words are in fact, moot. That decision was made a long time ago. Probably before you even realized it.

So buckle up, dear reader. The fact that you’re reading this blog means you have 1. Good taste and 2. An interest in writing or reading. Or 3. Perhaps you’re just bored in which case I suggest taking up writing and/or reading.

I promise that throughout the next months to eternity or however long I’m at this post you’ll see the wild sometimes egregious doings of one writer in the trenches. Although possibly not always completely true (to protect the identity of the innocent, and to prevent the pants bored off of you) I can at least guarantee that all stories will be rooted in real-life facts. You will hopefully gain much insight, much wisdom and much support in this wonderful, painfully beautiful journey of becoming who you were meant to be.

My First Post Ai ai ai!

 Tonight I vowed to post my first post. Of course, having the best intentions is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for a most busy evening. But I’m finally here at my desk. To be completely honest (an apt adjective for everything I’ll post here) I’m nervous about starting a blog. Will anybody read this?  Any blog I’ve started in the past died out too quickly. I realize now that it was because I was trying to mimic everyone else in my own voice. But the great thing about using your own voice is that the power and passion that needs to be behind it should be and has to be all your own. You have all the tools you need. So here I am. Excited. Passionate about books and writing and people and movies and art and this. world. I have baby spit up on my shoulder waffering into my nose, an empty plate with cheesecake-crumbled remains and a notebook full of scribbled to-do’s on my desk  My enter key stopped working (hence the long paragraph) and I don’t want to stop and re-start my computer to fix it. Nora Jones crones out of my abandoned ear buds so I could concentrate on writing. And I’m hoping to meet you. Hoping someone will say hello sometime soon. Until then, here’s to an abundant and prosperous 2014 on a new blog!! And an enter key that works!!