Revisions: Homestretch

Today’s post will be super short. I need to save all of my energy for revisions and a short road trip we are taking this weekend.

I’m in the home stretch of my latest round of edits for my current work in progress. I only have about 50 pages left to edit, but they are the ones that need the MOST work! I know this and still, I procrastinate!

I feel a little like this turtle . . .

turtle-2201433_640

I wonder if I will ever truly get there. I don’t want to rush it, but I’m also starting to feel like it’ll never feel quite done, but maybe that’s common for most writers? Somehow I doubt I’m alone.

“If you get to the point where you can’t make a book any better, but no one wants to publish it, set it aside and start something else. In two years or five or ten, you might be a better writer, and you might find you are willing and able to make it better. You can take only what you want or need from the original drafts, and leave the rest.” – From: How Do You Know When Your Book Is Finished? The Blunt Instrument on How to Begin and When to End

I still love my first officially “finished” novel and the quote really puts that into perspective. I learned so much from writing it, but I lost steam and had to set it aside after a long time and many rejections.

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Blogging in 2018 & when your title might not work anymore

So, I think I’m going to start blogging again (let me know if you think it’s a mistake)! I’ll try for one post per week and see if that is sustainable. I’ve just finished my second novel (well, will it ever really be finished?). For now, I’m into writing shorter pieces and thinking about future bigger projects.

In the coming months, I’ll be mostly revising my novel and sending out queries to agents and then small presses. I’m giving myself a limit on how many agents I sub to before I send to small presses. I made the mistake of sending my first novel out to too many agents and then I stopped sending to small presses. I was getting some bites too! This business is all about perseverance, but sometimes you need to know when to change your tack, right?

At the moment my current project is called LANA BONG’S SHANGHAI MARKET, but I don’t think the title fits the content anymore. However, I LOVE that title! It’s mine though, you can’t use it :).

Other writing ideas floating around in my brain:

  1. Book of short stories and narrative non-fiction centered around Ohio. Pick up a copy of Midwestern Gothic to read my narrative non-fiction piece, Whispers. Sorry, shameless self-promotion right there!
  2.  Chapbook – Not sure how to organize this, but I’ve always loved them. I’m into eclectic collections, but I’m not sure if my tastes are what readers want. Will do some research.
  3.  Novel #3 in the style of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. What I mean when I say this is that there is a definite narrator sitting down with the reader to tell the story of someone else’s life and how they relate to it. I like the distant feel, but also the lens in which the story is told, from someone else’s perspective (so trusting the narrator is a big deal).

What I need from you, dear reader:

Please help me with this title conundrum. What do you do when you discover your FAVORITE title doesn’t work anymore? I’d love to hear from writers who have a similar problem or any suggestions from non-writers as well. Anything helps!

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777 Challenge Accepted

777 Challenge Accepted

J Stryker, a writer I met through a twitter pitch party, tagged me for the 777 challenge. He’s got some great book ideas so you should check his stuff out. Thanks for tagging me! Anyway, the objective of the 777 challenge … Continue reading

Interview with Rebecca Kelley, author of Broken Homes & Gardens

I first met Rebecca in an advanced fiction workshop at Portland State University in the Spring of 2002. I’ll never forget one of the scenes in a short story she had written. A woman is cutting up a cucumber for a salad that she is going to share with her boyfriend. She alternates between thick and thin slices, so she cuts up the cucumber in “thick, thin, thick, thin” slices. The details you put into that scene created an authentic story for me and I feel like that is translated through your current work. – Christi R. Suzanne

I interview Rebecca Kelley about her new book, Broken Homes & Gardens. Read the interview

Review: The Tiger’s Wife

The Tiger's Wife
The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I admired the quality of writing throughout this book. I loved much of the story told. My favorite thread was The Deathless Man. I kind of forgot about the thread about Natalia (the main character) and how she was a doctor looking for her grandfather’s clothes, so that one wasn’t very memorable.

Overall, I do wish that I would have gotten to know the character’s a bit more. I think I just like to know who is telling the story and why we need to care about the main characters. There were a few parts that went into far too much mundane detail (toward the end with the apothecary). Once I took a breath and read for the quality of writing I was fine. I felt like one of the family members sitting around on a porch listening to stories about different people we knew. I loved that about the book. I could imagine my grandmother telling me about her sister’s hair dresser etc. and how one time there was a tiger who crept into the salon etc. I enjoyed that meandering storytelling because of the way I’ve been told my own family stories. I thought that was a beautiful and delicate touch that wasn’t too heavy handed.

In the end, I was a little confused. I was wondering about the actual ending and how that fit into the overall story. I felt like it wasn’t quite there, but I liked what it was trying to do (which I’m not 100% sure I got). I was trying to connect it to the overall story and it left me a little baffled. I felt like the story of the Deathless Man was a little stronger than the Tiger’s Wife part (or maybe I just liked it better) so I wondered why the book was called this. To me, it didn’t give the book any extra meaning, which isn’t necessary, but I think I wanted a little more.

I think this is a talented writer and I’m waiting to see what her next book will be like.

View all my reviews