Thirteen Reasons why I love being a writer

Thirteen Things about being a writer

In celebration of earning my ISBN, I’ve decided my Thursday Thirteen should be “13 reasons why I love being a writer.”

1. I get to tell stories. I honestly cannot remember a time when I wasn’t telling myself a story. I’d make up stories about my dolls being princess-spies, I’d make up adventures to get me to sleep…and I still do. Well….not the doll part. Unless the Sims count as dolls?

2. I get to make people happy. I can still remember how happy people were when they read the goofy stories I wrote when I was supposed to be taking notes in junior high. I’m from the life is very hard school of thought, and I love the idea that people can read my stories…anyone, not just my poor, beleaguered friends, and get something out of it.

3. I get to spend time with people I would like to know. I genuinely care about my characters, which sounds silly, but if I don’t craft people that I can care about, how can I possible expect you to want to spend time with them? One of the reasons why I enjoyed writing Blue Moon was that Zorovin and Alex were, in their own ways, men I could have serious crushes on. Sierra and Libby were both people going through things that I was going through, though of course, not in an obvious way. The book I last finished, The Chocolatier’s Wife, was partly inspired by what I thought would be the ultimate character for one of the British Actors I was crushing on.

4. LOC catalogued! I have worked as a librarian for several years, as a student and as an Interlibrary Loan lady. Knowing that I am an author in the Library of Congress system is a silly, but huge joy to me. There is just something about it that makes me feel like I really did accomplish something.

5. I get to explore worlds and do things I would never get to do. It’s true…I get these nifty ideas in my head of things that would be awesome to do, but not possible to actually get out there and accomplish. It’s fun to see how things would logically work. I loved trying to figure out interesting creatures, I enjoy trying to make it all logical and believable while keeping the wonder and fantastical nature of the story intact. For Blue Moon I had to split the world of magic from the world of technology, but as they come back together the magic things that slept during this time wake up again. I didn’t want to go with the common, twee things, so I made up things like vampiric butterflies to add color to the world. And in the book I’m working on now, I’m trying to logic out the mechanics of a completely underwater civilization. It’s the little things that make you stumble, like eating, drinking…but that’s the fun, too.

6. It’s really the only thing I feel I’m any good at. I mean, I can sew, and I’m a good secretary, but the fact is…it’s not really something I feel I can offer the world and make the world better for it. Ok, ok, fantasies and mysteries don’t really make the world that much better, but stories and books have incredible power, and as part of that, I think I can make a difference on individual levels.

7. Knowing that the story is working. There is no better feeling when you’re sitting there, writing, writing, every word comes out easy and clicks right into place. Everything is making sense and doing what it’s supposed to be. That is so much better than any drug.

8. Having an excuse to buy books. When I was writing Chocolatier’s Wife, I saw a chocolate grinding table that fit, technologically, in perfect with what William’s kitchen would be like. I also wanted to understand perfectly the preparation of chocolate, even though you see little of that research in the book. It gave me a reason to go an buy these beautiful books and read them…and, currently, since I’ve been re-writing fairy tales, this has given me an excuse to buy some Andrew Lang and world folk lore books…things I’ve always wanted, to read for research. My credit card hates it, but it gives me something to look forward to. Any excuse to buy a book is a good one, I think.

9. Because it makes me feel like my degree wasn’t a waste of time. I originally intended to become a librarian…I always meant to be a writer, but I have also always known that you couldn’t depend on it for an income. So, being a librarian would be perfect as a “real” job while I worked on becoming a (in)famous author. With that in mind, the best Bachelor’s to take was in English…I ended up taking so many creative writing courses that I had to change my concentration to Creative writing, and that’s the degree I graduated with: English: Creative Writing.

10. It gives me something to talk about. Good grief…if I didn’t have writing, my blog posts would be even worse, nothing but costuming and British Actors and typing memos. I wonder, though…I started blogging because I’m a writer – would I have bothered blogging without it?

11. Looking at the finished work. When I first opened the .pdf for my short story, “Every Word I Speak”, and saw my name on that beautiful cover, I was just so overwhelmed. It was so beautiful…and then I got to see “A Necklace of Rubies” right away. It was all of awe.

12. Meeting some really wonderful people. When I was a book reviewer, I became friends with some really wonderful people. My fellow authors at Zumaya and Drollerie are fantastic people. Some of the readers of my reviews have emailed me, and I had wonderful times talking to them. And…my editors deserve special thanks. I feel like I’ve made real friends, and I am so very grateful. I’m going to meet even more people as I go…how cool is that?

13. I was going to say “Because it makes the voices in my head go away” but I think I’ll say, instead, that there’s nothing like knowing who you are. People go through their lives wondering “Who am I? What’s my purpose in life? There has to be something more!” And if you really know me, you know that I am still striving to fulfill more than one purpose, that I am trying to make sure I live a full and decent life. But being a writer…and Author!…it gives me a sense of identity. I know who I am. I have a goal in life. That’s pretty wonderful, I think.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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An ending…and a beginning

Yesterday was the last day of work for one of my GA’s. Christi is doing her internship practicum next semester, so she won’t be able to work for me (since it’s a 40 hour a week job, this internship.) She’s in Councilor Ed right now, and she’s going to go on to her PhD. Sometimes you see people and just shake your head, because you feel bad for their future clients, but she’s going to be really amazing. She’s an excellent listener, sensible, and extremely responsible. All things that made her a great employee…and now, a wonderful friend.

Good luck, Christi. May the path of life always be kind to you, and may you achieve all your dreams with very little trouble.

She gave me a beautiful teapot as a thank you for everything and farewell gift. I thought I was going to get weepy, but I held myself together.

In other news of a huge nature, I received my proof galley from Zumaya yesterday! I started reading it, and was surprised. I’ve not actually read this books since…2004? Maybe? More like 2002, 2003, and so it’s like reading it anew. I see some flaws (I use he at the beginning of sentences a bit much in some of the paragraphs, and have been cleaning that up…) but am often astonished that I actually accomplished the things that I was going for so far. In some ways, the novel is supposed to evoke very clearly certain feelings I’ve had – driving at night, a south western PA fall, and when I read the passages I feel the things I wanted my readers to feel. It could be because I used the things, of course, that key those feelings in me, or it could be because I did a half decent job writing. 😉 I go with the latter.

My editor’s divided up the front chapter a little…I wrote it as one whole chapter, introducing all the elements – I introduce us to all the people who are affected by the return of magic, and I’d written it as sort of a fable voice, going from person to person, not really going into anyone’s head. I’m clear about my changes, but I didn’t put in spaces to show the change of places…which she’s done. I am worried that it looks choppy, but I think she’s correct to make the divisions…it’s good to really delineate things. She’s a really awesome editor, as I go through the book, I see that…and I’m also trying to respect it when I see changes that I’m not sure of.

Anyway, the cover page is beautiful. My name is on the top of every other page in gorgeous script. But do you want to know what made me really geek out? What made me get emotional and just all “OMG it’s real!”?

This:

That’s right. I have an ISBN. And I’m LOC catalogued. And look…there’s even a Dewy, though since that changes library to library that’s not as important. But…the LOC number, you can take to any US library, and go to that section, and if my book has been bought by that library (and if they use LOC, lol) then…yep. That’s where it’s at.

OMG. I have an ISBN. I really am a real, honest to God author.

I loved snow so much more when I was a hermit.

It’s Friday. It’s Reading Day. Why the heck did I come in through all these crappy roads again? No one is here.

Oh, that’s right. Because students need to make up tests. Yes. I also promised my workers they could make up hours, but since I could just have said screw it, and given them the hours as a reward for work done, that doesn’t really count.

Another not-fun commute that does not look as if it will be improving in time for my 3:00 lunch break. (My awesome boss already told me that a 3:00 lunch break sounds “just perfect”…but I think I’ll be watching the weather with an eye for homeward bound. I honestly don’t know if I should be getting home before it gets worse, or waiting to see if they plow the damned roads. I’ll give the kidlets until noon to make up their tests. After, all bets off.)

Yay, according to the forecast, it’s going to RAIN this afternoon. *sighs, because she has no idea what she should do…she doesn’t want to be a coward, or a fool….*

Let’s not talk about the weather anymore. You’re all probably bored cross eyed.

What should I talk about then?

Nothing. I’m going to go write something nifty.

Guest Teresa Chaze

Theresa Chaze author of the book, Awakening the Dragon, Book One of the Dragon Clan Trilogy has been described as a woman who has the courage to play with dragons. She is a Wiccan Priestess and Ordained Minister. In her fantasy world, magic, suspense, and karmic justice combine in tales of horror.

Book Synopsis; To protect herself and her loved ones from the violent cult, Rachael risks everything by awakening the dragon spirit prematurely. As the dragon rises within her, the cult surround her home with the intent on killing the new witch who lives inside and burning the evidence of the murder of the previous owner.

Today, at A Pen and Fire we have the main character from Awakening the Dragon.

My name is Rachael Franklin. I moved to Coyote Springs after a lottery win gave me the means to open my Occult bookstore. I threw dart and it landed on the small Northern Michigan town. It was very close to the town where I grew up and to the dysfunctional family I had separated myself from. I tried to change the result, but the Goddess continued to direct the dart to the same destination. When my furkids and I arrived, the store location was quickly found. What I couldn’t find was a home–that is until the very proper real estate agent took me to a country cottage. It opened its doors and heart to me. Later I was to learn that it had barred entrance nearly every one but a few since the previous owner, Sara, was murdered within its walls. The agent said the cottage was cursed because Sara was a witch and the devil had come to collect her soul. Her grandson, Kevin, arrived. He angrily ordered us off the property until he realized that I was able to go inside. My first impression was that he was a spiritual man who had many secrets. But it wasn’t just his mystery that I found attractive, it was his eyes and cute behind. However, his anger and rapidly changing temperament was very confusing and frightening. Even though he was very sexually appealing, I refused to become entangled in his drama until Sara’s spirit appeared to me. She told me that she and I had long ago made an agreement to heal a karmic wound. She had done her best to prepare the way for me. Her death had been the beginning as it had been the ending before. By coming to Coyote Springs, I became the new guardian of the cottage and the catalyst of the many karmic balancing.

For more about the book

Website

Oh, dear. Lost again

It will not surprise you to hear that I took advantage of the Butterick and McCall 4.99 a pattern sales. The McCall one I stumbled upon by accident…I went to the site to see how much fabric a doublet would need, and found that all their patterns were on sale. The Butterick one day sale I heard about through email.

Today, I receive an email offering all Vogue patterns for 5.99. I thought, “So what? Vogue doesn’t do costuming, the patterns are more expensive and they are all faux couture and boring.”

Then I found the “Vintage Vogue” section.

This one is has great lines and frames the shoulders perfectly.

This one seems similar, but it doesn’t have the princess lines. Princess lines can be problematic to cut – it means your fabric’s got to be wide enough in the direction of the pattern and that you can’t cheat and cut bits from smaller pieces. But princess lines can be very nice. I also like the fact that, with this, you could make the skirt black, and maybe make the top white with a black floral.

and this one is just sheer glamour. The fabric consumption though…makes some of my Elizabethan dresses look cheap.

Mostly, I’m not in love with the rest of the site’s patterns…save….well, this is really lovely.

And this dress has a very vintage cut, very nice, though I don’t think I could bear all those danged roses.

You would think that I would love this coat, but I’m not sure. It’s…it should be awesome, but there’s something off.

If my internet comes back on tonight (I lost power Monday during the storm, and for some reason the stupid net wouldn’t connect last night…*sighs*) then I will, perhaps, buy one or two patterns. A-Line dresses are awesome, and I look really good in them. And…it’s not really a costume if it’s from the 50’s or 60’s, right?

Darkness, Light, Joy

Today was notable. When I got to work, the power was out, so I schmoozed with my co-workers, then went to the file room and cleaned. I really liked it; I loved the half dark, the cool and the silence. I wished that the power hadn’t come back on, in some ways. But, neat of neat, got my first royalty statement…huzzah! How did I do? I could buy a paperback book. New-used.

Then I went for lunch with a couple of friends, which was wonderful, partly because I get to spend time with one of them (the husband is one of my faculty members) but never really with the wife, who I think is awesomeness itself. So that was really wondrous. I am lucky that in my job I have met some really fine and brilliant people.

Then I got to leave a half hour early because the power needed to be shut down again.

Then…

My tire went flat. As a pancake. The one time I could go home early, I have to change a tire, with the help of a very nice man. Bah.

Then I realized it was really a blessing. The half hour gave me time to get to the cheap and reliable tire place before it closed. So, thank God. Another example of what seems to be ill luck, but really is a blessing.

Three things that make me happy:

Jean Reno. I just watched a very silly movie called “Just Visiting”, where he plays a 12th century count who gets sent to the year 2000. I could listen to his voice for ages. And he is just…one of those people you love to spend time with.

The fact that I was able to clean out one of my filing cabinets so that I could dedicate it to my patterns – if you’ve ever tried to stuff a used pattern back into an envelope, you know what a pain in the arse that is. Now I will put them in large envelopes and file them when I am done. Bonus – now it’s way easy to find my patterns when I want to refer to them. I do that a lot, if I see a fabric on eBay I think has potential, or if I want to know if I have something, like, if one of my patterns has a close enough equivalent to trunk hose for me to work with.

Getting books in the mail. I love opening a mail box and seeing a jiffy bag, especially this time of year, when I tend to buy tons of books used. I often forget what I’ve ordered, so it’s always a slight surprise. I especially am a sucker for Dorling Kindersley. What’s not to love about huge picture books? Especially since the one I’m getting for the holiday, Weapon is filled with full color, drooly pictures of swords. Yum. Buying books is my vice, my comfort food, my retirement plan.

Nanowriwhat??

I have hardly been able to get anything accomplished. I am seriously considering withdrawing from the competition…between not having a computer at home and my father’s illness I’ve been seriously crippled.

It’s weird, how out of sorts not having the computer has made me in some ways. I guess I like my ruts.

Work is crazed, too…to the point where I go home feeling like a hamster on a wheel. So, no writing during my lunch breaks, either…I need to stop making it a habit to work during my lunch. Especially since during registration…well, to be honest, any time…me sitting at a computer with a plate full of food in front of me doesn’t seem to signal the fact that I am unavailable. I took a huge bite out of a sandwich (you know me, my desire for decorum seems to just be part of the best intentions package) yesterday just as a student walked in. They asked me questions, and I was chew, chew, chew, can’t you see I’m chewing, damn it, and they kept staring at me, waiting for me to say something. it was mortifying.

Tonight, at least, is heavy weapons practice and Moonlight. Yay on all fronts! Will I actually make it to a sword practice before the end of my days? Tune in!

Fencing is, truly, one of my bright spots right now. With 88 campus people (mostly students) on the mailing list, and 45 attending the first meeting yesterday, everything seems like it’s going to work. I have to buy some spiffy fencing gear, now. We’re even planning on having the historical fencers down again, which will be lovely…and good for my motivation. Watching people who are really good tends to make you want to work harder, because you can see what is possible, not just what is?

And now I shall stop faffing about. Why? Because it’s time for me to work? Nay, nay I say…because it is time for me to go home.

Have a lovely weekend, darlings.