Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Up, Down and Sideways

So we moved, arriving in the new town to the strains of Flogging Molly's Irish Drinking Song. Now, we're neither Irish nor heavy drinkers, but somehow, after what felt like months of packing, throwing stuff away, giving stuff away, and still not being able to get everything into the truck, a refrain of "Drink and drink and drink and drink and drink and drink and fight, HEY!" seemed appropriate. A good stiff shot of rum, followed by a knock-down, drag-out brawl seemed in order. But, of course, all we did was unpack, snipe at each other a bit more, and then pass out from sheer exhaustion.

At that point, I hadn't written a word in about three weeks. I get mean when I'm not writing. Bob Marley said "a hungry man is an angry man" and writing is food for my soul, so it stands to reason that I was tetchy.

New town, and the start of a two week visit from my Dad, all in little more than a week. New business for my husband and the job search for me. New school for the fifteen-year-old. The two eldest children, both at the age where they are beginning to build their own lives, decided to stay in the old town. I miss them, and they miss us, especially the nineteen-year-old, who lived with us right up until the move. Frazzled didn't begin to describe the family dynamic.

Two rejections on novellas...a sub where I forgot to use my email letterhead, and didn't send proper contact information. I felt like a dweeb, and couldn't help wondering if it were all over. How, I wondered, do you build a writing career if you aren't writing and can't get an acceptance and can't even remember the basics, like sending your address on a submission?

LOL! Enough wallowing! I love my new town. The rejections weren't the "You suck, go away" types. They were the "I want to see these again if you want to expand and rewrite" types, leaving the door open. I re-sent the sub, knowing it wasn't the best possible first impression, but hey, I'm human, ain't I? But, best of all, I'm writing again, and the ideas are flowing again, and projects I've put aside are clamoring to be finished again. The sun is shining and one of my best friends in the world lives right next door. The house, at this particular instance, is quiet.

What more could I ask for...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Holy Hot Reviews Batgirl!

The Pearl at the Gate continues to surprise and delight me with the reception it's receiving. As well as the great reviews at MBaM and from Mrs. Giggles mentioned in my previous post, it also got two more wonderful reviews; a 5 Heart (!) one from The Romance Studio (read the review here) and a 4.5 Star from Manic Readers (read that review here).

I take my hat off to all reviewers. On the surface, as a voracious reader, I think it would be a great job. Under that though is a sea of difficulties. The number of books released each week is daunting; every writer wants a review, and wants it NOW; and each writer hopes above all to get a positive review, which can't always happen. Reviewers are people too, with their own tastes and preferences, and what they offer the public are their honest opinions.

Adding to the problem is the fact that writers also are people too, who get their feelings hurt when someone doesn't love their "baby." I know a positive review with even one caveat can make me feel like I'm under attack...fragile ego indeed! I'm forced to give my head a shake and remind myself everyone has a right to their opinion and, indeed, I would fight to the death to support that right. Get over it, and move on. Like Tom Hanks said, "Crying? Is she crying? There's no crying in baseball!" He may as well have been talking about writing. This business is not for sissies.

But every now and then a good crying jag can really clear the head!