Mae B Continues to Sabotage Herself

Well, I’m ticked off, and I don’t care who knows it. I just wasted a perfectly good weekend and $50.00 to attend a writer’s conference where Mr. Hot-Shot Editor from Major Publishing Company was the featured speaker.

For two long, dreary hours, I listened to that man drone on about what makes a good story, what his company is looking for and the way he expects a manuscript to look when he receives it. He said something about queries and synopses and I’m not sure what all, because I finally just tuned him out. Well, I ask you. When you have a masterpiece of fiction and you absolutely know it will be the biggest thing since Harry Potter, why must you listen to all those rules?

I waited on pins and needles for that scrawny five-minute pitch session I was scheduled for in the afternoon. Why, what do they think I am, a Reader’s Digest Condensed writer? It takes at least thirty minute to tell what my book is about. And he had the nerve to tell me that I should be able to describe it in one or two sentences. I’m telling you, that man is out of his mind.

When I told him I hadn’t actually written the book yet, he said he wasn’t interested. Even when I told him, in a very firm loud voice, that my novel was special, unique and groundbreaking, he insisted he couldn’t offer me a contract.

I’m so mad I could bite a nail in two. Someday I’ll write that masterpiece, then he’ll be sorry he tried to impose his rules on me.

Mae B Gets Down to Work. Or Does She?

It’s time to work on my book. I’m so excited.

First, though, I can’t stand to have my cereal bowl sitting in the sink, so I’ll clean the kitchen and take out the trash. I need to return my library books, and while I’m there, I’ll pick up another about writing. I eat those things up!

But before I do any of that, I’ll grab a few minutes of the Today Show, and maybe watch The People’s Court.

While I’m here in my recliner, I may as well watch The Price is Right and The Young and the Restless. (I love that soap, don’t you?) And of course, I can’t miss the hour of back-to-back I Love Lucy reruns. She’s my all-time favorite. I bet I’ve seen every episode twenty times or more.

It’s nearly noon, so I’ll catch the news as I eat lunch. After all, a writer should be up on current events.

Jeopardy! comes on right after the news, so I’ll take just another thirty minutes out of my busy day and watch it. One thing is sure: I’m smarter than most of those contestants. If I lived in New York City, they’d put me on that show in a heartbeat. Once my book is published, I know I’ll be on Celebrity Jeopardy!. Why, the producers will  pay me for being there and even pay for my plane ticket.

I should get down to writing, but I need to catch up on my email first. Can’t have my friends think I’m too busy for them. And I’ll check Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates, then play some Solitaire to relax.

Gee, now I’m so relaxed I need a nap. Just a short one.

Well, it takes me a while to wake up from a nap. I ought to work on my story, but my brain doesn’t work very well when it’s fuzzy from sleep. Besides, in an hour it’ll be time for dinner.

Right now Judge Judy is on, and after that, reruns of Law and Order. I get some really good story ideas from those shows. Afterward, I probably should catch the news again – see if anything new has happened that will impact my life and my writing.

I can’t believe it’s evening already. My shows come on at seven, so I could probably get in thirty minutes of writing. But I’ll check my email and Facebook once more, hang around Twitter and tweet a little. Have to keep building that platform, you know!

Goodness, it’s bedtime. Guess I’ll wait and get a fresh start tomorrow.

I don’t always sleep well, and I’ll tell you why: I worry that I seem unable to succeed as an author. I am sure I can write as good – better, in fact – than most of those hacks who spin out that trash on the bookstore shelves.

I don’t get it. I want to write. I want to succeed. I’m willing to do whatever it takes.

So…why isn’t it happening!?

The Discovery of Mae B

Years ago, on one of my walks through the ruins, I discovered a tattered attaché case with a broken lock. Inside were many scraps of paper and handwritten pages that were ripped from a notebook. Folded neatly on top lay a wrinkled, stained newspaper article about a woman called Mae B. Apparently she planned to become a world-famous author. I took the attaché case home with me and read every page.

In the coming days I will share with you what might have once been destined for a book of memoirs, or perhaps a blog. Today, they are the scribblings of a mad woman. “Mad” as in angry AND insane. I think you will find them enlightening.

Here’s the newspaper article:

Mae B lives in a gorgeous airy castle on Someday Isle. She raises Wannabes and fusses over them frequently, pinching back their buds so they never produce those pesky blooms that might take on a life of their own. Mae B says her Wannabes will break through their tough shell unless she sighs over them several times a day.

Mae B’s hobby is “all things creative.” She loves to daydream about the novels, stories and poems she plans to write someday. Her favorite reading material is articles and books about writing.

Her office is an ongoing project.

“I won’t sit at my desk to write until my little study is perfect,” she says proudly. She recently repainted it for the fourth time, and is now on her third computer.

“It’s amazing how quickly times passes when you play Spider Solitaire or visit on Facebook and Twitter and look at photos on Pinterest and Instagram. Plus, I need to network and build a platform for readers! The computer gets old before I know it! But, I believe there is a wonderful word processing program on it. I’ll use it for my novel, one of these days.”

Someday Isle is a hypnotic little place, and although millions of people inhabit it, there is always room for more. Mae B loves it, and she tells everyone, “If you come, be prepared to stay. It’s hard to get away once you’ve put down roots!”

April 13, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

I’m batting around in my head (ouch) my writing projects for the next month and a half. When several contracts and deadlines occur close together, this can be a balancing act designed to bring sleepless nights.

My inclination is to work on Upside Down and Whopperjawed until the end of May, and if it isn’t finished by then, turn my attention to Honey Dipped Secrets because that deadline is early July. That editor (HDS) wants a very detailed outline of the story. Since it is something I don’t do, it’s going to be a challenge. Twenty pages or thereabouts, single-spaced, broken down by chapters. This is not the way I create stories, but in this instance, I feel it’s the smarter way to go. After all, it’s nice when an editor likes and trusts me, and if she finds a flaw in the plot, we can work it out before the book is written. Who knows? I may love being a hard-nosed plotter. (I doubt it, but I’m keeping an open mind)

Let’s not forget the other book that I have yet to complete. Deadline? August. Eek.  That one isn’t even on my personal schedule yet. Double eek.

April 11, 2015

Saturday, April 11, 2015

For the last two days, I’ve been working on Upside Down and Whopperjawed, the fifth book in the “Confessions of April Grace” series. Just when I thought I had a cool first chapter, I decided it was too serious and dark for an opening. So I rewrote it. Then I decided that chapter was too dull. So I went back to the first idea and added to it. I like it, but I don’t know …

I’m going through one of those phases we writers often enter. It’s a perilous place to inhabit, and I intend to leave as soon as possible. It’s the land of I-CAN’T-WRITE-WORTH-A-HOOT-SO-MAYBE-I’M-ALL-WASHED-UP.  In other words, self-doubt. I figure this is brought on by a combination of exhaustion, caffeine withdrawal, sugar reduction, and too much to do but not enough time to do it all. This feeling is not unique to writers. I think we humans are prone to it. Often. That said, the best way to exit this country before it becomes the Land of No Return, is to take some time away and re-evaluate priorities. I’ll do that today. Maybe a nap will help.