So it's been a while. I apologize. To make up for it I am dedicating this weeks entries to my friends. I hereby declare this Missy's Friends week. Hmm, or maybe that is the Missy Lynn Ryan Fan Club.

I missed a lot of entries because I spent most of last week with friends. Old friends and new friends, I spent my time reminiscing and creating new and exciting memories. I also had the opportunity to learn many things. My friends are constantly teaching me about stuff. Teaching me things about myself, and about the way that the world works. One of my discoveries was that each friendship is unique. Some friendships need more nurturing than others. Some come with a different set of expectations. Some have a hell of a lot more speed bumps than others. But they are all valuable. They all shape the person we are and the person we will become. I also was reminded of how much of an impact I have on my friends. I forget this a lot. I tend to think that my friendship is one way, that I am the one who is getting the better end of the deal. But it isn't that way. Just as I look at my friends and wonder why it is we have come together, or how someone of such amazing magnitude can become friends with little ol' me, they intern often do the same. More than once or twice I have been amazed at how attached we become to our closest friends. In some sense we hold them closer to us than family, because we chose to be near them, to become part of their lives. They are the people we turn to when our family lets us down, stresses us out, or just doesn't get it. Over the last five or six years I can think of three instances where I have felt betrayed by someone I thought of as a friend. And although those friendships were repaired and restored, the grieving process, the hurt, the feeling of being alone, it was no different than breaking up with a boyfriend, or losing a loved one. Yet I never see this portrayed in books and movies. I see groups of friends, who come together in the death or illness of someone, but I don't see people grieving over lost friendships. I have yet to find a story that emulates the experience I have had with my friends, the hurt and the betrayal and all that comes with it. So that is my next writing project, either that or the third one in line. I can't decide if I want to try my hand at straight fiction or work that storyline into an already established work I have. It will take me some more thought to figure that out.

Ok this got long and I am not sure if that last paragraph made any sense. But I am going to move on to actually writing because I would actually like to get something published this year!

The power of music never ceases to amaze me. I am sitting here in my room, because eventhough I have a laptop, it ironically is not mobile, and so if I wish to anything I am chained to this space like a dog on a leash. there can be no escape. Unless of course I am desperate enough to chew off my own leg...but that is from another story.

So music. It makes a huge difference in our lives, which is why I love it so much. I can hear a song from ten years ago, and still know all the words. Not only that but I can tell you where I was the last time I heard it. I can get flashbacks so vividly that it I swear it is the next best thing to a time machine. I don't get the same reaction to photographs. Yet for some reason when I read a story, or watch a movie, they usually use the old photograps to signal a flashback. Maybe because with music it usually is a surprise. I am flipping through the radio, I am at a bar with friends and suddenly a song comes on that I haven't thought of in years and I am immediately transported to that moment. Then there are other songs, songs that I have shared with other people. Like Bell Bottom Blues, Three Libras, and Untuchable Face. There are songs that I have associated with specia moments in my life, like The Prayer, All My Life, To where you are....anyway the point is music is so powerful and I was reminded of that when I sat down at my computer and turned on my cd player. It holds five disks and one of them happened to be a cd a friend burned for me. Not really the kind of music I go out of my way to hear, and yet I love it. It is so much fun and as it started playing my whole mood shifted. I don't know if it is because I started thinking about the person who gave it to me or if I really like the song, but I was reminded none the less.

Wow, that was a lot and I haven't even started on what I signed on to talk about!

I have a wg meeting today. I reviewed the pieces this morning at Carabu Coffee. I swear. There are days, when I feel like it is useless. I ask myself am I really getting anywhere. I have to force myself to sit at the computer and sometimes even getting one or two pages completed is a challenge. On those days I think,"What am I doing with my life?". It would be so much easier if I chose a different career path. And yes there are some things that I really enjoy and probably would be good at. But what I keep asking myself, and what I already know the answer to, is would I be happy?

NO. Not entirely. Writing is in my blood. As cliche as that is. It is a part of me, like breathing. Sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I think that I can turn away from it and still exist. Like a child trying to see how long they can hold their head underwater. You go the first ten or twenty counts just fine. But then something deep inside you begins to burn. Your body begins to resist your brain. Your muscles spasm and jerk and you litterally flail around in the water trying to fight what your body wants and needs to do.

In the Finding Your Own North Star book, and in What Should I Do with My Life? by Po Bronson, you read about people like this. Dozens of people who are holding their heads underwater, trying not to breath, fighting what is natural. I think the great thing about people is that we are so diverse. So different. And everyone is good at something. I believe there is something out there for everyone. Personally I would say, dentist, who the hell wants to be a dentist. But there are people who love that stuff live for it actually. And it is a good thing too.

So with this many opportunities, particularly in a country like the United States why do we have so many people settling to do things that they don't really want to do? The great thing about my friends in college, the inspiring and motivating thing, is that so many of them are actually following their dreams. Sure their are business majors and law students that are doing what their parents expect them to do, but there are a lot of people studying what they love. Attempting to start a career in something that makes them happy. I say good for them. And for the rest of the world, they set an example.

Hmm. That wasn't what I really wanted to talk about either. I continue to digress.

What I started to say before I jumped on my soapbox, was that I was really frustrated with my writing the other day. The same day I decided that I needed to focus on my novel and stop writing short stories. I don't like them, I am not good at writing them, they are harder for me to do....i can come up with a whole list of reasons why I don't like them, the point is I don't. Because I don't like them, and am in such foreign territory I find myself doing what the Romans do. I looked at what other people was writing and tried to write the same way. But I felt like I was losing my voice. I also felt like I was pimping myself out. Should I have to write in a manner which I don't like or a tone that isn't me just to make money. Should I really be writing for critics, for the people who judge my writing, when did I stop writing for me?

I realize now why most of the authors I admire don't read reviews. I realize why several actors don't pay any attention to critics. You can't please everyone, and if you try you just get lost. I was trying to please everyone. Trying to be something I am not. But my writing is so much better when I push all that aside and write from within. Write what I like to read. Write what comes naturally. I read C's story today. I was completely done with short stories and to be honest sometimes I don't like reading this persons works, because it is intimidating and daunting to try and find things to comment on and their style is simply not mine. But this story, had my eyes moist. I read their stories and I am enthralled by the power of a short story. I am motivated and inspired to keep trying to accomplish what comes (or appears to come) so naturally. But I was very impressed to say the least. I hope it gets sold because I can't wait to share it with all of you.

Ok that is all. This was way too long. But hey I gotta meet my word count quota for the week!
So it is six in the morning, I have been up for three hours, and I cannot figure out what my problem is. I can't sleep, obviously, but the more importantly I can't figure out why. So I have been through the channel line up eight times, and as of the moment it is a toss up between full house, and the wonder knife infomercial. And just between us, the infomerical is looking pretty good right about now.

The hour is about to change, so maybe it will bring with it new and better shows. I don't know. One can only hope...

Music Videos. I have finally discovered when MTV actually plays music videos.

Well as enlightning as this is, I am sure, I am going to say adeiu. My body may be awake and kicking but my brain just isn't there yet.

oh HAPPY ST. PATTY'S DAY!!!! Go do something Irish!
So I haven’t written in a while, and I was doing so well too! But isn’t that how life goes. Just when you think everything is perfect, when you’re full of hope and joy something comes crashing down. Well nothing came crashing down, except my mood maybe. I was high all last week, obscenely high, I don’t think I have ever been that happy for that long of time and there are people who will vouch for me, but it was inevitable that I would begin to fade. Now I am just tired.

So writing wise…I got my rejection from F&SF. It was a happy moment. LOL. It is written on cute little letterhead, and very polite. I guess I was expecting a plain white sheet of paper with a rejected stamp across them middle and a fake signature. So I was pleased with what I got. I would have been more pleased if the story had sold. LOL. But I think it is better this way. Can you imagine selling your first story? The amount of pressure and expectation you would have the second time around. Honestly I know I have a lot to learn when it comes to my writing. In fact, sitting here typing this out makes me want to run home and start working on my novel, or revising a short story. I kind of would like to have enough stock stories that as soon as I get a rejection letter from one magazine I can ship out a new one. Jeez, 8 days, that is pretty damn fast. There are 911 operators who are less responsive than that.

So, so, so…. I am having trouble finding my voice, in regards to my writing. Well I know what my voice sounds like, I am having trouble finding other representations of it fiction. I have found a few novels that have the same tone and flow, (somewhere in the U.S. there’s an English Teacher who is poking her eyes out at these vague descriptive writing attributes) but I cannot find any short stories. Which is bad, because I don’t know where to submit my stories. I also don’t really like reading short stories. I never have, and though I can appreciate it, there is something about a novel that is more satisfying. The complexity, the turmoil, the inner lives of the characters. I like being pulled into that world, becoming the character with all their problems and living their experiences. For me I just don’t get that in short stories. Sure there is some good short fiction out there, but and if the story is put together well, it should be just as rich and complex as a novel. But I think I am going to maybe go back on my earlier decision to push through with short stories. I will continue writing them, but I think it is time I get my first three chapters out to the WG. (WG is my new name for the Writing Group). I am mentally working on a second novel, the one that may be more marketable than the first, but I decided that I need to focus on the first one. I need to complete it. I need to be able to say that I have completed it. I need to know that I can write a novel. I think it is better to practice and get one under my belt, before I start on this other one, which is much more complex, and requires a lot of back story.

Oh did I forget to mention that my adapter to my laptop broke, and since the battery needs replaced my computer will only stay on for about 20 minutes before shutting down? Do you know how much power cords cost? Yeah, not cheap. 60 bucks and I believe that is for a new one. I wonder if any kind of computer cord will do or if t has to be dell. I swear I have had nothing but problems for the last year with my computer. I can’t figure out what is wrong with it. All kinds of things, apparently but I have been told it might be my operating system. If I put a new operating system on the computer that might solve some of the problems. Unfortunately it won’t solve the power problem. AHHH! Ok. Oh did I forget to mention that my adapter to my laptop broke, and since the battery needs replaced my computer will only stay on for about 20 minutes before shutting down? Do you know how much power cords cost? Yeah, not cheap. 60 bucks and I believe that is for a new one. I wonder if any kind of computer cord will do or if t has to be dell. I swear I have had nothing but problems for the last year with my computer. I can’t figure out what is wrong with it. All kinds of things, apparently but I have been told it might be my operating system. If I put a new operating system on the computer that might solve some of the problems. Unfortunately it won’t solve the power problem. AHHH! Ok.

The great thing about human beings is how truly complex we are. There are no real rules. Life is full of surprises, and everytime we think we have something figured out, everytime we think we know for sure the dice are tossed into the air and land in a totally different sequence, one that was never anticipated. It makes my job hard, but also a lot of fun. After all being an author is just writing about people, studying their relationships, their mannerisms, their psychology. I find myself taking mental notes constantly. When I am feeling a particular way I think to myself, how would I write this. What would I say. And it isn't always the times that you would expect me to do this. It is odd moments, like I accidentaly slammed my hand into the wall, or I tried a new food for the first time.

There are other things, that happen in real life that are so bizarre or so convenient that it would never pass in fiction. Anyway. I am not saying anything really significant. All day I have struggled to put coherent sentances down on paper. I hope that tomorrow I am more alert. Today I could get away with it because my supervisor was a little out of it as well. Tomorrow people might be paying attention. G'night.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Me again. Well duh. Who else would it be?

So I am just as high as a kite, and I mean that in the most non-illegal way! I am as corny as Kansas in august, high as a flag on the fourth of July...

Ten bucks to the first person who can email me the name of that reference.
(and a free year membership in my fan club)

So. Why am I in this obscenely jubilant mood? Not sure really. A myriad of things. But I think maybe it's just good karma. Life is like a big cycle. You can only stay down for so long and eventually things have to get better.

I finished a story Yesterday, posted it for my writing group today. I submitted my first story to F&SF! Huge Deal. I lined up an informal interview for research on the new novel. Hem hem...Always better to kill two birds with one stone. But why birds, I mean I don't like birds but I don't want to kill them. There has to be a better expression than that. Did they eat the birds? What was the purpose of killing them? Ten dollars and a free one year membership to the fan club to the person who can answer the question.

I get paid this week. I was informally offered a job this week. I didn't let my mother get to me this week. And look at that it is only Hump Day.

If anyone has any information on the TV series Dark Angel, or the DVD'S that they want to let me borrow I would love you to death. Ten bucks and a one year membership to my fan club to anyone who can provide me with the hookup on the D.A.

OK well I think that is enough. Thinking about putting together the website this month, I have time and some extra cash, but what do I put on it, except for a link to my blog and a silly bio. With no publishing credits I feel kind of premature on that one. But at the same time I feel like by the end of the year I will have published at least two pieces. I might not have made much money, if not any, but published yes. I suppose I could put on a links page, those are fun. Oh and information about the fan club. Maybe a message from the president. On a serious note if anyone has time or has checked out the cafe press shops website...It is something that I would like to get into. I am looking for an artist, or at least someone who can draw to do some images for me featuring characters in my books. I also need little one liners. If you are curious email me I can give you a direct link to what I am interested in. Eventually there will be some dead presidents involved in the exchange. But that comes with the publishing of work. It's a team effort here people. Let's get a move on it. Melissa Inc. Has to go public in six months!

My First Submission

YEA!!!! I just submitted my first story! I made a deadline I actually kept. Despite the fact that I was ready to burn this story two days ago it felt really good to stick it in that envelope and drop it in the mailbox. Who am I kidding? It felt great. I feel like I can officially call myself a writer now. I have a computerized tracking system on my laptop, and I felt so professional using it. Name of story--check. Name of magazine--check. Date submitted--double check (because it makes me happy to double check things).

Anyway. Now all I have left to do is wait (let’s hope the waiting includes more writing). I started a new story a few days ago. Just rambling on a page but isn’t that how most stories start out? I like it. It is a lot funnier than the first one. It will also be a lot shorter. But that is what I always say. I just can’t do flash fiction. I don’t think it is meant for everyone. Like some people sprint and others run cross-country, I don’t write flash fiction.

I have another story I started at the same time I wrote Death Walkers (for those of you who are wondering, that was the title of the story I submitted to F&SF), but I can’t make myself work on it because like Death Walkers it is not a happy tale. In fact it is damn near depressing. But hey, depressing is what wins Oscars. Anything with “artistic merit” has to depressing, or at least not funny.

I understand now why my favorite author works on two series interchangeably. I love my characters, and the stories they have to tell, but there are times when they make me want to beat my head against a brick wall. Repeatedly. Over and over until…OK you get the point. So I have taken a break since oh what the middle of January on my novel. I think I am ready to get back to work…hmmmOK…Two more stories and then I will get back to work. I need to have a constant circulation of stories being submitted in order to increase my chances of making a sale.

In my yearly plan (yes I said yearly plan) I am supposed to write and submit four stories this year. Of course I was also supposed to finish the manuscripts for book one and two of the Fallen Angel Series* (*working title). The story is complex, it is a Dark Fantasy/Horror (for those of you who do not know what dark fantasy is think Vampires) and there are lots of failed attempts at good Vampire fiction. In both my eyes and in the eyes of editors. I don’t know if this helps me or hurts me. On one hand I am very critical of my writing because I have seen so many bad books out there, and I have a very specific idea of what my writing should accomplish. At the same time it is very hard for an Editor or a publisher to take a chance with another Anne Rice wanna-be. For the record, I have not read an Anne Rice book that I liked. Anne Rampling* Yes. A.N. Roquelaure* once or twice. But Anne Rice. Nope. Never. (*Pseudonyms used by Anne).

So I have the Fallen Angels Books but I also have an idea for another unnamed series, which I believe, will be more marketable and more unique. So the question is…do I put the first book on hold and work on the one with the greater likelihood of getting published, even if that means it may be four five or six months before I get a novel ready to be sent out? Or do I stick to what I started send it out and move on to the more marketable novel. This is why you hear authors say, well actually I wrote that book ten years ago. I just couldn’t sell it. The Harry potter books were rejected by like 25 publishers before it was sold, and if you know anything about publishing houses, you know how painfully slow they can be. I would say it was probably two to three years minimum before the first HP book was sold. There is a reason why the first four came out so close together. They were written while the first one was being shopped around.

Anyway…I have written quite a bit today. I am just so excited about my writing. I think I am going to revise my yearly plan…and make some important decisions on which manuscript to work on. Thanks for listening to me blab.

Oh and by the way if anyone wants to join the Missy Lynn Ryan Fan Club contact me. You get a free…. sticker. If anyone wants to be the President of the Missy Lynn Ryan  Fan Club (this entails starting the Missy Lynn Ryan Fan Club) contact me as well. :)

Not So Regular

I am getting worse and worse at doing this, and it has nothing to do with my lack of desire to write and everything to do with my disgust at my laptop. One can only restart a computer so many times before the list of necessary tasks to be completed grows thinner and thinner. Knowing that I might only have twenty minutes max before the computer freezes makes me hesitant to do anything at all, specifically when working on a story or my novel, which I would be extremely pissed to say the least, if it was lost in cyberspace.

So I apologize for my sporadic appearances. I promise to take a fiber supplement and become more regular.

I had dinner with a friend the other day and it was great because I realized something that I don’t think many other writers experience. I sat there, eating my bread and soup and explained to her that I am getting ready to submit my fist ever short story to a professional market (for those of you not hip with the writing world market is the medium which you sell your work For short stories it is usually some sort of magazine, print web, small press etc.). I told her that I was told by several writers to submit to Fantasy and Science Fiction first because it is one of the most prestigious markets and Gordon rejects very very quickly. Lol. You can get a rejection in less then two weeks.

Some of you rather brilliant observers might wonder why I would want to submit a story to a market where there is an 85% chance of getting rejected right off the bat. I could take the same work of fiction to a semi-pro zine or a nonpaying market, where a writer with my lack of experience will not count against me and I can gain publishing credit. But I have been told by many older and wiser authors to start at the top and work your way down. You never know who is going to like a story. Once you get past the grammatical structure a good story really is in the eye of the beholder. Different people will simply like different things. By submitting work to the top markets first you don’t cut yourself short on exposure opportunities and let’s face it money.

So I digress a little bit, and I could digress a little further and tell you all how the word digress came to be one of my favorites, but that too would be digressing.

I was at dinner with a friend, explaining how I was ready to submit my story, and how excited I was. I am about to submit a story to a magazine that has little chance of seeing the light of day. A story that is not particularly my favorite, and all I can think of is the rejection letter. I cannot wait to get my first rejection letter. Bizarre isn’t it? Don’t you wish life were like that. Instead of having so much fear of failing, to welcome it with open arms? I could use some of that thinking right now. Anyway. That’s me. Awaiting rejection.