Making Progress

Today another story went out, this one for an anthology. I am pretty excited about it and hope that it works out, not just because it would be another sale, but because this specific story doesn’t really fit into a lot of markets. It has a literary quality that seems to be brushed aside in the world of genre. Imagine that. In literary markets the genre characteristics would be the roadblock to publication. So what’s the answer? Stop writing stuff that doesn’t have a market, stop trying to blend the line between literary and genre fiction? I don’t think so. I’ve never been one to write just for money. To me, whenever you do something just for the money it’s selling out. Now, on the other hand if you do what you love, follow your heart, and make money, that’s success.

So I’ve written a couple of literary short stories. Shoot me. I like them. And have no worries, I have a couple of very humorous pieces in the works.

For those of you counting that is two stories pending, both with notification around March/April. Keep your fingers crossed. Maybe your toes too.

James Blunt, Anna Nalick and Dan Radcliffe's Brand New Key

James Blunt, Anna Nalick and Dan Radcliffe’s Brand New Key

The day is winding down and for the four hundredth time I find myself listening to the Back to Bedlam CD on my iPod. Well not the whole CD. I was cheap and had to see if I would really like it before I bought it. Now of course my predicament is not that I don’t like it but I like it so much I almost don’t want to buy the CD at iTunes. I think I might actually go to the store and by it! Can you believe it? The last CD I bought was Green Day and I’ll admit, I didn’t really buy it my sister gave it to my as a gift. I reserve the act of purchasing the physical hardcopy CD for artists that completely blow me away and make me bow down in their greatness. Otherwise, I do iTunes, song by song, only what meets my exquisite standards.

This CD is so awesome though. It casual and laidback, but the guy has such a wonderful voice that I just melt. Original. Fresh. Go buy his stuff. I want him to make another album.

Speaking of talented new singers/songwriters…Anna Nalick…she’s been out for a while now, sings a song called Breathe (2AM) and I may have mentioned her before. Because I love the lyrics so much. Unlike James Blunt the rest of her CD didn’t impress me and I was disappointed. So I don’t know how long she’ll be around. But I bring it up because I was reading the blog of an agent who will remain nameless and she was listening to Anna Nalick’s song. She was so psyched by it, especially the lyrics. She said, “this song is for writers, find the lyrics and check it out.” Pretty cool to know that at least one person in the world has as good of taste as I do.

What else…oh yes Dan Radcliffe…for those of you who are living under a rock, he plays Harry Potter in the Warner Bros. Films. I was listening to a press junket on my iPod the other day (this was actually recorded around the release of the film so early November….late October, something like that) and they asked Dan what his favorite singer/band was…and he totally went on a tangent naming all these different bands that like two people have heard of. He has incredibly eclectic taste for a teenager. He’s what 16? Maybe 17? He says he doesn’t like the iPod so much because he is a music snob and he has to have the CD case and the booklet inside and likes the act of taking the CD out and putting it in the player and well you get the picture. So towards the end of his rambling speech he remembers a CD he picked up in San Francisco called Melonie’s Greatest Hits. Can anybody say…I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates…(you’ve got a brand new key)…HELLO. It completely stuns me when people know this song. If you don’t go download it on itunes. Pay the 99 cents. You can afford it. I want Melonie to come back on the top ten list. (Oh and if you don’t believe that Dan has weird weird taste in music, he used to have a celebrity playlist on iTunes. His wasn’t as cool as Rupert’s.

Okay, so I have successfully talked about nothing. Can you believe that? Well let’s just call this music that inspires art.

Interesting fact of the day…J.K. Rowling was paid approximately 3000£ for the first novel of Harry potter (which averages out to just over $5,000) and after the novel was sold in England their was a Royalties Auction for foreign (ok U.S. ) rights in which an imprint of Scholastic paid $105,000 for the rights of the first book. This was without a single book published, bought or sold!!! Pretty risky for a first time author. I wonder how it created enough buzz to get about seven publishers at the auction and the price up that high?

Finding a game plan

Last night, while cleaning through some old boxes I stumbled upon a large crate of keepsakes and you’ll never guess what I found inside! The very first screenplay from Long-Smith Productions. The film was a smashing success, but how could it not be. It was, after all, written and directed by me. If the film never made it to Sundance, I blame it on the actors.

Did I say that outloud?


It is wrong for the captain to abandon ship, so I must standby the incredibly tragic storyline, cliché dialogue and makeshift editing. So what if the acting was mediocre! It was a high school production after all.

I bring this up not just because I want to reminisce in the wonderful world of high school drama, but because it is a reminder that the one thing I have always loved is telling stories. And despite the fact that most of it was complete crap, there is a hint of passion hidden inside that screenplay. I can see the spark of creativity, the fire of a writer and the potential, which if nurtured and cultivated in the right manner will one day make a successful writer.

I’m not quite there yet. But there is still some benefit to looking back. I am a true Virgo. I plan virtually everything. If I don’t have a game plan I might as well be blindfolded. So it’s no surprise to the people who know me that I not only outline and plan my stories and novels, but that I have given great thought, detail and attention to my pursuit of becoming a fulltime writer. A career path for the non-traditional career. Something I don’t do as often is an annual review. Or perhaps a performance review. I just finished up one at my other fulltime job (the one that actually pays the bills) and it was a positive reminder that I have made a lot of progress over the year. So many times we focus on the immediate project, deadline etc. For me, I meet a deadline and I have to move on, very quickly, to the next.

So in away, I guess what I am trying to say is that I encourage others, whether they are trying to become a writer, a rock star, a politician, or a CEO…don’t forget to look back at how far you’ve already come. I was reading an article in Psychology Today and it mentioned that the most successful people are the ones who have the ability to set long-term goals and continue to work towards them for 10 years. TEN YEARS!!!! Because it’s not all about luck, or chance. It’s about being prepared and knowledgeable. One of my favorite quotes is “Success is when preparation meets opportunity”. It takes years for us to build the skills we need to be successful in our chosen career or passion. Sometimes, it is not about who crosses the finish line first but what you do once they get there.

So as the first month of 2006 comes to a close. I hope each and every one of you continues to pursue your dreams. Don’t get bogged down in the here and now. This is just a pit stop, just one of many stepping stones on the road to success. And if you’re not getting what you want out of where you are. If you take a look back and discovered you’ve taken a wrong turn (perhaps your too poor for a GPS device!) that’s oka too. Sometimes you have to take a step backwards to move forwards. Regardless, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your life and make the necessary changes for future success and happiness.

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Happy New Year!!!

I just want to say thanks to all you loyal readers who keep checking in despite the fact that I haven’t posted in a while. I know who you are! I don’t really have much to talk about today. It just felt like an appropriate day to blog. It being Friday the 13th and all.

Of course it is not even ten yet and nothing bizarre has happened, unless you count my waking up on time. The sky did turn ominously dark on my way to work. A few flashes of lightning danced around. But I never did hear any thunder.

So, have I been writing? Yes. And that is a good thing. I have learned something from spending 40 hours a week writing grants and articles. I do much better when I am writing it all out by hand. Something about the process makes me more creative. And being able to scratch things out but then look back and see what it was I scratched out is very helpful. Sometimes with the computer, I hit the delete key and end up writing the same thing five times. So now I have a spiral notebook in every room in the house and everyday I write something in it. Will I write the whole novel by hand? I seriously doubt it. But the notebook is just more convenient then my ten pound laptop that only opens word 1/20th of the time. I don’t have to worry about the battery dying, finding a place to plug it in or more importantly a way to get the files from the laptop onto my computer. In all honesty I probably should burn the thing. But I have a problem with letting go. I never was good at saying goodbye.

So my big thing right now is podcasts. I am so completely in love with them. For those of you who don’t know I got an iPod for Christmas (I know, I know…I’m a very lucky girl. And yes, my love can be bought. J/k….alligator handbags!!!) And I have been downloading all kinds of things that I didn’t bother with before. Like now I subscribe to MuggleCast and PotterCast. Two guesses as to what those shows are about. It’s fun though because even though I’m not all that interested in the HP news, I love listening to the theories and the discussion and debates. The other big thing is free cartoons from Channel Frederator. Did I mention that they are free! Some of the coolest funniest stuff I’ve seen and I just download it and pull out my iPod when I’m stuck somewhere and watch till my heart’s content.

My iPod made its first trip to the grocery store this week. It was great. Shopping to my own personal soundtrack. But let’s be honest here. I was listening to MuggleCast at the time. I’m a dork. I know. I’m not ashamed.

So I think I am just going to turn this into a blog about my iPod. Would you like that? Probably not as much as I do. Maybe I’ll try my own podcast. Heck I can do audioblogs on this thing…If I remember how to do it.

Anyway. Time to do something productive. May the force of the iPod be with you. Watch Channel Frederator. Listen to MuggleCast. Visit Send me fifty bucks.