Scribbles and thoughts ...

These are ramblings from J L Wilson, published author of romantic suspense, mystery, and paranormal -time travel fiction....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What a great weekend!

I went to a casino with a bunch of friends and we talked BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS the whole time.

Man, was it great! I forgot all about my publishing troubles and my work troubles and just reconnected with what I love to do -- write!

So I'm busily scribbling on a new book. This is a followup book to one I wrote last year and I hope it will be a nice addition to the first-person books I've done. Now that I need to shop the Pig Book again ('publishing woes'), I'll have 4 to shop around. But I'll worry about that later. For now ...


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Choosing your fights carefully

I am proud of myself. I'm learning to pick my fights and walk away from ones I can't win.

I've had ample opportunity to learn this lesson in the last few days. I've had tussles with publishers and with folks in my RWA chapter. In all cases, I was flatly squashed when I made suggestions. I explained why I suggested what I did and was squashed again. So I walked away from the fight with nary a backward glance. I'm still with the publisher/group, but I'm not fighting that fight any more and my opinion of the professionalism of those involved has changed dramatically.

I think this is a valuable lesson to learn. Some things are worth discussion and others aren't. And even if I think it's worth discussion, if I can't be heard, then why talk? I'm learning to focus my energy in other spots.

Like writing ... for the first time in WEEKS I'm writing again. Hey, this is why I got into this business -- because I love to write! It's so nice to re-learn that and delve into a story. The new one is fun. You see, the heroine is at this convention and she finds a nasty publisher dead on the beach. Then ...

Oh, and before I forget ... I may not post again this week. I'm taking off this weekend to a writing retreat (a writing AND gambling retreat). So I won't be around to post. Have a good holiday everybody (those of you in the States, at least) and see you next week.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

the intervention of the outside world

I had a stressful week in publishing this week. No details here on a public forum, but I've become a bit disillusioned with the whole process. Not so disillusioned that I'll quit, but enough that I'll re-evaluate my future and maybe make some changes in direction. Enough said on that subject.

A bright spot in all this was the intervention of the outside world. I met a key figure in my Other Job (the day job that pays the bills). As you know if you've followed this blog, my company was consumed by another a few months ago. We are now part of a mult-national, giga-huge corporation. It's been a bit stressful -- new forms to fill out, new equipment to install, new processes to learn.

Anyway, a Higher Up came out to visit. We all met with him then went out to lunch, getting a good chance to schmooze. I was very, very impressed. It's been my experience with these things that when the Upper Echelon comes to schmooze, it's hard to believe they're really sincere. But I was impressed with him. He seemed to honestly want us to (1) be happy and (2) understand their reasonings and processes.

It was a ray of sunshine in an otherwise stressed-out, cloudy week. Here's hoping .....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

There's writing and then there's writing

Odd disconnect for me yesterday.

I went to a professional writing conference -- my 'other' writing, one for technical writers. I've spent the last 3 years going to fiction writing conferences, so this was totally different.

I found it very energizing to listen to people doing research in the field and to talk with others who are coping with very similar problems that we're coping with. I think I've been to so many fiction writing conferences lately and have been focusing on promo and 'business', this was refreshing to talk about writing. These people just want to research and present information in the most appropriate and appealing way -- which is similar to what I'm doing in my 'other' career. It was great to find the similarities and the differences.

Now back to the 'the other' writing'.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

we have a cover!

Yea! The cover for my first book. Man, I was sweating bullets over this cover. An author has very little input into the design, so I wasn't sure what I'd get. I've seen some bad covers in my day, and there's a story about a writer who hated the guy on her cover so much she put a sticky-smiley-face on him at a book signing [which sold more books, of course]. I was so worried I'd get something that didn't reflect what was in the book. I made my requests and hoped for the best.

So when I got this I was happy. It's got all the clues: the computer, the brownies, the coffee cup on the desk, the wycinanki (that's 'paper-cutting art' to you folks who haven't read the galley proof).

The other tricky part of this is that I write for 3 publishers. I'm hoping they will all look somewhat similar. I know, I know -- what are the odds? But I can hope, right?

For now, I am basking in the glow of my first cover.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Finally ... a direction!

I mean for my latest WIP (Work in Progress).

I've been sort of struggling lately, not sure where it was going. This happens sometimes ... I get some characters in my mind, a few scenes, and I start to put it down on paper but I don't know where it's going.

This one had me worried because it's a time travel book, so the plot is always a bit more complicated than a straightforward murder story. I wasn't sure where it was going, but I've got it whipped now. I know how it's going to end.

Whew. I was worried for a while. Now that I know how it's going to end, I can march forward to that point. Now I have a time frame and I know my characters have to be put into certain situations in order for it to end as I want.

Now it's just a matter of getting it all written.

Easier said than done ...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Making contact ....

I saw a writing friend the other day who'd moved away but was back for a brief visit. She's signed a couple of writing contracts with my publisher (Cerridwen) and is just getting started on the whirlwind.

We had a good old chat, talking about the changes we've experienced since we talked last. She used to be gung-ho to get published by a New York house and be a 'real' writer. But now that's she gotten her feet wet with a small press, she's starting to rethink that decision.

I think this is interesting because she's feeling the same sort of -- "hmm, I've accomplished this. Is it enough?" -- feeling that I've had. I think we focus so hard on that big milestone of getting published that when we accomplish it (or almost accomplish it, in my case, since I have a month or two to go) we're left with a sense of "What's next"?

I have to admit, it was a relief to hear it from someone else. And it was lots of fun to talk Publishing with someone who's with the same house, who has similar questions, and who is on the same journey I am.

That's a side benefit of all of this ... the people you meet along the way.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Why do I do this kind of stuff???

Why do I set myself up for this stress?

I signed up for 2 pitch sessions at the RWA National Conference.

I promised myself I wouldn't do it this year. Why do I need to? I've got 5 books coming out, I've got 2 editors who love my work, I've got assurances that more will be bought.

So why did I sign up with another publisher? Well, I know why -- I think it doesn't hurt to have many irons in the fire, and this is a good publisher, one that other writers just LOVE. It's not a big NY house, but the more I write, the more I feel I'm probably happy with that.

And the agent is a solid agency, and maybe they'll want to represent me and push me into that NY spotlight (where I'm not sure I want to be.)

But prepping for it and preparing my notes and practicing ... oi, why do I do it? I was staring at the online signup form and thought, "I could skip this. I don't have to ..." And almost without trying, my fingers moused that little cursor to checkbox and BAM before I knew it, I was signed up.

Oh well. I can add the pitch to my "June things to do". And really, practice meeting total strangers doesn't hurt, right?

I must be a sucker for punishment ....