Stacy...Sensibly Insane


I have my own little world, but it's okay - they know me here.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

I'm A Sucker For Romance




I admit my first love is to write romance. I choose to write romantic stories. Unfortunately sometimes I have a problem NOT choosing to write romantic stories.

Case in point. Our local area magazine was having a short story contest. Perfect! Can't wait to do something for it...can't wait for the idea to strike...can't wait to send something in...still waiting for an idea. Oh three or four have flown over the computer and been put in their own files to be worked on for other projects because each had ended up being a romance. Not that I couldn't send a romance into this magazine but knowing your readers is a big part of being a success at writing and this magazine in local, community oriented, and the odds are it wants a hometown story...not a romance. So I start again, and again, and again.

Now this isn't to say I haven't written non-romance. In fact, my two most recently published short stories were not romances (kinda worries me that the ones getting published aren't romance) but the problem is is that 98% of my thinking goes to a romantic theme (even when I try not to)...the other two percent is just dumb luck that the story pops into my head and actually works.

So how do I fix this...I have no clue. Practice maybe, making sure I catch those stories when they pop up, focusing harder (nah, tried that), or maybe it's just who I am. And whether the non-romance stories come out or not I'll just have to leave that up to fate because truth be told...I'm a sucker for romance.

Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 8:39 AM :: 6 comments

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

On a Roll...Then comes the Drop-off



I get going for a few days where the ideas are flowing, the page count is going up and everything is great. Then we go out for a day. This of course though wanted and necessary, interferes with the temporary writing path I've been on. It feels like I dropped off the side of a cliff and am struggling to get back to that level of creative energy, or more appropriately creative discipline that I had before the break.

This is where it is easy to see that I am a novice writer because it could take days or even weeks for me to get back up on that peak where I am progressing as I feel I should. I know like any other job, it takes time to learn the routine, get your feet under you and feel comfortable about what you do. But, like any other job, you just wish you could get to that comfort level a lot faster.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 5:35 PM :: 1 comments

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Category, Lines, and Publishers....Oh My!



So, I've been back working pretty steady since the muse returned from her vacation. As you can see from the sidebar, on more than one project to boot! Unlike some writers though, I don't write with a specific category in mind...I write the story that is pounding in my head.

Therefore I come to a number of problems namely the Category, Line, and Publisher decision. Especially with a publisher like Harlequin, they are divided into a good number of lines from tender love to erotic, from suspense to paranormal, and even chick-lit to mainstream. So the hard part is finding out where I fit in the scheme of things. Now that they have vetoed their romantic comedy line also makes the decision harder, especially when I have to knock off some choices right from the beginning....like tender (mine has a love scene), the erotic stuff (I don't want my mother reading THAT much detail), paranormal (no ghosts, vampires, or mythical magic in this one), and chick-lit (I am sooo not hip). I could consider suspense but most of those lines are serious and though there is a mystery in mine it's not played out so life threatening (well, not till the end). There are one or two other publishers to consider of course as well but it pretty much comes down to the same thing. So that leaves me with a narrow choice. But I want to pick the right one or its just a waste of postage and the editor's time....((heavy sigh)).

I know I still have a ways to go to finish the manuscript but I need to start figuring this stuff out soon so I have a plan for when it is finished. Any suggestions are welcomed!
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 6:40 AM :: 1 comments

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Way Too Soon!




So I'm walking into our local dollar store planning to pick up a few items for our next trip to the beach...you know, summer stuff? I just saw the items last week so I knew they had them but when I went in, the whole main aisle was devoid of summer and instead piled high in the black and oranges of Halloween!!

For someone who has worked in retail most of her life and whose husband still does I know I shouldn't be surprised but come on! A little early don't you think?


I admit Fall, though usually one of my favorite seasons is not high on my list of pleasant thoughts this year. ((Heavy sigh)) My first born will begin school in the fall. I know, I can already hear the groans and giggles from mothers around the world who have gone through this but it's not quite for that reason. I have no doubt my child will love school, so much so they may not want to come home. No, the real trepidation is the schoolbus. Though I love the country, I was raised a city girl where you walked to school. I have no problems with a schoolbus per se but it is just that I think 4 years old (junior kindergarten) is just way to young to go on the big bus all my themselves. It won't be so bad with my second child because there will be the two of them, buddy system, and all that. But how am I suppose to let somebody I don't even know drive off with my precious child. (I can hear more laughing and head nodding from you all).

I know it has to be done but I just don't want to think of it until I absolutely have to...and you know what, July is way too soon to be thinking about all that stuff and I don't need to be reminded by retail stores wanting to cash in on ridiculously early buyers.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 4:55 PM :: 3 comments

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Friday, July 22, 2005

Permission




My biggest writing block is that I’m a perfectionist. I want every word to fall on the page in perfect order, with perfect emotion, and with perfect clarity. Needless to say, it doesn’t. Sometimes it doesn’t even get down on paper because I can’t get it right.

There is however, a solution, but unfortunately for me, it’s not an easy one. The solution I’ve discovered is that I need to give myself permission to just move ahead. Believe me, it's not easy! Forcing myself to type in things like “the something or other house” or “she looked funny, describe later” and move on instead of staring at the computer for a ridiculous waste of time while I try to think of exactly what kind of house it is or how I can make that lady look funny is hard. Convincing myself that it is okay not to know the details right now is no easy feat but I’m working on it day by day and hey, I wrote ten pages on a piece I had barely looked at for a month because I was having problems with the next scene. So obviously, it works and not only that, I find that by moving on a few pages or paragraphs the details actually start coming to me and I can go back and fill a few of them in. And of course all this means progress! Yay!!


Now all I need to do is keep giving myself permission to write through the tough parts and keep going no matter what! Anything that needs to be filled in can be done later. The most important part is to get that story on paper!

As with everything, writing is a learning curve. The other day I read one of my earlier manuscripts from a few years ago and already I can see vast improvement, which gave me a moment of pride. A moment that gave me enough confidence to believe I'm on the right track.

I will be published and know the only thing slowing me down is myself. But I’m learning, both about writing and about how to take control of it. With each lesson learned and each page written, I get one step closer to my dream. And I believe that it will be sooner, rather than later, that you’ll be seeing my name in print!

Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 10:20 PM :: 6 comments

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

No Longer Bad Words



I used to whisper when I said I was computer illiterate because it seemed like such bad words with all the technology going on in this day and age (it also didn't help to have a brother who is a computer genius). When I ventured onto the internet only a few years ago I was terrified! I had done a computer animation course and was a graphic designer for a couple years but through all that I was even terrified that I would hit a wrong key and destroy a network. Until I had my own computer and could play around knowing the only person I would tick off was me, I held the all mighty computer at a very delicate distance.

Even now I still don't think I know much but you know what? Computer illiterate are no longer shameful words...in fact, I truly believe that people are making money off of us and I say more power to them! These are the programmers that make using a computer a breeze, using the internet as easy as typing in a single word, and giving us worry warts an breath easy experience.

This blog is a great example. The reason it took me so long to decide to actually make one is because I thought they were to technically advanced for me...boy was I wrong. Somewhere out there in cyberspace are people who make fudge-proof computer programs, who make the internet accessible, and who make instructions easy enough for even the faint of heart.

I am so proud of what I have been able to do lately thinking 'Hey, I really have this down!' but to give credit where credit is due...I give a million thanks to those who work behind the scenes making this technological world much easier to understand, simpler to use, and who make us feel less computer illiterate and more computer savvy.

I may never understand all my brother talks about when he gets into his computer mode but at least now I feel like I can hold my own. And that's a GOOD thing!
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 9:14 PM :: 0 comments

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Fickle Muse



Why is it that my muse chooses the most inopportune times to get creative? You know, like 2am, or while driving, or when there is no chance in H-double-hockey-sticks to take time out to get the good stuff written down.

Does she come when the children are sleeping? No. Does she grace me when I have a whole hour to myself while the hubby is keeping the boys busy? No. Does she come when I know there is deadline due and I want to be way ahead of it for a change? No.

Oh I've done the notes on napkins, have stolen paper out of my nieces' notebooks while at a family gathering, used the back of receipts, beg, borrowed, and stole for a pen, and even once used my arm because the phrasing that I had been fighting suddenly, and most inopportunely, became clear as day and I was terrified I'd forget it. I've woken my husband up in the middle of the night with my little flashlight and notepad too...only he fell right back to sleep and even when I'd purged the creative ideas onto paper, I still lay there replaying the scene over and over.

But again, do the words come when I really want them to?
No.
Nada.
Zilch.
Zero.

Frustrating doesn't begin to describe how I feel staring at a half finished paragraph and thinking it really sucks and is not saying what I want at all. The rare times I can get it down right, it's a high better than any drug off the street. And I guess that's the point of it. No matter how frustrating and insane it gets, I want that feeling...just a taste of the power that comes from getting it just right. Thus addicted, I put up with the fickle muse and she knows it. She knows it and uses it against me to play her games and watch me squirm all the while knowing that I have no choice but to play along for that one, brief, shining moment of pure clarity.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 5:06 PM :: 1 comments

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

FORE!!!




So there I was standing on the driving range for the first time in my life because my husband coerced me into coming to what he called a charity 'couples' tournament. Turns out the 'couples' part was a very loose interpretation and that no other wives from our group came. What I should have done right then was taken the car home and made him hitchhike back.

To this we shall add a horribly hot and humid day, using my husbands clubs which were a foot too long, and having one of the 'irons' dropped on my foot by my already-in-the-doghouse husband.

Oh yeah, now we're having fun!! If he thought this would get me into the sport he loves he was mistaken...big time!!

To give me credit though, I didn't bean anyone with a ball or worse yet a club (although I thought about doing it to my hubby a time or two LOL), they did use 2 of my hits as best balls and I did putt in to save par once, I only ran over the tee green once in the cart, left my husband running for the cart once, and only lost three balls and broke five tees...not bad for a first timer I guess.

Truth be told as bad as I sucked, I did have fun...especially riding the golf carts!! For a first time out 18 holes was a long, long, long, long dredge but the other two men on our team were funny and to give them credit VERY understanding and patient with me. I may not pick up the sport as my husband would hope but maybe, just maybe I'll give it a try again for next year's tournament...after all, it was for charity.



Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 4:36 PM :: 1 comments

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Friday, July 15, 2005

Life Turns...



Funny how life turns leaving one weeping and another thankful for what they have. Why does something bad always have to happen before we realize how lucky we have it? Unfortunately it takes a friend getting crushingly bad news to make me realize that moping about two R's in a row is useless when in reality they are only a dent in the beginning of my career.

Insignificant to the bigger picture.

It's nothing for me to pick up a pen or start typing and coming up with something else, I've got a million ideas...for her though it's not easy, it's forging for faith, striving to find the will to start life again, to trust that there is some greater plan in the universe and it will all work out (which, if you are reading this my friend it DEFINATELY WILL!)

And if I believe this for something as major as her current situation, then how can I not believe it for something as simple as my own dream.


Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 1:31 PM :: 0 comments

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Ground Beneath a Stiletto



Ever feel like you are the butt of a cigarette being wedged into the ground beneath a steel heeled stiletto?

Yep, that's me today. The lovely mail-lady brought yet another rejection today. Normally I can take them in stride--it is par for the course afterall--but come on! Two in two days is just rude! Give me a little time to recoup from one before you stick the pencil in my eye again! Sure, I can give myself the pep talk that it is just one person's point of view, that it just wasn't right for that publisher but that doesn't mean it's not good...I can tell myself all that crap, which for the record is true, but doesn't mean squat next to the fact that they didn't want it, that it was returned in the SASE that you send with the submission but secretly hope never to see. It hurts, plain and simple. The fact that we pick ourselves up out of the crevice of the cememt that we've been butted into for the umpteenth time only proves that we are either very determined or simply gluttons for punishment. Today of course I feel like the latter.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 1:14 PM :: 3 comments

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Falling Off Mount Everest



Once again I find myself rolling down the glacial mountainside of my Mount Everest. Surely we all have them...that one monumentous thing in our lives that we strive to accomplish. My personal Mount Everest is a particular woman's magazine that I have been trying for a while to get published in. Well, it isn't going to happen any time soon. The lovely mail lady brought the annoyingly photocopy-looking rejection letter yet again. Although to those who have ever actually climbed a mountain I'm sure it's not much of a comparison to the training, organizing, supplying, and climbing but with all the time put into thought, preparation, organization, writing, rewriting, revising, redoing, perfecting, panicking, packaging and sending a story...the big R is the same as failing to make it to the top of the mountain. It also puts a dent into the confidence level and adds to the weight of having to start from scratch and once again looking up from the absolute bottom. So why do people keep climbing Mount Everest? I guess for the same reason I keep picking up that pen or clicking over the keyboard...it's not something I choose to do, it's something I HAVE to do. Besides, the mountain isn't going anywhere but I am...straight to the top...however many times I have to climb it to get there!
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 2:42 PM :: 1 comments

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Water Water Everywhere...



Everywhere but in the clouds. Hot doesn't even begin to tell you what it is like today and for those of you who think Canada is cold...let me tell you the truth...not all of it!

Took the children to the beach today to try to find some semblance of relief from the staggering heat and I was met face to face with my childhood...after I tried to pat down the paranoia of motherhood. Needless to say the place was packed (hence the usual worry of keeping track of them) but our little corner of the Lake was perfect. Waves rolled in knocking my youngest down yet he only stood and laughed for more. I probably sat in that very spot, at that very age and did the same thing. The best things about children is that they bring our childhood back to us...our carefree time that life stole away with responsibility and expectations. Sometimes we forget that every once in a while it's just nice to be a kid!

Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 4:33 PM :: 1 comments

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

In the Beginning...



And so it is I embark on the next phase of my technical journey...the web blog. I'm still not sure if it is the actual technical part that has me concerned or the writing part...and being an aspiring writer that disturbs me. I guess I just don't feel like an overly interesting person--which when thought about would make sense why I enjoy to make up stories of the adventures of others in their quest for love and life. Isn't it always easier in the mind to live someone else's life than your own?? But I do have thoughts, versions of the truth, and a need to write things down ALL the time so I figured why not...who knows, maybe my next best seller will be found right here in these pages.

Speaking of which, for those interested readers I am playing around with the idea of a continuous storyline taking place here. Whether daily or weekly I have yet to determine but stick with me and you may just find out something interesting after all!


Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 4:23 PM :: 0 comments

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