Book Update (and Back on the Chain Gang)

So. A lot has happened since I took my blog hiatus. Like a lot! 

First off... I signed with SparkPress to get my first book published!  

Yeah, I know! I can't believe it either! Part of the problem with being a writer is you have to build up a really thick skin to keep going. Otherwise you get buried under the heaps of opinions, and rejections, and empty vortexes where you send emails and then never ever hear back. The thick skin in itself is not necessarily bad - it helps you to keep working on your art. But sometimes it builds up so thick that when something good occurs there's a sense that it's not REALLY happening. Like it's all gonna fall through at any moment. At least, that's what I kept thinking.   

But IT IS happening! And omg, you guys, I can't even express... like... all the emotions. ALL THE EMOTIONS!

Second... I finished my second novel! It took a really long time (and felt longer during the pandemic for some reason) but I'm pleased with how it came out. Every time I write creatively it's a journey of self-discovery. Even when I think I know where I'm going and what I'm doing with a story, I learn something new and surprise myself. The writing process lets all the unconscious stuff percolate up. I still have beta feedback to collect and edits to do but this book is at the 98% point and that makes me very happy. More importantly, I feel like having two full length books written means I'm actually on the road to being a novelist. Like, with one book written, it could have just been a one-time fluke. But with two books, chances are I'm going to keep writing. I know it's silly. It's just validation that I'm actually going after my dreams. You know? 

The third thing happening is... we all have covid. Well, Chance tested positive for covid; I started showing symptoms a couple of days after but couldn't get a test in a timely fashion; and Keen is probably asymptomatic (because that is so something he would do). SO we're all sitting at home, waiting out quarantine. It's been super mild for us (thank you vax and boosters) and I'm very grateful. But I also figured that means it's the perfect time to blog again!  

I mainly took the blog hiatus so I could finish my second book. Then I took another break from any writing after the book was finished because my brain was done. But my brain is filling up again. Hope you'll join me as I blather on. :)

               - Mary  


Sprightly Writing

I saw this on a license plate yesterday… 


You know, it’s this kind of cutesy, flagrantly ungrammatical shit that is slowly killing my soul.  (I know this because I can hear my soul whimpering when I encounter words like “lite” or “grillz”.) 

Not that I’m always the paragon of proofreading excellence either but at least I know I’m just being lazy or inattentive. (Case in point: this blog!) I’m not doing it out of ignorance or, worse yet, going out of my way to come up with something like the above license plate. (I’m sure the person responsible thought they were being poetic. But I’m not bitter.)  Speaking of which, I’ve just embarked on a huge project to go through and organize, file, and input into electronic storage all my creative writing from the last 20-odd years. I’m starting with the poetry and, whew baby! does some of that early stuff have horrific errors in it! But again, I know most of the blame came from my habit of procrastinating writing projects (or any homework) until the very last second and then oh my god, I don’t have time to proofread I must print this out right now and get it to class! 

(Professional disclaimer: of course if I’m getting paid to proofread then I am extremely precise. Just so ya know. Oh, yeah, and I’m proactive now, too, potential employers.)

Anywho. I’ve been getting very little computer time lately because apparently coming within five feet of a computer, alone and with intent to work, is on the list of things you are absolutely never allowed to do if you are the parent of a three-year-old. Also on this list is talking on the phone. As you can imagine this makes that paid work very difficult to complete, let alone my pet projects. (The irritation factor of age three is not all that conducive to creativity either.)

Speaking of more writing, I’m also very excited to go see the lovely Rebecca Woolf tonight, doing a reading for her book Rockabye. I haven’t mentioned this before but I was part of Rebecca’s online writing group where we read the book in draft as she was writing. She included me in her acknowledgements and I was so very touched. I really didn’t expect that at all (or even noticed at first, because it didn’t occur to me that there would be acknowledgments and that I should look for them).  So if you haven’t bought her book yet and are looking for a great book about parenthood I really do recommend it; she has a lot of talent. (And I’m all snobby about that shit, you know.) 

 - the weirdgirl