The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible - Vladimir Nabokov

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you - Zora Neale Hurston

03 December 2009

Golly Gee, I better blog now

Thanks to Michele for saying such nice things about this site! She and Elizabeth have kept the chirping of crickets at bay as I establish my blog cred. Michele's a fellow traveller on the road to being published, and Elizabeth is a sweet, down to earth, published writer who generously passes along her hard won wisdom.

I could go on gushing about these great ladies forever, but they've also inspired me to take a bit of time away from novel writing and blog. Here goes...


I have hundreds of books stacked double thick on hardwood shelves all around my living room. I read a lot. I even list reading as my top 'hobby' on Facebook or wherever else these things are asked (I'm an utter nerd, I know). I can lend them, but I can never give a book away (or *gasp!* throw one away) because I like to re-read. Some books stand the test of time (all my long-out-of-print Walter Jon Williams stuff for example), but others I've outgrown. Things you enjoyed in your youth can make you cringe now (I once loved Tom Hanks' Bachelor Party, but Cast Away is more my style these days). John August recently posted on this, which got me thinking about how my literary tastes have matured:

  1. I'm less patient. Once able to endure chapters of description, I now prefer stuff to happen!

  2. Character is key. The books I remember decades later are the ones with unique, powerful characters. I identify with different aspects of them now, but I still identify.

  3. My interests have broadened. Used to be I had obsessions where I'd read only Nancy Drew, or Dean Koontz, or only sci-fi or fantasy. Now I'm willing to read anything that's good.

  4. Story isn't as important. I used to equate 'good' with an interesting story, but that's only part of it. I want the experience along the way to be enjoyable, every word, every scene. I want it to draw me in.

What does this mean for my own writing? I'm reading more and maturing faster. And I get harder on myself everyday. I thought my first manuscript was great. I had outside readers who loved it, and I gave myself a few weeks to cool off before editing. Voila done! Right. Another finished manuscript later, I go back to the first and cringe. I can do so much better than even a year ago. Fiddling and improving could go on forever, I know. So, I'm setting a deadline. Once I've written 5 'practice' manuscripts, I'm going to actively push the best towards publication and keep 'practicing' in the mean time. Two down, three to go.

Now, how have your tastes changed and what's your Bachelor Party?


  1. Interesting post! I think we do change over time, as a reader and a writer (and a movie viewer!)

    I think I've gotten better with practice. And it now takes a lot less effort than it did at first to write a book.

    Okay, I was a teenager in the 80s, so I watched the Coreys (Haim and who was the other one?)

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Corey Feldman was the other one. '80's teen here too!

  3. 2 more followers! Yay! I'm in the middle of producing my Friday night show, but I'll comment more later, promise!