Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ego Boost

Because I have nothing better to do today, I decided to make my own Kindle screensaver image. You know those images, right? The creepy black and white photos of famous, dead authors that pop up on the e-reader when it's not in use? Yeah, they really weird me out. Here's mine:

I know it's a bit risky to be reading someone else's book in a photo that's meant to promote my own. But I credit this book for making me feel like an entitled bitch who deserves her own Kindle screensaver photo. So I think it's merited.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kenneth and me is scared

Since I last blogged, I've been incredibly busy working on revisions for my first novel A Happy Armageddon. I've also been applying for the Writers' Reserve grants from the Ontario Arts Council. One thing about this granting program: it isn't anonymous. I find this strange and a bit unfair. But if I get a grant I'll delete this complaint and take the money and run. Like really fast.

My revisions have been going very well. I added a few new scenes, got rid of another character, tightened where I needed to and expanded where I wanted to. I loved every second of it and I've never felt more creatively satisfied. Writing novels full-time would be the greatest job in the world. Having the freedom to make up stuff all day? I mean, wow. This is what I've wanted to do since I was in Grade 6. Any writer who can pay the bills this way is the luckiest person alive. Which is why I was so sad when I reached the last page of my manuscript. Because I know I need to put it out into the world again. And that means opening myself up to more rejection.

The manuscript is wholly unrecognizable from what is was two years ago. The state it's at now makes me really embarrassed to think that I put it out into the world so soon. It's amazing how completely unworthy it was back then when this blog was inspired and yet how desperate I was to submit it. I see now how completely chaotic I was back then and it's kind of humiliating. I wish now that I could take it all back, but I've been busy writing so my time machine work has all but stalled.

Oh well. I'll have to chalk it all up to an important lesson in patience and a reminder that writing is revising and revising and revising...

Soon I'll have to start querying agents again and I'm totally terrified. This feels like my last chance with this book and if it doesn't work out, I know I'll be pretty sad about it. I know that I'll never self-publish it -- that wasn't part of my dream. So if it dies this time, it's really gonna be dead.

Speaking of dreams and self-publishing, since we're in the second week of September, I'm 100% confident that I didn't get into any of the TV writing programs I applied to (NBC's Writers on the Verge or the WB's). I'm still very proud of the 30 Rock spec I wrote. It made me laugh this morning when I re-read it, and usually I hate my writing the day after I write it. I don't think it's right that this script goes unread, so rather than bury it on my hard drive, here's an except. It won't really make sense without context, so if you don't laugh that's totally why.

INT. STUDIO BACKSTAGE – DAY

TRACY barrels through the hallway, his head buried in a book. He runs into a GROUP OF SENIORS on a tour.

TRACY
(to all)
Hey! Watch where I’m going, he yelled inappropriately!

KENNETH
What’s that you’re reading, Mr. Jordan? It must be better than Glenn Beck’s The Christmas Sweater.

TRACY
These sexy vampire books are amazing, Kenneth. The intra-species love, the negative role-modeling for young women, the thesaurus-driven narration, he conjectured. I can't stop reading them!

KENNETH
Vampire books? But those are the devil’s candy!

TRACY
I thought that was Skittles.

KENNETH
Mr. Jordan, you have to burn that book!

TRACY
No way. I hate fire. I do not trust anything I cannot touch or at least lick.

KENNETH
Give it to me, Mr. Jordan.

TRACY
It’s just a book, Kenneth. Just words. And, normally, pictures.

KENNETH
Books are not innocent, Mr. Jordan. Books are ideas. And ideas turn people into terrible things like scientists and Charlie Rose.

TRACY
And bats?

KENNETH
Even worse. If you keep reading these books, you’ll unlock the gates of hell. And once they’re open, you have to go all the way to San Francisco to close them up again.

Tracy considers Kenneth’s argument.

KENNETH
Give me that book!

They struggle. Tracy pulls the book away from Kenneth and runs down the hall flapping his arms.

TRACY
Bat me, sexy vampire book! Bat me!