Project updates?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Project updates?
24
Wed, 03-10-2010 - 11:10pm

While I am guilty of having been somewhat off-grid of late, I have been getting some writing done in between life and academic obligations. When time allows, I

~Tori

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better." ~ Samue

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2001
Thu, 03-11-2010 - 11:27am

Mind if I just jump in? I am not a professional writer. I am more of a science and old dinosaur type computer nerd.

But, as the fates would have it, I had some special needs kids, got laid-off from IBM after a couple decades there, and had a scream in me that had to come out... so it erupted in the form of writing about what we went through with our younger daughter and the "comedy" (more like tragedy)of errors we made.

After doing my 800page purge of my anguish, I got more focus... took classes. Started a cathartic blog at http://www.ItsNotMental.com, contracted out to write science news summaries on a website, did some part-time teaching jobs on the side, and 4 years later, have a manuscript in the final stages of being polished up for publication.

But then I realize, after taking a seminar in self-publishing, and learning more... how little I know about this side of things! So... back to school - I just signed up for 4 Computer Graphics Design classes which I am really excited about.

I already have the main cover photo (actually a painting by an artist friend of a friend who'd done it as a gift for my daughter (the one the book is about). Of course, I know nothing yet about cover layouts, but at least I'll know a whole lot more by summer!

I am so excited! And SCARED!!!

Am I on the correct iVillage Board?


www. It's Not Mental .com


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Thu, 03-11-2010 - 12:22pm

Hey Naomi, you are definitely on the right board. You're project sounds heartfelt, involved, and significant. I am sure that you will find success with it. From what you've mentioned already, it seems as though you have committed a great deal of research into your publishing options. I (as well as most other long-time board members here# would warn you to tread very cautiously in the POD world. Many of these companies appear as though their services are in the best interest of the author. By the time an unwary author realizes just how expensive and useless such services can be, it is often too late to undo the damage. I strongly suggest that before going POD

~Tori

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better." ~ Samue

Avatar for avihockey
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-11-2010 - 4:33pm

A puppy! How fun! And how time consuming. . . . I hope you're having a great time with your little guy. What kind of dog is it?

32,634 is nothing to scoff at. I know conventional wisdom any more is to get the first draft out as quickly as possible. (Do we have Nano to thank for that?) I still don't see anything run with the slow but steady approach, especially when there are so many distractions in life. The novel I'm rewriting started as a short story five years ago and I started drawing it out into novel length nearly three years ago. Now I have less than four chapters to finish in the rewrite process. The speed of the writing hasn't exactly been notable, but that doesn't detract from the fact that a (somewhat) polished novel is taking shape.

My goal is to get this novel rewritten by the end of the month. So far I've stayed on track with that goal although I have plenty of work to get through in the next 20 days! In April the finished (?) novel will be deposited into the hands of an acquaintance to critique. I'll take a month off and then start the process of writing synopses of various lengths and researching agents. After taking so much time to create (albeit, in fits and starts) it's a little strange and scary to think about releasing it out to the world.

There haven't been roadblocks so much as there have been distractions. (Maybe they're the same thing?) As luck would have it, I have a bunch of paying work that is starting edge out the novel. I have consistent freelance work with a local publication, have signed a contract for a large radio production project and this week, I accepted a new day job. It's all really good news, but a bit bittersweet when it comes down to me having time to work on fiction. The writing life always comes with some sort of kicker, doesn't it?

Happy Writing!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2001
Thu, 03-11-2010 - 5:47pm

Thanks, Tori. I am well aware that P.O.D. is SUPPOSED to stand for PRINT on Demand - NOT "Publish" on Demand. To be a real self publisher, one must BE a PUBLISHER. I did hire someone locally who has been helping me polish the book, and I may hire a schoolmate to help me with the cover layout. I will not be using one of these author services or vanity publishers like Lulu, AuthorHouse, etc. I plan on going straight to the Printer - also yes, already researched and chosen. But the road of getting from even a completed manuscript to an actual book published by ME, is long, which is why I am about to embark on 4 college classes in the matter.... and I know I will still not be ready. To know everything I really need to do an excellent job, would take me a minimum of 10 months, which is why I could kick myself for not starting on this side of things sooner.

I realized though, that this may be useful... My dad and I may translate the book into Spanish, then we can publish that as well.

I have already exhausted trying to get a traditional publisher. We have a wonderful local program in town for budding authors, and I was mentored.

I'd given up on agents and publishers when I was contacted by a publishing company in England who's heard of my book through word-of-mouth (I am active in Mental Health Advocacy), and were interested. Asked for my proposal, but then said it was not academic enough for their line (they do mostly textbooks). LOL - Some responses I'd had felt it was too educational. It has both - story line and you learn from our story... just like real life - just like WE did. Anyway. That really is the last submission I am doing - and not a bad way to end it - with the editor at a big publisher soliciting it.

I got wonderful responses from agents, with a lot of personal notes, but a rejection is still a rejection is still a rejection. I think I went into a slump, but then suddenly realized, I go nowhere unless I take the first step down a new path, and that step led to another, led to another.... and here I am registered back in college!


www. It's Not Mental .com


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 11:29am

Ada,


The puppy is great. But, in all honesty, right now we have TWO puppies. One is out 8 month old female and the other is the 17 week-old male. We have an older dog who rules the roost and evens out their abundant energy. But, there are times when it is like a puppy tornado whipping around a room. Cute. The little guy is a German Shepherd and he'll be ENORMOUS. He's very, very big boned. And the female is a shelter mix. Very sweet.


At times, the puppies keep me from being as productive as I would like to be on my creative work. However, they will only be "babies" for a short blip in time. I kind of feel like I will miss out on something great if I don't stop and take time to play with them or train. I would certainly miss out on the uber-cuteness.


You mention that you are getting your novel "rewritten." Is that to say that you are editing it, or are you going for a total rewrite? I know what you mean about the freelance work edging out the creative stuff. I worked as a freelance copywriter for years and felt guilty about writing creative stuff when I should be chasing work or dealing with client copy. It can be a vicious cycle. Still, it is good that you are getting the work. And the day job should help level off your need to "chase" work. It's lovely when you get to a place when work is just coming to you. Ironically, when I finally got to that place, I decided that it was no longer satisfying. I returned to school full time and never looked back.


Good luck with the rewrite! Keep us posted on how things are going :)

~Tori


"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better." ~ Samuel Beckett

~Tori

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better." ~ Samue

Avatar for avihockey
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 12:27pm

You certainly don't want to miss out on any uber-cuteness! I'm sure you have to be busy busy with those two little ones, but you're right: they'll only be like this once. Enjoy the mayhem! I keep rooting for a puppy but we definitely don't have the living space or lifestyle to accommodate one just yet. My significant other is pulling for a kitty, but I'm not sure how I feel about that idea.

It's a novel revision, really. I don't call it editing because I'm not to the point where I'm fussing about run-on sentences or comma placement too. My main focus is making sure everything is in the right order and that everything's interesting. At least that's my hope! It's been fun to get everything aligned. I'll definitely give you an update when I reach the end of the rewrite. Much jubilation is slated to ensue. ;)

I'm so glad you're enjoying academic life so much. I have a couple friend who went that path after undergraduate work and they really love it. You can't ask for much more if you find joy and satisfaction in your work.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 3:03pm

Had a series of IE meltdowns yesterday while trying to respond with my "woe is me" reply. I hadn't written anything in days. It felt more

JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 3:26pm

You're in the right place, Naomi. Welcome to The Writing Life!


It's amazing how one thing leads to another. After your layoff, IBM seems to have become "I Be Me!" Good for you! (Really, my command of English is better than that.)


Screams as motivators . . . great thought. Your blog seemed a bit over my head. It's the subject matter, not the writing. Your research skills look solid. You're also not afraid of further education to help achieve your goals.


Naomi, as I see it, you can do anything! I'm not going to tell you not to be scared. Becoming a writer can be scary. Becoming a publisher can be even scarier. Becoming successful at either - or both - is worth the fear.

JudyB







JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 3:59pm

Isn't that the way it goes? Our fiction takes a backseat to everything else in life.


Congrats on the new day job. Is it something you can love? It must be something you can live with.


Hmm, maybe I should revisit that 1066-page novel I wrote in

JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 4:14pm

Izzy asked me to tell you that your baby boy could turn out to be a four-legged Einstein. She told me to remember what her daddy said about Desi. He said Desi was smarter than Bruce, who obeyed three and four part commands.


Look at her! She remembers everything.


Sometimes I think she can read my mind. She's giving me a funny look right now. It's almost as if she knows what I'm writing.


Enjoy him while he's young. Too soon you'll be enjoying a dog who weighs 80 or 90 pounds.

JudyB







JudyB






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