WWK Blogger Paula Gail Benson has two short stories running in Kings River Life Magazine this weekend, "Pelican Spring" and "The Mama Factor." Both are Mother's Day short stories. You can read them by going to: http://kingsriverlife.com/category/kings-river-reviewers/terrific-tales/
Linda Rodriguez is a finalist in two categories for the International Latino Book Awards (given out at BEA the end of May)--one for Every Last Secret and one for editing Woven Voices: 3 Generations of Puertorriquena Poets Look at Their American Lives (with Gloria Vando, Anika Paris, and Anita Velez-Mitchell). Congratulations, Linda!
The second SinC Guppy anthology, Fish Nets, has been released by Wildside Press. WWK authors, Gloria Alden, Warren Bull, Kara Cerise and E. B. Davis have short stories in this volume, which can be bought at Wildside Press, the usual retailers and will be available at the Malice Domestic Conference. Look for "the story behind the stories" on May 1 here!
Upcoming Salad Bowl Saturdays include authors Carolyn Mulford on 5/25 and Liz Mugavero on 6/1. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, send a message to Jim Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Appreciating Frustration or Not
At the time, I was still dealing with the physical trauma of childbirth, which every mother knows is worst with the first baby because after the first, you’re broken-in (and I’m not talking figuratively), enduring sleepless nights and realizing the horror of being responsible for another human’s well-being. Her comment sounded like the murmurings of a happy idiot. Since her children were ten years older than mine were, I didn't appreciate her nostalgia as I went through the agonies. She’s a wonderful person, but she sure wasn’t looking at it from my perspective. To this day around new mothers, I’m sympathetic because I can still feel the grit under my eyelids from those sleepless nights.
Currently, I’m in the same infancy stages with my books as I once was with my children. I wish it could be “such a happy time.” But like then, it isn’t now. Although I observe nine of the Ten Commandments Nathan Bransford published for writers, that first commandment “Enjoy the present” I just can’t seem to abide. I’m frustrated. I’m unconfident of my writing. I’m unsure that my approach is “correct.” I’m almost certain whatever I write will be instantly rejected by the hirelings of queried agents. My vision often doesn’t match what my critique partners say. I’m feeling harried by too many things to do, prompting me to reevaluate my priorities. I need to focus and have a singular vision.
It all comes down to that one manuscript that makes it out of the slush pile.
I researched Janet Evanovich, Fern Michaels, Margaret Maron and Heather Graham. Each author started writing short stories and expanded to novels. Some took ten years to get that first manuscript accepted. Some combined motherhood and writing (unlike me, some are superwomen) and, for Fern Michaels, it was a challenge by a now ex-husband who told her to "get off her ass and get a job" when the nest emptied. She had no skills except writing and motherhood (and now lives in a haunted house). I love her story and admire her.
My first novel was the sorry first-born experiment. Although my second novel required many revisions, it was fun to write, but wasn’t so much fun when I received query rejections after the promise of interest. Now I’m writing my problem child—that one in which my visions may not adequately address my readers’ expectations. At least one of my critique partners thinks my manuscript is good, the other is clueless as to where I’m taking the novel, which may not be so good. I’m at the stage that editors say is the hardest--that middle stage like an adolescent child who has growing pains and vexes the most loving parent.
My kids are 23 and 20 years old and are accomplished well-adjusted adults. I did okay as a parent. As an author, can I achieve the same success? I guess only time will tell. But whenever I commiserate with other aspiring authors, I’m so glad that they never say, “Oh, it such a happy time.”