I am a lover of words. I read. I write. I watch a lot of TV/movies. I repeat cycle. Repeat cycle. Repeat cycle. I save quotes from movies or television shows or songs that I think are genius/moving/hilariously funny.
Without words, the world would be a scary, scary place. A place I'm not sure I'd find life was worth living in.
I've always wanted to be a writer. Well, at least since the fourth grade, when my teacher stopped at my desk and read my creative writing assignment about my favorite room in my house to the class. I thought, "Wow ... cool! And to think I just picked some random room and started writing like I cared about it! This is easy--I just need a bunch of adjectives!" Yeah. So, I was a little off about that.
One day, long before I was old enough to make such a decision, I watched an episode of Matlocck and decided, "Hey, it looks easy to be an attorney, and really cool. I'll do that!" And so my parents' dream for my future was born. After awhile I faltered, but then came A Time to Kill. What I didn't think about was that the part I loved most about the movie (and the television show, to be honest) wasn't really the lawyering so much as it was the writing. The beautifully written closing in A Time to Kill? THAT's what made me cry. But I was distracted by the beauty of Matthew M and decided that no, it was definitely the lawyer part that did it for me. So I went to college, majored in pre-law, took a few writing classes along the way. Begin to doubt I was focusing on what I should be ... Went to law school.
And that's where everything changed. It was on a random weekend when I was putting off reading the umpteenth case about contracts when it happened. I opened up a blank document on Microsoft Word and started typing. For the week or so prior to that, these characters had danced in my head. I knew the basic plot. I outlined a few of the steps. Basically, girl falls in love, boy dies, girl is saved from heartache by new best friend, girl kisses engaged best friend at a college party, screws everything up, girl and boy eventually work it out. I know, I know, not the most original. But I didn't care about that. I didn't even think about publishing or others reading it, or anything like that. I wanted an escape, something other than a Contract=offer, acceptance, consideration, bargained for exchange, blah blah blah shoot me now please ...
While I was writing, I thought "Wow, this is soooo easy! I'm the bomb!" And then I stopped and reread it, quickly realizing I wasn't. That manuscript never made it past the first 50 or so rough draft pages.
Attempt # 2 I completed, edited, and queried. About 20 or 30 "no thanks" and one partial request followed by a "no thanks" later, I reread it and thought, "Man ... this sucks! I hate this!" And I moved on.
This time, I wrote about something I cared about. And I joined a writing workshop. And another workshop. And another. Those workshops changed me and my writing. They opened me up. They broke me out of cliches. They brought my characters to life. I queried MS #2 a few times (2 partial requests, one of which I sent and the other of which there was some miscommunication and I never resent it) before realizing ... it's just not ready. It needs substantial rewrites. It needs ... a younger narrator. No, I need a younger narrator, but I'm not sure this story lends itself to that.
And so MS #3 was born. My first YA, and I'm loving it. I finally feel like I've found my voice, my genre, my market. I hope some day, others will love it, too. I think I'll post a separate blog with some details about this journey, as well as my reaction to Secret Agent's somewhat crushing May contest blow. (I didn't scream or cry or send nasty emails, fyi. I just got to thinking. A lot.)
I think that's enough about me for right now.
And now: I'm off to play with more wallpaper and spend lots of plastic money. (Hmm ... maybe Twitter's not such a bad idea, after all ...)