Words, Words, Words

I remember in one of my grad school writing classes, one of the guest speakers told us, “One of the most difficult things that you will ever do as a writer is scrap and entire novel and start from scratch.  And you will do it.”  I’m here to tell you today it’s actually not that bad.

Is it time-consuming?  Yes.

Is it a hard decision to make?  Somewhat.

Is it worth it?  Oh my goodness, yes.

I got to the seventeenth chapter of the new Cemetery Tours before I was finally able to admit that I wasn’t happy with it.  I tried to deny it for a while, tried to convince myself that I could write through it.  But the story was going around in circles.  It was all discussion and no action.  Worst of all, the plot was very thin and barely there.  I knew I needed to change something or else there was no way it would measure up to the first two.

Making the decision to completely rewrite has been one of the best professional decisions I’ve ever made.  I’m SO much happier with the story now.  It’s less convoluted and far more interesting.  It’s holding my attention better, which is a necessity.  If you can’t get into your own story, then you know you’ve got a problem.  Yes, it’s a lot of work, and yes it is really hard to acknowledge that you’ve got seventeen chapters of nothing, but in the long run, it was the best thing I could have done for my stories, for my characters, and for my readers.  I want to give them the best books that I can.  I would never publish a book that I was even a little unsure of.  I have to believe in a book.  I have to love it.  I have to know it’s my best work.  Otherwise, there’s no way I’m putting it out there for others to read.  My first novel will never, ever see the light of day because it is just so bad.

Speaking of first novels, I’m currently in the process of beta-reading my friend Paula Walker Baker’s first novel!  I’m so, so, so excited for her and so impressed by how much she’s accomplished and how far she’s come in the year that I’ve known her.  This lady is going places and nothing is going to stop her!

https://paulawalkerbaker.wordpress.com

That being said, I’m off to go read the rest of her book.  Goodnight, all!

Snowfall

Hi, friends!  Today’s post is not going to be a long one because I have a few projects that need to be finished by tomorrow.  That being said, the new manuscript is in the hands of one editor and flying off to the second this afternoon.  Yay!  So excited!

So, instead of a lengthy post, please enjoy some pictures of the snow that fell yesterday morning.  Expecting more tomorrow.  Oh joy.

11024738_10205097876700206_5701911599694465963_n 11001767_10205097877220219_8046326047057815517_n 11026294_10205097869340022_7086977661946939835_n 10689445_10205097877780233_1173901368866221582_n 11002606_10205097870460050_3015892435776275289_n 19484_10205097878340247_4877242373252605315_n 11001740_10205097871540077_2958980791461575120_n 11008448_10205097874740157_2972922208113975270_n 11017828_10205097874300146_4459675577203752461_n 10351653_10205097874620154_1971086536542402665_n

No Time for Celebration

Last night, I finished revisions on Boy Band.  The next step, of course, is to run one last spelling and grammar check before sending it off to my dearly beloved editors.  One of them lives in California, so I have to email it to her.  That’s great.  I can get it sent off tonight.  But my other editor lives right down the street and I like to print it off and give it to her.  Unfortunately, I do not own a printer, so in order to print off full manuscripts, I have to drive to Staples.

Well guess what?

THERE’S STILL ICE ON THE ROAD.

Guess what else?

IT’S SUPPOSED TO GET WORSE TOMORROW.

That’s right.  Texas is planning on 2-4 inches of snow.  I mean, snow is a lot better than ice, but I still can’t get out and drive in it!  All the stereotypes are true, folks.  Texans cannot drive in snow or ice.  If you get behind the wheel in this stuff, you are asking for it.  I speak from experience.  I totaled my car back in 2010 because I thought it was no big deal.  Nope.  It is a big deal.  I was lucky enough to walk away with just a scratch, but I am through taking chances when it comes to ice and snow.

So, that’s my snow rant.  The good news is I have brownie mix.  And a LOT of books I haven’t read yet.  So the cabin fever isn’t too bad.  Still, I REALLY miss the sun.  The sun is my friend.  I like the sun.

408836_2908686909902_1883134598_n

I say there’s no time for celebration, however, because I have two new projects that I need to have finished by Saturday.  I’m really excited about them, but I also really need to buckle down and focus on them as well.  That’s good, because I like being busy, but it’s unfortunate because I just started reading a new book and it’s really good and I want to finish it and do nothing else and the cold, grey, weather outside is only making me want to do nothing except lie around and read even more.  Yes, I know, that was a very long sentence.  I’m sorry.

Good things are happening, y’all.  In spite of the cold.

Busy Bee

I haven’t been a very good blogger these last few days.  Part of the reason is because I have been under the weather and have had to practically force myself up off the couch to do anything.  Blegh.  But the other reason is because, despite my pitiful existence this week, I’ve actually been pretty busy.

I’ve been helping my friend Paula format her new children’s book, Jack Learns to Grill.  It’s an adorable book about her pet dingo, Jack.  She’s planning a whole series and I’ve got to tell you, I can’t wait to see more of her books and where they can take her.

https://paulawalkerbaker.wordpress.com

I’ve also been in communication with a fellow blogger and future author, Danielle Miller, who is celebrating her third year in the WordPress community!  As part of her celebration, she’s looking to get to know and promote authors and I’m honored to be a part of it! For more information, check out her blog here: https://danielleelisemiller.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/stories-unfolded-blogiversary-free-promotion-for-authors/

Or follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/elise_dani

Finally, I’m about halfway through with my Boy Band revisions.  I’m really excited about this book, y’all. I know I keep talking about it, but I’m REALLY excited. I really think it’s going to be awesome.

30251d8f3b1accb44c4b7a3fdf0c4b62

And on that note, I’m off to revise and listen to Disney music before I run off to a dinner meeting.  Have a good weekend, y’all!

The Revision Cycle

I think I’ve mentioned before that before any of my books go to my editors, they first go chapter by chapter to my sister.  Every writer needs someone whom they trust to be completely honest, especially when it comes to what needs to be revised.  For me, that’s my sister.  For one thing, she doesn’t have to worry about telling me the truth or hurting my feelings because I have to love her no matter what.  For another thing, she reads more than anyone I know.  She reads more than I do.  And I read a lot.  But the thing about KJ is that she knows a good book when she reads one.  She knows what it takes, what works and what doesn’t.  I also know she’d never let me publish anything she thought was lousy, not for my benefit, but because she doesn’t want people reading it and thinking, “Wow, KJ’s sister sucks.”

Today, I received not only my newest manuscript (and let me tell you, she poured her heart and soul into it.  She did a great job with the Cemetery Tours books, but I think she’s REALLY excited about this new one) but a box full of Valentines presents – nail polish, earrings, a mix CD, a key chain, lip balm, markers, and a copy of a magazine full of One Direction pictures.  All the makings for a perfect girls night.  I just wish she was here to share it with me.

B9ll_zwIAAAcGmj

Now that the manuscript is back in my hands, however, the real work is about to begin.  I love every part of the writing and publishing process, but revisions can be grueling.  I try to stay as organized as possible when I go through and make changes, but it can get confusing.  I can’t take too long with revisions, however, because I need to get this manuscript to my editors, especially since the book is due for release April 21!  I’ve told y’all before, but I am really excited about this book.  It’s so different from Cemetery Tours, but it’s so fun.

Of course, I’m still writing Cemetery Tours 3.  I started chapter 17 last night, and it’s taking some new and interesting turns that I didn’t expect.  I hope readers like it as much as the first two.  That’s something I worry about, you know?  That it won’t live up to the others.  That the first two were awesome but the third one is crap.  I know writers are supposed to exude confidence and self-assurance, but I think the truth is we all worry about how our work will be received.  We all want our book to be someone’s favorite book.  One of my dreams is to have someone write fanfiction about my characters one day!  When that day comes, I’ll know I’ve made it.

Have an awesome day, all!  I won’t be posting tomorrow because I have my very first JURY DUTY.  If you want to follow me on Twitter, however, I’ll try to do some live-tweeting.  Not about the case or anything confidential, of course,  but about how bored I am and maybe a picture of my shoes.

Twitter: JackieSmith114

Peace out.