Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Mouth Is On Time Out

Do you want to know why I write?

I write because my brain and my mouth have a communication problem. My hands are much better at communicating with my brain. You see, when I have the chance, I think long and hard about what I want to say. I perfect it. Through my fingers, the words come out perfect, just as I envisioned them. But if the memo is supposed to go to my mouth, ooohh boy. It's like a game of Telephone happens somewhere along the way.

For example, I went to the critique group. Because I wasn't the only newbie there, we all went around the room and introduced ourselves. I was near the end of the line-up. I had time.

My brain thought, "Hi, I'm Maggie. I write whatever hits me, but what usually hits me is science fiction and fantasy."

My mouth said, "Hi, I'm Maggie. I write science fiction and fantasy when the urge hits me."

What? That's not right at all. Mouth, what happened? You make it sound like I'm not dedicated to this. Bad Mouth.

Later, after all the critiquing was done, the meeting leader prepared the crit line-up for the next meeting in two weeks. Newbies got first crack at it if we desired. We could present in two weeks, or be a backup and possibly present in a month unless someone drops out from the next one.

My brain thought, "Yeah, I'll be a backup. I'm not ready to dive into the pool headfirst, but I can if necessary."

My mouth said, "Sure, let's do this. I've got something out on submission I can bring."


Mouth, you're not allowed to work anymore. You lose talking privileges.

Welp, hope my Asimov's submission is ready, because in two weeks, the poor thing is going to be ripped to shreds.

(Note: I had a fabulous time, everyone was friendly and welcoming, and I'm happy to go back, even if I ended up diving into the pool sooner than I planned. I'm glad I pushed through the introversion and went.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Socializing is hard!

There's that old fear again. The introvert putting herself out there.

I'm getting better about going to RWA meetings. I'm starting to make friends, to know people and make myself known. One of them gave me directions to a Science Fiction/Fantasy critique group she goes to. I signed up, put my name in the hat for attending one tonight and... my friend isn't going. She had to cancel, for one reason or another. Mr. Maxwell was going to come with me as a guest. He can't because of a contractor coming to the house late tonight. So I'm going by myself. To a group where I know no one, to do something I've never done before. I'm terrified. The anti-social side of me is trying to convince myself not to. "Stay home, write your own stuff, make dinner." I'm trying to ignore it. Deep breaths and courage to chase it away. It's not easy. I like being behind the glowing screen, having time to think out your words. No one judging you by other factors than your words. Little risk of foot-in-mouth.

It's okay. I've done it before. I can do it again. I just... need the next four hours to keep myself psyched up enough to get in the car, go to the store it's being held at, avoid the shiny, shiny comic book temptation (why oh why is it at my favorite comic book store?) on the way to the rented room, and say, "Hi."

Gonna be a long four hours.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Trying out an idea

My birthday's coming up next month. As a side effect, people are starting to ask me what I'd like for it. Like a good little bibliophile, my answer is, emphatically, "Books." And then comes the question, "But what specifically?"

Recently I saw the idea where someone, when having their own birthday party, asked their friends to bring their favorite book as a gift. I liked that idea. It builds your personal library, expands your own horizons with books you might not have considered. The givers get the fun of sharing their absolute all-time favorite book with someone. If I had more real life friends or was a party-throwing type, I'd do it. But I don't, and I'm not. Most of my friends are online. I'd be happy just to get recommendations for books.

And then I thought, "Well, you could do that on Pinterest."

So now I have my first open group board on Pinterest, here, based on the idea that anyone can join and pin books they recommend. Favorite books, their own books, books that aren't favorites but they really liked it, no preference. They can share it with a group of readers, discuss it, find people who liked it too. I'd like it to end up being an ever-growing library of recommendations. I'm still trying to settle on a name for it. I've tried:

  • Take a Book, Leave a Book
  • The Library of Favorites
  • and now The Expanding Library
Not 100% sold on any of those names, but I like the idea and hope I can generate interest in it. If you're on Pinterest and want an invite, just ask. I need to be able to answer "What do you want for your birthday?"

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Long Five Weeks Begins

In January, I said I was working on a short story for a gift exchange.

In February, I finished it and got positive feedback from everyone who read it.

Last night, I put one last spitshine on it and submitted it to Asimov's Science Fiction.

I double, triple, quadruple checked everything. I caught typos everyone had missed, tightened some sentences, and cut 100 unnecessary words. And then I sent it off to a complete stranger to read, judge, and deem worthy or unworthy. I'm expecting a rejection, but no matter what comes of it, I've finally put myself out there. Two decades after I wrote my first story, I finally did what I've been working towards my whole life. It's a surreal feeling. It's not the novel I always envisioned subbing first, but it's a story, it's mine, and it's out of my hands.

They say it usually takes five weeks usually to hear back. It's going to be a long five weeks. I'm going to distract myself by writing something else.