Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Will people really want to read this? Are people generally scared of the truth?

These are the questions I ask myself every day.

I've been hit with an irrational angst that everyone is going to hate my book, because I love my book. And I'm the type of person who loves things others don't.

My book is honest. It's raw. It doesn't glorify ANYTHING.

It digs deep into what people think, but never say out loud. It's very real and I think that is going to scare people away. And don't forget, it's literary, not commercial, so it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, either.

Every feeling I flush into my main character, Melody, comes from somewhere within me. So I'm even scaring myself. I do think Melody is likable, but she's also very depressed, especially in the first third of the book, which I think will sometimes make readers cringe. But anything that makes people 'feel' something is a job well done, right? I hope so. That's what I keep telling myself.

Melody thinks things that a 'normal' person would scold themselves for even contemplating. They'd flush the thought out of their mind and get on with their 'jolly' day. Melody doesn't do this. She thinks what she wants to think. And some things are quite tragic, and I suppose, unlikable.

I even shocked myself last night when I was revising. Would you like to see what it was? Ok. *deep breath*
So, first, a little background: Alex is Melody's husband. Melody doesn't know if she loves him anymore. And to top it off he's been treating her like shit, so any moves he makes to make amends she doesn't care much about. Melody is lying on the couch cuddled up with her daughter, asleep, when Alex gets home from running some errands, or so he's led her to believe, after having another argument. He sits beside her and touches her head ...

“What?” I mouth, twitching my head from his grasp. He bends down and kisses an escaping tear from my cheek. I want to smack his head away. Make his nose bleed. I want to tell him he’s a selfish asshole and to leave me alone, that he can’t just give me a kiss and expect everything to be alright again. Or, if he can’t do that, to explain what the hell is going on in his life to cause his behavior to fluctuate so much. I want to know why he seems to hate me. I want to know why I hate him. And how I can make it stop. I want … I want know what happened to ‘happy marriage’.

 “We have to talk,” I whisper, trying to sit up without waking Tessa. “We have to—”

 Alex puts his fingers to my lips, nods his head, and kisses me between my eyes. He smells sweaty. His stubble scrapes my nose. I want to stick my tongue into his mouth. Fuck my anger away. Treat him like a one night stand. Then throw a couple-hundred Euros on his bedside table and walk out without saying goodbye. Then I want to have a long hot shower. Scrub away the dirt, the pain, the frustration — my irrational despair. Then call him and ask him out on a date. To start again. Without a past.

 “We’ll talk. But later. For now, I’ve got cake.” Alex holds a plastic bag up in the air. “You want?”

So, there you are. I'm trying really hard not to censor myself. Because if I do, then my writing won't be real. It won't be honest. And it won't represent what I want it to represent. I'm even worried about posting this on my blog today. Afraid of what you will all think. I suppose, though, that's what it's all about, isn't it? Just like my publisher said, when she quoted me Eleanor Roosevelt, "I must do that which I fear most."
 
So, I'm taking the plunge. I'm afraid. And I'm laying my fear out for you all to see. So please, if you have any criticism, don't be afraid to express it, but tread lightly, because today I just feel like crying.
 
Have you ever had second thoughts about what you write? Have you ever censored yourself? If so, how did it feel? And what was your final decision?







Monday, 29 November 2010

What lengths do you go to, to create the perfect sentence?

I've been line editing some of my revisions on String Bridge, and realised that sometimes I spend excessive amounts of time making sure I have the perfect sentence.

For instance, I wanted to describe Melody and Alex having a fight. But that's boring, just saying they might fight. So then I thought, "Hmm, what animal makes a ridiculous sound when it screams?" Then I remembered ... the Tasmanian Devil has a MEAN scream.

So I looked them up on YouTube. I spent about ten minutes finding the perfect video that represented what I wanted Melody and Alex to sound like. And I eventually found one. So I think I spent around fifteen minutes, in total, constructing this one sentence:

Perhaps if we have the opportunity to vociferously disgrace each other like two squabbling Tasmanian Devils, we’ll end up having a civilized ‘chat’.

I know I use an adverb in there, but come on, innit, a cool one? :o)

So you wanna hear what they sound like?



So how about you? What lengths can you go to, to create the perfect sentence?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Do you feel overwhelmed with your writing? Well, here's a little hint on how to overcome it ...

If you haven't read Anne Lamott's, Bird by Bird, yet, and you need a little writing pick-me-up, then trust me, and read it. I've had amazing writing days since reading this book. The book influenced me to attack writing in a totally different way. I've stopped feeling overwhelmed by the revisions ahead of me, and have learned (very quickly) how to force myself to focus, as the title suggests 'bird by bird'.

Here' is an excerpt of the part that made something go click in my head (and made me laugh!). The next day I revised a whole chapter effortlessly:
It's hard to get your footing, and your fingertips get all red and frozen and torn up. Then your mental illnesses arrive at the desk like your sickest, most secretive relatives. And they pull up chairs in a semicircle around the computer, and they try to be quiet, but you know they are there with their weird coppery breath, leering at you behind your back ... What I do at this point ... is to stop. First I try to breathe, because I'm either sitting there panting like a lapdog or I'm unintentionally making slow asthmatic death rattles. So I just sit there for a minute breathing slowly, quietly ... and I finally notice the one-inch picture frame that I put on my desk to remind me of short assignments. It reminds me that all I have to do is to write down as much as I can see through a one-inch picture frame. This is all I have to bite off for the time being. (pages 17-18, Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, 1995 paperback)
How do you deal with that overwhelming feeling? Have you got any tips on how to overcome it? And what's the best writing advice you've ever read?

Note: I'm taking the rest of the week off from blogging to focus on revising my novel. So have a great Thanksgiving all you American folk and catch ya again on Monday! :o)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Did you know that I do voice recordings for children's books and toys?

Haha! Yes! And it can be so funny because sometimes the scripts I am given are full of mistakes - or really unnatural English (of course I end up correcting them or suggesting alternatives).
One of the odd ones I can remember doing was for a kid's toy for ages 5-10. It was like a trivial quiz sort of thing. There was a button with a picture of hands on it, and when it got pressed, the audio said: "Don't forget to wash these when you go to pee and poop." Funny, right?
Another funny one I remember had something to do with Whinnie the Pooh. Not sure what the point was exactly, but I had to describe him as being: "Stuffed full of fluff".

Hehehehe. Ok, nuff said. Have a listen to my "CHILDREN'S BOOK VOICE". It's just a bunch of phrases, nothing exciting, but you'll get the picture of what's entailed.


video

Monday, 22 November 2010

I don't agree with rating books by stars. Do you?

How do you decide how many stars you are going to give a book? Do you find it easy or hard? If I could avoid rating a book by stars I would. I would much prefer just writing a review and saying what I thought about it. I like to focus on the positive things, because being a writer myself, I know that there is nothing worse than having your writing beaten to a pulp. And EVERY book has a positive attribute - even if it is a small one, there is always something you can find to be good about it. Even if I couldn't get into a book the way I would have liked to, there is always SOMETHING that I thought was done really well. So I like to write about those things in my reviews. The stars to me, mean nothing. And they piss me off.

For instance, just say you read a book that you couldn't really get into. There was just something about the pace/plot/subject matter, that didn't hook you has you had hoped it would. But you really liked the way the author wrote, and the imagery, and the descriptions, and the quiet moments and detail the author used to develop the characters. Those things really drew you in. And when you reached these moments in the story, you bathed in them, and thought - "Wow. I want more of this." But then 'the story' came back into play, and again, you kinda lost interest, but kept reading because there was just something magical about the writing in some parts. What do you do? How do you rate such a thing?

The first thoughts that go through my mind, is two stars for story, three stars for description, four stars for character development. How to you lump all of that into ONE star???

So. I HATE USING STARS TO RATE BOOKS. And that's it.

What would you do in this situatuon?

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Guardian Spirit, by Sarah Martin Byrd

Guardian SpiritGuardian Spirit by Sarah Martin Byrd

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book I wouldn't normally pick up, but I'm glad I did. And the reason being is totally unrelated to the main plot of a mother, Millie, getting herself and her children away from an abusive husband/father. It is because it is abundant in magical descriptions about the Blue Ridge Mountains, and I sometimes felt like I was right there. Sarah weaves her words together with such simple beauty it seemed it was written with effortlessness. I was transported from one moment to the next as if I was floating on a leaf down a gentle stream.

I especially loved the moments with Sadie, Millie's daughter. I warmed to Sadie almost instantly and looked forward to experiencing more moments with her. Such a fragile, yet determined and confident little soul. I just wanted to take her in my arms and give her great big hug!

This is definitely worth a read especially if you're the type of person who likes to curl up in front of the fire on a rainy day.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Easy-peasy Thursdee, I'm an interviewee.

I'm being interviewed over at Matthew Rush's blog today! So PLEASE make your way over there! He's asked me some really interesting questions. Don't forget to drop by tomorrow. I'm doing an audio post! :o)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Prose Savoring VS. Page Turning (joint-post with Karen Gowen)

Karen Gowen, (author of Farm Girl, Uncut Diamonds, and soon to be released, House of Diamonds), and I were recently discussing the difference between 'page-turners', and books we read slowly to savor their prose. We both thought it would make in interesting post and decided to do a joint one on this subject. So when you finish reading here, make sure you pop over to Karen's blog to check out what she has to say on the matter too.
Now, I think both types of books are pretty much masterpieces in their own right. The page-turners are so entertaining that you can't put them down. You have just got to know what happens! The story is so good that you forget about everything. The dishes and laundry pile up, you stay up late and lose sleep over them. But when they're over, do you remember much of them other than, 'OMG, I couldn't put it down'?
Books that I savor, however, do not (well, very rarely) have that page-turning quality to me. I have never got that sense of 'OMG, I want to know what happens next!', but what did make me excited about reading them day after day was the extraordinary way in which the author strung their words together, with such rhythm, grace and soul; beauty and cadence. I could very well pick these books up again and again - marvelling at the phrases I underlined the first time round because I never wanted to forget them.
But sometimes, just sometimes, I come across an author who can do both. So far in my life I can only think of two. See below.
So here's my list of authors that I particularly like in each category:

Page-turning authors:
Marian Keyes
Jodi Picoult
Nick Hornby
Alice Sebold
Audrey Niffenegger

Prose-savoring authors:
Marilynne Robinson
Milan Kundera
Nikki Gemmell
Virginia Woolf
Mary Shelley

Both:
Margaret Atwood
Rebecca Miller

So what are your top five in each category? Do you have another category to add? And after you tell me, make sure you go and tell Karen too!!!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

What the flip is wrong with me???

Me during revisions:
Man this book is going to be more than awesome after these revisions.

Shit! How did I come up with such a cool metaphor? You're rockin' it sistah!

Hmm, yeah, it's ok, but I know you can do better than that. Read the last paragraph you wrote.

What's wrong with me? Was that paragraph just a one-hit-wonder? Why can't you put the same magic into every paragraph. Try again. NOW!

Nup. This is useless. I'm kidding myself. I can't work this magic for the WHOLE book. Shit.

*starts to cry*

*receives email from best critique partner in the whole wide world*

It reads:
Jessica. Oh.my.God. I just read your revised chapter one. And it is CRYSTAL CLEAR why Janice extended you a contract. Crystal! Holy shit. ... It's all so beautifully expressed. Your writing, it's gorgeous.

*I prick my shoulders up in pride and stop crying*

Man this book is going to be way more than awesome after these revisions.

Holy cow! How did I come up with such a cool simile? You're mega rockin' it sistah!

Hmm, yeah, not bad, but I know you can do better than that. Read the last couple of paragraphs you wrote.

What the flip is wrong with me? Were those couple of paragraphs just flukes? Where's the magic gone? Try again! NOW!

Nup. This is pathetic. I'm fooling myself. This sucks. Shit.

*slams hand on desk and hurts self*

Nicole? Can you send me another ego-boosting email? Yeah, every two days should be fine. Ta! :o)


How do you feel when you're revising? Do you put yourself on an emotional rollercoaster too?

Heads-up: Tomorrow I will be doing a joint post with published author Karen Gowen about page-turning vs. prose-savoring. And Thursday I'm going to be interviewed by the rockstar Matthew Rush over at his blog QQQE.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Why I believe small presses are a blessing for debut authors ...

My experience so far with Lucky Press has been phenomenal. I sent my query on the 26th September, so it's been a good month and a half of communication between Janice (publisher) and me. Which isn't much when you think about it, right? It usually takes months to even get a response on a query, let alone an answer to your prayers. I am SO honoured and lucky to be a 'lucky' author. And here's why:


I never thought I would ever be treated with so much genuine care, respect and interest by a publisher in my life. When I began seeking agents and publishers for my novel almost a year ago, I expected that they would just do what they 'have' to with their acquisitions, whether big or small. And that opinion has generally stuck with me. Until now. Because Janice turned my view around full circle.


When I submitted my query to her, I got a response thanking me for it and saying that she received it within the week. A week later, I got an extremely friendly request for a partial. She'd read my blog and my website before contacting me and then made the utmost effort to get to know 'me' a little as well as my book, because I had sparked her interest.


After she'd read my partial submission, about one or two weeks later, she sent me another email, explaining to me where her head was at. It was a letter balanced with positivity about my book, concerns about my book and concerns about working with an author long distance. But she didn't let her concerns define her general view of the project. She asked me concise questions for me to respond to in order to get a better picture of where my head was at, and how I perceived my writing career to evolve. To cut a long story short, she basically showed interest in me, not just my book. She took the time to get every inkling of information out of me before making a decision. And before too long, we started developing a 'friendship', which made me think, "Wow. Even if she doesn't publish my book. I have made an excellent friend, who I would definitely like to stay in touch with no matter what."


So my point here is, if you're looking to get published, think twice before you disregard the idea of submitting to a small press, because I truly believe, even though they may not have the mega resources to market your book like the big shot publishers, they do have the passion and determination to kick start your career, and the TIME to TAKE CARE OF YOU, the way you deserve. If a big publisher was to offer me a contract at the same time as Lucky Press, I would have said no without hesitation. Seriously. Because people like Janice, and publishers like Lucky Press, are needles in a haystack. We are LUCKY to find them. And WE are LUCKY to have them. And I am HONOURED to be a part of their GREAT BIG HEART.
If you'd like to show your support, take a gander at their website, blog and facebook page. Even have a look at the books they sell. And even better, buy one to show your appreciation. They are not just any old books, produced for mass market - they are books that are produced with a view of giving an author a chance at a career, with love and dedication, passion and heart, and a determination to make dreams come true.


Note: If you're thinking of submitting to a small press, the key is to find out which one will be suitable for your work. Read everything you possibly can about them first. Become familiar with the types of books they've acquired. Because they are 'small', they more often than not specialize in limited genres. So do your research, and reach out where you think you'll fit like a glove, and follow their submission guidelines to a 'T' so that they have no fault to find.


Lucky Press Links:

Friday, 12 November 2010

Why I love Athens, Greece

Inspired by Matthew Rush's recent post, I decided to show you all why I love living in Athens, Greece. For those of you who know me, I'm not short of complaints about this city. But today is going to be about its beauty and why I chose to live here. And an easy-breezy post this will be too. No reading. Just looking. At the spectacular city I live in ... Enjoy!










 And ... jump on a ferry, and look where you might end up!


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Are the song lyrics in my novel going to cause copyright issues?

It just occurred to me this morning that if I want to keep the song lyrics in my novel, I think I'm going to have to seek and pay for permission. I have lots of snippets of songs through my story, but there are lyrics of one song I will just DIE if I have to remove. I can handle doing away with the rest, but this particular song not only means the world to me, and brings me to tears every time I listen to it, but the lyrics have a HUGE amount of significance to what happens in the story.
What am I going to do if I have to remove them? I'm obviously going to have to make up my own, but then, if readers want to actually 'hear' what the song is (for example, on YouTube, I've embedded it below) they won't be able to, which will make me incredibly sad.
The song is, I Want You, by Elvis Costello, and I listened to it over and over as I was writing the scene it appears in. Wouldn't it be awesome if my readers could do the same thing?
My novel is in first person, and written in the present simple - so it's pretty in your face. It would be like the reader was actually living that moment. Wouldn't it? And wouldn't it make it that extra special to read?
I'm still waiting on a reply from my publisher about this. So keep your fingers crossed I can get permission to use it!!!
Have you got any song lyrics in your work that you may have to seek permission to use? How would it make you feel if you had to remove them? If you've already published a book with song lyrics you've acquired the rights to use, was it difficult?


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Title chosen for debut!

Well, guess what? I've just this minute chosen a title for my debut and had it approved by Lucky Press. And I'm sorry for all the hard work you guys put in yesterday but it is NONE of the ones suggested. But thank you SO much because it was an awesome brainstorming session and I learned loads!

The title came about this morning when I was chatting with my sister, Allison, on Facebook. She said, 'Why does 'String Bridge' keep coming into my head? And I said, 'It was my first band in highschool. OMG. What an awesome title!' So there you go, it also has some personal relevance too.

Look at all the symbolisms: Melody's life is a bit of a highwire act, not being able to find a balance in her life. The fact that this story is about her crossing a symbolic bridge to greener grass, but the bridge is shaky, and thin, and she doesn't know if she'll make it there or not, resonates too. There are also strings and a bridge on a guitar, and a bridge in a song. :o)



So what do you think?

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Can you help me choose a new title for my debut?

Ok, as I said yesterday I'd be honored to get your wonderful input on helping me choose a new title for my debut novel. If you click the 'Complete Novels' tab above you can read the summary and the first few paragraphs of my manuscript if you wish to know what the book is about first. Please don't feel obligated to do so, though. Sometimes it's good to see what catches your eye without knowing anything about the book. So let me know too if you chose blindly or not in your comment.

So ... have a look at the titles, and let me know which three are the most appealing. As I have to give my publisher three options to choose from. Or, if you want to suggest something completely different, go ahead! I'm all ears! (or eyes in this case :o)

Ok, here are some ideas I've brainstormed:
Melody
If I Were Music
If Music Were Wind 
Music Masquerades
Between the Octaves
Life Ticks Like A Metronome
Music Shadows
From Guitar to Dust
Slice of Silence

Whaddaya reckon?

Edit: Laurel suggested 'Hurricane Melody' ... Wow. That made me go all giddy. Great suggestion! So, add that to the list above :o)

Monday, 8 November 2010

My debut novel is going to be PUBLISHED!!!

I'm so excited!!! Yesterday I got news that Lucky Press LLC want to publish my debut novel! I am so thrilled, excited, and oh my God I'm probably still in shock because I really just can't believe this is finally happening to me!
Janice Phelps Williams, publisher of Lucky Press LLC, and I have been sending emails backward and forward now for about a month. But I thought my chance to be published by them ended last Friday when she sent me letter saying that she was NOT going to publish my book. She didn't think it represented me as the writer I portray myself to be online. And she was right. You see, I have grown as a writer so much since finishing Dead in The Corner of My Bedroom (this title is going to change by the way, which I will get your imput on tomorrow!), and she didn't think it would be wise to publish it as it was.
Despite thinking that the plot was good and well-structured, she thought the meat of the story lacked the heart and soul that I've put into other writing she's read online. She said it basically read like chick lit, when she was expecting it to be more literary. Not that chick lit is a bad genre, it's not, it's awesome, it's fun, it's entertaining, and I love reading it now and again, but it is just not a genre Lucky Press seek to publish. Nor is it really my style. I know it's not my style. Why did I write the novel like that then? I'll get to that in a minute.

But Janice believed in me, and so sent me some feedback with the 'not yet, not now' verdict on Friday night, But she also offered me the opportunity to send her revisions and/or any other work for consideration at any time. I felt miserable. Shoved pizza down my throat, watched a stupid romantic comedy. Tossed and turned in bed, stared at the ceiling for a while, but eventually asked myself: 'Do I really want to publish this book as it is when it doesn't represent who I am anymore?' and the answer was a definite, 'No.'

When I went to sleep, I had a dream about how I could revise the story. I woke up in a panic and immediately sent Janice an email, asking if she would be willing to read my revised first chapter and give me another chance to prove myself. I revised it immediately and in a fit of frenzy and tears in 5 hours on Saturday. I proofed it, sent it off, and bit my nails until I woke up the next morning (yesterday) with a big 'YES, I want to publish your book!' in my inbox! What???!!!????? (See, hard work pays off in the end!)

So, now I have a tough schedule of revisions ahead of me. But I know I can do it. I have the drive and passion to pull this off. And it's not going to be so difficult because the plot is staying exactly how it is. All I have to do is work my magic and beautify my prose. I can't wait to get stuck into this book again and give it the heart that it deserves.

Now, the reason it read like chick lit was because I listened to some advice from a lit consultancy that suggested I focus on making it more commercial. I didn't listen to my gut, which kept telling me that I'm not a commercial fiction writer, I'm a literary writer, and I rewrote the book in a commercial style. MY BIG BAD. But I've learned my lesson now, and I found a wonderful publisher who believes in me and trusts me to make the necessary revisions to make my novel shine.

Thank you, Janice! You have a heart of gold and you've made my ... life! :o)

PS: If you'd like to help me choose a new title, please drop by tomorrow! :o)

Have a great day! SQEEEE!!!!!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A quick 'Thank you' and 'Welcome!'

I just wanted to give a big public warm thank you to all who have entered the giveaway (and sorry for not replying to you all personally, but there's just no time!), and a warm welcome to all those new followers. Thank you so much! I will definitely be coming around to check out your awesome blogs in the coming week. Good luck to all who've entered so far!!! Enjoy your Sunday!


Friday, 5 November 2010

A morning in the life of me: How my man distracts me from nagging ...

ME: Ela, Re! (Come on, Man!) *I crash the dishes about in the sink* You've left your Greek coffee sludge to dry in your cup again. I've been asking you for FIVE years to wash it out. It's disgusting. Every time I wash the dishes I have to stick my hand in what looks like shit infested dishwater.
HIM: *rolls eyes* Well, stop leaving your hair in the sink.
ME: *laughs* I'll stop leaving my hair in the sink when you start emptying your sludge.
HIM: No, I'll start emptying my sludge when you stop leaving your hair in the sink.
ME: Malakies mou les twra, etsi? (You saying crap now, right?) Just because you don't know what it's like to have hair! What would you like me to do, exactly? Scour the bathroom for strands of hair I can barely see?
HIM: *ignores me and goes to his office*
ME: Ok. Fine. From now on I don't wash your coffee cups, and then see how you like it when you run out, and have to wash them yourself.
HIM: Ela tho, re vlaka. (Come here, you cute idiot).
ME: Ti? (What?) *I walk into office*
HIM: Can you tell me if this is correct?
ME: *I totally forget about coffee sludge, sit in his lap, and edit his email out loud*



PS: Thanks to all who entered the Giveaway yesterday! :o) And welcome to all the new faces! I hope you enjoy you time here. If you are new, and haven't commented, please do so that I can follow you right back as some of you haven't made your blogs accessible via your profile pages. If you haven't signed up for the giveaway yet, you can do so HERE.
I've also decided that if any winners of the Amazon gift cards would like to trade it for 'a surprise something Greek', you will be very welcome to! I will update the giveaway post with this info too.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

I'm only 45 followers away from 400 followers! Woohoo! I can't believe it. *jaw agape in shock* This is more than I ever dreamed of achieving here in blogland. So, I've decided to do a giveaway to celebrate!


or not so little things ... because this is a big thing to me!

This is going to be easy-peasy. All you have to do to win, is be a follower. Deadline is end Thursday 2nd December. First Place ($40 Amazon card), Second Place ($20 Amazon card), or Third Place ($10 Amazon card), Runner-up (Surprise Prize - Something Greek!).
But there's a twist. If I reach 500 followers by the deadline. The prizes will double! Prizes will be: First Place ($80 Amazon card), Second Place ($40 Amazon card), or Third Place ($20 Amazon card), Runner-up (Surprise Prize - Something Greek!).
Just comment on this post and tell me how many points you have and include any relavant links.


Here's the entry system:
Already a follower = 2
New Follower = 1
Dedicate a whole blog post to plugging it = 6
Mention it in a blog post = 3
Put it in your side bar = 1
Facebook/Tweet = 2

Happy entering, folks!!! :o)

PS: If you win an Amazon gift card and would prefer 'a something Greek surprise ', it would be a pleasure to do so!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

My nagging voice ought to study the dictionary ...

Lately, I've been hearing voices. Well, no, that's an exaggeration. I've been hearing 'A' voice. It doesn't say much. Well, not much at all. In fact, its range of vocabulary seems to be boiled down to one word. What do you think that word is? 'Write?' Right. But it's not just 'write', it's 'WRITE!!!' All those years of playing live gigs and destroying my hearing is nothing compared to this. I think I'm going to be deaf by year end, um, especially in my right ear. Hmm, perhaps I'm missing the point of my voice. Perhaps it's actually yelling 'RIGHT!!!' in my right ear, to let me know that it's my right ear. Gah. Yes, I can distinguish between the left and right ear, thank you very much. You know how? I can hear through my left one.
Anyway, enough banter, the point I'm making today is that I want to write ALLLLL THHHHEEEEE TIIIIIMMMMEEE. And that voice keeps prodding me, deafening me. But I can't. I have to work. Voice, did you read that? Can you read? I have to work! Stop bothering me until the week is out!!! I mean it. Otherwise, I'll 'write' you off, put you on the black list, never to step foot into my home again. I don't like naggers. And you nag. I'll get to my writing on Friday. Patience!!!

How do you cope the constant need to write when you can't?

PS: 'Something from the Attic', an anthology with one of my flash fiction pieces in it has been released today.


If you're interested in purchasing, you can CLICK HERE. Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Where's my home? I've lost it!

Living in a foreign country poses some difficulties sometimes, especially regarding the 'language' factor that I've spoken about before. If you don't know what I'm referring to, check out THIS POST.
Anyway, despite the obvious fear of losing touch with natural-sounding English and it threatening the quality of my writing, and the idiosyncrasies of the Greek culture mixed in with my Australian in-your-face-ness, there is one more thing in my life that is a little odd. And I kinda miss it. I never ever come home and think, 'ahh ... home sweet home'.
You know why?
Because I have too many homes. No, I do not own houses here there and everywhere, what I'm talking about is the 'feeling' associated with a home. I've lived in Melbourne, (a multicultural city in Australia that has every single thing you could possibly dream of available to you, and a community of easy-going, creative, and artsy types at my disposal), Athens, (a Greek chaotic, polluted city that seems to have a unique charm that not many learn to appreciate until you spend a lot of time there), and Ithaca (a picturesque little island in the Ionian Sea where a small community of gossipers live, which I have learned to love and cherish for some odd, eccentric and irrational reason).
Anyway, what's my point?
My point is, which one is my 'home sweet home'??? I want my 'home sweet home', but I'll never ever get it again, because although I live in Athens permanently, I do visit Melbourne every couple of years or so for a couple months, and I do visit Ithaca at least once a year to see my parents. And every time I arrive, I have that 'almost home sweet home' feeling, but never completely. I feel like I'm missing out on that simple life pleasure of returning home after a long trip. Am I missing out? Or am I whiny for no reason? It may seem stupid being whiny about such a thing, but I can't help it. I want to feel that 'Ahhhhh...." when I step foot inside my front door again. What I have is a 'house'. But I want a 'home'.


How about you? Do you live in a house or a home? And how do you feel about it?

Monday, 1 November 2010

An important lesson to be learned by us all!


This became extremely clear to me this weekend when I had a conversation with Janice, the publisher of Lucky Press LLC. Janice is considering my debut for publication, and as a part of her decision-making process, she likes to ask a few questions to get a feel for where an author's head is at.
Anyway, she said that she thought my beginning wasn't very strong. "Ok. No problem," I said, "would you be interested in seeing my original beginning, which is like a prologue, which I got told to cut by every single editing professional on the planet, but which I adored and which stung incredibly to cut?" I didn't say it in those words, but you get my drift. Janice said, "Sure, send it along!" So I did. And you know what? She replied after reading it saying that she really liked it. SEEEE!???? I should have trusted my instincts! I loved my prologue. In my opinion it was the perfect introduction into my protagonist's mind, but everyone told me it wasn't necessary. To cut it and just jump straight into the action.
So, this is the lesson, folks. Get your professional opinions, listen to them, but do not lose sight of your own vision! Go with your gut. Because your gut speaks the truth!
Have you ever been advised to cut anything from your story that deep down you thought you should keep? If so, what did you do?