# 29 - Working Toward a Goal

I did a pretty good job on working toward my goal this week, although I could do better.

My total word count for the week was 3661. I'm really excited about how the story is going. I've been coming up with a lot of good ideas, although there are still some holes in my mind about where some of the story lines are going.

There are a couple of story lines that don't really work together. I will probably keep one and cut the other, although those could always be saved for another story, or a sequel to this one. Wouldn't that be cool - to get to the point where my book is published and my fans are clambering for a sequel. :)

As for next week, I'd like to shoot for a goal of 6000 words, which is only 1000 words a day. I've exceeded that several times in the past, so I know it isn't unrealistic. Wish me luck. :D

# 28 - I Am So Good

I am soooo good!

Okay, so what I have to confess today is that I have no humility. Actually, change that. It's that I'm always alternating between loving what I'm writing and hating it.

Anyway, I read through the book I haven't worked on in 6 months or so, and then I added about 2000 words to it in the last two days. And all of a sudden, I feel like this is the most incredible book ever and there's no way it won't get published.

So, there you have it. I got a shot of confidence in the arm today and I hope it carries me through to being able to meet my goal and finish this darn first draft already! :)

# 27 - Getting to "The End"

I have never written "The End" on anything longer than 8 pages. Ever.

I've written over 80,000 words on an LDS Women's fiction novel, and over 50,000 words on a Young Adult fantasy, but I can't seem to get to "The End!!" I'm so frustrated with myself.

This weekend at the LDS Storymakers Conference has been an amazing experience. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to go again or not because I went the past two years and wasn't sure if I would get much more out of it than I did before, but I'm so glad I went! Not only did I learn new things, but I got a major recharge of inspiration and motivation.

I'm going to make a goal, right here and right now. Are you ready for this, world? Here it is. By the end of May, I'm going to write "The End" on both of my books.


Did I just say that out loud?

Okay, now that I've gone that far, I'm going to go another step further. I'm going to submit the first 3 chapters of my LDS novel to at least 3 LDS publishers and I'm going to submit the first 3 chapters of my YA novel to at least 3 national agents and/or editors.

Ready or not, here I come!!!

# 26 - Fear

As brilliant as I think my writing is, I don't want anyone to read it.

I'll be writing along thinking everything is great. I'll re-write several times until I really like it. I'll read through it several times, thinking it's just wonderful. And all the time, mind you, I'm thinking that someday someone else is going to read it.

But there's something about sending it off to be read that makes it all seem so much less brilliant.

The moment I'm putting it in the mail to be read by an editor, or taking it to a conference to be read and critiqued by multiple people, I suddenly see it with new eyes and start hyperventilating.

I'm going to be at the LDS Storymaker's conference for the next two days, and there is this thing called Boot Camp where we all sit around a table and read each other's work. As I'm gearing up for this conference, I'm getting really nervous about what I have to show. It suddenly feels all wrong.

I also have a meeting with a literary agent, who has had the first 5 pages of one of my manuscripts for the last few weeks in preparation for our meeting together, and I'm very nervous about what she is going to think about it.

Wish me luck. I feel like I'm really going to need it.

# 25 - Playing with Toys

I like to play with toys. :)

My husband brought this toy home from the kids and he and I have ended up playing with it more than they have. It's called Stringin' It. He just bought it at Wal-Mart for $20.00. He says it was in the lighting section, near the lava lamps.

Check it out here

#24 - Writing a Picture Book

I have no idea how to write a picture book, but I want to write one so bad! I have some really great ideas - I think, anyway - but having the concept in my head and writing the words are something different entirely!

I took a class at last year's Storymaker's conference from Sharlee Glenn where I learned a LOT about picture books. I mean, I wasn't even in the right STATE before, let alone the right ballpark.

Now that I'm in the right state, though, I don't know where the CITY is, so I can still forget finding that ballpark! And even if I ever do somehow find the right park, will I find the right field, the right home base?

Here's one amazing thing Sharlee taught us last year - the pictures are the most important part of a picture book. Much as authors don't want to think so, it's true. The problem is, the words have to be written first. The words have to support the pictures, but the words have to come before the pictures are even there.

That's just one piece to a very complicated puzzle. I know the ideas I have for a couple of picture books could be amazing. I have the taste of those books on my tongue and they're SWEET! I just wish I could translate that into something someone else could sense.

I know I could write a picture book, but writing a GOOD picture book is another thing. Here's one example of a picture book I love: Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs.

Now, that is a picture book where the illustrations are gorgeous and the words support the pictures beautifully. It's very simply stated (I mean, seriously, there are roughly 3-7 words per page) and the pictures are what REALLY tell the story. Every time I read that book to my kids, I think, "GEE, this is the kind of picture book I want to write!" It's sooo hard, though.

Anyway, I guess this is just turning into a whine session, so I'm going to go have some cheese.

Happy writing to all, and to all a good night.

#23 - Soapbox

I don't usually use this blog to get on a soapbox, but I've decided to make an exception because this is something I feel strongly about and I don't think there are enough people out there who are saying it. First of all, I'm not a feminist.

I know that's not popular to admit to these days, but I think it's important to stand up for what you believe in. Sure, I think women should have equal rights - I think they should be paid the same as a man for the same job; I think they should be respected; I think they should be free to be individuals, etc.

But I also think most people have gone WAY too far in protecting women's rights, to the point that they have swung the pendulum the other direction. Men are degraded; a man is seen as a jerk if he wants to rest after a hard day at work. Women who raise kids all day are seen as heroic for the work they do, and the man is expected to take over when he gets home - doing the dishes, watching the children, etc. - as if he's just been kickin' back at the office all day while his wife was hard at work.

I recently saw an article that was supposedly printed in Good Housekeeping Monthly in 1955 titled The Good Wife's Guide. It's actually a fake (see Snopes for more information on that) but it is true that those kinds of opinions were common 60 years ago, although I don't believe they were really that extreme. I think whoever falsified that document was trying to rile people up about the huge injustices of the past so we would go home and be even more demanding of our husbands to make up for what their forefathers did.

I do have to say, too, that some of the points in that article are good advice to an extent. Take "Greet him with a kiss", for example. And what's wrong with the advice to have dinner ready (or at least in the process) when he gets home?

A lot of women, after years of male oppression, have decided that women shouldn't have to do ANYTHING for their husbands and that it is the husband's job to bend over backwards at all times to accommodate her.

I did a search for more information on this and came across this article. She says how I feel better than I could, although, as with anything, I don't absolutely agree with every point she makes.

I hope everyone will go home and treat their husbands a little kinder. Yes, our husbands should be good to us. They should help us with the kids and let us go out for girls' night and such. But don't they deserve the same? Shouldn't we be helping them out, letting them have a guys' night to unwind and have fun, etc.?