In Search of A Hero

This August will mark three years that I’ve been blogging. The recent break that I’ve taken from my blogs has been the longest non-posting period for me in all that time. I’m still writing, but I’m writing outside of the blogging forum.

As most know, I decided to continue the story and some of the characters that I began in my short stories that I wrote for the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I enjoyed writing about Annelise so much that I wanted to write more about her life. When my story opens, she’s 17 years old, and she’s still hanging out with her best friend, Zoe.

It’s weird when someone asks me what I’m writing that I have a hard time articulating the concept. I’m almost afraid to tell for fear that I’ll spoil it or lose what I’m writing. I have 31 chapters and 92,438 words so far. The story hasn’t really come to its end so I’m letting it meander where it will. I plan to just go with it and write, write, write and worry about editing and shaping it later. There is a lot that will be edited out and possibly be used in another book some day. I don’t consider any of it a waste of time. It will get used somewhere. Even if it doesn’t, I had the joy of getting it out onto the page.

baseballWhat began as a story with a teenaged girl as the protagonist has somehow changed along the way. She’s still the main character, but the hero is the character who keeps me writing. How about that picture, huh?  No, he’s not exactly what my hero looks like, but he’s certainly inspirational! Yes, it’s a love story, but it’s obvious pretty early on that he’s in love with her and has been for a while. It’s a young adult type story, but it’s not all that either. It has a ghost in it, but I haven’t really decided where I’m going with that part of the story either.

One of my biggest concerns is that what I’ve got so far isn’t G-rated. There’s swearing and sex, and while I’m not embarrassed about what I’ve written, I worry about how it might be taken by some who are not as open-minded as I am. It remains to be seen what might get edited or softened in the final version. I could always use a penname, I suppose, but I can decide that later, too. It’s not ready for anyone else to read it yet, but I look forward to that day.

I am a member of a writer’s group and they do regular critique sessions. For the recent critique they had they were asking that the writer give up the rights to the written piece so that it could be published in a group anthology. I don’t have that much written work ready yet, and I’m certainly not surrendering any parts of my “baby” and losing my hold over it.

I haven’t felt this alive in quite some time. I love writing. Even if it never goes anywhere at all, it’s been good for my confidence level and good for me. I hope this feeling never ends.

Writer’s Group – First Meeting

That was interesting. It was also fun. I do have to admit that I felt like a bit of a fraud. I was in over my head. It was a group of approximately 10 people (if you count me, I believe there were 7 women and 3 men present). They were all older people. I was nervous, but I had it under control. The worst part was when I had to talk about myself (of course). I expected that, though.

They all knew who they were (as writers). Not all are published, but they had all written more than I have. One lady in particular was fairly successful – she’s written and published enough books to have purchased a second home in Florida on the waterfront where she spends half of her year.

I joined as a member, but I do feel a little out of my depth, and it wasn’t just the nerves taking over. I couldn’t really identify what it is that I write (or want to write) – it’s too much of an abstract for me yet. I will return for future meetings, and I really wanted to volunteer for something or contribute in a bigger way, but I don’t have enough experience yet. My hope is that I can learn from these nice people and maybe soak something up through osmosis.

surroundThe next meeting is what they call a critique meeting – there is no actual meeting; they just review each other’s writing samples. Unless I can write a lot more between now and then, I’m not sure I’ll go to that one, but we shall see. I’ve connected with some of them online, and I’ve signed up for various suggested newsletters, blogs and information.

In terms of my writing, I keep wondering if I should just write, or if I need to learn how to do it better first. There’s so much information out there on how to craft this and that, but most of it just serves to make me doubt myself more. Perhaps I should just write and then worry about making it perfect later on when I edit. I really want to do this. I just didn’t realize it was so hard.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Cold and Courage

IMG_8957Well, it’s certainly a cold one here today.  May 23rd, and we are still getting frost warnings.  I had to bring the potted plant inside (again!) last night.  At least it didn’t snow here (like it did in some places in the midwest).  It’s 36 degrees at the moment, though.  I guess it’s back to jeans for me.  I’m certain I’ll see a few idiots running around in shorts and flip-flops.  That happens here whenever the sun shines – doesn’t matter what season it is.  I’ve seen them dressed like that in the middle of winter! They will dress for summer if they even get the slightest hint that it might warm up a smidge.  We Upstate New Yorkers are made of sterner stuff.  No flip-flops for me, though. Thanks anyway.

This morning I am gathering up my courage and draping it around me like a huge cape. I’m going to need it.  I am attending my first meeting of the Lilac City Writers Group.  I’ve emailed back and forth with the gentleman in charge of the group, and he seems very nice.  The hard part is meeting new people. I’m not certain of the size of the group, and I don’t know how the meeting will go. I do know they have a “business” part first and then they do a presentation of some sort. I was invited to attend the entire meeting (“business” part, too) since I am joining as a member.  They asked me to come early because they want to get to know me.  Hopefully, the self-assured, older Donna will show up and the younger, Oh-my-God-I’m-nervous Donna will not. I know the older Donna can do a great job if she remembers to smack down the younger Donna if she shows her silly self.

lion

Well, wish me luck!  I will write later or tomorrow to let everyone know how it goes!