Monthly Archives: November 2005

The teacher

I led a book talk today over Make Your Words Work, a great writing book by Gary Provost. It was interesting because my group was made up of teachers. I lead student workshops on a regular basis but NEVER teachers. I was worried going in because my experience has been teachers are often the very worst audience. But they were great. The groaned a little when I made them write, but just a little, and most even shared what they’d written. At the end of the day I submitted a workshop proposal to the lady in charge, just in case she ever needs me to talk about words again. I’m a little crazy when it comes to words. I love them and I love sharing that passion with others. Sometimes I think English teachers forget their love affair with language. It’s easy to get caught up in grading, grammar and the day to day stuff of class. I love writing and I forgot about it until my professor called and reminded me I’d always told him I was going to be a writer. 🙂
Nine years later he still asks me how it’s going.
I can’t wait to get the call. He’ll probably be as thrilled as me. 🙂

Woo Hoo!!!

I wrote the end on Identity Crisis for the third time. And this time, it’s really the end. I LOVE the feeling of finishing a book and knowing it’s good. There’s this strange giddy taste that builds up in the back of my throat and this lightness of excitement that hovers around my shoulders. I know people have to look at me and know something’s up. They just don’t know what. And if I ran around yelling woo hoo I finished, they’d think I was crazy. But woo hoo I finished and I love it all. The romance, the mystery. All of it. Hope the editor likes it too. It’s on its way to NYC tomorrow. Woo Hoo!
I can finally decorate for Christmas and get started on my next novel. Woo Hoo!!!!

ARGH!!!!

Yes Mom. We’re going to see Harry Potter.
No Mom. We’re not going to hell.
Yes Mom, I do believe it’s one of the best series ever written and no I don’t believe in Hogwarts, Dumbledore or Harry. But I do like to pretend, even though I’m quickly moving in on middle age.
Imagination. Is. Not. A. Bad. Thing.

And if I really want to go there:
Harry Potter is the ultimate story of good vs. evil. Think Star Wars meets King Arthur meets Narnia. Most biblical scholars say there are definite allegorical references throughout the books. Good vs. evil is a staple of fairy tales from the beginning of time. Remember how schools across the nation banned Cinderella for her anti-stepmother ideology and we laughed at the idiocy?
Same thing.
And while we’re at it. Rock and Roll will not damn your soul.

PS: the movie was awesome. Best so far. But still nowhere near as good as the book. I wanna write like Rowling!

Book Blurbs

I put the book blurbs up on my website: http://www.marybethlee.com

I don’t know if they matter or not, but I did it and it was kind of fun. LOTS of pages to build but all based on the same idea. I planned on revising yesterday, but I ate too much and couldn’t move. So it’s revisions for me today. Woo Hoo!

Just finished Julie Miller’s Partner Protector. Fabulous book.

website

I’m working on my website.
It’s nothing big, but it’s a site, and I’m proud of it. It’s incredibly time consuming if I’m not careful. Once I get The Call, I’ll definitely hire a designer. But for now it’s all me.
I’m working on a The Books page. I have 11 I’m willing to put up on the site for other authors, my friends and family, editors and agents to see. 11. Two are actually just proposed projects. I might not put them on the site. I’ve gone back and forth on the idea of the Books page for awhile. One part of me says it’s awesome and what better way to showcase me and what I write.
Another says what better way for someone to take your plot. And then I remember there are no original plots and none of mine are all that unusual really, but my voice is completely unique and it can’t be stolen.
And still I’m undecided.
Hmmm. A dilemma. I think I’ll build the pages and then decide.

My family is thankful my Thanksgiving job is open the box, stick the pie in the oven and watch it cook. We eat with my mother-in-law. She’s amazing. Thank God she cooks because I don’t, not really. So how come the majority of marital unrest in my family centers on the question “what’s for supper?” Very strange. I can honestly say I hate Rachel Ray for making everyone in my family think cooking is easy. They’ve eaten my food. They know the truth. 🙂

Patience

My GH entries are printed and ready to take to the PO tomorrow. Woo Hoo!

One of them is the requested Intrigue wanna be. The one I finished earlier. Something about the book still gets to me. Something off. And I was tempted to say screw it, I’m sending this baby in. But then I realized something. I’m multi-rejected and unpublished. This book has gotten the attention of an editor. It’s only been three months since he requested it and he knew I only had the partial done at that time. (I think)
I owe it to myself, the editor and my characters to CALM DOWN and fix the part that’s bothering me. Good enough won’t cut it. It’s got to be awesome.
The romance is still the best I’ve written, but the suspense, especially one thread, needs some more attention. So I’m not sending it to NYC tomorrow. DH is going to groan when he sees all 300 pages still sitting on the kitchen table. 🙂 he’ll groan more when he sees me sitting at the computer, lost in that other world. But when this book sells, he’ll get over it. 🙂

If You Dare‘s been in NYC for three weeks. No news is good news. Woo Hoo.

Two MASSIVE months of writing following a major writing summer. It’s been a great writing year.

Making it seem easy

I’m doing a final revision on Identity Crisis. I’ve decided the toughest thing for me is making the story feel completely effortless, real. So much more than story alone goes into this. I guess it’s really all characterization. If the reader believes the people are real, she believes the story is too. Maybe.
I think about SEP’s heroes. They’re WAY over the top, but I feel like I know them. Suzanne McMinn’s PAX League heroes are completely unbelievable. But they’re completely real at the same time. I mean if you sit and think about them, you’re like NO WAY. But then you read a few pages and think, okay, maybe. And then you get to the end and it’s totally: I want to marry this man. Even Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters are anchored in reality. These writers create totally different types of stories, and all seem effortless. I sink into their books. I totally believe their plots. I want my story to be that good. And it will be!

I checked my old e-mail account today. I NEVER check it. Way too much spam.
So today when I checked it I discovered Sulay Hernandez from Kensington e-mailed her request for If You Dare along with the snail mail request she sent. I got my first editor e-mail. Woo Hoo. 🙂
Granted, it’s over six weeks old, and I’ve already sent the full, but still. How cool is that? I want to e-mail her back and ask if she got the manuscript, but I don’t know if that’s professional or not.
Oh well. I still got an editor e-mail. I’m happy.
Off to revise…

I love TV

Finally, a GREAT Desperate Housewives. followed by my new favorite show, Gray’s Anatomy. I swear the writing on these shows leaves me in awe. I FEEL so much watching them. I know he characters. I don’t want the hour to be over. I hang on to those last few seconds just to see the teasers for next week. I hope my readers will feel like this when they read my books!

close…

It’s always interesting to post after a rejection. People love to say “You’re so close.” I told my CP’s last week I never want to hear those words again. 🙂
There’s rejected and there’s published . End of story.
Of course that’s not exactly true. There’s also writing or not. One will get you where you want to be. One will get you “what might have been, maybe…”

I cut the first scene in my ST romantic elements story last night. I added the scene when I was half way through the book. At the time I felt it was important. Now though, I realize it’s redundant. Nothing new happens. It’s an introduction of sorts and in fiction, introductions are dangerous. They slow pace. The last thing the book needed was a slower pace.

DD is sick. Our school district has this great idea to get kids to school. If students have B averages and miss no more than 2 days, they can be exempt from finals. We have great attendance rates and kids coming to school falling over sick. I hope I don’t get this!
I don’t have time!

Here I go again

I finished my revisions and I LOVE this book. I love this hero. I even love this heroine.
And now I’m sitting here wondering what the heck I’ve done wrong. 🙂
My first book resulted in three requests for revisions before ending with a rejection that said it needed a longer ending and then it needed to be sent to a single title house.
I went on to several more rejections.
My last rejections was my best book ever. The editor said I’d over written the emotion. To let the dialogue tell the story.
It’s a trend I see more and more of in contemporary romance. One I like as a reader and struggle with as a writer.
So now I have this completed work and I think it’s too much dialogue, but that’s a good thing. Only it’s not.
And it’s going to drive me crazy.
Thank GOD I have critiques tomorrow.
I think my CP’s will be ready for this book to make its way to NYC. It’s driven them as crazy as it’s driven me.