tamela_j: (Default)
Wow. Sorry I've been MIA. It's been a busy couple of months. I keep telling myself to take a break and come here and update, and then more stuff comes up and now it all seems overwhelming just to try and remember. Lets see if bullet-points will help me keep it brief and manageable.

Read More )


Jul. 16th, 2012 12:12 am
tamela_j: (Want to be a Writer)
I am so lucky that I don’t depend on my ability to blog to sustain my livelihood or anything. I’d be screwed.

Well, maybe not, as seeing as how most of the reasons I don’t get to it more often is because I’m doing other things that take care of the pesky bills and the whole roof over the head and food in the belly thing. Could you imagine if blogging or, better yet, writing did all those things. *drifts off*

I’m sorry, where was I? Oh yeah.

Novel Updates )

Oh wait, one last thing not having anything to do with the novel. I just want to apologize once again for any of you following me on Twitter. I got hacked and it was of course the one weekend I was away from the internet and there was nothing I could do. It’s all fixed now if you’d rightfully fled during that time and would like to add me back @tamela_j I promise to be just as ridiculous and off topic as ever! :)) Also, if you’re looking for a less spammy Tamela, then by all means, Facebook like me, or whatever that’s called!
tamela_j: (Commas Save Lives)
“Books aren’t written, they’re rewritten. It is one of the hardest things to accept." Michael Crichton

Got my first round of edits. \o/

I’m not going to lie. They were painful to look at. So many stupid mistakes, so many embarrassing typos and repetitions, so many major rewrites to do and so very many plot holes needing to be filled.

I sort of want to send flowers to my editor as an apology for having to trudge through it--is that allowed? Also, more importantly, for taking this book on despite all of that; for seeing what it could be through all the tremendous amount of shit and for trusting me to getting it there.

Believe me, these were not my first thoughts. My first thoughts were pretty much to burrow down in the fetal position in the deepest, darkest hole and never, ever see the light of day again. Thankfully, after three days, that melodrama passed. Instead, I came up with a plan.

I found that the blinding panic every time I looked at it was due to the LARGE picture of everything that needed work and how impossible it seemed and how was I even allowed to operate a pen and paper? So, I decided to break it up into manageable, and hopefully less terrifying pieces.

”People who go on to be writers are those who can forgive themselves the horror of the first draft.” Alain de Botton

My first run through--which I’m almost done with--was simple to tackle the typos, spelling mistakes, grammar and repetitions. It’s a mostly mindless task that involves a lot of “Accept and Move to Next” over and over. The main goal of this stage (besides the obvious of cleaning up the text) was to relax me and give me time to contemplate the larger issues. It has also given me time to tone down the self-loathing. I can happily report that it was a complete success. I have even stopped adding “Dumbass” to all of the notes. Such as, “Commas don’t work that way, dumbass” or, “Hey dumbass, people don’t ‘smile the smile’ or ‘laugh the laugh’ they smile and they laugh. STOP IT!”

My second run through will be devoted to dialogue. My editor kindly reminded me that I am neither John Steinbeck and William Faulkner and not EVERY single character needs to talk with ya’s and gonna’s. The third run through will be filling plot holes and dealing with timeline issues and then finally I will tie up loose ends and make sure it all still flows.

Then I will send it off, sigh a sigh of relief, maybe make a cocktail or three and wait for round two. *meep*

“The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time unlike, say, brain surgery." Robert Cormier
tamela_j: (Commas Save Lives)
As I sit here and patiently wait for my first round of edits to come back from my editor, I thought I'd ramble on a bit here about the editor-writer relationship. Anything to help swallow the mounting panic as I try and remember that the life of a small press editor is chaotic and their time is stretched among many projects, not just tearing apart my book. Hopefully this time will be used to bolster my confidence that it's all going to be brilliant and not that the editor is spending a huge amount of time trying to sort out all the ways in which I suck.

Breathe Tamela, breathe )

tamela_j: (Want to be a Writer)
Man! It’s been over three weeks since I got the email and I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time with this post, with the sharing of this extraordinarily good news. It’s something I’ve imagined since I figured out that books were written by people, by mere humans, and that I wanted desperately to be one of them. But, here’s the thing. I never imagined this specific part. The sharing of this news.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I imagined just one thing. I imagined one of my mother’s phone calls/ emails/ conversations and I imagined her asking that question-- the one she’s been asking all these years, every since I left the University of Montana a few credits short of my journalism degree because I couldn’t stop making shit up-- “So, got your book published yet?”

Yes, I’ve imagined that many, many times. I imagined all the ways I’d say:


I imagine if it was through email that there would be a lot of keysmash:

lsafjksda;lfjasd;lfj sdaasfkj asd;fasfjasd;ljfsda;fjsjfaslkj

If in conversation? Well, there would be a lot of high-pitched squealing and I imagine a far bit of Snoopy Dance:

She will say that she wants to hear all the details, so I will tell her about karma and luck and meeting the right people at the right time and how I never thought it actually worked like that, but how in my case, it totally did. I will tell her about the year it took me to write it and the writer's group I meet along the way and how they helped me shape the book and give it a life I never imagined.

She will not believe me, of course, but it is the truth that after spending years polishing it and more years sending it out to agent after agent, that it would be a woman I meet in that writer’s group, who saw this story in its infancy and through many, many drafts that would find me after all these years and ask me to submit it to the publishing house in which she is now an editor. She will not believe the serendipity of it, I barely believe it myself.

I will tell her all about my publisher Vagabondage Press, and will go into long and detailed explanations about the e-market and the where and whens of it. I will tell her about the marketing and publicity and how it terrifies me and that I hope I do everything right and avoid all of the mistakes. She doesn't know all the ways that publishing has changed and I will try and explain that as well. About how its not just about the story, the book anymore (though I wish it were, MAN do I wish it were) so I'll talk of platforms and social media and how an author is always on.

I will tell her about how, in all the excitement and just unimaginable joy I'm overcome with, that there is a lot of anxiety I'll be dealing with as well. How I only have this one chance to do it right. I will only be a “First Time Author” this one time. How much pressure I feel to make it count. And maybe here she'll tell me something, maybe she'll tell me what no one ever tells you; that there is a lot of terror that comes with having your dreams fulfilled.

That's how I imagine the conversation going. I imagine she will try to listen, try to comprehend, but I also know what her last question will be: "So, when are you going to be able to pay for me to travel around the world?"

Sadly the answer to that would be: "Never."

But, that is an imaginary Q & A for another time.

For now the TL;DR of this one breaks down to this:

Q So, got your book published yet?
A. YES! "From These Ashes" will be published late fall/early winter of 2012 through Vagabondage Press.

I'm sure I'll be talking about it a fair bit here. I hope that's okay with everyone. ♥ Until then, how about a bit more of the dance of glee!


tamela_j: (Default)

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