Comments: Topic Salad with Linky Love Sauce

"My son was born in 1997 and is now TEN, and gods in Alabama came out, what, in 2005?"

I'm curious about your head space during those seven (one year of production for gods) years. I have completed a novel. I have worked on revisions of said novel so extensively that I actually sprained my eye (not like normal eye strain, but one of my extraocular muscles throbbed inside of my skull for two solid days which I spent listening to music and wishing I could use said eye sooner rather than later), so I *do* have the tenacity. I also realized that said novel idea was too much for a first time novelist to execute properly. So I am also not a hack who thinks everything I type is mana from my left hemisphere.

But as everyday goes by and I work on the second draft of my second novel, the pervasive sense of suck envelopes me and starts wrapping like that anaconda on Snakes on a Plane- talk about eye strain- and though I once pulled a 60-pound boa constrictor off me (with the help) as it started to wrap around my neck, my metaphorical boa is 50 times heavier and 50 times more scary and 50 times harder to pull off.

Posted by Sabra at April 4, 2007 8:02 AM

Sometimes I get a little intimidated by all the writers who hang out here in FTK. I soooo want to be a writer, but I haven't put words on a page (aside from my job) in ages. I got about 10 pages of something written recently but I "lost" it and haven't felt like putting forth the effort of getting it back or rewriting it. And those ten pages were like trying to get blood from a turnip! I think fear is holding me back -- fear of hard work, fear of rejection, fear that I don't know what the heck I'm doing. Reading these posts helps me. But I think my first task is really to decide whether I'm an A or a B writer as defined by Joshilyn.

In an aside in regards to the last FTK post....after dropping my kids off at preschool this morning I somehow managed to find myself back on the Loop, heading home instead of heading to my job. Total flake out. Wishful thinking, I guess.

Posted by Leandra at April 4, 2007 8:25 AM

SO WELL SAID, Joshilyn. And might I add that, for aspiring screenwriters, nearly identical advice applies? We have two scripts that we've been marketing, one of which is under consideration. We're waiting for a trusted reader to give us feedback on a third, and we're writing a new one as we wait.

Posted by Aimee at April 4, 2007 10:37 AM

Most excellent advice for blooming writers Joss. You glow in the dark? whoa.watch.that.milk.girl.

Posted by Cele at April 4, 2007 12:08 PM

Hi! New reader here. Actually technically I'm a new listener--I have "Between, Georgia" on CD in my car...and so far I've cried twice(which means I really, really like it). I've laughed too (I'm at the part where Fisher has *desecrated* her panties). It's wonderful.
Also, I'm a knitter, although I would never, ever attempt those items you linked. However I love the "weal fuw coat" and think you should put up a link to the pattern. If I started now, I might be able to finish it in time for my goddaughter's 3rd birthday (I'm a bit of a slow, lazy knitter). :)

Posted by SusannahS at April 4, 2007 12:43 PM

Thanks. Thanks for taking the time to provide such a useful, straight-arrow list of Stuffs to Know. I'm working on revising the slew of words I wrote for NaNo, and I have no idea if it will ever even reach the state where I'd want to publish it. (I've already realized that you only get one first novel, and I'm not sure this is it.) But I'm plugging away, because the work itself is bound to teach me something.

So really, your only piece of advice that smarts is forcing me to read bad writing all the way through. I believe you--I mean, you are the fiery humpbacked wonder beast of all that is good and fine, who am I to argue? Just, oh, bad writing is so very very bad...

Posted by amy at April 4, 2007 2:35 PM

You and your new label... someone sent this to me:


Dewey the long-lived library cat with one of his future biographers, Vicki Myron, a librarian in the small town of Spencer, Iowa.

In a hotly contested deal, the life story of Dewey, a rescued cat who lived for 19 years in a library in a small town in Iowa, has sold for about $1.25 million to Grand Central Publishing.

With an eye toward creating the feline answer to the best-selling “Marley & Me,” John Grogan’s memoir of his misbehaving yellow Labrador retriever, Grand Central bought the book, currently titled “Dewey, a Small Town, a Library and the World’s Most Beloved Cat,” on Monday by making an offer high enough to pre-emptively shut down an auction.

“You can’t underestimate the market out there for people who love animals,” said Karen Kosztolnyik, the senior editor at Grand Central who will edit the book; co-authors will be Vicki Myron, the head librarian in Spencer, Iowa; and Bret Witter, a former editorial director at Health Communications, the publisher of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books.

Posted by Tina at April 4, 2007 3:17 PM

Thanks so much for #2, the rest as well, but #2 gave me so much hope. I've been so fearful of that. Scared I won't have anything else in me so I procrastinate in fear of that.

Posted by Tiff at April 4, 2007 3:48 PM

Very good advice. I really appreciate it. All except that last one. As much as I enjoy reading industry blogs, I just can't get into Snark. She seems very... um... well, mean, I guess. Not snarky, just mean. Not my thing. I can't even laugh at her stuff. It just makes me sad. But there are a lot of other industry blogs out there that I enjoy, so I'll just replace one (or three) of those with Snark.
I really like that you say to READ. What a great excuse to dive back into gods!

Posted by dee at April 4, 2007 5:52 PM

I am shamelessly going to plug my group TheWritingMother.com because I think Leandra should come on over because the water is warm and we all have bodies that have birthed children and we won't laugh if you haven't shaved.

Such good advice Joshilyn!!

Posted by Heather Cook at April 4, 2007 6:13 PM

please don't let Mr Bungaloo die. I love him. and his terrible dog.

Posted by Dianna at April 4, 2007 9:09 PM

Another blog I read that talks about the writing process and getting published is Murderati - http://www.murderati.typepad.com/ - and while they focus mostly on the mystery (I work at a mystery bookshop, so of course I follow these things) the information is still incredibly useful.

Not as entertaining as you are, Peach, but it's good nonetheless. Much as I love those guys, they do not "glow in the dark" and they don't "build strong bodies in 12 ways." I adore Cornelia too!

Posted by Fran at April 4, 2007 11:59 PM

Cornelia is a compliment-spewing goddess of the highest order! I'm so ready for her second novel. And your third (published, that is).

I adore Miss Snark. And your great advice, Joshilyn. Thank you.

Now if I could only let go of my journalistic work long enough to finish novel #3. Journalism is just so damn rewarding in the short term. You write something and, boom, it's in the newspaper the next day. But it's not exactly fulfilling my life's dreams to write biz profiles and articles about window treatments!

Posted by Edgy Mama at April 5, 2007 9:58 AM

Yay you! This is some of the best advice I've ever heard. I have *just* begun dipping my toe in to the fiction writing waters (what a terrible metaphor) and this advice comes at such a perfect time. Thanks so much for sharing. Can I just tell you again that we are so looking forward to your being at the Miss. Writers Guild conference in August!

Posted by Keetha at April 5, 2007 10:25 AM

Okay, I am all like "DUH!" out here in Cali-wifflehead-forni-ay, because somehow I missed this post even though I read the "Needs" one above.

But you DO SO TOTALLY GLOW!!! EVEN IN BROAD DAYLIGHT!!!! And I'm pretty sure I stole "humpbacked wonder beast" from you originally....

And your head looks GOOD big, which is really not true of many people at ALL!!!

Posted by Cornelia Read at April 7, 2007 4:01 PM