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Showing posts from January, 2007

Sadism and the Writer

I've come to accept that I'm a sadist, but in the best way, if that's possible.

Recently I received two e-mails from readers. They were of the variety that make you think, "Yes, I can write! I'm not completely delusional!"

Writers can go from thinking one second that every word they write is magical to falling into despair the next moment, huddled in a fetal position and rocking back and forth, positive that they can't write a coherent word and that they're morons for thinking they can.

It's a bit extreme going between the two opposites, and you never get used to it. One would think that getting novels and articles published would assuage the fears. It doesn't. It just provides you with anxiety because now actual readers (people you don't even know!) are reading your work and making judgments on it. It's enough to send you into heart palpitations and panic attacks.

Ironically, getting positive feedback can be just as paralyzing. I've r…

Tagged . . . Twice

It all started with a seemingly innocent email from fellow writer Marsha Ward about a blog and some people being tagged—whatever that meant. Curious, I investigated and discovered that my friend Tristi Pinkston had "tagged" Marsha in her blog.

The game is simple: When you're tagged, you tell the world five things about yourself that most people don't know.

So I learned five things about Marsha (ouch on the mountain climb, by the way), and headed to Tristi's blog (glad you made it to your wedding day). That's where I discovered that she had been tagged by Jeff Savage (remind me never to fly on a plane with you), who, it turns out had tagged me a couple of days prior.

Being as I've spent the last two weeks with one or two children sick at all times and a weekend when I could scarcely stand up because I was sick myself, I didn't get around to reading my friends' blogs.

Thus I didn't know I had been tagged, or even what that meant until about two hour…

Tower of . . . what?

Brief and rather odd observation this time . . .

I spent the evening cutting hair. First I cut my husband's hair, something I do more often now that his new job has a more strict dress code. Then I did minor trims on two of my daughters. Finally, my son got a cut as well. Okay, so everyone but one child got a haircut.

So far, so good.

Child #3, a rather curious, precocious, and very helpful little girl, often lurks with the broom as I snip, sweeping up around me. It's generally not that helpful in the long run, because more hair falls where she's just swept, and we end up cleaning the same spots as before when we're done.

This time, she was lurking, but not with the broom. Instead, she gathered hair samples from family members to compare colors.

I didn't think too much of it beyond thinking that we have a budding scientist or artist, perhaps.

The kidlets got ready for bed, we read scriptures and a chapter out of the current book, and ushered the little ones off to dreaml…

Another Already?

After “What are you calling it?” one of the most-asked questions I get about my writing is, “So, have you started anything new since your last book?”

Lately the answer has shocked a lot of people, because it’s not that I’ve started anything; I’ve finished something and turned it in.

The reaction: “But didn't your last book just come out?!”

Well, yes, it did. But trust me on this one; I’m not some Super Woman who whips out a book in three months flat (HA!!!! It’s hysterical to even think that, especially when you factor in the research involved in a historical novel.)

So to set the record straight, here’s the scoop on how this publishing time line thing works.

In a nutshell, it takes a whole lot longer to get anything through the pipeline than most people realize. The LDS market is much quicker than the national market, but even here it simply takes time.

Here’s what a typical manuscript goes through for me: First I draft the book. Then I revise it several times, giving it to my critique…