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Waiting: It’s the Writer’s Life

What many writers don’t realize is that waiting is a part of the writer life. It’s frustrating, but it is part of the deal and it doesn’t change.  Writing the novel is a task in itself, but it’s also the only part without the wait, so relish it. Once you type those two final words, the game changes and the waiting begins.

Writers wait while critique partners and beta readers read their words. We wait for their feedback and we wait all over again when we make their changes and resubmit. Then comes the querying, and we wait. Partial requests? Wait. Full requests? (Squee!!) and wait.

Here’s where I once misunderstood the complete situation. You see, once you find an agent and sign that contract, the waiting doesn’t end. Your agent needs time to get to your manuscript and time to make suggestions and changes. Then you update and resubmit. The process continues. Even when it’s perfect, your agent still must submit to editors. That means more waiting, and the waiting at that point in the game can be six months or more, so patience really is a necessity. But once you find a publisher the waiting ends, right? Not even close. Writers must wait to work with editors and for cover art and release dates. It’s simply part of the deal. Because I believe most writers are compelled to write and cannot walk away, we have to learn to wait gracefully – or at least productively.

Every writer is in the same boat to some extent. We’re all waiting on something. It’s what we signed up for, or at least it was in the invisible ink.

So, the question becomes what to do while we wait. I’ve tried everything from yoga to archery to gourmet baking. All were fun, but here’s the thing…writers write.  We must. Writers who don’t write, make me nervous. I am of the opinion that the very best thing we can do while we wait is write some more. Every word counts, every sentence created enhances your skill and improves your craft. You don’t need to start another novel, start a blog, maybe just guest blog for a friend, or submit an article to an online magazine. Try your hand at flash fiction or look for an upcoming anthology.

Writing passes the time while you wait, improves your craft, and once you have enough irons in the fire, the wait time is shorter. Someone is sure to get back with you on a regular basis if you have enough submissions going on. It breaks up all the waiting and brings some good news along the way. Fabulous sites like Wow! Women on Writing feature a different writer every Friday. They’ve even let me have the floor a time or two LOL. It feels good to get your name out there and it boosts your confidence.

Another great way to pass the time while you wait is to embrace social media. Networking is a great way to establish a name for yourself in the writing community, build a web presence and drive traffic to your blog. Twitter is a great place to start. I’ve met some of my closest writer friends, beta readers, and favorite authors through twitter. It’s a huge resource that’s greatly underestimated.

In the end, waiting won’t change, but you can embrace the challenge.  Be productive. Enjoy the time away from your manuscript and test your chops. Waiting might be just what you need to discover a whole new part of your writing self. Enjoy!

Vanish by Sophie Jordan – Win an ARC!

Good Choice Reading has an unbelievable YA opportunity here. I’m smiling wildly as I type this post because the good folks at Good Choice Reading are giving away an ARC copy of Vanish by Sophie Jordan!!! I absolutely devoured the first book in this series Firelight and have been waiting super impatiently for Vanish. It’s in my cart at Amazon for preorder, of course, but the release so sooo far away!

Here’s what I’m dying to get my hands on and you can enter too by stopping over at Good Choice Reading!

Vanish by Sophie Jordan

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

In bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s dramatic follow-up to Firelight, forbidden love burns brighter than ever.

Blog Hop & Follow Friday!! 5/20

It’s time for the Blog Hop & Follow Friday again! I love this part of the week because  I’m meeting so many awesome bloggers, writers, readers *sigh*. So to all of you hopping with me I’m smiling widely like a doofus and waving frantically as always!!

Blog Hop is hosted over at Crazy-for-Books. These memes were created to help make the web smaller, and introduce us bloggers to one another. We can find sites and meet people and follow those we love! We increase our followers and we get some fun new sites to add to our dashboards too. Its a big win-win and I am thrilled to be taking part again this week.

So the question this week at Crazy for Books is:

“If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?”

I’m pretty embarrassed to tell you how long I’ve sat thinking about this question. I really have no  idea. I’ve read close to 50 books this year, most of which were YA and I never once thought, “Wow, I’d like to live there!” YA isn’t usually about the place and you don’t get a great look at the community. I wouldn’t want to go back to high school for all the money in the world. I suppose if I had to chose somewhere from what I’ve read lately I would say in Janet Evanovich’s Wicked Appetite, which takes place in Salem. I’ve never been to Salem, but she describes it like the super nuttiest small town in America. I do love small town America, so I’ll go with that for my answer – but please know I’m totally NOT satisfied with it :(

Now, I can’t wait to see what you all came up with. I’m sure I’ll be slapping my head over it. You guys always make me think “Oh! Duh Julie! WHay didn’t I think of that??”


Thanks everyone for stopping by! Leave a comment and tell me if you follow! I always follow back!!!

Music and Writing

I LOVE music. Like a lot. I keep a radio going all the time. Pandora runs endlessly. I cannot carry a tune to save my life, but hey the Lord says “make a joyful noise,” right? Well, I do that. Music gets me amped up, gives me ideas and helps me get into character. This has been especially true on my latest endeavor. I’ve recently finished a YA manuscript and gotten in touch with my inner awesome.

The whole idea of music while I write is both amazing, odd and complicated for me. For days I found myself jamming on the couch or setting the laptop aside to get up and shake it when certain songs came on. I don’t know about you, but its nearly impossible for me to write when I’m rockin out on my coffee table, scaring my kids.  Like I said, the whole process took some adjusting on my part.

Music is a great way to melt into your story. It can help you feel your way into a specific region, or location, a culture, or a mind. I’ve even found quite a few new YA authors have music videos with songs written and performed for the MCs. What a jaw-dropping-fabulous concept. Wow. I mean, every manuscript should have a theme song, a trailer, a video, can you even imagine? I want one!! *claps wildly*

I guess I said all that to ask you this…Do you listen to music when you write? What kind? Is it hard to concentrate? And I’d also love to know – what’s the theme song of your current WIP?

Think it over. I’m telling you its a super-fun thing to nail down. Try it, then tell me! I NEED to know!

Writer Wednesday Welcomes Back: Mimi Barbour!!!!

Writer Wednesday welcomes my dear sweet friend Mimi Barbour! Mimi has blessed my blog once before and I was absolutely delighted when she agreed to stop by again. This time to promote her newest novel, Together Again and to tell us a little bit about how she came to write romance with time travel. *Brilliant* First, let me refresh everyone on Mimi and say “Welcome, welcome, welcome back to Musings!

About Mimi:

I started writing in a serious way in 1999 when, through correspondence, I took a creative writing course. At the time, my husband and I were living in Guinea, West Africa and the schooling choices were limited. Stories cluttered my mind even as a child and by this time in my life they were clamouring to come out. Putting them into words and on paper became the challenge

Once, back in Canada, I started a two-year course on children’s writing, believing this was where I wanted to invest my enthusiasm and energy. I then took another two years, because writing children’s stories is very difficult. After four years I managed to have only one story published in a multi cultural magazine called Skipping Stones. It was a story called ‘Run for Joy’ and I’d based my young protagonist on a child I’d seen in Africa. I called him Keita. I have to admit – I found this writing hard work.

I changed.

Writing my first romance novel switched the hard work into fun, and I’ve not looked back. I love writing about men and women finding each other and falling in love. Along the way, it pleases me to make their travels difficult – spiced up with lots of humor and seasoned with a few tears, but always with endings that are happy.


Hi Julie,

How nice to get to visit with you again. I always like coming to your wonderful site so I can get a chuckle and read great blogs on many of my peers.

How my series The Vicarage Bench first started, and how the idea for spirit/time-travel came to me

Some years back, there was a TV show (1989-1993) called Quantum Leap where the hero, a physicist Sam Beckett (played by handsome (oh yeah!) Scott Bakula), would take over someone else’s body during each episode. Except that he would inhabit them without the other person being present. Well, I loved that show, but I used to wonder what happened to the other guy – you know the one he’d take the place of. And – without any invitation whatsoever I might add.

Move ahead to 2007. My BFF sent me the guidelines for a time-travel writing contest called Through the Garden Gate put on by The Wild Rose Press.  It came to me that if I entered, I could have a character spirit-travel and time-travel at the same time, just like ole Sam used to do. It would make the story more involved and interesting, or so I thought. Then I decided why couldn’t the other person stick around and be part of the conflict? Once I set this premise into play for the first story of the series, I enjoyed it so much that I continued following the same theme, and the rest of the books have been a blast to write.

The plots in these stories are quite involved, but for me, dialogue is much more simple. Quite often, it helps when the characters know what the other is thinking, and adding humor is easier. It’s possible to delve a little deeper into their emotions, and a lot more fun putting them into situations where there’s tension. My only difficulty is making sure they have completely diverse personalities – especially if there’s two women together as in book one of the series called “She’s Me”. A cynical gorgeous model, from 2006, leaps back in time to invade a sweet, chubby librarian from 1963.

A little aside here – Wild Rose wouldn’t let me enter the contest since I’d skirted their rules, but…they did offer me a stand-alone contract. Contest? Contract?? Humm, not such a hard choice!

Together Again by Mimi Barbour

In my newest release “Together Again” I really had fun writing Dani and Troy’s love story. Since it was my first full-length book, there was a lot more room to build the romance and help the characters find each other.

Back Cover Blurb:

Traveling ten years forward in time, Dani Howard’s spirit becomes magically united with reporter, Troy Brennan. He’s everything a girl could want in a man, and during their time together, she falls deeply in love. Though she must return to her own pregnant body, she gains his promise to come to her birthday party in seven days time where they will meet in person and continue their romance.

Troy can’t believe he’s fallen for a sixteen-year-old spirit invader. He’s so infatuated that when renowned author, beautiful Ellie Ward, comes on to him, as attractive as he finds her, he’s honor bound to stay true to his young love—or is he?

 

Excerpt:

The general store, filled with clothes for younger men, proved to be exactly what Troy wanted. He grabbed a pair of stylish bell-bottomed jeans and a black T-shirt from the overflowing racks and made his way towards one of the changing rooms. As soon as he opened the curtain and saw the mirrored wall he stopped.

“Hold it! Are you still there?” His voice warned of his seriousness. It was a rougher, no-nonsense tone—one she recognized from when he’d used it on the bullying blokes yesterday.

“Uh-huh! Where else would I be?”

“Don’t be cheeky! You can see right now, can’t you?”

“Of course I can. I see out of your eyes, don’t I?”

“Right! Fine.” He closed his eyes, continued into the change room, and stumbled when he stubbed his toe on the wooden chair.

“What in the world are you doing?”

“You’re only sixteen. You shouldn’t be seeing a man undress.” He hadn’t had to worry about her spying in his room, for there wasn’t a full-length mirror. He’d taken care never to look at anything she shouldn’t be seeing. Not an easy task but doable.

“Number one. Just ‘will’ me to leave and you’ll feel me shut down, because I’d respect your privacy. And number two, yours wouldn’t be the first male body I’ve seen anyway.”

“Number one, how about just shutting up instead of shutting down. And number two, what the hel—heck do you mean by not the first male— No, wait. I don’t want to know.”

“At least let me see you after you’re dressed. It’s very difficult carrying on conversations with someone you can only see from the inside.”

“What does it matter?”

“What if I told you I have a crush on you and I want to see what you look like, especially in your knickers?”

The tight jeans were only halfway up. Vertigo and embarrassment collided, engulfing him at the same time. His knee bashed against the chair and his forehead hit the wall. Muffled swear words and babbles that made no sense, except that the surly meanings were explicit, rang out before he spoke to her again.

“Stop that!” He sounded angry.

“Stop what?”

Was she giggling? “Stop saying things like that. You don’t have a crush on me. You don’t even know me.”

“I know you’re extremely kind, that you care about small children and animals, take on burdens even when you don’t want to, and—and you’re ambitious. You have a wonderful, warm chuckle, and—”

“Enough! For God’s sake, my head will swell. Look, sweetie, you’re sixteen—“

“Almost seventeen.”

“And I’m almost thirty. Besides, you should be with a nice guy your own age.”

“I already have.”

“What?” Troy’s eyes popped open — wide, very wide.

****

“Ohh! You’re a smasher, you are.”

He stared into the mirror as if he could see into the soul hidden inside him. The ferocious look on his face warned her not to say another word. Instead she silently continued to view his features. His piercing, multifaceted eyes, brown and green, gold and gorgeous, were daunting.

Again, thank you so much for coming by! I always have tons of fun reading your stories. I’ve learned so much from you and I know others will too. In fact, if you don’t know Mimi yet, look her up…

Find Mimi on the web!

Please know that I love visiting with readers so come and say ‘Hi’ on my website at http://www.mimibarbour.com/ and join my newsletter for a chance to win a free copy of my latest release.

Or follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Mimibarb

Or on Facebook…

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mimi-Barbour-Fan-Page/203964072966134

Hugs…

Mimi

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