Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trading Fading Sparkle for Emerging Glimmer

Through the diminishing sparkle, new glimmer is being forged. Have patience. Be observant. And ready yourself to share your light.

So the other day this came to me. Call it wisdom. Label it ignorance. Tag it a desperate attempt to hold on. Despite how you choose to see/read it, what truly matters is how I do.

How much value do you put in others' opinions? How do you see yourself? Your life? Your writing?

Interacting with other writers, reading and critiquing others' work, and writing on a consistent basic is ultimate to our success in the publishing industry. But so is our mirror-image, the way in which we perceive ourselves.

That diminishing sparkle in my quote has been me lately. I've shared a bit about the encouraging movement MARKED BEAUTY has had over the last few months. Still in limbo with a few agents, and waiting on another publishing houses verdict. I know my agent is waiting in the wings; it's only a matter of time before a match is solidified.

In the meantime, I've been hammering out line-edits for close writer friends and a few fellow YAlitchaters. I've been reading a ton. Some for personal pleasure, some for reviews asked of me, and some for inspiration with my two current WIPs. Honestly, I've been up to my eyebrows in research.

One is a YA dystopian/paranormal, GYPSY DOLLS. Way back three years ago when I started writing, I wrote a full script, went through the typical newbie stuff, and realized I needed to improve myself. As I took writing classes, I started on a sequel to that first book, (just for the heck of it). It turned into quite the story, just over 50,000 words with a strong plot, sub-plots, and plenty of characters and world-building. But it was written in 3rd POV. So recently I decided to start converting it to 1st POV, which I write more strongly.

Great! Yay me!

Garf! NOT. The story was a continuation of the first one, so there's lots I need to change. I wrote the first two chapters, then had a very talented writer crit for me. I like this new start...BUT...I became stumped, not sure what direction I wanted to take the story. I wanted to diviate from paranormal romance, spreading my wings. But I LOVE paranormal romance and my heart tends to lend that way no matter what I write.

So I set it aside and began a new MG series titled MOTLEY EDUCATION: 1st Assignment. Looky, I even cranked out a cover. It's quirky and fun, even a bit silly. I've got Ebony Charmed--the unsure-of-herself 12yr-old lead with her cat Midnight that can see the same ghosts she can but can also talk with them (something Ebony as a apprentice witch is suppose to be able to do), Fleishman--her BGuyF who's anything but a jock and is constantly hurting himself, Cain--simply put 'the arrogant jerk' with an ax to grind, and the mysterious guy who's, well...still a mystery to me; haven't written him in yet. I love the younger characters, only the same thing happened. After the first chapter, I got stumped. Grrr....

Throughout all my stumptness, I've deepened a belief I've always had.

When it seems as though nothing is happening with you, when you feel stagnant and dry, change is calling, luring you to bigger and better things. Your future is brighter than your weak mortal eyes can handle. Just believe.
So yeah, something miraculous is happening in me, through me, and around me right now. Perseverance is my key.

How about you? Is something secretly happening with you that you may have been overlooking? 
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  1. hey Sheri! I have an award for you over on my blog if you want it (you may already have it!). It's on yesterday's post - and wow, such good news about marked beauty! I'll cross my fingers for you :)

  2. Wow! What an amazing and evocative post. I am so glad to hear your staying open to new possibilities. It's only when we cut that off that we become dry as artists.
    Love, love, love your blog post title! And the pic too. ;)

  3. I'm always so amazed at how productive you are. Good luck with Marked Beauty. Sounds like you're close.

    I'm almost done with my query. One of my goals for the first of the year. Then I need to get going on outlining my next project before revising my first and only manuscript. The blank page is feeling a little daunting. I must be persistent like you say.

  4. Way to go, girl! You've accomplished some awesome stuff. And not sitting still, that's inspiring! I've sent a revision off; we'll see. Have been busy with family matters so back into the groove after missing much.

  5. Good question, Sheri! What have I been overlooking? I had a false start with a WIP recently that made me abandon it and go back to revising finished manuscripts. When that was completed, I started feeling panicky about starting something new ... in case it failed again.

    What I've been overlooking is this: no writing is worthless. You grow no matter what you do -- and you learn. So, if I start 4 more WIPs and abandon them ... but learn something, it was worth it.

    (But I hope it won't be 4 until I find the next story that hooks me and immerses me ...)

  6. Very valid point, Dianne. No writing is time waste. We learn and grow the more we do.

  7. Actually, yes. I'm learning that I honestly enjoy revisions. I like hearing feedback from readers about the things they liked and what things weren't working for them. At first there is always an initial sting of not quite embarrassment, but disappointment (that I wasn't perfect? I know it's silly, but I still feel it nonetheless).

    But now, after that wears off, I find myself excited to tackle the things my brain is like "you know what, we could make this part better".

  8. Oooooo, I hope so! Sounds like you are doing great! I love the cover.

    I hope you find out soon about Marked Beauty! It's still so exciting! =D

  9. Keep up the perseverance .... that is the key!

    Something odd happened to me a few months ago. I had a strange dream which plummeted me into writing a y/a contemporary ... me? Never in my life! I write m/g. y/a fantasy.

    I dropped the editing on my first novel and wrote a 58,000 word novel in six weeks. Two weeks later I finished the editing. I also wrote in first person. My other two novels were written in third.

    This experience left me with something amazing. I entered this novel into ABNA.... So far I have had great reviews from crit partners and from bloggers on the few excerpts I had posted.

    So, yes, STRANGE things can happen when a muse come a knockin at your door.


  10. MARKED BEAUTY is so going to soar. I believe in you!

  11. You said what I've been feeling. It's tough to find all the answers sometimes. Hang in there.

  12. It's no end of frustrating that you don't know the cool things that are churning underneath, that you're just around the corner from...until you turn that corner and say "aha! It all makes sense now!" Perseverance. And faith.

    Keep going! :)

  13. This post really, really resonates with me today, Sheri. Thank you, thank you, thank you. :-)

  14. Lovely and uplifting, Sheri. Every writer needs this kind of boost. Truly appreciated.

  15. First off, awesome cover for Motley Education! Love it. I'm sure if you let that one simmer it will eventually boil over! I love what Dianne said about no writing every being a waste. It's so true. And she would know because her book "We Hear the Dead" is so FABULOUS! I have a bunch of MS that get to a point and then freeze. Maybe some day, they'll get unstuck, maybe not, all I can do is keep on keepin' on.

  16. "When it seems as though nothing is happening with you, when you feel stagnant and dry, change is calling, luring you to bigger and better things. Your future is brighter than your weak mortal eyes can handle. Just believe."

    That's a great quote, and so true for me, particularly at the moment. Thanks for stopping my my blog.

  17. You know I have some fulls out right now and I have to admit that even though I should be happy about that, I'm stressed about not having an agent yet. My MG fantasy is getting attention, but I haven't gotten that offer yet. I tend to focus on that instead of being grateful that the manuscript is getting attention. Thanks for the reminder that we have to keep things in perspective and appreciate where we are in the journey. There are small successes to be enjoyed along the way to our ultimate goals.

  18. Oh my goodness. I thought I was reading my twin here.

    Hmm, manuscript 1? Nah. Not tonight. Manuscript 2? Ooh, love it! Wait..grr. Manuscript 3? Yup. That'll do. --Wait no, manuscript 4 is the sweet spot...

    Except now I'm stuck in music mode. *sigh* Guess that's okay. Change IS good.

  19. hey, girl, sorry I've been superlate--just visited your interview on ebyss! Awesome.

    As for challenges, oh yes, I've had so many lately. But I"m so glad to read your beautiful inspiration! And so excited about Gypsy Dolls! Best of luck with both books and interviewing a Survivor contestant! too cool~ xoxo

  20. Great post! I so needed this. Every breath gets me closer. Good luck and thanks for the inspiration!

  21. Awesome post! Perseverance is so huge.

  22. I LOVE what you said about YOU being the only person that really matters regarding what you think. Wow, that came out really lame, but I really like what you said. It's so true. And I love your shoes.

  23. Great post. A positive attitude is everything.

  24. It's like you just feel something is a-brewing but you can't put your finger on what so you must remain positive! You come up with great titles, btw! I know soemthing wonderful will be coming aorund the corner for you (and if you need any extra help or eyes, give a holler)!

  25. I hope something new and amazing happens in my life to get me going in newer and bigger directions.

    Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

  26. Your persistence is inspiring. But getting bogged down is irritating, isn't it? Perhaps if before you started to write to the urging of your muse, you decided where you wanted your novel to end, it might give you a goal, a horizon if you would, to shoot for. Just a thought. Your heart and muse will not let you down, for it shines through your post, Roland

  27. Good luck. And congratulations on staying positive. That's been hard for me lately. I thought I was almost done w/ revisions then found out I wasn't even close.


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