*blink*blink*

So I checked the email box I formerly used exclusively for submissions, as I needed to double-check rights on an article contract. I never check this box anymore, as I switched to using my main gmail account for it last spring and any submissions I had out from it, I’d queried with the new address.

Anyway, I find a rejection from an anthology I’d submitted to in 2004. The editor commented that the character’s behavior was unconvincing and unrealistic. (Funny, people who read it prior to my submitting didn’t think so, but whatever.)

But, that’s not what bothers me. Cause even if I don’t agree with it, I appreciate it when an editor takes time to comment on my work.

Closing line? “You would benefit from attending [publisher’s short fiction workshop].”

Which, when I go look at it on their website, is $500.

Excuse me?

Am I the only one who considers this trollish, near-scamming, and absolutely unacceptable? Cause, look, I don’t really care when they collect my email address from submissions and put me on their mailing list for stuff like this. Usually, you can unsubscribe if you don’t want to receive the info, and all’s good.

But to reject a story and tell the author she should take their class? Uh. No. Sorry. Fuck off and die.

*puts another market on the do-not-submit list*

*sighs*

Dear gods…

(x-posted from the LJ. Originally posted 02-0-06.)

For the first time in nearly three years, I believe I can do it. Deep down, I believe.

I used to believe that I could–that I *would*–be published. That I’d manage to make it. Break out. Affect change, if even in my own quiet little way. Even a tiny pebble dropped into the waves ripples outward, after all.

I don’t know exactly what happened, or maybe it was everything combined… but something in me *broke* three years ago. Cause I’d try to tell myself it was true, try to force myself to believe it, but it was like my heart was … empty. Like where there’d once been a well of hope and determination, there was a gaping hole… the abyss.

I don’t know what changed. I don’t know if it was the realisation I made a few weeks ago regarding writing, or if that was only the catalyst… but I have hope again. Determination. And confidence.

I’ll do it. I *know* I will… and this time it’s not me parroting words in a vain effort to convince myself. I *believe* it.

And that… that feeling is euphoric.

Further realisations…

(x-posted from the LJ. Originally posted 01-21-06.)

So. I’ve been back to working on Stronger recently. This actually happened about four or five days after I made my prior entry regarding writing, but I’ve been busy and haven’t gotten around to it. But… it’s another, very large piece of the puzzle.

While working on one of the subplots, I realised I needed to reference old notes, because I couldn’t quite remember what I’d originally planned. Except that said notes weren’t notes; they were part of an IM transcript from January 2003. Probably a couple weeks after I’d finished Stronger, if I’m not mistaken.

Anyway. They were, unsurprisingly, conversations with Robert about Stronger, the world setting, later books, etcetera. This time, though, I noticed something I hadn’t.

Usually when I brainstorm with people, they either tell me what I’ve got already is good, or make suggestions to improve it.

Robert didn’t. Robert leapt into the story like he was part of the writing. Snippet from the logs:

Nonny says:
How would you feel about being a main or secondary character in a novel? With him as mage? *grins*
Robert says:
ANd he has the same realistic attitude to his world that I did to mine where I knew how it worked.
Robert says:
Ooh neat neat neat! You mean a few years later when he grows up and is teen magician?
Nonny says:
Yep.
Robert says:
And gets a girlfriend?
Nonny says:
Later on in the series.
Robert says:
Ooh purr!
Nonny says:
No, love, I was going to keep him single forever. /sarcasm
Robert says:
I could see his answer to ‘don’t cross kreshida and kreshida’ being as simple as a vasectomy if he’s in love with her.
Nonny says:
Oh yeah–WOW.
Nonny says:
Didn’t think of that.
Nonny says:
Didn’t think he’d get a lady kreshida
Robert says:
She could be human or kreshida, but if she’s kreshida and that happens he’d get a vasectomy, not rely on condoms. They fail.
Robert says:
and another Queen would make the kreshida world that rough.
Nonny says:
Yep–oooooh that could almost be worth doing, though.
Robert says:
The healed kreshida magicians would still have a Dark Court and Cassandra still lead it.
Robert says:
Yeah. I don’t know what your concept is but it’ll be fun!
Robert says:
Gods.
Robert says:
Nonny, the parent that’s kreshida — is that another Abomination?
Robert says:
Which is kreshida? His mother or his father?
Robert says:
If it’s both they hid him.

I’d never finished a full-length novel until I joined FM and brainstormed with Robert and others. The farthest I ever got before stalling out was about 30k. I wrote Sanctuary, Mercenary, Bridge of Faith, and Stronger all with that kind brainstorming.

So, what happened when it was gone? When I didn’t have anybody telling me what to do?

… Yeah.

It’s not that there was anything wrong with the brainstorming in and of itself. As much as I’m loathe to admit it, I probably owe him an apology, as I’ve accused him of sabotaging my writing (although I don’t believe deliberately) in the past.

*sighs*

I wish I’d been able to figure this out before. It would’ve saved me years of head-pounding and heartache. But, I’ve made a lot of progress in a lot of ways since making these realisations. I don’t think I’m out of the woods yet, not by any stretch of the imagination… but I think I’m further along than I was before.

Have the courage and be yourself,
Forget your heros, believe in yourself
Find the right way that leads you to the end,
The end of this control
Until your soul is free….right now!

— “Believe In Yourself” / Girls Under Glass

Introspection…

(x-posted from the LJ … originally posted 01-07-06)

I think most everybody who knows me knows I’ve been having trouble with writing for quite some time. As in, several years, at this point. (Gods, it’s hard to believe this much time has gone by.) I’ve been trying to figure out why for the longest time. Most recently, I’d attributed part of it to the difference in atmosphere between early Forward Motion (from the time I joined) and Evolution. IE, lack of activity, difficulty finding people to brainstorm, etc. While that’s certainly a contributing factor, and something that needs to be (and is being) addressed as a matter of course, it’s not the main issue.

I think I figured it out the other day.

It’s kind of odd how it came about, actually. I was thinking about magic, and how I know people who are able to trust what they sense in the magical/psychic “world” without doubting themselves. I haven’t been able to do that, for the most part. I talk with others, get their opinion, check it out … basically, validation. I have trouble believing myself.

And then it struck me. I do the same thing with writing. I had the same trouble I’m having now before I joined FM and got with a group of people who gave me encouragement and support. I brainstormed Stronger with Robert and other people in BN course… and got used to that. Very used to people being there for me to toss ideas off of … and it wasn’t even that I needed alternative suggestions all the time. Sometimes it was just enough to say, “Yup, you’re going in the right direction. Keep it up.”

And… well. That’s a problem. Because I don’t, at the core, trust my own judgement. I’ve known for a long time that I have issues with needing permission. Even when I was a kid, I didn’t dare do things for fear that I might get in trouble. I was the little girl who went to her friend’s sleepover party and wouldn’t want a particular TV show with them the next morning because my parents didn’t let me watch it at home. And it’s not just stuff like that, it was even things I knew for a fact were okay. I still have trouble with that. Like, going out on my own without Morgan telling me it’s okay.

I guess I have issues with (in)dependence. And that’s a hard thing for me to say, because … well. I’m not exactly a weak-willed quiet woman here!

I just… I knew about it on the magical level. And I knew about it on the personal. And I’ve been working on it. But I didn’t think it stretched out to my writing, too. Cause it’s not like I’m not confident. To be honest, I know at least as much, if not more, than most of the other writers I hang out with … yet I need permission/validation. I guess that’s been the problem. Because before, at FM, there were people that I considered my “superiors,” as it were. People I could go to, ask questions, get answers… and that’s not the case at Evo. If anything, I’ve been put in the position of the “superior,” and that’s a little odd for me.

*sigh*

In a strange way, though, it’s … empowering to have made the recognition. Because knowing about it… I can change it. I couldn’t when I didn’t know quite what the problem was. Now that I do … I can start to move forward again. I’ve been treading water these past few years and, well, I’m sick of it.

Onward!

(Should I be disturbed that I can psychoanalyse myself like this? o.O)