Friday Morning FYI – 9/9/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (busy busy busy weekend edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

On Saturday, I received a rejection for a short story that went far into the selection process, and of which I’m quite proud. Not the biggest deal in the world as it was my first short story submission ever, and I figure I get to keep all the fun characters and use them in more stories (stay tuned), but for writers any rejection can be very disheartening.

Jump to Sunday where I spent six hours in yoga trainer training (no, not for research). In the late session, we were shown Crow, but before trying it, the trainer showed us how to roll in case we found ourselves falling forward. He went into the posture, tucked his head, leaned forward, rolled, and wound up in a sitting position. “Just roll,” he said to a room full of people who had obviously never (or not recently) done that, and shrugged. “That’s it, just roll.” As ideas/realizations normally do, ‘Just roll’ struck me like a bee sting, because that’s what I do with my writing rejections. That leads us to this week’s FYI :

Every rejection, in writing and in life, can feel like a knife to the gut, but they’re not. They’re part of the learning/growing process, like all failures. Understand and accept that not everyone will love or even like everything you write, and that’s normal. Keep going until you find the right words for the right story for the right audience. Until then, just roll.

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}

Friday Morning FYI – 9/2/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (yes, late again edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

A lot happened this weekend: several peaks, and a single valley of my own carving. That has me tempted to be grotesquely self-indulgent in this FYI, but I’ll spare everyone and instead go with mildly self-indulgent:

Hey guys, I finished the 1st draft of my new book.

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}

Friday Morning FYI – 8/26/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (hey-look-I’m-only-a-day-late edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Have you ever had one of those 48-hour periods where you keep having the same conversation with different people? In the last couple of days, I’ve talked about doing what’s right for yourself with no less than 3 people, each raising the subject themselves. I can’t ignore a sign from the universe like that, so that topic is this week’s FYI:

There are going to be times when you face the choice between doing what you believe to be right for you and what other people are saying. This could be something as simple as getting a tattoo or something as life-impacting as changing careers. While ignoring everyone else’s advice is not something you should do flat out, ultimately you succeed and fail on your own. You’re the one who knows whether or not you’ll put in the time, you’re the one who knows whether or not you have the stamina, and you’re the one who knows whether or not you’re capable of achieving your dreams. Own that, and know if things don’t go as you’d hoped at least you went for it and lived the way you wanted to. Most people can’t say that.

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}

Friday Morning FYI – 8/19/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (holy-crap-how-is-it-Tuesday-already? edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Now I’m really pushing how late I can post something labeled with a day of the week from which we’re four days removed. *shrug*

This morning, I noticed the lady standing to my left on the Path was reading a printed manuscript. How do I know it was a manuscript? As someone who’s taken the time to learn proper formatting for submissions, I know MS formatting, and recognized the upper-right header (book title, page number, author name). Curious, I pointed to the page and asked if it was hers? She smiled, answered ‘no’, and said she worked for a publisher. I then told her I write, and asked if the MS was any good. “It’s high fantasy, which isn’t my thing, but it’s very well written.” I apologized for bothering her, to which she replied ‘No problem,’ and we went back to doing our own things. That thirty second exchange leads us to this week’s FYI:

To seize opportunities, preparedness is key. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to talk to someone, provide advice or answers, etc. Knowing how to format a manuscript is important when submitting your work to agents and publishers,  but it also allowed me to recognize someone working in an industry I’m trying to break into. Nothing came of it because I’m not a pushy lout, and she and I will most-likely never see each other again, but what if after I’d told her I write she’d asked what genre and the conversation continued? Stuff like that is rare, but anything can happen.

Learning how your industry works is the best way to be ready when important moments arise. At the very least, you’ll know you’re doing everything right.

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}

PS – No, I’m not saying writers should ride the trains all day looking for anyone holding a printed page and attempt to land a publishing contract. Normal human decency always applies.

Friday Morning FYI – 8/12/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (super-late-since-I-was-attending-WDC16-this-weekend edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

So, yeah, Writer’s Digest Annual Conference – my favorite writing-related event, the thing I wait for all year and then enjoy beyond reason (though this year I missed several dear friends I also enjoy beyond reason, who I applaud for instead doing important things for their careers). As I always do, I’ll put together and post a recap over the next day or two, but for today I need to decompress. So for this week’s FYI, I think I’ll post what I wrote for a prompt we were given in one of the sessions. The goal was to emphasize how characters of different backgrounds and in different situations would describe the same setting. My group received “Rich lady in a ballroom”. Here’s what I wrote:

The floor plan was perfect, each round, white-clothed table set precisely fifteen feet apart, eight seats around. The center pieces were perfect, tall with pink and purple orchids from the local botanical gardens, wide with sharp leaves hanging broad from crystal vases, full with baby’s breath and dime-sized purple flowers I didn’t know. The stage was perfect, raised just enough to allow everyone to see my speech without feeling dominated, with an enormous American flag backdrop, the generic display for someone about to announce a candidacy.

But none of it mattered. No one would sit at the tables. No one would smell the flowers. No one would hear my speech, because I’d canceled the whole f*cking thing when I got the call that Julie, my perfect daughter, had been in an accident.

Yes, I cheated by adding a twist. *shrug*

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}