Thursday, August 23, 2012

Is A Writer Ever Content?

It’s been a while since I’ve had a “Morgan bears her soul to blogosphere” post. Have you missed it? LOL.

I like to be honest in my posts, without crossing any lines. I do think it’s important to keep a solid balance when you’re trying to brand yourself as an author. But it’s a hard balance to maintain. I want to stay professional, but I want to be real, so other writers can feel and learn from my experience, but again, I don’t want to be too open.

I read a post last night I really needed to read. It was like everything she said was exactly what I needed to hear. I love posts that do that. Posts that speak right to your soul and fuel the fire that’s been so low for a while. And this only happens when the author is opening a bit of himself/herself, when they’re willing to push down the barrier and show that they’re not perfect, that they do have weaknesses.

So my thoughts:

I tend to over-think things. Analyze every decision I make. Whether I’m supposed to be a writer. Whether this is the path I’m meant to go down. Are we really destined to do things or do we really just make our own choices and pave our own way?

It’s hard to put forth soooo much work and put yourself out there over and over and over again--just waiting to be pushed down. Whether it’s from rejection, or from watching others succeed, or just feeling like you’re not living up to your own expectations.

In some ways, we’re totally alone. It’s just the page and us. And it’s hard to work when there’s no guarantee anything will come from our sweat. It quite literally is one word repeated over and over again, until you trash all those words only to do it again.

It’s torture.

But it’s amazing.

And it’d be MORE torturous to NOT write. It’s a twisted balance. Writing and immersing ourselves into words and our stories is so fulfilling, and so sweet, it’s indescribable. But at the same time, we’re subjecting ourselves to heartache.

That’s why some say, “You have to do it because you love it.” And yes, for some, just the release of writing is enough for them.

But it isn’t enough for me.

I want to master this craft. Learn how to create the perfect balance of character, pacing, world-building, tight writing, original metaphors, clever dialogue, story arcs, finding the balance of physical tells vs. showing vs. good tells, creating the emotion on the page that will grip a reader into not wanting to ever put your book down, to create something timeless…

It’s the challenge that drives me. The challenge of mastering something that seems impossible.

But what I’m wondering is:

Is a writer ever content? I keep reaching for that place when I’ll feel satisfied with where I’m at, or will that drive to be better always haunt me? I watch other writers, and it seems they’re also in a constant state of wanting to up their game. And I’m not talking about the “I’ll be happy when” mindset, I’m talking about that inner need to reach that next level.

But sometimes it gets to be too much.

Is the underlying angst of wanting better than dropping it all and walking away? Which is more torturous: The constant dissatisfaction of desire and not accomplishing, or giving up and not knowing?

I don’t know. They both hurt. And I think most of you will say giving up and not knowing, but it’s still dang hard to push and push and push and not see results. (The results we want to see, because yes, there is the angle that we are always improving—I get that)

Are “ordinary” people just content to live their lives? I wonder what it’d feel like, to go through the motions of every day and be… content. Or is that just a fa├žade? Are we all secretly pushing, and wanting more? Are people thoroughly fulfilled in their lives without needing to aspire to anything? Is that even possible?

Regardless, I know it’s a choice. And it’s one that I choose to live through. I’d rather be pushing myself forward than staying stagnant. Even though at times it might seem appealing to just be “normal.”  

What about you? What drives you? Is being a writer worth the constant chaos that lives underneath your skin that no one else sees? I’m still trying to work out my thoughts…

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Monday, August 20, 2012

And The Winner Is Announced...

First off, I can't tell you how much FUN the "What If?" Fairytale Blogfest was! I love flash fiction and I love reading from talented writers. There were so many entries that made me LOL (Go Comedy!), made me nod with respect (Go Plot Twisters!), made me want to throw my shoe at the computer (Go Tragedy Peeps!), and most of all swoon (Go Team Love!)

And I'm sure you can predict what I'm going to say next...

Yes, I'm that cliche...

It *was* hard to choose...

But the winner of Team Love Story is...

Hope Roberson! 

There was something about Hope's piece that really grabbed me. Aside from the great writing, I really felt the physical tension and chemistry between the words... there was this definite pull that drew me right into the story and the characters felt like real people with real passions. The piece had a nice build (even though the ending was tragic! Hope, what are you doing to us??? Rewrite the ending PLEASE!)

So Hope, you are the winner of a FULL MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE from ME.

To go read Hope's piece, click here. 

But really, to all my Love Peeps, I'm floored with the talent in this blogging community. There wasn't a piece that I didn't see great talent in and that I didn't enjoy. Thanks so much for participating!

Huge thanks to Mark Koopmans, Cassie Mae, and the lovely Leigh Covington for being my partners in crime. You guys ROCK. To go check out their winners, click on the links below:

Plot Twist

Hope you are all having a fabulous week! I know I'm excited for fall, school, and solid writing time.

Red. Head. Out. :D

Monday, August 13, 2012

"What If?" Fairytale Blogfest Has Begun!

Yaaaaay! Welcome to the "What If?" Fairytale Blogfest! I'm so stoked to go read all the entries--not only Team Love Story's, but the Comics, Tragedy peeps, and Plot Twisters. (Especially since Mark Koopmans has thrown the gauntlet down. He and his little Scottish pony are going to be smothered in Team Love by the end of the week! Right, Cassie and Leigh?)

And it's not too late to sign up. The Blogfest runs all week. You can either click here to get the deets or scroll down where I'll post the Linky List below.

I of course chose to write for Team Love Story. So just for fun, here is my 300 word piece:

Four walls. Dirt floor. No light, save for the last thread of sunset angling through the barred window. Orange spills over masses of piled straw. Dried, cracked. Just like my future.

The spinning wheel sits in the far corner, mocking me. Taunting me. Its plain wooden wheel as useless as my own two hands.


That’s what he wants. I raise my hands and marvel these two ordinary objects will be the cause of my death. As if they have the capability to spin straw into gold.

I drop to the ground, my hair a curtain over my face, covering the tears that drop to the ground. I dig my fingers into the cool dirt floor and let out a cry that no one will hear. I bang my fists, scream, plead. But it’s all in vain.

Tomorrow, I die.

I heard once that man’s strongest instinct is the will to live. If there is a god, I vow in this moment that whoever will spare me this fate will have my eternal love. Forever.

A tingle spreads over my skin as if sealing the promise and a rustle sounds from the corner. Like a creature birthing from the dark, a hunched figure unfolds, half of his face in shadow. Misshapen head. Flat nose. Teeth pointed like a canine’s.

He’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen.

“What is your name?” I ask. “Tell me, take me away, and I’m yours forever.”

Glee lights up behind the gnarled face, and the small man does a little bow. “You and all your future children?”

The thought of carrying this man’s children is ambrosia for my soul. I truly love him.

“Well then, my dear. Then my name ye shall have. Rumpelstiltskin.”

And he holds out his hand and we disappear into the dark. Living happily ever after.


And that is the story of how Rumpelstiltskin and the woodcutter's daughter run off together... It's how the story should've ended, right? Talk about true love... sigh... I'm kidding!

Alright! I'm off to go check out the other entries! Have fun!

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Game On X 2!

First off, before I get to the real "Game On" I'm here to talk about, Mark Koopmans has thrown down the gauntlet. And I quote from his blog earlier this week:

"PS… Where’s my Gauntlet… oh look, there it is… I must have thrown it on the ground…
YO!!!! To all the comics out there, let’s show those plot changers, romantics and Tragedy-ers that our laughter can usurp any twist, love or calamity change any day of the week."

My response?  Mark, challenge accepted. Nothing can beat a good love story! So who's with me? I've had several of you tell me you're entering the love story category (woot!) Let's show these Plot changers, Tragedy-ers and Comics up, shall we? ;) And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, click here. See you on the battlefield, Mark! You and your little Scottish pony are going down!

Second? Of course the real "Game On" I'm here for is Kyra Lennon's fabulous book that's just came out. GAME ON is witty, fun, entertaining, and steamy. How do I know? I've read it.  

Game On Synopsis
After swapping her small town life to work for one of the top soccer teams in the U.S, Leah Walker thought she could finally leave the ghosts of her past behind. However, when she meets serial womanizer, Radleigh McCoy, the memories of her old life come swarming back, and she is forced to ask herself whether she has really changed at all.

Don't you guys just love Kyra? She's such a positive influence in this blogging community. Always cheerful, always supporting others. I'm going to post some links below so we can in turn support Kyra by snatching her book and spreading the word:

Game On Buy Links paperback 
Amazon UK kindle version

Picked up Kyra's book yet? You going to help me show these Comics/Tragedy-ers/Plot changers who's really got the magic? Or I'd just love to know how your projects are going. I'm in the middle of a few revisions and loving it. (This is my favorite part of the process) 

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Monday, August 6, 2012

SCBWI Goodness!


I have one word. 

Well, seven. 

SCBWI. or Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. If you're not a member, I highly encourage you to go sign up and become a member now. It's an amazing organization. I just got back from my third conference with them--the LA Summer conference. 

Aside from meeting up with 1,234 other authors, you can bump shoulders with agents and editors and do what we love best. Talk "writer talk." 

The whole weekend was jam-packed with workshops on how to perfect your craft, key note speakers who were beyond inspiring, and plenty of time to network, schmooze, and learn. 

Each conference I go to brings new conversations, connections, insights, and shifts in my own self-perception of what I want to accomplish and who I want to be as a writer. When you meet with other people who have the same passion and drive that you do, and when you're completely drenched in words that overfill the inspiration cup sitting in the middle of your chest, the fire that ignites is enough to carry you for a long while. It's fabulous. 

I got to spend time with several writers I've had contact with in the past year--and several of my CP's. And each person was just as I expected them. Amazing. And I only got pictures with some (Jolene Perry, and Nyrae Dawn, WHY didn't we get pics together?!?!?)

But I did get to connect with:

Ryan Dalton and Cortney Pearson: (Ryan who has a fabulous book he's about to query, and Cort who is my number one partner in crime)

Wendy Higgins: (Who is the cutest little person ever! I was bending down in this shot! Plug: Have you picked up her book Sweet Evil yet?)

Liz Briggs and Rachel Searles: (Liz who is probably the smartest person I know and Rachel is just plain cool--and cute Cort again, who was an amazing trooper being dragged around by me 4 months preg!)

Have I convinced you to join? SCBWI. Amazing. Any conferences for you this summer? Any in the future plans? 

Red. Head. Out. :D 

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