Ahh, man. All the different ways I could word my apology! I have plenty of reasons, excuses and explanations for why there hasn't been a word out of me in forever. But maybe I'm just flattering myself that people are waiting? I mean lets be honest. I wouldn't hang around this blog, either, dead as it's been.
Since I've started dancing gain, I've (joyfully!) let ballet consume my life. Getting back into shape is a painful, time-consuming process, but I've been thoroughly enjoying it anyway. Even if it has pushed things like blogging, novel-writing and book-reading to the bottom of the pile.
But hey! Enough about the past. I'm blogging right now! Yay!
So, I thought I'd talk about something - just briefly - that I've been learning to do in ballet and that (as I so cleverly thought, while I was trying to decide on a blog post topic) realized can apply to writing, too. Actually, it can apply to any passion you have in life, that you want to do well at. And that is giving 200%. Giving your all. Every last ounce of your strength and willpower, and then some. Doing the best that you can, simply because you love something, even when it hurts. Even when you feel like you're failing. Even when the sweat rolls down your back.
Heard it before?
Writing takes so much (emotional) strength and willpower. Maybe it's not as physically exhausting as something like dance, but it will still make your brain hurt! It can make you cry and ache in a different way. But still, like any art form, it's something we do because we're passionate about it, despite the pain. Because we enjoy it. We love it. Right? If you're shaking your head, then maybe you need to be doing something else. I can't imagine what would motivate you to slave through the writing process but pure, raw love for the art of it. The experience. The reward. Whatever it means to you, personally. Unless it's money.
And in that case, maybe you need to be doing something else, too. But that's a different topic entirely.
Anyway. That love and passion is how I feel about dance. It's what motivates me to lift my leg just an inch higher, to point my foot a smidge harder, to put a smile on my face even when I feel clumsy and not-good-enough. That love for the art of dance, the expression through movement, is what motivates me to give 200% of myself. And then some. To mean it.
I firmly believe that THIS is the mindset that will carry you to your dreams.
Continue to give your best and give your best. Take correction, absorb encouragement, don't forget to breathe, and above all keep pressing forward. Because one day you'll meet your small goals, and then your bigger goals, and you'll be where you want to be, living life how you want to live it.
And until then, enjoy the process.
Enjoy the drafting. Enjoy the revising. Enjoy the editing. Enjoy the polishing. Enjoy the tearing, the shredding, the tears, the laughter, the disappointment, the success, the failure, the excitement, the raw passion. Because you love this. And you can do it.
I believe in you.
And then some.
I'm done. Have wonderful Wednesdays, everyone! Enjoy the sunshine if it's sunny where you are, and the rain if it's raining where you are. And talk to me in the comments! Tell me what's new, how your novels are going, if you have any weekend plans. It's been forever.
Best part of today: Cold weather, warm sunshine. Currently craving: A warm drink. Music pick: "Time" by Hans Zimmer (Inception soundtrack) I'm reading: "Reckless" by Cornelia Funke (it's so-so, in case you were wondering) WIP: Drafting Survival (32,638 words)
Hey, hey! We've been tagged by the lovely Silent Pages. (And twice by Amanda. The fien––charmer.) And we figured we'd just do a double-whammy post and squish all the awesomeness together. Less confusion (and fewer bloggers we have to tag) that way. Let's get this started!
1. What is the name of your book?
Maggie: Survival. Which, I'd like to say, is a VERY temporary working title! I know it's cliche, I know. I'll think of something else. Constance: Ze name is Guilt! I dunno if it's cliché...but it fits. Like...a lot. You'll see soon, pretties.
2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
Maggie: Hmm...where did it come from? Well, I've always been fascinated by survival, and the idea that we 21st-centurians are too dependent on modern conveniences, to the point where if we were stranded in the wild for a couple days it could be the end of us. One of my favorite TV shows ever is Man vs. Wild-- I've seen every single episode available on Netflix. So I guess this story was just waiting to happen. :) It felt really natural once I got the idea (what if five teenagers, who don't really get along with each other, were put in a survival situation together!?!?) and started plotting for it.
Constance: My idea. HMM. I'm not entirely sure! I often wonder what it would be like to be stuck with different abilities––not necessarily awesome things like invisibility and flying and controlling elements––and be the only one. And once, a year or two ago, after feeling guilty about something my brother got in trouble for (I'm rather sensitive to the emotions of those around me...I'd say empathetic, but I can't use that word without thinking empath and super powers, which I do not have. So. =P), I wondered––what would it be like for someone to get the guilt of those around her...all the time. And from the times I'd taken the blame for things when I was little just so the getting-in-trouble could be done with, I added into that: what if the only way she could get rid of it was to 'fess up for these things she didn't do? (That bit has since been revised, but not totally.) 3. In what genre would you classify your book?
Maggie: Adventure, for sure. There's nothing fantasy in it at all (which is very unusual for me). It's (hopefully) gritty, real, and (definitely) set in this day, age and world. So, yes. Adventure. Constance: Fantasy! Not epic, because it's very much focused on one person, and the world doesn't hang in the balance. But decidedly fantasy. However, it's not quite a medieval fantasy, either. They wear trench coats and fedoras, guns exist but aren't popular, and they have technology––through magic. It's supposed to have a sorta noir vibe. That's the goal, anyway. 4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?
Maggie: Eesh. I'm going to have to agree with what Silent Pages said and go with whoever would play the characters best. I've no idea when this book will hit the bookshelves and, even less, when it would hit the big screen. (Like the optimism? I have big plans for my stories!) So even if I *did* choose actors now, they'll all be too old by the time it's ready. So, I'd say whatever budding young talents walk into the audition room and NAIL my characters will make me very happy. Constance: I am going to be more exciting than Maggie, Amanda, AND Silent Pages by actually choosing a few people. If in some lovely world where my novel was finished, published, and had a movie in the works, my ideal cast would be...Andrew Lee Potts would be my MC's brother, Bazel. Which is wrong, because my MC and Bazel are actually Middle-Eastern in my head, but...I recently watched Syfy's Alice miniseries, and Potts plays Hatter, and he sorta acts like I imagine Bazel. So. Ethnicity aside, Potts could play Bazel's personality to the B. One of these darlings would be Twitchett, one of my other character's pet dragon. He's cat-sized like that, even. *pets him lovingly* (Because dragons make everything better!) I don't have anyone for the MC or Helena. But yeah. You gets Bazel and Twitchett, what more could you want? 5. Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.
Maggie: One sentence? Well, for the first time, I'm ready with an answer! (Usually, I hem and haw at this question.) 5 teens are stranded in the wilderness of the Smoky Mountains and must rely on 17-year-old Liora Caldwell's knowledge of survival (and each other) to make it back to civilization- alive. May not be the most cleanly-written one-sentence synopsis you've ever read, but that's the story in one sentence! (Liora's the MC, if you didn't already figure it out...) Constance: I had one sentence once. I don't know where I stashed it. Off the top of my head it is! When guilt-cursed Rena comes across the trail of a serial killer she must accept her estranged brother's help to track down the killer before he tracks her down––or the guilt from the murders drives her insane. Meh. I liked the other one I had better. 6. Is your book already published?
Maggie: *snorts* No way. I'm not even finished drafting it!
Constance: What Maggie said. 7. How long did it take you to write your book?
Maggie: Wait, is the point of this to talk about a finished manuscript?? I thought it was your latest WIP? Well, uhmm... so far, I've been writing it for a month. Which is long, for me. I've been too busy to write the past couple weeks. It better not take any longer than half of September to finish. *severe glare at myself*
Constance: Oh heck no. I am not going to start this blog post over with a finished MS. Maybe I'll do that in a later blogpost. I was tagged three times, I could do that. =P Ahem. I've been working on it officially since mid-July. June. I can't remember. I get those two mixed up sometimes. 8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?
Maggie: I don't know. I don't read adventure. *shrug* Constance: Er. Um. Er. I know not. I read fantasy, but I can't think of any other fantasies with noir-bents. (That's more steampunk, I think, and I don't read those much.) Grace...ling? No. Uuuhhh...Stories with magic in the backdrop, but main characters with unique abilities, weird even for a world with magic? WHY DO YOU ASK HARD QUESTIONS? 9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?
Maggie: None? I just got inspired and had to write it. No authors involved. ^^ Constance: None. 10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.
Maggie: It's big on psychology and relationships and the like. I'm having too much fun exploring the emotions of being stranded in the wild, the intense stress/burden of being the sole person responsible for the fate of four lives, etc. Also, the concept that you don't really know someone's true colors until you survive in the wild next to them. (My fascination with that idea began while watching Out Of The Wild: Alaska and Out Of the Wild: Venezuela, trying to predict who would be the first to bottom out and who would be the strongest and last 'till the end.) Survival has a lot of emotional turmoil, ups-and-downs, surprising twists, etc. and I'm really having fun putting my characters to the ultimate test, pushing their limits, and watching them break down (or rise up). Constance: A girl who gets guilt from bad guys! And is a bounty hunter with a trench coat! And a mini-crossbow! Dragons. Unicorns (I have a link to explain how I logicked that one). Psycho villain (those are my favorite kind)! Did I mention the dragons?
11. Tag five people!
1. Matt at One Page At A Time. (You've been tagged twice, dahling. You MUST blog. ^^) 2. My(Constance's) beautiful, brilliant, charming, funny crit partner Rachel at Fortune Favors the Brave. (So maybe I just wanted to take the moment to brag about her existence. You would too.)
3. Kaye at Watercolor Moods. She's so pretty and smart and should brag about her awesome story more.
5. André! He doesn't exactly have a blog, but he has a tumblr, and he can use that, and I'm running out of teens and he better do it or else. *pleasant smile*
Feel free to grab and fill one of these out, even if you haven't been tagged! Maybe those aren't the rules, but they are now. And for your grab-and-filling-out convenience, here are the blank, unanswered questions:
1. What is the name of your book?
2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
3. In what genre would you classify your book?
4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?
5. Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.
6. Is your book already published?
7. How long did it take you to write your book?
8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?
9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?
10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.