4/27/18 – UPDATE

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It’s been a while and I wanted to give an update on me and my writing because this matters to me and if you’re reading this, maybe it matters to you, too.

  • It’s been almost a full year since Good You Were Here went live on Amazon! Craziness. To celebrate the anniversary (May 19th) I’m probably going to be doing a giveaway. More on that in the future.
  • I finished a first draft of my short play, Royal Bring Your Dog to Dinner Day. I was writing it for a local homeschool group and learned they are not actually going to be performing a play this year. No worries. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing it performed sometime in 2019.
  • After finishing the play, I picked back up my 2015 NaNo Novel Tulip Season. There’s a lot of very good stuff there but it needs some work and some revising. Not a lot of headway on that but we’ll see. Definitely a story I want to finish and send out into the world sooner than later.
  • I got a little bit stuck and overwhelmed with Tulip Season since it’s a longer book, so I picked back up a story I’ve been developing probably since 2010. It has a working title of Beanstalk and Basket and it’s a crossover of Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood. I’m really excited at the prospect of writing a book for a younger audience since my 13-year-old sister and 8-year-old brother love reading and have been asking me for books geared more towards them.

There are several reasons why I’ve been more absent for almost a month from my blog and from my writing social media in general. I’ve been busy with: life in general, my two other jobs, family/friends/relationship. But I’ve also been struggling with a general lack of sleep, some anxiety, and imposter syndrome.

If you aren’t familiar with imposter syndrome, Wikipedia defines it thus: “Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.”

For me, this has meant feeling like my writing isn’t ‘that good’, that no one really cares about my writing, that I’m too lazy to be a full-time writer, that I should stop trying to make it more than a hobby because I’ll just be wasting my time, and that no one will take me seriously. I have good support systems helping me overcome this but it’s going to be a process. Over this last month, I kept wanting to give updates, especially as I was tip-typing away and making progress on stories, but I kept thinking, “Eh, no one cares, it doesn’t really matter.”

But it does matter. A lot. Stories matter and no one else can tell the stories I have to tell. It may be slow going, but there’s no reason I can’t potentially help support myself with my writing. It will take a lot of hard work, but I’m capable of hard work. I want to put in the work. I just have to believe it matters.

So there’s my update. It is still my goal to have a blog post up every Tuesday and Friday. My overall writing goal for the year is to publish at least one book. I had originally had the lofty ambition of publishing at least three books, but I’m okay with downsizing that goal so I can put out something truly beautiful.

Thank you for reading and thank you for sticking with me. Stories coming soon, I promise. 

God bless,

Clare

 

Related Posts:

Future Projects – 1

What I Wrote Today 4

It Is Good That We Are Here – The Why Behind the Title

 

 

Blogmas 2017 – Day 10/31 – Future Projects 1

Future Projects 1: Tulip Season

Welcome to my Future Projects series! The first future project I’d like to introduce to you is a novel called Tulip Season.

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A Synopsis: Gwen Bruno, a woman in her 50s, lives alone in a small town in Iowa where she works at a greenhouse. Her life is quiet and lonely, but she likes it that way. After a tragedy over a decade before, she doesn’t want anyone getting too close. One day, a teenager named Tom shows up at the greenhouse looking for a job. As Gwen reluctantly takes Tom under her wing and the seasons change, they find that they fill a great and unnamed longing in each other. If only Gwen could put to rest the carefully guarded secrets from her past.

The Story Behind the Story: Tulip Season was the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2015. As you can see from this very elaborate cover I designed, it is based on Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen. It was an idea I had while on a long road trip home in the back of my family’s car years before that…probably 2011 or so. Eventually, I also added the story of Tom Thumb to help fill some of the gaps in the plot.

I have always liked fairy tales and for a long time, I was exclusively writing retellings of different fairy tales. I was fighting off mind-numbing boredom in the back of the car and I had my notebook and pen out, brainstorming story ideas. As I sat there, looking out fields and highway turning gold in the sunset, I started to think about the tale of Thumbelina. (Long story short, an old woman wishes for a child, magically receives a tiny girl from a flower, and then that girl is kidnapped by a frog and has a long adventure before marrying a fairy prince.) It struck me that, as far as we know, Thumbelina never returns to the mother who had longed for her for so long.

Immediately, I decided I wanted to tell that woman’s story. I thought about different ways to do it, whether or not I would keep the element of Thumbelina being small, and what era I would set it in. The story changed a lot from my original ideas (some of which are pretty strange and embarrassing) but I actually wrote an entire first draft during NaNoWriMo 2015.

I was so excited about this book. I made covers, book trailers, found actors and actresses who looked the way I envisioned the characters, you name it. I even had my friend Heather of Heather-Draws-Things do a sketch of Gwen:

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In spite of all that, I’m sorry to say that it wasn’t long before I abandoned Tulip Season. The intense pace and word count demand of NaNoWriMo forced me to add and change things just to get to 50k, and the story hadn’t turned out how I hoped it would. I decided there were major changes I wanted to make and I didn’t have the emotional energy to go back and completely deconstruct a 50,000-word novel.

Recently, I shared the general story with my sister Terese and friend Mary. They loved it and encouraged me to go back and finish it. I don’t know when, but I hope to give this book new life. It’s a beautiful story. I want to share it with you guys.

An Excerpt:

Once in the emergency room waiting area, it took her a while to find Tom, because the lobby was full of people with various injuries she tried not to get too good a look at, from fishing hooks caught in hands to a man with his foot in a bucket for unclear reasons.  When she finally spotted him, he was sitting in a chair with his left foot propped up on another chair. He was talking to a teenager with long, greasy hair and his hand wrapped in part of his t-shirt.

Gwen hurried over, and came in on the tail end of their conversation.

“… yeah,” Tom was saying. “That’s another reason to wear the gloves. And that whole ‘stop, drop and roll’ thing is legit,”

“No kidding,” the kid grumbled, rubbing his hand gingerly. “Damn. It hurts,”

“Don’t worry, that’s a good sign. If it actually hurts, that means it’s not that bad,” Tom said. “Trust me, kid, if you didn’t feel anything now, you’d probably be losing your hand,”

“Tom?” Gwen interrupted gently.

Tom turned and looked up at her. He had dark rings under his eyes and his face appeared more stubbly than normal. He looked ten years older than he had when she last saw him. But when he saw her, he broke into a huge grin.

Gwen had a sudden, unbidden flashback to a little girl with playground sand in her hair and a scrape on her cheek, having just fallen off of a swing-set, staring up at her waiting to be swept up and kissed and to be made all better.

“Gwen!” he exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”

Gwen crouched down beside his chair. “I came to make sure you were okay,” she said softly.

 

Thanks for reading, God bless!

Clare

 

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