Easy Come, Easy Go

Well, actually, it’s more like “Difficult to Gain, Easy to Lose”. I’m referring to agents. They can be as difficult to acquire as a three-seated bicycle. Often, unless you know someone who has one, you may be out of luck. Even then, you can lose out.

Nonetheless, it’s important to get an agent that fits, not only your needs, but your personality, too. It’s no good to sign with an agency, only to get stomach aches because you feel you can’t trust them. Likewise, it’s all well and good to have a decent relationship with an agent, but if she/he is trying to do something with YOUR book that you feel isn’t right, you need to reconsider your alliance.

Don’t be afraid to speak to agents. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And especially, don’t be afraid to look for a different agent, should the need be. This is your career, your future, your image they’re handling. They need to do it right and you need to be comfortable enough with them to say, “No. I don’t want you to do that.”

I recently lost my agent through no fault of either of ours. She took me on when she had extra time, yet became immediately very busy right after and found herself with way too many clients. There had been no contracts signed between us yet. These things happen. The important thing is that I can capitalize on my time with her. But I’m not going to rush into the first contract I can find.

Some Scenes

Some scenes burn like gasoline on fire coming out. It feels like you can’t type or write fast enough, or even think straight. We, as writers, all love scenes like that. It’s when we truly feel alive. WE ARE WRITERS!

Other scenes come out like pulling fingernails out with your teeth. We write, erase, write again, erase again. In between, we pace, stare out the window, play games on the computer, and sometimes cry. We doubt ourselves as writers. We wonder what we were ever thinking to assume we could write. That’s when some people give up.

Come on, we all know them. “I wrote the first couple chapters, but then nothing came.” “I got about half way through and lost the story.” “It just doesn’t interest me anymore.”

I know quite a few writers and ex-writers like that. They mistakenly assume that, since the flash of inspiration is gone, so is the story. Instead of gutting it out and writing what little bit they do know, they just wait for the burn to reappear. Sometimes they wait the rest of their lives.

And you know the kicker? I’ve found that my writing is much better when that wonderful feeling of inspiration isn’t around to distract me, when I actually have to work to get my story on the page and get it right, when I have to write a bare skeleton and layer things in as I discover them, like building muscles and organs and skin, until it’s a body. Those are the scenes that are best for me. Not only do they mean more, but I’m more willing to cut and change what isn’t right.

I just wrote two scenes. The first was unbearably difficult. It took me 3 days to write 4 pages. I turned right around, inspiration furnace on, and slammed out the second scene in 20 minutes. I don’t have to look at them to know which will be the more difficult to edit.

It’s all well and good for me to mourn when inspiration is hiding on the other side of the globe, but then it’s time to get down to the work of writing. And editing. Lots of editing.

It Begins

I’m at a short (very) lull between editing two projects.  So, I started getting together thoughts for my next The Griffin Wars book, I Am Phoenix.  I’ve tried different beginnings, different plot lines and I think I finally found it.  I actually have the first couple pages roughed out.

Wanna read part of it?  Okay, since you seem excited about it too, here it is:

Life poured into me and I opened my eyes to the inky well of a starless night. As always in times like this, it took me awhile to get my bearings. To understand that I’d died. Again.

My body remembered, though. Every cell of it ached, even as the burning hot blood of new vitality coursed through it, mending broken bones, cuts, and ruptured organs. I’d always thought it an odd sensation, not burning or itching exactly. It was more of an undefined pressure, sometimes a pinch, on specific parts of me. Of course, I wouldn’t be completely healed for a few more days yet. I’d have to take it easy until then. I let my eyes close and concentrated on the changes within me.

As I became more aware of my surroundings, it slowly dawned on me that I wasn’t alone.

“Enias,” I said, my voice soft, barely stronger than a passing thought.

He didn’t answer, which was odd for him. Then, the someone who wasn’t Enias, cleared his throat.

I didn’t want to disrupt any healing that might be going on in my spine, so I carefully turned my head toward the intruder and opened my eyes. Though it was dark, I could see quite well. After all, I had bird sight. Some birds couldn’t see well in at night, but others, like owls, could. And I was like one of the latter.

About fifteen feet away, I saw a man in his mid-thirties squatted on an oblong boulder that jutted a couple feet out of the ground. I say mid-thirties, but really, if he was one of my kind, how could I tell his age for sure? I, myself, only looked to be in my late twenties, but was in fact over four hundred years old.

Judging by the height of his knees in front of him, he was tall. He also had no paunch to push his legs away from his body. Nice. His shoulders were broad and his biceps looked well-muscled. A beefcake. Not so nice. While I enjoyed a six-pack as well as any girl, I didn’t like the personality that usually came with it. 

I couldn’t tell the color of his hair, it was either black or a very dark brown, like mine. Some perverse part of me wanted it black, something different from the norm. 

There was an old scar bisecting his left eye from his hairline all the way to his lower lid. All the features on that side of his face pulled slightly to it, like a giant wink. It didn’t make him unhandsome, though. Somehow, it added to his appeal. Could he see out of that eye?

“Welcome back to the living, little phoenix.” His voice was low, strong, and smooth, sending a shiver through me. I couldn’t explain its effect on me. It was a sensuous voice, sure, but it carried another subtle message: a warning.

Anyway, it’ll just be catch as catch can for awhile because I’m thick in the middle of another project.  But I’ve got a start!  *thrill*