Can’t win either way

I’ve been writing again.

Β Then, I made a big mistake. I put up the opening scene of the short story I’m working on up for critiquing… and I’m discouraged by the response. This is my dilemma… there are times when I need to know if I’m going in the right direction, whether it sounds right, whether this former girl guide, goody two shoes can really write steam… and critiques send me in the wrong direction, because that’s not the way it’s “done.” Just because the fictitious rules say you have to explain, doesn’t mean that it’s wrong because I wait until a more appropriate moment… a moment when my hero isn’t ruled by his dick, but by his head. I believe there should be reality in my fiction, and I know no man who will turn down sex with the woman he loves merely because he shouldn’t. Damn the consequences, storm the torpedoes and all that.

So, I’m disheartened. Is it no good? Or should I just plow ahead and finish it the way I’d planned?

The problem is… if I wait for CPs and betas until I’m done, then I’m not in a mood to go back and rewrite the whole thing… I’m done. This is the way I want it. I’d want to know to switch tracks while I’m at the fork, not after I’ve taken the road less travelled. But if the decision to take the fork is the wrong one, and sends me to the pits of despair, then am I really better off?

Β I think not.

Give me pink what?

Ok, We’ve already established that I’m a total stats whore. Fine. But every day, someone visits my blog by doing the search “Give me pink Lara” or, to shake it up, “Lara give me pink”. Now. Whatup with that? Is it the same person? Cuz, seriously? You might want to just bookmark the site if you’re going to keep coming back every day. And if it’s not the same person, just a different person every day doing a search for give me pink lara? What they heck does it mean??

Β And, while I’m thinking of it,Β how is it pointing you here? I tend not to advertise a whole heck of a lot my pink identity over here. Just as I haven’t decided if I want to identify Lara over at a certain pink site. (And I’m not going to right now, mostly because of the aforementioned stats whoring… and certain visitors I’d rather not have making the jump) But still, what do you want a Pink Lara to give you?

Woohoo! My first lawsuit threat!

Hmm. I've started this thread a couple of times, and each post has been more me defending myself than actually having something intelligent to say. So, the title says it all. An author whose name was somewhere on this blog has threatened me with legal action if I don't remove his/her name. The name is gone now, but if you've read through my site, you'll notice it missing. πŸ™‚

Now, a couple of things here.

1. It seems to me that I have to go with "there's no such thing as bad publicity." If I'm trying to market a book I've written, personally, I'd be happy to see it on as many people's blogs as possible. Unless, of course, they all said, "Lara's book is the worst piece of shizznit I've ever read." Cuz I think that may fall under the bad publicity rule… *grin* (And I'd hope that I had a publisher that was smart enough not to publish the worst piece of shizznit ever, too. πŸ™‚ )

2. I have a lot of authors mentioned in here… Books I've read, books I've worked on, books I'm going to be pimping (like a gushing viral blog about the totally awesome Angel with Attitude that I've yet to write.). It's never occurred to me to ask an author's permission to mention her name in my personal diary. (And, I would imagine many of my favourites would have better things to do than worry about me putting their name in a list on a blog that gets 40 visitors a day. *grin*) And I can't imagine that the blogs that review whatever the author is reading have done that either. But, please, correct me if I'm wrong.

3. I've had other bloggers mention my blog and point people here, and none of them have asked my permission. And frankly the only thing I have to say about that is… woohoo! people read me!

So let me ask this of the blogosphere… do you ask permission to mention a name? Do you care?

And, is your name on here and you wish it weren't? Cuz seriously, a simple, hey! Lara! Would ya mind takin' it off? would totally suffice. Although, come to think about it… whatever happened to freedom of speech? And what exactly would ya sue me for? She… she.. she said my name! I want a million dollars in damages! (um, yeah, good luck with that…. there's $82 in my account. :P)

Random, completely unrelated thoughts.

So, I'm a geek for my stats. And I'll be honest, one of the things that bugs me about the free WordPress blog stats, is that it only tells you how many people visited your site, and if they were referred from another site. What's really wierd, is that for the past month or so, I've had a very respectable 30 – 40 visitors a day. Which, considering I haven't really been broadcasting my new name, is pretty darn cool. But then, Saturday.. a day when most people are out enjoying the sunshine and not blogsurfing, I had a whopping 128 visitors. (!!!)  I don't know where y'all came from, or if you're coming back, but I'd sure like it if you at least left a little comment to let me know who you are… πŸ™‚

 I also realized that it's about a month-and-a-half until the August 1st deadline for the Write-Ons and the deadline I set myself to finish my entry for Ellora's Cavemen contest. So I'm thinking that July is going to be La-No-Wri-Mo. Yes, that's Lara's-Novel-Writing-Month. I know that my 10K book for EC isn't going to win me a Write-On T-Shirt, but at this point, I just want to finish something.

So, who wants to join me?  It'd be nice not to have to go this alone. And I'm hoping that if enough people tell me how well they're doing, I'll feel guilty enough to actually do it this time, not just talk about it.

And, today, I turned down a freelance gig. And I'm really, really glad I did. I've been taking on a lot of extra stuff, really, to fill my time to pretend I don't notice that Mr. Pink has been spending more and more time away from me. Worse, I can't fight his mistress. Another woman I could handle (er, by dumping his ass..). But when he spends a good 20 hours a day asleep because of morphine patches and other assorted painkillers, there's nothing I can do but worry. (and be annoyed that those four awake hours are usually in the middle of the night when I'm sleeping) But I haven't really been giving myself time for me… time to write… time to recharge and veg… hell, time to clean my darn house. And I need to do that… all of it. I just kinda wish I weren't going it alone all the time.

Son of a…

You know that joke about the Devil and Jesus having a computer programming competition and the punchline is Jesus Saves? Yeah, well, you might want to remember to do this. Now, I've been burned before. My auto save in MS Word is set to save every 2 minutes, so at most I could only lose 1 and a bit minutes worth of work. I'm seriously anal about saving my work, just. in. case. Except, apparently, today. I don't know where my brain was. I had a pile of programs open, because I was assigned a totally bogus project that is a serious waste of my time and in a few months, I'm going to have to do it all over again, and I've already done it once. I was bitter about doing this and I was just trying to get through it. Well, damned if Adobe Acrobat went and crashed on me. I edit for the day job in PDF. Acrobat lets me draw pretty pictures over the writers' text and then they get to decide whether they want to listen to my pretty pictures or not. So, after 60 pages of pretty pictures… CRASH. The whole program shut down and wouldn't let me save the work I'd done. 

So now tomorrow, I'm going to get woken up very, very early, when tech support, which is in a much earlier time zone than I am, gets my freak out ticket and calls me when they get in. (I usually roll into work around 10 a.m. I love working at home. πŸ™‚ ). Then I have to re-do those 60 pages. Argh.
 So in this case… don't forget to Save. And then do it again. Trust me. You'll be glad you did.

Dammit, dammit, dammit.

So, I went on a bit of a writing frenzy tonight. Not really sure where it came from, but I quite enjoyed what was coming out of my fingers. But I got so caught up in the moment, that when the hero found his way.. uh…inside, he wasn't wearing a raincoat. Which is so not the direction I wanted to take this story. It's a short. A really, really short. I do not want to start dealing with ramifications. But the flow was so good, that to stop while he went to find his raincoat would have completely fucked things up (pardon the pun. πŸ™‚ )

So I'm sitting here going, shit, shit, shit and Mr. Pink looks over to find out what's wrong. We get into this big discussion of whether the hero would have something on him. And Mr. Pink's giving me all these excuses and I'm countering every single one. Finally, I get him to admit that my hero would be a total nerd if he did have something, so my characters are gonna have to suck it up and deal with the consequences.

Fortunately, after the fact, my heroine revealed that she's on the Pill, which means we're all good in the baby department, but I've read a bunch of discussions that "bareback" tends to pull a reader out of the story because of all the other potential issues…

What do you think? If you're reading erotic romance, do the h/h abolutely, positively need raincoats, or if it fits the story, is it ok to leave it out? 

Goin’ to the Capital

No, not Toronto. Ottawa. πŸ™‚

 Today's mail brought me an invite to the "Sweet or Spicy" conference being held by the Ottawa Romance Writers in September. I've always wanted to do a conference. But between the exchange rate, and plane fare, and conference dues and all that stuff, it's just never been financially feasible. (Odd, the bank wanting their mortgage payment on time and in full every month. heh.)

But Ottawa is a mere hop, skip and a jump along the 401, and, fees being in CDN$, means I don't have to worry about the exchange rate. So I'ma thinking I'm gonna go.

Anyone wanna come with me? πŸ™‚ 

Grrr. Argh.

Ok. I took one class. One. Intro to HTML class. Sure, I got a darn good grade in the class. But to say that I'm now talented enough to start creating wordpress templates and revamping my website so it looks as awesome in real life as it does in my head, well. not so much. 

 I always do that. I think that now that I've learned to walk, I can run a marathon. Immediately. Without training. Without practicing. Without any time and effort put in. I've always been like that. It's one of my worst faults. I'm a giant perfectionist, and if I can't get perfection right out of the gate, I get frustrated and give up. Hmm. I wonder why Lara doesn't write as much as she wants to.

But it's driving me crazy that I can't do this. I know ex-ac-tly what I want. I think it'll look darn cool. And, sure, I could pay any of the talented designers out there to do it for me, the thing is, I'd rather they taught me how to do it. I want to be able to do it.

And damn it, I'm stubborn enough that I'm gonna keep at it until I get it. But I'm probly gonna go insane trying to get there.

Something looks a little different around here

I know. I've been playing with the look in here, because none of the templates that come with the free wordpress blog really say… Lara …

 I'm trying to move this whole blog over to my website, where I'll have more creative control over the look. I just have to wait for my host to give me the permissions I need to do that. 

Besides, it's fun to look at something new and different every once in a while. *grin* 

Put it in a bubble and let it go…

It's funny. If you'd asked me in University or for many years after that, what kind of guy I'd end up with… i'd have said a computer geek… slightly pudgy, receding hairline, glasses, the whole stereotype. Then I met Mr. Pink. Tall, thin, hot… and a jock. Now, I'm a computer geek, a bookworm, an artsy type. There is nothing athletic about me. How Mr. Pink and I ended up falling in love, I'll never know, but I guess opposites really do attract.

The thing about Mr. Pink is everything comes down to a sports analogy. I mean EVERYTHING. What restaurant we want to eat at, how we're gonna raise our kids, how someone at work hurt my feelings… everything. And since I know nothing about sports, I tend to just nod and smile. πŸ™‚ But he said something the other day that really hit me…

 The only play that counts is the one you're playing right now.

What he means, is that you can't worry about the last play that you messed up, or the one before that, or even the one before that, because if you're worrying about the past, you're not focusing on the present, and you're doomed to keep messing up. And as he was saying this, it was like a giant light bulb went off over my head… actually, not like, I'm pretty sure one did go off, cuz Mr. Pink kept asking what was wrong because of the look on my face πŸ™‚

How much of my past am I holding on to when I write? 

Ten years ago, an evil woman wrote "Your writing is so juvenile, you couldn't even write for Harlequin" on an assignment I handed in. Now, you have to understand, that this instructor (scarily, she ran the book and magazine publishing graduate studies program) HATED Harlequin. She actually brought in Marsha Zinberg from HQ to speak to our class, and then a week later called the books they publish "junky little books" (I admit, I sat through Marsha's entire presentation waiting for the evil instructor to say something derogatory… fortunately, she didn't). But my point is, saying I couldn't even write for Harlequin was, to her, the ultimate insult. And I've never let that go. Every time I sit down to write, her voice is in my head telling me this over and over again.

And I remember all the bad… the bad marks on assignments. The boss who bitched that something I wrote was crap, even though I wrote it like the sample I was handed and told to make it look exactly like that. The idiot co-worker who was so full of himself that he rewrote my work while I was on vacation (and added in spelling and grammar mistakes)… and the boss who ended up taking me to task for my attitude for getting upset about it. Even a friend's second book that is so awesome, I know I could never write as well nags me.

And this haunts me while I write.

What I don't let in… and probably should… is the good stuff.

  1. In my grade 11 creative writing class, my short story was one of two that was picked to be published in the book featuring the best of our assignments.
  2. I was one of only ten people in my year who graduated with a BFA, specializing in Playwriting. (And the ONLY ONE who turned it into a double stream with Production, btw.)
  3. For the past seven years, "writer" has been part of every day job I've held.
  4. I was a finalist in the first writing contest I entered… and the judge (a managing editor) asked to see my stuff… and more of what I write.
  5. I've written back cover copy … for 2 Harlequin books. (take that, evil instructor πŸ˜› )

 And you know what? These successes far outweigh the bad.

So the next time I sit down to write, the only thing I'm going to let myself focus on is what I can do with this scene, in this book. And nothing else. Because what I'm working on RIGHT NOW… is the only play that counts.

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