MEME: 2007 Writing Roundup

Well, the meme going around the Legitimate Publicated Anointed Writers crew is to list what they’ve had pubbed in 2007. That should be easy:

Not a dang dingbat.

I could list what I’ve *written* or revised, though. Why not, although who cares. . . . *forcing the list on the world*

New: The “Pundit’s Corner” novel starring Kay and Whit at the Dallas Cable Network* to track down the bad person who is there slipping information to terry-rists via some kind of code being put into one of the daily rants of one of those selfsame Pundits. The story is really about the romance and screwball-ish comedy and the paranormal bits, but the engine for the action is that mystery/suspense bit.

*fictitious, but I think that if Atlanta can have CNN and start such a lasting trend, we can have a startup cable network for news

New: The “Marfa Lights” mystery starring Ariadne French and to some extent her sister Zoe. Cozy-ish mystery set in Marfa, Texas. Second written in Ari series, but apparently destined to be her debut as published (even if “published” only means “released as a PDF.”)

New: the NaNo novel about magic and those two teenaged sisters. It would never fly, as it’s not written in the newfangled YA style (all colloquial and like y’know all chicklitty and stuff), but it was fun to mess with for a while. Interesting ideas and a few good lines.

New: The second Jacquidon mystery. I’ve done a bit of work on this one, but what’s the use, when the first one isn’t going to fly? If a lot of people tell me they like the first one after they read the free PDF, maybe I’ll fool with it some more. It has computer crime at the heart of the mystery, and the murder actually happens onstage. Wow.

Revised a little: Ariadne’s Web. The first Ari mystery. It is a good story, but I still have to fix quite a bit of stuff before it would fly, especially now that it’s the second book in the series.

Revised a tad: Nice Work. The first Jacquidon mystery, the one y’all are welcome to a free PDF copy of. (Ooo, ending with a preposition! Daring.)

Revised: Little Rituals. Been working on it a bit here and there lately so that it can be my New Year’s gift to the world. Rather, the PDF that I try to force on the unwilling world. It’s a funny book, really it is. But it’s not “chick lit” _per se_. It’s more like _Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York_. Ever read that one? From the 1970s. It’s their version of chick lit. Ha! As is _Fear of Flying_. And I see some parallels between my book and _How I Paid for College_, which is a more recent literary-ish novel. Anyway . . . it’s a book-book.

Revised a little: Miranda’s Rights. You’d think that with the success of ‘s witchy chick lits and of ‘s similar witch stories there’d be a market for a mainstream book about a woman who lives amid people who work magic (or try to, or think they’re doing it, or actually DO it and make a mess with it) and who is tempted to mess in it without making a commitment and learns a lot doing that . . . but there’s not, at least not for me. As I said, cursed. (sigh) However, not asking Universe for anything else but healing without surgery or drugs at the moment, so let’s just try to Let Go Of That and be happy that the book even got written, as it amuses me.

Revised a little: Starla’s Version. This is the one I wrote about the waitress who gets on the road to becoming a country music “star” (or at least part of a Texas roadhouse band that tours) and finds out a lot about herself. A Southern gothic, kind of, but also has a Fried Green Tomatoes feel. But without the murder and all the boring parts of the frame story that FGT has around it. Of course this one needs even more work. Even though it has been in the pipeline longer than any of the others that have any hope of being fixed.

Revised: Camille’s Travels. You’ve all heard about how this one went on a couple of rollercoaster rides of being requested and so forth. I still think that a dark fantasy, even if it’s a bit YA, would do well in this market. But no one thinks he/she can sell it, so.

(Plus a few attempts at short fiction that reminds me why I don’t try to write short fiction. I’m a natural novelist. Can’t do short fiction.)

Well, that’s a lot of time wasted, isn’t it?! Yes, that represents a lot of time. Time that I apparently was supposed to spend doing something else. See, I keep going back and messing with these books that I think are good (but which are obviously not meeting the standard set out by several published authors in their blogs, which is “Just write a *good* book and success will come”), and that wastes a lot of time. And it’s stressful to know that it’s never going anywhere, and stressful to try to print and send it out, let alone find places to send it and then get my hopes all up and then have them dashed and be shamed by the whole idiotic endeavor. No more stress about that, at least for a while.

I do enjoy writing and reading what I’ve written, but I suspect that my gift is not for storytelling in the way that it sells today. My gift in language is for a way with words, the turn of a phrase, the eccentric character and how to get him or her across, and so forth . . . not for writing what a teenaged correspondent of one of my online acquaintances termed an “action-pact thrilr.” [sic]

But there *is* a form of artistic expression that, even if I’m not world-class at it, is instantly fulfilling. Playing the piano is fulfilling at the time I’m doing it, and can be a way of communing with the Universe. I believe that is where my gift actually lies. Not that I could do anything with THAT, either, as I’m not world-class and I’m way too old and ugly to start playing in bars and such. Still, that’s this year’s epiphany about what I am actually capable of doing, I guess.

I’ll spare you the list of songs or compositions that I can play by ear (pretty much any ballad/pop song I’ve heard that goes well on piano) or that I’ve memorized from sheet music or modified lead sheets. . . .

Onward to playing Christmas carols and wrapping presents.


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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