Friday, March 23, 2012

All WEEKEND Q&A!

To make up for my severe lack of posting, I've decided to make my monthly Q&A an entire weekend affair. So between your fourth viewing of The Hunger Games movie and whatever else is happening this weekend, feel free to ask me questions! I will answer everything posted before Monday.

21 comments:

  1. If you had to choose between rainbow colored dolphins or teddy bears in top hats, which would it be and why????? (Um... can you tell I've been scanning through Lisa Frank images this morning? I miss the 90s...)

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    1. Shannon, it would have to be the rainbow dolphins. I'm totally on a marine/aquatic kick with my goldfish and aquarium adventures, so yeah, rainbow dolphins all the way! Besides, teddy bears in top hats are SO pretentious:P

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    2. You have definitely chosen wisely. Although the secret, ultra-correct answer would've been unicorns. Because Unicorns ALWAYS win.

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  2. How do you handle the rewriting crazies? Specifically, how do you defeat the little voice who says things like "this is just as bad as the first time I wrote this scene; why am I even bothering to rewrite it?"

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    1. Rena, I know the rewriting crazies well. For me, the only thing that got me through was my crit partners. I had two people reading as I rewrote, and they would tell me it was better than before. That may not be much help, but that's what I did. I couldn't tell myself, and I trusted them completely.

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  3. What do you do when you have a procrastinating friend who keeps spamming your comments section because it's far more fun than working?

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    1. I enable them, because I hope they'll do the same when I'm procrastinating:)

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  4. When are you going to move next door to me and make double-portions of all of your dinners so I can "accidentally" drop by with my whole family every night right around dinner time and graciously accept your spur-of-the-moment invitation to eat with you?

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    1. As soon as I can afford San Diego. HAHAHAHA. Yeah, so that would be a LONG TIME.

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  5. So, you're on an island. Desert or tropical or snowy, your choice. And you're on said island with a clump of asparagus, a house plant, and a bottle of hairspray. While frolicking on the island you run into a group of angry-looking natives. Using your seemingly-random items, what do you do?

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    1. Hairspray on the houseplant, creating an inferno that would scare the natives. Dine on asparagus to celebrate my victory:)

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  6. How did you distract yourself during the submission process? I am starting to go a little crazy...what kept you focused and positive?

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    1. Honestly? I kinda failed at that:( I tried all sorts of things. I wrote new books (like three of them). I tried to read (but just got jaded). I tried to focus on my family (it was...touch and go there). I did other things (quilting, drawing, video games, running, copious amounts of anime watching), and none of it really fixed it 100%.

      Submission is one of the hardest things I've ever experienced, and I was there for about 18 months total if you count both times I went out to editors. At about 15 months in, after a failed submission, I actually was so depressed and anxious that I had to go on medication.

      So...I feel bad giving advice here because for all my trying, I feel like I kind of did horribly at controlling my emotions while on sub. I don't really blame anyone for how they handle the experience, and I think the best you can do is TRY. Try to fight those awful stressed scary feelings and keep on working. Because I may have sucked at controlling my emotions, but those books I wrote while on sub? They are the books I sold, so it was good I kept going in that respect.

      I wish I had a better answer, but I do wish you luck and I will send virtual cupcakes. *hugs*

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    2. Thanks for asking this, Jen, and for answering it, Natalie. I was going to ask this very same thing myself. It's only been a few weeks for me but I'm a wreck. I think I've paced a hole in the floor. I also started to reward myself for every day I don't email my agent, since the urge to write, "Any word yet? Huh huh huh?" every hour is so strong.

      Stay strong, Jen, and I wish you luck. And Natalie, as always, your honesty is really refreshing and helpful.

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    3. Natalie, thank you for your candid answer (and the cupcakes). And Laura, hang in there: you are not alone! I am desperately trying not to be "that client": I've tried to limit myself to checking in once a month-ish. (Sort of failing at that, but at least I'm trying!)

      I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing to distract myself, but it's good to know it's not easy or perfect. And Natalie, I am so happy that your stress and work has turned into success. You inspire me!

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  7. *raises hand* How do you handle parenthood and writing at the same time? I wonder about this, because though I don't have kids yet, I'm hopeful, and I sort of epically suck at multi-tasking...

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    1. Annie, I'm honestly not sure how to answer because I started seriously pursuing writing AFTER I had my first baby. So parenting and writing have always gone together for me.

      I think you just make time for the things you love, you know? At least I do. I make time for writing because it's something I want to do. It's not always easy to carve out those hours, but it's important to me. Having kids is just a different kind of busy from school or another full time job.

      I wish I could give you specific advice, but my plan of attack is always changing. I guess it's important to be flexible and to have a good support system of families and babysitters. Also, Netflix is golden with all the kid shows:P

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  8. (I'm having trouble posting - sorry if this is a duplicate.) Thanks for the all-weekend Q&A! I tend to miss the single-day ones.

    I've written both fanfic and original fiction for many years. I'd like my original fiction to eventually be published, and I'm working on re-writing my fifth novel. I've tried to set aside fanfic and focus only on original fiction, but it sort of...builds up inside me, and gets released in a big gush where I write until 4am.

    I'm worried about the lack of passion I have for my novel in comparison with fanfic. I'll struggle to write one hundred words for my novel, then switch to fanfic and write 2400 words in one sitting, or edit for three hours straight without looking up. Or just sit there and read what I've already written, because I like the story so much. (You know how many times I've re-read my original fiction for pleasure? Zero.) Also, at age 35, I wonder if I'm too old for this. When I mention writing fanfic, people look at me like I've said that I collect severed baby-doll heads.

    I guess there was no real question there. How about: Do you find yourself more excited by other people's characters than with your own? What do you do to keep yourself excited about your story and your characters when you're revising? Is there any way to convert passion for an unpublishable project into a project that could be published?

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  9. Marie, that's an interesting question! I have never written fanfic, so I don't really know how to answer except that my own characters are always more interesting to me than anyone else's. Even when I was a little kid I preferred to make up my own stuff than to read other's books, etc.

    Honestly, I don't have to try too hard to keep myself excited about my own work. I know not all writers are like that, but especially when I'm drafting I love being with my own characters and figuring them out.

    This is probably making you feel bad...you've really stumped me here!

    I guess I would say that I don't think you should feel bad for writing and enjoying fan fiction. I actually think that's super flattering that you take time to write characters you love and want to see more of. It might not be profitable, but I think writing should be for enjoyment first. You just have to love it. I wouldn't write what I do if I didn't. The love you get out of fanfic—and it sounds like it's significant—isn't something to be ashamed of. Treasure that feeling. It's the best part of writing, trust me.

    As for you being too old to start writing or whatever, that's bull. You can start whenever you want. I wish I could help you with finding passion for your own ideas, but that's really something that comes from inside. I don't know where I get mine, only that it's there. I think you can find it if you want, but if not, that's okay, too. It sounds like you're having fun and that is awesome.

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  10. What I want to know is where the deserted island scenario Sara had came from!

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