Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I tried the lyric-writing exercise, & actually came up with something! I started with a story I didn't think I knew enough about yet, & had no idea what a song for it could be like. The next thing I knew, I had lyrics to a song. The first verse goes, "Jill, Jill, who's the pretty one now? Jill, Jill, who's the smart one now? Who's getting the accolades? Just look at the mess you've made." I envisioned it being sung by a pop punk girl band, but the tune in my head was vaguely reminiscent of a song I finally recognized as the 70s song "Rock On" by David Essex (you know, "still looking for that blue jean, baby queen, prettiest girl I ever seen," etc.), but faster. Odd, but I was glad I managed to do it! I haven't attempted lyrics for my other stories yet, but I did compile a list of all of my novel ideas and ongoing projects, along with a summary for each, and then did the same for my picture book and short story ideas. It's the first time I've ever written up some of that information and definitely the first time I've had it in one place and easily accessible, so I felt really good about it.

I did not feel so good about not placing in the SmartWriters.com W.I.N. contest. I didn't expect to place so I didn't expect to be upset about it. And indeed I was not upset about my YA entry not being a finalist. In that case, though, I knew my approximately 1,000-word sample didn't fully represent the actual 2,500-word opening chapter, & I know the manuscript does need more work, & I've already had outside validation that the novel has promise. It was the picture book category that got to me, I think because the picture book runners-up and honorable mentions were all described as needing more work. If my submissions didn't even place, how much work must they need? Sigh. My guess is that most of my picture books are just too quiet or too ordinary to stand out, so rewriting probably won't be enough to save them.

I half-thought I just throw in the towel, thinking how bad my chances will be in the slush piles of the world. But today, I knew I really must be a writer. My husband and I were arguing and I felt quite horrible about the whole situation, but even in the midst of it I found myself wondering how I could use it in a story! And then made a note to use a related fight in my next YA novel! Crazy, huh? I also finally came up with a working title, This is the End, for the next YA, and a probable name, Jessie, for the main character. I'm still working on the names of the other major characters--or rather, which character should have which name! But of course, this is not the project I mean to be working on right now, so these are just notes!


Anonymous said...

Hey babe- Checking out your Blog- I keep wanting to comment on every entry it is so interesting! (unlike mine- puke). BTW We are the same rubber duck.

Hey my pb Hon ment. was one that got "keep trying ":). I felt it far inferior to my other entry- but more unique. I love some of the "verbiage"(But I am going to cut some) I am certianly not dising Kate but you may find it useful to visit her site. Get inside her head. Itt is more than likely an individual preference "thang"

I was listening to Clive James last night. And he does that. every interaction, every relatiionship is potential book fodder.

You are a writer.

Cassandra said...

These contests are a crapshoot and R.Y. told my crit buddy that there were 500 pb entries. Your lack of public humiliation via posted critique is not necessarily a bad thing. ;)

Hugs to you.