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Back to the real world today and yesterday (sob) but grateful that I had such a blast at KillerCon over the weekend here in Las Vegas.  Being my first conference, I was nervous, excited, hopeful, but also knew that other than new friendships, not much else probably would come from it.  However, more than just friendships sprouting from the hard ground formed, but I was inspired.  I have been working on a short story inspired by a moment that happened while at the hotel, but not truly linked to the conference because only two of us saw the event in the hallway on the 11th floor late Saturday night (or morning, not sure what time it was.)

As I have stated already, I made some great friends, created contacts that might help me on my road to success and best of all I was asked to help out next year as volunteer.  It is true, the start of the conference got off to a somewhat rocky start, but in the end, most if not everyone I spoke to said they had a wonderful time, and they are already planning next year’s trip to hang out again.  I know I have to thank Wrath for creating a warm and welcoming event, so even newbie’s to the conference world, like me, learned a lot, took steps to better ourselves and most of all, had a great time.

Plus I did something I hate to do (and yes it was all Mercedes fault again) I wrote a story in 20 minutes then got up and read it for anyone to hear.  I hate speaking in front of groups, but I guess last Friday night’s horror filled evening helped me feel more comfortable standing up and talking in front of others, which if I plan to make it as a writer, I will have to speak in front of others at panels, readings, or guest lectures. 

Plus I heard some FABULOUS stories read both Friday and Saturday night, and next year I might try reading a story aloud again, (the thought that just ran through my head was – yes Laura you are crazy.)  So I guess I am still on the high I achieved from attending KillerCon. 

Over the weekend, I learned more about myself and how to push myself as a writer each time I spoke to another person at the conference.  I doubt anybody I met at the conference realized how much of an impact each and every one of them made on me, and I am so grateful for every moment I had with each and everyone there.  I watched a new friend Christopher Boyle receive his first acceptance at the conference which warmed my heart, and many people told me they loved my story, but what really did it for me, was how each and every person there wanted to help the others who had not achieved success and the ones still looking for the brass ring had something to offer back as proof we all deserve to make it.

If you want to more about KillerCon check out www.KillerCon.com, check out my new friend Christopher at http://www.myspace.com/thishorobilcreep,   my good friend Mercedes M. Yardley at http://abrokenlaptop.com where you can learn all about our crazy time at the conference. 

I hope everyone thinks about going next year, because if this year was any indication of what next year will bring, it will be a great time, a chance to meet great friends and most of all great contacts (and yes RJ I am waiting to hear back from you.)

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This week has been exciting, difficult, stressful, fun and crazy.  I have less than a week until I go to my first writer’s conference, Killercon and I have been busting my butt trying get my work ready to hopefully present/pitch at the conference.  I am so looking forward to going, but the stress of getting ready is starting to drag me down.  Not that I mind working hard to accomplish my goal of being a publish novelist and screenwriter, but today, at the end of a long week of real work (you now the work you go to M-F to get a paycheck to pay the bills,) creative work, and trying to have a bit of fun, is making me so tired and unproductive.  I have been working all day on trying to finish up a rewrite of one of my novels (okay not the whole novel but a section to present at the conference) and I am just out of steam.  I have the drive to want to do more, but for me just typing up this blog is an effort right now. 

I have tried using music, which usually is one of my biggest forms of inspiration and motivation, but today, I can’t move forward.  I guess part of me misses doing one thing, reading.  Since I have been pushing myself so hard on my writing, I have not had any time for down time of reading.  I miss reading.  To try to keep my mind from going crazy I have found myself checking out the local news on the net to read something, but that’s not helping much.  As much as I love to write, I believe without reading, my writing will NOT grow, so to go this long without really reading is driving me crazy.

What’s worse is I have 6 new books I just bought at Barnes N Nobles with gift card money (thanks Mom for the gift card) and I have the books at home, sitting where I stare at them if I am sitting on the couch.  Maybe tomorrow on the plane to San Fran I will have time to do some reading, if I am far enough done with my writing and editing. 

And that leads me to another reason I am feeling unmotivated.  I miss writing and creating.  I haven’t written anything “NEW” in the last two or three weeks except rewrites of my novels.  I miss creating worlds, characters, plots.  Maybe I should give myself a break and just write (oh wait that is what I am doing right now.)

I guess I am just starting to long for National Novel Writing Month, www.nanowrimo.org to get me back in the swing of writing nonstop for 30 days to hit a crazy goal, but I guess after tonight I will have enough work done on the rewrite of my novel Cat Scratched that I might have a bit of down time.

Okay off to edit this (ugh) and then post it.  Have a wonderful weekend and I keep telling myself, next week I only have to work Monday through Wednesday.  YEAH!

Well, it’s a tad more than a week until the Killercon Writer’s conference here in Las Vegas.  I have been working really hard on editing my two novels and researching ways to pitch my novels.  Yes, I am scared to death at the idea of pitching my novel, afraid someone will tell me my ideas are horrible, or worse, I freeze up.  I keep telling myself, over and over and over again, you are an outgoing person, you are strong, you are willing to talk to anybody and even if someone doesn’t like my ideas, that doesn’t mean everyone will feel the same thing.  To prove that idea, I had submitted a couple different stories and had completely reasons for the stories to be rejected.  One story I was told by one publication, “It’s too gory,” while another publication said the story was “Not gory enough.”  The other story had complaints of A) “being too erotic” from one place and then B) “Not erotic enough” from another place.

Those two examples are proof that even with research of each place you submit, you may not have the thing they are looking for, but of course if you keep trying someone will accept your work.  I am hopeful to start moving into the bigger world of novels being published, and even if I don’t accomplish my goal, at least I am trying.

Wishing all of my writers friends good luck and hoping the good karma will come back around to me.

I know I shouldn’t say it, but I hate editing.  As a writer, I should at least somewhat like editing, but for me editing is the hard part of writing.  I have never been very good at it.  I am one of those writers who loves to scratch away at pen and paper (or tap quickly on the keyboard) not really worrying where the plot is going, not carrying if I am jumping tenses or even (gasp) forgetting a main character’s name, hair color, job, or whatever.  If I stop to worry about those things, I sometimes loose the idea I have, therefore stopping the momentum I have rolling down the plot hill of my story. 

I love writing, I am so happy to have had 7 acceptances this year of my work, but the editing to me is like getting a root canal done (okay I have never had one – knock on wood, but from what I hear they are pretty bad.)  I am lucky to have a great critique group and a wonderful man in my life who helps me edit my work (thanks Damian.)  However, the last week or so I have been working on editing one of my novels and I had no idea how bad my free thought, work hard at getting words on the paper, before my mind has moved on to two or three plot points farther down the road writing could be.  I am not saying the ideas are bad, which they are not, the plot, the characters, the feeling, etc are all great, well rounded, and put together well, but the grammar and spelling, let’s just say if it wasn’t for spell and grammar checker it would be even worse.

I don’t mind editing for content, I do enjoy that, making sure the characters do what they are suppose to (or if they take over, it at least makes sense) and finding where there is a plot hole to fill, but the actual grammar editing I hate.  Is that wrong for a writer to feel that way?  I guess when I edit, I start to feel like my work is not as good as it should be or could be and that makes me doubt myself and my work.  Please someone tell me I’m not the only writer who feels this way?

Well I rambled on enough for now, so off to edit this and make sure it works and nothing is out of place.  If I miss anything in the editing of this, I am sorry but hey, I am working on this while I am working and trying to build up the courage to keep editing my first serial killer story Cat Scratched so then I can go on to edit my second novel Ryan Says.  I hope to have them both at least somewhat editing by August 26 for – YEAH my first writer’s conference – Killercon, check out the conference at www.killercon.com

Tomorrow I will be having a second story posted this month on FlashShot called “Love Is A Four Letter Word” http://www.gwthomas.org/flashshotindex.htm and I am excited about the writing I have been doing lately.  I may not being hit word counts out of the ball park (which I love to do) but I am getting good words down on paper (well the screen I should say.)

Also, I recently hit a goal of $300 donated to National Novel Writing Month so I will be able to go to their Night of Writing Dangerously and bring a friend, but now I am trying to place in the most earned in donations.  I am not going to ask anyone to donate, but if you feel like it, please do, it’s for a great cause.  My parents were nice and donated in my name, because they know how much my writing means to me.  Here’s the link if you want to donate for me: http://www.gifttool.com/athon/MyFundraisingPage?ID=1891&AID=937&PID=151218

Today I added some history to a character which chilled me to the bone, which I can only hope others feel the same way about my work when it’s ready to be shown.  I know my critique group will like it when it’s ready to be shown.  I am working a couple of stories and editing another one all at the same time, but my only “problem” is that characters from each story are whispering to me for my attention.  One of the characters woke me up last night in the middle of the night to tell me something.  Luckily when I to write today, she was still talking to me and I found out why she enjoys certain insanities that she has.

I am hopeful to finish some big projects this year.  The goals for the rest of the year are:

  1. Finish editing Ryan Says so I can start trying to sell my novel
  2. Finish writing my newest novel Double or Nothing
  3. Get deeper into my plot for my untitled bank robbing bandits who are in a band
  4. Get some more stories published
  5. Win Nanowrimo this year (going to Night of Writing Dangerously should help)

Wishing everyone good luck on their goals for the year.

I recently tried to talk a friend into trying to submit a story he is working on right now.  He is acting a bit hesitate to try submitting at this point. I now understand how certain friends of mine must of have felt when I said the same thing.  The idea of not submitting work now is heartbreaking to me (right now I am editing a few stories but I have nothing truly ready to submit right now and it’s driving me NUTS.)

I am grateful about what very limited success I have achieved with my 7 short stories being picked up for publication, and I know I have to keep working at it so I start going after bigger and better markets, however, if I didn’t keep trying, for me it would be like a shark who stops swimming, I would die.  Okay not that extreme, but now that I have had a taste of seeing the word YES on a story, I want that feeling again.  To me, now, a YES is like a drug. I long for it.  Something tells me I am not the only writer who feels that way.

Furthermore, all of us should be proud of being a writer/author/artist/etc.  Please be proud of yourself.  When someone asks you what you do, please don’t answer like I use to “I pretend to be a writer.”  Once I started saying “I am a writer, I write short stories, novels, screenplays and sometimes even poems.”  I took pride in myself and that gave me the ability to try and shot for the moon.  Yes I got turned down before, and I am sure I will again, but once I stood up for myself, became proud of being a writer, I slowly began to get a YES here and there and now I can say, “I am a published author!”  Okay kind of pretentious, but hey, I do have 7 stories that will be in print or are already in print.

Keep writing, be proud of yourself and submit.  Remember the old saying, “You’ll never get the job if you don’t put in an application.”  Well that’s true about submitting, you’ll never get published if you don’t submit.

Branding myself

Posted: July 25, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Well for me this weekend has been very productive, even though I haven’t done a lot of writing, I have been working on getting my “branding” together.  Over the weekend, Damian worked on my business cards, they are going to look great, my friend Ginger Edwards http://sites.google.com/site/thelvwriters/ginger-edwards, helped me to create a page: http://sites.google.com/site/thelvwriters/laura-j-hickman

I also have started working on some other pages to get my name out, hopefully I will get enough hits on pages to help me get my name out and to help me get some exposure.  I am planning on doing some writing and editing done today.

Plus, knowing that Killercon www.killercon.com is about a month away that I need to be ready to push my novels, “Double or Nothing” which I am working on right now and “Ryan Says” that is in the process of being written.

Furthermore, last week my parents donated in my name to go National Novel Writing Month’s www.nanowrimo.org Night of Writing Dangerously in November, and I will be bringing a friend.  It will be so fun.  I am just grateful my parents enjoy donating to good causes.

Finally, I have gotten some acceptances lately including 2 stories at 6 Sentences (“Mind Games” and “The Mysterious Dr. Ramsey”,) 2 stories at FlashShot and finally my story “Animal Lover” with Pill Hill’s Press anthology Fem-Fangs.

I know with hard work, lots of hours on my new netbook (yes I love it so much) and some good luck, I can achieve my goal.