Saturday, November 03, 2018

Fired Up

I'm currently working on a fresh collection of my short stories which are not featured in Write Around the Bay. Many I wrote quite a while ago so they are rejuvenated to my eyes once again. A few I extracted from my blog and have worked diligently on perfecting them to the best I can achieve, many taking your comments into consideration as to how they can be improved. I thank you all for that.

I am fired up about this new collection (called Rock Salt or Embers of Time) and feel it has potential perhaps with a local publishing house, or maybe one that has a wider readership. Though I am under no illusion with regard to publication. I don't know what the secret is and often wonder at how some books get published that are so poorly written and edited with a count-the-cliches element running beneath the turgid prose. I read such one recently and persisted even though I wanted to toss it against the wall. A form of study, if you will, as to how writers/publishing houses get away with this. It failed dismally in the respecting of the reader philosophy I hold dear and the last two chapters particularly were persistent slaps in the face to that theory. A few clunkers: "hipbones protrude from my waistline" (huh?) "I watched her drop on to the sofa, a giraffe making an ungainly attempt to sit" (huh, again). And hundreds more of such appalling metaphors that yanked me from the story-line repeatedly. But I do learn from such reading adventures.

And then I feel a bit harsh and judgey. Because I know how hard the whole process is. How agonizing the editing can be. How every writer I know is fearful of readers' opinions. So creativity of any kind has to be nurtured and supported.

I am squirreled away at the moment, not answering bells and buzzers and tinkling phones. It's raining outside and I'm not taking it to heart.

I'm taking a break to blog before combing my blog once more for buried treasure ready to be edited and ironed and stroked.



14 comments:

  1. You would make a fine editor.

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    1. I have edited Gigi, so thanks for your acute observation. It is a thankless and never ending task. I had to go away for a week once to finish-edit the last book.

      XO
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  2. That is very exciting news indeed. I send you best wishes that it gets published eventually. Don't worry about the blogging. We will wait.

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    1. Thank you Ramana and I do hope you will publish your words of wisdom :)

      XO
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  3. You'll have no trouble, I feel sure, finding "buried treasure" here WWW!

    My copy of your book is now track-worthy - should arrive mid-week, I'm looking forward to having something good and new to read at last! I'm currently on a re-reading binge, having been disappointed so many times with new stuff. :)

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    1. I am so thrilled you're going to read it T. I do hope you enjoy it.

      I just finished a marvellous book called "The Home for Unwanted Girls" based on a true story in Quebec in the fifties and sixties. Horrifying.

      XO
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  4. I'm with you on some of the trash that is not only inexplicably published, but inexplicably becomes bestsellers. What?! It's all gotta be about marketing and promotion, not the skill of writers and editors or even the importance of the story.
    And then, some readers really do seem to prefer trash. Just sayin'.
    And of course personal taste can change so much between early life and later life, when it comes to reading material. A series of books that fascinated me in my twenties and thirties now leaves me cold. And the other way around, too.
    To be properly published and promoted, my writerly friend, you just have to hold your mouth a certain way.
    But seriously, what is it? I have a friend who writes beautiful letters and poetry that are true and moving, but his prose always sounds preachy and false. I'm sure the right editor could help him turn it into something if he was willing to do the work and trust that person, but because he's a competent writer in some ways he won't listen to anyone who could publish his work. What can you do?
    -Kate

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    1. Preachiness in any writing can come off as superior and distant. And perhaps not totally what the writer intends. I will never forget all the tears coming at me after performances of my play, some literally sobbing on my shoulder. Words have great power if we feel them in our hearts before putting them on paper.

      Ahem. Do I sound very preachy here?

      XO
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  5. I share your bafflement at how many obviously badly written books get published. Editors simply aren't doing their job properly. And no doubt well-established authors can get away with shoddy writing and no editing at all because their books will sell however low the quality.

    "I often wonder at how some books get published that are so poorly written and edited with a count-the-cliches element running beneath the turgid prose." Couldn't agree more.

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    1. It astonishes me Nick. Then again maybe readers just skim along and don't demand much of these kinds of best-sellers. I passed this book on to a less demanding friend and will be curious as to how she reacts.

      XO
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  6. Do hope publishing your book does become a reality. Enjoyed reading the previous story about your Dad and the cigar — light and funny as you described that experience but can be touchy walking that line in the adult-child - parent relationship.

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    1. Yes, it's a shaky line Joared, that interchangeable adult/child thing. Thanks for your good wishes.

      XO
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  7. I have barely read a thing for years and when i did i liked best sellers. I devoured them without thought for style because the narrative is what drives me and now I wonder, did I not notice style because it was good or because I just didnt think?

    I wish you the best with your project, it has to be exciting no matter the outcome :)

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    1. Exactly Kylie, I don't think of the outcome, though I may put a little bit more effort into securing publishing and notariety :)

      Thank you!

      XO
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