May 3, Houston: The big one -- the Inprint reading -- occurs at the Alley Theatre on Monday, May 3. Do not miss it or you'll be sorry. I'm not kidding -- I'm going to say the craziest, most intellectual yet hilarious stuff I can think of, and I'll be sharing the stage with the ultra sexy Oscar Casares, too.
June 24, Houston: I'm one of the peeps scheduled to read at Poison Pen, at Houston's famous Poison Girl bar. Besides me, everyone there will be ultra, *super* sexy. Come see me and drink!
June 26, Washington, DC: I'll be reading at the American Library Association conference. Come on down.
My other blog: Go read my the Houston Chronicle parenting blog (or my ChronMomBlog, as I like to call it) and make sure my kids won't resent me more than other kids resent their own parents.
Buy my new novel, Lone Star Legend. Already did? Well, buy a few more for your friends, then. :)
Tuesday, January 23, 2007Real Quick (Writing News)
I am super-duper busy this week, having adrenaline flashes and Tazmanian-Devil-esque flurries of activity all over the place. I'm thinking I'll be busy next week, too, at least until after the Feb. 2 reading.
I know - you're thinking, "Since when are you a poet, Gwen?" I'm not, really, because writing poetry doesn't come easily to me. Not good poetry, anyway. (I can write bad poetry like a mofo, though, and always have. Ha, ha.)
But, you know, I wanted to push my limits, challenge myself, put some eggs in another basket, and try something new. I read some of my poems on the radio tonight, making the second time ever in my life I've read poems aloud. I think it came out okay. I hope it did. I mean, the vomity feeling in my guts subsided by the time it was done. (I still feel vomity sometimes before a reading, no matter how many times I do it.)
In April, Houston's Museum of Fine Arts is cranking up a new festival, and I just heard that I get to read as part of that. So that's good...
Besides that, I've been writing a lot of book proposals and then getting them rejected. Although I hardly mention it, that happens all the time - it happened a lot to me in 2006 - and I've gotten so good at coping with rejection, it's like water down a duck back, now. Almost. Pretty much. I just got my fourth or fifth proposal rejection today. Breathe in, breathe out. It's okay; I'm working on a new proposal now. Cross your fingers for me, please, still.
Advice for Writers, from a Writer
Look: here's a question about writing, from a longtime reader. With her permission, I'm putting it here so everyone can share the answer. If you want to send more questions, let me know. I'm probably too lazy to create a new site feature for them, but I don't mind giving advice when I can.
I have had an idea for a book for several years. It is something I would really like to do in my ample spare time, like you have plenty of it yourself. [She's being sardonic, y'all. She's a single mom, too. --GGZ] How do you work it in? My girlfriends thought it is a great idea and I would mainly be editing it since each short chapter would be from different contributors. I even have a title. I really should do this. How the heck do you get started?
The answer: You just do. You just start it, and work on it until it's done. That's it.
The trick, though, is getting yourself to actually start it. You say you want to do it, you say your friends think it's a great idea, and then you tell me (or yourself?) that you "really should do this."
Do you really want to do it? If so, how bad? For instance, is this project worth giving up prime time TV for? Is it worth doing on your lunch hour? Is it worth waking up an hour extra in the mornings, so you can have time alone, while the kids are asleep?
If so, you should totally do it. Set a goal for yourself. I'm assuming your goal is to get this work published, right? Set a realistic timeline in which to achieve the pieces of your goal. Like, it may take six months or a year to compile the work, then three to six months to edit it, and then you may give yourself a year or two to submit to agents and publishers. Look at your schedule and decide what you can do.
Then, just start. Or, if something is still holding you back after that, ask yourself what it is. Are you afraid of failure? Of rejection? Are you afraid to spend a lot of time on a project that might not succeed?
Admit the reason to yourself and then dismiss it. Stumble boldly forward. You only have one life to live, that you know of, so why the hell not take a chance on your dream.
Labels: writing9:29 PM #
Comments:I heard you on the radio. I liked all your poems. I hope to be able to hear the other one that you couldn't read on the air at the first Friday. Congratulations on your debut!
# posted by Letty : 3:48 PM
I tried to hear your poems, but it wouldn't connect! Dang. I would really like to read them.
# posted by Marigoldie : 8:37 AM
Letty: Thanks. Yeah, I hope you can make it out. Bring something to read for the open mic, too.
MG: They told me their server was temporarily messed up, and they don't know when it'll work again. But send me your mailing address and I'll send you a chapbook (if I ever make it come out right in Word).
# posted by Gwen : 3:36 PM
I finally really got started after I wrote an outline. I followed that outline and 3 years later I'm done and shopping it around. So yes, the question is, "How long are you willing to put into it?"
Gwen, do you have to sign up with anyone for open mic or do you just raise your hand when you're there?
# posted by ShoeGirl : 8:11 PM
At 8:30, when it starts, Robert Clark (host) will pass around a sign-up sheet. You can put your email address on it to be notified of future events. If you want to read at open mic, you put a check mark next to your name. Robert will also pass around a bottle in which you can put donations. But admission is free.
Then, you suffer through listening to me read for up to an hour. (I won't read for more than 20 or 30 minutes, though.)
By the time I'm done, Robert will have collected the sign-in sheet. He likes to call the open mic people up in randomized order. Each person gets up to five minutes, but most people don't read more than two short pieces each.
# posted by Gwen : 8:23 PM
Thanks for the info. I'm going to go out and support you. I'll sign up to read something.
# posted by ShoeGirl : 12:54 PM
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