It’s 11:20PM here in the Pacific Time Zone and I’m just now writing my IWSG Post. Not surprised, are you? Let me explain.
I like to publish snippets of my memoir, as I work on collecting stories from my past. If you’ve read any of them you probably have met my parents and you would know that they were bigger than life itself. They liked to live life out loud and not miss a moment. That’s a hard thing for a kid to live up to. I personally believe that children of folks like this go one of two ways…they find a way to live life even bigger or they become those beautiful little shrinking violets who are content to live in the shadow of others. Don’t believe me; ask my kids, I have one of each.
I’m willing to bet that right about now any of you reading this have a very definite idea about which way this kid went. I admit I’ve spent most of my life center stage, living large and loud. Never had a lot of money, but I’ve also never let that stop me from going where I want and getting what I need. Have I been burned…oh you bet, plenty of times, but I have also tried to never let that stop me,
Now let’s talk about my writing. This is an area where I am probably more insecure than most. I have all these stories swirling around in my head, many of them about my family, that I want to tell. But, I don’t want to tell them just any old way. I want them to be special. I want you to enjoy them. I want you to know these folks the way I do, whether they are real of the characters of my imagination. This would be the reason that I have three full length novels written and not fully edited, sitting around waiting to see the light of day.
This year, 2017, I made two promises to myself. 1. I would post every month on my blog for the IWSG, and 2. I would dust these novels off, edit them, send them out to beta readers, and hopefully even hire a professional editor. Then query them and try to have them published.
So, today I’m late, but this IWSG Post is gonna go up .
The question of the month is: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? How did that turn out?
Yes, yes, and yes. I just recently took one of my novels and tried my hand at adapting t as a short story for submission to an anthology. It was painful. I agonized over it for weeks. When I had what I thought was a pretty tight little story, I sent it off to two beta readers. Both are trusted friends, published authors, whom I know to be honest and insightful. Their critiques were brutal. Honest, but brutal none the less. My short story was gonna require a complete rewrite, if I was gonna take their advice, and why wouldn’t I? Did I mention that they both said basically the same thing.
I thought seriously about scrapping the whole idea. But, I rewrote the story anyway. When I was finished, I really thought it was pretty good, but I didn’t like it much. Why? Well other than the characters it had very little resemblance to my original story. I had to eliminate my favorite character and give what was predominately ‘his’ story to someone else.
I sent it back out to the betas anyway. The one who was able to get back to me, said I had basically nailed it. I still didn’t like the story much, or at least I didn’t like the changes I had to make, but I started cleaning up the little errors and formatting to submit it anyway.
Deadline for submission was midnight yesterday and more than once during the day, I serious thought about scrapping the whole idea AGAIN. To console myself, I went to something I had written that I really liked. It was a memoir piece about my parents. I was reminded of how they lived their lives and how I lived most of mine. I started to wonder how, when, where and why I had become so insecure, such a coward. I sat right back down at the computer, finished up the work on my short story and hit that SUBMIT button.
I went to bed exhausted and had some pretty strange dreams. This morning I woke up feeling like a winner. I don’t know if my story will make it into this particular anthology, but I made it.l I made it past a hurdle. I found a little piece of me that I want to cultivate and protect. I want to write and I want to be published and I’m not gonna stop trying.
First post I read this morning was by my good friend Donna Hole (one of those terrifying betas, by the way) and she inspired me to write this. Her musical selections also inspired me to post the song at the very beginning. One of my favorites. Thank you Donna. Thank you IWSG. Today I really needed this.
Now go on over HERE and click on some of the other posts for the IWSG. You know you want to. I know you won’t be disappointed by what you will find.