Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

Gratitude ABC November 25, 2010

Filed under: Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 3:38 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’m not celebrating Thanksgiving today, Australians don’t, but Happy Thanksgiving to those who are!

I love the concept of taking time to give thanks. I don’t stop often enough to really appreciate all the good that is in my life (and for starters I’m grateful I work for an American company so I get the day off today, without having to cook that big dinner!).

 I challenged myself to come up with an ABC of all the things I want to give thanks for.

Here it is, my gratitude ABC-
A is for Abbi, Sassy Sister and our guiding light, a wonderful and diverse writer gifted with a particularly wicked way with snark and a voice that is just meant for Single Title. Also for Aideen, Sassy Sister extraordinaire, possibly the most courageous woman I know, who’s dealt with things I’d crumble before, yet also manages to be one of the funniest women I know. A role model for feisty heroines everywhere. And for Arthur, my dh who puts up with a lot from me and is slowly but surely learning that when I say “I’m writing, so don’t interrupt me unless it’s important, or I’ll be angry,” I truly mean it, especially when the important interruption is to ask me whether we have any hummus in the fridge.
B is for Books, those things we all love and want to see our name on, my escape and refuge as a child, and still a new world ready for me to explore every time I open one.
C is for Critique partners, I’m so blessed to be in a group with some amazing writers, friends as well as writing buddies. It’s part of Community, something romance writing has a lot of. The support and encouragement in places like eHarlequin’s SubCare, the Mills and Boon equivalent, and other writing groups like NaNo and JanNo is awesome. Also for Chocolate, that writing necessity; and for Computers, wonderful things Some of you won’t be old enough to remember what trying to write and sub was like BC, but I sure do! And especially for Chelsea, Blazing a trail as the secretly sexy and sweet Sassie, wonderfully supportive and with an excellent editorial eye.
D is for Diet, made necessary by too many hours sitting at the computer eating chocolate- I give thanks that it worked- I lost fifty pounds this year and feel great! I’m so grateful I discovered The Menopause Makeover by Staness Jonekos just at the right time.
E is for ebooks, letting me fit a whole bookcase worth of books on a 7″ device to take with me on vacation. And epublishers, bringing us interesting books that may not have found a home in print.
F is for Fabulous Fifty, what I turned this year, also Friends and Family. And for Fairy Tales, stories I love, archetypes that speak to me, and a quality I want to catch in some of my stories. Also for Finished First Drafts– I’ve managed one this year and plan to make it two before the end of the year.
G is for God, making it all possible.
H is for Harlequin, the publisher we’d love to write for, and the books they publish. Also for Husbands, I wouldn’t be without mine, even if sometimes I want to kill him.
I is for Ideas, they may drive me crazy but I would hate it if they dried up. Now if only they’d be more workable… And for the Instant Seduction contest back in 2008, that got me started back wanting to write series romance again.
J is for Jackie a late addition to the Sisters but it feels like she’s always been with us, funny, far too self-deprecating, a fabulous writer; also for Super-Sassie Jilly, her wicked wit, warm wisdom, and always slightly warped way of looking at things is an inspiration. Love her to bits!
K is for Kisses, the more the better, and I’m always thankful for my husband’s.
L is for Love, it may not really be all we need but it’s a fair chunk of it.
M is for Mills and Boon the romances I grew up with. And for Maisey, the youngest and most published Sassy, an awesomely prolific writer with an instinctive understanding of workable conflict, and the three cutest kids on the planet. Also for Mistakes, I’ve learned so much from mine!
N is for Nancy (sheandeen on eHarl), her support and inspiration made all the difference when I was losing weight this year. I also give thanks for NaNo giving me the extra push to write more this month. I’m not going to win, but what I’ve written is worth it.
O is for One Chapter Opportunities– the fun chances to get our writing in front of the editors without needing a whole partial worked up, like the Medical FastTrack, New Voices, and next up So You Think You Can Write. I know I write better if I do the whole first draft first, I write my way in and my stories change so much, but I love the speed of the feedback and the ease of email submissions!
P is for Partial, in so glad I finally subbed one properly this year, ratger than just going for the contests. Also for Peace, which goes with …
Q is for Quiet, I’m so thankful when I get some and have a chance to write, I really would love more of it, and even more would love to not waste it when I get it!
R has got to be for Reading.  I wish I had more time for it!
S is for Superromance, my favourite romance series. I’m grateful that I actually Submitted a Story this year.
T is for Time, it feels as if there’s never enough, but I’m so grateful for what I do have.
U is for Uncovering layers in our characters. I love writing my way in and finding out so much more about these story people I thought I knew.

V is for Virgins– we were all one once, and I just realise as I write this that if the heroine of my WiP is improbably still one (it fits with her backstory) a big chunk of her conflict suddenly makes sense. Which still leaves me with the other chunk that doesn’t make sense, but it’s a start!
W is for Writing, love it, hate it, we can’t stop doing it.
X is for eXercise, the only way besides not writing to avoid writer’s bum. I still have it, but not as bad as if was, thank God. Okay, that was a stretch! I just thought of another one- my X-rated fantasies that come in handy when writing love scenes.
Y is for (this one really is a stretch!) whY? The most useful question in the world and one I have to keep asking myself as I write. Unfortunately right now it’s being used in the sentence “Why the hell did I ever think that conflict would work? It makes my heroine seem TSTL.”
Z is for zzzzzs the sleep I’m usually running short on. I’m grateful for the day off today and the sleep in I got. Of course, that ate three hours of my writing time, but I needed it!

I’ve probably left out lots more I should be giving thanks for.

What are you grateful for today?


6 Responses to “Gratitude ABC”

  1. susan wilson Says:

    Where have you been hiding lately? And what a wonderful list you’ve put together. Big shout out to Nancy too, as she’s my critique partner and her support is wonderful!
    Congratulations on the big weight loss, 50lbs is fabulous!

  2. Awww, Jane, aren’t you lovely? What a wonderful list! I loves me my CPs and I’m pretty thankful for those too. 🙂

  3. Lacey Devlin Says:

    Wow congrats on managing to complete that list! Sometimes I wish we celebrated Thanksgiving too 🙂

  4. waitingforthecall Says:

    Nancy is an absolute darling!
    I’ve been around, but very busy. Though when I look at what I’m actually achieving it’s hard to see what I’ve been busy with, but it’s like that sometimes isn’t it. Hope your revisions are going well!

  5. waitingforthecall Says:

    Jackie, the heroine in my WiP is a lot like you!

  6. waitingforthecall Says:

    I’m glad we don’t have the big heavy meal so close to Christmas! I think the pressure to get home for two big family events so close to each other could be difficult too. But I love the idea of taking time to think about all the good things in my life and give thanks. I think I need to do it more often- so easy to focus on the inevitable negatives!

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