Here I am. Reporting for my first blog post, fresh from my inaugural Restless Writers meeting. The meeting was everything I hoped it would be – a great opportunity to get to know these awesome ladies better and to take in some of their honest feedback on the pages I submitted. While I survived their critiques (this was managed largely through consumption of wine and baked brie), as the newbie to the Restless Writers, I have to admit I am struggling with a dash of self doubt about whether or not I have the writing chops to be a part of this group.
Beckie has an agent—a real agent. And I didn’t even know what an em dash was until Maria told me. Heck, I thought em dash was spelled “m” dash until I just looked it up online two minutes ago.
The good news in all of this is? I’m fairly sure I am not the first new want-to-be writer to feel this way. In 2010, The Guardian ran a two-part feature where they asked famous writers to share their Ten Rules of Writing Fiction. I was particularly drawn to the cheery wisdom imparted by British novelist and journalist Will Self. Will says:
“You know that sickening feeling of inadequacy and over-exposure you feel when you look upon your own empurpled prose? Relax into the awareness that this ghastly sensation will never, ever leave you, no matter how successful and publicly lauded you become. It is intrinsic to the real business of writing and should be cherished.”
If this is true, I guess I am well on my way to becoming a writer.
Thank you Restless Writers for the warm welcome. With your mad grammar skills I’ll be mastering the in’s and out’s of em vs. en dashes in no time. And if not, I’ll fake it.
A week ago today we posted our favourite links and started our day unaware of the devastation being unleashed on the Japanese people. The most important link you can click on today is this one, for the Red Cross Society of Japan. Money will immediately arrive where it is most needed. Another great link is this one, where you can order the shirt pictured. All proceeds benefit Save the Children: Emergency Response, Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Fund: A GlobalGiving Project, Hands on Tokyo, and the American Red Cross, giving you basically no reason not to order one. Now go give a hug to someone you love.
A Working Mother’s Guide to Writing a Novel
I wish I’d read this piece by LA Times Television Critic Mary McNamara three years ago, but better late than never.
Ten Rules for Writing Fiction
The Guardian gets advice from such literary rock stars asMargaret Atwood (Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do) and Neil Gaiman (Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.).
Because I write middle-grade fiction and I’m a huge fan of the genre, I’m sharing a few of my fave MG sites:
From the Mixed up Files (http://www.fromthemixedupfiles.com/)
Awesome site and a terrific community for middle-grade authors, published or not.
Middle Grade Ninja (http://middlegradeninja.blogspot.com/)
Yep, more middle grade because that’s where it’s at! Plus awesome interviews with agents.
Class of 2K11 (http://www.classof2k11.com/)
The Class of 2k11 is a group of 19 debut middle grade and young adult authors working as a team to promote our books and reading in general. Very cool and happening site!
Maria is out carousing with our favourite Word Bitches in Calgary, probably wearing this t-shirt.