Happy Tuesday bloggers, readers, and all you lovely people out there!
It’s a new week in August. Monday was a sick in bed day (boo!) but today turned out to be a busy and great day! It all started with coffee! Oh Coffee…Coffee and I have what some may consider a dysfunctional relationship but we embrace one another and believe to have everything under control. I have been fed this stuff into my veins since toddler-hood. My mother, back in the days of New York would make her strong cup of Cafe Bustelo espresso & milk and allow her little “snow white” kiddo to take sips every morning from that cup.
(Snow White reference: Apparently when I was little, I had porcelain white skin, jet black hair and rosy lips and cheeks; all I was missing were the blue eyes…I look very different now let’s just say)
So this morning I gained a new Beta Reader! (2 second *happy dance*) My friend Laura and I had not seen each other in months. She is an intelligent young woman who was going to be an English major and work in the Editing World. (she may still dabble in that but is also seeking new venture opportunities right now)
We decided to go to one of my favorite coffeehouses in our town, catch up and she offered to read through the pages I have so far from my first draft. This made me very excited. She is not a YA Reader (young adult genre) which is also beneficial for honest review. If the story works and catches interest, preferences of genre is not going to matter. (that’s my opinion at least in regards to having someone review & critique)
After playing catch up, I handed over my momentary child…first draft pages from my young adult Dystopian novel in progress. I laugh now remembering that whole hour. She sat, focused and read. I brought my book with me and distracted myself next to her. During that hour, she was dead quiet. If you knew Laura, this young woman is a ball of energy. To be in the midst of her silence was a bit nerve-wrecking. All of a sudden, a million questions and thoughts were going through my head. I’d read four pages of my book and then would look over.
“What does she think? Is she liking it? Is she bored? Does she feel obligated to finish reading because I’m sitting next to her waiting? Oh, God did I just torture this poor girl, making her read so many pages? I didn’t realize I’ve written that much already…”
I’d read another four to six pages of my book, look up and start that whole process again.
I remember about the forty minute mark (I’m guess-timating), she broke the silence.
“Yes! I knew they were gonna meet!” She exclaimed with triumphant hope. The corner of my lips curled upward and a joy bubbled in my chest at that moment.
She’s liking it, I thought. She got excited.
I must say, this journey of writing this novel has been almost like finding myself. Let me explain…
Putting Acting aside because it is an entirely different part of who I am. A separate passion that has always been with me. If there are three specific artistic outlets I’d have to choose and say, these I have always come back to, it would be:
Acting, Writing and Music.
Writing was that expressive outlet I used in every way. I wrote screenplays for years, I’ve written poetry since pre-teen years unto adulthood, I’ve written songs since junior high…I have always loved writing and tested every facet of it throughout my life so far. I am that girl who has collection upon collections of journals, all written within.
When it came to being a creative writer, I always felt at home, playing around with different ideas and expressions. The idea of being a literary writer is where I never categorized myself in. I wasn’t a bookish child (I explained this in my blog about Believing in Supporting YA & Encouraging Youth to Read-not the exact title but the gist of it), and though one of my best school subjects even unto college was English, I was not your typical literary speaker, writer, thinker, bookworm.
I attempted writing novels. They were never finished and mostly kept them to myself. Only my best friend Therlee has probably read or heard of most of them but not all. I never considered myself capable, or skilled enough to seriously attempt writing a novel, and then putting it out there for others to read.
All this to give you some history so that you may understand why my current journey of writing this novel has meant so much to me.
Something has awoken within me since one; discovering the YA community/genre and then two; developing a world, imaginary people, conflicts and sweet moments in my head, that I have been giving life to on paper. There’s that feeling again of, Home. Here was something I never truly gave attention to due to fear and insecurity. Flat out, I didn’t think I was good enough, so why bother.
All along, it was that I just had to find the right genre, understand it, and realize, it has already been a part of me for years. I have always loved and gravitated towards young adult things, culture, innocence, fun-hearted, family friendly stuff. I grew up and felt ashamed about liking them because apparently society says I’m an adult, so move on from childish things and fit the “adult” mold. I was fighting against myself. Now here I am, discovering millions who embrace this desire that fits well with my personality and even better…MANY of them are adults too; just as “special” and quirky and fun and introverted and weird and nerdy as I am! Phew! Well, that’s a relief!
The literary writers, thinkers in my life have taken a gander at these pages. Their unexpected responses have flooded my heart with a confidence and hope that leads to believing the possibility of this being witnessed, and even crazier, perhaps even enjoyed by many out there in the reading/writing community. I have enjoyed this process so much and can’t wait for the first draft to be done so I can send it off to get ripped apart (for the better) and be one step closer to getting it into all of your hands. I’ll provide a comfy sofa chair, cozy pillow and throw cover with a warm cup of coffee, or tea…your choice.
First Honorary Moment:
as a writer…weird, can I say that? Call myself an aspiring writer, even?
The moment that took me by surprise today…I truly felt emotional but held it back because we were in a public place. ::light chuckle::
After Laura read through the pages, she had questions and was excitingly putting together the story, wanting the “in” on even finding out details about book two and three. (I don’t know if I had officially mentioned before that in addition to all the other reasons to consider my venture here as crazy-I am ALSO setting this up into a trilogy…yea, what possessed me? Still don’t know Hashtag# Ambitious!)
So she mentions how there was this favorite line. Favorite line? She found a “favorite” line, in my book? In all those forty something pages she read, she remembers a “favorite” line? I was stunned. She looks for it and then found it.
Ok, we laughed so hard in the middle of that coffeehouse cause, well, I’m just “Special” sometimes…a lot of the times but whatever.
So she finds the line “A dream never considers logic” to which I proceed and go “OooOooo…wait, I wrote that?”
Yea…so anyway after that she did the unthinkable…to me. She quoted it and posted it on her Twitter feed.
Shut. Up! This was like my first honorary moment as an “aspiring writer”. At that moment, it felt real and even better, it felt possible.
…I can’t think of anything better but to leave it there, at the thought, that turned into a project, that turned into that moment where it all seemed possible.
Happy Reading, Living, Loving