Its Real

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Well folks, I’m about to put finishing touches on part one of The Anchor. I can’t believe I’m done with it already! Mark printed off a hard copy of part one for me on Thursday and I zipped through it. I have the book practically memorized…even though I still laugh out loud at some of the things that made it through the first draft.

All that is left is to read through part two in print and make changes to that, then off to be edited. Thank you Codi R. in advance for agreeing to do it for me!

And then the query letter/manuscript submitting begins.

I’ve researched for weeks….reading blogs, articles and essays on,”How to Wow a Book Agent with Your Query Letter.” (A personal proposition from writers to the mags, agencies, etc.) I have yet to be impressed, and I think its because some of the examples I’ve skimmed over lack passion and truth. I have no strategy here, and I hope my honesty about that is what impresses the world of publication. My courage is separate from my nerves though….I am throw-up nervous to have anyone besides my friends read it.

It could suck for all know, but everyone has been extremely nice about it, so onward I go.

I am so unbelievably proud of where I’m at as a writer, and I cannot wait to learn and grow more. I know I say it all the time, but thank you to the many many many lovely friends I’ve bugged to read every draft of each part at least three or four time. Seriously, thank you. My characters wouldn’t be the same without all of the input!

It’s all real, right here at my fingertips.

Remember that everything is within your reach.

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Setting Sail

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I can’t believe it. I just finished my first novel. It’s done (aside from obvious close editing.) This is an incredibly bittersweet moment.

52010 words, roughly 288 pages. Not a long book by any means, but can I just say….this project has changed me in ways I’ll never be able to explain. It’s been a challenge, a dream….revelry. I was forced to go to places emotionally I didn’t understand (and still don’t, but that’s part of the process I guess?) and places I’m more than comfortable. I found a strong voice inside myself, a voice that took me a long time to recognize, but once I finally heard it….well, that changed everything. It’s amazing when confidence and actualization of self-worth collide.

I’ve had loving, awesome, amazing, wonderful beautiful friends and family read and reread for me and I’ve picked their brains to death. My co-workers have put up with me shamelessly asking the most random questions: how would you answer this? You’re a guy, what would you say to this? What would you say is your favorite cologne? (Thank you Andy LaRocca, Burberry Brit is absolutely what Walter would smell like.) New York or San Francisco? What sound do you notice more in a song? – seriously…just off the wall random non-sense constantly. I love those people with every ounce.

I’ve Google-mapped and and Hotwired and so on a million times to get the geography correct and make myself incredibly excited to eventually see all of the places I talk about. Okay, so I may or may not have intentionally set the story on the beaches of Carolina just so I could research it on Wednesdays. What of it. I’m making things happen! It’s the only way!

I’m sure this will grow through the editing and publishing (cross your fingers!) process, but I am thrilled to say, the first, final draft of The Anchor is finished. I feel so incredibly blessed and proud. It’s a legit feeling, for real.

For those of you who expressed interest in this book (an overwhelming number honestly, which is beyond fantastic,) I promise to have a blurb about the book up soon. I know that,”a love story, in male perspective,” obviously leaves a few things to be desired. I just haven’t figured out a way to summarize. Lets see.

It’s a story I’ve had in my head for a long time and a story that is close to my heart. So many fun memories with friends and family are included. I know many (or I hope!) will read this and remember exactly where we where. I hope my mom reads the parts about my dad and smiles, because that man was wonderful and will be in every book I ever write. I hope someone I don’t know reads it and relates to it. Maybe it will change their mind or help them find peace.

I’m not really concerned with whether or not the book makes it, “big.” I’ve been asked that several times, and it’s just not what I’m after. That is beyond flattering, and if it happens, hey….but lets be honest here, that’s a one-in-a-million kind of thing. Not that I don’t believe Walter&Bridget can’t make it happen. I wanted two things when I got in my awesome chair to write it all down: A) to tell the story, and tell it well and B) to get the story out of my head.

The crazy part of all of it? I’m already working on the sequel, though I cringe at that word. Get excited.

THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LOVE!

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music, actually.

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Hi all.

Okay, jumping right/write in.

A friend of mine tagged me in a post today, a challenge to list the top ten most influential records in your life. You know, music that has actually changed you.

I thought my head was going to pop off and right into my coffee cup.

How on earth was I supposed to make this list? There are so many! I started looking through my manuscript…lots of songs mentioned. Picked one or two records from there. Okay, next.

HOW THE HELL…okay. Got the next one, started looking through iTunes, top 25 most played, etc. etc. I ended up with this list:

1. House of the Holy – Led Zeppelin
2. Illuminate – Lydia
3. Deja Entendu – Brand New
4. An American Prayer – The Doors
5. Transatlanticism – Death Cab for Cutie
6. Magpie and the Dandelion – The Avett Brothers
7. Love – The Beatles
8. A Crow Left of the Murder – Incubus
9. Bleed American – Jimmy Eat World
10. Where the Light Is – John Mayer Trio

Pretty solid list right? I obviously left out MANY others that I almost wrote down, but these ten have been on repeat for years.

This whole list of top ten records got me thinking. We connect and remember certain lines of certain songs for how they make us feel. Saying that you love an entire record can be a stretch because sometimes we don’t connect with every single song on every single album. True for movies and books and so on.

I went through ALL of my old CDs….all the ones I have left anyway, and my top ten records/albums should really look like this:

Most influential albums of all time, thanks to these gems that I’m so lucky to call friends: (in no particular order at all)

1. TJo Rocks My Socks – Courtney Wimmert – 2004

2. Spring Break Mix – Tory Parks – 2014

3. The Swivel Chair – Ian Ragsdale – 2007

4. I Think I’ll Go to Boston – Taylor Williams – 2007

5. Can you feel my woofers? – Emma Melville – Collabo – 2003

6. Dime/Soco Amaretto Lime – TJ Ayers – 2005

7. The Birthday Mix – Freddie Merc/Joshua Autrey – 2008

8. Super Goddess – Mitch Charrier – 2004

9. Orange County – Courtney Wimmert – 200?

10. Monkey Business and – Hannah Castille – 2005

All of these came from my friends and had music on it that either changed me, opened me up to more music or made me dance around. These are the most influential records…they came from influential people, regardless of where they are now. I think about when I got each mix or CD and they happened at pivotal times in my life…moments that I needed music to save me from; moments that music made things better or just flat out complimented.

Its a connection that can’t be broken.

Thank you all for the tune swap.

The Twin Sized Mattress and Wishful Thinker

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Oh hello, blog.

I have been completely wrapped up in finishing the Anchor. I know it’s important to try to get some hype about this book before I even try to publish, but I’m having too much fun writing it! And although I want to blab about that for a while, today I am not here to discuss that.

I’ve been sifting through old documents, journals, diaries, etc. I did this for a while this morning….insomnia at its finest. I was reading my diary from the 2008-2010 period and I stumbled upon this….and I had to share it::

September 14, 2010

Is it okay that I want to listen to Brand New all night and eat ice cream in bed and say that I miss you and hold your hand? Lets solve all the world’s problems with our well-wishing tonight before we turn out the light.

I wish I could help my friends find happiness.

I wish I could bring peace to the restless.

I wish I could demonstrate color to the blind.

I wish I could define love so the empty could be filled.

I wish I could transform hate into mere exploration of the unknown.

I wish I could make tangible music for the deaf.

I wish my hands weren’t so small; these wishes are so big.

I wish that people prayed for others half as much as they ask for it.

I wish I could bottle the feeling of the first kiss and share it will those who have lost love.

I wish I had 8 extra hands to help those moms and dads doing it alone.

I wish I had the cure for those who can’t find courage.

I wish you could see what I see.

I wish i had the power of influence to open closed minds.

I wish for the freedom of experience as long as humanly possible.

I wish I could pave the path to absolute understanding and assurance for those who wander and those who are lost.

*****

I’m still that same girl with those wishes and now so many more. I think it’s something when we look back on who we once were….and are comforted to find that that same person is still inside.