To Throw or Not to Throw — January 4, 2013

To Throw or Not to Throw

That’s really the question I’m facing right now. I’m not sure whether it’s time to throw in the towel on certain dreams and walk away. Even as I consider it, the wise words of someone I once met echo in my head. But my brain rebels and I sink ever more slowly into the abyss of not caring. Into the chasm whence dreams go to die a lingering and painful death.

It’s not rejection, per se, that’s got me blue and considering leaving writing behind. It’s just this overwhelming sense of my entire life being one giant example to prove the point that my best will never be good enough in any arena.

If you have a question you’re dying to ask me, something you want me to address either here on my site or over at the Dojo, send it to info(at)stephanie-mcgee(dot)com

Comments and other fun stuff can be sent to stephanie(at)stephanie-mcgee(dot)com

Chase Your Dreams — May 10, 2012

Chase Your Dreams

So often, it seems, the publishing world’s corner of the internet is full of posts about how long the process takes, how many surprises there are in store once we land an agent or a book deal, etcetera. It can start to feel discouraging and hopeless. It can become a driving force in our lives, if we choose to make it that way. Let it influence our work ethic and motivation, and so on.

But what is your dream? A book deal? A book on a shelf? A book in your hands with your name on the cover?

Never be afraid to chase your dreams. They just might come true in every way you hoped. They might come true in ways you never thought of but that turn out perfect for you.

The point is, just dream.

I was reading on IMDB the other day (I’m a nerd). Someone had said something about two actors and it left me with a question. So I went to the IMDB page for one of the two and started reading his in-depth biography that’s posted there. (By in-depth I mean more than the little bios we authors write for ourselves for the back of our books or our websites.)

It started talking about how this TV show inspired him to become an actor and he pursued it in hopes of one day getting to play the title character. (Can you guess which show I’m talking about?) However many years later, guess what role he landed and played for three or four seasons (is my estimate)?

Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams. They just might come true in big ways.

Also, don’t forget to read my post reflecting on my blogging journey after 500 posts and comment for a chance to win prizes!

Goals and Dreams as an Author — September 20, 2011

Goals and Dreams as an Author

Last week, Rachelle Gardner blogged about goals as a writer.  (What?  I write blog posts a week in advance so the rest of the week was full when this came up in my reader.)

I commented the following:

“I want to be read.  I want to be respected as an author who has a valuable and worthwhile voice to contribute to the conversation of the genre I’m going to publish in.  I want to touch the heart of someone who reads the words I write.

“That’s all.  I don’t dream of J.K. Rowling fame or having my books made into movies.  The money either of those would bring is just a mega-bonus to achieving my dream of seeing my name on a bookstore shelf. (It’d be nice, but I do try to stay realistic in my goals.)”

What I left off the comment was this:

One way that I’ve found helps me to define my goals in this publishing journey is to compare author events.  Which one strikes the chord with me?  The ones where literally hundreds of people show up, making it impossible to make a meaningful, if brief, connection with their readers as the author signs readers’ copies of their book?  Or the ones where a hundred and fifty people attend, equally if not more interested in the presentation the author is there to make than getting their copies of the authors’ book(s) signed?

For me, it’s the latter.  I’m on this road to be read, to touch the heart of a reader and make them realize that maybe they have a voice, too, and if they can’t express it themselves they can find the strength within to do so at some point.  That’s what reading and characters are, to me.  They’re meant to be larger-than-life explosions of what a reader may be facing, showing them that whatever demons are lurking can be vanquished.

Honestly, if one person reads something I wrote and they come out better for it, stronger for it, I’ve done my job as a writer.  I’ve impacted them through words and that’s the best gift I can receive as a writer.

Am I dreaming? — June 4, 2010

Am I dreaming?

It’s blogfest day.  This one is hosted by Amalia, who has a pretty great blog that I only recently discovered. Today’s is all about dream sequences.  I love using dreams to disrupt my character’s status quo.  I think they’re also really great at illustrating some of the MC’s inner workings without falling into the “telling” trap.

That said, here’s a brief dream sequence from my current project, Lodestar.

Derek opened his eyes to behold a wild, overgrown forest.  An ancient longbow rested in his right hand while a quiver of feather-fletched arrows hung across his back.  Birds called to each other in the trees and in the skies.  Rustling came from his left.  His head snapped in the direction while the bow came effortlessly upward.  With one single motion he’d drawn an arrow and nocked it, waiting.  The rustling moved closer and closer.  A fox, perhaps?  He waited, eyes fixated on the faint game trail leading into the clearing from the same direction the noises came.
A beautiful woman entered the clearing.  Dressed in red clothes that swirled around her in an enchanting way she stared straight at Derek.  She made him feel as though she could see right inside his head and read every thought that flitted through.
“Derek.” she said.  Her mouth never moved.  The voice sounded in his head.  He stared at her.  She seemed so familiar.  Then he saw it.  The flowing blonde hair he longed to run his hands through.
“Derek.”

Well, there you have it.  This is obviously still its first draft form and will likely change over the course of revisions.  (Please no critiques here.  That is not why I posted it.)
Morning Pages Revisited — January 5, 2010

Morning Pages Revisited

Ages ago, probably back before most of you, dear readers, were reading this blog, I talked about a thing called morning pages.  The post can be found here.

Today I want to revisit this because there’s another reason for the morning pages.  They’re not just for exorcising that inner critic.  Three pages of free-writing can certainly help get the negativity out.

For me, they’ve sort of started to become a diary of sorts.  I do my best to keep them from turning that way, but the events of the day before are usually what’s on my mind in the morning.

That and all the stuff I have to get done on any given day.

They’ve also become a sounding-board for my WiP.  If I’m really struggling through a passage in Oracles Promise I find that my morning pages get filled with questions and musings about the story.

And the morning pages can become a repository for ideas.  This morning, I woke up and opened the notebook to write my daily three pages.  The entire first page is filled with descriptions of what I could remember from the very vivid dream I had last night.

I recorded the dream because it really and honestly could become the underpinnings of a novel sometime in the future.  It would take a lot of work to get the mythology worked out and get everything sorted in such a way that it no longer resembles the madcap wanderings of my sleeping brain.  But it could work.

That’s why I write my morning pages.

Q4U: Do you do anything like morning pages ever?  Would you consider it?  Why or why not?