Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Time to Fly

I have been edging ever closer to Internet/Blogger Burnout lately. But in the back of my mind, I have visions of rolling hills, meandering dirt roads lined with Lily-of-the-Valley, the sound of the Atlantic within a two hour drive, the Isabella Gardener and Boston MFA, quiet time for contemplation and writing—and all only a few days away.

Yes, it’s that time of year again, heading to the hills of New Hampshire where the only Internet service is over a telephone line or at the local McDonalds. I won’t be visiting too many blogs while I’m away, but by the time I return, I will look forward to catching up. I may even try to post a time or two between now and then…

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Personality Typology

Psychology fascinates me. It seems to be a common interest amongst writers. I know quite a few of us who even subject our characters to the Jung/Myers Typology Test to get a better handle on who they are as individuals and to keep their behavior in line with their personality type. I have taken the test quite a few times over the years, and even back-to-back, changing answers to questions I could go either way on. I consistently come up as an INFJ, (Invroverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging) with varying percentages. My main characters almost always end up being INFJ’s or INTJ’s. I wonder if it’s just me or do other writers tend to write their main character’s personality very similar to their own?

As a side note, one of the traits of an INFJ is the need for quiet time after intense social interactions. I think this manifests itself in the way that I tend to burn out easily. I can’t seem to help getting over-stimulated in social situations and then feel the need to withdraw, which is sort of what I’m going through right now. For sure, this trait applies to my ‘real’ life, but I am finding that it applies just as much to blogging. I wonder how many other INFJ’s go through these spells…

Friday, April 1, 2011

2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Three years ago I did not have a blog. Three years ago, I did not even know what a blog was, but I had written a novel. I thought, Wouldn’t it be neat to publish my novel, and, to that end, I started reading all sorts of information on the internet. I came across something called the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award around the time they were posting the 2008 finalists. I made a mental note and I wrote another novel—STORY FOR A SHIPWRIGHT. With nary a beta reader nor any sort of feedback other than my husband’s endorsement, I entered the ABNA in 2009. Although I didn’t make the first cut, I received my first real feedback from other writers, through CreateSpace Previews.

Shortly after that—nearly two years ago now, I set up this blog so I could meet other writers and receive the feedback I craved. I read blogs, revised, beta-read, revised some more, read some more and entered the ABNA again, with the same, but revised manuscript, in 2010. I made the first cut. Progress. I also received more helpful feedback from two of Amazon’s Vine Reviewers.

Since then, I have queried STORY FOR A SHIPWRIGHT, received some positive feedback from agents, but no takers. Then, the ABNA rolled around again. So, what the heck. I entered the same, further revised manuscript for the third time. This year, I’ve made it to the quarterfinalists—that is, one of the 500 narrowed down from 10,000 entrants. The cool thing about making it this far is that an excerpt of my manuscript—the first 5000 words—is available on Amazon for public download and review.* The best and most precarious part of this is that I will receive a Publishers Weekly Review of my entire manuscript—which you writer folks out there know is normally provided only for published books.

Getting a PW review could be great, if my review is good, and REALLY crummy if I get a scathing review. I suppose that’s why I haven’t posted this news until now. I’m a big chicken. I would rather let the competition play out and then wallow in my disappointment, unbeknownst to any of you. But here’s the thing: I’m so distracted that I can’t seem to come up with anything else to post, and I have an overwhelming urge to gather my commiserators around me so that no matter what happens, I won’t go off the deep end.

*You don't have to own a Kindle to do this! You just need a computer and then download the free Kindle app for your pc.