Monday, April 14, 2014

Blog Tour 2014 - The Restart Stops Here

Well I'm back. 

I never left, really. I have two other blogs that I work on habitually, but in my quest to write for others, I rarely take a moment to write for myself. This is what this blog was supposed to be for. So now I'm back here to steal back time from everyone else and give it to me.

What inspired this was Mel Cober's out-of-the-blue invite for the Blog Tour challenge. I mean, I do blog. But just not here. I blog as my alter ego for a food blog and for a music blog. Since this is supposed to be my time for me (notice how I keep repeating that, hoping it will be true), then I might as well use my real name. 

So check out Mel's blog from last week, and next week, check out Jules Timms blog here. If you're interested in participating, there are two (2) more spots left. Message me and let me know. As Stevie Nicks sang, "Chains keep us together."

The Questions about my writing process:

Q1: What am I working on?
I am scrambling to polish my manuscript for my upcoming elevator pitch session at the Ontario Writers' Conference on May 3, 2014. The manuscript, currently titled 21, is an erotica piece of fiction written in memoir-style of our protagonist recollecting what she has learned from the 21 lovers she has had over the past 25 years. Since it's my first pitch session, and basically first time sitting in a room with a book publisher (having worked for both a music publisher and a newspaper publisher, you would think this would be a cinch for me, but it's not), I want it to be perfect. It won't be, but I want to try to get it there. 

I am also continuing to workshop my vampire novel, Human Blood, in my writers critique group to see if the market can handle yet one more vampire novel series, albeit in New Adult format. I am hoping to self-publish this novel once it's gone through the revisions.

Once a month, on the 7th of each month, I contribute on my food blog to the Great Canadian Food Challenge. I have also just signed up to be a contributing writer to Eatins Canada, an online magazine devoted to Canadian holistic food and food culture.

And whenever I go to a concert, or hear something that's perked up my attention, I write something for the music blog. 

I am planning on entering the WCDR 2014 Slam Contest. I did so last year with the encouragement from executive members of the Writers Community of Durham Region, and ended up as a finalist. I'm going to try again this year, though I still have to decide on the piece to craft. 

Q2: Why do I write what I do?
You mean why do I write about music, food, and sex? 

I write what I feel. I know that's kind of a weird thing to say, almost a cliche. But there are ideas, characters, scenarios, all sorts, running around my head in a constant stream-of-consciousness chatter. To get them under control, I write them down. 

Why erotica? It's not because I'm a woman of a certain age, or because I want to be trendy. I don't want the experience of my characters to be hidden or cut off from me as a writer or my readers. Sometimes you need to feel a little bit more of the sensual than just the closing of the door and the fade to black.

Why do I write about food and music? Because those are the two things dearest to my life after my son, and my quest is to impress my profound love and passion for food and music upon him. So far, he's more into the music than the food, but then again, his palate is still developing. 

Q3: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I have been told that my writing voice is very distinct. I wrote a very involved piece of fanfic a couple of years ago, and the first thing my beta reader/editor commented on was my strong voice. If people comment on it, then they would know more than I would, since I don't really think about my writing voice when I'm putting words on the page. I just shoot from the hip as it were.

Q4: How does my writing process work?
I just dump and write. Mel called it being a "pantser". I have a basic idea in my head, whether it started from a dream/daydream, a "what if..." idea, or is based on something that happened in the non-fiction world. I start a story, and then I go on the journey with my characters. They let me know when it's finished, whether it be a short slam piece or a long, involved novel. 

I also follow the Hemingway school of writing - "write drunk, edit sober". Not that I'm Joycean about my drinking/writing habits. If I could write like Joyce when I was drunk, I'd move into the liquor store! But when I am editing - which is about as much fun as pulling out your toenails with pliers - I do it stone cold sober. I usually have a printed version of the draft, and I've made notes to go in and fix things. When I get to the part that needs fixing, I rewrite the damn thing until it feels right. Then I go on. 

This is my first year being in a critique group, and I'm grateful for it. My fellow writers pick up on things that I have missed after three drafts, and working on their pieces helps me to watch for similar things in my own craft.

The Tour Continues...

Next week, on April 21st (or April 22nd given that it's Easter Monday), Julie Timms will continue the tour at her Just Jules blog, and let us in on her writing process.

Jules is, first and foremost, a writer and a mother. Her blog started as a way to chronicle her children's lives, and evolved into a place where she shares her laughter, tears, ups, downs, and ups again of the bonds of family.

Thanks, everyone. Watch this space for more rantings, ravings, laughter, and tears about my writing (and non-writing) life. 

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