Saturday, September 4, 2010

Thank Goodness It's Saturday (and some background on "Gryphon")

Dear friends,

Oooh, am I glad it's Saturday!  I'm home alone today.  All Day. Woo-hoo! 

Not to say that I don't have a ton of housework and laundry to do, but I'm planning to fit in a little writing, too.  And a run.

I've started running.  If you can call it that.  Let's call it "Interval Jogging," since I'm walking and running at intervals, working up to a goal of actually running the whole time.  Hey, we've all got to start somewhere, right?

I'm also working through the blogfest entries. I am totally impressed with the quality of the writing in your posts.  You guys and gals are amazing!  I'm blown away.

Several people have asked about my WIP, so I thought that I'd explain a bit for those of you who don't know the whole story behind "The Golden Gryphon."

I wrote all the time as a child and in high school. When I got to college, my coursework started to get overwhelming. I took a Fiction Writing course as an elective and did horribly in it. I was so discouraged that I gave up writing completely.  Looking back, I think the instructor wasn't very good.

Now fast forward twelve years or so.  I'm a stay at home mother, desperate for mental activity and adult interaction.  A flier arrives from our local regional high school, advertising their adult education classes. I see one on writing and decide to take it.  The instructor, a lovely woman named Esther Hughes, was so encouraging that I decided to try writing again.

I started a romance novel, a scene from which I posted for the Beach Scene Blogfest. 
I submitted the proposal to a publisher for whom I had tailored it and it was rejected, so I laid it aside and stopped writing again.  (Since it was a Christian romance, tailored specifically for their criteria, I didn't think I could sell it to anyone else.)

But the creative muse had been re-awakened. I tried to ignore her, but couldn't. At the same time, I was so terrified of writing garbage and being rejected again, that I felt like hiding in a corner and never coming out.  But I knew I had to write something, just for the sake of writing.  So I started a story in which my best friend and I were the starring characters.  It was meant to be a Tolkein-like adventure in which we - two elf maidens - were the heroines.  Silly, I know! I had no plan. I just began writing whatever came into my head.

It didn't take long for me to decide that I didn't want to write fan fiction.  So I started over, creating a whole new world and even a language.  At first the characters were human, then I decided to make them only kind of human.  They are like hobbits in the sense that hobbits could be described loosely as a cross between men and dwarves.  (They would certainly object to this description themselves, but it fits.)  My people are a cross between men and elves.  I'm not sure if I humanized the elves or majifyed the humans, but the idea was to take those distant, elevated creatures of Middle-Earth and make them more approachable and understandable.

I soon realized that the hero was a two-dimensional sword-wielder (kind of like the prince in Snow White) and I needed to flesh him out. To my surprise, Faldur became more and more real to me,  and in the course of events became pivotal to the story.  So he and Marenya must share the narrative now.   They still argue sometimes, over at Come in Character, whom the book is really about.  CIC, by the way, has been instrumental for me in developing my characters. It really is a fabulous tool for those who have time to play around in character.

Only just when this happened, I started working again.  So for the past three and half years, I have been tortured by my "persistent novel."  I keep trying to put it away, and it keeps insisting on being written.  I have nearly 100,000 words of material (probably more like a million words if you include all the revisions).  But it's not complete, and keeps getting more complex all the time.

I've also been immersed in the Internet, meeting other writers and learning as much as I possibly can about the craft and the business.  I can't believe how supportive the writing community is, or the wealth of information out there.  I didn't start using the Internet until a few years ago. I had no access at my previous job, for confidentialty reasons, and no reason to use it or anyone to teach me at home.  I went to college when computers were too expensive for average people to afford, and my master's thesis was programmed in FORTRAN, if you can believe that.  Does anyone use FORTRAN any more?

So all this stuff is new for me.  I don't think I would have gotten this far without my blogging friends, especially the incredibly sweet and inspiring Michelle Gregory.  Never let anyone say that you don't make "real" friends on the Internet!

My original plan this year was to have it finished by the end of July.  That deadline is long gone, so I'm hoping for the end of December.  But with my new job and all, that may not be doable either.

I don't want to just write it and be done. I want it to be good. And even if I have time to write, I don't always have the focus or mental energy to put words together.  So... it's going slow.  But I'm greatly encouraged by all of your positive responses to the snippets I've posted here and there and I promise you: One Day, There will be a book!  Even if I have to publish it myself.


  1. Rejection can be hard to handle sometimes. Its very neat you'd base something off you and a friend. I also admire your determination. Good luck!

  2. I missed the beach scene blogfest, so thanks for linking your entry. It's darn good! I really do hope that you get your book finished and out there. It sounds like a book I would love to read!!! I know what you mean about wanting it to be good, not just finished. My deadline was September 1st, I'm close, but I didn't make it. Ah well. I'm not giving up though! Keep writing!!

  3. Sounds like you enjoy similar fantasy to me, which is why I write what I do. I helped teach Fortran and Pascal in high school when I was a student!

  4. Persevere, good lady! You can do eet!

    I'm speaking to myself also, with that. Except without the "good lady" bit, naturally. I need to remember to persevere too. :)

  5. i never commented on your beach scene. i'm with the other Michelle - i'd love to read all of it. and thank you for the mention. it's not often i get to know other people on the internet, but i've enjoyed getting to know you over the years, esp. our phone conversations.

  6. I know all too well how having a full-time job (I drove 355 miles yesterday) can wither your writing time and muse.

    Your novel sounds intriguing. But when you finish, you are not done. Like Ernest Hemingway taught : writing is re-writing.

    Always glad when you post another post and drop into mine, Roland

  7. Finish sometime for me please. You've come so far, and done so well.

    CIC is one of my favorite places to play; but sadly, with the increased workload at my day job, I don't get by as often as I'd like.

    I always enjoy Faldur and Mareyna's little spats though.

    Keep it up girl; you're on your way.



I apologize for the word verification. I hate it, but the spammers made me do it.