Author Archives: SeeJanePublish
Two years ago, Kim, Susan and I sat together planning the beginning of See Jane Publish. Yes, there was probably alcohol involved. With minimum floundering we began a blog site and recorded our separate journeys into the changing world of publishing.
Susan and I tested the waters of self-publishing while Kim headed in the direction of editing. It was a heady time. I thought I would never run out of words and those friends who know me would probably have agreed. But time brings change.
The advent of a new career has taken a toil on my writing spirit. The uphill learning curve required by a new job has depleted my creative thoughts and I have found for the past month, I had nothing to say. For the first time in my life I sit in front of a computer screen and ponder the blank page.
For me it is time to drop back and recharge.
Jessie Smith a frequent guest blogger agreed to take over the management of See Jane, bringing in fresh voices and new perspectives. Occasionally I will drop in to poke and prod my fellow writers, but for now I will sit on the sidelines.
To those who read my words, thank you. Even if you didn’t agree, I found your comments insightful and appreciated the opportunity See Jane provided.
I won’t say goodbye, but instead will end with … until we meet again.
We are delighted to welcome Jenna Zine as a guest blogger today. We found her insights delightful and know you will, too. Her words will give you insight into a Jane In the making…
I’m writing my first novel. It’s made for some of the greatest joy – and greatest hell – I’ve known. The days when I actually sit down, get in the flow, and create some hilarious dialogue? Those are heady moments. Other days are spent popping in and out of my chair, clinging to every distraction I can possibly justify. It turns out I can justify a lot – and my apartment is usually sparkling clean in testament to this fact.
But, in the end, I keep writing. And, every once in awhile, I’m rewarded with a burst of creativity or an answer to a pesky plot problem. The great thing about the craft is, as much as it is in life, these things happen when we least expect them. Such was the setting when my husband and I randomly dropped into Clyde Common (a restaurant in downtown Portland) before seeing a film at the Living Room Theater. I had recently penned a scene where one of my characters is dining at Clyde Common. She gets in a fight with her husband and runs off to the bathroom to cry. (Good thing it’s fiction – I had a lovely time there with my honey!) I had my character slipping into a stall to bawl, subsequently sitting in pee and having to use the hand dryer to dry the back of her pants. (Did I mention I’m penning a best seller?) While sipping a cocktail with Larry I suddenly realized, “Oh my gosh, I’m here! I should actually check out what the bathroom looks like.” I excused myself, in the name of research. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the ladies’ room was exactly the opposite of how I’d described it. There are no stalls; it’s two gender neutral rooms. Pop in, lock the door and have at it! And when it’s time to wash your hands you’ll find paper towels. Not a hand dryer in sight.
My point? I didn’t research, I assumed. I picked a popular Portland eatery, checked out their menu online and wove it into my novel. One of the hooks in my plot is the backdrop of the city of Portland. There are generous doses of history, people, places and things. I want those things to feel as vivid to the reader as they are to me when I experience them in real life. I want someone to come here, based on reading my novel. I want them to think, “Oh, that’s where Amy had that crazy fight with James. That restaurant sounded cool. Let’s go check it out.” And, when my reader has to pee, I want them to have an authentic experience. I won’t promise you a hand dryer when I’m really schilling paper towels. Even the tiniest detail will be as true as I can make it. I promise to research every bathroom in the Northwest if it means I get it right. And it’s what I hope will make my sweet little Chick Lit novel great.
So, it’s been a loonnng time since I’ve posted. I know that Susan, Darla and Nancy with assistance from Jessie, have done a wonderful job of keeping things going. I have lots to tell you about my journey, my life, lately but today, with the temperatures being cool (lower 60s) and things turning around a bit, I’m in fabulous mood so I want to share with you all this nice Sunday.
I’m going to do a giveaway of a $25.00 Amazon, Barnes & Noble or store of your choice gift certificate today!
All you have to do to get a chance to win is pop on, say hi and tell me what you are doing today. That’s it! How much easier can that be? Oh wait, leave me your email address so I can notify you if you win.
Tonight, after 8:00 p.m. Pacific, I’ll post the winner.
And who knows, I might have other stuff to giveaway. :)
Have a lovely day!
I was with a man a while back who said his entire life was on his smart phone, essential implying his phone held his schedule and to accomplish everything he needed to do, he did what his phone told him to do next.
I know this is another sign I’m old, but technology has let me down too many times to have gained my complete trust.
I am a list maker.
While I’m willing to use the computer to create the list, in actuality, I need the printed paper to function. Otherwise I shop with the intention of buying a loaf of bread and a jug of milk and come home with $250.00 worth of groceries and no milk. Not to mention a husband who stares at the table loaded with grocery bags and asks, “were you hungry?”
Maybe. Or perhaps I just needed to fill in the gaps in my life and thought a bag of chips or a candy bar would help.
A friend of mine died this past week. She had cancer. Her family owns an equestrian center and this weekend was their biggest show of the year. With riders coming from great distances to attend, the show couldn’t be cancelled. All the family could do was grit their teeth, don a stoic mask and get through it. Keeping busy probably helped.
Because I was asked, I cancelled my plans and resumed a temporary “job role” to help out. Skills I hadn’t used in a while, kicked into auto-drive as I created lists that needed to be accomplished. Each list spawned off-spring until my whole life was one big sticky note.
The event went smoothly. At least I think it did. The only portion I focused on was my small wedge of the pie and on the surface that went smoothly. But old memories were dredged up – both good and bad. And who I wanted to tell was my friend. She would have laughed and added stories of her own.
But another interesting thing happened. I lost one friend, but others, both friends and co-workers that I hadn’t seen for years re-appeared to help me pull this off. I am grateful to each of them. In the face of death I am reminded that life is a constant re-birth.
One day I will write a story about this and it will be more eloquent because I will have both distance and insight. But for today, I am going to lay in bed and rest my feet. Tomorrow is soon enough for wisdom.