My Horny Hump Day post is here.
It’s time again for the monthly meeting of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where writers share insecurities, doubts, and concerns. I’ll try to keep it short this month, to allow enough space for the second half of this post.
I guess I’m insecure lately because I haven’t been querying or entering too many contests this year so far. There’s the worry that some of the agents participating in contests have already seen my queries in other contests, and wanting to give a fair shot to people with different or new manuscripts.
I also decided to step back till I figure out just how to classify myself and some of my books. For reasons I’ve enumerated many times before, I just don’t feel comfortable classifying most of my books with younger characters as YA in today’s market, nor as marketing myself as a specifically YA writer. I want to be able to say I write books, without making special mention of age-based categories. It would’ve been so much easier for me if I lived in a place like England, Australia, or Germany, where the current YA historical offerings seem much more in line with what I remember from my youth.
It also continues to frustrate me that so many Americans these days have such short attention spans, and that 400 pages is seriously considered a very long book by many people. The historicals I’m used to are at least that, if not more. It’s frustrating and annoying to see the words epic and saga bandied about so casually these days. How is a 300-page book a saga?! I really think indie or self-publishing is my best bet till the market changes a little bit.
As part of their What’s Up Wednesday feature, Elodie Nowodazkij, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, Erin Funk, and Jaime Morrow will be hosting a summer-long initiative called Ready. Set. Write! Participants will share weekly, monthly, or overall goals in the “What I’m Writing” section of the weekly posts.
What I’m Writing
I’m up to Chapter 56 of my current WIP, around 453,000 words. I’m very pleased to be keeping the chapters of Part III so far short by my standards. I’d like to think my upped guesstimate of 550K for the final length is still doable. I already have an outline in my head of how the rest of this chapter will proceed, Inessa and Vitya falling in love despite feeling they’ll only love their murdered first spouses.
But first, it needs put on hold so I can temporarily resume my hiatused WIP Justine Grown Up, set from 1979-84. I’ll be writing Chapter 54, “Irene and Amelia Redecorate Their Room,” set in early 1983. To date, I’d only gotten up to Chapter 18 and around 114,500 words. My guesstimate for this book is around 200K, which is short by my standards! There’s a special, unique holiday coming up on Saturday, and I’m such a dork I wanted to have some appropriate pieces for this weekend’s Sweet Saturday Samples and Weekend Writing Warriors posts.
What I’m Reading
I’m finally getting around to reading the rest of the Five Little Peppers series, with the so-called midquels I got free for my Kindle awhile ago. I’m starting with the first midquel, Five Little Peppers Abroad, which starts almost exactly where the original second book, Five Little Peppers Midway, left off. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: Margaret Sidney had a number of serious limitations as a writer, not to mention coming from a very Victorian environment.
I was rolling my eyes and dozing off from the first page. These people turn every little thing, and I really do mean every little thing, into some huge dramatic crisis. Plus this book starts with a few people I don’t know and therefore can’t bring myself to care about. Teenage Polly and Jasper are as annoying as I found them before, while coddled little Phronsie acts more mature than they do. I read these books more for the historical value, as some of the first children’s books that were written specifically as children’s literature, as well as the snapshot of the long-gone world of the late 19th century.
What Inspires Me
The realisation that the youngest campers truly don’t know their left from their right, even when a clear handedness is evident. It just goes to show that kids don’t know or care about things like that till they’re told to care, or given messages that the right is supposedly superior to the left. It’s the same way no one is born racist. It’s only an issue after society makes it one.
What Else I’ve Been Up To
We still don’t have a real kitchen, so I’m still going to my parents’ house for dinner, eating out, or eating stuff that doesn’t need cooked. This is even more frustrating than dealing with oppositional defiant campers, Pull-Ups full of feces, and inveterate thumb-sucking. Please remember I’m the one with the more lenient, Conservative views on kosher and that I thought this needed taken care of before or soon after the move!