Happy Halloween! And ghost stories!

Today is one of my favorite holidays, one that is often overlooked in the glare of the coming Christmas season. I read Stacey Nash’s postΒ and although not part of that blog hop, I thought it would be cool to share one of my true ghost stories. ‘Tis the season, after all. πŸ˜‰

I have several, since the house I grew up in (and where my parents still live) was haunted. I use the past tense because the spirit(s) that was once there has moved on. When I was 5 or 6, I remember waking up one night to hear all of the kitchen cabinets open and close. It was like someone was walking through, searching for something. The sound was unnatural and I was instantly terrified. I knew it wasn’t any of my family because the house was pitch black. That was the day I became afraid of the dark. I still can’t sleep and will panic if a room is pitch black. I sleep with a nightlight on. Not ashamed to admit it.Β  Continue reading “Happy Halloween! And ghost stories!”

This writer’s constant companion – self-doubt

I’m sure there are many blog posts on this subject: self-doubt. For me, it’s almost always there, lurking at the back of my mind, telling me I can’t do this writing thing. I’ll think I’ve got it locked away but it just seems to keep popping up.

Most recently, it popped up when I realized I didn’t make the final round of Pitch Madness. It hit me hard. I”m not sure why since I did make the agent round in March and got agent requests. Maybe because that was pre-rewrite and the book is SOOOO much better now, partly in thanks to the rejections I eventually got from my submissions per the contest. That ghost in the closet (self-doubt) kept telling me “Hey, guess what? It’s still not good enough. You put all that work into completely rewriting the damn thing and it still sucks.” I really should’ve gone Hermoine on its ass.

But no, I listened to the evil voice of self-doubt and started to doubt that I had written a good book at all. I’m all

Luckily, I have AWESOME friends and CPs who were like “No, dude. We got this.”

These awesome people — you know who you are — reminded me that I did in fact write an awesome book. Just because I didn’t make it to the final round didn’t mean the book was crap. They all advised me to take some time away from the book and work on something else. So I did. I took the weekend off from all things A SCARRED MIND (that’s the title of my masterpiece, in case you didn’t know).

When I followed their advice, things started going much better. I realized how much love and support I have. I had fun with my daughter and watching some Supernatural. πŸ˜‰ And on Sunday, I realized I did write an awesome book, dammit. I don’t remember what made me pull it up sometime after 11 p.m. Sunday night. I wanted to check something in the first chapter, I think. Anyway, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.

Doesn’t sound like a crappy book, does it? Even though I know every detail of what’s going to happen, I found myself tensed up for my Jake and also laughing and crying at the appropriate times. I can only hope other readers will feel the same way. My CPs assured me that they did. I know it’s probably not perfect but it’s as perfect as it’s going to get. Reading it made me feel all

I read the whole manuscript in under 24 hours. Now if other readers do that I’ll be even more ecstatic! πŸ˜‰ It’s okay if they don’t. Right now, I’m happy and confident in the book. I’m going to start querying it again once I can come up with a strong query. In short, I’m not giving up and for the time being, I have kicked self-doubt’s ass.

I still don’t believe Sirius is dead, by the way. Self-doubt will probably come back but I’ll just have to remember how I felt when I finished reading my book. And how I felt when I ran again this morning for the first time in weeks. Alive, free and kick-ass.

I also found out last night I made it to the last round of Pitch Madness, the one before the agent round. The reason I didn’t make the final round was subjective. The person with the yes or no vote didn’t like serial killer tales. I’m not a terrible writer! So much of this business is subjective and I need to keep that bastard self-doubt in the closet where he belongs. (Yes, everything leads back to that first Sam gif) The right agent/editor/reader will love Jake and A SCARRED MIND. And then we’re gonna be all

I just HAD to use that one. πŸ˜‰ If you know me, you know the reasons why. Anyways, moral of the story: don’t give up. Don’t assume you suck if you didn’t make the final round of Pitch Madness or any other contest. Just keep writing!!Β 

And then someday very soon, you’ll feel like I do about my manuscript. Like it’s this good:

πŸ˜€ Happy writing, writers! DON’T EVER GIVE UP!!!