Borders closing forever

I won’t quote facts or speculate on why Borders is closing.  Whatever the reasons, and I suspect they are varied, losing them is painful and personal.  I held my first booksigning at a local Waldner’s Books.  In fact, I ran across a photo of it just today.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Businesses failing is a fact of life, but a bookstore closing is like breaking the fingers of a writer.  Or crashing their computer or burning their manuscript.  It’s visceral.  It hurts.  It shouldn’t be.

I’m heartened by the overall state of the book industry, despite this sad news.  I’ve just returned from a four day trip through various corners of Michigan, my home state.  Local bookstores still exist, consumers still buy books.  These visible reminders give me hope.

Epublishing, self-publishing are infants.  The industry is undergoing an unprecedented revolution.  Rejoice in the turmoil.  As with all revolutions, there are losers, but there are also winners.  You are the winner.  You, the reader.

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Have a laugh – read your earliest writing

I’m cleaning house, otherwise known as getting rid of junk, and ran across some early writing.  I won’t say in which decade I wrote them, but I’m taking the stand it was before I could vote.  Grade school maybe.  I think they were written in crayon.  Yeah, they’re that bad.  They predate finding my “voice” and clearly show the influence of the authors I read at the time.  If those authors were angst-ridden masochists who were fond of including the character’s first name in EVERY LINE OF DIALOGUE.

Here’s a sample:

“How many men did you have after me, Lisa?  How well did you satisfy your hunger after you whetted your appetite with me?”

“Nick – ”

“My successors, Lisa,” he commanded.  “How many were there?  Who were they?”

****

As you can see, Nick was extremely fond of quotation marks.  He also shook Lisa a lot, yelled at her and wasn’t a very nice guy.  The anti-hero.  He had no character arc.  None of the characters did.

These tragic pieces are going in the trash.  I don’t need validation of how much my writing has matured.  I think I’ll find my humor in other areas from now on.

How bad is your early writing?  Do you still have samples tucked in a drawer?

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Writing Amnesia

I recently decided to edit a book I was soooo certain I’d abandoned two thirds of the way through.  I have a couple of books like that – or half books, left on the side of the road when something brighter and shinier appeared.  It’s a bad habit, letting good books die for no reason other than they’d dragged on for too long.  Or I’d been lazy and didn’t give them the attention they deserved.  I’m convinced I write better and finish more projects when I’m in a NaNo/Book of the Month frame of mind.

Which I must have been with this particular book.  You know what?  I’d finished it.  Oh, the corners were rough and there were a lot of xxxx’s that needed to be filled in, but the book was done.  “The End” was typed.  Finished.

Except –

I don’t remember writing it.  The last twenty pages are a blank in my mind.  My critique partner, Mary, says I was in the groove, and I must have been.  I’ve read it again and still have no recollection of typing those words.

This has happened before, but on a much smaller scale.  I’ve run across a phrase, a joke, a bit of brilliant dialogue and thought “That’s pretty damn good”, but I don’t remember not remembering writing a whole chapter or more.

It’s disconcerting.  I think I have writing amnesia.

Is there a cure?

Best to you,

Cheryl

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