Yup. I’m There.

Jay Lake has written an amazing, if tongue-in-cheek statement of the evolution of a burgeoning spec fic writer.

Gulp. He’s right.

No matter how diplomatic or how calmly the new writer deals with the rejection or the continuing head-butting-against-a-brick-wall feeling, this is truly how they feel deep down.

And yes, I have friends from workshops who are selling short stories and novels, even as I collect lovely piles of rejection letters. I’m truly happy for my friends. Those who are selling, who are under contract, are talented writers. I have other friends who are talented writers who are not yet under contract, and in fact, some who are very talented but not yet querying. I am not jealous of them (okay maybe a little bit, but not enough to wish them ill will, or to give up).

We all must remember that it’s not a race. It’s not a competition. We’re not vying with each other and there is no finish line. It’s not just about talent. It’s sometimes about luck. It’s sometimes about being in the right place at the right time with the right project, and there’s just no predicting that calculus formula. But yes, I do recognize parts of my own inner monologue in Jay Lake’s piece.

And if you’re an aspiring writer…of any stripe…you’ll probably see yourself as well.

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More Awesomesauce Please!

Okay, so I really came out of the geek closet yesterday. I’m going to dial back to just book geekery today.

I will state here (for all you out there trolling for FCC violations) that I receive no monetary compensation for anything I write on my blog about other books, authors, etc. If I do get so much as a free book (hint hint) I’ll tell you.

I’m going to continue posting about book releases that come to my attention. For the most part, those posts will talk about authors I know personally, authors I’ve met at conferences,  and authors whose work I like.

Here’s one whose work I like, am obsessed with, recommend.

Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series is just plain laugh out loud adventurous fun. How can you go wrong with female versions of the Scarlet Pimpernel, espionage, romance, adventure, and just plain swashbuckling goodness? Her latest book in the Pink series, THE BETRAYAL OF THE BLOOD LILY hit shelves yesterday, and I’m already wondering how I can justify a stop at a book store this weekend to pick up a copy for myself.

Why oh why am I worried about justifying a stop at a bookstore?

Well, the To Be Read pile is growing alarming high. I’ve gotten a bit behind on it…mainly because I’ve actually been trying to write, to blog more often, spend time with family and work has been exploding at an alarming rate. I’ve been taking major advantage of some big sales at a few local bookstores that are going out of business, so the pile has grown exponentially, and isn’t diminishing. There are piles of books around my bed and my couch, and there’s even one on the front seat of my car. I’ve had to renew my library items ’cause I’m not getting them read.

Anyone else have this “problem”? How do you explain to friends, significant others, and family members the need for another book when they know you’ve got plenty in the house to read?

My Cup of Awesomesauce Runneth Over

I am ready to publicly announce here that I’m a geek.

Not a little bit. Not just a smidgen. A real live, true and honest through and through geek.

Yes, I was the field commander in my high school marching band. And I have played three different instruments in my life.

Yes, I have purposely crashed and rebuilt my own hard drive. Not just once. More than once.

I own my own Xbox and Nintendo DS, and asked for games for Christmas. I’ve got my eye on a PS3. And maybe a Wii. And a new laptop. My electronic wishlist is always longer than my budget will allow!

For those of you who read those qualifications who might think that I still don’t qualify as a true geek, I will add here that I have my own dicebox; I tabletop game, have run tabletop games. I have a World of Warcraft account, and although it’s currently deactivated, I used to play my undead deep fire mage in raids. I’m absolutely gaga over my Blackberry, and I cried when I accidentally dropped my iPod in a bucket of water while working on my house.

The book collection is ridiculous. I can keep my house clean…but the pile of books is always a trip hazard.

And let’s not forget the fact that I write urban fantasy and humor. And I’ve got a science fiction short story I’ve been fighting with lately.

The geek cred’s there. I promise.

And my inner book geek is doing a happy little internal geeky dance at the following news…

I’ve mentioned the coolness factor of Patrick Rothfuss and his Heifer International fundraiser. Pat’s never made a big secret out of the fact that he’s a huge Joss Whedon fan. If you liked Buffy, or Angel, or Firefly/Serenity, then you’re a Joss Whedon fan as well. I liked Buffy, Angel was okay, but Firefly is true awesomesauce.

And now Pat’s added some pretty serious incentive to donate through his fundraiser…he’s giving away entire sets of Buffy, Angel, Firefly/Serenity, Dollhouse, Whedon’s Xmen books, AND the Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Blog. Which, of course, is so catchy, that you just do catch yourself wanting to sing along.I dare you to watch it without wanting to sing along. Even if you don’t know the words, you just can’t look away.

That’s some pretty awesome geeky incentive to donate. And it’s a great cause. What better way to satisfy both the inner geek and the great tax deductions of charitable giving?

But wait…there’s more.

My friend Julie Kagawa has a brand spanking new YA book coming out at the beginning of February. No, I haven’t read it, but I remember talking to Julie about some of her ideas a while ago, and it totally sounds AWESOME. She’s got contests where you might even win a free SIGNED author’s copy of her new book! And you can get a Grimalkin rock as well!

But I’m not done yet…there’s even MORE!!

My friend Jennie Bentley‘s also got a new book coming out in March…and it’s getting great reviews! Jennie’s a great person, a real cheerleader for me, and deserves all the great accolades on her books. Go check out her newest PLASTER AND POISON, DIY #3. Also…she’s got a new series under her alter ego’s name, Bente Gallagher, coming out June of this year…A CUTTHROAT BUSINESS.

The inner book nerd in me is doing the whole happy-happy-joy-joy thing. Check out all three awesome authors!

(*Just because I’m coming out of the geek closet here, does not mean that my friends are or are not geeks. I’ll let them make their own disclaimers or admissions on their own!)

3/14/2010 EDIT to note that I did receive an advance copy of A CUTTHROAT BUSINESS from my good friend Jennie Bentley (AKA Bente Gallagher), and I’m in the middle of it as we speak. Loving it! More later.

My Goals

I hate saying that I’m going to make New Year’s Resolutions.

So, instead, I’ll tell you what my goals are.

1) I want to have at least one, if not two, finished novels at the end of this year. I’m at least 1/3 of the way through THE GRIMM LEGACY’s rough draft. I’ve written most of the first draft of FULL CIRCLE. The hope is to have one, if not both, ready for submission or workshop by the end of the year.

2) I’d like to finish at least two more short stories. Preferably the two I’ve already started.

3) I’ve said for years that I need to get a post office box to use for my mail/submissions/other stuff. I hate using my street address for stuff, but it’s also a pain to go to the post office every single day. I need to make a decision on this and actually do it.

4) I need to update my blog more.

5) Figure out what contests/conferences/whatever else I’ll be doing in the coming year. And then book it.

What are your writing goals? If you’re not writing, what goals are you setting to reach your dreams?