Friday, March 27, 2015

Not all breaks are good

I had been on a roll with writing my book and had made it pretty far into the home stretch. I have the first part, the second part and the Epilogue written. The third part, about 13,000 words of it, was in progress and humming along...and then I had to go away for a week for a family celebratory vacation. I did not want to bring my laptop and work on my writing while away because it was on a cruise ship, and my laptop sucks ass because it has to be plugged in all the time...so I figured it would be a good time to take a break and back away from it.

I was wrong.

When I finally sat down and started writing this story back in November, I told myself that I would give myself a year to write it. Unfortunately, I need a goal and a timeline...Type A and all that. The Type B artist within me just laughed and laughed. I have a full time job and so it isn't so easy to spend dedicated hours to writing.

Since my girls are grown now, I certainly have more free time, but I figured that writing the story would be so much harder than it actually has been. When I began, it just flowed out of me, like the finger had been pulled from the hole in the dyke. I've started this particular story a few times, but then I'd get discouraged and throw it away. This time, it was different. I guess "it"...whatever "it" is...was ready to be told.

When I'd write, a new idea or a new path would come to me and take me there, creating something else that I never thought of before, whether it be a new character or a new storyline to explore. The process is much like how painting is for me. I have an idea, and once I get started, the idea turns itself into a picture. Almost like I'm not really controlling much of anything at all.

Scout's story began as an idea I've had for a long time and has taken me in so many different directions, to places I never thought about before. I suppose that has something to do with the subconscious and the body/mind always finding its way to heal itself, using art to massage whatever is within the artist, even stuff he or she doesn't know about. Art expresses life, but it doesn't necessarily match life.

People run marathons, which is something I have no desire to do. I've run for exercise for many years, and still...no desire to run a marathon. But I am writing a marathon! This is the most excited and scared I've been about a personal accomplishment since I became a commissioned Army officer back in 1993.

So while the break was nice, it wasn't so good for the rhythm and hum of my writing process. I've decided to go back and just start to edit my other parts, edit the part I was working on and then hopefully get back into character soon. I can see the last few miles of this marathon. Just need the proverbial second wind.

-Dori

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Scared Shitless

Because I have written it to the Point of No Return, I wanted to share with my friends on Facebook, who are basically either family or people who actually knew/know me, that I am attempting to become a published author. I am starting with my first novel. I say "first" because I'm thinking positive here and hope that I will be confident enough after the first to write a second...after all, I have a lot of stories in my head.

Back in November, an old high school classmate had self published her first novel. I was so impressed with her courage, I began to think about my own personal aspirations and how I have started and then threw away this novel I have had in head for years. At a crossroads in my personal life, and feeling very sorry for myself, I started writing my novel.

I work fulltime, so I can't just sit in some quiet mountain house in a big fluffy sweater with a coffee on a desk and a dog at my feet, and Norah Jones playing in the back round writing for hours. I can't go into Starbucks with a MacPro and take over a table all day. So, I write when I can. And if I'm not writing, I'm researching or having conversations with my characters or trying to work out how I'm going to tell certain stories within the story. My characters are now my friends, and as pathetic as that might sound, it's really okay because they are my own creation. Actually creating something is quite an adrenaline rush.

I'm more than halfway done this story. It is already really long and I still have a lot more to go. It is being told in three parts and an Epilogue. It is written in character perspective format. I feel like I get to assume a new personality each time I take on telling the story from the perspective of one of my characters, which is nice because I can be other people without being officially crazy.

I've been doing a lot of indie author information gathering, and apparently I have needed to join Twitter (nooooooo!) and start a blog (noooooo!). I used to write a mom type of blog, but blogs can become tedious. So because I need a blog really to be able to share and promote my writing, I've decided to have this blog, and update it ONCE IN A AWHILE in order to share my progress in this monumental undertaking. I do have a Twitter now (www.twitter.com/DoriAnnDupre) and it is an author's Twitter so I don't put my personal life stuff up there. I do have interests that I follow that are not author based, like Steelers players LOL, but mostly, it is for selling my story and learning how to get better at this whole thing. Once I get myself published, I will also have to set up an author's Facebook page for people to "like." This is all an approved version of prostitution I suppose.

I will admit that I am scared to death, but like my old high school classmate, I'm going to charge on, write the thing, figure out how to publish it and then press Go, knowing that I'm opening myself up in a way that I am not comfortable with...rejection, criticism, pissing people off, being told that I suck and to keep my day job, etc. I guess part of growing up (still not there!) is not caring about what other people think of you and to live your own life and truth. So I have approached this whole thing like this: I am doing it. And if the only person who reads my book is my mother, then that is fine. I am writing it for me.

So if you ever read my blog, then welcome to my journey. My journey is called Finding Dori, which any fan of Pixar knows is the name of the Next Best Thing - the sequel to Finding Nemo - Finding Dory. :) As someone who grew up with no one else's name and who couldn't find  key chains or barrettes with Dori on them...I love that there is famous fish with my name, even if she spells it wrong. Also, my author name will be my maiden name, Dori Ann Dupre, the name my parents gave me. I doubt my husband will mind LOL.

Lastly, my novel is called Scout's Honor. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the Boy Scouts.