Monday, October 15, 2012

Meanderings Of An Author

Dear Reader,

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. The last month or so has been insane! As many of you know, I recently became an American, and moved to the states to be with my husband. We drove from Vancouver, British Columbia, to New Orleans, Louisiana in about four days.

The drive took us through some states I never would’ve visited otherwise. We started out in Washington, then through Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and then through Louisiana. Though, I will admit, I slept through most of the places I’d really wanted to see. Though we did a tour of the Walmarts of America—no, not kidding. We went to quite a few through the drive. My dog can now “say” she has peed in more states than most other dogs could ever claim.

My dog and cat have basically adjusted, though the pup is unsure of the weather. The humidity change is hard on her, and it’s not even close to summer. The other three cats had no idea what to make of this strange animal that barks at them. They’ve set boundaries, and rarely cross them. Every day, they get better.

The move jostled me in many ways. Though I threw myself into the new routine, not having a day-time job is disconcerting. I feel guilty for sleeping in until nine. Or have the need to do something, and never feel like I’m doing enough. There are many things I miss from home. As the chameleon I have become, my colors change, I adapt. Over the past three weeks, the words have been returning to me, the drive to write, and draw. I even started painting again. Real, pencil and paint to canvas! Not graphic arts. I haven’t painted in years, and remembering techniques I’d thought I’d forgotten gives me a little bit of the “child with new toy” syndrome.

Since I arrived, and settled in, I’ve been writing a lot. The words just keep coming. I started out almost finishing the second draft of Jaguar, which right now is at 65K, much more than I thought the novel would be. I only had twenty pages to rewrite, to bring to light the ideas and depth of character development that had come to me. But my YA fantasy series written under Kinsey Knight has been plaguing me for months now. With only so little to go, I’d started rereading the Merry Gentry series, by Laurell K Hamilton last week. That was that. The final straw, so to speak. I had to go back to the Elemental books.

I started where I’d left off in book three, Elemental Air, and plugged out 10K in less than two days. The worst problem with doing this was, book two, Elemental Water was only about 20% completed. Granted, I knew the big events that happened, there was so much I didn’t know. So, yesterday, I started writing book two to hammer out some big details. Regardless, I’ve been flipping back and forth between the two, making dozens of pages of notes as I go.

Unfortunately, returning to this multi-book project (4-6 books in the Elemental, 2 in the Turbulent Angels, and 2 in Maeryn) I’m having second thoughts.

In the beginning of Elemental, I’d decided to write these books in first person, present tense. Now I’m wondering if that was the best choice. Yes, I love trying new techniques. However, how badly will this decision hurt me when it comes time to submit? I’ve experienced the downfalls of “thinking outside of the box” more than once in my career. And yes, after a lot of perseverance and stubbornness, this has paid off in spades. But being different in my writing style, resulting in the downfalls becomes trying after a while. On the other hand, I’ve never been one to adhere to mainstream ideals, just because it’s easier. Maybe this is just a phase of insecurities and dread for the rejections I will without a doubt receive, before I hit the golden ticket. Doesn’t really matter how thick an author’s skin grows. A constant string of “no’s” can be hard to stomach. I have to keep reminding myself of the bigger picture.

Eventually, one side of the argument will win out. Three years ago, I would’ve taken the harder path, without question. But, I’ve grown so much, as my writing and goals. I’ve done many things. Opened two companies, worked in different parts of the publishing industry. Now, my world has become focused on one goal, one that shines above the rest. I’ve trimmed the fat, seeing what I really want. To be an author. Funny, through the last year and a half, I’ve come full circle.

Happy Reading…

Kayden McLeod

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