Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Balls to the Wall Courage and an Excerpt of My Latest Work OMG

It's come to my attention that I'm a bit of chicken-shit. Not to say that I don't do brave things. I'm an anxious nelly, and doing normal things like talking to humans outside of my own house (totally sober) can take a fair amount of courage. When I was younger, I couldn't order a pizza without first writing down exactly what I was going to say beginning with, "Hello, I'd like to order a pizza." Thankfully, I don't (often) get palpitations at such exchanges anymore, but there are certain things which have become more difficult over time. Like posting on my blog. Which might explain why I have no fewer than a hundred unpublished blog posts. After some serious therapy soul searching, I've realized that I have an intense fear of vulnerability. This fear manifests itself in manifold ways.

1. When my phone rings, I rarely answer.
2. When my doorbell rings, I rarely answer.
3. Unless you're someone who loves me (preferably unconditionally), I probably will never call you on the phone. Yeah, no probably. I won't. I'll text. Better yet, give me your email.
4. If I run into you somewhere I'm not expecting to run into you, I'll usually pretend not to see you unless you say hello first, in which case, awesome. So in the future, do that. And pretend to be excited to see me. If you don't I'll assume you hate me and wish I were never born.
5. I have only a select, very small group of critique partners and beta readers for my work.
6. I will put off showing my writing or talking about it for as long as humanly possible. If you do read my work, assume I came close to pissing my knickers before I sent it to you.
7. Heights freak me out. Also, bugs. And rejection. And germs. And crowds. And people on stilts. And people. Did I say rejection?

One of the few things that makes the above easier is alcohol. And maybe also my BFFs who threaten to boil my laptop if I don't cut that shit out (this probably puts my BFFs on the list at #7). Aside from the normal(?) cynicism and paranoia, fear is probably the foremost reason for holding back when I could otherwise act. I have this painful awareness of ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD GO WRONG OMG. So. Yeah. I don't post my writing anywhere.

But I'm exhausted with fear. Publishing is a tough business in which you have to be audacious. There's no point in writing a ballsy manuscript if I don't have the cojones to take it to the next level. So I'm going to do something I've never done. I'm gonna be a nervy little badass and let you read a snippet of this ballsy book of mine. Just a paragraph. Baby steps.

But.

Pretty much it's like I'm posting a naked picture of me. If you're assuming I've wet myself, well, you could be right.

******************


He pulls me into him, and we become a mesh of limbs and skin, a tangle of arms and legs wilting into sleep. In this moment we are the purest version of us, undiluted like uncut heroin and just as intoxicating and addictive. But when his breathing evens and his heartbeat against my back steadies and slows, I remember the right thing. I remember it's only in the dark, secret places that we belong to one another, unscattered, unbroken, undenied. It's only here in the dark we won't destroy us.


In the event you're curious, the ms is a YA with subtle supernatural elements. Magical realism, maybe? Think If I Stay with jagged edges and a seriously unreliable narrator.

47 comments:

  1. That was hot and heavy without being hot and heavy. (Especially this early in the morning.)
    And I would've have to pretend I like you.

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    1. I wouldn't have to pretend to like you either, Alex. Thanks so much <3

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  2. I think you're very brave. And there isn't a whole lot I can add here that hasn't already been said, but I love this book.

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    1. Thanks, Matt. That means a lot. So glad we're friends <3

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  3. I don't read YA. That said, you're clearly very talented, judging by this paragraph alone - it's a beautiful piece of writing. Thanks for sharing! :-)

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    1. Ah well, many thanks! For the lovely compliment and for reading :D

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  4. haha, wow, if I was making a list of 7 items about me, it would look IDENTICAL to yours. Well, except for the germs. I only freak out if it's raw meat germs. *shudders*

    You are one brave cookie! Anytime I post my writing online, I immediately take it down - I'm glad you didn't do that because your teaser is LOVELY! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. I'm starting to wonder if maybe we aren't the same person, frankly ;)

      And thank you! That teaser isn't the most representative of voice, as my narrator is probably more sarcastic than this, but yeah...I really appreciate your kindness.

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  5. ... I want to read this MS right now

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    1. Dude. Thank you. I hope others feel the same O_O

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  6. I liked your little blurb a lot. And I don't answer the phone or door unless I know who it is, especially the door at night. So you're not alone in that. Or being afraid of some of the public parts of being an author.

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    1. Thank you, Natalie! Glad to know I'm not alone in my neuroses ;)

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  7. Dude, you are so brave! What do they say, bravery is not the absence of fear but taking action in spite of it? Good for you, and of course you know I love this story-->and I like this: "Think If I Stay with jagged edges and a seriously unreliable narrator."

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    1. Thank you, Liza <3 So happy you liked the story. You're a discerning reader with immense talent, so it feels especially meaningful.

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  8. Ooh, I love it! Great descriptions.

    If this is a naked picture of you, let me assure you you look hot.

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    1. LOL Well I do have a bit of a tan ;)

      Thank you, lovely Liz.

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  9. Carol! This is a gorgeous piece of writing! I'm intrigued, both by the excerpt and the bit you shared about the story's concept. I'm so glad you chose to share. :)

    (Also, I rarely answer my phone or door either!)

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    1. That means so much. Thank you, Katy! It's not totally indicative of the voice, but I loved how this paragraph wrapped up the story thematically. Here's hoping something actually comes of this story. Sigh. That's probably one reason I don't post my writing either. It may never go anywhere.

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  10. I'm flabbergasted by my husband, who always answers his phone. I'm like, "ever heard of screening calls, dude?" I won't even answer my mother, sometimes.

    Your writing is lovely, just like you! And in response to the above, as long as your writing came out of you, that's the most important anywhere it could go.

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    1. Thanks, Summer! Much appreciated. <3

      I don't understand those people who answer phones either. It's not the 1950s.

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  11. Hooray for you! Vulnerable is a hard place. If you can climb that steep ladder out of it, so much the better. I wish you could know how amazing you are, as a person, and a writer. Even reading your one paragraph, I sigh. Those words cost you to write...I can feel that. Best to you! You CAN, no ARE doing this. Just keep on.

    Liza (Middle Passages)

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    1. You are always so good to me, Liza. You give me too much credit. But thank you. I'll try to believe every word and in myself.

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  12. And there it is...and you're still alive (I think). See?? Nothing to fear when you are an awesome writer. And you know I love this book even if it had me pacing and screaming...:D

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    1. Well, mostly alive. I'm pretty sick today. Blah. But I know what you mean. And it was just a small snippet, really. As I look at it now, it seems soooo small. But it's a start towards ballsiness, I guess. And thank you! Sorry I had you pacing and screaming, although okay, that's kind of a cool response. :P

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  13. Kindred spirits. Can't say more than that. Then again, I suspect that's no great surprise.

    Take care, sweetheart xoxox

    Oh, and answering the phone, or the front door for that matter, is very overrated :)

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    1. I'm not surprised, Wendy. I always did like you so much. <3 <3

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  14. Awwwww lovely to see a blog post from you, Carolina!!! Yay!

    People who really know me know not to ever ring me or visit me by surprise! LOL!They know I love them really, I just want to do a Garbo!

    Loving your excerpt too - very sensual!

    Take care
    x

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    1. My dear, you are a treasure. It's always so good to see you come by. I need to come visit and see how Charlie is doing. Thank you so much for your lovely words! It's kind of nice to know I'm not the only one who hides out. I like the term--going Garbo. It sounds far better than the adjective I had for myself. So glad you liked the excerpt. :D :D :D

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  15. Such an amazing snippet, Carol! You have nothing to be nervous or worried about. I can tell from that little piece of your writing that you have such talent. And I love unreliable narrators! Thanks for being brave and sharing this lovely excerpt!

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    1. You are so kind to me, Tracey! I really appreciate the encouragement. Every step of this journey feels like such a brave act, and posting this took a lot of gumption. But I feel better about it now. Like, okay, I can do this. I can DO THIS.

      Thanks, love.

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  16. It's beautiful, Carol, I love it! I'm so glad you shared. And I think all writers have a bit of Shyness/Asperger/Agoraphobia in them. We got caller ID 20 years ago when they first came out and I *love* screening my phone calls. Even then, I don't answer most of them. Leave a message and I'll call you back - or email! :-)

    Finish this book and start querying, dear friend! xoxo

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    1. It's a bit neurotic, but I suspect most writers are subject to some kind of neuroses. Maybe it's like a requirement??

      I screen pretty much all my calls unless I'm expecting them, with the exception of a few people. I'm not sure what it is, why I hate answering the phone. It's almost like I'm losing control. Like who knows what will happen after you say hello? And those first few seconds on the phone area always so awkward, yeah?

      And thank you. The book is actually finished. I just need to do something with it. I've been stupidly sitting on it for a month now. Shame shame shame. But today maybe. I'll change that tonight. *gets up off book*

      Also? Thanks, K. <3 <3

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  17. Okay maybe it's just me, but you sound like a writer. Or perhaps just like *this* writer, because those are so and totally me! (Except the alcohol part... for some reason I can't drink! And the stilts. But let's throw soap/lotion in there--can't stand the slimy-ness ewwwwww--and we'll call it even.)

    Also? That was awesome... you ROCKED it! (And we get to read this WHEN? Hurry up already!)

    Yay for you! :D

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    1. Ha! It looks like we're not alone in our neuroses. I'm surprised by how many people can relate. Well then. Look at us, all neurotic and stuff. Go us.

      But lotion? Really? I'm constantly rubbing it on. I have an OCD-like need to keep my hands from going dry. It's kind of weird. While I was in Texas for a convention last weekend, out of the blue my friend Holly goes, "Does anyone by any strange chance have lotion on them?" And I was pulling my Bath & Body works lotion out of my purse before she was even done talking. You probably would've cringed, huh? :P

      And dude, thank you! I have no idea if anything will come of this book. I feel so anxious just thinking about it. But, who knows? Maybe it'll get inked somewhere. Preferably for money. Well, money given to me anyway...

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  18. 1) That little snippet is AWESOME. Thank you, so much, for including that.

    2) One through seven up there? Yeah. I am so right there with you. Specifically one through six, but there are aspects of seven that I totally suffer.

    I think you're a rockstar, lady. I have for a long time now. I dig the quirks. Quirks are important. I completely appreciate your sharing them. :)

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    1. WOW. Dude, I love you. Thank you! You made my day. TOTALLY IN EVERY WAY MADE MY DAY. Please come over so I can buy you dinner and put a super cool Mexican hat on you and we can dance and celebrate how cool you are.

      Sheesh, now I feel floaty. <3 <3 <3

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    2. Awh. :) Well I'm glad!

      Dude I would rock the Mexican hat - let's absolutely do that! I mean not to celebrate me, that's silly. But to rock a Mexican hat. For the sake of rocking a Mexican hat. That is epic.

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    3. Dang, but I LIKE you. We would totally rock a Mexican hat. Like we can get one to fit over the both of our heads. AT THE SAME TIME. WHOA. And from that point forward everyone would say, "You remember that time Kim and Carol wore that hat at the same time?" And they will nod and nod, all smiley inside because we totally rocked the Mexican hat and it was beautiful. Look at us, making memories already.

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  19. I loved this post--I suffer all of 1-7--in some ways I think it's what makes us writers. (That's what I'm writing my college application essay on! Except I'm twisting it around and claiming that it takes more strength than most people possess to sit in silence with yourself and listen to your own, real thoughts...which I really do believe.) Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your writing sample--I'm sure you know without me telling you that's beautifully written, but I understand how hard it is to share something like that! The first time I e-mailed a sample of my writing to someone I immediately sent a second e-mail telling my correspondent that I was having an anxiety attack and I needed him to delete the first e-mail without reading it.

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  20. That sounds like a pretty awesome college app essay! Excellent thesis. Best of luck with all that. I remember those days. The good news is writers have a leg up in anything where essays are involved ;)

    Thank you for your kind words! And yes, stressful. It's odd because it takes tremendous confidence to write, but we all fall apart when it comes to sharing our work. It's the way it goes, I guess. It's very much a piece of us in ink, and revealing it is revealing a piece of ourselves.

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  21. Hail!!! from a fellow chicken $hitter... Uh, that just sounded wrong.

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  22. I love your writing - and your honesty. Always have. HUGS from one chicken to another ;)

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  23. Gee! Tweet a few 'and's' it reads like a perfect poem from that snip. Once in while I create poetry from various paragraphs taken from my WIP. It was filled with discriptive imagery. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. I am extremely impressed using this blog. It is straightforward to discover that you will be enthusiastic of your composing.

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