Posted on October 26, 2016
I’ve seen a lot of other authors hit them-low points in their careers when it seems like the harder you work and the BETTER you write, the less happens to move your message and the size of your readership–your career, itself–forward. And the more you have to WAIT for a YES or a NO, and for the sometimes dreaded, but always needed, reviews, allows for abundant time to question everything you’ve done so far in your writing journey, as well as what you plan(ned) to do tomorrow. This questioning leads to frustration, which is not helpful when you’re trying to keep those creative juices flowing. (Creative juices are kinda necessary to write awesome books.)
In my writing career, I’ve been up-and plenty of times. Sometimes I’ve even rocketed, twisting and flailing, into the sky.
But the twisting and flailing ride is kind of a two-way street. I will admit that right now isn’t the first time I’ve twisted and flailed, as I came crashing down. And at the moment, I’m at the bottom of the roller coaster ride, looking up and facing the climb.
Wanting the climb.
GOOD NEWS: Yes, there’s always a silver lining. I’ve reached out to a few other writers and a beta reader (AND NOW to YOU) in search of the words that will inspire me. My wonderful friends who I’ve trusted with my struggle have been generous in their support and encouragement. I’ve been assured that my new books will be “winners” and I’ve been comforted in my frustration with all of the waiting that is required of an author (because sometimes all you can do is try like hell to be patient).
I’ve been told DON’T YOU DARE GIVE UP…
And I’ve been reminded that my goal is to take YOU on a journey that only I can guide.
(me hiking in the woods)
So, yes, this journey as a writer, as are so many of our life journeys, is a trial. Or maybe it’s an election, of sorts. Or a trip to the doctor… or a visit to your kid’s teacher. Or a dance audition. Or basketball tryouts. Or an application to college or law school. You don’t know the final results until you actually take the trip. And then you have to sit and wait, before you muster the energy to work a little harder, and keep the trip progressing in the right direction.
(one of my favorite hikes)
It’s interesting that my effort to bemoan the tribulations of my journey have resulted in focusing my mind on things like my family and good health and an upcoming election…
I don’t plan to give up. I never have. But in the sharing of my experience with my personal roller coaster, I hope for an exchange. I would love to hear how you negotiate your roller coasters. And why you don’t get off the roller coaster, in favor of a carousel ride.
After all, it’s all about the climb.
I’d love to hear from you.
❤ Momma Mia
(this looks just like my dog Jake from when I was a kid)
Posted on October 21, 2016
Yes, it’s a Rapunzel story. And let me tell you, I did my research.
Here’s a taste of what I read in my effort to strip the Disney version of Tangled down to the most basic version of the tale. It comes from an article on Flavorwire called, “The Disturbing Origins of 10 Famous Fairy Tales” by Emily Temple.
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. Well, in the Grimm version, she does, a little too often, to a prince, and winds up pregnant, innocently remarking to her jailer witch that her clothes feel too tight. The witch, not to have any competition, chops off Rapunzel’s hair and magically transports her far away, where she lives as a beggar with no money, no home, and after a few months, two hungry mouths to feed. As for the prince, the witch lures him up and then pushes him from the window. Some thorn bushes break his fall, but also poke out his eyes. For all this extra bloodshed, however, there’s still a happy ending.
I had a lot of fun creating a very dark parallel version of Rapunzel (the original fairy tales were quite disturbing) that takes place in the modern universe. And I submitted the story to 2 YA publishers, one after another. I was told that In A Gilded Cage was just too dark. As in, way too dark. “Readers like their modern fairy tale retellings light and fun.” Maybe I could lighten it up a bit, hmmm? But I liked it dark. And Evernight Publishing said something similar when I submitted it to their Teen imprint, but they added suggestion to the tune of, In A Gilded Cage is AN AWESOME STORY! Have Lucci and Prin grow up a bit… add some heat… and it would fit our Naughty Fairy Tales line PERFECTLY! And so Lucci and Prin grew up enough to be New Adult characters, got a lot more intimate, as did the original Rapunzel characters (wink, wink), and my DARK version of Rapunzel found a home.
I can’t write a story without a visual image of my characters. So here you go…
My image of Lucci… the male Rapunzel.
And Prin… Lucci’s hero. His Prince Charming.
And Mr. Gotham, Lucci’s creepy guardian, who is largely responsible for the darkness of In A Gilded Cage.
In A Gilded Cage is on Amazon in Kindle Format, on All Romance Ebooks, and Evernight Publishing. See comments below for links.