Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Glory

It finally hit me the other day while I was driving to work. Later, on the same day, I recieved something important in the mail. Four years of planning, hard work, fear, doubt, and perseverance all came to a finale. I received my diploma in the mail the other day and I realised I'd finally achieved the goal I had set just over four years ago.

I had applied to this program twice and had been rejected, and on the third time, after up grading my entry level courses, I was accepted. It was hard going back to school as an adult. We have bills to pay, responsibilities to keep, and academic insecurities to nurture. All the "kids" fresh out of high school might have found that first year of NAIT easy, but that was the most gruelling time for me. There was a lot of rust to knock off my brain. In those first few weeks I was so overwhelmed I often went home, almost in tears, thinking what have I done? I'd quit a good career I was 13 years invested in. I had a job many in the industry sot. My husband was supporting me while I tried to do this and wasn't sure that I could. I never told my husband my doubts. I didn't want to stress him out more than he already was.

A question nagged at me.

What if I fail?....




....I cannot fail at this.

I'm feeling a little proud today, so please forgive this boast-post.

Stella out!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Information Overload

Sorry about the internet silence. I’ve been feeling a little like this at work and home lately.

There is so much for me to learn at my new job and there is so much responsibility involved with the position that I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.  It’s been two nights in a row that I haven’t slept well and that’s not good when you’re working 12hr shifts. When I get a few days off I’m excited to work on my novel but I can’t make my brain do anything. I just want to sit in a vegetative state (which is unheard of for me) and maybe watch TV (also unusual for me). Even reading a book seems too hard a task to focus on right now. *sigh* I hope I get over this information overload soon.

Stella out!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ!

A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special, don't they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Kindness ROCKS!

To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I'm participating too!

I am blitzing a good writer friend of mine, Jeff Hill. He’s been there for me for years. From the very beginning when I ventured out into the cyber world looking for a writing community where I hoped I’d learn how to really write. We met on CC, a well-known critique site, and have been friends ever since.

I’ve always felt that poor Jeff had gotten the short end of the stick in our critiquing relationship. To tell the truth, in the beginning I found critiquing his work very daunting. Our styles are very different. He has this romanticized way of turning a verse in his historical novels that made my writing sound like a Dick and Jane book. >_< My writing tends to be simple, gritty, and downright cringe-worthy on the best of days. One thing we did have in common was a love for MC internal monologues that other writers tell me are “too deep” sometimes. Our vastly different writing styles ended up being a good foil to the other as we crit each other’s works. We each tend to focus on things the other overlooks at times.

Jeff has self-published many of his novels including THE LAST DECADENT, THE LAST COURTESAN, and soon THE BEGARS OF AZURE.  He is also a great editor for hire. If you’re looking for an editor checkout his site.

He has been exceedingly patient with me over the years, especially in my humble Neanderthal-like beginnings. Now my knuckles only drag half of the time. ;)  He’s somehow sensed my impatience through our internet connection and has always returned my work to me, with his notes included, often within the day I sent it to him. He has been with me through three revision of THE SAME NOVEL. Yes, the man is a saint. Cue the choir! ;) I think he’d probably be up for a fourth revision if someone doesn’t find him and slap some sense into him. He has always made me look at my story in different ways and has been instrumental in improving it. He throws colossal-sized wrenches in my stories and I find myself doing the following:

Stella reads a suggestion that Jeff has made about the chapter she’s working on*

“Ahhhhhh! What?”

Stella reads further into the crit and thinks “Gah! This chapter is total crap!”

She thinks about the changes Jeff has suggested for a bit and thinks, “His idea will never work!”

Stella makes the changes Jeff suggested to the story in her mind and tweaks it in ways only her twisted mind can and then thinks “Holy shit! That’s brilliant!”

If I ever publish a novel or find myself happy with my writing it will be because of his guidance over these years.

My blitz to Jeff is all about sharing Jeff’s great writing and editing skills with others. Please check out his novels, and if you know anyone in need of an editor, pass his site on. Or just pass by his site to tell him how awesome he is.

Go! Jeff, go!!
Do you know someone special that you'd like to randomly acknowledge? Don't be shy--come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. :)

Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.

Have you ever participated in or been the recipient of a Random Act Of Kindness?  Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment Revealed

The feedback I received from Matthew MacNish on his blog, The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment, was on the money. I hadn’t realized all the faults my query had accumulated after all the rewrites I’d subjected it to. One of the big problems was that it was vague and cliché in certain parts. It’s hard to whittle down a 450 page novel into 250 words.

On the positive side, it sounds like I’m on the right track.


I know, surprising, right? ;)

Matt has agreed to look at my revision and critique it on his blog again. What a nice guy, eh? I’ll let you guys know when it’s up again.

Stella out!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Query Letters--The Torture Contiues

Exams are over and I started my new job yesterday. I didn’t sleep well last night, I was nervous about my first day. There are a lot of changes happening in my life, but I welcome them all. I love change. My life had become too stagnant for a while.  


You all know of my *cough* love of writing query letters. :S If you don’t know what a query letter is click here. I’d mentioned a while ago that my latest query attempt would be up on a fellow blogger’s site. His name is Matthew MacNish. Unlike other writer resources, like Query Shark (where I’d also submitted my query to be slaughtered years ago, to no avail), Matthew doesn’t make his submitters feel like Neanderthals for our many mistakes. His followers are also kind when voicing their feedback. This unlike a lot of writer’s sites I’ve been to.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t need someone to pat me on the head and tell me “Good job, Stella. You strung together a sentence!” I want criticism. I want someone to tell me what’s not working and what is. I don’t need someone making fun of my amateur attempts at something I know I struggle with. Selling one’s story, capturing voice, and appealing to an agent when they stare at hundreds of these letters a day is not easy.  

If you’ve not been to Matthew’s site, check it out. If not to scope out all his awesome posts, then at least to check out how my query does. It is up today on his site and tomorrow he will critique it.

Feel free to participate in the mock cover poll for my novel on the side bar if you like.-->
Which cover would intrigue you to pick up my novel and read the jacket?
P.S.- Matthew, if you're reading this, I love the name you gave your picture. LOL!!!!

Stella out!
All stories and poems posted are
Copyright © 2009 by Stella Telleria
All rights reserved.