About Me

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Aspiring writer is the commonly used title for someone like me but I'd prefer story teller. Presently I'm working on my first manuscript. Glad you stopped in, follow my writing journey I'm sure it will have a little bit of everything.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New scene

Got an email over the weekend with some unexpected words of encouragement complimenting my story, it's always nice to hear that my story sounds good.

Saturday I spent the day away from the house, away from distraction.  Cat & her gang just don't know when to shut up, they were demanding my full attention.  There's a scene that's been stirring in my head, turned out steamier than I thought (blushing) (not really) remember folks its Young Adult so we're talking YA steaminess. I think I did a pretty good job with it, you should be able feel the flutters & all that good stuff.

I was able to write a little under 5,000 new words in about 6 hours. I don't know if that's a good thing or not but I'm glad I was able to get a really good scene from my head to the paper.

Catalina's world is going through some exciting changes. Soon I'll be writing about reincarnation & past life stuff. I've got some really good notes I've jotted down for over a year. I'm so siked to get to it. There's also stuff about Karma, one of my favorite subjects. It's all kinda intertwined, I think it'll make for a good story.

Remember I like questions and/or comments so don't be shy. If you want to know more about the characters, I'll do my best to answer without giving too much away.  Truth is I don't know how much I should say (or not say) but as questions come up I guess I'll decide what's safe to answer.

Thanks for stopping in. 

Gigi ∞

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Tumblr inspiration & then some....

I've mentioned I have a Tumblr blog. Some of you get here thru that blog. It's called A Tale To Be Told (This link will take you to it). I post everything that inspires my writing on that blog, I'm very visual & the pictures I've been able to find I don't think I'd find anywhere else. After fiddling with it I realize that Tumblr is an arena where everyone & anyone can express themselves, even if it makes no sense to me. I like that. With that said, it's also an arena where people can express themselves' and sometimes that hurts people's feelings.

The reason I'm mentioning this is because I took the time to check out some blogs that are not necessarily inspirational (I thought) for me but they were an outlet for that person.  I normally stay away from sites that are negative & interfere w/ my writing mojo. Why? Cause I can just turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper if I want politics, criticism & arguments. But this time I made an exception out of curiosity & because some people have inboxed me that they've been victim to cruel criticism.  It's a shame because these people seem very nice as well as talented.  So I went on to check out the sites that I normally avoid & guess what, I got inspired. Yep, something clicked & I'm finally able to pin down the personalities of a few characters in my book.  I was surprised that I'd stumbled upon inspiration in such sites.

So what are you saying Gigi & why are you talking about this? I'm not sure, maybe what I'm trying to say is that you never know where you'll find inspiration. That maybe it's good to read everything & anything that's placed in front of you, you never know what that info will do for your writing. And maybe I'm talking about it because I see how some people choose Tumblr (as well as other sites) to bully people & it's not right. They should stop & realize that maybe, just maybe, that person (child or adult) you are bashing publicly has to deal w/ bullying every single day & Tumblr, their one safe haven, is their escape. Just think about it.

Will I go searching for negative blogs on purpose. Probably not. But if I chance upon one, I might just take the time to read it, rather than block it.  If I see that this blog is informative without being ridiculously negative, purposely demeaning, insanely judgmental & the blog keeper isn't acting too bi-polar that day because they skipped a med, then I might stay a while to peruse the site. (Just so we're clear I do follow quite a few who fit that very description and I love them. They post some amazing stuff & write some inspirational craziness that blows me away. So if you're bi-polar & skipped your med today, I love you too. Just don't be mean & go take your med right now!)

Ok so my blog today isn't technically about my writing. Chances are it's not always going to be, I mean how many times do you want to hear that I'm editing. And yes I'm still at it.  I did buy a new book on Showing & Telling for writing. But I'll leave that for another day cause I'm still reading it.

That's it kiddies. Remember I like questions and/or comments.  Hope you click the link for my Tumblr & visit. Here's the link again http://gigielizabeth.tumblr.com/


The I heart Tumblr picture belongs to this guy http://topherchris.com/post/82972800/get-it-here-any-requests-if-i-use-your-idea

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Holy Format Batman!

I seriously thank the writing Gods for letting me 'just write' all those years.

It's now Thursday & all I've done this past week is read, learn, re-read & format. I sure earned that 'your format sucks' comment from that critique. It's taken me a few days to indent, yes indent can you believe it. I'm sure there's an easier way to indent paragraph's but I'm not Word savvy, so I'm stuck w/ indenting endlessly.  But that's just the tip of the iceberg.  Turns out that I managed to somehow write a book that includes dialogue that complicates things. (Of course I did!) I have two foreign languages in my manuscript, Spanish & Calo. I write in Spanish fairly well so that should make this new found knowledge easy to maneuver, but I don't speak a word of Calo cause I'm not really a Gypsy.

Gasp! You're not a Gypsy & yet you're writing about one. Yeah hate to break it to you but I'm not.  I'm sure JK Rowling wasn't a wizard either, so I think I can be forgiven for not being Gypsy.

Anyway, turns out that there are specific ways to include/write foreign languages into a manuscript. I'm not a complete idiot, I figured there was & would have to address it at some point but it's trickier than I thought. But it's fine, I'll get through it & clean it up to make it work. I can't get rid of my foreign languages, it would strip away from the heart of my story. They're staying. (That is until an agent/publisher tells me it's gotta go but those are worries to be addressed later.)

Then there's internal dialogue (what the character thinks) turns out that there's also a specific way to write that. It has to be done in a way that it doesn't become distracting or take away from the other writing. That might be trickier to get a handle of but I'm sucking it up & getting through it.

So (sorry C) I've managed to write a book that has some funky rules I need to follow. Of course, if I had a writing background I'd know a lot of this already BUT again I have to say I'm glad I didn't know it because it would've really hampered my writing. I give credit to those that can edit as they write. I don't know if I could ever do that because I'd be second-guessing every word & never get my story out.

Thank goodness for my side-kick, we'll call her C (my sister). She's right there battling it out with me. I send her endless links to read that will help my writing. She has the capability of retaining better than I when it comes to the technical stuff. Phew!

Here's a link to a site that I think I'll be referring to a lot to help with my formatting & other details. http://www.annemini.com/?p=4241

Thanks for stopping in. Would love to hear from you.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Critique Group & Beta Readers update from the weekend. GAH!!!

My thoughts are still a bit fuzzy from the weekend but I gotta say it was a life changing one.  I'll start w/ Saturday.

Yep I was totally nervous, my writers meeting ran longer than normal & it cut into the critique time.  When we assembled ourselves for critiquing we had to rush. I was in the frame of mind "i'm going first to get it over with." So I did just that. Was I scared & nervous, hell yeah I was. My legs were trembling, I'm sure my hands were too but I blocked it all out, sucked it up & went thru my reading. Yep I literally sat there & read it out loud. Mind you the people around me, most, are experienced writers and/or published authors. (you know the real deal).  Anyway, i was reading then the lady running the critique says "STOP we need time for everyone else. First of all your formatting sucks." (I don't think those were her exact words but that's the version in my head ok.)  I now know what she meant by formatting & it means just that, the format, the layout, spacing, font, idents, etc. The overall presentation.  Honestly I totally deserved "your format sucks" because what I did is fit as much as I could in the the 5 pages I presented to them.  Indents: non existent, spacing: don't remember, font: i thinks it was times new roman, margins: whatever I could fit into the page. And so yeah, it sucked.

Now on to the good stuff. She said I write well. Phew!!! is what i said in my mind. Then she said (along w/ the other person assisting her) that she wished there was time to read more. As a writer that's exactly what you want to hear. I was stunned, along with shocked, happy, relieved, etc. I had to wait for the others to finish & held it all in. The other writers were amazing, they sounded experienced & forget it their margins, indents & font confirmed everything mine was lacking. Ha!

When I got in my car, I called a very important person in my life & broke down. Why? Because it's been 3 years that I've been writing & that Saturday I'd made up my mind that after that critique, whether good or bad, I would make a decision about my writing. Whether it was going to be just a hobby or something I'd do for the rest of my life & eventually publish. I had to make a decision because I've got so many other things going on that are just as important as my writing. That day would confirm if i was going to prioritize my writing or put it on the back-burner (if it was only a hobby).

It's not a hobby, it's my passion & after the weekend it's up there right next to the other important things I've got going on. I'm going to make it all work! I'm not worried about the the formatting because it can be learned but the "telling" of a good story, I believe, cannot. And that's what I consider myself 'a story teller.' Sometimes I don't feel the writer title fits because I think it's a title that should be earned. So kiddies my goal is to publish one day.  I want all of  you to fall in love w/ my characters.

Sunday, my Beta Readers gathering was great. I loved sharing w/ them. I modified the meeting to fit my need at this time.  I read out loud to a group of about 9 (a mix of preteens, teens & adults) & got a wonderful response.  My goal was to see if the readers were connecting w/ my characters & if they could "feel" my writing. They did.  Of course, I got some feedback on what I can improve & that's exactly what I wanted from them.  I left them wanting more & they can't wait till we meet again. Yes that's an amazing feeling.  I want them to want more & I can't wait to share it with them.

So yep I feel great. The weekend has confirmed that this is what I'm destined to do & there's no stopping me. I'm excited & scared about the next steps to come. I intend to pitch it to an agent, after I do more self-editing & get a handle on formatting. I've got my work cut out (so does my sidekick/sister, the best proofreader I could have.)

I'm glad to share this w/ you & if anyone reading has ever considered writing or doing anything that was scary & risky, I hope this blog inspires you to take the plunge. Nothing worthwhile is easy, not sure who's quote that is but it's dead on.  The fear & doubt, once overcome, makes you stronger. This weekend was my baby step in this writing world, I'm ready to tackle the rest, which I'm sure will make my baby step seem insignificant. And that's ok because this baby step & many others to come, will get me to the next step & eventually get my story in the hands of people.

"Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there."

Thanks for reading. Would love to hear from you.

Gigi ∞

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Critique Group - Gulp!!

Where to start with today's post. Lots going on in my life right now. The most immediate nerve wracking thing is this coming weekend. I've mentioned that I belong to a writer's group. This group also has a critique group.  I'm fortunate to be a part of a group with many published authors, people who have been writing for years & who have first-hand knowledge of this nutty writing world.

That, of course, is what scares the bejesus out of me. I plan to have my book critiqued this Saturday it would be my first time ever doing it. I'm skeered & thrilled. Yesterday I sent an email giving them a heads up that I'm taking part in the critique. Here's a honest moment for ya:  Sending that email was one of the hardest things I've done with my writing. (1) it commits me to the critiquing on Saturday. (2) it confirms that I am ready to take my book to the next level.  I wrote & re-wrote that email, each time second guessing myself. I finally left the email sitting in my box & went on to do other things, purposely.  Then someone I care for dearly was telling me about school, telling me how this week her class had a writing assignment & each student had to proof read each other's work. She told me how scared she was because these were peers & friends. She showed me her draft & it had so many corrections it looked like she doodled on it. I told her I was afraid of the same thing & we both laughed. She helped me more than she'll ever know.  It was in the middle of that conversation with her that I hit send on my email.  She inspired me. That little moment I had with J pushed me to take that next step. I am grateful for that & I will one day tell her how much it meant to me.

So now here I am, trying to get my stuff together for Saturday w/ my writers/critique group & Sunday with my little Beta group.

I've gone back to the beginning of the book to do a full read-through (w/ my sister's help) & what do you think we found? Lot's of stuff that I didn't need. Shocking right?? Of course not, i'm sure when I read it again, I'll find stuff that hid from me the previous 50 times.

That's it for now. Gracias for reading & again I mention that I like hearing from you.  It's always nice to know if someone out there in this universe is listening reading. :)

Gigi ∞

Monday, January 9, 2012

Beta Readers, what the heck is that?

I'm a newbie remember. A still wet-behind-the-ears writer as I mentioned before. I just learned that Beta Readers are a group of people who read your pre-published work.  I also remember reading way back how this one writer who was also targeting the Young Adult audience got a group of young adults & shared her book with them by reading it out loud. It helped her writing a whole lot, 9 years later she's got several books & movies.

All that brings me to this. I'm gathering a small Beta Readers group with some young adults & adults. I'm excited & scared (but more excited than anything) about doing this. How exactly is it going to work, well I've modified it to fit me & my current situation right now. I plan to read a few excerpts from my manuscript & get some live feed back. I'm ready for the good, bad & ugly. I'm excited to put it out there & see if people like my Gitanita Catalina.  So my group is going to meet this coming weekend, if I can get everyone's schedules to work out. I'll give an update next week & tell ya what the feedback was. Yes I'm figuratively biting my nails.  

As always I appreciate your reading & come back again.

Remember I like questions & comments.

Gigi ∞

PS... send me a friend request on FB at Tale To Be Told and/or follow me on Tumblr at gigitaletobetold.tumblr.com

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Why is Catalina Gypsy?

When I had my dream I didn't see her as gypsy, she was a regular girl but her features were different. I remember she felt nervous, uneasy and couldn't shake the feeling that she was being stared at.  With that feeling still stirring in my head when I started writing I knew there had to be something different about her. I just didn't know what? I remember driving one day, doing my usual daily routines, & it came to me, Cat's uneasy emotions were because she has a Gift she can't control.  I researched a lot of stuff & came up w/ one (a Gift) that I felt comfortable with.  Then I had to give Cat a background. I was born in Chile & came to the US when I was like 8 or 9. In Chile there's a Gypsy population which I often saw & still have seen till this day when I've visited, that somehow has stayed with me (I'm not sure why).  So after thinking about it I decided to make Cat a Gitana Chilena (Spanish for Chilean Gypsy) called Jorajane.  I was siked once that was settled because I could get on with the story. From that point on I embraced my Gitanita (Little Gypsy) & my story flowed.  As I mentioned she's modern which is why in my Tumblr blog I post pictures about Gypsies, Flamenco dancers/fashion, boho/bohemian fashion, hippie fashion, tarot cards, belly dancers, crystal balls, jewelry, etc.  I find a little bit of Catalina in everything because she might either wear something boho/gypsy, have a picture frame in her home of a flamenco dancer or one of the images reminds her of a story she heard from her Gypsy clan.

Anyway that's a little bit about this Gypsy Girl named Catalina.  Thanks for reading & come again.

Gigi ∞

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Writer

I guess I should explain how new I am to the writing world. Did not go to school for it or even worked in the industry. My background is Law, paralegal/legal assistant. When I started writing about 3 years ago it was all new to me. It started w/ a dream. One of the few times I've had a vivid dream & actually remembered it. I remember waking up & still feeling what the girl felt in my dream. The thing is I don't often remember a lot of my dreams but this one stuck w/ me. Later that day I spoke to my sister to tell her about it & she said I should write it down. So I did & that was the beginning of a journey that has transformed my life. I knew I liked to journal & keep a diary but I didn't realize I had a passion for writing. The story was pouring out of me effortlessly.  I wrote every moment of every day, staying up all hours of the night driving my family crazy of course. But I didn't stop, I wrote & wrote. Sometimes I'd stop & think I can't believe this is all coming out of my head. And then when my characters started developing personalities I was shocked. It amazes me that they have distinctive personalities, as I write I know Catalina would do this not this & Nick would react like this.  Then about 2 years later I thought hmmm if I want others to read this & maybe publish it, I need to learn about that world. And so began a new phase in my life of learning about authors & publishers. I joined a wonderful writers group (LSFW), best move I ever made because they've really shed light into this world.  I'm learning so much & yes I get (very) confused. Writers/authors have their own lingo. If you're a vet writer reading this maybe you don't see it but for us newbies I tell ya you do. I find myself writing down everything & anything. Then I google it(gracias google) 

All that brings us to now. I'm still writing and it's still the same book. I didn't start out with the intention of making it more than one book. I just wrote what I saw in my head. Then when I learned that there was something called a word count I was like, a what?  Turns out publishers have guidelines & one of them is how long a book should be (if you're interested in submitting to them). Yes I was shocked because once I learned to use my word count button I had about 5 books. All this new information I've learned has interrupted my writing because I worry now about my writing style, word count, social media, and so on.  I'm glad I waited 2 years before learning all this new information because I got the heart of the story out without outside worries.  Too much information sometimes can hamper you, I know it does me. But I'm loving it all, yes I'm scared & worried that people are going to hate the book but it's the risk I'm willing to take if I want others to fall in love w/ my story.

And so that's my post for today. If anyone's reading this leave me a comment or just keep coming back. 

Gigi ∞