Lessons in Novel Writing Rejection by Lynn Love

How do you deal with rejection? Whether you’re a fellow novelist — or you adore reading fiction as much as I do — or simply you too are human — at some point we all experience disappointment and frustration.

Here, while I take time off to complete my upcoming novel, “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat,” Lynn Love opens her heart to us. This is how she keeps rejection from getting the better of her novel writing…

Word Shamble

Image: Pixabay

Writing novels is a strange way to spend your life.

You take months (in my case, years) working alone on a project then there comes a point – if you want your baby to develop, to grow and not remain swaddled to your over-protective breast forever – when you must push what you’ve made into the world and watch from a safe distance to see if it will fall on its face or walk, perhaps even run.

But what if it manages to both face plant and saunter cockily round the block on the same day?

A few weeks ago, I learned I’d come second in a Writing Magazine competition (more on that nearer publication day). My prize was either a modest amount of cash or a critique of 9,000 words.

Now, as I’m a writer with heaps of artistic integrity and a yearning to polish my craft…

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I’m featured on Mike and the Gang’s blog!

We bloggers are a friendly lot. If we’re extra fortunate, we’ll meet an entire family of charming of bloggers at the same site!

Such is the case with Mike and the Gang. Recently they wrote a post for Happiness Between Tails to help readers understand a bit about dissociative identity disorder.

Now they’ve touched my heart by publishing about me on their OurDiDJourney site — click here to read it!

On the whole, what’s your experience been with bloggers?…

I’m Featured on Peni’s Blog

da-AL with Emmy
da-AL with Emmy.

It’s an honor to be featured on author/blogger Peni Jo Renner’s site! She wrote the multi-award-winning Puritan Chronicles series and is penning yet another book, this one set in modern times. Not long ago, she shared her self-publishing journey here and here on this blog. Have you been a guest on someone else’s site? Here I am on hers…

Musings of an Author

Just when you thought you’ve met all of my talented friends, along comes Da-al! Check out her blog and get to know this fascinating, creative artist!
Name: da-AL
1. Congratulations on winning an Emmy! When and how did you achieve such an honor?
It was for a documentary I co-produced with a friend about homelessness in Marina del Rey, Los Angeles. Winning it was a happy experience, but also disorienting, which caught me off guard. After the ceremony, as I stood in line for the dinner buffet, someone tapped my shoulder and said, “Hey, you’re one of the winners.” Flustered, I made some sort of excuse. The man said, “But you won.” I continued making excuses!
 
2. Tell me about “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat” and its sequel, “Tango & the Sitting Cat.” Why do you call them “anti-novels”? And where might someone purchase your works?

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Video: Dark Waters + My Impostor Syndrome

Before I was a soon-to-be self-published novelist, I was a radio, print, and cable TV journalist…

da-AL in Dark Waters documentary.
Pre-novelist days, here I am in a documentary I hosted and co-produced, “Dark Waters.”

Here’s a video that by my business partner at the time, David Hunt (who describes the event in additional detail here), and I won a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award for. Adam Yurman composed the haunting music for it. Earth Alert! funded it.

What a find — I thought it was lost!

Interviewees include Heal the Bay founding president/environmentalist Dorothy Green and marine biologist/environmentalist Rim Fay, Jr., along with former California senator Tom Hayden representative Cliff Gladstein and former California supervisor Dean Dana.

Back when it was made, we produced a documentary series, a talk show, and more for the cable TV station located in Hermosa Beach, CA, in addition to videos and commercials for small businesses. Once a show was produced, we’d ‘bicycle’ it, meaning we’d distribute copies of it to the cable stations of outlying cities, so they could air it on their local channels.

In this episode, off-camera is an audience of passersby. Already nervous, the presence of onlookers made me borrow my partner’s jacket to calm my shivers despite the warm day.

The day we won the Emmy, at the dinner afterward, I learned the profound meaning of “impostor syndrome” when someone congratulated me. They had to remind me that indeed I had won and that I had good reason to be proud…

Have you had your 5 minutes of fame yet?…

Guest Blog Post: “An Accomplishment” by Robert

Man and Dogs Playing Cards by Ryan McGuire of Gratisography
Thanks much, Ryan McGuire of Gratisography.com

Too many days, I lie awake at night worrying that I didn’t get enough done. How about you? If you’re like me, RobertLovesPi is here to reassure us that it’s all good…

RobertLovesPi.net

accomplishment

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A Couplet for my Emmy by da-AL

My Emmy was tarnished and broken.

Now that she’s varnished, she’s smokin’!

My new replacement Emmy AwardIsn’t she gorgeous?

My old Emmy Award that I had to send backMy old statuette broke. Plus she was chipped and tarnished. My husband suggested I get her fixed for the sake of having a nice picture taken with her for my book release. Unfortunately, all the trophy repair people I contacted said she was made of pot metal, which is apparently beyond the scope of welding and gluing.

Getting this new one (okay, she’s more than merely the couplet’s ‘varnished’) entailed turning in the original, along with paying a pretty sum.

My new replacement Emmy Award all boxed up
If only the original statuette had come so extravagantly boxed, she might never have gotten damaged.

Now I’m afraid to touch this new glittery one, certainly not without the little piece of lintless cloth that she arrived with. I’m also worried about setting her out on a bookshelf – what if she gets knocked over the way her predecessor suffered?

Nelson Mandela: May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears

After enduring 27 years in South African jail for speaking out against racism, revolutionary-politician-philanthropist Nelson Mandela (South African, July 18, 1918 – Dec. 5, 2013) went on to serve as South Africa’s most internationally acclaimed president. Nowadays, many there refer to him as ‘Father of the Nation.’ (By the way, check out this gorgeous quotation that’s wrongly attributed to him.)

Nelson Mandela wearing the colorful 'Madiba' shirts he became known for. Photo courtesy of Wiki
Nelson Mandela wearing the colorful ‘Madiba’ shirts he became known for. Photo courtesy of Wiki

Each time I read his famous quotes about having confidence and being brave, I am reminded of the times I’ve shocked myself by seeing how sneaky my fear of success can be. As a kid, I worried that setting myself apart would invite criticism, jealousy, and ostracism.

Those fears persist, but in ways that I have to be extra vigilant to detect. Anyone who is thoughtful and who puts their heart into their work knows that insensitive and sometimes even ill-willed people exist within all realms of one’s life. It’s not always easy to not give a damn, but somehow I must slog through the self-doubts that others trigger in me and that I can supply in generous quantities on my own.

Fortunately, at times I know I’m good, and that there are great people all around me. Good and bad and alternating, Mandela is right to point that that being our best selves benefits everyone.

As an adult, only an hour after I had won an Emmy Award, a stranger asked me how the honor felt. My reply was so awkward that he went so far as to remind me that I had indeed won it. Months afterward, telling people about it continued to be a  confusing affair.

Now when I’m frustrated by not accomplishing my goals as quickly as I’d like, I remind myself of Mandela’s wise encouragement. Sometimes I need to be patient. Other times, I see that I need a major emotional overhaul, which at first glance can appear impossible to achieve. That can involve looking for examples of other people doing what I’d like to do. Talking with people who’s judgment I trust also usually helps. Allowing myself to be uncomfortable with the process is crucial. Patience is always rewarded.

Are there times you hold yourself back?

I’ve been tagged! this or that Book Tag by da-AL

this or that Book Tag logo

What fun! Shaymâ, an evocative poet who writes the blog, Shaymâ Deep Thoughts, Spilt Ink.., nominated me for “this or that Book Tag,” created by Ayunda at Tea & Paperbacks. Check out their lovely sites!

Thank you, Shaymâ and Ayunda!

4 Rules

  • Mention the creator of the tag.
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you!
  • Answer 10 questions.
  • Tag 10 other people to do this tag to spread the love!

10 Questions

  1. Reading on the couch or in the bed? More like anywhere and everywhere! As a writer, if I have time to sit, I feel like I should be writing. At the same time, books are my lifeblood. The answer? I listen to audio books a lot. Driving, and via a boom box that I plug and unplug from one room to another. When I’m brushing my teeth, sweeping the floor, or chopping veggies, my essential little player is either on ‘play’ or ‘pause.’ Even when I’m working out to an exercise CD that I’ve already listened to!
  2. Main male character, or main female character? For a great story, who cares? For anything lesser, probably a main female character is more interesting to me. Partly because I can relate, and partly because already the odds seem to be stacked higher against women.
  3. Sweet snacks or salty snacks? Bitter or sweet, nutty, fruity or plain, chocolate!
  4. Trilogies or quartets? In the style of Isabel Allende’s books, I like when they’re ok as stand-alones, but can fit together too.
  5. POV: 1st person or 3rd person? Without consciously selecting them that way, most of what I read is in First Person.
  6. Reading at night or morning? With breakfast, driving, lunch, making dinner. Meaning all day, not at night.
  7. Libraries or bookstores? Both are among the very best places in the world!!!
  8. Books that make you laugh or that make you cry? Both! Somewhere I read a quote that the best stories make one laugh and cry, and have agreed ever since. Wish I knew who coined such a great concept!
  9. Book cover: black or white? Colorful is my fave. If black or white are my only choices, then white, so the black lettering of the title stands out.
  10. Character-driven or plot-driven? My fave stores are a combination of both. Strong interesting characters amid a story with an arc and tension. Fine writing can make anything come to life. I love anything that’s not formulaic, that leaves me feeling better for having read it, in that I either know more or can empathize better.

this or that Book Tag logo

My Nominees

  1. OfficiallyThyda is an inspiring young woman who describes what its like to be recovering from a coma.
  2. LittleDogLaughed takes the best dog photos! My fave, no surprise, given that he looks like my furry loves, is of Steve.
  3. ShashaSelfLove keeps me thinking optimistically.
  4. BreathMath’s Ashoora Arif helps me in an area that I need a lot of help in.
  5. MusikKenya teaches me all about Kenyan music.
  6. Marije, De Gans in both English and Dutch, encourages me to, “Live a beautiful life in a beautiful world,” “Leef een mooi leven in een mooie wereld.”
  7. Jean-Noel’s photographs of people, architecture, and graffiti are lush.
  8. An author from England Suzanne Rogers shares insights into the writing life, along with sharing about her hobbies.
  9. Norah Colvin writes fiction and poetry, plus she discusses her teaching experience.

Bloggers Cheer Each Other On by da-AL

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you, fellow blogger, Patty!

This One Lovely Blog Award is sincerely appreciated.

Patty’s heart shows everywhere on her site. So much so that I featured her writing on this blog as well.

My favorite kind of recognition is the type intended for passing along. Below I nominate just a handful of the many Lovely Blogs I’ve happily read since I’ve begun swimming in the Blog-eanic ocean.

Leibster Award 2016 by da-AL

Leibster Award 2016
Leibster Award 2016

Sincerest thanks to Akshitha for nominating me for a Liebster Award. Bloggers are the best. They love to read, plus they give the kindest feedback.

Liebster is a German term of endearment. Liebster Awards are given by those who are generous of heart. Two people nominated Akshitha at the same time, each relaying different acceptance guidelines.

Following Akshitha’s (here’s her fun guest post on this blog) example, here go my answers:

1. How was the journey with me so far, guess what type of a person I am, and have you ever thought that we could have met already?

From our very first chats, you have been down-to-earth and kind. Your wonderful posts belie a sensitivity, kind-heartedness, and intelligence. As for our having met before, anything is possible! I have yet to visit India, though.

2. When god takes you alone to some other planet, what is the very first thing you’ll do?

You sound so certain of it happening?! Thank goodness you said god, not science. No offense to science, but space travel in a spacecraft would scare me to death. Just the other day, my husband mentioned how astronauts drink their own filtered urine in place of water. That said, once god placed me on extra-terrestrial soil, I would need a restroom or a tree, as I would need to pee from fright.

3. What if you hadn’t started blogging? And how has being a blogger has drastically changed your routine?

That blogging is fun is a revelation! Supportive people from all over the world inspires me and boosts my confidence about expressing myself in such a public way. I was raised to not have opinions, that women were ugly with them. In blog-landia,  ‘giving a damn’ is essential!

My goal is to refine my knowledge of social media, for the upcoming time when I’ll apply it toward promoting my novels. Posting, replying to comments, keeping up with what my new blog friends are doing, and discovering new blogs — there’s much of my day. How do others juggle it all?

4. What type of a person are you to your teacher and your friends?

With teachers, I’m all ears and eyes, save my questions for the end of the lesson. Being with friends is a lot more free-flowing.

5. What’s your dream, goal, and your current job?

My dream is to have as many people read and enjoy my books as possible. My goal is to learn how best to get the word out about them and to better manage the time it involves. I am a writer.

6. Tell me something good about your city and your country.

My city has terrific weather. Rain, thunderstorms, snow — all those are nice, but I am glad to trade them in for our perpetual blue skies and breezy warm days. My country has many freedoms, including the right to speak out when one is dissatisfied.

7. How will you react when the world ditches you, and how will you proceed further?

Talking with friends, writing, reading… and then placing one foot in front of the other.

8. That one book you can always recommend?

I love reading too much to be able to narrow it down to less than several: “A Christmas Memory,” by Truman Capote, as well as his original profoundly written version — not the 1-dimensional film with enchanting Audrey Hepburn — of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Steven McCauley’s “The Object of My Affection,” and Isabel Allende’s “House of Spirits.”

9. How do you feel being a human?

I suspect it’s a lot like being an American. Whereas other creatures have a good sense of our interconnectedness, humans have good intentions, but are too self-absorbed.

10. One incident you’d like to share with me.

The Los Angeles County library system offers free online classes that actually have a teacher on the other end. If it weren’t for their course on how to start a blog, my introduction to blogging would have been a lot bumpier.

10 random,weird, funny, facts about you:

  1. My favorite conversations are spoken from the heart.
  2. I seldom cried at movies — until I met my husband — who now has me crying even at TV commercials.
  3. I love all to do with the arts.
  4. My favorite dogs are any that look like mine.
  5. I was a cat person until my dogs.
  6. My talking and writing to others is as much a dialog with myself as it is with others.
  7. Simple fine things, basic comforts, are wonderful — but literature, travel, great plays, and shows are fabulous!
  8. Strangers are terrific because there are no expectations, only discovery.
  9. I try to exercise and eat healthy because if I don’t, I get headaches and depressed.
  10. I love when people are nice to each other, especially when they’re nice to those I care about.

Now nominated:

  1. https://writingsbyender.com
  2. https://bookshelfbattle.com
  3. https://wisconsintango.wordpress.com
  4. https://letsplayballbook.wordpress.com
  5. https://sydneybosque.wordpress.com
  6. https://tricksterchase.com
  7. https://deweyhop.wordpress.com
  8. https://agurlblog.wordpress.com
  9. https://tangodanceblog.wordpress.com
  10. https://cleveridiotblog.wordpress.com
  11. https://forkwardthinkingfoodinista.wordpress.com

Rules of the Liebster award:

1) Thank the person who nominated you. Post a link to their blog on your blog.

2) Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.

3) Display the award on your blog for the 2016 Liebster Award

4) Provide 10 random facts about yourself. Please do write this so that this virtual world becomes little more interesting.

5) Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers.

6) List these rules in your post. Inform the blogger the happy news that you nominated them for the Liebster award, and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn more about it. They might not have even heard of it!