Amy on writing

Capture the Tide

My book, my book. Capture the Tide by Amy Westphal…

The entire purpose of this blog, it’s very existence is for the sake of this book.

But where is it?

It’s been almost a year since I began platforming here on WordPress and I feel that I’m almost back to where I started. Not what I hoped. I’d rather be singing about a book deal.

But that is life. If it were easy, everyone would do it. As they say.

Nearly a year ago I finished writing Capture the Tide. A literary leaning narrative about a young woman surviving and coming of age in a post apocalyptic world.

I had it edited and I shopped it. Then I reworked it and shopped it again. 22 agents. All rejects except one R and R maybe.

And there I stayed. For some time.

Today I am rewriting my book. On Page 20 to be exact. My focus has been to embrace the YA. Remove my author voice and find the characters voice, be more immersive in her experience, in the moment, rather than telling a story about her.

This is proving difficult. My nature is to tell stories and read old books. Old books often focus on the classic third person narrative. We are onlookers. But today!

Today people want in, be in their head. Not first person style where the protagonist is unreliable and limited in their language.

Deep 3rd person allows the author to be both deep and shallow to suit the story. It is weaving of the most difficult fabric. And I am woefully out of my league.

But I am learning, I’m studying. I’m trying.

Kind of drowning here.

But I’m in this thing.

Wish me luck, I love it.

Cheers, Amy

Art, As usual, by me.

Amy on writing

It is the First of April

On this day of pranks I will instead share a list of today’s grievances. Some may even call it a Festivus for the rest of us.

This wonderful idea is from the fabulous and sharp AllaneSinclair.wordpress.com

And now the airing of grievances!

1- plates left next to the sink neither rinsed, washed or without the bare minimum of putting water on it.

2- people asking me to smile, as If I live to serve your fancy.

3- parents who don’t vaccinate because of what they read on Facebook.

4- people who start conversations with “Did you see that thing on Facebook?”

5- Facebook in general

6- Number 45

And now for a life changing video.

Jk. Always wanted to rick roll y’all.

Happy April Fools

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

Down

Heres to another installment of Amy’s Vent-sesh poetry for the chronically stressed. Come commiserate with me my WPs!

It falls so fine you cannot see.

Down, down.

Softly, slowly.

Bask in the translucent blush, watch the sheen as it shimmers down.

Down, down.

Softly, slowly.

Coat after coat, dust to dust, bury me down.

One effervescent sheet at a time, bury me down.

Caked in layers you cannot see.

Down, down.

Softly slowly, softly slowly, until there is nothing left of me.

Today’s super satisfying vent sesh is brought to you by my immense guilt of not editing my book.

But. I opened the file yesterday made some notes and am prepared to finally start. April’s gonna be my month!

I will no longer bury my passion project and guilt myself about it. I have plenty of other things to stress about. THIS SHALL NO LONGER BE ONE OF THEM.

Feel free to hold me to it…

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing, on writing and kids

A story maybe you haven’t read…

The words of Roald Dahl.

https://www.roalddahl.com/roald-dahl/timeline/1960s/november-1962

As a mother and child care provider, this a subject deeply important to me. I don’t often discuss polarizing subjects on the blog, so if this offends you in any way…

Sorry, not sorry.

Because I care.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

A Little R n R

I’d love to say that I’m talking about a little rest and relaxation, but I’m not…

I’m talking revise and resubmit.

It’s not the worst thing a writer can hear, but it ain’t my favorite either.

A revise and resubmit is when an agent likes your work but your work isn’t ready. All agents do a bit of editorial work and coaching. But when it’s more than just a few tweaks, they might request an R and R… if they don’t just reject you.

This is predicated on how much they like your concept and what not. Most of the time, even if an agent requested your full and loved the idea, they will reject you if your writing isn’t up to par.

An R and R is light years above a rejection. Especially when it’s your dream agent.

And here is Amy… between a rock and a For-fucks-sake-do-I-have-it-in-me-to-do-this-again place? Painstakingly rewrite my book, change my POV, remove backstory…Forsake all other things in life like home cooked dinner and laundry? All in the bleeding hope of getting that call, that sweet wondrous phone call, where said dream agent tells me they love my book and graciously want to offer me representation, champion me and ultimately sell my book.

Do I have it in me? I want to, I really want to, but it’s so all consuming, so intense I almost just let it all go. ( you may have noted an absence recently…)

Well I’m still here, that’s a start.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

That’s My Jam!

Finding inspiration through music.

“Where words fail, music speaks.” ― Hans Christian Andersen

I’ve hit a number of writer blocks in the years since I began writing Capture the Tide. And an interesting thing I noticed, about myself, is it wasn’t so much that I didn’t have an idea. But I couldn’t find the mood. I remember driving in my car and listening to the radio. And this song came on, I liked it so much I bought it for a buck 29 on iTunes! Anyway, why did I like it….. as I listened, an entire scene unfolded in my head, it was everything I needed. I simply needed to feel the feeling, hear it, away from the sterile blue light of a computer screen. The intense rawness of new love, of being young and totally impetuous. It’s so easy to forget those feelings when your day’s full of toddlers or you’re feverishly typing notes into your phone between ballet classes and lunch time.

I should note that if you find yourself having those wondrous feelings, enjoy them, please don’t stop to write them down for fucks sake!

Cheers!

Amy

Amy on writing

Pantser or Planner?

This question seems to pop up a lot, here’s my take:

What kind of writer are you? Do you stream consciousness, shoot first and ask questions later? Or are you an airtight, color coded, outliner with a calendar of to dos?

I’d like to say I’m something in between… but I’d be fuckin lie’n if I did. 😉

My first novel came to me as a vague dream and one sentence. I taught myself to write by editing and rewriting the first 10 chapters. What did I learn?

I learned that the voice that is passive sucks, and adverbs suckingly suck.

(I filtered paragraphs through free websites like Hemingway.com and pro writing aid to learn this.)

I came a long way writing those 10 chapters over and over. By the end of 7 years I finished the remaining 21 chapters with a pretty defined picture of where the arcs and ending would take me, a journal of hard to read notes and a hope for what the hell I’d do with this infernal book when I was done.

With all my hard work I decided to invest in a pro editor from skribendi. (Its worth it! And no one told me to say that.)

And now? Working on a query package that will slay em dead. Because if your query’s bla, agents and publishers won’t even turn the proverbial page. (I know this because the internet told me.)

Feel free to share what kind of writer you are through comments.

Cheers to your bestowal of wisdom!

Amy