Sunday, August 25, 2013

I Am...

My family - June 2013. I'm the short one.
Lately, I've thought a lot about my writing, and what I hope to accomplish with it. I've listened to other writers, watched agents' twitter and blog accounts for a clue to what they want, and tried to pay attention to what is being published.

And I'll be honest, there's a part of me that wants to write what 'they' want.

But that wouldn't be me, being true to myself.

At times I wonder, would some agents be more interested if I were a different person? You know, if I wrote extremely explicit sex scenes (which I don't), if I wrote cheesy romance (don't have it in me), or if I wrote contemporary YA fiction (not my thing). 

Reality is this, I'm a mom, and that definitely impacts what I write. Anything I put on paper should be something I would be proud to allow my children to read - if not today, then in the future. That doesn't mean I'll only write easy, feel-good, PG stories. In fact, I feel like my kids need to understand the 'real' world. I've never been one to hide reality from them or shelter them too much. 

And maybe more than that, if I try to force myself to write things that aren't intrinsically 'me', they won't be well written. My voice needs to be my own. My stories need to be what I want to write - not an attempt to please people I've never even met.

Does this mean that I'll never find an agent I connect with who loves my work? I don't know the answer to that question. What I wouldn't give for a crystal ball right now! 
I do know this - I carry a lot of experience into my writing. It may not be your experience, but isn't that what books are about, carrying us to places we don't typically go?  I also know that I'll continue to write (and get more accomplished now that I'm determined to shake off my worries about everyone else), and I'll press forward in an effort to one day be published.  

I am a writer. I am a wife and mother. I work every day, outside my home and in it. I have amazing children, and my family is the most important thing in my world. I'm determined to keep doing what I love - all of it.
I AM Tina. 

And I rock at being me.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013


When I was nine, my friends and I saw a UFO.

We were having a sleep out in my neighbor's back yard the first time we saw it. The night was dark, and we were whispering, trying to avoid being shushed by the parents inside. Jani spotted it, pointing it out to the rest of us with a 'wow, look at that'. Of course we doubted her at first - she tended to tease and was a huge practical joker.

But when we looked to where she indicated, there it was, a round object floating over our neighborhood, lights flashing around the body as it moved - red, yellow, white, green, blue.

Sleeping bags were tossed aside and all thoughts of being quiet forgotten, as we leapt to our feet and followed its progress in the sky. When our parents had finally calmed us down, we retreated back to the sleeping bags and stargazed for the rest of the night, waiting for it to return.

We didn't see it again that night, but over the course of the summer, we'd spot it flying over our neighborhood at least once a week.

And we were certain it was an alien spacecraft.

Imagine our disappointment when the local news reported that it was merely a small airplane, preparing to land at the tiny municipal airport a few miles from where we lived. The pilot was a joker.  He'd strung Christmas lights on wire around the body of his plane. He kept his plane at Airport #2, and would take off during daylight hours, returning with his 'spacecraft' after dark.

I was devastated. I wanted it to be a UFO. I wanted to meet aliens, to watch a spaceship land in our street, to take off and explore another universe.

That wasn't going to happen.

But on the shelves in our house, there were books where it did.

The improbable is possible in a book.

Spaceships land. People travel through time or live on deserted islands. The good guy/girl always wins - and if they don't, there's a good reason why they didn't. The average girl gets the 'hot' guy. Cancer is cured. Wars are won. Governments overthrown. Children solve mysteries. Mermaids walk on the land.

Anything is possible within the pages of a good book.

And that, well that is why I write. To make the improbable my probable - if only for a little while. I live the story while I write. Eat it, breathe it, dream it.

If I'm lucky - write the right thing at the right time, query the right agent, sell to the right publisher - maybe someday I can share my improbables with others and help them escape from reality for a little while.