Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Poetry Starts - Until...

original work by Christine I Steeves Speakman


I'm good enough until...
something more comes along


I'm good enough until...
you no longer need something


I'm good enough until...
I disagree with you


I'm good enough until...
I say no


I'm good enough until...
I put me first


I'm good enough until...
I've always been enough


 
***

 What is Poetry Starts?

...poems and prose from now back to teen years
...remembering a first writing love
...pumping the creative well yet again
...silencing the internal critic

Monday, March 30, 2015

Roaming Ideas: Overly Done Paragraphs

original work by Christine I Steeves Speakman
Going to be a long one today, folks.






THE END AND THE HOPE

The day stared at the still morning hill like a ghost out of some thriller.  The sun was like a zombie, no life. If any one was alive they weren't letting it be known.  Why should they?  They had been promised protection but none had came.  But who's fault was that?  The sky looked down on the deserted land and started to cry.  First the rain came lightly as not to disturb the living dead but then changed its mind and it poured.  The drops were like pellets hitting the cold dirt.  They bounced upon landing as if they were hail, maybe they were.  The sun was now just a lazy shadow behind the moody clouds.  From where the clouds came from only they knew.  There was no moisture from the ground that permitted them.  The air was dry and hot.  They must have been made by...by what? There was no beauty left.  The flowers that at any other time would of brightened the darkest corner were now themselves dark.  The trees, few that there are, reached up for help from the blazing sun, the clouds but no help could save them.  Time was at a stand still.  Seconds became minutes than hours, days, weeks, months and years but still time was not moving.  Where would it move to?  The sun and moon were one.  Light and dark were one.  Day and night were one.  Nothing and everything were one.  The beginning had met the middle and now the end.  Hope was gone.  Even if hope was still around what could it do?  Life and death were one.  The morning hill was at the end.  What of the rest of the world?  If time stops at one place does it stop everywhere else?  Maybe it does...or doesn't .  Maybe hope is still in existence.

Hope brings forth the beauty in the world.  It exists in the flower, the rain, the clouds, the sun and even in time.  As long as there is doubt there is hope.  As long as there are unanswered questions there is hope.  As long as there is one tiny ounce or less of life there is hope.  You see it in the hot sun. In the dry air. The clouds hold hope in their moisture.  As long as there is something existing in whatever form there is hope.




***

What are Roaming Ideas?


...random writings from now back to teen years
...writings free of editing and second looks
...pumps to my creative well
...shut downs and locking away of the critical mind


 What are Overly Done Paragraphs?


...more description then is ever needed
...snapshots of possibilites


What are Dear Diary?


...inserting myself into a fictional character, where does the path take me


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Editor Time: Yes, I declined your submission

original work by Christine I Steeves Speakman


Believe me or not, but as a writer I know how hard you've worked on your manuscript. Wait, I'd rather not start off with what experience has shown me to be a possible lie.

Believe me or not, but as a writer I know how much your manuscript means to you. Wait, again. Experience has shown me this too may be a possible lie.

I have declined...rejected...manuscripts which I believe the writer has worked hard on a manuscript that means more to them than just random words on a page. I have declined, rejected, manuscripts that needed more work.

What should the above bits tell you? Experience has shown me manuscripts that have been worked on and not worked on. Some manuscripts have meaning to their authors and some don't...why because they've been worked on or not worked on.

But, in the end, I have declined manuscripts.

Reading the above makes it sound so easy, doesn't it? Just open an email, read a bit, then toss one way or another...accept or reject. Heck, maybe I don't even read it, just toss it wherever the mood moves me.

Ahh, if submission reading was so simple.

Ahh, if only I could care so little. Heck, if I could care so little most of life would be so much simpler.

The fact is I read every manuscript which crosses my computer screen. Every submission email I answer, I've read the submitted manuscript.

Within the first two pages I'll know whether I need to scan for overused word habits. From the first two pages, I'll know to jump chapters and see if the writing maintains the strength of the opening. From the last few pages I'll know whether or not you've left your readers hanging for a conclusion. By jumping in and out of your manuscript, I'll know your voice and style.

If I find myself still reading into chapters three, four, or more, then I know you've locked my attention.

I'll also know you weren't blowing hot air at me with your opening email.

Yup, that brings a whole other avenue of discussion with submitted manuscripts. Are you hard selling me something that doesn't deliver?

There is a difference between "selling" a publisher your manuscript versus selling a finished, polished eBook/book to a reader.

At my end, there is no packaging. Your manuscript has arrived in the same cyber brown paper bag as everyone else's. No, you're not vying for my attention. Yes, you are vying for an acceptance. And that acceptance comes from the work within the brown paper bag.

I'm hearing the MC from the television show "Dragnet" in my head - just the facts. Yup, that's all I need from you at this submission stage. The facts on who you are...experience or no experience. Your manuscript's facts...what is it, what is it supposedly about.

Then step back and let your manuscript sell itself.

Now you have my decline. A polite, safe word for "I'm rejecting your manuscript." Thanks, but no thanks. Not interested. Don't want it.

If you tell me those harsh negative thoughts never crossed your mind when reading a decline email, well, I won't believe you. I'll say I believe you, but deep inside I won't be believing you. Been there, got those.

In one early case, had a new critique group partner tell me my writing was trash. She would have tossed it back in a heartbeat.  Damn, woman, ouch!

The emotion of a decline email may feel harsh, but the delivery of the decline shouldn't be.

There's always a reason(s) behind a decline and I'll try my best to explain them to you. Will we agree? Maybe not, but at least you'll know it's not because I've just tossed you aside...say like a piece of trash referenced a couple of lines above.

Will you believe me? I don't know and I have no control whether you do or don't. As much as I trust in every author submitting, the reality is, you just have to trust those you're sending your manuscript to and go with it.

Yes, a thank you back to me is always appreciated. Whether you agree with me or not. Inside knowledge here...I'm just as nervous sending those declines out as you were sending your manuscript in.

Yeah, seriously.

What...you think I have fun saying no? I'm an editor not a sadist.

I even like hearing when you've found a home for your manuscript. (just don't keep coming back sounding like a neener-neener, see I left that behaviour back on my elementary school playground years ago)

In the end, I'll keep sending declines and you...and I...will keep receiving them. It's the nature of this writing beast.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Poetry Starts - Hello It's Me Again

original work Christine I Steeves Speakman


That tormented feeling is back
Clenching imaginary muscles
Bitter irritation within the skin
This is how I suffocate
Wedged between thought and emotion
Tearing at the air
Struggling to breathe
A fire in the bowels of my being
Dragging me back under

 There is no danger
I won't die locked within my mind
The only comfort my tears
It's just normal
Abnormal fear

Escape
Or stay prisoned

It's too hard
It's too frightening
Who would I be without


The me
Expected
Accepted


Mustn't rationalize
Mustn't think
Don't

Run
Disappear
Crawl back inside


I shouldn't write this
It kills the fear
me


***

 What is Poetry Starts?

...poems and prose from now back to teen years
...remembering a first writing love
...pumping the creative well yet again
...silencing the internal critic 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Roaming Ideas: Overly Done Paragraphs

original work by Christine I Steeves Speakman

More like a short story. Written one day when I was just peeved.







"I will not kiss ass!"

"Pardon me?"

"You heard me.  I refuse to play these idiotic games.  If I want to go out and be a fool I will.  But my God I will not make nice-nice."

"I wish I knew what you're talking about?"

"These stupid one person plays everyone lives.  One minute they're sweet and pleasant, next they're stabbing you in the back.  Then you have the others who refuse to step outside their bedroom door unless every hair is in place.  Heaven forbid if hair number 210 is out of place.  They'll make World War II seem like a tea party."

"You're not making any sense."

"I am if you step back and look at people.  I mean come on carrying hair spray with you when you go out!  Then of course there's the contest of who can wear the tightest, flashiest, silliest outfit.  Whatever happened to just having fun.  Last time I went out there was maybe ten people who looked as if they were enjoying themselves.  Everyone else was sort of - there.  They stood, danced, drank and talked but none of them had that sparkle that comes when you're having fun."

"You're nuts."

"Yeah, I am.  When I go out I don't want to worry about my hair, my make-up, about how I look to some total stranger.  At work I have to present a conservative pleasant composure but when I go out I don't want to worry about what some goof with three feet high hair thinks about me."

"Then don't."

"I don't."

"Sure you don't"

"Oh come on.  I don't let it bother me until I notice someone staring and then I wonder what the hell they're looking at.  Everyone plays the same game even when we don't want to."

"So."

"So screw the world.  I like me and I won't change for anything.  I do not revolve around the world.  Anything I want I can have, I will have!"

"What do you want?"

"I don't know."

"That's real smart."

"Ugh!  What do you know?"

"Nothing, I'm only your subconscious."




***

What are Roaming Ideas?


...random writings from now back to teen years
...writings free of editing and second looks
...pumps to my creative well
...shut downs and locking away of the critical mind


 What are Overly Done Paragraphs?


...more description then is ever needed
...snapshots of possibilites


What are Dear Diary?


...inserting myself into a fictional character, where does the path take me