Friday, May 23, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

For a while now, I have been blogging about voice. I recently shared a post here, called Speaking Your Truth. During the A to Z blogger's challenge I also wrote a post called Saying No to Being a Yes Woman. As a writer, I play around with POV (point of view) in my novels. There are many POV's in "No Barren Life" I am currently working with switching from the protagonist's voice to the antagonist's perspective in the novel about sirens and a blues singer called "Out of the Blue." Oh how I am struggling with that one. To go from a light, well meaning character to a very dark evil one, reflecting their intentions and voices with equal stature is very challenging. More on that as it develops.

Voice and making decisions plays a huge role in my daily life, as it does for just about everyone. In art, writing and daily life, I have a tendency to be very open. Sometimes I over reach set goals, in my desire for openness and experimentation. Openness includes embracing new ideas, concepts, ways of thinking and being in the world. It can sometimes leave too much room for ambiguity.

A while back I shared on this blog that I had gotten a book deal for "Mama Nature's Spiritual Guide to Weight Loss." I was excited about it, though as time passed a number of elements of the deal and style of the press did not bode well for the book's future. A few days ago, I decided that the book deal was not right for me or my book, so I did not sign the contract.


There were too many red flags. Red flags that I temporarily choose to ignore. I like stretching myself and changing up how I do things or think of them. Still, there were things about this approach to putting my book out into the world that didn't mesh with my vision or professional experience. My lawyer also found a lot of fault with the contract and many of those issues were left on the table in the end, unresolved in the way I or he would have liked.

Now, I am back to square one. I am taking my book back into the unknown stage of being a proposal, though it has reached its halfway mark as a manuscript, at nearly 33,000 words. I have a strong belief in "Mama Nature's Spiritual Guide to Weight Loss" its merits and purpose. I am certain there is great need for such a book that brings together earth veneration, the gods and goddesses, recipes, rituals, ceremonies, meditations, invocations and DIY art projects with the weight loss journey. I know some of you reading this right now will want to read it.

The book has given me strength. Just in the process of writing it and following my own advice I have lost 35 pounds. Reading it over, I notice there is a crystal clear voice and strong intention behind its words. In short, it has guts. Once again, I had to get in touch with my gut and listen to its wisdom. It said to walk away while I still could, and I listened.

18 comments:

  1. Nice post. I also have a hard time writing from a POV that's dark and negative. My voice tends to be optimistic and inspirational. But I do think a good writer should be able to express the whole spectrum of emotions, while not necessarily agreeing with them. But then does it compromise one's authentic voice? These are all good questions you raise, and good luck with your book :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing you difficulty in the area of POV so I know it's not just me. I am eagerly looking forward to turning that corner wherein I can understand my antagonist's perspective. I plan to work on it today. I've been stuck there for a good few weeks.

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  3. The list of topics you're incorporating in the book along with the topic of weight loss sounds like an interesting mix.
    Sometimes listening to our intuition is the best thing we could have done for ourselves.Wish you all the best for the book Stephanie.

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    1. I really appreciate your thoughts on this Vinodini.

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  4. Good for you for not signing that contract! Every writer should pay close attention to the details, and just because we badly want to be published doesn't mean we should sacrifice our stories, our rights.

    Good luck!! :D

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  5. I've seen so many bad stories lately of people signing with small presses and regretting it, I think it was the right move if you saw red flags. There are many good small presses--but there are definitely some that aren't so good.

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    1. Stephanie I agree. I have worked successfully with medium sized independent presses for my 5 nonfiction books. No problems there but with the micro and small presses I have seen a lot of odd things in the contracts and elsewhere that are not up to industry standards.

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  6. HI Stephanie - as a wee thank you for all the lovely comments you've made over my way, I've just nominated you for a Liebster award - not sure if you've already had a nomination but you can check out all about it back at my page. Fil

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    1. Fil, that is awesome! I'm so excited. Thanks very much. You have a wonderful blog that is very informative for outsiders to the music world.

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  7. P.S. I nominated you for the Liebster Award, Stephanie. If you want to accept it, you can find more info here: http://writewithfey.blogspot.com/2014/05/liebster-award.html

    Happy Memorial Day! :D

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    1. Oh my goodness! Thanks so much Chrys. I will be right on it and back over to your blog; nominating the others and answering the questions, as well as creating my own questions. Seems fun! Thanks again.

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  8. Your book does sound fascinating with a lot of elements that speak to me and many others I'm sure. Bravo for staying true to You and it will see the light of day I am sure.

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    1. I really appreciate hearing that Conlee. Thanks so much for your vote of confidence!

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  9. Fantastic Stephanie! Big decision to make but necessary. How come I got this post only by chance on Google+?
    Garden of Eden Blog

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    1. Susan thanks! My feelings about the decision fluctuate daily but deep down I know it was the right thing to do. I have absolutely no idea why you didn't receive this post the way you usually do. I wish I could help you but not sure how to find out.

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  10. What a novel approach to weight loss. I think a lot of women would be interesting in it. I also found your story and reasoning behind ditching what appeared to be a bad book contract interesting. Good for you. Shows you have a strong sense of who you are as a writer.

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    1. Thanks Deborah! I hope the book will be useful to many people. It was a hard thing to do, to leave behind the deal but something I had to do, unfortunately.

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