Monday, January 30, 2012

Writing, Sewing, and Downton!

So it occurred to me yesterday that my dear, languishing manuscript A Convenient Misfortune may have a second life after all. I thought that since it is very much a historical romance, I might as well run with it. And after further thought, it may stand a very good chance of being published as it has plenty of drama without the dark undertones of Rebel Heart or the personal relationship conflicts of Rebellion. Plus it's set during the American Revolution, so now that I have join the ranks of a local re-enactment group, I will get some sort of idea what it was to live during that era. But more on that later.

Going back to Rebel Heart, I am still waiting to hear back on one partial and one full, but I have started submitting it to some of the e-publishers out there. I suppose that's another perk of writing romance--there are a plethora of e-publishing outfits that specialize in the genre. I will, of course, keep you all up to date on any developments in that arena.
And now to the Revolution. I have discovered that sewing can be quite restful. I'm currently sewing (by hand) a petticoat for my Revolutionary War outfit. The first re-enactment is in March so I have some time. But I did manage to get the thing almost completely put together in two nights. I need to pleat the waist and sew on the cotton tape at the waist band. I've been shocked by the fact that I've managed to put together a garment without a pattern! Hoorah for me! OK, so a petticoat is pretty remedial, but let's forget that for the moment! The fabric sample is what I have made the petticoat out of, by the way. It's a lovely carnation striped linen from Burnley and Trowbridge (just in case you wanted to know).
I still need to make a short gown to complete the ensemble and I do have a pattern for that. I will admit that I am a bit intimidated by it all! I think that stems from the fact that I don't like to mess things up. Patience is not my virtue and I fear that mucking up will result in the project being laid aside. But hopefully with some help from my mother, I will be ready for my first re-enactment event!

And finally, I'm surprised that I could sew at all last night since I blubbered through the majority of Downton Abbey. Poor Matthew! Poor Mary! Poor William! Not so poor Daisy because she's a major twit. Just marry the bloke already! Some say that she is being bullied into bad decisions, but use what is basically a good heart and make a dying man happy. Geez! How hard is that? I'm interested to see if she redeems herself in the next episodes or if she will continue to be a complete idiot. I will admit that she looked darling in her wedding ensemble. I also have to admit that I am lusting after the sweet red stripe patterned fabric that her kitchen uniform is made out of--sadly I fear that it is not appropriate for the Revolutionary War era. But it's pretty none-the-less. I continue to be won over to Team Mary and her pursuit of real, lasting, non-frigid love. The woman has a back bone of steel--and a burgeoning heart of gold.

That's all for now. Have you all been keeping up with Downton or have you been good little writers?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time is on my side....or not!


It's a b*tch just like its sister Change. But I have come to the conclusion that time is much friendlier when there's something worth waiting for. Like requests...of which I have a few pending. Yes...progress is a very good thing. I whould have hawked Rebel Heart as a historical romance a long time ago had I know this would be its reception! Of course, I'm not too sure where I fit into this genre, but we'll see. Maybe I'll re-define it or something. Just kidding...I think.

I should also note, I am immensely amused by this recent round of interest. Mostly because I dashed off my query in approximately fifteen minutes with no input from the writing communities I usually frequent. OK, so I did patch in parts of my old query, but I think this goes to show that sometimes authors can overly edit their work. I pratically beat my old query into submission before sending it off and apparently it showed. So for those of you working on your queries, go with your gut because it can pay off.

It's been nearly a week since I sent off the required materials for my last request and I haven't heard a peep. Some say that this is a bad thing. I prefer err on the side of caution and hope that agents have a system that they work. Of course, I have to admit that if something came across my desk that really excited me, I would probably drop what I was working on to read it. I'm trying not to think about that. Instead, I am stalking agents on Twitter; with little success, I might add.

So what you? How do you pass time when it seems to be crawling and can only be relieved by a decision that is out of your hands? I know I should be writing but I'm just too restless!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Downton Abbey, Anyone?

For those of us on American soil, season two of Downton Abbey premiered last night.
I've been waiting on bated breath for months to see the new installment (and cursing myself for not living in England since they saw it last summer/fall). I hate to say it but I was a little disappointed. I didn't like that they picked up two years later and I thought that they crammed in all of the juicy bits at the beginning and then the rest was a bit of a snore. I hope things pick up a bit in the succeeding episodes.

I continue to be perplexed by Lady Mary. Just when I think she's getting her head on straight, she goes wandering down a different road. Really? Sir Richard Carlisle? (And poor Iain Glen--he's lost a lot of hair since "Wives and Daughters.") I can't see Mary's motives on pursuing this one. Is she so hard up for a husband that she has to throw herself at the first available bachelor with a million in his pocket? He seems like a foil to the otherwise breathtakingly boring Lavinia Swire. I thought the introduction of her character was rather odd. She's just...there. It seems that more of her story will be divulged in the next episode, but geez... Is she supposed to be a sympathetic character, an obstable, or a baddie? And she has absolutely no chemistry with Matthew. Yes, I am firmly in the Lady Mary and Matthew camp.

I must say that I was rather irritated with Bates' abrupt departure as well. He just got back to Downton (and to lovely loving Anna's arms) and then he has to leave again. There was no gratification in that at all! And what about Sybil and Branson, not to mention Edith and the farmer (who's name escapes me). I was slightly shocked, but in the end, not so surprised given that poor Edith just wants some attention.

In the end, it seems that the war will be convenient background device since we're already to April 1917. Another year or so, right? I'll admit that WWI is not my strong suit!

So for those of you who are loyal Downton followers---what did you think? If you missed last night and want a run down, I found mildly amusing one here. And from what the author says, we're in for a wild ride this season. Hoorah!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year, New Directions

I was just surfing my Twitter feed when I ran across a post regarding the state of the historical fiction genre. It was a quite interesting write-up and it included the various sub-genres that have sprung up recently.

I find this particularly interesting given my own genre woes. As all of you know from my frequent posts on the topic, I have put more thought than is advisable into my genre. I recently chose to start querying Rebel Heart as a historical romance. It was a tough decision for me. But after discussions with a few important people and even my favorite, published author, I think I belong in that genre...for the moment. Maybe one of these days, the publishing world will create a new genre called semi-historical romance or something. But right now I think my goal is to get published or as a mentor told me recently, "your goal is to get recognition." If that results in Julienne being splayed across the cover in a completely period inappropriate dress then so be it. Hopefully she will forgive me (I think she will) because sometimes you have to get Mohammad to the mountain. Or however that saying goes.

And since I have made the leap into historical romance, I am pleased to report that I have already secured a request for a full. This is always exciting, but more importantly, as I made a run through my novel for edits, I discovered that I am a great story teller. And if my stories are categorized as romances, then I should not be ashamed.

So I am off to a cracking start in this new year. Twitter and a full. Not too shabby! What about you? Have you made any new year writing progress? Or are you just trying to get used to the idea that it is really 2012? I'm with you on that one!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm Tweeting!

OK, that somehow sounds...dirty.

So let's say that I'm not tweeting, but I am now on Twitter. I haven't composed any tweets yet because I found the whole process vastly overwhelming. I will figure it out...eventually. But if you're interested in what will eventually be my rambling thoughts encapsulated in 160 words, then you can find me there (@CWilsonWrites).

All right, my faithful blog readers... I hope you all had a most excellent Christmas and a very Happy New Year. I did for the most part--beyond family drama and the fact that I boycotted New Year's Eve. So there were no fireworks at Casa de Wilson. But there was a tornado siren....because small towns have to ring in the new year somehow. Anyhoo... I chose to abstain simply because I wasn't sure about this whole 2012 thing. I mean, I turn 30 this year. Yikes! Where did time go? But nevertheless, I did drink on New Year's because...who needs an occasion to imbide, right? Courtesy of the husband I have discovered the delights of mixing Bailey's Creme Brulee creamer with Creme de Cacao and Vodka...and Chambord. It's quite tasty. Also thanks to him, I have discovered that a shot of Crown is oh so palatable when you mix peach schnapps in.

Besides from the copious amounts of alcohol I consumed over the holidays, I did accomplish some positive things.

1.) I have decided that I am a historical romance author. And I'm OK with that. It's very freeing to embrace that label.

2.) On the heels of this discovery, I started querying Rebel Heart as a historical romance. The verdict is still out but I will let you know the results.

3.) I joined Twitter. I think that's positive.

4.) I re-watched Season 4 of Mad Men. That's definitely positive...because Don Draper is the bomb diggity (to borrow a phrase from my golden youth...i.e. the 90s.)

So what about you all? Did do anything writing related over the holidays? Or did you just have an ol' fashioned good time? Have you made any resolutions?