Friday, March 25, 2011

Feed-the-Writer's-Soul-Friday- Lessons From My Teenage Daughter

The past few weeks I’ve seen a connection between parenting and writing. As a parent I have learned so many things about my kids and myself along the journey, but the last 2-3 weeks I have come to really focus on two.
1)      My kids are not me. I know, this one should be obvious, but every once in awhile I need a big kick to suck that one down. They don’t see things the same way I do nor do they respond to things the same way I would.
2)      There is only so much control you have over your children. As much as you want to control their lives and the hurt that comes their way, you can’t. And maybe we really shouldn’t. Here’s why:

The past few weeks have been teaching times with my daughter. Long story short, her best friend turned on her. Texts, facebook posts. (And we all know the power of the word.) A horrible scene at a restaurant that resulted in my daughter leaving in tears.

Just as I’ve told my daughter through all of this, you can’t control what others say about you, only your response to it. As writers we need to remember the same thing. We are constantly told we must develop “thick skin”. There will be times when someone will say something about our MS that will hurt deeply.

 A few weeks ago, the first 250 words of my work-in-progress (WIP) was critiqued online. Twice, in big bold letters, they said that my work was boring for all of cyberspace to see. And while I nursed my wounds for a day or two, ok, more like five or six, I know that what they said was true and I’ve worked to fix it. As hard as this was to handle, I know it will happen again the more I take chances and put my work out there.

I have come to realize that what I’ve told my daughter this week is so true. In both life and writing we have no control over how others view us. We can only take what they have to say and chose to ignore it, or learn from it.

Improvement, after all, is what we are looking for. Our goal is to be published and that isn’t happening unless we share our writing and open ourselves up to the occasional growing pain. So go ahead, share your passion with others. Tell people you are a romance writer. Let people read your work. It will be worth it in the end!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Endings

In life, no one is guaranteed a happy ending, but in romance, everyone is. Writing romance there are only two musts.

1) There MUST be a central love story.
2) There MUST be an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.

As I said above, happy endings aren't "real" life, but who wants real life when you want to escape? I mean, come on, a story that ends with the hero and heroine with the wrong person, or worse, dying, is something that can keep you in a fog for days. Ok, maybe not you, but it does me. Nothing but the happily ever after stuff for me. Call me crazy. Call me delusional. Call me an optimist, but happy endings are the only way to go.

My very favorite romance author is Julie Garwood. Her historic romance books based in Medieval Scotland were my first taste of romance, and the first romance books I actually spent money on to collect. I've read them all, some of them three and four times. My favorite of all of those is Ransom. If you like historicals, you'll love this book. My husband once made a comment about my reading "sex" novels. I challenged him to read that book. Even he loved it. It is full of interesting and exciting storylines with a bit of romance on the side.

 My favorite romantic comedy movie is While You Were Sleeping. I just love Sandra Bullock. Who can resist Lucy's pull to have a family again? Not me. That scene where she finally admits to falling in love with "not that one. That one." gets me every time.

So what are some of your favorite happily ever after stories-movies or books? I'd love to hear from you.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Beginnings

In light of just beginning this blog I thought I would take this first post to share a bit about myself. My name is Michelle Muse. I'm married to a wonderful man and together we have two children. I began writing when I signed up for National Novel Writer's Month in November of 2008 along with my teenage son. I "won" that challenge by finishing an original story of at least 50,000 words in one month, and have been hooked on writing romantic fiction from then on. With a few months off after the death of a dear friend, I began to get back into writing early 2010 and I've been writing since. I joined Romance Writers of America last summer. Through RWA I have also taken many writing workshops where I have met other people who also share this passion of writing and are either published or, like me, dream of being published.

I have finished two contemporary romance stories, one of which I am editing and reworking right now. My  heart lies in historical fiction so the next story I plan to work on will be based in medieval Scotland. I am also interested in the paranormal genre as well. 

There is nothing like digging deep inside of yourself to see and create your own characters, their lives and their community. It's a way for me to dig inside myself.

I hope to use this blog to share my journey, the ups and sometimes downs of writing for pleasure. I hope you will join me.