Category Archives: Musings

Update


Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. We’ve all experienced detours. Recently I’ve had a few, including a surgery with complications. That’s the downside.

The “up” side is a more fun. I had a bit part in an historical program at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. If you wish to watch my “acting” debut, cue the video to about the 4:12 mark. May it put a smile on your face.

Hair Flying Over Hagerstown


This weekend is my time to read the critiques of the Beta readers.  If you hear weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth or if you see hair flying over the rooftops of Hagerstown, you will know that I have become a mad woman as I try to figure out how to get the last re-write done in time for publication this month. A September release may not be possible. Yet, I will give it my best effort.

Good thing I got that head shot taken before I pulled all my hair out. Not to mention the dark circles under my eyes from pulling all-nighters trying to meet deadlines. I don’t bounce back like I used to. It may take me a month to look human again.

I better make sure someone is doing a buddy check on me to make sure I haven’t passed out from dehydration or sleep deprivation. Face flat on the floor, tongue hanging out,  random wisps of mad-scientist hair still clinging to my now-bald pate–isn’t that a scary sight?? Yeah, I’m glad I got that photo taken!

Using Beta Readers for Helpful Feedback


This week, I will be getting my feedback from the Beta readers (who are kind of like a focus group in business). I will likely have to fix things before going to press. The writer’s work is NEVER done, but, at some point, I have to draw the line in the sand, and go with it.

The publication process for this manuscript has been the equivalent of an undergraduate degree. I learned how much I didn’t know about writing, the craft itself, and about pleasing the reader. Bad writing CAN be informative. Fixing bad writing is an education.

The telling of a good tale is far more complex than I imagined when I started this writer’s journey.

Choosing the Right Head Shot


Call me cheap, but I don’t want to pay for having an expensive head shot produced for my use in publicity materials. First, I am not Dean Koontz, with thousands of fans and followers. I am not Tom Clancy or Nora Roberts, a best-selling author. I am simply Fay Moore, a country girl with a big dream–to write murder mysteries that people will buy and enjoy reading.

In that vein, I picked a photograph that I think would make a good head shot when needed.

Fay head shot 2013 stranger photographer

I think it looks kind of “writer-ly.” People will look at it and think, she’s friendly, approachable.

Maybe between a friendly face and an attractive cover, I can sell a book or two. What do you think?

The Mental War with Fear and Self-Doubt


As a writer, I have struggled with self-doubt throughout writing my first novel.  When I made the decision to create a book, I wrestled with selecting a story. My imagination had several threads that had been dreamed up over the years. I couldn’t settle on one because I doubted whether anyone would like the characters.

My friend Debbie decided she would push me a bit. She has always been an avid reader of murder mysteries, so she came to me with a cast of characters and insisted I write her story.

I want to thank Debbie for doing that. The psychology of writing someone else’s story erased the fear of starting. After all, this wasn’t my story or my characters. What was there to fear? My brain converted the assignment to the equivalent of classroom homework. The writing began.

By the end of the first chapter, all that was left of Debbie’s story were the main character names. My imagination kicked in. Debbie’s plot was replaced by one of my creation, and I was on my way to writing a book of my own.

Because I didn’t start the story with a preconceived plot, I would run into walls at times, not knowing where the story was going to go next. Sometimes it was days, while other times it was weeks or months between writing bursts. My characters were the ones writing the story, not me. I had to wait for them to tell me what was coming next.

Sometimes real life inspired a segment. A happening would get incorporated into the plot, which then led to the next tangent in the storyline. I was as enthralled as any reader in what was coming next because I didn’t know.

In the end, the story told itself and came together nicely. Looking back, I am amazed at how it got done.

Now what?

It has been roughly six months since I finished the first draft. This week I am wrapping up work on this book. Why has it taken so long? The only truthful explanation is me. My fear. My self-doubt. I am scared to put it out there.

My friend, and prolific author, Lauren Carr has taught me that I am my own worst enemy. In the time between finishing the novel’s first draft to the time it goes to press, Lauren has published TWO novels. She is my inspiration and role model.

She is already broadcasting news about my next novel in order to get me moving. The pressure is on. My new characters are percolating and throwing story parts at me. This time I have a grand storyline in my head already. I know the beginning and the end. The middle is still being created.

At the moment, I am not fearful. I am excited. That will change. The first bad review will crank up the self-doubt inside me. But I have a few defenses against my fears this time around.

First, I know I am still on a learning curve. Like any first, my novel will have beginner errors in it. I know that, and I will learn from my mistakes.

Second, I have written a complete book already. So there is no question about whether or not I can. I’ve already done it.

Third, I have set a goal. By this time next year, book two will be done. I will have cut the time it takes me to tell a story in half. Then I will write book three in six months. That’s my plan. With an end target in sight, I have something to aim for. The finish line is concrete. That is a motivator.

I hope telling my experience has been helpful to you. Maybe you see yourself or maybe light has been shed on the source of your own block. My wish for you is that you get a strangle hold on the neck of your own fear. Choke it, so that you, too, can make a breakthrough in your writing.

For Good Luck


Kirin kiss cropped

 

In several Asian cultures, there is a mythological beast called the Kirin. According to Wikipedia, the Kirin heralds the arrival of a wise sage or illustrious ruler. It’s appearance is a good omen and brings the one who sees it prosperity.

 

Not only did I see the Kirin, but I kissed him when we discussed the late summer release of my novel Dead with Envy and my short story “Strange.” Seems that kiss had a powerful effect; the Kirin’s eyes blazed! He promised me lots of readers and a successful new career as a best-selling author. Wow.

 

He urged me to get cracking on my next murder mystery, One Way Ticket to Las Vegas. Alrighty then!!