Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday: Flat pizza is not tasty, even when writing a book.

What's this look like? A plate? Well yes, kind of. It's a flat pizza pan actually. Mmmm pizza. But this is how it all starts. Just a flat pan of nothing appetizing. Recently, I've been a bit of a Debbie Downer when it came to my writing and couldn't, for the life of me, figure out why. Ask anyone. I was ready to quit. Give up. Close the curtains! But I didn't. Instead, I sent a sob story/email to my publisher's editor saying how much time I was wasting. I can only imagine the chuckle she may have gotten from my lame attempt at sounding pathetic through the computer, but she did respond without said laughter. In fact, she was honest with me and helped push me to re-evaluate my skills.

I'm not exactly new to being a writer, but I am new to be a published author and it's a hell of a lot different compared to storytelling for fun. Don't get me wrong, I love this. Love that I'm taking something I did for my free time and can make a career out of it. But that doesn't mean I don't need a bit of a butt kick every now and again. One thing about me, at least when I was younger and writing in my creative writing courses and biology classes (yes, I was first thinking of being in forensic biology as my major), the biggest complaint I received was that my papers were always too "long winded". The next, was that my writing was far too flowery and not the least bit scientific. I tried to write that way, but it bored me to tears, and luckily found my calling in psychology with a concentration in human sexuality. I love me some sex talk.

So last night, I spoke with two author buddies of mine and that song, "That's What Friends Are For" really helped me out last night with my pursuit to bettering myself. For one, they convinced me that I was NOT the suckiest writer known to man, but I was fighting too hard to be perfect for an audience that actually didn't even read my stuff. Silly, I know, but I've always been that girl who tried to please everyone, even people who didn't give a crap about me. One friend told me, it was time I stopped with the empty pizza pan and start layering my pie of decadence. So, with a bit of organization and focus (two things I suck at), I put all my WIPs (Works in Progress) into one file and picked the most recent. From there, I started from my pan and added the first layer, the dough onto it. Just doing so, made my anxiety shoot up a few notches. In my mind, I could hear those voices of disappointment, telling me to cut it down. Stop being so long and flowery. I shut them up but something quick and forged on.

I took and changed the first pages of my story Diary of A Repairman, fleshing it out, adding to the world around my hero and in no time, I was flying. My other friend explained that it was my way of letting go of that tree and running down the hill, the wind pushing at my back and accelerating me to success. It was invigorating, jubilant, and scary as all hell! But that's what taking a leap is supposed to be. And instead of fighting it, as I had been doing, I embraced it and created a pretty yummy looking pizza beginning page, if I may say so myself!

Today, I'm going to continue my path to pseudo-perfection, and hopefully, my renewal of faith in myself will find its way to the fans, friends, and audience of those that have loved my work before this new style! Below I'm going to give you a before and after sneak peek at the changes to this first scene. So without further ado, enjoy my pizza I've so lovingly created for you all.

October 1999

I'm finally free. After several millennium, I am finally a free man. No longer married to the vainest, most aggravating woman ever to grace Olympus. Not that she didn't have a reason for having such a personality, she was Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. But I just couldn't stand her and the whining that she came with. My bank account couldn't handle her either. I would kiss my father for finally seeing things my way and severing our mockery of a union.

The moment it happened, Hermes spread the new faster than a whore running from Artemis's temple! Little snitch. But it was a shocker. I, Hephaestus, was single. Ladies, nymphs, and goddesses beware. What made matters worse, Ares approached me not hours after the lightening bolt struck to congratulate me.

“Finally dropped the ball and chain, huh?” His good looks bothered me, but his knowledge of my ex-wife pissed me off the most.

“Yes, brother. And have you dried her tears with your cock yet?”

I know it sounds wrong, but I really enjoyed watching the smirk disappear from his face. He didn't even take the time to say goodbye before fading away. Most likely back to her arms. But I didn't need to worry about that anymore, I was free. Now, came my next problem: how did I move forward?

October 1999
I'm finally free. After several millennium, I am finally a free man. There is something about being released from the shackles of matrimony, that can make any male jump for joy. And as a god, I was no different. Here I, Hephaestus, was no longer married to the vainest, most aggravating woman to ever grace Olympus. Yes, I would miss the way her golden skin shimmered under the sun's rays. How her blond hair fell in flowing waves, to caress her stunning curves. But I would rather stare into the ugly face of a harpy for all eternity than continue the farce of life that had beeen bestowed upon me. In truth, it never made sense to me how a woman of her status and glamor could be such a contradiction in personality. She was Aphrodite, goddess of love! Regardless, I limply, rushed out my father's massive temples, and made it to the courtyard where the Muses sat at a long table and did the morning news. I was certain my divorce was the top story.

As always, the weather was perfect, not too cold or hot, just right with only a gentle breeze whispering through the perfectly landscaped community. A group of tree nymphs hummed in unison, their harmony making flowers bud and adding to the lush beauty that was my home. Part of me wished I could hold a tune, then I could join them. Instead, I leaned against one of their trees, breathing in the sweet air and smiling for no particular reason other than the fact that I was truly, utterly, free! Unfortunately for me and my dumb luck, happiness was short lived and the rain on my parade came in the form of a sneering, scarred up, albeit handsome, face. One I knew all too well, actually. Ares, god of war, brother, and jackass.

“Hello there, little brother. Beautiful day, yes?”

He stood, decked out in his usual. Black jeans, worn and ripped in the knees, a golden breast plate and a black leather rider's jacket. Did I say jackass? I meant douche. He flicked the ashes from his cigar, the thing stinking up the area to the point that the lovely nymphs coughed, then finally dissolved back into the trees. The one who resided in the Juniper I rested against kicked at me to move before returning. It was nice to see that my single status did nothing to change the natural distaste immortal women felt for me. With a heavy sigh, hard to do with smoke clogging my throat, I faced my smirking brother, deciding to be the better man and keep the conversation cordial. 

“Lovely day indeed.” Truth. 

“Good to see you, Ares.” Lie.

“Finally dropped the ball and chain, huh?”

His lips twitched, while his blood red eyes twinkled like his big secret involving my ex wife was something I didn't know. Did I call him a douche? Let me clarify. He's a stupid, jackass douche. I suddenly stopped caring about taking the higher road. I matched his grin with my own, crossed my arms, and spoke in a low rumble.

“Yes, brother and am I ever glad. I'm certain, though, she is probably distraught. But I can count on you, right? Surely, you've dried her tears with your cock?”

Around me, there was a collective gasp from the trees. Even the heads of several young dryads peeked to see if they were about to witness a brotherly smack down. Not in the far distance, the Muses setting up their desk to get ready to report what may be the brawl of Olympus history. Even I tensed, seeing the smile fade from Ares's face, his fists clenching. Suddenly a violent crash of thunder lit the entire area, causing all, but the two of us, to scramble for cover. Father.

“You're lucky pops is protecting you this time. But I would watch it, little brother.”

In a pillar of fire, he flashed away, not even saying goodbye to me. Oh boo hoo. Not! Most likely, he was racing to be back in Aphrodite's arms. But I didn't need to worry about that anymore. The sun came out from the clouds once more and everyone went back to their activities. The nymphs returned to their singing and I listened. The music was soft and allowed me to relax and think. Here I was, no longer tied down, thanks to Zeus. I was happy, really, but I was also concerned. I had a new problem. How did I move forward?

See? I liked that far better than what I had before. Making pizza, I mean stories with plenty of yummy layers is a lot more exciting than leaving myself and my readers with an one dimensional, shiny pan of nothing. Thanks to my other friends, authors and not alike for kicking me back to reality. I couldn't have gone on to improving myself without any of you. My characters and muse appreciate it! Now I am off to go make more crunchy, cheesy, goodness and then type! Haha! I crack myself up.


Jo Cattell said...

Heres to runing own that hill. Love the changes! Can't wait to see how this will play out now!

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D. X. Luc
I'm a mother of four. I'm a writer, wife, and sexy to my core. Sinfully unrestrained.
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