Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It’s all Elephants!

Quickly – don’t think of Purple Elephants! 
Are you doing it? Are you not thinking of Purple Elephants? 
How about now? 
Hmmm, still thinking about it, huh? Yeah, that’s been my life recently. Just one great big ball of anxious, jittery Purple Elephant fanaticism … as long as you replace the word ‘Purple” with ‘YA’ and ‘Elephant’ with ‘Editor’. Ah, yes - now it makes sense, right?

Uh, yeah. Now this makes sense ...
As I mentioned at the end of my last post, my latest YA novel has just gone on submission to publishers across North America and the UK. Which is great, obviously. And also terrifying! Up until now, this story I love so much has lived happy and safe in a little space in my head where I could reassure it and cuddle it and tell it what a wonderful International Smash Hit Number 1 Best Seller it was going to grow into one day.
I could do that, because back then this story hasn’t really been seen by anyone except my agent and a few readers (well, my husband and my Dad - but of course they liked it). 
"Princess, I promise to be utterly impartial to all your 'achievements'."
And now it’s off in the hands of absolute strangers. Strangers who don’t know it like I do, who didn’t see it grow from an odd half-idea that struck me while I was writing my poor, Lifeballed trilogy to a fully-grown novel with a characters I adore, a plot I’m really proud of and relationships I still get a bit teary about*!

Nope, these editors are under no obligation to love my messed up little head-world. And, even if they do, that’s no guarantee they’ll share it with the rest of the world (Nathan Bransford’s written a great post on why)! And even if they do share it, there’s no guarantee anyone will read it and even if they do read it, there’s no guarantee they’re – AAAAAHHH!!So. Many. If. They. Do-s!
It’s usually about this point in the obsessing that my husband closes down gmail on my computer, pries the phone from my hand, sits me down on the sofa with a glass of wine and tells me – very calmly and quietly and absolutely correctly – that I need to try not to think about it right now. And I smile and nod and tell him he’s right, and we stick on more Portlandia and I drink my wine. And as he puts his arm around me and tells me he’s proud of me no matter what, I try to ignore the fact he seems to have turned into a Giant, Purple, YA Editing Elephant. Just like the Elephants onscreen, and the Elephants in the room and …
Yeah, I may have a bit of a problem. I guess I should just let it go.

0.33 on-wards is surprisingly cathartic

*Seriously, I’m probably about five free seconds from trying to make my own fanvid. It’s a little creepy.

So - clearly I blog and rant when I need to distract myself from the crazy. How do you take your mind off things? Let me know below! 

Love, Aislinn 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

When Life Gives You Dodgeball Lessons (or, now You Know What I Did Last Summer/Winter/Spring/Autumn … and the one before that, too)

Yo, blogosphere - I'm back!
Yes, I know, it’s been a long time since I posted anything. Like, so long I don’t even know if people still say ‘blogosphere’ (probably not, because if there’s a chance to date myself online, I will. And not in a quirky, comedy-of-eHarmony-errors kind of way, either). But I have my reasons. For one thing, real life can throw a curve-ball harder than … okay, I know nothing about sports but you can fill in that gap however you want. And the last couple of years have pelted me like a school bully at a Dodgeball tournament. I’m not going into it all here, mind you, but let’s just say all that ducking, diving and, yes, occasional bruising has kept me pretty distracted.
As has watching this GIF. Seriously, it's hypnotic!  
If that sounds a bit self-indulgent or moany, it’s not meant to. Because the last couple of years has also introduced me to my favorite distraction of all: the girl I shall refer to only as Little Baby Badass. Seriously, if there’s one thing that makes everything better it’s that little giggly grinner with my husband’s eyes, my chin and a personality and determination all of her very own. Yes, she can be incredibly high-maintenance (like if the Energizer Bunny knocked back six red-bulls and then strapped on a jet-pack), yes, she spent the first ten months of her life being wide awake, like, always. And yes, sometimes it’s all I can do to lay on the sofa and watch Veronica Mars on Netflix once she’s finally fallen asleep*. But dang it, she really does make every single thing in the world better – even the stuff that’s already great! I swear, chocolate never tastes so good as when Baby Badass is trying to shove her hand into my mouth so she swipe some for herself (and yes, that has totally happened).
You holdin' out on me, Ma? I will find the candy!
Sometimes, though, when the house is quiet and when I can keep my eyes open, I can get to my second favorite distraction** - writing! Oh, yes. I’m still doing that, I’ve been doing that even when I haven’t had a chance to put virtual pen to virtual paper for months at a time because, as most writers and a few very understanding non-writers know, writing happens far more in your head than it ever does in a notepad or on a computer screen. It happens when you’re in the shower, or making dinner, or trying spend some quality time with your husband because you’ve been writing every evening that week and - wait, wait … oh my God, YES! That’s how I get my characters from A to B without invoking a Monty Python-esque*** giant hand to move them. I’m sorry honey, I know you were saying something but … no, my eyes aren’t glazing over, I’m total into … what were you talking about?

Yes, writing is rather an all-consuming addiction and I’ve spent most of my (very limited) free time in the last few years feeding it, so I haven’t had time to blog or tweet or do any of the fun things I was doing back when I’d just finished my awesome trilogy and was waiting to become world famous on the back of it. Where’s that trilogy now? Oh, it got Lifeballed. It got lifeballed good and hard, and I still get a little teary about that because I loved my little protagonist and her friends! But, as I’ve learned a few times over the last couple of years, when life balls up your plans, it's time to show life you’ve got b***s . So I did – by picking myself up and moving on to a whole new protagonist, with a new set of friends and a very different bunch of problems. And I love them too!  And yes, I know they could get Lifeballed just as hard as my last gang of headbuddies, but right now they’re out there, making their way into the hands of editors at publishers all around North America and the UK – and I can’t wait to see where that takes them.

Um, yeah. Sure, I - I guess that's one possibility. Right?
So heads-up, Blogo…relam? Thinkiverse? Weba - um – whatever. You guys! You, reading this. Yeah. Heads up. ‘Cos I’m back, and I’m feeling bloggy. So stay tuned for more literary Lifeballs, and whatever else I feel like rambling about.
Aislinn xxx

* Side note: How awesome is Veronica Mars? How did I miss this the first time around? And most importantly … am I dating myself again? I am, right? I don’t care, I just wanna wrap Season 2 Logan in a blankie and feed him cocoa!
** My husband does not count as a distraction. He’s my partner in crime, and the one who has helped facilitate 
Distraction 2 for years, and Distraction 1 for an entire little lifetime!
*** Dating myself or … oh sod it, yes! Yes I’m old, alright? But Python are timeless so if you need to google before you get that reference – you’re welcome.