It’s almost Father’s Day and my dad’s gift supposedly arrived today. I have yet to see evidence of this fact, though the online tracking thingy said it’s at my house … funny, I don’t see a package anywhere. Perhaps the dog busted through the front door and ate it before I was able to rescue it?
Unlikely. Then he would have also had to repair the door and he’s not that smart to begin with.
But anyway, speaking of Dad, I would like to give him a shout out with some of the brilliant things he has said to me over the years.
- “Dad, can we get a pool?” “Sure, a week from next Tuesday.” ~Note: we do not have a pool.
- “Never won a handwriting contest did you?”
- “Remember, if this contact comes through for you, tell your boss you only figured this out because of me.“
- “I know you know about my rules … it’s just you often ignore them.”
- Mom: “Are you sure you should be driving in the Bronx?” Me: “Yes, Mom, and I’m kind of good at it now too.” Mom: “What does that mean?” Dad: “It means she beeps her horn and gives people the finger.”
- “So I see you spent a million dollars at Borders.”
The last quote was in reference to my most recent splurge at my favorite bookstore (no photo available sorry my bad). This splurge came from the shocking fact that I RECEIVED A PAY CHECK and naturally had to blow it in celebration. Don’t worry, not all of it, but a good portion of it. And why the hell not? It was only ONE check after all and there are bound to be many more in the future.
But, since my father can see my accounts online, he was not in the same frame of mind when he saw the bill. I replied: “It’s fine, Dad.”
He retorted: “No. You don’t need to spend that much on books.”
Me: “Illiterate Neanderthal.”
Him: “Watch yourself.”
Me: “Don’t worry it’s a career investment.”
Why is that you ask? Well because this time instead of buying the driving fiction I usually head straight for, I this time frequented the writers reference section and basically cleaned it out. The good writer knows her weaknesses and tries to improve them (see Ollin Morales for a more in depth post on weaknesses).
The writer who believes she can scrape by on her own without revisions or tactics is a fool. To succeed you have to buy the books, read them, listen to them. All their authors have published before or are agents and editors who know what they are doing. Did some just write their book to feed off struggling and beginning writers’ desperation? Probably, but not most. Most want you to write the best you can and find that agent, make that deal. They once sat where you are: in the dark, dank realm of Unpulishedville. They got out, they know how you can get out to. You just have to be receptive to their advice.
So, my dad may be seeing more large bills in the future. I know I’m not there yet (I will whine about it quite a bit but it’s true). I need to work on tension, slowing down, keeping consistency, minor characters and their proper places … just after next payday. For right now I’ll be content with the mountain of writing books I bought last week:
- 45 Best Characters
- The Writer’s Workshop
- Writing the Breakout Novel
- The Art of War for Writers
- The Fire in Fiction
- The Complete Guide to Writing a Novel
- Scene Development
- Writing Tension and Suspense
- 2010 Guide to Literary Agents: Fiction
- The New Revised Standard Edition Holy Catholic Bible.
I never said I’d be doing this on my own after all!