Tag Archives: Writers Life

Going to Ground

Question: Where have you been Alice?

Answer: There are times we cannot – and should not – work or write.

Animal in burrow imageWith animals we call it going to ground. They burrow in somewhere out of the flow of their usual lives to rest and heal because rest and healing are required. People go to ground too. We also experience times when recuperation – physical and mental and spiritual – is more crucial than work. Even more crucial than our precious writing work.

This has happened recently to two writer friends and myself for different reasons. I’ll begin with the stories of my writer friends.

In Elizabeth Meyette’s Blog she recently wrote. “I have abandoned the manuscript I’ve been working on for over a year. Making the decision to abandon my draft came after much soul-searching and feedback…” Loss takes us to ground. Elizabeth’s words are a gracious understatement of what she’s lost.

All of us who write understand this. We live with our stories as close companions that preoccupy our hearts and minds and reside in our souls. For a writer the loss of a story is almost as deeply felt as the death of a friend. Mourning is required when we’re forced to set aside such a relationship.

The places within Elizabeth – or any of us – once occupied by that story must refill and come back to life. Until then healing and loving self-care are needed. My hope is that one day her story will return more rich and full than ever and more rewarding too.

My other friend is also a talented writer. Irene Peterson has interrupted her work while she devotes her efforts to someone else. My favorite book by Irene is Glory Days. My favorite aspect of Irene is her giving heart.

She has slowed her writing roll to become caretaker to her husband who suffered a serious injury. How many of us have been halted by similar commitments to help others in our lives? Whether it is for partners or children or aging parents or friends. We recognize the need and sacrifice our time and our energy and our work as Irene has done.

My personal work obstacle is more mundane than Elizabeth’s or Irene’s. I caught a cold that progressed to laryngitis and a wracking cough which won’t let me sleep at night. Medications fog my brain. For days turning to weeks I’ve gone to ground. My comeback is on its way but in the meantime healing is my priority.

Whether the healing is our own or someone else’s we must make room for it to happen until our bodies and our lives return to us the capacity for working and writing again. Until we’re able to emerge into the light of the page once more. I wish us all Godspeed with that.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Wrong Way Home – Book 1 of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series – is a FREE eBook at Amazon and other online retailers. All of my books are available at My Amazon Author Page.

The Need for Speed – Ask Alice Saturday

Road Runner imageQuestion. You talk a lot about the positives of Indie Publishing. Is there a negative for you?

Answer. For me there definitely is one negative. The emphasis on frequency of publication.

The three requirements for Independent Publishing success as a fiction writer – according to what I’ve been told – are these.

  1. Write in a popular genre.
  2. Write a series.
  3. Publish every 3 to 4 months. Preferably every 3 months.

I’ve got the first two covered. Romantic Suspense is a popular sub-group of a very popular genre. I’m also writing the Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series.

I was doing all right with number three for a while. A Wrong Way Home launched in February. A Year of Summer Shadows in June. Four months apart not three but still in the frequency ballpark.

That looked okay on the calendar but I knew better. Making book number two’s publication date was a stretch for me. An uncomfortable stretch. To accomplish it I did a truly stupid thing.

I rushed the manuscript straight from my editor’s hands into production. I didn’t do the final crucial read-through myself.

I’ve been around way longer than enough to know there are edits only the author’s eyes will see. I rushed it anyway. Because I didn’t want to commit the allegedly deadly sin of letting five months pass between published books.

Since then I’ve committed other sins that also toll the death knell to my frequency of publication. Specifically I’m guilty of wanting and having a personal life. Complete with family and friends and even some fun.

In the 1990’s I set all of those aside to pursue a career as a literary agent. I was all business all the time and the goddess of commerce awarded me well.

What I seem to be experiencing now is a case of Been There Done That when it comes to All Work and No Play Make Alice a Successful Woman.

Whatever the cause may be – I’m just not feeling the need for speed. I fully understand this flies in the face of my having told hundreds of writers in my workshops that they must be Warriors on Behalf of Their Careers.

All the same – I’ve decided not to renew my fast lane pass. Which also flies in the face of the three-prong program for independent publishing success.

I’ve been fortunate to experience a number of worldly successes in my life. Maybe I’ve fulfilled my required quota of those.

Maybe it’s time to seek another kind of success. The kind that perhaps doesn’t involve being a warrior at all.

RR

A Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 – the eBook – is FREE at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC. It’s also free at Barnes & Noble and iTunes and KOBO and other online platforms. A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – is also available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. These are my 12th and 13th novels. Number 14 will probably take longer to arrive. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

Giving Thanks – Riverton Road Monday

Thank You imageA Year of Summer Shadows is the second story in my romantic suspense novel series set in a town I call Riverton that is reminiscent of North Country New York State where I grew up. We didn’t have murders at every turn like you find in my stories but we did have warmhearted people. I thank those people for giving me a strong start in life as both a storyteller and a person. Thank you Homies.

A very special thing happened to me during the writing of this book. My husband Jonathan Orr became my editor again as he was with my former novels before the hiatus preceding this series. We worked together well back then and we’re repeating that now. Our new partnership is a gift I didn’t expect and I’m extremely grateful for it. Thank you my beloved Jonathan.

I once again acknowledge Kristen Lamb author of the wonderful book The Rise of the Machines. This time because her blog writings got me to step all the way into the Twitter river at last instead of timidly dipping my toes there. She’s the social media maven we all need to follow. Thank you Kristen.

I don’t have to look further than my local RWA Chapter to find another media maven – one of the best – Maria Ferrer. She guides RWA/NYC and she has guided me with a marketing mind like few others I’ve seen. One Idea After Another – that’s the pace at which she thinks and her generosity with those ideas has helped me more than I can say. Thank you Maria.

I also repeat my thanks to the amazing writers of selfpublish@yahoogroups.com. They continue to offer all of us the benefit of their experience every day. Plus another yahoo group I’ve discovered more recently – mfrw@yahoogroups.com. The initials stand for Marketing for Romance Writers and that’s what they help us do. They’re surely helping me. Thank you generous writer friends.

And what would I do without the topnotch professional look of my books? The Killion Group Inc gives me exactly the covers I envision from multi-talented Kim Killion herself. Not to mention hassle-free formatting and uploading and just enough hand-holding from Jennifer Jakes. As if those weren’t blessings enough – Killion’s Shawntelle Madison makes my website what it needs to be. You can actually follow me now at www.aliceorrbooks.com. Thank you Killion.

My cup also runneth over and always has from the writers’ community that embraces me despite my history of consorting on the other side of the desk for a while as an editor and agent. My writing buddies at RWA/NYC are especially supportive along with the other RWA chapters that invite me to present workshops for them. Thank you romance writers.

Nor can I forget the International Women’s Writing Guild and its members who enrich my life in so many ways. As do my other writer friends – including the members of Liberty States Fiction Writers – and my civilian friends as well. Thank you all.

Leaving the best for almost last I begin always with my grandma Alice Jane Rowland Boudiette who has left this earth but not my heart. My daughter Kathleen Zea and son-in-law Luis Zea. My son Ed Vesneske and daughter-in-law Deborah Edison Vesneske. My grandchildren Maya and Julian Vesneske. Thank you my beloved family.

Finally I thank my God and the faith she inspires in me. It takes a village to create my Riverton and she dwells on every block and every page. I would be nothing and nowhere without her. Amen.

RR

 A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story – Launches with summer on June 22nd at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. The paperback is already available at www.amazon.com under Alice Orr. This is my 13th novel and I’ve had a world of help to be thankful for with every single one. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.