Memoir in 3 parts?

img_8570Some people have writer’s block … Others have stories pouring out of them so fast they don’t know where to begin. Most appear to be somewhere in between. There isn’t a right or wrong, and each has its pros and cons of course. But I am the latter, I have a story to tell and it has so many parts that I find myself lost in an ocean of opportunity. I also have the “luxury” of many hours a day in bed writing… many tell me they’d give their right arm to do that (unless they are a writer of course!), but as many of you know, that comes at great cost.

And so I waste time. A lot of time some times, running around in circles following one idea or another…

But in the end, there is an order to all that I have to tell. I jumped the gun with The Lion & the Peacock and I think that gave me an excuse to jump ahead with other tidbits about my life… I have so many things to share! But the truth is, I need to start at the beginning eventually, and the rest will make much more sense once the basics are out anyway.

So it is time to bring out the very first manuscript, the one that I have been playing around with for the last 18 months or so, and dust it off, polish it up, and get it out there!

So this is the current dilemma:

My health does not warrant an old fashioned book signing/launching tour of any kind, or the resources to put out an 85 thousand word story all in one go. Also, eBooks have changed the way we can publish books, and they no longer have to be a set length. My first full-length book has three “parts” to it anyway, each which neatly came out at around 30,000 words. About a third of a full-length novel. But I am told that memoirs don’t work as short reads (is 30,000 a short read?)… so I will be going against tradition somewhat.

So I thought how about Part one as a single eBook this time around, the next part in 2018, and the third in 2019, which would then come out along with the paperback which will be the full-length book only (in all three parts).

Does anyone think that’ll work? And if not why not, and do I then chug away at the whole thing, but only to come out in 2019 or so?

Thoughts?

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To book a talk with me and discuss my schedule you can contact me on JPeaSmith@KingsRoadChronicles.com

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A New Voice in my Head!

img_5205-1There is a new voice in my head, and it’s a good one. First, there were all the people in my life who tried to tell me “You can’t write that!!!” “How dare you write that!!!” “You will regret this young lady” and so on, and so on. I have pretty much dealt with them, thanks to Social Media and the almost steady stream of comments like “Tell your story!” “If they didn’t want you to write about them then they should have behaved better” and the like.

There are other reasons that I am able to mostly silence those voices, but that is for another day. For now, my latest concern is that Social Media is also awash with experts, and not all of them are on the same page. “Publish like this” “Publish like that” “You shouldn’t use this voice” “You can’t use that voice” … AAAHHHH!!!

But a couple of weeks ago I signed on for four sessions with a writing coach. No, coaches ain’t cheap, but the thing is, she is a bit of a veteran in the publishing world and she doesn’t know me from a bar of soap. She is a total stranger and she reads my work in the same way that someone buying my book will. She knows nothing of my history, my imperfections, my excuses.

I was a little worried that I would not be able to remember all the rules that she will teach me, that I will not be able to stick to all that she teaches me, but as I have been writing the last few days (and I have written a lot, she inspires me!) I would find myself asking how Brooke would respond if she were reading it. She is the new voice in my head. I have no doubt that she isn’t perfect, but so far she is more reliable than those who love me and want my writing to be good.

I am only half way through these sessions and already I can hear her voice in my head telling me to rewrite a paragraph, to tell it differently. The changes are both significant and meaningful, yet it is still my voice. She is giving me new roots for all the writing ahead and this is changing the course of the way that I express myself. I write memoirs and the story hasn’t changed, but the way that I tell it has. And if the next two sessions produce as much fruit as the first two, then watch out Authory world, here I come!

Memoir Fest!

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It is ages since I have written about my memoirs. My first love, my “great work.” They were kind of pushed to the backburner when I stopped to publish the chapter-which-turned-into-a-book on Anxiety. Not that I regret that, it was the best decision that I have made in a long time. But now I am back into the swing of things and writing two memoirs at the same time.

This time last year I started writing the first memoir in the series, and over the rest of the year, I kept going. I got so much out of it in all kinds of ways, but now I need to go back to the first drafts and work on publishing and putting them out there. Which means a ton of editing. It is hard work, way harder than simply “sitting at the computer and bleeding it onto the screen”. But my mind doesn’t stop and the stories are still not yet all told.

But there are pieces of stories that are too painful for other people, too detailed or complicated to fit into the ebb and flow of one of the other books, or too small to become a book on their own. And so I am left with a jar of deeply painful, vitally important, singular events which have no home. Stories that need to be told, stories that later books need the reader to already know. And it has been bothering me.

But also bothering me has been a new desire to write fiction. I am a little shocked and very surprised. But there you have it. The seed has been planted and I didn’t know what to do with my jar or this seed. And then last week I realized that I could blend the two. Tell a fictional story and place everything from the jar within it. Accurate and truthful pieces, which now will get to see the light of day with a new name, a new place, and a little bit of new packaging.

And so when my mind is clogged with editing and I cannot go on, but my fingers are itchy and busting to bleed … I bring out the new book and out it flows! 2017 is going to be an interesting year for me and for my writing! These two threads that are happening side by side; editing the memoirs and weaving parts of them into Fiction. Roll on 2017 I say!

Where Jennifer hangs out: 
@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman