what they don’t tell you about when you finish your first book (part 2)

♡ You will HATE reading your first draft. I will tell you — it really is a terrible experience.

♡ You will try to find excuses not to pick it up and edit it.

♡ You will lose your writing routine because you want to avoid working on your work, because you need to edit now. Not writing in a flow.

♡ You will cry. You will cry at almost everything.

♡ The prospect of finding an agent in this too big world will be the first thing to set you off.

♡ The second is the amount of rejections you need to mentally prepare yourself for, whilst continuing to believe in your work enough to get it published.

♡ You will want to start book number two to prove to yourself you can still write and the first one can wait. FALSE. By all means take notes if you have a grand idea for book two but pull through and finish the first, first. You can do it.

♡ You will spend every night trying to find publishers, read agent profiles and wonder how the hell the business work.

♡ You will cry because you don’t know the business works.

♡ You will cry because you’re sure you can’t handle rejections. Trust me. You can, and if you can’t you better get into practice.

♡ You will compared yourself to any book you read while working on your own. Just because yours is different doesn’t make it shite.

♡ You will eventually get through your novel, and start feeling a weird sensation. This is your confidence coming back — you made it. You’re on your second draft.

♡ You will start re-writing and it’ll seem like you knew you what you wanted to say to your reader from the very beginning. You just needed a little mental push and self doubt to get you to that point.

♡ You will cry because the agent business is coming awful close.

♡ You will cry because penguin wont immediately sign you.

♡ It is all worth it. Trust me. This entire process has been out of this world.

————– And so i bring you to the stage that i am at currently. Right now i am continuing my writing exercises daily, setting aside a time and having my phone send me an alert when i forget. I work on at least one chapter a day of re-writing my manuscript and working on my notes from my read through. Right now i’m very excited with where its going. I feel positive, excited and pleased with myself. I almost believe it could be a great little novel. Thus far i have reached chapter eight of my re-write. Only thirty more to go.

Basil’s gift & saving LeDoux // our rescue story

Hand holding a dog paw.
Love.

I lost my heart when Basil walked on without us. I feel that since that time i have barely been holding on, struggling to care or breathe or live. It was gut-wrenching. I would always enjoy my favourite things a little less, i’d always feel i could’ve have done better by him. Been more patient, less this that and every other god damn thing under the sun. “Forgive me forgive me,” i’d scream in the shower, on the floor by the bed with my head in his blanket. I was going through hell. Real hell. The kind of hell you don’t make it back from, and i’ll never be the same because that love cannot be replaced. It wont be. Basil, Jack and i were a small force. We fought, we struggled but we had a love like no other. He will always be my sweet velvet cherub and the dog who saved me, stayed with me and kept me going. Because that was who he was. He protected me even though he was small, he was mighty. I will never let him go, and im not scared of dying because he’ll be waiting. As you can tell — i am still very much in the first phase of grief and i believe i shall stay here forever.
-HOWEVER-
Basil was with us yesterday and Basil had a gift.

Lunch at Sonic. Number 8. Unsweet ice, a large water and a lemon slush.

I was awake all night. Jack was snoring like a son of a bitch and my pills for insomnia barely touch the problem some nights, but i dont dare to take two incase i don’t wake up. Thats the anxiety talking whereas the depression would try to persuade me to take them all. I pulled my ass into the living room and re-arranged all the western blankets and fluffy pillows to make a den to sleep in. However i ended up just playing Hogwarts mystery on my phone whilst i watched forensic files. Thats usually how the nights tend to blow over for me. The next morning , after i caught an hours sleep, i got up to make breakfast. The coffee started dripping whilst the bacon danced in the pan. I buttered the toast with some difficulty. Fuck un-spreadable supposedly spreadable butter. Jesus. After my toast incident i made sure Jack was up. We had to be in Cheyenne by 10.30am.

Crotch shot.

I’d been looking at petfinder for about a year or more; since before we left New England. I felt guilty for looking, but i had to have some hope for something. Dogs came and went. I don’t know exactly what i was looking for. I didn’t want another beagle because it would feel like i was trying to fill a Basil shaped hole with a beagle. So i searched for any hound; plott, coon, black & tan, bluetick or fox. As long as it was a hound it would be ok. After discussing the idea with my doctor and my counsellor they both believed a dog would help me with my depression. I was honest with them, and they obviously realise my problems wont disappear but it can be helped. Im on a lot of medication these days and my farts smell like the devil smoke shit & acid in the same stogie. Jack and i were already discussing how an ESA could help me, so when both medical professionals confirmed it would be a huge help. I really started to look, but i still didn’t know what i was looking for. I wanted a hound but as soon as i applied either the descriptions lied, or the foster parents decided to keep the dog. Through my searches Jack had pointed at one dog.

“He’s cute, what about him?”
“You like him?”
“Yeah, don’t you?”
“I do, i just was’t expecting  you to like him too.”


The truth was that i had come back to this dogs profile on petfinder maybe a hundred times, i thought he had such a lovely face and i adored his name. I had planned on more of a hound dog, because i wanted something with a similar personality to a beagle. However i really was open to almost anything. All i knew was that i wanted a big dog.
And i got big dog named LeDoux.
LeDoux means “the sweet one” in French.
After Jack and i discussed it i went ahead and put in an application. It couldn’t hurt and if it didn’t work out at least i could cross him off my list so to speak. I was prepared at the prospect of having to meet several before i met the one. I communicated back and forth with Janet from Yola & Boogy Fund in Wyoming Cheyenne. And as i said before — we had to be in Cheyenne at 10.30am to meet LeDoux.

                                

I didn’t get any pictures of me during the first meeting, these are the pictures taken by Janet as she was so happy and surprised with how LeDoux acted with us. He loved us straight away. It was so amazing. I still haven’t stopped smiling. I wish i’d known LeDoux & Janet would be standing in the field together waiting for us to drive up, because i would’ve filmed seeing him for the first time and his reaction to us. Having said that i’m also glad that i didn’t. It was a special moment that Jack and i share – thats more important. Anyway there he was, this big red dog and he was so excited to see us. He ran right up to us and within a few minutes Jack had started teaching him to play fetch. It was truly meant to be. He needed some training and to learn a few things, but he’s very eager to please. Already today he’s starting to figure out Shake, Stay and Down. All very slow but often. This weekend we’re mostly letting him relax and take his time and find his place in our routine, so far so good.  He’s one year and three months old. A hound, boxer & pit bull mix.
He’s perfect.

Man and a rescue dog. Ready to get in the car and go home.
Ready to go home.

Janet took LeDoux back with her while we ran some errands. We picked up new toys, training treats, natural shampoo and a nice big comfy bed for his crate (we leave the gate off in hopes he’ll learn that it’s his safe place to sleep, but he get in and out if he wants to). We weren’t planning on bringing him home yesterday even if we did like him — we planned to discuss it for a week and see what we thought. But that changed. Guess who wanted to take him home immediately. Moi. Jack didn’t take much persuading either. Ha.
On our way back to take him home we grabbed sonic for lunch, we’d already grazed through our healthy picnic that i’d packed for the day, and just like that LeDoux was ours. As you saw he stuck his head out of the window and had so much to see. It felt like he knew we were his and that we were coming to get him. It was magic, simple and better than i could have hoped. I asked Basil to help me find someone that needed a home and that would be good for us. And as always the little guy answered. Thanks Buddy. Sounds like hooey but i choose to believe it, the only kind of faith i had is in that dog, Jack and now LeDoux.
 

About to get in the car and head towards Laramie!

Janet actually gave us the leash, blue harness and the lovely turquoise dog collar. She was a very nice person, clearly she loves what she does and every animal she helps.

Dog with his head out of car window enjoying the sun.
Sunshine & car rides.
Dog sleeping in car.
Making himself at home in the car on Happy Jack Road.
Hand holding polaroid of dog.
LeDoux on his first trip to Vedauwoo.
man walking dog
First national park adventure.

Between Cheyenne and Laramie is our favourite park Vedauwoo, we decided to take a short walk with LeDoux to see how he liked it and i think he rather enjoyed it. The hound in him certainly showed with him following tracks and sniffing about. I took pictures and polaroids. I really was on cloud nine. Nothing settles a troubled soul like taking a walk with a dog. Believe me. The best antidepressant. He’s also a fantastic car dog. Bonus!

Happy man & happy dog.
LeDoux with Jackdad in Vedauwoo.

When we arrived home he settled right in instantly. He walked around with us, ran around the yard and kept coming back for hugs. When we came inside and he had his food — instantly on the couch where he stayed till bedtime.

Happy dog.
Happy to be home.
A beautiful dog.
Handsome fella.

We don’t know a whole lot about LeDoux but apparently he was a stray as a puppy and got hit by a car, he didn’t receive any medical attention on his back foot so it grew together leaving a big lump. It doesn’t bother him at all aside from an occasional limp. Eventually he ended up in an animal shelter in Casper when Janet picked him up. She cared for him, took him to the vet and got his shots and whatever else. He’s a very happy and healthy boy. We’re surprised how sweet and gentle he is, doesn’t hold a single grudge or worry about a damn thing.
He’s just our happy LeDoux.

Dog.
Relaxing in the sunny afternoon and showing him around the neighbourhood. (Please note his beautiful dotted tail on the far right.)

Over time as he figures everything out in his own time he’ll be my ESA companion. From now on its easy living for this boy, lots of love and adventures.

Dog loving his new year.
LeDoux Flynn.

And thats the story thus far. We welcomed him to our very small family and it was meant to be.

LeDoux was adopted from the Yola & Boogy Pet Fund. 

what kind of writer i think i am

I’m not sure what i want to come out of this particular post but its a question i often find myself pondering.
Im not your run of the mill woman with words only in defence of vaginas and all woe is me about how bad life is because “men”  and how much i struggle and point point point at the devil who fucked me over.  If thats your thing you wont find it here. Nothing wrong with it i suppose but i just don’t buy it. I’ve met more bad women than men, but there are equally as many men that aren’t good. No one is better than the other. Nevertheless I complain a fair amount and a lot of what i write is probably construed as “negative” — its not necessarily, its just honest and raw. But i don’t believe i am owed a single damn thing because of past experiences.

I like men and i like things that men do, they’ve done things to me i didn’t like and i got over it. Eventually. Cigarette burns turn to scars and disappear in the sun, thats good enough for me. I don’t see ’em no more.

I’m a life writer. I used to be a good person and in the deepest pit i still can be. But when i write its all born from the pain, hate, loss, goodness, life, true exhilarating glee, experience and what kept me alive. When you read my books, my poetry, songs and plays — you are reading me, loving me and living with me. Im not some beautiful soul with well wishes and kisses for babes. Im the woman in the dark without a kind word for anyone but the poor lad by the fire, and he’s the one i chose to save.

Im a broken hollow bone story teller, and thats what i’ll write when it comes to my author bio. It’s my niche, my living and hopelessness all laced into a short phrase with the power of some bad God behind it. I’ve started paying more attention to the business side of my journey to becoming a published author, not just a magazine writer or lonesome mole with a lyrical sense to scribble in the dark. I used to write for magazines, i sent in my work and it never truly worked for me, especially after some son of a bitch stole my article. He took it, edited it, had it printed and fucked me over royally. Imagine my embarrassment when my mother and sailing friends bought the magazine purely for my work… and it was nowhere to be found. That was an unhappy experience for me when i had to admit to them, that yes — my article was stolen and no i don’t know that i’ll get over it. I never wanted to write again because “what if?” So i don’t publish my real work online anymore. The stuff you read on instagram is just soliloquies and train of thought. Its all bullshit and bloodwords. I liked the magazine business sometimes but it was a lot of work for something i was not truly invested in, Mutiny Magazine was the favourite that i wrote for and i would still like to write for them now and again when my schedule frees up. Great, fun & happy pirates & mermaids. Ha.

Anyway back to my point. My instagram tag has changed from “hyggjaa” to my name. I’ve considered this change since i started really working on this novel, i knew for a fact an agent would suggest i changed it to make readers able to find me with ease. So i went ahead and got it over with. Same with my facebook page — last night i officially changed it to Writer/Author, but i imagine my posts will still be somewhat the same but perhaps with more books or the like. This is also the reason for 95% of my unfollows. I kept those relevant to my happiness, or those i enjoy following and the rest have been unfollowed. It’s nice to feel it is a fresh, raw if you will, start. Over the next period of time there will be changes, considerations and probably intermittent silences. I will be working my absolute hardest to find agent i can work with, get my book published and really dive into my first few chapters of a second novel.

My next steps will be to complete an author bio (this will change over time but i’d like a good solid start — but i am TERRIBLE at writing about myself. I hate it and i dont believe in bragging – its ugly.) I will start to reach out to my lists of possible agents when the books is totally finished ( i am prepared to face many many rejections, just like acting thats what this business is like — though i am yet to be rejected in acting. Ha. Brag. Ugly.) and i will keep writing through it all. Doing my exercises, living and writing.

May you stay well and live as you like. If you have something to say, please feel free to comment below !! I’d love to connect…. on my own terms.

what i’m currently reading #1

This edition is a vintage library book that was last read in 1995, well thats the last time the ticket inside was stamped. I obviously bought this second hand some place for almost no money. Its a great thing to have even if this story isn’t one of his best.

Hand holding a vintage library book by Larry McMurtry called "Some Can Whistle." A western novel
What are you reading?

what they don’t tell you about when you finish your first book

Its all fun and games and countless hours when you’re writing your book, but the business after is tough.
Reading your manuscript back is the worst pain i’ve felt since i got on this damn train ride. It has been the HARDEST part of the entire process. They don’t tell you how much you’ll regret every word, question yourself and wonder what the hell is wrong with your sensibilities.

Finding an agent is the devil, especially for western writers. Aka. Yours fucking truly.

Writing your first submission is more daunting than finding out you have the clap, im assuming as i’ve never had it but i presume its not all fun and candy. It makes you feel vulnerable and uneasy. I partly worry about my work being stolen because its happened a couple of times before and then went on to be published, with me losing out. I felt depleted and heart broken.

picking up your manuscript sucks. You dont want to look at it, think about it or even acknowledge you created the filth in the pages. Apparently this is very common, but holy terror and erebus, this is awful. I’ve been trying to read through and i can only manage a little more than a chapter at a time. All that work and now i want nothing to do with it. My mind keeps trying to get me to abort this operation and start a new story, but what good is a new story with the first on a burner.