Friday, December 3, 2010

My Favorite Things: Or, Oprah's Doing it, So Why Can't I?

I have returned from a long month of candy and turkey, and stuffing, and pie. And the cranberry sauce, oh, gods, the cranberry sauce.

Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite things. (Suck on that, Oprah.) I make up excuses to use it throughout the rest of the non-Thanksgiving season. Anytime turkey is near, cranberry sauce is not far behind. And I don't care if it's made from scratch, or if it's the kind that looks like cranberry jello straight from the can no matter how you try to slice it up to hide the lines. (Though Ocean Spray's Whole Berry is the best out of a can, just so you know. I wouldn't want to die tomorrow without smearing that wisdom on ya.)

For years I was ashamed of this fact: I cannot enjoy Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce, and what is more, it's just not Thanksgiving dinner until I've mixed everything up on my plate and topped it with gravy and those ruby-pink chunks of cranberry glop. I was teased mercilessly about that in my youth—oh, the cruelty of the kids' table!—but today I mix my Thanksgiving potatoes and turkey and stuffing with cranberry flavored pride. Pride never tasted so good. 

In olden days of yore, I was also embarrassed of the fact that some of my favorite books in my formative years involved a series of adventures of a certain half-elf, a curmudgeonly dwarf, and an irrepressible kender. Yes, that's right folks, I'm talking about the Dragonlance Saga. Don't lie, you read them, too. Who didn't cry when Sturm died? And Raistlin, oh, Raistlin, you were the coolest one of all, even if you were kind of (read: mostly) a jerk to everyone, especially the people who cared about you like your dear sweet oaf of a brother. I could go on, but I'll leave y'all to your own memories about raiding Xak Tsaroth for fun and profit.

Lastly, I love my blog. ("So why don't you marry it?") I missed it while I was gone for a month, rewriting an old novel because I was writing my wip into a corner. The writing went well, but I missed connecting with my fellow writers. And since I've been on sub, y'all are who I need the most. It's hard to keep my confidence up when every time a friend or loved one sees me, they ask if I sold my book yet. And it's growing tiresome to keep saying: not yet; it's a slow business; I've gotten some really nice rejections. Especially when I'm not sure any of them really understand the hard work, patience, and dedication it took me to get to this point. 

But so many of y'all do, which makes all the difference in the world when I'm feeling down about my own struggles. Recent posts by Beth Revis, Natalie Whipple, and Christine Fonseca have come at a time when I need them most, when I'm losing faith, feeling jealousy, and comparing my journey to the journey of someone else.

Thanks, y'all, for helping me feel focus on my own journey. And to everyone else, good luck wherever you are in yours.

Happy Holiday Season!


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

You're going to get there. I feel it in my bones. But, you're right, the writers who blog about the journey and its pain help us all keep going. Hope shines.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Hey Tere,
I've got an amazing recipe for baked pears that includes fresh cranberries, a sliced lemon, sugar, and spices. Wonderful! It's good over ice cream or along with your turkey or ham.

I've been thinking of you. Are you on submission? Where are you in the process?

Jessica Bell said...

I had no idea you were on submission. That's great! Stick it out. You'll get there. You agent saw talent. A publisher will too :o) I know everyone says, that when the time is right, it will happen, and you're sick of hearing it. By maybe try to say it backwards so you can see it from a different point of view?
"neppah lliw ti ,thgit si emit eth nehw." :o)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

It's so nice to hear from you and catch up on all you've been up to. I will cross my fingers that your subbing ends soon - with a book deal! :-)

The Golden Eagle said...

I'm glad to see your post! And it was great reading the updates . . . I love cranberry sauce, too. Especially the homemade kind. :)

Plamena said...

Tere! Omg, so glad to hear from you. I was just thinking about you yesterday and wondering whatever happened to you and hoping that you're not lost all alone in submission land.

As for me, I'm almost done with my WiP (about 80 pages to go, but some scenes keep expanding and it seems like I've had only 80 pages to go for the last 2 weeks even though I'm writing.) Anyways, I also read Natalie Whipple's posts and had a minor freak attack and then decided that if I keep up the writing for ten years and I don't get a book deal then I'll start to worry. But not before. Of course I probably will anyways, but it's such a slow process that I'm trying to set deadlines as low as I can in hopes to avoid disappointment. And I know I haven't written nearly as long as you have, but I kind of get what you mean. People always ask if you've finished your novel, etc. My mom actually told me yesterday to wrap it up and not make it too long so I can publish it in time before teenagers stop reading : O. Anyways, yeah, I think it's only fellow writers that will really get it.

Hmm, I'm rambling. I hope you're doing well overall and that the rewrite is going ok. Oh, and did I mention it was really nice to hear from you : )?

Tere Kirkland said...

Tricia, thanks for putting it in a much more poetic manner than I have! Hope does shine. Some days I think I feel it somewhere deep inside, but doubt inevitably starts to creep in after long. Which is why I crave your support so badly.

I'm emotionally needy, ask anyone ;)

Caro- that sounds amazing!! I actually have some pears in the fridge right now that need to be eaten. Baked pears are so delicious! *drools*

Jessica, thanks for making me laugh! I'll have to write that down somewhere, preferably near a mirror. ;) Here's hoping the time will be right really soon!

Shannon, I will take fingers, toes, whatever you can cross, I appreciate it! :) I hope that, too, but I'm also trying to keep working on other projects... justincase!

TGE, who doesn't love real cranberry sauce, with lots of citrus... Mmm, I may have to make some this weekend!! Thanks!

Plamena, hey! I'm still alive, even though it was kind of a rough Thanksgiving and our truck broke down. But we soldiered on and enjoyed our cranberry sauce, er, Thanksgiving dinner, nonetheless.

Glad to hear your novel is going so well! I've been writing with the intent to publish for over five years now, so it's taken me that long to get to this point. Yikes. Natalie's post was really inspiring to me—if a little discouraging when I realize the same things that have happened to her could easily happen to me, like getting an editor's interest only to have the publishing house decide not to buy the book.

Living with the fear of failure has been hard on me, but it helps to know I'm not the only one. Nobody wants to be in submission hell, but if their stories help others cope with submission, it can't be all bad!

Jade said...

I read Natalie's post and thought of you, simply because people who haven't been on sub can't really understand what it feels like. I feel like all my encouragement is pointless since I don't know what I'm talking about.

I'm glad things are going okay with the writing. I'm in my usual spiral of indecision and lack of focus.

Abby Annis said...

Yea! You're back! You have been missed. You're awesome and don't you forget it. :) If you need to vent, you know where to find me. Hang in there! *hugs*

word veri: bleedlyz--that's some messy lying ;) Yes, I'm dumb. I know. But it's Friday, so I don't care.

Krispy said...


It's so weird how helpful things happen right when you're feeling down and need them. I still have my fingers crossed for you!

Also, thanks for the cranberry sauce tip! We usually have it for Thanksgiving/xmas, but we never know what to buy, so it's always a blind grab. Good thing none of us are too picky.

Christine Fonseca said...

Hugs to you Tere!!!

Icy Roses said...

Omg, all I saw when I opened this page was a picture of cranberry sauce and I died a little of joy.

We can be friends now.

I eat cranberries the way koala bears eat eucalyptus leaves. It is truly the greatest food in the world. One of the Thanksgiving parties I went to this year lacked cranberry sauce and I was like, SERIOUSLY, come on. Cranberry sauce is on the same level of necessity as turkey.

Susan R. Mills said...

Thinking of you... it will happen. You've already made it this far.