Perhaps this is a good way to describe what it feels like to be a writer: I often compose sentences in my head as I’m going through the motions of reality–making my bed, doing the dishes, petting my cats, etc.–as if I’ve turned myself into a character and my life into a work of fiction. I’m narrating the story of my life. I often revise my word choices and reword my sentences, and while I’m doing this, my awareness feels like it isn’t quite inside my head, like I’m slightly above and behind, instead of in and looking out through my own eyes. Once I realize I’m narrating, I stop and ground myself. I have to stop everything and just look around, until I feel like I’m seeing the world with just one pair of eyes. It’s disorienting.
As Adam Savage from Mythbusters once said, “I reject your reality and substitute it with my own.”
So there’s my reality on a cork board. Notes to three different books, one of them my current project. The newspaper clipping has nothing to do with me. More of a grounding point and a reminder. Many more books are floating around in my head, waiting their turn to be written down one day. Heck, my current project waited years, sitting tight on a few sticky notes and daydreams. Now I’m over 60k words into it and plugging along as fast as my poor wrists will allow.
My published fantasy novel is getting a new cover art one last time. Third time’s a charm rings true in this situation. I’ll presenting that coupled with a three day free ebook promo soon. Definitely looking forward to that. I’ll let you all know as soon as I know.
I’ve been looking at my pen name a fair bit lately–not as an ego trip, but with all the cover art and behind-the-scenes publishing details. S.M. Welles… a perfectly good pseudonym, so why don’t I feel like I own it? I’d settled on it when I was either eighteen or nineteen. Welles comes from my genealogy and S.M. stands for “sans mal” which is Latin for “without evil”, a motto my family used back in the day when there were knights riding around. A sound, respectable way to pick a pseudonym that’s fun to explain how I came up with. Maybe I just need to give the name time on bookshelves and I’ll grow into and own it like my given name, Angela. I don’t have an alter writing ego while I’m busy drafting; just me possessed by my characters and the core of the story. Maybe I’ll pull a Stephen King and change it one day.
Still writing, still hopeful, still broke, and still trying to succeed at this whole full-time author gig. Wish me luck!