Monday, November 4, 2013

Of Violins and Orchestras

Congratulations to Joyce Hostetter, who recommended Yankee Girl to me. She won her very own autographed copy! 

Many years ago my husband and I spent time and money on violin lessons for my daughters. By the time they hit middle school, other activities became more important and they lost interest. Everyone realized that there was a lot more involved in playing a violin than listening to Suzuki tapes in the car every day.  
Lisa, Lori, & Lydia Baldwin
fiddling around 17 years ago

But that experience probably was the reason why, when my brother emailed me recently and asked, “So, when is your book coming out?” I wrote back with the following answer:

 “Thanks for your interest, but I am a long way from holding a hard copy of Half-Truths in my hands. Think of it this way: you don't sit down to learn how to play a violin and automatically start playing in the orchestra.

“I have learned a tremendous amount in the years I have been working on this book, but still have a way to go. It's like I created my own master's degree in writing. I am start a new draft which has potential to be "THE" story. Remember, I made my job much more complicated by deciding to tell the story from two points of view; that’s very hard to pull off for a brand new novelist. 

“WHEN I am done with this draft I will need to polish it before submitting it to an agent. Hopefully by then it will be in great shape and I’ll find someone to represent me. But then that agent will shop it around to publishers. After a publisher accepts it (and who knows how long that process will take!)  it’ll be two more years before the books come out. That will be the time for edits, cover design, and creating a marketing plan. 

"It's a long process, but by the end, I hope to be playing in the symphony!”
The Charlotte Symphony
My brother, like many who aren’t in the writing/publishing industry, had no idea how long it takes to birth a book--especially a first one when a novelist is learning so much about characterization, point of view, plot, etc. To be honest, I didn’t either. But as I look back on the conferences, writing workshops, and classes I have taken I recognize that in fact, I have been teaching myself how to write a novel. No small task.

Now, pardon me, while I get back to work. 

Anybody seen my rosin?


Joan Y. Edwards said...

Congratulations, Joyce.

Thanks for offering the opportunity to win this, Carol.

Linda A. said...

Yay, Joyce.

Carol, I enjoyed the reflection on how learning to write is like learning to play the violin. I've heard plenty of kids attempting to play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." I'm not sure if any of them got it the first time out. Most likely not.

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Thanks for Yankee Girl.

And I love the photo of the girls playing the violin/fiddle!

And yes, you are getting a great writing education. I realized today while working on my story that I have learned a whole heap in the last 4 or 5 unpublished years.

Carol Baldwin said...

And here I thought you knew it all, already, Joyce!! Thanks Joan for fixing my blog and thanks Linda for stopping by. I think the majority of those "twinkle, twinkle little star" players never moved on beyond Book 3 or 4!

Kathleen said...

Carol, I look forward to seeing you in the orchestra-Front Row! All your hard work will definitely pay off.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Kathy. I hope you're right!

Linda Phillips said...

This post reminds me that we were privileged to have a private concert with the Baldwin girls once upon a time. And now, these past years, I have been privileged to grow along the writing path with you, Carol. Who knows, maybe we will both be members of the symphony together one day!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Congratulations to Joyce Moyer Hostetter for winning the book.

I also loved this post, Carol, because it resonated with me. I often tell kids at school visits that I'm an author because I didn't quit violin in 6th grade when I discovered how bad I really sounded. I kept on playing and practicing and ended up as the concert mistress in high school. I learned from music lessons that if you keep going, you get better. But if I'd quit in 6th grade, I never would have known how good I could become.

Carol Baldwin said...

Linda- yes, how many years ago was that??? Time... and YES again. We'll be in the orchestra together!! ALthough I think you're going to make it to the YA orchestra before me! And Clara, thanks so much for your response. Your tenacity with violin and writing have paid off!!

Rosi said...

It is a long slog, isn't it? I am at the Highlight's Whole Novel Historical Fiction workshop and really had a breakthrough today. Now I can re-start re-writing and maybe this will be the one. Congrats to Joyce!

Carol Baldwin said...

Rosi- So glad for your breakthrough; I look forward to hearing your song!! Thanks for taking time out of your busy week to leave a comment here.

Gretchen Griffith said...

410Always learning, always seeking the best, that's the way to do it, Carol. Hang in there, because it sounds like THE story is about to emerge. I can't wait to hold your book in my hands.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Gretchen. It is folks like you that keep me going...when the practicing and learning seem so endless!

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