My website

Several months ago, I decided to create my own website; a place where I could consolidate my blogs, post information about my published works, and include news about my writing endeavors.  After deciding which service to go with and spending much time on the layout, the site went live a couple of days ago.

My website screenshot

Right now, my website is fairly bare, but I hope to add links on it to my other writings, as I have done on here and on Murmurs from the Balcony.

In the meantime, let me know what you think!  The address is repetitive, as I made the username and the website name the same, but that’s what you get for a free website.  When I upgrade to a paid website, the repetition will go away (and I’ll update the links).

Here’s the link: http://gregsalvatore.wix.com/gregsalvatore

P.S.  While I’ve included links to both blogs on my website, I haven’t linked them yet, so don’t remove those follows!

On Reaching 35

Two days ago, I turned 35. One day ago, I finished reading Mozart: A Life in Letters.  Comparisons to Mozart are bound to end in disappointment, since he accomplished so much in his short life — more in 35 years than most people do in 80, and more brilliantly.  Yet, just as I thought of Jeanne d’Arc when I turned 17 (when she began her crusade against the British), 19 (when she was burned at the stake), and again at 20 (when I reached an age she never reached), I can’t help thinking of Mozart at 35.  Had he lived two months more, I would be thinking of him at 36, but 35 is also when people reach their creative peak.  I don’t know where I read this, and perhaps it’s complete nonsense, but Mozart and creativity go together, since he is the most protean of composers, and perhaps of all artists.  What he did would be akin to a visual artist becoming unsurpassed in painting, sculpture, and architecture; or a writer mastering poetry, novels, short stories, essays, and plays.

I find it interesting to read what I wrote when I turned 30.  Unlike then, I am out of my parents’ house; like then, I am still not published (minus my poetry book).  But I am closer to being published.  Much closer.  I visited my brother and sister-in-law last week and found new resolve in making the publication of my novel my top priority.  Even with SIFF coming up, and all the posts I will be writing about the festival, the novel will be finished this year.  With luck, the search for publishers will also begin in 2014.

Since I already looked back at my accomplishments at 30, I don’t feel I need to at 35.  Instead, I am trying to live more in the moment, while still attempting to peek around the corner and see what my future looks like.  To help with that, I have started meditating once a day.  Only on a few occasions have I not been able to keep up this practice, and whether from this or from signs of spring that are appearing in Seattle — like sun — I am hopeful.  I feel that my thirties will only get better, and that my future struggles will be not be the past struggles of survival, but of thrift.

And, if I live what’s considered a normal lifespan, I have more than half my life to still look forward to — unlike Mozart, who had less than a year.

Update on the Novel: One More Revision

While declaring to everyone that phase one of the novel was finished, I sent my novel out to one more person.  Oddly, this person is probably the most qualified person to read my novel, as she has a PhD in literature, lives in Seattle, and is one heck of a writer.  Let me add to that that she is one heck of a first/second reader.

I first met her as part of a writer’s group here in Seattle, which folded within a year, after one meeting.  She then started a writer’s group on her own, which had one meeting and never met again.  We have kept in touch, and I have gone over to her house for several Thanksgivings.  So, when I was debating whether to shell out $300 for a professional editor or just send out the manuscript as-is, I turned to her for advice.

Not that she suddenly found issues with the novel that hadn’t been brought up by other people, but her ways of addressing the problem made me realize 1.) that there was one serious problem that I needed to address before I could send it out, and 2.) there was a way to fix that problem without making the rest of the novel worse (which is my main concern when doing revisions.  Yes, you can revise too much).

This is in no way a critique of my other first and second readers.  Their critiques helped me tremendously in rewrites.  But with her, I know two things: yes, I need to do another rewrite, and after that, it will be ready for agents and publishers to look at.

That doesn’t mean I will stop my phase two work, for that has already started, and those query letters should be ready to go as soon as this rewrite is finished.  What it means is that I have someone locally who I can email and bounce ideas off of, who is herself a writer.  Every writer needs a group of people whom they can trust to look at their work before it’s sent out, but I may have just found my point person.