Sunday, December 1, 2013

Baring Your Soul, Damn the Consequences

The best writing tells the truth. While we all know this instinctively, implementation of the concept is easier said than done when it comes to touchy subjects. That said, I wrote about a very personal matter in my Dear Teen Me guest blog entry, which is slated to to be published December 4, and I really hope my friends, family, and the public in general won't judge me too harshly for what I had to say (not to mention my editor!).

While I've heard the old adage that even bad publicity is good publicity, garnering the type of publicity steeped in controversy was honestly not my intent. I love the concept the Dear Teen Me project stands behind, and I took it to heart, writing about a difficult time in my life during which I desperately wished someone would have given me some insight.

Anyway, I've read a lot of the Dear Teen Me entries, but certainly not all of them, so there's a good chance another author has written about my topic of choice before, as it's certainly not a unique situation. Whatever the case, my hope is that by sharing my experience, I can lend some perspective to girls out there in the world facing similar decisions.

With that in mind, all I can say to readers of my post is, Godspeed--I hope we can still be friends.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Need a Copy Editor?

As those of you following my blog already know, I'm getting divorced. Sad tales of woe aside, here's the skinny: although I used to work in the publishing industry doing editorial production, the fifteen-year gap in my résumé (due to staying home full-time with my kids, one of whom has special needs) apparently isn't too cool in today's competitive job market.

That said, I've been taking freelance copyediting work. Recent clients include Richter Watkins and Chris Marie Green. I charge the going New York rate for my services ($25/hour) and tend to provide a quick turnaround on projects.

Interested? If so, email me a 1000-word writing sample in MS Word so I can use Track Changes to show you the type of work I do, as well as give you a time estimate on how many hours your manuscript will likely take me to complete. My address is araburklund [at] gmail dot com.

Looking forward to meeting you!

Friday, July 26, 2013

It's That Time of Year Again

With all the stuff going on in my life (revisions, moving, the divorce, etc.), I'm shocked that the SCBWI national conference is already next weekend. Trying to be thrifty, I'll be driving up to Los Angeles from San Diego *before* traffic Friday morning, then spending only two hotel nights. What that means, however, is that my weekend will be action-packed, with hardly any time to take a breath, let alone get some sleep. But I'll worry about that later. Let the fun begin!

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Sometimes in life, there comes a time when one must look like a grown-up. For me, going through a divorce and subsequent child-custody dispute, now is that time. Anyway, so if I just met you and you decide to do a little checking out of my blog? Yeah, that's right--take a look at my driver's license next time you see me, because I haven't always sported the soccer-mom-with-blonde-highlights look I'm donning at the moment. In fact (shock of all shocks to the people who know me best), I might even grow out my hair!!! Because whatever it takes to win me more time with my kids, I'm there, no matter how superficial that might sound.

That said, I'm afraid I've been neglecting the blogging/tweeting/facebooking efforts as of late. Along with being on deadline for my e-book's second draft, I've been taking crime-fiction copyediting gigs on the side. Truly, the CE jobs have been made of awesome, as Richter Watkins' work reminds me a bit of Carl Hiaasen's. Basically, it's been great getting paid to be entertained.

Once the deadline is met, I'll be back in the blogosphere more regularly. Until then, happy reading elsewhere!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Letting Go and Moving On

Today should have been my 21st wedding anniversary. Instead, I'm anxiously awaiting a settlement conference date to finalize the details of our divorce. Since I'm the one who initiated the process, I can't complain, but it's still sad to think about, all too easy to dwell on.

Along with the divorce, and the unfortunate accompanying tangle of emotions, comes a concurrent break with a couple of forlorn what-ifs (cryptic enough for ya?).  Supposedly, it takes 21 days to break a habit. My question regarding that oft-spouted tidbit of conventional wisdom: even if it's something that's been plaguing you for over 24 years? We'll see. My guess is, replacing the habit with a more positive outlet for the needs involved will be the only way to cure myself of this seemingly unending cycle rooted in futility and rejection.

Anyway, it's time to call up my newly single friends (surprisingly, there's a wave of us) and get out there. Along with posting some better pictures of myself on the dating websites so people don't just see my round face and assume I'm chunky. Because this should be fun, right?

Oy vey.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Romantic Suspense

In finishing up the manuscript I'm currently working on, a tale centered around what essentially amounts to a forbidden love story (albeit a twisted take on the convention), I've been thinking about the concept of anticipation. In the present atmosphere of communicative immediacy, has the art of longing become a thing of the past, relegated to times of world wars and the overseas letters? Perhaps, but I would argue, No.

Just like in the above-mentioned story (which includes some beyond-the-grave horror and science fiction elements), I believe new methods of communication breed anticipation rather than eradicate it, putting us in touch with people with whom we may have previously believed it impossible to interact. And the taste of the resulting anticipation evoked? Undeniably sweet. Mind-blowingly delicious. Satisfyingly savory--or unsavory, depending on your proclivities.

Which is why I don't think the forbidden love story will ever truly go away. Obstacles only make the realization of consummation more tempting, making us crave what we realize we can't--or shouldn't--have, then go after it with a force rooted deep in our souls. Even if we know it could destroy us.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Standing on the Cliff

Before I turn off the router and get to the writing I'm actually supposed to be doing today, I wanted to take a minute to write about the prospect of falling in love. Is it something we allow ourselves to do, or is it something that just happens? Is it even possible to control such feelings, or are we mere mortals subject to their whims, only along for the ride? And how about if you've already been there, done that with the person in question and are terrified of letting it happen again because you got hurt so badly the first time around?

Yeah, I'm a mess. Took me years to extract those feelings of loss from my life and move on, but I did it, and now I'm courting their return? This is not a good idea, to say the least. But then, is life ever neat and tidy? Is it even worth living without passion? To paraphrase Chuck Palahniuk, Bad decisions and poor associations make for great writing. So there. Besides, maybe things will be different this time. Maybe it's meant to be; otherwise, the idea wouldn't be so intriguing.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Am I a Publicity Nightmare?

So there's this author questionnaire I'm filling out for Alloy/Warner Brothers. I've been needing to turn it in but haven't yet done so. I will, but it (combined with a quasi-flame war on facebook this morning regarding the wood I have for Quentin Tarantino) got me to thinking, how honest should I be?

A long time ago (far back enough that hallucinogens might have been involved), I came to a realization I considered profound at the time: even though I have eclectic taste in music and a warped sense of humor, I'm just an upper middle-class white girl who likes to write her angst and maybe has a bad attitude. Speaking of which, did I mention my love for Jesus? Like my mom says, church is for the sinner, not the saint.

Anyway, when I go to an author's blog or twitter feed or whatever, I like it best when I can get a sense of his or her personality. Makes me feel like I know them as a person, not just for what they write. I suppose this could be disconcerting to a public figure, but I don't really see myself that way (even if this book winds up selling a bajillion--please, God!--copies), so it's hard to project that distance.

All this to say, if I offend you, I'm sorry. I've been teased for being weird all my life, so the fact that I'm not going to make everyone happy isn't news to me. Hopefully we can still be friends.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Late-Night Communication and Other Bad Ideas

Did high school not teach me anything??? Just saying. I'm 42, and still, I make the same mistakes I was prone to making at 16. Except now that we have email and facebook and all these nifty other means of expressing our innermost thoughts, it's even easier to kick things up a notch in terms of errant behavior.

So, yeah. Wasn't drinking wine--or even hard lemonade--so what's my excuse? I'm going to go with provocation. Encouragement. Carrot-dangling. Well, maybe not that last one, since it sounds kind of dirty. But you get the idea. Because I can get myself into plenty of trouble all by myself. Any help, and all sense of propriety is summarily tossed out the window.

Oh, maybe it's not so bad. Maybe I didn't say that much, so I should stop stressing out. Because cursing every time a piece of junk mail from Groupon or eBay or Domino's arrives in my in box instead of a reaction from last night's late-night recipient isn't helping anything.