Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Queries - Behind the Scenes

Dudes and dudettes... I am busy with the end of the term here at school, but I came across this VERY helpful advice on Alan Rinzler’s blog. He goes over two queries and discusses them on a voice recording. Great advice! He talks a lot about platforms. I think I have to puke now. Where are those zombie pics everyone has?

Have a listen!

Alan Rinzler on Queries
Update: Guppy turned me into a zombie!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Hello beautiful people of the writing world! Please forgive me for not posting or responding much, I am still recovering from the big wedding weekend. However, I came across this post today and I had to share it with all of you who are itching for NANOWRIMO and can’t wait until November. There is a “MAYNOWRIMO” going on in the month of May. Click here to check it out!

The picture...well, it's just freakin funny!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Out of Town

I'm going out of town this weekend to my sister's wedding. Yup, I'm the world's oldest bridesmaid (I think I hear a fiddle playing in the distance). You see, I hate weddings. Perhaps I am the only woman on the face of the earth that hates them, but I do. I am very happy that my sister has found the love of her life, but why torture me like this? Why not elope? Well, at least my shoes are cute. Just trying to look on the bright side. I'll just drink a lot wine!

Anyway...I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Brithday to the Bard!

Today is Shakespeare's 445th Brithday! So, happy birthday to the man who brought to the world the most beautiful words ever written. In his honor, my favorite sonnet:

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love ’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

-William Shakespeare

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I was thinking today (yes thinking) how funny it is that people think they can crank out any old story, any old time, send it off to a publisher or an agent, and expect it to be published (and not laughed at). They just woke up one morning and decided to write a book! They are flabbergasted and indignant when their book gets rejected even once. No wonder poor agents are pulling their hair out and venting through blogs and tweets. This reminded me of something my sister and I did when we were children. We wrote a song called “Old Kentucky Cowgirl” (we are from Florida) and mailed it off to Olivia Newton John (probably her fan club), fully expecting Olivia Newton John to fall in love with it and seek us out as song writers. Needless to say, Olivia Newton John probably didn’t lay eyes on it, but I bet someone got a good laugh at it.

Alright… I’m done laughing now. I’m sure you were probably laughing too. We all realize that writing is, well, HARD as heck! We read blogs after blogs (editors, agents, publishers), we read books, and we pour our blood, sweat, and tears into our manuscripts, praying that it might be good enough after the eightieth editing session to send off to an agent. Ugh! Wait, I’m not done. Nope. We join critting groups, submit our queries a hundred times until they are perfected, and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Wait, that’s Hamlet. I mean we suffer the critiques of everyone we know, including other writers, just because we want to be better writers.

We are the few and the proud folks. Not marines… but serious writers who care about mastering the craft, who truly love literature, who love bringing joy to others, who love to create, who want to spare the poor agents of the world from crazy queries about books on leg hair braiding (including samples). Think about it! If you are reading this blog, and others about writing, you are way ahead of the game! So, next time you feel down and depressed about a rejection… think about those who haven’t made it as far as you have. Keep reaching for the stars! Never give up! We love to write… RIGHT?

Top 100 Creative Writing Blogs 2009

I found this site while "surfing" the web today, and I thought I would share it with you. So, sift through and see if there is anything of interest. You just may recognize a few names!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Top 10 things to do with a manuscript that doesn’t sell:

1. Use it as a stool in kitchen to reach the cabinets. What else do you do with your 1000 page epic about a vampire that couldn’t get into Harvard, so he became a used car salesman and a flamingo dancer? I mean, it took ten ink cartridges to print it! Make haste, not waste.

2. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle! Make into cat litter, a dog bed, stuff some pillows for the couch, or make a sock monkey. It’s all about going green these days!

3. Take it to Kinko’s and have it bound yourself. Wrap it up and give it to everyone you know for Christmas. Nothing like a personalized gift! Just think of all the money you’ll save.

4. Perhaps you could even try to sell it outside of Barnes and Noble. Be sure to ask first! Also, including lemonade with the purchase might be a great idea! Free lemonade with the purchase of one Kinko’s bound manuscript of vampire epic! Sounds like a deal!

5. Wallpaper a room in your house. What an idea! Always think outside the box!

6. Use it to elevate your computer monitor. I don’t know about you, but it annoys me when I have to look down at my monitor. It can’t be ergonomic!

7. Wrap it up in tin foil and use it as an exercise weight! Work those triceps and biceps! You can always use it for step aerobics too. Nothing like buns of steel to make you feel better about things!

8. Make 1000 paper airplanes. Go for the Guinness Book of World Records!

9. Make 1000 paper fans. Sell those with the lemonade!

10. Put in a Tupperware container and float it out to sea… hoping that someone will find it years from now and make you famous! Anything can happen.

When life gives you lemons….

Nicolas Sparks - Writer's Corner


The best way to learn how to be a successful writer is to observe and learn from successful writers. A while back I decided to visit Nicolas Sparks’ website. You may or may not like his books, I suppose it depends on your taste in books or genres, but Nicolas Sparks has found success on a grand scale. We can’t argue with that. He was also generous enough to include a section on his website for aspiring writers. This is what I love about writers, they are usually quick to help and support each other.

On Sparks’ website he has a section entitled writer’s corner where you can find advice from mastering the craft, to writing query letters, to his long road to publication. I think it’s definitely worth a read.
So, what are you waiting for? Click here and away you go…

Monday, April 20, 2009

Confidence is Key

Ouch! Rejection hurts! Let’s face it, those of us who want to publish are asking to enter into a tough business. The most successful writers are those who can remain positive and persevere, even in the face of adversity. Rejection is a part of the business, and we need to learn how to put on a brave face, go forth, and conquer. Okay, maybe not conquer exactly, unless you are the conquering type. What I mean is that you can’t give up. You need to believe in your project, and believe in yourself above all. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

I recently stumbled upon an editor’s blogsite that I found extremely helpful. If you don’t follow him, I recommend that you do. In this post (How Successful Writers Keep Their Confidence), he explains that the publishing business is a crazy business and it doesn’t always make sense. He also gives several tried and true ways that successful writers stay sane in the crazy world of publishing. My favorite point of advice, keep writing. That’s right… keep writing even when you think what you are writing is crap! In everything there is a lesson to be learned. If nothing else, perhaps you learned how to stay focused and finish a novel. If you have finished a novel, well you are way ahead of those who haven’t. What an accomplishment! Give yourself a big ole pat on the back, you rock!

My first novel taught me a lot about life and a lot about myself. In some ways it was prophetic… eerily so. I learned lessons that I really needed to learn. If this is all it was meant to do, so be it. I have come to terms with that. Now I am gathering the knowledge that I need through reading books, blogs, etc., to better my writing. Perhaps my next book will be published, or the next one. Who knows? I sure will have fun writing them folks. Maybe that will be the payoff. I’m alright with that. Ah…peace!

I hope you will jump over to Alan Rinzler’s blog to take in all of the priceless information that he has to offer on publishing. If anyone is still iffy… I got the link from Nathan Bransford’s blog. Perhaps that’ll sway you. Nothing like name dropping! *grin*

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blog Award - I Nominate YOU!

Beth Revis at writing it out has been kind enough to award me this blog award. Thank you Beth!
The Lemonade Stand Award is awarded for great Gratitude and /or Attitude...and all I have to do is follow a few simple rules:
1. Post the logo on my blog.
2. Nominate 10 blogs with great gratitude/attitude.
3. List and link my nominees.

In return I nominate:

I tried to get everyone I didn't get last time! People are going to get tired of linking my blog! Thus I couldn't get 10 names. LOL Pretty soon we will all have every award tiwce! Enjoy!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This made me laugh hysterically. It's late...!! LOL

Creativity and Vulnerability

By nature, artists are sensitive. It’s this same sensitivity that allows us to bare our souls for the sake of creativity. When we write (create), it is our ability to feel deeply the emotions of our characters and put them into words that allows our readers to feel deeply too. We pour our souls into our work. We become vulnerable to others. Sometimes when we write, we feel completely drained because we have put every last ounce of energy and emotion into our work. I have had to take breaks from writing my novel at times because something that happened to my characters would drain me. I would find myself in tears, depressed, drained, and unable to give anymore of myself to anyone.

I have protected my novel like it’s a child. I am making myself vulnerable to those that read it. It’s leaving me open to hurt and pain. It’s frightening. I think we all feel this way to a certain extent. I also realize that we have to find the courage to make ourselves vulnerable to others. We have to find the courage to send our babies out to the world and risk rejection, hurt, and pain. We have to take this risk to be successful, to publish, and to grow as writers and as people.

We, the people who feel so deeply that we are able to create something beautiful - a book, a picture, a painting, a movie- have to be strong in the face of rejection. It’s a dichotomy. I suppose some people manage to marry the two, or they are pretty good at faking it. Look at all of the artists throughout the ages who suffered for their art. We call them tortured souls, but they were just like us.

It helps me to think that we are all in this together. We will all make ourselves vulnerable, and we will all face rejection. We are the ones who feel deeply, which I believe is a gift. There is not a single writer in the history of the world who has written a perfect piece of work, edited a couple of times, never had any outside opinions, and published their work the next day. Not the Bronte sisters, or Jane Austen, or John Keats, who never published until after he died. Franz Kafka, who I adore, thought his work was so terrible, he asked that it be burned upon his death, yet his work in every college curriculum in the Western world. It’s the nature of writing, I tell my students. It’s almost impossible for us to see ALL of our own mistakes.

I have no answers… just ramblings. So, I will leave you with a quote by John Osborne (English playwright, and screenwriter):

“Asking a writer what he thinks about criticism is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.”

Oh those English….

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Baby Belle

Fellow Writer Needs Answers - Please Help!

Bryan Dubreuiel asks -

"Through any one's experience, what is a good time frame to make contact [with an agent to whom you have sent your manuscript]?The reason I ask is the "main" one I have my full out with, their website states "exclusive" but I didn't read this prior to my joy of sending the other two. But this agent has now had it for two months, so when can I move on, or better yet, contact her to ask for any progress?I am a very nice, easy to get a long with individual. I don't want to bother anyone, so would hate for them to throw it out because I inquire.I have exhausted my research, including reading the great and sometimes hilarious reviews from writers on, and the blogs so am asking for any and all advice!Thank you and I will see you all at the top! "

Please visit Brian's blog - Random Thoughts of a General Mind if you have an answer! Thank you!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spend the Day with Your Characters!

If you could bring to life a character from one of your stories and hang out with him or her for the day, which one would it be? Why? What advice would you give them?Include name, personality traits, etc.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Love to Write!

Oh yes, here it is folks. I have another book in my head begging to be written, much like the first one did. It trumps the one I want to write, and it haunts me in the wee hours of the morning. My fingers are burning and my mind won’t rest until I have begun. Actually, I did begin. And guess what… the first sentence draws the reader right into the world of the main character. Oh yes, this one is quite different than the other one (experience), but it’s still in the women’s lit (with a literary twist) genre. There will be murder, romance, time travel, forbidden love and obsessive love. No vampires (or zombies), but I was somewhat inspired by them (the hot ones).

Heck, you know what? Writing is totally self-indulgent for me. I love to travel to a different world that I can create as I go. It’s like reading, but better! Do I want to publish? Yes, but for me the experience outweighs the outcome.

Have any of you ever been working on a project when another project, that you just had to do, interrupted the process? I have a novel that needs edits, a novel that I have been researching but haven’t begun, and a novel that wants to be written now, now, now. Damn muse! She must have had fun on vacation (in the Greek isles with Debra’s muse) because she came back with a vengeance!
Don’t worry, I am still beta reading. You know who you are. This book is insanely good, and I get to say that I read it before it was published! He he

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Books on Writing

Damyanti was nice enough to put together a list of books on writing and to post them on her blog, Amlokiblogs. Check it out!

Click on the link:


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Breaking the RULES!

Finding Balance

One of the hardest things in life is finding balance. How do we incorporate all of the things we love to do in a single day when there is so little time? I am posing this question because I haven’t quite figured this out yet. I seem to take on too many things, which leaves no time for me. It has left me feeling that I need a day or two to hide from the world. It has left me feeling somewhat dazed and confused. I am thinking that the day for me will pass in record speed, and the needle will be dropped once again on the same song. This happens over and over… and over again. And life flies by. Perhaps that’s why I wrote about the Metamorphosis. I feel like Gregor Samsa, turning into a bug. Ho hum…

Can anyone relate? I suppose part of it may be that I am pretty much alone. I don’t have a family and children, or someone to sort of navigate through the journey with me. I hope I will at some point. Until then I will sprout legs and crawl up the wall as people throw some parcels of food my way, still trying to figure out how to balance (juggle) everything. Or… perhaps I need to quit reading Kafka at the moment. *laughs at self*

Ps...I have stayed away from the WIP for two weeks. I'm now getting the shakes and other odd symptoms. Medication maybe?