Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Today is IWSG Day! Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh founded this group and he does a great job of keeping it going and encouraging everyone.
Check out our awesome hosts this month: Heather Gardner, T. Drecker from Kidbits, Eva E. Solar at Lilicasplace, and Patsy Collins! And don't forget that we have a Facebook page and also the IWSG Critique Circle. We are a thriving community!
I'm proud to say I've had a writing month. The first time in a long time. As many of you know, 2014 was filled with weddings and home renovation. Believe me when I say the wedding was easy-peasy compared to the renovation (you'll learn all about that during our A to Z Challenge!). Finally, everything is over (except the decorating) and I can finally write.
I've made a new friend, one who is willing to meet me at the library and crank out pages for about 4 hours each week. You can't imagine how this satisfies my writing soul. Heather and I are quite compatible. Neither one of us is a chatterbox so we're comfortable sitting quietly in our own little worlds. We may take a break and discuss marketing or plotting or something we have questions about, but otherwise, we're focused.
Leaving the house to write has proven pretty successful for me in the past. I'm hoping this Calcasieu Parish Library is filled with good creative vibes just as the Mustang Library in Oklahoma was. It feels a little different, but I'm adjusting. Maybe I can get into a writing rhythm and complete some unfinished projects within the next few months. That's my goal.
If you're having trouble writing at home, keep jumping up to dust or get something to nibble on or talk to the (retired) hubby, consider leaving the house for at least one writing day. It really works.
Last week I finished a devotional story for a specific market. I get excited when I accomplish one of my goals, but then I remember the old saying, don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. Anyway, if you have an interest in writing inspirational stories, check out these guidelines.
On another note, if you need some instruction, please check out the 'latest greatest' how-to book by many of your IWSG friends. And I will be patting myself on the back since I made my deadline and contributed. Read below for details:
Publishing and Beyond is available for downloading. Please help us spread the word about this awesome book.
Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool. Compiled into three key areas of writing, publishing, and marketing, this valuable resource offers inspirational articles, helpful anecdotes, and excellent advice on dos and don'ts that we all wish we knew when we first started out on this writing journey.
235 pages, FREE
Find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads.
At the time of this posting, Amazon has Publishing and Beyond for 99 cents. Hopefully, that will be changed but ... it's worth it!
Thanks to everyone who contributed – it's packed with information!
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
And speaking of offering assistance and guidance ... I’d like to share a book with you that’s helping me plot a new story. This author is one of my favorites. And she was my editor for The Last Daughter.
Award winning author and editor, Alicia Dean, shares her process of creating a story, along with bonus tips in her how to book, Find The Magic – How to Plot a Story in 10 Easy Steps. Through November 15th, it's on sale for only 99 cents. I finished reading Find the Magic last week. What I liked best about the book was Alicia's honest voice. She made me trust her from page one. But why wouldn't I? I know that she knows what she's doing when it comes to writing, editing, critiquing and plotting.
Using specific examples from one of her own novels, Without Mercy (also 99 cents), Alicia shares how to plot a book and expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you.
Find the Magic might hold the answers you need.
In addition to being an author of more than twenty published works, Alicia Dean is both a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, under the name, Ally Robertson, in their suspense line. I highly recommend you get too know Alicia through her books, or social media.
Alicia/Ally is one of the good guys and she knows what writing, publishing and marketing is all about.
Website: http://aliciadean.com/ Blog: http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008364070487 Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alicia_Dean_ Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aliciamdean/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I know my writing lacks a certain sophistication, and I can't help but think that's what the problem might be. Of course, I'm going back to an article I read that said publishers/editors/agents are looking for sophisticated writing. And then I remember the Amazon review that stated my book sounded as if it was written by a teenager.
What is sophisticated writing? One article I read stated to reach that level we need to increase our vocabulary. Another article stated sophisticated writing doesn't mean using big words. There are so many opinions and points of view.
I recognize sophisticated writing, I just can't figure out how I can achieve it. Maybe I do write like a teenager. If so, it's probably because I think and talk like one too.
Would love your take on sophisticated writing. Share.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Today is the one year anniversary of the IWSG website and their Facebook group. To celebrate, the IWSG Admins are putting together an anthology, The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond. From my understanding it will be a FREE help book. I'm sure this book will be fantastic; I'll keep you informed.
I'm writing a short post to encourage you, though I wonder if you really need encouragement. Sometimes I think I'm the only writer in the world who isn't writing. And it would be so simple to sit down, push everything and everyone out of my mind and write two pages a day. Two lousy pages. No one says they have to be good... they just have to BE. Except I can't get my mind in the right place.
I got an email from a friend the other day sharing news that an essay he wrote was published in an anthology. He thanked me for being an inspiration to him, for sharing info, offering advice and suggestions and in general, just encouraging him. He doesn't know how much his words mean to me. On that day, I needed encouragement too and his words offered it. They may not have seemed very important to him, but they told me I'm still on the right track with what I love, what I do and how I do it.
You know, this is what IWSG is all about. Encouraging each other. Don't you love it?
I want to encourage everyone who reads this to let those people who inspire you or help you in any way know how much you appreciate them. We're writers and writing notes of appreciation should be important to us. Besides, ignoring those who help us is almost akin to burning a bridge.
I told my friend, Stanley Klemetson, I'd mention the book here. It's a little pricey, but if you're interested, ask your library to get it and be sure to read Stan's essay, Following Dreams Put on Hold. Here's the press release. The anthology is called:
WRITING AFTER RETIREMENT
Tips for Successful Retired Writers
Writing after Retirement provides a variety of vantage points from published authors and paints a realistic portrayal of what it takes to get started in the industry. This book also includes preparation for the challenges that aspiring writers face, and practical guides for overcoming them.
A range of issues are addressed:
Linking one’s writing to current activities
The nuts and bolts of writing
Planning one’s estate
New career paths
Practical advice on how to take that first step
Whether writing for pleasure or for profit, the reader will find plenty to choose from in this collection.
Carol Smallwood co-edited Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching on the list of Best Books for Writers by Poets & Writers Magazine; Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing (2012); Lily’s Odyssey (2010). Her library experience includes school, public, academic, special libraries, teaching, administration, and consulting
Christine Redman-Waldeyer launched Adanna, a print journal for women and about women, in January 2011. Redman-Waldeyer is a poet and assistant professor in the Department of English at Passaic County Community College in New Jersey. She has published three poetry collections.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Let's focus on something more pleasant, and certainly more beautiful--our daughter's wedding. I'll share some photos with you. As some of you know, it was a "literary" wedding. Every table centerpiece was a stack of three books.
Guests registered in a wonderful coffee table book called Books Do Decorate a Room. They just turned to their favorite page and signed. Below, you can see the delicious cake and the bride's fancy shoes. She was determined her feet would NOT hurt during the wedding reception!
Her dad shook hands with the groom. The groomsmen looked on. As you can see, daughter had some beautiful bridesmaids. Three of them are best friends from her LSU days--they met her freshman year (2001) and have been BFFs ever since.
Friday, September 5, 2014
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ABOUT THE BOOK
Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Driftwood Tides, go HERE.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
On August 23rd daughter walked down the aisle on her daddy’s arm and pledged life and love to her groom. And so began the first day of the rest of her life as a wife.
Friday, August 15, 2014
While there, I had the opportunity to participate in a series of novellas with the recurring theme of a cursed Scrimshaw doll. The curse began in the late seventeenth century when a father feared his daughter’s betrothed would betray her. A gypsy attempted to hex the girl with this spell: All those who betray you will suffer. Only true love can break the curse. Unfortunately, the curse went into the doll the daughter held, and has been passed on for centuries.
All our stories are written in various genres and all stand alone. They were published by The Wild Rose Press as individual releases, but we’re excited that they have been released in two boxed sets.
If you ever have an opportunity to write a series with a group of writers, go for it. It's a learning experience but loads of fun. We hope you enjoy our Scrimshaw Doll series!
Pirate’s Proposal – Diana Layne
The English Lily – Kae Elle Wheeler
Trail of Hope – Heidi Vanlandingham
Fading Rose – Tamrie Foxtail
The Last Daughter – Jessica Ferguson
Volume 2: Burdened includes:
The Color of Betrayal – Kathy L. Wheeler
Thicker Than Water – Alicia Dean
Skinbound – Anna Kittrell
Tessa’s Treasures – Callie Hutton
The Bone Bride – Tamrie Foxtail
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Today is IWSG day-the first Wednesday of each month. IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Our purpose is to share and encourage. You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page.
I submitted a mini-mystery about three months ago to Woman's World magazine, and received the rejection a week or so ago. I felt so certain it might find a home with them. We never know, do we? But I think it's good to feel positive about our work. It makes it a little harder when the rejection comes but still ... maybe next time. Hope some of you are getting acceptances instead of rejections.
I can't think of a better way to encourage you than to share Cindi Myers' newsletter with you.
Every year Cindi attends the annual Romance Writers of America conference and comes home to share market info with her readers. As usual, she allows us to pass the info on to our blog readers too. I think that's incredibly generous of her so invite you to check out/subscribe to her blog HERE.
This week Cindi is spotlighting St. Martin's Press. Read on:
The Spotlight on St. Martin’s Press was presented by Publisher Jennifer Enderlin, Associate Publisher Ann Marie Talberg, Associate Editor Rose Hilyard, Executive Editor Monique Patterson and Associate Editor Eileen Rothschild. St. Martin’s publishes all formats and all kinds of fiction. They produce three to four romances a month in hardcover, trade paperback or mass market formats. In addition to the editorial staff, they have an 11 person marketing team. All the St. Martin’s romance editors will accept queries from unagented authors.
Jennifer Enderlin began by talking about “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Publishers”:
1. They know their authors are a resource. They want the author’s feedback on covers, marketing, etc.
2. They are not slaves to trends. Once you identify a trend, it’s over.
3. They do not give up quickly.
4. They know they are working with an author. It is not a case of ‘us vs. them’ but ‘we.’
5. They understand we live in a global world, and take a global approach to marketing and publishing.
6. They listen to editorial passion. If an editor is passionate about a project, they will take a chance.
7. They have fun. They are readers and book lovers who are excited about their work.
Ann Marie Talberg is a former bookseller and romance buyer for Waldenbooks. She oversees the Heroes and Heartbreakers website and St. Martin’s ebook original program and welcomes romance submissions of both novels and novellas for the ebook program, and short stories for the website. Find out more details about Heroes and Heartbreakers here.
Monique Patterson is interested in all kinds of romance, except sweet and inspirational. She’d also like to see some high concept commercial women’s fiction, and she’s open to contemporary fantasy with strong romantic elements. She also edits some literary fiction. She loves paranormal romance and is still buying it. She prefers a snail mail submission of a query, synopsis and first three chapters of the book.
Ellen Rothschild is actively building her list of authors. She loves Alpha heroes, redemption stories and “quirky, sassy, interesting heroines.” She’d love to see a contemporary trilogy about brothers. She’s open to all sub-genres of romance except historical romance. She prefers an email query.
Rose Hilyard is open to submittions of all kinds of romance, including sweet romance, Young Adult, New Adult, women’s fiction, and erotic romance. Her favorite books are either really sexy or really sweet. She loves historical romance, and she’d love to see more Christmas books in all sub-genres. She accepts both email and snail mail queries.
The editors did not give out their email addresses at the workshop, however, the standard form for email there seems to be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tor.com, the online short story magazine for science fiction stories, is closed to submissions until October 1. The magazine is separate from Tor Books, the publisher, which remains open to both agented and unagented submissions.
Eldritch Press is seeking steampunk horror stories for an upcoming anthology, Lost Worlds. Stories may be up to 17,500 words and should focus on post-prophetic or end-times scenarios in which the world has been reconstructed with mechanized curiosities and steam power. Payment is 6 cents a word and the deadline for submissions is December 30, 2014. Find all the details here.
Thank you Cindi Myers. Readers, for more about Cindi and her books, check out her websites here and here. And good luck with your submissions!
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
I thought I'd share some encouraging quotes today. Maybe these ten will give you something to think about. If you find one that speaks to you, share how and why.
1) No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist.~ Anonymous
2) You can do anything, but not everything. ~Anonymous
3) Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. ~Dale Carnegie
4) Don't let
the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning. ~Robert
5) Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better. ~Jim Rohn
6) It's not
what you look at that matters, it's what you see. ~Anonymous
7) If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission. ~Anonymous
8) Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. ~John Wooden
9) To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. ~Anonymous
10) Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. ~Maya Angelou
I'm afraid numbers 4 and 9 really say a lot about me. Way too often, I give in to my fear and let it control me. I need to get a tattoo that reads lose the fear! Unfortunately, I FEAR needles!
Do you have a favorite quote that says a lot about you? Share!
Saturday, June 14, 2014
I'm not really familiar with this contest. Every month or so, we RWA members get our trade magazine that lists contests and conferences and I decided to enter The Last Daughter in the novella category. I chose this contest because of the judges. They're booksellers. That makes being a finalist even more special to me. I had to print out several copies of The Last Daughter and have them bound for the judges. It was time consuming and at times I wondered if I was wasting a tree, but now ... I'm so glad I took the time. I'm flattered and honored, excited and super-pumped, even though I've got some wonderful competition in the other five contestants.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Our purpose is to share and encourage.
These days I wonder if I'll ever write again. Retirement, renovation, weddings... set backs! Renovation is complete but now we have to put the house back in order. A challenge. Not as fun as it should be.
And while I'm contemplating where the new sofa will go, or what color rug to purchase to complement the new wood floors, time marches on, technology changes, marketing and social media become more and more important and complicated ... and I'm behind on keeping up with it all.
I know it's true that if we quit writing, we forget how to write. I've been there/done that before. The old saying if you don't use it you lose it is true. This is what writer's block is made of: fear. Fear that life is rushing by and I'm not accomplishing anything. I just pile ideas in my cell phone and hope someday my life gets back to normal.
Then I ask myself: what's normal? Haven't I been hearing a lot about the "new normal." Surely this isn't MY new normal! If so, I don't like it! I don't want it!
I'm keeping the quote by S.K. Gipson at the forefront of my mind: "Success may be measured in determination, but only those who persevere ever see success."
P. E. R. S. E. V. E. R. E.
Let's make a pact to persevere.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A word from the Author:
Known for her realistic, likable characters and vivid writing, Victoria Bylin writes both western and contemporary inspirational romance. Her books have finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards, the Rita Awards and RT Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards. She and her husband currently live in Lexington, Kentucky and have two grown sons.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life.
It's Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate's rescue. Nick is handsome and confident, and he seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She's not planning to get involved with one of the locals.
Nick is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn't expect to be swept off his feet by the car's occupant. He's made a vow--no dating for a year--but keeping that vow is going to be a lot more difficult now that he's met Kate Darby. . . .
If you'd like to read the first chapter of Until I Found You, go HERE.