Monday, November 30, 2009
a) Sparky the dog, who looks exactly like another family dog, named Amy (not named after me, but still confusing at times, especially when camping and Amy runs off into the woods after a ground squirrel and everyone starts screaming "AMY!!" and I freak out, thinking I'm on fire or something.)
b) My Boy. I found him perched on this cat climbing tower. He thought it was a meditation stand.
c) The three brothers, trying to figure out how to work the really old movie projector they found in a storage chest recently purchased from an estate sale which just happened to fit the old family movies. Serendipitous, yes?
d) Hubby, me and many extra holiday pounds. I am Chubb (note the 2 'b's).
2. The Inde-Debut Group is growing fast!! If you have a book being released in 2010 or 2011 by a small / independent publisher (including SOME POD's), you too can join. Inde-Debut is like the "Class of 2K10" (marketing group) for authors not published by houses listed in CWIM (Children's Writers & Illustrator's Market).
3. I'm doing workshops at the local jr. high on Friday, for two language arts classes. They just finished creating book trailers for novels they read and are now writing book reviews for autobiographies. We never did anything remotely that cool when I was in school!
4. Wednesday night is critique group. Yay! I also got back the first chapter of the 'book formerly known as my WIP' from my Beta Reader. Holy Cows! Beta Readers ROCK!! And I'm lucky, 'cause she doesn't hate it!
5. Today, I have to get a project submitted to the Historic Preservation Commission, which means I'll actually have to get dressed and brush my hair and leave the house. [shiver] I've gotten awfully hermit-ish in the past few weeks.
6. I CAN'T BELIEVE I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT THE LAST DAY OF NANO!! So, today's the day and I'm happy to report that I did finish the first draft of my book--which was my only goal. I wrote about 10,000 words in 20 days. Definitely not a NaNo winner, but I'm happy to have puked that book out. Now...to revisions!!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
At what point does the manuscript stop being mine? Major plot changes, POV changes, additions of subplots and layers, the list goes on. What I end up with might be a fantastic novel, but can I really take credit for it, when it took a village to get it there? Do all novels go through this? Does it really take a writer, a critique group or three, a beta reader, an agent and a/possibly several editor(s)?
On a more positive note, the MamaWad sent this to me and I thought I'd share it--just so I'm not a complete downer. It's a quote from Scott Hoffman, Folio Literary.
"If you're a writer who has received personal attention or an 'encouraging' rejection from even one reputable agent, this is a good indication that publishing has become a numbers game for you. It's now just a matter of finding the right agent or editor at the right time. I'd strongly encourage you not to get even a little bit discouraged until you've received 50 - maybe even 100 - rejections on the project in question".
After six years of querying and submitting, I still don't have 5o rejections. Not even if I combine all five books. How about you?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
- ...published authors who are struggling to get their second, third, fifth book published, proving that once you break into the 'published author' biz, the fight's not over.
- ...that many unpublished authors have great agent's and still aren't getting contracts.
- ...the actual numbers or percentages of what editors receive vs. what they accept.
- ...people ten to twenty years younger than yourself who have already dedicated themselves to writing.
- ...people smarter, better 'writing' educated, better looking and (in my case) nicer than you, who are competing for the same tiny slice of 'acceptances'.
- And if you have a critique with a presenter, sometimes that can go wildly awry.
At the SLC SCBWI Conference, I had a terrible critique on a ms my faculty advisor at Chautauqua loved and said was ready to send out. The SLC critiquer said plot was thin, the voice (my usual strong point) was irritating, the subplot awkward and my main character "unrealistic". In fact, the only positive thing she had to say was that I attempted to tackle a lesson about tolerance. The rest of the critique went on to say I'd failed miserably.
I left feeling like an amatuer--a feeling which persisted the rest of the conference. And that, I think, is why this business is so hard on writers. Because after many years of writing and workshops and classes and HARD WORK, we can still get a form reject or a really bad critique. I've gotten to the point where I almost expect a request for a partial or a full when I send out queries. And when they don't come, it kinda hurts. Because I've worked at this for six years and getting a form rejection letter dismisses all those years of work.
I'm still depressed about the bad critique. It's been a very long time since I've had such negative feedback on a piece. My instinct is to say, "You know, she just didn't get it," but I hear those words and cringe. I don't want to be the person who dismisses everyone who doesn't agree with them. I've seen that, and it ain't pretty.
I should take Linda Sue Park's "Rules for Critiques" to heart:
- Say "Ok."
- Try it.
But the thought of that depresses me. Why? More on that tomorrow.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tess and I after our yummy lunch at Squatter's. (Yes, I AM that much shorter than she is. She's like a freaking goddess.) It was so great to see her. Hard to believe it's been a year and a half since Chautauqua! We talked about writing the. whole. time. It was wonderful.
Debut Author's Panel ~ L to R:
Sydney and I at the conference. (I wore my green scarf a LOT. It was cold.)
And here I am with my new BFF, Emily Wing-Smith. She is such a darling, you would all love her, except that she wouldn't like you nearly as much as she likes me, because I am her BFF.
Tune in tomorrow for a review of the Salt Lake City SCBWI Conference.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
2. My son watched while I did the workout. Yesterday, he asked when I was going to do it again (as I hobbled around making his breakfast while trying not to move anything). "Probably not for a while. Why?" "Because I think I could do it better than you." Well, duh.
3. This afternoon, I'm leaving for SLC with my friends, the Jensen Girls to attend the Utah SCBWI Conference. I love their blog--you should check it out! Well-written teen viewpoints interspersed with their mom's witty observations.
4. And while in SLC, I'm going to have lunch with my friend TESS! Maybe we'll have a photo to post next week. I think most of you already follow her blog, but if you don't, you should. She rocks.
5. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for:
a $20 GIFT CARD TO AMAZON.COM
To enter the raffle, just join my Facebook Fan Page or follow this blog. Contest ends Sunday Nov. 15th at noon, EST.
Thanks to everyone who's entered!! If you're already a follower, you can still enter. Just post a spell you'd most like to know in the comments below! Or post a link to this contest on your blog.
Monday, November 9, 2009
So--keep the dreams coming to enter your name for a spell card. Or join my Facebook fan page. It's super easy, and I don't email updates very often, so you won't be inundated with Facebook emails. And of course, if you become a follower of my blog, I'll enter you too.
TO MAKE THINGS MORE EXCITING: For new blog followers or folks who join my fanpage, I'll enter you in a raffle for a $20 gift certificate to Amazon.com. If you're already a follower, you can enter the gift certificate drawing by posting a link to the contest on your blog. (Just let me know you did, so I can add your name.)
The contest will run through 10 am mountain time on Sunday (that's noon East Coast), with winners announced Monday. Winners names will be pulled out of a hat by either my son or his triplet friends. I think I originally posted Friday as the end of the contest, but I'm going to be in Salt Lake on Friday at the SCBWI Conference and having lunch with TESS!!
You guys commented some wacky dreams yesterday! :) My last weird dream was that I forgot to go to my college architecture studio all semester long and that my final project was due the next day. I worked all night on the model and when I put it up for critique, I realized it was not a good idea to make it a spaceship...of Legos. :\
FITNESS: I did my first round of EA Sports this morning and I'm happy to report: NO BLOOD! And I played soccer yesterday. Also no blood. I'm 2 for 2.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
1. Meyer's Clean Day CANDLES!! Makes my house smell clean even when it isn't.
2. Pencil Full of Lead -- Paolo Nutini: This song is to me now, what As The Days Go By (Talking Heads) was in college. Rock on Nanowriters!
Total word count for this Nano week: 4,997.
Lastly, thanks to Scott, I went out and bought EA Sports Personal Trainer for Wii. I'm waiting 'til Monday to break it in. Stay tuned for more exciting injury photos!!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
- There are two kinds of reviews: Pre-publication and Post-publication.
- Lots of people are jockeying for the same reviewers, so use a creative approach.
- Don't forget about local media: regional journals, local newspapers, free community publications, etc.
- For these reviews, you submit galleys or ARC's.
- Typically, 3-6 months before your publication date.
- These reviewers are normally magazines, including but not limited to: Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal.
- Also focus on niche magazines--kids' magazines, obv.
- Follow blogs of reviewers. Comment on their blogs and build a relationship before you submit your galley.
- Use Technorati to search the market for book reviewer's blogs.
- There are submittal guidelines. USE them!
- Send post-publication review requests out like candy.
- Mid-West Book Review is a bigee.
- Check into Mommy-Bloggers for kids' books. They sometimes have a huge following and a blog review can reach a lot of people.
- Use Twitter. Post: 'If you're a reviewer and you want a free copy of my book, tweet me!'
Those are all the notes I took. Most of this is obvious stuff, but there were a couple good nuggets in there. Now, I'm off to Nano and hope to make up for yesterday goose egg.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
I went as a fairly well-known politician for Halloween. The hubby went as the Grim Reaper. We made lots of campaign buttons with funny sayings that made us laugh but would probably not be too funny to other people. Still, we are what we are--liberals in a neighborhood of liberals, so we were pretty safe. The person who was NOT safe, was my son. Seen here, happy to have overcome the flu and looking forward to a night of trick-or-treating and fun: