Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zero

There are zero letters of the alphabet left.  Thanks for taking this journey with me. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Yes

Yes I will keep writing.  I will keep trying.  I will continue to query this book and others until, someday I receive a YES! Because there is no other option. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Whimsy

As a child I believed in magic. I loved stories of different worlds where anything was possible and if it didn't happen in my world I was sure there was somewhere out there where it could.  Pixar is known for adding a short with each of their feature films.  for the movie Brave the short was La Luna.  A beautiful story magic and delight.  We watched this with my ever practical Grandmother once.  Bless her heart she couldn't figure out what the purpose of the short was.  How did THAT happen? and What is it ABOUT?  she kept asking. I tried to explain it was just a bit of whimsy, just to be enjoyed for what it was.  She was just confused.  I'm so glad that when I open a book I can believe in magic, delight in the words and believe the impossible. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Versions

They say every story is already told, we just have to learn to tell it in a new way with a new voice.  Even so, there are a lot of versions of certain stories.  Sometimes a story goes from book to movie, then back to book.  Sometimes people tell different fairy tales.  (Robin McKinley got away with writing two completely separate Beauty and the Beast stories).  Or maybe people add onto stories that have been told and are now public domain.  

No two authors can tell the same story, but at what point do we start getting tired of reading different versions of the same stories?  Do we give them all equal credit and an equal try?  Or are certain authors given precedence? 

Personally I'm a sucker for a good Beauty and the Beast retelling.  Do you have a favorite story that you'll read any version that comes out?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Unique

I recently read a book where the title was a play on words.  It was a single word but spelled slightly different as if made up of two words.  It did have meaning to the book and I can see why the author liked it.


When I thought about mentioning the book to someone I refrained.  They would have asked for the name and I would have to go into a big long explanation about the different title.  If I just used the real word the unique spelling would have made it hard to find.  So I just didn't mention it. And in a business where the best advertisement is word of mouth that's a killer.

You may want to think about that if you are leaning towards naming you book something made up or with unique spellings.  Will your reader be able to find you? And will people want to explain, or talk about the title?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Train

I once heard a poet describe inspiration as a freight train bearing down on them as it roared across the land.  If they didn't catch it, write it down, the story barreled on and was lost. 

If we don't tell our stories we lose them.  No else will see the freight train as we do. No one else can catch it and tell the story like us.  Don't let your story get lost in your silence.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Support Group

All of us need a support group, whether it's blogging friends, family, spouse, or your characters.  Without their voices to help us out of the hard times we might not make it through. 

My husband is wonderfully supportive.  He provides technical support (which I desperately need) and has never complained about the time I spend writing, even though, so far, it hasn't produced any income. 

My mom is another huge support.  She reads everything I write, gives great suggestions, checks for grammar and always asks for more.  Who could stop writing when you've got someone so anxious to find out what happens?

All my family has been supportive.  They even claim to believe I'll make it someday.

I also have my blogging friends and my writers group over at CompuServe.

I'm pretty lucky in this way.  I know people who write despite criticism from those that are closest to them and I'm so grateful that I have such an understanding family. 

Who is your support group?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Reader

Without readers there would be no writers.  There would be no interest, no market, no sales.  So here's a cheer for all those readers out there.  Thank you! 

Have you thanked your readers today? 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quantity vs Quality

Can we have both? Maybe. I do know authors that can put out books a lot faster than I can, and they're good too.  But I've also come across talented authors that are so busy churning out the books that they don't take time to really dig deep and question everything.  They don't challenge themselves or grow and while their books are good, after awhile they start to be repetative.  Maybe not the plot, but the style, the characters, the themes all blend together.  Sometimes even the situations seem cliched.  Is it because they're hurrying to meet deadlines?  I don't know.  But I do know sometimes I wish they would take just a little longer.  I'm willing to wait for a stellar book rather than have a quick but less satisfying read. 

What do you think? 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for I'm not Perfect

This is a song my kids love by Laurie Berkner. 

I’m not perfect, no I’m not
I’m not perfect, but I’ve got what I’ve got
I do my very best, I do my very best
I do my very best each day
But I’m not perfect
And I hope you like me that way

We’re not perfect, no we’re not
We’re not perfect, but we’ve got what we’ve got
We do our very best, we do our very best
We do our very best each day
But we’re not perfect
And we hope you like us that way

You’re not perfect, not you’re not
You’re not perfect, but you’ve got what you’ve got
You do your very best, you do your very best
You do your very best each day
But you’re not perfect
And you know
I love you that way

I wish I knew how to embed a song so you could listen to it but I'm not that savvy and I couldn't find a good youtube video and I ran out of time. Sorry.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for One at a Time

I firmly believe people should do lots of things with their life.  But we should do them one at a time. Not that we shouldn't multi-task or follow several dreams at once.  It's just we should concentrate on what's in front of us at the time.  I always write better and can give it my full attention if I know I gave my full attention to my hubby or kids when it was their turn.  Trying to live in both worlds at the same time can often be a disaster and leave me filled with guilt for doing neither of them well.  But if I concentrate on whichever job I'm doing at the time Then I can focus on the next one with a clear conscience.

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Many

Who knew M was the hardest letter of the alphabet?

Anyway, this post is to thank all the many many friends I have made in the blogging world. Thank you. Thank you for your support, your advice, your jokes, and your presence. Thank you for putting up with me!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Lose

There is a trend today to teach children that everyone is a winner. I'm a big fan of teaching children to love everyone, have a good time and relax while playing sports (parents need to learn this too)  But I don't think we should have every game be a no-score, everyone wins situation.  We will all lose at some point in our life.  There will be people better than us.  We might try our best and still not get the best grade, the promotion, or the book deal. Whether the other person is really better or if there were judgement calls that swung the tide in their direction there are times we lose.  We need to teach our children that, and we better hope our parents taught us that.  Publishing is hard.  If we can't take the rejections then we'll never get published because we'll stop trying.  So, in as nice a way as possible, teach your children to lose.  And get ready to lose yourself.  Hey, it will be good for you. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sorry, and Thanks

Hey all, I just wanted to say that between computer problems and a massive migraine I haven't been around the internet much the past two days.  I know I've missed some great posts and I look forward to catching up over the next few days. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment despite my absence!

K is for Kind

Publishing is a big business.  There are a lot of books, more books than I can ever read, and more authors than I can ever remember.  At the same time it’s a small business. Names get around. We meet people on the internet and at conferences.  You don’t want to be the name that people roll their eyes at.  Keep a good reputation.  Be kind

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for Jenga

Remember Jenga?  That game where you pull out sticks and see how many you can remove and still have a stable structure.  Anyone feel like you play that during revisions?

Holes don't always leave something weaker.  Look at lace.  Part of what makes it beautiful are the holes, the empty spots.

I've read books where the author has detailed everything. "First they rummaged around in their rucksack and pulled out some matches. They gathered twigs and piled them in the fire ring. They struck a match and tried to shield it from the wind"  and it continues like that.  The readers don't need every single detail.  There needs to be some holes to make the story beautiful instead of tedious. 

What are you showing in your MS and what are you leaving up to the reader? 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Influence

They say you are what you eat, well you write what you read.  Now, just like we all know a person who can eat the world and stay skinny There are authors who don't read in their genre.  Personally I believe all writers should read cross genre to broaden our writing craft, but many authors tend to write the things they enjoy reading.  Who or what influences your writing? 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Honor

I am honored when someone trusts me with their manuscript.  It is an honor to be asked to read or critique it.  I always try to treat their work with the respect I would want others to show my work.  I try to respond promptly and coherently (I may be deluding myself on that last one) because they trusted me.

Remember that when you beta read or critique.  They trusted you, don't destroy that trust, because someday you'll need someone to read for you. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon is an amazing author.  After reading her books I searched her out on line and I found Compuserve books and writer's community.  It was there I finally got the courage to pursue publication. There I finally learned I could write a novel, even if I didn't write it the way other authors said it had to be written.  It was there I gained confidence.  And I never would have found it if not for her books. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Flogging

There's a website called Flogging the Quill.  Have you heard of it?  On this website Ray Rhamey takes the first page an author sends in and "flogs" it.  Meaning he shows us whether or not he, as an agent, would keep reading and why.  It's been a great resource for me in trying to figure out the elusive art of the first page.  Hope it can help you too.

Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Easy

Most of you  have seen the easy button on the Staple's adds.  Sometimes we wish for a button we can push and instantly have a polished manuscript, a moving query letter, and a book deal.  But what would we lose?  Everything we've learned over the journey, the person we are now, because we wouldn't be that person if we had taken the easy way. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Don't

Don't touch it!  It might just get you.  Don't open that new book now.  Dinner will burn, your children will whine and fuss at being neglected.  Not even a taste of the new worlds, new friends.  Your real life will slip away, ephemeral as mist and you will forget what is real and what is not. 

But your fingers twitch, your soul reaches out, you have to know what is in it.  Soon you're ten pages in, fifty, a hundred.  You don't sleep, you don't eat, and before you know it, you finish.  The words stop, leaving you disoriented and still wanting more.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Credibility

I started reading a book that sounded very intriguing only to lose interesting  a couple chapters in.  The book didn't have credibility.  the world felt forced.  It felt like when my daughter does a puzzle and pounds in a piece that doesn't quite fit.  If you only glance at it you might not notice, but if you look closely things didn't match up. There was no motivation, just an author propelling her character into situations.  I've had this happen before, where authors got freeways wrong, or said their character couldn't eat Mayo because of Dairy allergies (there's no dairy in Mayo, people)  Things like this tell me the author didn't do their homework and the story loses credibility. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Brand

There's a compnay that makes really cute purses but everytime I buy one, within a month I'm sewing it back together. This has happened with several different styles so it's company wide poor workmanship.  Mo matter how cute, I just can't buy that brand anymore.  Their quality has killed my brand loyalty. 

As a writer, you are your brand.  No author will please eveyrone but you need to make sure you don't alienate your readers by sloppy or lazy writing.  Or they'll stop buying your brand. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Alphabet

I've been trying to teach my son the alphabet.  He doesn't know it now but the alphabet will open the wonders of the world. Think about it, almost every civilization, once it got going, created some sort of written communication, either pictures or words. They do this because so much can be accomplished with it.

How much do those 26 little letters affect your life?  Not only reading and writing, but road signs, food labels, price tags, instructions, learning.  So much or our world revolves around the alphabet.  26 little squiggles that don't mean anything other than the meaning we give them, yet they change our world.

I think I've been taking the alphabet for granted.  But trying to teach my son, and trying to tell him why it matters, and how it will help his life has opened my eyes.  I love the Alphabet.