I’m back………

October 7, 2010

I haven’t posted anything on this blog site for quite some time. So many things were happening in my life and I needed to take some time to re-group and get my act together again.

I finally got a full time job in July, only to be laid-off again in August. That really sent me into a downward spiral for awhile. I finally sat down and had a good heart-to-heart talk with the universe and realized that this was a way of the literary Gods giving me more time to pursue my writing talents and loves. I can’t squander this gift, so I immediately began working on getting published on more than just a blog site.

I’m taking a beginners freelance class at a local community college here in Raleigh. It’s a six week course and we just completed week four. I have learned so much from this class, that I am feeling really encouraged now to pitch some ideas to local and national magazines and get on with my life as a full-time writer.

If any of you are struggling with your creative muse and want a fresh outlook, I’d thoroughly suggest taking a course somewhere. It can give you a much needed energy infusion and bring back the enthusiasm you may have lost along the way to getting your work published.

I’ll be in letting you know how my journey goes. I hope you tune in and following me along the way.


Change it is a comin’

May 5, 2010

Yesterday I posted a quote on Facebook, “At the end of the day it’s not what anyone else thinks of you, but what you think of yourself that’s important.”  I truly believe this statement, except perhaps when it comes to my writing.  For my writing I would re-write that statement to read, “At the end of the day it’s not what you think of your writing, but what the potential agents, editors and publishers think.”

Too often writers become so invested in what they’ve produced that they refuse to make any changes to their stories, even when the suggested changes could mean the difference between being published and not being published.   I am definitely not one of those writers.  I want to be published and I am willing to listen to any tips that might possibly make my writing better.

Suggestions for improving your writing are all around.  Other fellow writers, avid readers, friends and family can all be sources for improving your writing style.  You just have to figure out how to sift through the critiques and pick and choose where you might want to make changes.

Remember at the end of the day, month, year…however long it takes for you to produce your literary masterpiece, it is the opinion of those who can assist you in getting your work into the hands of the public that really matters.  So swallow your pride and listen up!

Self-Publishing Success Story

April 16, 2010

I received my first  copy of the North Carolina Writers’ Network News, in my mailbox, yesterday. I’m a fairly new member to the NCWN, live a pretty routine and boring life, so this was very exciting to me.  I sat down  read it cover to cover and highlighted anything I felt I might want to refer back to.  I was surprised at how much information I was able to obtain from the 18-page publication.

My favorite article was entitled: “Self-Published Novelist Beats the Odds” by Linda Rohrbough.  The article concerned Maryann McFadden’s rise to the top, starting with publishing her own book.  She struggled for five years to get an agent for her book and then finally decided to self-publish.  Maryann didn’t stop there though.  She ‘marketed’ her book…big time!  She traveled all over to small bookstore to do readings and signings and made appearances at book clubs.  Word began to spread about her book and eventually she sold 2000 copies and suddenly…agents were interested and her dreams came true.  Her first book The Richest Season has gone global and her second book So Happy Together is now out in hardcover.

I really admire Ms. McFadden’s fortitude and wish it came in pill form.  I’ve been tempted to self-publish my first novel Deadly Letters, but I have this dang lazy streak within me and just know I wouldn’t be able to find the time or energy to market the way Maryann did.  I’ll just keep chipping away at the “agent wall”, but in five years if I haven’t had a nibble…look out Lulu…here I come!

NCWN Morning Out

April 9, 2010

Richard Krawiec is a dynamic, humorous author who I had the pleasure of hearing speak at the North Carolina Writer’s Network meeting, in Raleigh, yesterday morning.

Richard’s presentation was entitled: “Agents and Editors-Are They Still Out There?”  He spoke about the tedious process of getting published.  I have to admit I was a little “down” after hearing how difficult it seems to be to break into print these days, but I’m still determined to keep trying.  Richard also shared several success stories…all of which were very inspiring.  Perseverance and fortitude helped many authors get published.  Other authors have been  published because “Fate” stepped in and lent a hand.  I’m a good friend of Fate and I’m hoping she’s going to give me an assist in getting my book onto store shelves.  I’ll sit down and have a little pow-wow, with Ms. Fate, tonight.  I’m also going to order an extra helping of perseverance, with side order of fortitude…just in case Fate is too busy to help me.

My main reason for attending this meeting was to network with fellow writers.  Writing can be a very solitary occupation and getting out to mingle among my peers is fun and exciting.  Hearing their stories of struggles and success helps me to realize that I’m not as alone as I thought I was.

Don’t just sit home by yourself all the time just pounding away on that keyboard.  Get out.  Enjoy some time with friends and other writers.  After all we gather most of our material for great stories while out in the world.  Join a local writer’s group.  Your hometown library may have one and if they don’t then maybe you can start one.  Invest in memberships to writer organizations whether it’s on a national, state or city level.  Their websites alone can give you a ton of information.

Okay, it’s time for me to go to Starbucks, grab a cup of joe and people watch.  I find some of best characters in my local Starbucks.  Care to join me?

I been awritin’……

March 24, 2010

I haven’t posted anything lately, because I’ve actually been too busy writing.  Imagine that…too busy writing…to write?

I’ve not only been writing, but I’ve also been reading.  I picked up three debut novels so I can analyze them and see what there is about them that made a publisher or agent say, “YES, I see potential here.”

I chose Something Borrowed, by Emily Giffin, Julie and Romeo, by Jeanne Ray and Heart-shaped Box, by Joe Hill.  Each is a different genre and they’re a good mix of writing styles.

I’ve already started reading Something Borrowed and Heart-shaped Box. One is for upstairs reading and one is for downstairs reading.  Giffin’s book is what I am reading in the evenings before nodding off, because quite frankly, Hill’s book is scarying the bejesus outta me, so I can only read it during the day light hours.  I’m enjoying both books and I can certainly see what made them stand out. As soon as I finish one of them I’ll start reading Jeanne Ray’s book.

Writers shouldn’t just write.  They need to read also and I think reading genres other than what you enjoy writing is important.  Writers need to be well-rounded in both their writing techniques and their reading choices to keep honing their craft.

I’m going to read a little more of Joe Hill’s book now…before the sun sets.

Wanted: Mentor

March 21, 2010

A lot of the articles I’ve been reading lately in the various writer’s magazines I peruse on a monthly basis, have been suggesting that unpublished writers seek out a mentor.

The Writer Magazine, recently mailed a small addition, to their regular magazine, entitled “Get Published”.  There were several informationally engorged articles, but one that I truly enjoyed was “Keep in Writing Shape”, by Michael P. Geffner.  Michael didn’t suggest exercising or dieting, so that was the first good point as far as I was concerned.  He did, however, list ten ways to navigate through the business of writing.  One of his main points was to find a mentor.  Perhaps, in Michael’s words, “an older writer you admire who is willing to freely offer advice on the art and craft and help navigate you through the tricky ins and outs of the business.”

“Where for art thou, oh illustrious mentor?”  I would love to have a successful, published author tuck me under his or her wing and share with me their words of wisdom for success.   Writing is a lonely business and having someone you respect help you navigate the craziness of the publishing business would be amazing.

North Carolina and the Raleigh area, where I live, is populated with many talented writers.  Do any of them have time though to take on a “desperately seeking a mentor” semi-crazy lady, who dreams of one day seeing her name in print on something other than a speeding ticket?

I think this idea of having a veteran help you with your work is fantastic.  It would be like serving as an “intern” or as NCIS puts it, a “probie”.  I realize that the mentor would have to like the trainee’s style and feel that there was something worth lending a hand to, of course, but if a shining star was discovered…how great would it be to be able to say “I helped that author get her start”.

I anxiously await the plethora (love this word) of emails I’ll receive with established authors wanting to give me a hand and at least a little bit of encouragement.