Posted tagged ‘Writing’

One would think…

July 4, 2013

One would think that since it’s summer and the usual grind of driving kids around and making school meetings were no longer an issue, I’d find it easier to focus. Well, one would be wrong.

Last summer, I was immensely productive and found it easier to focus at this time of year. For some reason, I’m struggling. Perhaps it is because my kids are older and the demands are different. I suspect, though, that it is a shift in priorities and not a lack of focus on my part. Maybe it’s the mother in me clinging to the last summer before my oldest goes to college and my youngest goes to boarding school.

Whatever the case, I feel like a ping-pong ball bouncing from one crisis to another. It’s time to buckle down and finish these three books I have in various stages of completion. Time to re-center and put those author blinders back on–even if it’s only for a few hours a day.

Anyone else having summer slump focus issues?


My Agent is Like…

December 11, 2009

Today is Agent Appreciation Day.  A group of authors have teamed up and decided to blog about our agents today.  The definitive list of writers joining this endeavor can be found on Lisa and Laura’s blog, so I’m not going to duplicate it here.  Click here to see a list of other writers paying homage to their agents and see who represents whom.

I’m fortunate to be represented by Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.  I received several offers from agents, but something about Joan just clicked.  She saw my book the way I had always hoped someone would.  She GOT it.  She had fantastic revision suggestions that made the book so much better.

The best thing about my relationship with Joan is that I trust her.  Trust is, in my opinion, the most important thing in the agent/author relationship.  It is way too stressful a process to have to second guess your agent on top of everything.

So, what is my agent like?  My agent is like:

Or more specifically, my agent is like:

Or maybe:

And definitely:

Thanks, Joan.

Well, Everyone’s Doing It. Right?

August 13, 2009

Youtube is full of book trailers.  They take a lot of time to create and since I’m a technotard, I decided I didn’t want or need one.  “I will never have one,” I have often proclaimed.

As always, whenever I draw a line in the sand, I’m forced to smooth out the sand and reevaluate my line. An opportunity came up that allowed me to get a book trailer with very little effort.  AirProductions was offering a special deal on trailers–a “Godfather” kind of too-g00d-a-deal-to-refuse.

I would love your comments, but not about the trailer itself.  I’d like to know if you have a trailer (feel free to link) and what you think of book trailers’ marketing power or appeal.  Have you ever bought a book based on one?

Online Gets Real

June 11, 2009

I just got back from a trip to Utah.  I flew there to visit my online friend, Suzette Saxton.  The flight was necessary because, in my mind, it is impossible to have a best friend you’ve never really met.  Now I’ve met her.  All is right with the world.  As an added bonus, I got to meet several other writer friends who live in Utah.  Elana Johnson is a fellow QT blogger and has some of the coolest hair ever–as well as a snappy personality.  I met Angie Lofthouse, Michelle Mclean and Bethany Wiggins too.  

I think the coolest thing was how comfortable I felt with everyone right off the bat.  It wasn’t like a first meeting at all.  We had been corresponding for over a year and have all read each other’s books.  Some of them have read my stuff in its roughest stages, which is kind of like being naked–so I guess being at home right away is understandable.  

I wanted to share some of the fun pics.  We got a little silly.

Hannah and I were glad to be in Utah.

Hannah and I were glad to be in Utah.

Suzette's sister is a photographer, so she snapped some shots of me and my daughter.

Suzette's sister is a photographer, so she snapped some shots of me and my daughter.

Elana Johnson and Mary Lindsey (me) at Salem Pond.

Elana Johnson and Mary Lindsey (me) at Salem Pond.

Angie Lofthouse, Elana Johnson and me.

Angie Lofthouse, Elana Johnson and me.

Suzette Saxton, me, Michelle Mclean, Bethany Wiggins

Suzette Saxton, me, Michelle Mclean, Bethany Wiggins

Um...yeah.  Librarian types.

Um...yeah. Librarian types.

Everything was going along fine until Elana picked up the pitchfork.

Everything was going along fine until Elana picked up the pitchfork.

We could have taken Suz if I hadn't broken down laughing.

We could have taken Suz if I hadn't broken down laughing.

Me, Elana Johnson and Suzette Saxton

Me, Elana Johnson and Suzette Saxton

One of the highlights of the trip was when we went to Angie's house to play with chickens.  A highlight, I kid you not in that those suckers are FAST. It was hilarious.

One of the highlights of the trip was when we went to Angie's house to play with chickens. A highlight, I kid you not, in that those suckers are FAST. It was hilarious.

This chicken's name is Tina Turner.  Nice hairdo, huh?

This chicken's name is Tina Turner. Nice hairdo, huh?

I only have three regrets about the trip.  1) It was too short, 2) I wish I could have met a few more of my writer friends but they don’t live in Utah and 3) I forgot to give everyone the Dove Dark I brought for them.  I’d better mail it out before I give into the temptation and eat it all myself.  

Have you ever had the chance to meet someone you knew online for a long time?  I’d love to hear about it.

Agented Again!

May 6, 2009

yippee_bigI signed my contract with Joan Paquette from the Erin Murphy Literary Agency today.  I’m thrilled to be working with Joan, who is a writer herself and had great suggestions for a round of revisions before submission.  

Thanks to all my friends who have been so supportive through this process. Especially Suzette and Carolyn, who have dropped everything to read through the manuscript multiple times recently on short notice.

Marla, you’re a rock.  I can’t wait to start filming! You gave me hope for what I thought was a box-under-the-bed project. 

Lauren, you made me realize it was time to query and move forward again. Your “pay it forward” attitude is awe-inspiring. 

Special shout out to my online friends Lisa, Michelle, Terri, Elana and Heather for tolerating my angst, and kudos to Jess for helping me over the rough spot when things hit a wall, and Leah who spent time on the phone helping me figure stuff out when I received the first offer.  

I also need to thank Pat for enduring endless prattle and Dotti for not rolling her eyes when I thought out loud for hours at Jason’s Deli.  

People say writing is a solo endeavor.  I disagree.  This particular writer has had the benefit of a support team.  I owe all of you.  Call in those chips anytime.

A Weather Report

April 29, 2009

eeyoreI’m one of the luckiest people I know.  I’ve had a charmed life in many ways.  I’m married to the perfect man for me, have fantastic kids and I work hard to make my life happy and fulfilling.  That’s why when bad things happen, I can trudge on knowing great things wait just beyond the little black rain cloud.  

Writing (or rather the quest for publication) can cause a person to feel like that little black cloud never seems to move along or rain itself out.  So many writers give up because they are sick of getting rained on.  Early on, I realized I’m made of waterproof material and I can weather the storm.  And it appears I have.  

The sun has come out from behind that cloud at last.  Things are looking good.  I’m grateful.

Matters of the Heart

March 27, 2009

Jessica Verday started the QueryTracker Blog Chain topic this week.  To my delight, it was a creative writing project rather than our usual fare of personal writing process disclosure.  

She began the assignment with a poem written by Stephen Crane she discovered quoted on Kate Quinn’s blog.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said: “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter-bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.”

                                          -Stephen Crane

The challenge Jess assigned was to write a short story–in my case, very, very short– 250 words.  The only stipulation was that a heart must be a feature somewhere in the story.  The post preceding mine is Terri Rainer’s. Thank you, Terri, for suggesting the title for my little story.




The Offering

Crimson drops splatter the stark white surface. He blinks back tears and consciously slows his breathing to keep his hands from shaking. So much at stake. No room for error. No, this won’t do at all.

He realizes he must apply what he knows about her in order to succeed.  She loves the sunshine and is afraid of dark places. Her favorite color is green. Yes.  That’s it!  The answer was here all the time. He washes his hands and the swirling water fades from red to pink to crystal clear. He has removed all evidence.  She will never know. 

 Barely able to contain her excitement, she peeks under the lid of the box.  She reaches in and wraps her fingers around his gift.  One of many, but it caught her eye. This heart wasn’t like the rest of her offerings.  It was misshapen, as if hacked out in haste.  Ripped out, perhaps?

She glances across the room at him and he lowers his eyes.  She loves his shyness.  After turning the heart over in her hands several times, she examines the others in the box.  His heart is by far the best.   Her favorite.  It is crafted from green construction paper with “Be my Valentine” penned in black crayon.  Although his name isn’t on it, he’s the only person in second grade who knows her favorite color.  Her own heart feels pinched as she holds his and watches him pick red tempra paint from under his nails. 


Heather Dyer is next in this chain.  Click here to read her story.