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Showing posts from July, 2010

Not writing = productive writing?

I just returned from a 10 day roadtrip up the eastern side of the U.S. I live in a sub of Atlanta, GA. We first drove to SC to drop off my Cocker Spaniel with my mom (thanks Mom!), then on to Charlotte, NC, Washington D.C., Philly, then finally landed in Shelter Island, NY (where my husband has family).

I had every intention of finishing up my current revision on my WIP (just a couple of chapters left to double check), but it didn't happen. I was just too slammed and I had no internet in NY. As fate would have it, I ended up not writing at all for 10 days. I did a little line editing on a hardcopy I printed before hand, but otherwise I re-read Hunger Games and enjoyed the chaos that is vacation. But an amazing thing happened. I was more motivated than before the vacation. I line edited 2/3rds of my book, reworked a few chapters. I have been home for 3 hours and have accomplished more than I did the entire week before my vacation. So, does not writing = productivity? Do we need brea…

Helpful query sites...

As promised, I am submitting a list of helpful query sites. I should preface this by saying that I cheated. I took a query workshop b/c the dang thing freaked me out, and I am so glad I did. So the first on my list is the workshop, which I adored! A few things that I have found interesting on querying. Regardless of what others will tell you, it is a big deal. You wanna know why? Because it is your resume. It is your opportunity to say - "I am fantastic, and this will prove it." And by "fantastic" I mean you are prepared and professional, not that you SAY how fantastic you are in the query. If you do that I will block you from my blog! :) So, while there is no need to go crazy about it, do take the time to sell yourself. I have always told applicants and newbie's in the job world that resumes and interviews are like cold calling and warm calling. You know, the sales terminology. A resume is cold calling. That HR rep or hiring manager doesn't know you from a…

Are you afraid of the next step? I am.

I recently threw all caution to the wind and entered the July Secret Agent contest. And though winning would be awesome, I didn't enter to win. I entered to test the water. I will be querying in a month--as I mentioned a few posts ago. I just finished a stellar query workshop with C.J. Redwine (yes I recommend it!) and have dived into the synopsis stage head first. I am nervous! So I decided to test the water and enter the very popular Secret Agent contest.

Now I am a tough cookie. I can take heavy criticism and smile back in thanks. Yes, that is the sort of critique partner that I am. I crit heavy and expect it in return. So why exactly did I cringe at the first sub-par comment on my submission? I have learned that I am a perfectionist. I would rather get horrible reviews than "so-so" reviews. Ya know? Go big or go home is definitely my motto. My writing cannot be simply okay. It has to be great and the hook has to slice through as it takes you to the next page. For this…

Helpful synopsis writing posts/sites

So I am working on a synopsis for my current MS and if querying is scary these things are downright ghostly.

What to do? I have found 8 sites that I found helpful. Each link details the specifics of a synopsis and thought for those of you in my shoes it may be nice to have a few sources in one place. So here goes:

1. Nathan Bransford's post on writing a synopsis:
http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2007/08/how-to-write-synopsis.html

2. Query Tracker:
http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2009/02/in-short-writing-novel-synopsis-that.html

3. Guide to Literary Agents:
www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/How+To+Write+A+Novel+Synopsis.aspx

4. FM Writers:
http://www.fmwriters.com/Visionback/Issue%2015/workshop.htm

5. Helene Boudreau: Author and regular on Verla Kay (I LOVE how easy this one makes it!)
http://www.heleneboudreau.com/?p=863

6. Fiction Writer's Connection:
http://www.fictionwriters.com/tips-synopsis.html

7. Diana Peterfreund's blog post: I found this very helpful!
http://www.dianapeterfreun…

Inspiration and kid stories

I am re-reading A Wrinkle in Time and began to think over how this book inspired me as a child. I was an avid reader even as a very young child, but this is the book that truly inspired me to want more out of reading and eventually lead to my love of writing.

I still remember checking it out from the library and being so enthralled with the story that I begged my mom to buy it for me at the next book fair - remember those? I am convinced, now MANY years later, that the detailed descriptions in this book helped shape my creative mind. If Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace could move out of this world to save Dr. Murray then surely I could do anything I wanted, right? Amazing thought really, but books do inspire children. They cause them to think, to push the envelope of this world, and to reach out for the impossible.

For me, publishing in the children's market should always be about inspiring growth and thought in your readers. If you are doing it for the money, what's the point? …

A little about printing...

Every printer that exists has a prepress department. Every printer that exists has a proofing/editing department (which all too often falls on the CSRs for that printer). So how is a publisher different from a printer?

I have worked with both. At my previous job I worked for a magazine publisher. My job was to train staff across the country on book formatting so when that regional office sold ad space they kept in mind the layout necessary to work for their regional magazine. We are talking spreads here and signatures. I had a lot of fun with that job, but realized quickly that I needed to know more about the printing side of the business. I can tell you that nothing drives a printer crazier than a graphic artist that does not understand printing. They will send over beautiful designs for marketing collateral just to have us turn around and say - this is set for RGB, you didn't add a bleed, your dimensions are off, your fonts are not embedded, and etc, etc, etc.

So I left the magazi…

Are we too advanced?

Ugh - it has been a bad day. I turn 30 on Tuesday and my body has decided to fight the turn (which I blame on my ditching Yoga class for the last few months). I have a disk in my spine freaking out so I go to a specialist who, as I am walking in the door, tells me that my appointment has to be cancelled because their "system is down." I stare at the attendant like she is speaking some language that I am not privy to understanding and say "So you are telling me that you are hinging your entire business on a computer system and if that system goes down you are unable to treat your patients?" The admin looked down and then tried to explain how advanced the system indeed is and that without it they are simply unable to pull any of their patients' information.

I work in a customer service type role so I never try to go off on the person giving the information. That admin has no say whatsoever in the problem or the solution. But boy was it tough.

But this did make me t…