Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Your Agent Ain't Your Mother

 print by Linda Hunsaker

I started thinking the other day about agents.  I've had an excellent agent, I've had a very bad, back-stabbing agent, a mediocre agent and no agent.  But, regardless of how it all turns out with your agent, what is it exactly you should expect of him or her?

Well, for one thing, this is a business relationship.  It's not that it can't be friendly, cordial, even turning into a close relationship, but it is business.  And as a business, you agent is in it to make money.  It isn't a crime, a personal affront or any other negative thing you can imagine, it's simply a fact of life.  No money, no business and you would have no representation.  There it is.

Another thing is your agent isn't there to be your mommy or daddy or to hold your hand (although some may at times hold your hand).  Still, that isn't their job.  It isn't required that he or she encourage, support or sooth your wounded feelings.  It's not their job to validate your creative angst or to love and cherish you.   The bald-faced truth is no one cares about your career as much as you do.  So what that  means is the agent is focused on selling your work and making you some money (him or herself as well).  The burden of everything else, including where your artistic asperations are taking you, your income, the reputation you are building and your own professional satisfaction rests exclusively with you.  Sorry, but that's the truth.

Many writers, because of their relationship with their agent and because that agent is a part of the commercial mechanism that gets a book to market, expect too much from their agents.  Many remember seeing agents in movies or TV shows where the agent is just about 'baby-sitter in residence' with the writer.  Such images are unrealistic and the writer needs desperately to  keep the relationship in context.  Just because an agent doesn't return a call or  has a reaction to a new work that isn't as wildly enthusiastic as you'd like doesn't mean you should allow it to affect your own sense of self-worth.  The agent is another link in the chain.  Hopefully a strong and good one, but they aren't always right, and they aren't often available for that hand-holding.

A writer must develop a very strong working relationship with his or her agent, understand that (shock!) the agent has other clients and sometimes that call will not get returned and will have to be placed again.  No insult, just busy.  Writers are, by nature, vulnerable folks.  But, if you can create a solid understanding of the relationship between writer and agent, if only intellectually and not in your gut, things that are perceived as slights or even body-blows will be lessened.

So go out there and find yourself an agent if you're ready - just remember business is the name of the game - it may well be cordial but it is business.

 To Hell and Back

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Writer's Thoughts

And at the moment they are few, scattered, and someone unconnected.  I don't mean to harp on this recovery thing, but truth of the matter is it's taking longer than I first anticipated.  I'm normally a quick healer, but this has been the deepest pit from hell.  Appendectomies are not fun, infections less so, and antibiotics make everything taste really, really bad.

So, as I'm wont to do, I've been having a conversation with myself. 

"So, self, how're we doing?  How do we feel?"

"Pretty much like crap -- go away."

"Can't, we're together through thick and thin, like it or not."

"Hmmm, okay, then, shut up."

"Nope.  Brain is a pretty busy place during this trying time.  Thoughts churning, memories regenerating, apprehensions flying past."

"Okay, so why're we having this conversation then?"

"Well, one reason is I've come to the conclusion that I'm glad I planned for an event such as this - at least a little bit - and want to pass my sage wisdom on.   If you're a writer, freelance, you need to accept that there will be times when you won't have work or can't work and you must have a fall-back.  I've made it a policy to put aside a small percentage of every writing check I receive, no matter how small, in a separate savings account to be used at such times.  An emergency fund."

"Well, pat you on the back," self replied.

"Actually, yes," I shot back, "at least I'm not panicking on the monetary front.  We'll have to wait and see how much the insurance company wants to 'deny' or rip me off for before I can really applaud, but for the moment I'm not in a bad place - and I haven't been able to work for about 3 1/2 weeks. 

"Okay," Self admits, "so at least you took the sting out of that one."

" Exactly.  It's sort of like taxing yourself.  5%, 10%, it doesn't matter what you take from your earnings for your fund, it adds up if you always take it first and don't touch it unless an emergency pops up.  Then, joy of joys, it's there when you need it."

"Okay, so are you done now, can I go back to sleep?"

"Sure, why not, time for a bit of rest.  Soon there'll be another helpful writing post."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Writer vs. the Appendectomy

Just home from the hospital after my second stay in as many weeks due to an appendectomy and secondary infection. 

Boy, let me suggest, if you haven't done this, don't bother!

Hard to describe the pain involved and here I am a writer. 

Needless to say I haven't been doing too much writing - or reading - or much of anything else. Have finally turned the corner and am feeling much better - hope to have a happy, quiet holiday.

Have a script to show an interested party, have some projects on the burner and more writing assignments coming up after the first of the year.

I'll return to post soon with more writing tips and ideas.

Happy Holidays all!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Writer's Plague - Where the Heck Are These People?

Yes, it's true, we writers have to consider every angle, every nuance of every scene we write.  Not only do our characters have to speak in a manner that matches their personality, no only do we have to describe them, their quirks and wardrobe, but we have to make sure everyone reading knows exactly where they are.

Country, city, ocean desert?  Which and we have to  make it interesting, colorful and engaging.

Think about this simple sentence.  Mary ran after Jim.

Well, yes, maybe she did, but how did she run?  Did she limp or trot or lunge or pound?  And even more important to this piece, what was she running on?  Grass, concrete, gravel, pavement, snow, sand, pine needles?  Can she feel it under foot?

As for Jim, why's she running after him; I mean how is he moving away from her?  Walking, driving a Ferrari, a VW bus?  Riding in a carriage or taking off in a spaceship.  Maybe he was kidnapped by Aliens?  Is he moving at a 'furious' gait, simply strolling, or being whisked away?

Another thing to consider when describing your location is to keep in mind the sensory details that make it the place it is.  Are leaves and twigs slapping Mary in the face as she runs?  If she's running in an old warehouse is there a distinctive smell?  Is she following in the wake of Jim's Old Spice aftershave?  Maybe, if they're in a zoo there are animal smells wafting on the air.

Are there any sounds that might be heard.  Machinery clanking in the background, the sounds of the surf pounding the shore, rolling thunder, the sound of the engine as Jim starts up his Ferrari, the wind in the trees?  

All of these things add flavor and texture to your story. 

And, again, that famous tightrope.  How much is enough and how much is too much?  That, dear writer is for you to decide.  You want enough to be engaging, but not so much that the reader is thinking, "enough already, get on with the story!"

And, by the way, a great cover on my Ebook adult fantasy, Stormrider.  This was one where I really  hand fun with laying in the background. Check it out and follow the link to an excerpt. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Post Coming Soon

Hi there,

I'm totally swamped at the moment, but have been thinking about my blog.  A new post will come soon.

Meanwhile, I'm off to mail a copy of my book "The Eye Of The Hawk" to a young lady who won it in a contest.  Congratulations, enjoy the read.

Back very soon with another fresh post on writing and the writing life.

Take care everyone!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ebook Reader Revolution??

Hey, have you all been watching this?  Are you aware that rumbling around in the background is a growing Ebook Reader 'war'?

After all this time, Ebooks appear to be coming into their own.  It looks like the future is exploding upon us.

First we had Amazon's Kindle.  Now more are following. Asus is going to offer us a new, more economical version (or so I hear) by the end of the year. Looks way cool, but I'm going to have to keep an eye on that one and see what features  it actually offers on release before I get too excited.

Then there's the new Barnes & Noble Nook.  They say it's the 'most advanced Ebook Reader in the World'.  Don't know if I buy that, and even if it's true now, how long will that be?

Moving on, there's the Sony Ebook Reader.  I have no experience with that one other than running across them occasionally in Borders bookstores.

Something is rumbling around at Apple, but it's hard to tell exactly what.  I, myself, usually find Apple to be a bit pricy. They also have what I've heard  called a Netbook.

The Zii Media book shows some real promise - I'm eager to see what that will offer for sure. A fully featured tablet with a color touch screen? Cool!

It's hard to tell right now what the future holds here.  I'm rooting for something really good and reasonably priced.  So far they've been too expensive when I can just use my laptop that only cost $450 and can do everything as opposed to say $250 for a dedicated reader that does only that.  But, I'm open!  In fact, I really do want an Ebook reader.

Problem is, they need to get a common platform so consumers can download from many sources, just like you can walk into any bookstore and pick up a book.  This dedicated thing where you can buy only from the source where you got the reader really is bad news.

Fascinating, no?  Hope you have fun checking them out...and maybe digging up something I've missed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Romance Writing and Readers

I've been working on my latest novel, this time a romance, taking a break from scripts just briefly to do the novel, then of course I'll want to do another script, and then of course another novel.

Can't help it, I like variety.  And well, though I'm about 3/4 of the way through the process having written a lot of pages, done a lot of editing and know there's much more, I couldn't help my thoughts skipping over to what sales are like these days for books in general and Romances in particular.  I read like crazy and you should too, for enjoyment and especially if you, too, are a writer.  It's like professional enrichment.

So, in my ponderings I did dig up a few numbers that are interesting.  One I tweeted.  For 2009 overall net consumer book sales were predicted to go down.  But, according to the most recent Association of American Publishers report - book sales were actually up 1.8 percent so far for the year. The future apparently looks good for romantic fiction -- sort of like the movies in the 20's after the crash- people are turning to romance novels for 'happily ever after'.  People generally need to be entertained, even more so during the 'tough' times.

Don't get me wrong, times were tough for the publishing industry in 2008 pretty much like everybody else.  Some had profits, others losses.  There was reorganization, people lost their jobs - and there were other problems.  Used book sales increased, there were fewer bookstores because of closings and of course with the net, TV, movies, ipods, etc, there's a vastly increased competition for consumer leisure time. Folks read only about four hours a week in 2008 as opposed to the fifteen hours a week online and about 12 hours a week watching TV. 

Another interesting fact is American women are more likely to read than men.  The average book reader is about 44 years old. It doesn't hurt to know who your audience is. So, in the romance field over 74 million, closer to 75 million Americans (that's just Americans) read at least one romance novel in 2008. More than 90% of those were read in paperback - but don't forget the more than 47% who read in hardcover, the 6.5% who listened to audio books and the nearly 5.5% who read in Ebook format.  Overall this is good news for the romance writing field - and for the romance reader. Harlequin, Penguin and Hachette Book Group were up in sales for 2008 while HarperCollins, Random House and Simon & Schuster fell.

In general, though the peak year so far for romance seems to have been 2005, there was only a relatively small decline in sales and then they leveled off pretty much for 2006, 2007, and 2008.  The jury is still out on 2009.

In the romance genre there are subgenres and they broke out pretty much like this.  Contemporary series sold the most with around 26% of the market.  Single title Contemporary at about 18%, Historical at about 16%, Paranormal (my favorite by far) at about 12.5%.  A handful of others, Suspense, Inpirational, suspense series and erotic combined to make up about another 25% of the market and the rest is sort of misc.

Now, remember the overall dollar amounts we're talking about is 'billions'.  When they say book sales slid and were 'down' that's 'down to $10.175 BILLION from $10.714 BILLION.  So while we can't really say 'let the good times roll', things aren't looking too bad in book world. - and look slightly better in romance world.

Whew.  Well, with that out of the way, back to work on my paranormal romance!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Playful, Creative Writer

So, when's the last time you went out and played like a kid?  Not too long I hope.  And I mean really get out there and play.  Involve all the senses and have a heckuva good time.  Life isn't all that serious you know.  Yes, lots of serious things can happen, but people need to play.  Let go of that deep, dark serious demeanor and have some fun.

Play is good for everything about us.  It's good for our heath, good for our brains, it helps unite brain and body and even creates social connections.  Wow, what isn't it good for?  Not a thing I can think of.

A lot of things you can do to play involves some sort of exercise which gets the body moving and cranking, very good for you to begin with.  And, while it's doing that it's a major stress reliever.  Playing gets all those chemicals pumping in your brain and throughout your body, and they're the feel-good ones. So who can be tense and serious when you've got all that happy-go-lucky stuff flooding your body?  And the great thing about it is, exercise is great, get a friend, play basketball, badminton or take a long walk with great conversation, even just get up off your butt and dance when you hear some music you like, but any kind of play is terrific too.  Get friends together and play a dumb game you remember from childhood, huddle around a board game, play with clay or silly putty, even really actually use that WI console you bought.

I'm no expert, but I've read play lights up the right side of your brain like a neon sign and creates a state of hyper-creativity that gives us a whole new slant on the world.  And I believe it.  Creativity and Play go hand in hand.  And in this wonderful state everything seems better, easier, problems that seemed overwhelming before appear suddenly trivial and as a result we're ready to take on the world once again!  In the midst of play you may even come up with the ending of that novel you're working on.

And despite your possible thoughts of  'play is just for kids, think again.  Play not only unites body and mind, it creates social bonds.  And that doesn't change just because we're no longer kids.  Ever notice how two people at odds might find a way to bond at a company picnic and basketball challenge?  This is social behavior that goes back to our earliest days.  People huddled over a game board chatting and laughing.  Socialization.  Fun.  If you have about 30 minutes you might check out this video on creativity and play, Tim Brown  makes excellent points.

I frequently recommend hobbies for writers, but play is just as important.  Come on, when's the last time you had a really rollicking good time?  When's the last time you just got up and danced or made faces at yourself in a mirror?  When was your last trip to the zoo or when you played 'blood sport' badminton with your friends?  When's the last time you went to Disneyland without the kids?  Budget won't stand that?  Then get yourself a blob of silly putty and go from there.  Or just get together with a bunch of friends with paper and pencil and follow Tim's suggestion doing thirty second portraits of each other.

This guy's having a great time, shouldn't you be joining him?  Release, relax and unwind.  Play like a kid and kick your creativity into overdrive.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Go for the Gut - Drag Out those Emotions.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  If you don't put it out there as a writer, if you don't feel the emotions you're attempting to write into your story, your readers won't feel them either.

Here's where the 'show, don't tell' rule does apply.  Truth be told, most of us human beings guard our feelings closely, we don't feel comfortable putting them out into public.  Well, get over it.  Writers have to unlearn that deeply ingrained training. 

In order to put those emotions across to your readers, to make them really feel what you want them to feel, you must get down and deep into your character's point of view.  How to do that?  Well, put yourself in his or her place and allow yourself to feel what he or she would feel.  Everything that happens needs to be seen/felt through the lense of that character and what you've developed that character's personality to be. 

I've written and published books and written and optioned screen scripts.  They are two very different kinds of writing and it can provide a good example here.  A script conveys information by using external actions.  The hero conveys his anger by driving a car very fast down a steep hill, shifting gears with a slam and a jerk, cutting people off and roaring on, taking wild chances.  This follows a fight with his girlfriend, the heroine.  The screenwriter also has the actors who will put emotion across.  So the viewer can easily put it all together.

In a book things are different.  It's necessary to filter what's happening through the reaction of one of the characters.  It becomes viewpoint.  The scene above would translate more into: "He threw the car into gear, slammed his foot down on the accelerator and peeled off down the road. He jerked the gear shift, reveled in the car's roar of power in tandem with the pounding beat of his heart and whipped around a slow-moving car.  She'd called him an idiot!  He'd never been so furious."  The author provides the action, then gives the point of view of the hero's feelings. 

And along those lines there's a fun and strange hybrid, being an audio book with actors reading the parts and special effects added like old radio shows.  One of my books, Blown To Hell, originally published by Doubleday, then reprinted by Fitionworks as Ebook is soon to be released as such an audio book....hopefully by January.  It's a different animal, and was fun to write the script for.

Questions or thoughts?  Please feel free to post a comment. If I spot a question I'll do my best to answer it.

Meanwhile, if you'd like more tips on writing check out my Ebook Out Of Thin Air.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Resources for Writers & Readers too.

So I'm a writer, by now we've all figured that one out. So, I was thinking as I sat down to begin my day's writing, that maybe I should post here a whole bunch of helpful sites I've stumbled across lately and save some of the potential writers out there the struggle of searching for them.

Not every site will be a godsend for every writer, but no doubt there'll be something here that'll appeal. So, hang on and check it out. Lots of sites below.

Brush up your grammar skills. Pretty self-evident, that one.

Big Huge Thesaurus -- even offers story plot and blog post ideas.

Writers are readers too. Want to find extensive lists of great books? Check out Flashlight Worthy Books for handpicked book recommendations on hundreds of topics. For writers he recommends ten great books on writing, 33 of the best books about writing fiction, and too cool is books for the word lover. Check out the flashlight worthy book recommendations for some great reads. This site is the site owner's labor of love.

Check out the National Writer's Union.

Here's a blog with tips for young writers.

This one is fun. A random story idea generator. Amusing for writers - and it could be helpful - at least it stirs the thought process.

Here's a How Stuff Works site on health. Great writer fodder.

A Dictionary, Thesaurus & word finder.

Free submission tracking software for writers. See if it's good for you.

A truly huge information resource site, a great place for authors to find information on almost anything.

Generate names, etc. at Seventh Sanctum.

Need a little help on a character's psychological motivation?

Unsent letter blog - Interesting blog - might be good source for future story ideas.

How about a radio station for writers created by writers?

Another cool reference site for writers - answering questions since 1938, they're online now.

That's it for this round, no doubt one day soon there'll be another. Hope you've found something helpful.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Writer's Focus

There's a breed of writer who has a problem with focus. I was one such writer plagued by that problem, have mostly gotten it under control, but still have a few battles with it now and again.

Now, by focus I mean you have so many different ideas for your writing floating around that you find it hard to remain dedicated to the one at hand. You love to write fiction (are in the middle of a story or novel as a matter of fact), but you have this great non-fiction book idea, there's this poem fragment that keeps running through you head and you have some really great ideas on angles for articles - all at the same time. What to do?

First be grateful you're one of "those" writers and not one who is beating his or her head against a wall just trying to come up with a coherent or publishable idea at all. That's never good.

Okay, gratitude duly noted, now, next step. This is where I usually have to take a step back and have a conversation with myself. You know those, I've done a couple of them on my blog in the past. I actually kind of enjoy these cozy little chats with myself. I figure as long as I don't mumble loudly in public I'm okay.

So here's the drill:

I say to myself, "boy I really need to get down to it on that novel. It's coming along and I'm getting close to the end. But I have this really fantastic idea for a non-fiction book I want to work on."

Self replies,"You need to stay focused and get something done. Bits and pieces everywhere get you nowhere. Besides, you're probably getting excited about the new idea because you don't want to finish the first one and risk rejection."

Ah, a philosophical statement from the interior me.

Hmm, self could be right. On the other hand, I might have a great idea for that non-fiction book or some other project.

Self again. "Stop wasting time."

"All right, all right," I respond, "but that other idea..."

"Can wait. Well, maybe not altogether. How about making notes?"

Okay, that's an idea. I keep some blank notebooks on hand for such an event. If it's a burning idea I need a lot of room. I jot something on the cover to identify it as solely dedicated to the new idea. Then I do a quick, brief overview on the first page, leave a couple of blank pages after. Then a blank page for each character (if fiction) or idea or point (if non-fiction). and if non-fiction, questions that need to be answered with space allowed for more ramblings or answers. I allow myself a set time to get it down, get it done, then put it aside and return to the big project that needs finish.

It's a method that has worked for me. Sometimes the new idea gets shelved indefinitely, other times it ends up being the next project up. Don't allow yourself to skip around indefinitely, but don't risk losing that next great idea either. And I find when the notes of that next great idea sit around for a while, frequently it has a chance to mature and evolve into something even better.

So when you get tied up in 'too many idea' knots, have a little chat with yourself and find an accord.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not Much About Writing

Not much on writing this time around I'm afraid, because, well, I admit it, I took a vacation. Not a very long vacation, but one of those nonetheless.

I highly recommend it. Everyone should do it in some fashion, even writers. It helps recharge the batteries. I ran away to LA; Malibu, Santa Monica, Pointe Dume, Farmer's Market Dining and Disneyland! Spent time with people I love and played like a kid.

It doesn't really matter what we do when we take a break, whether we spend very little or big bucks, it's the break that matters.

It was tempting to check my email or go online briefly, and I could have, but I chose not to. No computers, keyboards, facebook or twitter. Just some quiet and fun time. Even kept my cell phone off - checking only for emergency messages and there were none. We really can live without computers you know, we've just convinced ourselves we can't. Admittedly few of us would want to go back, to give up computers altogether, but a break is a very good thing.

Maybe you should take one too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Writers' Show, Don't Tell Admonition

Okay, that's it, I've heard it enough. "Show, don't Tell."

That phrase leaps out at me from every writer's corner - articles, blog posts, writers' sites, everywhere. It's like somebody got a needle stuck somewhere. There are more parts, angles and nuances to writing than simply "show, don't tell." What's the matter with everyone?

Here's the thing, there's real value in omniscient narration - some exposition. It fills in background, gives color, infuses life when used properly.

The writer is god when writing a story. He or she has to take many different stances throughout the creation. The writer, when 'telling' whispers directly into the reader's ear, or shouts.

If there's something that needs to be shown, that explodes off the page, then SHOW it, let your reader actually see it happen. Same with dialog. If the words you put into your characters mouths sizzle and pop, if they really have something to say, let your reader hear it, but don't put them in the position where they have to explain everything that happens because you, as the writer, are trying to avoid 'telling.'

On to stage two. Don't be afraid to describe things, to tell your reader with all five senses in gear about a landscape, the smells of a forest, what a character is thinking about or the underlying motivation in your tale. It's sort of like weaving, choosing the right thread for the right situation.

And don't forget to cut things you don't need to show your reader - a number of writers have commented on this, saying you need to leave out the parts the readers don't want to read. If your heroine is at her office getting ready to go to lunch your readers don't need to see her shut down her computer, put her pen down, close her files, stand up from her chair, walk across the office, head for the street, wave down a cab, climb in....well you get it. Just cut from her office and turning off the computer to her perhaps fidgiting at a restaurant table waiting for someone to join her.

The real trick is to vary the pace, to shake things up, to keep your readers interested.

So remember you need to do both - show and tell. Just like in kindergarten class all those years ago.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Writing With a Tease

Ah, yes, it's that kind of day here - unusual in the Southwest. We have storm clouds over the mountains and rain just sort of hanging in that dark sky. It wants to rain Sooooo bad, but it hangs there in the air, moist, rich, full of promise, and yet a tease. Will it rain, will water actually fall from the skies? Beats me. It does spit occasionally.

And that's how my writing, and yours, should be. A promise, holding back, a tease. After we all kill the adverbs and cull the adjectives what's left should be solid story, gripping, inviting the reader in, but coquettish, a tease. Dialog needs to be crisp and true to each character. A farmer doesn't speak the way a lawyer does, a southern gentleman doesn't speak the same way as a New Yorker. Create your dialog the way these people speak but remember, a little goes a long way. Don't write with hundreds of shortened words, accent marks and drawn out 'ooooooo-s'. Read a favorite book and really focus in on the dialog, how did that writer get the differences across?

Description? That's another writer's problem. Adjectives - which should be a writer's friend are too often not. Frequently they're simply scattered all over the page like a crowd gone wild. Sometimes I wonder if a writer is simply attempting to up a word count.

Be selective and minimalist. And avoid alliteration unless you're really doing it on purpose.

Don't be guilty of throwing adjectives at your readers in pairs, triplets, or even worse. If your creative writing teacher or coach encouraged the use of many adjectives, well, forget it. It doesn't have to be a "frigid morning in the early fall", it can simply be a "crisp fall morning". A "rutted dirt road" doesn't have to be the "long, winding, dusty, bumpy, dirt road." Think about the writing. What makes it have power? What grabs the readers' attention and holds it? Think of the extra descriptions in your writing as spices in the soup. If anything overwhelms the soup you've used too much of it.

Meanwhile I'll contemplate my dark and overcast sky and see what I can come up with.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday's Writer's Schitzophrenic Blues

Well, it's Monday and I'm definitely of two minds. I picked up a bug over the weekend and don't feel like doing much ---

On the other hand, I feel like dancing. Go figure. Well, whatever my state, here're my thoughts.

It occurred to me over the weekend that many writers try to think of their project as one whole big enchilada (forgive the comparison but I live in the southwest).

Truth be told, it's usually best to think in small increments. Some can pull off the "whole enchilada" thing, but not a whole lot. An entire book can slip away from you if you lose energy in the middle while trying to keep your eye on the entire prize.

You can accomplish huge things in very small amounts of time. Novels have been written during lunch hours while holding down full time jobs. It's a little trick. Committing to short bursts of time, five, ten or fifteen minutes at a shot - not the many hours it takes to complete a book. And the good news is if you can trick yourself into writing even those few minutes, frequently a larger flow will follow.

So, if you find you're always putting off writing, always have a reason why you can't do it NOW, try the short term commitment, devise one that's right for you and carry through. You'll be amazed how much you an accomplish.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Writer's Holiday

Well, I didn't write on Saturday, Sunday, or today, Monday, the official 'Labor Day Weekend'. It's rare I do such a thing, being an obsessive writer and all, but I and my'self' had another conversation early on in the weekend. I do that occasionally as evidenced by another earlier blog post.

So I began the labor day weekend with every intention of working - at least off and on, if not on an actual streak. Figured it would depend on how much of a roll I got on, if I was fortunate enough to have that happen.

Then, on Saturday, early in the morning the conversation began.

"All right, I said to my'self', lots to do, lots of time, ready to rock 'n roll."

"Ah...not so much," self replied. "It's a holiday weekend. Remember, husband has time off and we have stuff to do."

"Well, writing comes first."

"Most times, yes, not this weekend."

"Why not THIS weekend?"


"We make our own holidays."

"Yep, and this is one of them."

"But I hoped to get a whole lot accomplished this weekend."

"Anything that can't wait?" Self asked.

"Well, no...I have notes and my personal work schedule set up."

"Would a day or two matter?"

"ummm, no, I guess not. Only deadline is one I set myself."

"Then this is one time you need to power back a bit and give yourself - and your husband - a break."

"You've got a point," I said to my'self'. "Okay, so this is the opposite of the day I simply felt like playing hookey."

"Yep," this is a matter of priorities. Writing is important, it's actually imperative, but sometimes you need to give it a rest." My'self' invoked the voice of reason.

"Hmmm, okay, check email, maybe twitter, then I'm done."

"Good choice," My'self' confirmed.



Moral of the story? Writing is great, writing is hugely important to me, but unless I'm under the gun, unless I'm on deadline I have to find a balance to my life. That means power back once in a while. It's something every writer, everyone who works for him or herself, needs to think about and occaisonally take a deep breath.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Very Basic Tips for Writers

And I do mean exceedingly basic. Too many times writers are flailing all over the place to figure out what to do next or what they SHOULD be doing or maybe what they WANT to be doing. So here are a few down and dirty really, really basic tips to try to stay on track.

1. Apply seat of pants to chair and write (wow, this one really IS very basic)

2. If you're fortunate enough to be in the zone where you have an editor, don't fight with said editor. Think about suggestions (other than punctuation and/or spelling), sift through them, find the gems, be appreciative for the input. Here's the thing, editors aren't monsters put on earth to harass you and make life miserable - at least most of them aren't, and well the few that are, the heck with them. But try not to think of it as a contest or a war - think of it more as collaboration. Cooperate, but remember, the editors, though mostly decent folk tying to do a good job, aren't always right.

3. Brush up on your English, presuming you're writing English. For Pete's sake, how do you think you can write if you don't even know what rules you can break?

4. Be on the look out for a mentor.

5. Become a mentor as your writing improves.

6. Write, edit, rewrite, repeat.

7. Follow me on twitter for some great writer-friendly and helpful sites.

8. When you're not writing - read - a lot!

9. People watch (don't be too obvious about this) to get ideas for characters.

10. Nature watch for ideas (you can be as obvious about this as you want).

11. Never, never, never let someone tell you you can't do it.

No doubt I'll come up with more basics, but that's it for today.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Darn the Promotion, Full Speed Ahead!

It's Monday, I have my work schedule in front of me (one I created, so I have no room to whine) and I'm tripping right along. Already did several items on my list and now it's down to posting to my blog (which I'm doing right here), some time promoting my Ebook, Out Of Thin Air, and some time to be spent working on my romance novel.

I really want to be working on my newly revised/old screen script idea, but I didn't put that on my list, and if I'm not careful I can get pretty scattered.

It's amazing what we do as writers that we don't feel like doing. I mean, don't most folks think writers are free to sit around all day and write whatever comes into their heads? Well, at least a goodly number of them do.

So, as I ramble here a bit I'm actually planning in my head what promotion items I'm going to tackle today. I try to do at least one and usually two or three small things a day to promote a book that's already 'out there'. I have a website for my Ebook, I'm selling it through Booklocker as well. I've promoted locally and through some newsletters on the web.

There are free book listing sites on the web as well. Some better than others, but I'm going to list with a number of them. I've already listed with the Goodreads Author Program and I have a page at Amazon's Author Central which I will have on a list to update soon.

Today I think I'll send out a press release regarding the release of Out Of Thin Air - most likely to Open PR as it is a free press release site and a good place to start.

And all that's just for the Out of Thin Air, the Ebook geared to helping new and young writers. I'll be doing some work to tie in some of my other releases such as Stormrider and To Hell and Back, both Ebook releases with Fictionworks, and The Eye of The Hawk, a Hardcover release by Five Star Publishing. (if you scroll further down this blog you'll see photos of the fabulous covers so no need to stick them in here again). Wait, I take it back, here's To Hell and Back cover.

Now all of this is a general pain in the neck (and other places), granted, but for today's author, a necessity. So grouse and grumble all you like, but remember to make time for promotion when you're a writer - and not just for one day, but as a steady, scheduled necessity.

And now that I've gotten you on the right track, time for me to actually do the work.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hello Young Writers Wherever You Are

The young writer can sometimes be the butt of a lot of abuse. "What do YOU have to write about?" they may be asked. "You haven't experienced life!" another states officiously. "Why don't you worry about that later - just go out and have fun now, you're only young once. The Writing can wait."

Your answers are, in order, you have plenty to write about, if you're alive you're experiencing life, and if you're a writer THAT IS fun - oh, and BTW, thank heavens you're only young once!

See, now you're armed.

I began writing when I was about 12 and I just sort of skipped the short stuff and went right into novel mode. I sold my first book when I was 21 (back in the prehistoric typewriter days) and it was published by Doubleday when I was 22 (a western novel titled Night Of The Flaming Guns - oh, and I wrote it in the first person as a middle aged man). There was a healthy blob of luck in that scenario, but there was also a lot of writing. I had a Godmother who read my work, critiqued and criticized. My advice to the new young writer is to find someone like that. Could be a family friend, a trusted teacher, a relative, someone to whom you give free rein to criticize your writing and who you trust enough to actually listen to.

Being a young writer today, you have a leg up on me when I was young. Back then there was no web (ahhhhhh, run screaming into the night in horror!). There were a lot of visits to libraries (where I borrowed most of my books for research or reading as I was broke), visits to bookstores, to see what was new on shelves (and to make an occasional paperback purchase back when they cost 50 cents), and getting lucky and meeting an author or two along the way.

Avenues to publication were limited as well - pretty much ink on paper or nothing. Now you can blog (like I'm doing here) Tweet (like I'm doing there at
You can even download a toolbar from StumbleUpon that can send you in all sorts of interesting directions on the web. for inspiration. There are still the print outlets, there are Ebooks and Ezines. You can easily create your own Ezine or newsletter and distribute it. There are sites where you can post your writing and have it critiqued, or just read. Heck, you can just blog some of your fiction for folks to read and invite comments - then get the word out that it's there. Stone Soup is still on the web as well, a place for young artists and writers. Want to find some markets where young writers have a better shot? You might try the free newsletter at Writer Kid.

What I'm trying to get across here is if you're a writer of any age write (did I mention you have to read too? - comes with the territory). If you're young, don't let yourself be discouraged by someone telling you you aren't ready. You don't have to have a major tragedy or traumatic even in your life to prepare you to be a writer. You simply have to live. If you've fallen off a bike or had a stomach ache you've experienced pain. If your dog died you've experienced grief. If you wonder what makes things go or gaze up at the sky in stupefied amazement you have curiosity. Use those things. Expand. Give those experiences to your characters and your writing will bloom.

Keep writing and eventually you'll reach your goals. Is it a lot of work? Yep? Fun? Mostly. Will you become famous? (hahahaha - well, maybe - not many writers become famous and aside from the desire to sell a whole lot of books and be appreciated, not many I know want a whole lot of fame, just a whole lot of time to write).

The main thing to understand is 'rejection' is a major part of a working writer's life, one who freelances and submits fiction for publication. Don't get discouraged and don't let the naysayers get to you. Think of rejection as a learning opportunity (or if you're in a bad mood, that some jerk didn't know what the heck he or she was doing).

Rewrite and revision are also both a huge part of a writer's life so get used to it. No professional writer got to where he or she is today without lots of rewriting and revision - and lots of rejection.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Are You Really a Writer? Some Writers' Realities

I've been thinking lately, about what really makes a writer. Well, for starters, one person, whether or not a writer him or her self, cannot judge whether another is a writer. It's a stippery devil, defining that. And you never now what motivates another or what goes on in another's head.

There are, however, some realities that can provide some perspective for this issue.

First, almost all writers write while they do something else. Hold down a job, chase their kids, whatever. Only a tiny percentage of writers go to their computers and sit down to write without worrying about the bills or where the next writing gig will come from. Unfortunate but true.

Hmm, not what you wanted to hear? Me either really, but there it is. One can fret over it, curse the fates, rail against it, but all that doesn't do a whole lot of good.

And the question is, what makes a writer? I mean there's the person who's written since he or she was ten; has written stacks of short stories, kept journals filled with poetry and story notes, had worked on that first novel for years...Okay, yes, that person writes but is that person a writer by 'artistic' standards or by 'professional' standards?

Different contests, local art commissions and arts agencies define a writer differently, but in general it is a "professional artist producing work of high artistic quality. Individuals are considered to be professional if they earn at least part of their annual income in their artistic work (writing), consider their artistic endeavors as a career, maintain a high level of artistic quality, and make a significant time investment in their writing. A professional writer has some writing income appearing on a tax return, maintains a calender noting regular work or training undertaken as a writer. A working writer also has receipts for expenses." The previous quote is a conglomeration of several definitions of a writer. All of them apply. And as far as the government and taxes are concerned, the writer must be striving to earn money from his or her endeavors, it cannot be a hobby.

Along with all of this the writer must be developing his or her own style, developing his or her own voice. When something is written can it be picked up and identified as the style of a particular writer? Does the writer do more than slap words across a computer screen? Will the writer produce more than one piece of work or be a one shot wonder?

Worth thinking about if you really plan to be a writer.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Writer's Musings

Yep, that's what I'm doing, musing. Should be writing, but I'm using, well, musing AND writing, just not fiction.

Was sitting down to work on my most current novel (a romance this time) when I said to my self, "Self - why am I doing this?" There are many reasons I might ask myself this question, most are personal, and I've been writing a very long time so I do ask that question of myself periodically.

Now, I don't know about YOUR self, but MY self has a lot to say about pretty much everything. So, self says to me, "You're a writer, you write, you've written since you were 12 years old, it's all you've wanted to do, you've done a good job, published a whole bunch of books, written optioned screenplays and a whole bunch of other stuff, you're good. Get busy."

Hmmm, I respond, "I don't know, I'm really sort of not in the mood, want to do other stuff."

Self gives an inward sigh. "You're at your desk to write. Sit down, shut up and write."

"I am writing."

"Yeah, sure you are -- you're blogging, that's not writing. Well it is, but.... you're rambling."

I do a good job of rambling, that's why I can write books. Works a bit against me when I write a screeplay.

I try again, attempting to reason with myself.

"Can't I take the day off this time? I'll work twice as hard tomorrow."

"So you say now, but then tomorrow will come and there you'll be, making excuses again. It's pretty much what you's what most writers do. Okay, go ahead, take the day off."

"I can't"

"You can't?"

"I can't."

"This isn't writer's block or some strange off-shoot is it, 'cause I don't think I can deal with that right now."

"No. I have to write. It's the time I've set aside and I have to write."

"Okay, so why have you done that, set the time aside?"

"Because I want to write, I've always written stories and I write. It's what I do."

"Then sit down, shut up...."

"...and write, yes, I know. Am I procrastinating again?"

"No, yes, well maybe - I can't be sure."

"Time to get to work."

"At last we agree."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Impossibility of Publication

Here's the thing. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and I'm about ready to sit down and get to work on writing more pages of my newest novel. So, I checked my email, did a bit of surfing and settled in.

Then I began ruminating on publication. Will the new book I'm working on see the light of day? Who knows? It's a giant leap of faith just to be doing it.

Hold on now some may say, you've already published multiple times and optioned screen scripts - how could you be worried about getting a book published?

Well, as Sarah Willis, an award-winning novelist said, "By the time I sold my first novel I had learned it was impossible to do so." Bright woman Sarah, amusing and right on.

The publishing industry has always been a dilly and now it's in the throes of technological evolution. My story is a bit of a long one, but suffice to say I was forced to take a break from writing for several years due to family emergencies and unless you're Stephen King or maybe Dean Koontz, or Orson Scott Card, a break like that means you begin almost from scratch when you begin to claw your way back. If you're not wholly present, people forget and I can't say it isn't the same in most businesses. So it takes times to remind them all over again.

So, my next book is out there in the vapors, being created, but its a question of where and when it might be finished and ultimately published. Meanwhile, my thoughts on the matters of writing and publishing will no doubt splash through here as I make decisions on what to write next; manuscript or screen script? Article or blog post?

Things, they've been a'changin' over the past few years. There are many new opportunities for writers at any stage of their careers. There's the steadfast publishing industry with lots of outlets as usual. Writing scripts for Hollywood or even your local advertising venue offers a lot of opportunities.

And there's also the net with many opportunities of its own in place and more evolving. There's even POD now should a writer choose that route. And while some may frown on one avenue or another the fact of the matter is, writers are becoming successful in all of them.

Meanwhile I've just received confirmation that my Ebook for writers, Out of Thin Air, is available through .

Interesting how things happen these days. Hmmm, think I'll play with the dog for a bit - he needs the break.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A short Ebook Discussion

print by Linda Hunsaker

I agree many that there are lots of advantages to EBooks. I don't see the demise of print books, nor would I want to see that on the horizon, but as an author who's been published extensively in traditional print, I welcome the arrival of Ebooks. How easy Ebook readers make it to carry many books with you when traveling and at the same time be able to download more books, magazines and other materials while on the move.

I've been interested in the emergence of Ebooks for years and contracted to have some of my original print books who's rights reverted to me, reissued as Ebooks. Some are at The Fictionworks online where I have a couple of westerns and a fantasy listed and my husband has his book Tales of Caer Alban (a book for young readers) listed. I've also created a non-fiction book, Out of Thin Air, which I distribute as an Ebook from a website Out of Thin Air is loaded, in its second half, with links to great websites for writers. And that brings us to another great feature of Ebooks - the writer can add live links to far more information than is in his or her book alone. The only downside of links in Ebooks is the obvious fact that some become outdated, links broken, etc. over time.

Perhaps one day soon we'll be able to purchase a 'book binder' kit for home use that could be used to bind books purchased as Ebooks which, for one reason or another, the purchaser would like to have in hard copy as well.

One application could be kids' books. Books and kids are a great pairing, but a physical book is better for a little kid than a reader. With a binder If the kid tears up the book, simply reprint it. (of course that's after kids books actually get on Ebook readers with their illustrations – and I see that coming).

I've purchased Ebooks online for info and for pleasure. Some I've printed, some I haven't. I'm contemplating a reader as soon as I know they have the features I need and the price point drops a bit more. At the moment I can't see spending between $250 and $300 for a reader when I just got a new laptop with all the bells and whistles for $450 - but that's me.

The future of writing, publishing and reading is approaching rapidly and I think it'll be not only interesting but fantastic.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Organizing Time for Writers

All right, Writers, listen up. We're all procrastinators (remember I mentioned that in an earlier post). We love to find things to do other than the writing we've assigned ourselves (or have contracted to do).

So, I'm organizing my writing time and I'm going to tell you how I'm doing it. I don't actually have a stopwatch (I'm not that crazy or obsessive) but I do have a small clock on my desk and I'm not afraid to use it!

My time for writing the strongest is usually the morning so that time needs to be write time. So, from now on I check my Email first thing for something important - not a sales flyer or fun posting, but important to my writing. And I'll do a quick skim to dump trash email in a hurry. This should only be allowed 10 - 15 minutes tops. Do a quick Twitter post-usually containing some bit of helpful info for new or established freelance writers I've stumbled across somewhere and from that point on the focus in on the actual writing.

After several hours of that with only a couple of short breaks like when the dogs exploded barking or I dumped my tea dangerously close to the keyboard I'm about wiped out. Time for lunch.

I may do some writing after lunch, but I already know it won't be my strongest. So later is a good time for some promotion work and posting to social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn. It's also a good time to do a bit of research and take some time to ponder what my next project might be. Working out what the next creative project is while working on one has always been my M.O. The idea may be totally junked once that point is reached, but it helps keep the mental muscles moving, churning out new ideas.

The idea in general for me is to have time blocked out for certain aspects of my 'author world'. It's far too easy to churn through the days and accomplish nothing if I don't stick fairly close to it. And over time books like Blown To Hell and Stormrider or some screenplay with great potential would never come to be. A few pages a day will get me or you there. Don't blow it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Writers need hobbies

I always say a writer needs a good hobby. Not reading, that doesn't count. You're a writer, you need to read.

I mean a real hobby. Something you enjoy, something that distracts, ideally something you can grab a few minutes away from your computer and do right at your desk - though other hobbies like taking a long walk in nature or something to get you away from your writing desk (mine happens to be jewelry making) are excellent as well.

However, if you need to just have a short break, if you like gardening you might try having a few potted plants to tend near your desk.

Knitting? A small project in a tote near you is a good idea.

Doodling is one of the best - just a blank book close to hand offers a good release. It helps the brain to rotate attention a bit -- left brain, right brain, left brain, right brain. Doesn't hurt to get the eyes away from the computer screen for a while either.

So think about it writers, get yourself a hobby.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Are you sure your query or book or whatever is ready?

As writers we're so often asked/advised, "Are you sure that piece of writing is ready to be seen?" This inquiry expands to have you read and re-read, edited and revised until your eyes are crossed? Well of course it's ready if you have and don't let those naysayers put doubts in your mind about your own work.

Now I'm not saying there isn't a lot of work involved in writing. Someone once said, and I can't remember where I heard this (sorry) that writing a novel is something like being handed a paring knife and sent out into the woods to whittle a mansion. That's not too far off.

But here's the thing. I'm getting kind of tired of reading articles or posts or hearing from someone -- "Are you SURE it's ready to send out?"

There comes a point where the thing is being beaten to death. There comes a point when the writer has to say, hell yes it's ready to send out! The reality is you can change your writing forever. You can edit, nit-pick, go around for the 1000th time and still find something to change. But there is a point where you must stop, get it together and send it out. Whether it is a query, an article, a script or a manuscript. Find that place, stop questioning and get your work out there.

Are you going to be rejected? It'll be some kind of a miracle if you aren't, repeatedly. And of course you'll be sending out your best work, I think that message has been gotten out loud and clear, but you must send it out if you hope to have it published.

I wouldn't have had Eye of The Hawk published if I hadn't sent it out. Stormrider wouldn't have seen the light of day if I hadn't decided it was ready. My recently published Ebook for young and new writers, Out of Thin Air, would still be in a drawer if I hadn't had the confidence to launch it.

Sometimes it can be hard to dredge that self-confidence up from your gut. Many writers suffer from the desire to get their work published conflicting with the fear of putting it out there. Confront that fear and hesitation. Understand that the people who read what you write are pretty much like you. Publishers, editors, agents are people just like you. They have their likes and dislikes, their bad days and their good.

Over the years I've learned that all of that factors into what they choose to promote, publish, whatever. And, I've learned to find that place where I've done the best work I can do and it is time to put that writing out there. Will there be revisions and edits after that? Undoubtedly. But there must be a beginning point and as writers we have to figure out where that is and move forward.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Free Award Winning Short Story.

First, as promised in my title for this post, I have a short story to share with you. Titled "Skykicker" it's garnered a couple of awards over the past couple of years. Click on the title and you can go on over. The preview button will open it right up for you. Hope you enjoy.

Looks like I've edged past my rough spot in my newest novel. I'm not moving forward as fast as I'd like, but I am moving forward again. Meanwhile, to feed the procrastination monster a bit I've tweaked my homepage.

Then back to writing like a good serious writer. And speaking of which, have you stumbled across this great article from the UK about a most prolific book borrower? A wonderful inspiration to writers across the world.
Publish Post

Meanwhile interest in my Ebook, Out of Thin Air, holds steady. I've gotten some really nice comments on it and am pleased. Thanks to the folks who have taken the time to comment.

And I can't get back to work without mentioning a fun site for writers. Can you tell your story in 6 words? Check out Six-Word Memoirs and find out how well you can do.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Writer's Indulgence - procrastination

Okay, here I sit. I'm supposed to be writing, I tell myself I am, actually, I'm writing this! But, well, as writers we all know about procrastination. I'm supposed to be working on my newest romance novel. I don't have a publisher's deadline, but I have my own and I usually stick pretty close to them.

But, today, the procrastination but has bitten. I've hit a rough spot in writing the latest chapter and I'm a bit bored with myself - not good sign. It's more like I just don't wanna!

Will I get back to it? Yes, shortly actually, after I have my little rant at myself here. This is happening at a stage about 2/3 of the way through the book. It's a fantasy romance. I need to plunge on through to the end so I can begin the editing and rewrite process (and so I can move on to other projects). But there's this little stumbling block - a place where things just aren't working.

So, I surf the web, I chat with folks, I post helpful links for writers at my twitter page ( I need to write a new article for my Ehow page as well. Don't want to leave the folks there who read my articles on writing just hanging. But, well, there's this rough spot in my romance novel and...

So many times writers tell new writers you have to apply the seat of your pants to your chair and write. You do, it's true. 99% of writing is sitting there and doing it. Probably partly why when I'm procrastinating I'm still writing - like here. It limbers you up and gets the brain to fall in line and get busy. At least that's my theory. It's worked for me for years so I know it works for someone.

Time to get back to it. I'll probably only get a page or two written today, but tomorrow will be better - probably more like 5 - 10 pages.

It's good to have goals.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Email nightmares

It's true, I'm a writer, and as such I admit I'm not much of a techie. When my email began to fail (it would receive, but not send) I got into a bit of a panic. How to resolve this? What to do? I fought with it for several days, had not clue as to what all that stuff means in the 'receiving' and 'sending' section of email info. And I was getting worried. Folks were writing to me, expecting an answer but I didn't know what had gone out and what hadn't.

So, between throwing things and swearing I began to talk to my friends online and low and behold one came up with that turned out to be the answer for me. Sea Monkey.

Uh, yeah, Sea Monkey. You can check it out here:
Combines web and Email. Very convenient. Works very well. Actually does send out the email I need to have gone - and it was easy to setup. Amazing. Crisis is over.

Now, back to writing which is what I do much better than battling technology.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Helpful Writer's Articles

It suddenly dawned on me that I have quite a list of archived articles aimed at helping writers. Since the slight went on I thought I'd post the links here. Click on over if something looks like it might be of help in your writing day. You'll also find some new articles over at under P A Bechko.

Here's the archive of articles published with IN magazine:

The Darn Good Query Letter October, 2006

Blood Oozing From Your Pores... January, 2005

Monday, July 20, 2009

A quiet yet busy writer's weekend

Well, things started out busy. Spent a lot of time reading some of my writing that needs editing. I got to that and got through a lot of it. Posted to twitter a bit and facebook. Then shifted gears to my jewelry making and posted several new pieces to my Etsy site at Finished the weekend off by giving all three dogs a bath - one would think they'd enjoy it with the temps in the 90s, but no, everyone got pretty soaked.

Back to writing this morning. A few more pages to edit. Here's a good quote I stumbled across while surfing: When asked what adivce he had for aspiring novelists, American writer, Richard Ford said, "Marry well''. Sage wisdom.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Busy time for this writer

It's been a busy week. I've been working on my newest romance novel, editing and getting ready to work toward the finish. Rescued a hummingbird from the livingroom which totaled one morning's work. Have been promoting Out Of Thin Air at and posted some articles at See my writer's help posts at

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How to Pitch a Book or Script Article Posted

Check out for an article with tips on pitching written work to editors, publishers, agents and producers.

Write Again...

Back from a 4 day jaunt to Denver. It rained a whole lot of the time and we were coping with some in-law health issues. Got back to clean up a whole lot of emails that had arrived while I was gone.

Now it's back to serious work. I'll be posting a couple of new articles to in the next couple of days and will get back to work on my latest romance novel. There's some 'ghosting' waiting in the wings but haven't heard back yet so I'll scramble to get my own work in order before that surfaces.

I'll be posting a couple of new items to my ETSY site at in the next couple of days as well.

Oh, and be sure to follow me at for writing tips, writer's quotes, book suggestions and great writer's websites.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Quiet Blog

Things will be quiet here for a few days while I'm off to Denver. Won't be blogging until next week, but in the meantime for those writers who hunger for helpful info, check out a website that explains statistical terms and how to use them to beef up your writing. Have a great 4th!

Monday, June 29, 2009

What cliche?

Just getting ready to write for the day and ran into this site. I think it's a good one for writers because it shines a light on all those cliches. Very entertaining and amusing as well for those who just want to procrastinate for a while before getting down to work.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Forgot to mention, my new Ebook, "Out of Thin Air" is available at
A question I can answer? Don't hesitate to publish it in the comments.

Blog Under Construction

Just starting out with this blog - planning on creating something of interest to potential followers. Take a peek every now and then. I'll be posting everyday stuff along with writer's successes and frustrations, information on my evolving hobby creating jewelry, links to helpful writer's websites, interesting writer's quotes and resources, tips and information for young/new writers and updates on whatever the writer's life throws at me. Hope it's as interesting to you as to me.

Other Posts Of Interest:

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