Thursday, July 23, 2009

One of 13 Featured Authors Today!

I'm a featured author on Nina Pierce's blog

Stop by...say hi...leave a comment and I'll be giving away a free copy of The Werewolf Whisperer (just out in print from Phaze)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

W is for Waiting...for ranting just a little...and for writing

I read a post on an agent's blog recently about "waiters"...those people who put a submission in the mail and then wait for it to be accepted or rejected instead of turning their attention to more important things, like writing the next book. I agree with that, it's important to move on and up.

I also encountered some agent's guidelines firmly stating: if you don't hear from us, assume it's a rejection.

For me, that advice was a bit harder to swallow.

Yeah, yeah, I get the "they're just not into you" mentality -- if the story is great, the agents and publishers will be beating down your door to get hold of it. If you don't get an answer, they're just not that into your writing. I also get that they are all really busy and inundated with submissions: good, bad and indifferent. They have to invest their time in the good, not the bad. I REALLY do get it. However, without any feedback (positive or negative), it's like writing and submitting to a black hole.

I once quit writing because of that yawning bottomless pit. Yeah, prolific me just up and quit. I had over a dozen short stories out at the time and had heard nothing back on any of them for months upon months. No rejections even. One day, as I prepared to lick the submission envelope for yet another story, an unfamiliar feeling washed over me. Why bother? I realized I'd lost hope of ever having anything accepted (or even actively rejected) for publication again. And so I didn't bother. I still have that envelope somewhere.

Eventually the characters I carry around in my head clamored long and loud enough for me to think about writing again. Sadly, I still find myself waiting impatiently for answers from publishers and agents while I keep busy writing my next book.

Part of me just can't shut off that anxious wondering. As authors, it can take years for us to write a book. I, personally, have no idea how long it takes an agent or publisher to work their way to one lowly manuscript lurking in that towering slush pile. Days? Months? Years?

For those agents/publishers who don't want to send rejections to the seething masses, how hard would it be to simply put a statement on the bottom of the submissions page of a website or in that lovely auto response e-mail -- "If you don't hear from us within (insert appropriate time frame), feel free to assume it is a rejection."

I'd appreciate that honesty.

Now, I'll let you get back to your W is for Wednesday as I prepare to type THE END on my W is for work in progress.

Have a good one!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

The end of summer...

...well, of summer camp, anyway. My boys were signed up for 3 weeks of day-camp. I did some spectacular writing (and some equally spectacular goofing off and am now twittering and playing eggbreaker on Facebook) for those three weeks. Now, I'm back to my summer schedule, but with a twist.

My hubby went back East to take care of his father while his mom is hospitalized. I have to say he is my hero...he took two of the kids and left me with the quiet 5 yo boy. It's been a great few days and is the first long-term one-on-one time I've spent with him in quite a while. Probably LONG overdue! We've been hanging out, heading off to a short soccer camp (with hot British guys!) and then swimming lessons. We're eating whatever we want, when we want to, and just being goofs. Amazingly, I've also been able to get in my daily writing stint (500 words or more) in the morning before he gets up and then after he goes to bed at night.

But believe me, I'm still counting down the days until August 10th when school starts again, and the true "end of summer" begins.

Hope you have a fantabulous day!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Storyteller's Creed

I stumbled across this today on another writer's blog and had to re-post it. It gave me the inspiration I needed today.

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge~
that myth is more potent than history~
that dreams are more powerful than facts~
that hope always triumphs over experience~
that laughter is the only cure for grief~

And I believe that love is stronger than death.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Random Thoughts

I'm supposed to be writing, but I'm goofing off. Since the boys are gone all day, I figure I can get my 1000 words in after lunch. So, I've been surfing the net, researching markets, reading blogs, and decided to bore you with some of my most recent activities.

It's hump day, the first of July, and I've been on my Atkins diet for a full week now (has it only been a week????). I've lost 7 pounds according to the scale today, now, the odd part of that is that the scale indicated that I'd lost a sum total of NOTHING yesterday. What gives with that? My hubby used the scale to weigh our suitcases for all of our recent trips and it was right on the money. So, why is it that I can weigh myself three times a day and each time the scale reads a different weight. No wonder losing weight is so depressing.

On the upside, the all protein and vegetable diet has resulted in a significant decrease in the heartburn I'd been suffering from the last six months or so. I'm almost convinced that I'm allergic to carbs...two weeks ago, even a piece of toast and a glass of water in the morning would set my tummy on fire. This week, my breakfasts have been three pieces of bacon -- no heartburn; two sausages and some veggies -- no heartburn; two hardboiled eggs and some fried onions - no heartburn. Yep, I'm doing the happy dance! I know that Atkins isn't sustainable for the long-term (been here, done this before), so, starting in August/September, I'll be switching the entire family to something more resembling the SouthBeach Diet (lots of yummy food, lots of cooking, too.). Since all the kids will be in school at least 1/2 day (two kindergartners and a high schooler), I'll have some time to devote to menu planning and cooking.

I'm also contemplating sending out my Christmas cards. I was so busy at the end of 2008 that I simply couldn't squeeze in another activity. Things have slowed down a bit since I mentally scheduled time off this summer, so this might be a good time to get those sent out. To date, I have 18 novellas available at various publishers. Two came out in June, and I have one more releasing in August from Lyrical Press. After that, I have nothing.

Now, that's not to say I don't have irons in the fire. I have one full-length book out for consideration to traditional publishers, so even if accepted, it might not be published until late next year to early 2011 (yikes). I still may end up submitting it to e-publishers and perhaps get it published in early 2010, but I'm hoping not to have to go that route. We'll see, though.

In the meantime, I meant to finish a few novellas before I jumped into another full-length novel, but the muse wasn't having any of that. I opened a story file that I'd put down almost two years ago. Loved the characters...and honestly, I thought it was "almost" finished. I started revising the first chapter and then read through to find out that although I thought it was "almost done", in reality, there was so much more to explore, more character arc to add, and the spooky factor to be stretched out enormously. So, I chopped off the last three chapters, revised the front, and am busy writing to the end. I'm loving the story, although I still have one character's arc to figure out. But she and I are "talking" and I think we'll have it figured out by the time the black moment arises. If not, we'll hash it out in the second draft.

Aging parents have also been a considerable worry the past month. My father suffers from Altzheimer's Disease and lives in a nursing home. My mom, though still in relatively good health, had a scare with her knees early in June and I had to rush home to care for her. I'd no sooner settled in back here at home when my husband got a call that his mother was in the hospital with a very scary case of endocarditis! She's out of the hospital proper now, but still confined to a convelescent home in order to have the skilled nursing she needs to recover. My father-in-law, who is not in the greatest of shape, is being cared for by various relatives, but my hubby and his siblings (thank goodness he isn't an only child like I am) are working out a schedule to go home to take care of him for the six weeks or so that my mother-in-law needs to recover.

Well, enough about me, what's new with you? Any random thoughts to share? Good news? I'd love to hear it!