Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shh! It's a Secret Blog Hop

Shh! It's a Secret! blog hop is hosted by Angela Felsted to help celebrate the relase of Poetry Pact 1.

Poetry Pact 1 is the result of a group of poets making a pact to write poetry every day, or every month, as they were able for a year. Here is the awesome list of contributors:
Angela Felsted (Author), Jessica Bell (Author), Jim Murdoch (Author), Laurel Garver (Author), Lydia Kang (Author), Madeline Sharples (Author), Richard Merrill (Author), Kerala Varma (Author), Glynis Smy (Author), Alaine Benard (Author), Artemis Grey (Author), Roslyn Ross (Author), Angie Ledbetter (Author), Caleb Mannan (Author), Emily Kruse (Author), February Grace (Author), Janice Marie Phelps (Author), J.R. McRae

All proceeds from the anthology will be donated to Direct Relief International, a charity which provides humanitarian aid all over the world. 

Each entry for the blog hop is supposed to showcase a secret pact, a close friend, or a close knit group that has helped through hard times. The blog hop runs from June 27th through June 29th.

I signed up, excited to support his group of amazing poets, and then realized I might not have a story to tell. Really. I don't keep secrets well. Ask anyone in my family, especially the weeks before Christmas. I can't be asked directly about specific present shopping because I will inadverntantly tell all without meaning to and thereby totally ruin the surprise of Christmas morning.

Then I thought about the second part . . . a close friend, or tight knit group that has helped me through hard times. . . hmm, I've got some great friends, close family members, and definitely had a few hard times.

I just went into a details about a few hard times a little while ago though, so I've decided to keep it a little light. I hope that's ok.

Who have I relied on the most, in all of my hard times? Jesus, my Savior.

What earthy guy have I leaned on more times than I can count? My hubby.

Who reads nearly everything I write? My mom and dad.

Who hears about all my writing ups and downs, encouraging me with great expecations? My hubby.

Years and years ago (like in the dark ages), when I was taking university classes, my parents didn't want me to major in creative writing. They wanted me to focus on the practical aspects of life. I went into teaching (English). However, they've read and applauded all of my writing that I've given them to read.

My boyfriend back then (now hubs) was always amazed at my writing, and kept telling me that he "knew" I would be successful novelist. (not "thought" but "knew!) He still says that! We've been married nearly 17 years now and I've produced three rough drafts, some published short stories and some published poetry. He still "knows" that I'm going to make it as a novelist. Wow!

An elementary school friend of mine (secretly sworn lifelong sister), has been a huge encouragement for my writing for 30 years. Again, I can't say I've fulfilled all of her expecations, but she keeps cheering me on at every turn.

A close friend I made just in the last five years asked me to recite some of my poetry in the midst of a gathering of friends from church. I nearly fell over in fright, but her excitement about my writing made a huge impact on me, especially since I was having a tough time believing in my writing dream at that very moment (she didn't know that).

So . . . who do you count on in the tough times in writing and life?

Do you have a pact with anyone to finish a writing project or goal?

No, go visit the poets from Poetry Pact 1, check out the blog hop, or go to Amazon and get Poetry Pact 1!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Road Trip!!!

(photo from here)
Road Trip !!!

My family and I are off on a much needed grand adventure!

With only 9 nights of hotel stays nailed down, and 14 days of driving ahead of us, we'll be making a few stops in the unknown. (This is wild for me, since I'm usually a mega planner for trips)

We're headed to a friends house first, then Arches, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas (where we'll be hanging out with friends who have a working farm outside the city), Anaheim, San Francisco, Redwoods, friends and family in Oregon, Portland's Powell's bookstore (largest bookstore in the world), and then home again.

I'll be here in the blog world for two events - the Shh! It's a secret blog hop and the Insecure Writers Support Group. I might post a few pics from our trip from the road, but I won't really be present more than two to three days in the blogsphere in the next few weeks.

I'll miss you all, but I need this break.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Five Ways to Deal with Distracting Characters

1. Give them five minutes of your time. Write about them, draw them, make them lists. Then set them aside.

2. Work them into your story. (I actually don't recommend this unless they really fit or your story is in the beginning stages.)

3. Daydream about them for five minutes and then let them go.

4. Ignore them and get back to work on your W.I.P.

5. Use them as a reward. Finish your daily word count goal for your W.I.P. and then give those distracting characters 5-20 minutes of your "after" writing time.

What do you think?
Which one of these methods do you use to deal with distracting characters?

100 Days of Revision, Day 53
I'm at the 28,066 word mark on my revision of Champion in the Darkness. The next few days will prove to be challenging due to an exciting, fun weekend, but I made myself a checklist/plan last night that I think will keep my revision writing going in the right direction.

How is your W.I.P. going? Making progress? Hit a wall? Need a checklist? 

Have a happy and blessed writing filled weekend!!!

Upcoming Blog Events

There are tons of good blog events going on every week these days, and it's hard to pick and choose.
I'll be participating in these three upcoming events:

Shh! It's a Secret Blog Hop hosted by Angela Felsted is a celebration for the relase of Poetry Pact 1 between June 27th and 29th.

Insecure Writers Support Group hosted by ninja captain Alex is a monthy event that gives us all a chance to vent our insecurities and encourage our fellow writers.

Hookers and Hangers hosted by Falling For Fiction is a blog hop contest of highlighting the first and last sentences of each chapter on July 16th and July 18th.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Distracting Characters 2 - Backstory for Captain Wrath

One of my biggest distractions these last three months (or is it more) is a space captain by the name of Captain Wrath. Only that's not his real name, because that's just a part he plays for Galaxy Cruise Lines. His real name is Captain Doug, and the whole reason he had to get a job with the cruise line is that he got kicked out of the Space Navy due to an incident with a Leprecharian . . .and I got to wondering just what happened (I didn't really know when I wrote the first story). So here's the start of that distracting story:

          It all started innocently enough, with a card game in the barracks during off hours. Doug was winning. His side of the table held a dozen credit cards, and a few watches. Doug loved card games. His Grandad, Commander Cranton the first, had taught him all the tricks before he even started standard school. He knew that some people felt that counting cards and reading player’s faces was tantamount to cheating, but he figured that if they all played to their fullest ability, then he shouldn’t have to hold back. Besides, it was easy. Any fool smart enough to make it into the Spacy Navy should be able to do it.

          Unfortunately, the Space Navy admitted even bigger fools, like Reynad from the Eutrope Moon Colony.

          As Doug won another game, sweeping up the cards from the table, Reynad stood up, and knocked the whole table onto Doug’s lap.

          “You’re cheating, Cranton, just like your Grandad!” shouted Reynad. He clenched his oversized fists in Doug’s face.

          Reynad’s buddies, Lewis and Zib, stood up to grab Reynad’s shoulders and hold him back.

          If Reynad had simply called Doug a cheater, he would have let it go. But Reynad had maligned Grandad. Doug stood slowly, put all of his winnings into his zipper pocket on the inside of his vest, and rolled up his shirt sleeves slowly. “Would you like to air your grievances outside, Reynad?” he asked quietly.

          “You bet I would!” shouted Reynad. He seemed to have only two volumes for his voice, oily and snobbish, or loud and boorish.

          “Would anyone care to wager on the outcome?” asked Doug, looking around the crowded barracks.

          “You’re going to bet on your own fight?” asked Wistar, his Elvanen friend, who stood taller and leaner than the rest.

          “Well, that would be cheating,” said Doug slowly, “so of course not.” He smiled at Reynad. “But if you,” now he looked at Wistar and their other friend Smith, “would like to place a wager on me, I’m sure you’ll get your money’s worth out of it.”

          Smith chuckled darkly. He always seemed to find grim humor in every situation. It had made him a fast friend in their first few days in Space Navy Scrub Camp.

          “I’ll place a bet,” said a high pitched voice.

          Doug, along with the rest of the barracks, peered around for the speaker. He didn’t recognize that voice.

          “Ahem,” said the voice. “Down here by your boot. No, don’t step on me now!”

          Doug finally saw the little man, dressed in a violent shade of green, standing by his right calf. “Who are you?” he asked curiously. “I don’t remember seeing you in our unit before.”

          “As if a leprechanarian could be a Space Navy Captain?” guffawed Reynad, insensitively.

          The little man drew up himself up proudly, sticking out his tiny chest. “The Leprechanarian Space Fleet is the finest in the Universe, and I am Captain Elwy Eurion Maddox of the Star Voyager.”

          “Sure, and I’m a fire breathing draconian if you’re the captain of anything larger than your silly hat,” Said Reynad.

          “That’s enough, Reynad,” said Doug. “Just because the man wants to bet against you, doesn’t mean he deserves an insult. In fact, I think he deserves commendation for having a sharp eye.” Doug reached down to shake Captain Elwy’s hand in his fingers.

          “Nice to make your acquaintance, Captain Elwy,” he said.
Obviously things will get worse from here because Doug eventually blames the Leprechanarians for losing his place in the Space Navy. In the far future - beyond the snippets I've written, I have a half-notated scene about an eventual peace between Doug and some of the Faerie Galaxy - and a reason they're in space. You see, the idea is that all the myths, faeries, etc were all space-faring races that visited Earth before we become space travelers in this quirky scifi fantasy.

100 Days of Revision, Day 50
 I changed a few little things again, and I think it's making the story stronger, it's just taking me longer to get it done. Here's a bit of dialogue between Clara and Stelia (one of her favorite teachers) on a trail away from Skycliff:

Stelia looked down at the sand path, strewn with dead sea grasses and tiny rocks. “That will depend on Sihrqayya’s plans, although I’m sure that if we are allowed to escape here, she will be waiting for us later, depending on how far we go from Septily.”

          “Does she normally set traps?”

          “She loves to play with her prey, once she sure she has them in her grasp. It is one of the trademarks of all the Dark Sisterhood. They enjoy inflicting pain on others.” Stelia’s stomach muscles clenched remembering old tortures, and the things she had done to avoid them.

So, what are you working on today?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Distracting Characters Spotlight - Gregori with an I

As many of you know I had a topsy turvy week last week, but I'm still writing every day.

In addition to the curveball moments of life, I've had tough time sticking with my 100 Days of Revision for Champion in the Darkness (formerly The Crystal Sword) because of distracting characters and story ideas.

Recently a kid named Gregori popped into my thoughts.  While making breakfast on Sunday (gluten free, corn free, dairy free, egg free breakfasts always seem to require cooking in my house), Gregori jumped into my head, and I thought I would share him with you.

It's kind of a long intro, and I'm definitely not sure where this is going, but he's my latest distracting character.

I’m not that kid. You know the one you’re thinking about when you think of books about an illegitimate kid with a parent that’s never around, the kid with superhero powers that’s the son of a human and the son of some myth. I’m not him. I’m just me. I don’t have powers, and I don’t save the world, but this story is about the one time when I made a difference in someone else’s life.

            Like that kid you’re thinking of, I had a few bully-enemies at my last school, and my math teacher seemed evil in the “I don’t care about you if you’re not a star soccer player for the school team” kind of way. My mom works hard at her job, and had a crappy boyfriend a few years ago.

We ditched him and public school the same year. I don’t know how my mom does it, but she works nights, and homeschools me in the mornings.

 In the afternoon while she sleeps, I go to my best friend’s house. Dennis and I go to the same homeschool co-op on Mondays with his mom, and we’re in the same karate class, three nights a week. We actually get some of our homeschool lessons done together, before we practice karate and play on his xbox. I usually make breakfast for dinner real late so my mom and I can eat dinner together. They say families that eat dinner together stay together, you know. I think breakfasts for dinner together are better than anything else.

So I’m not that kid that you’re thinking of from that mythical hero journey book series. I’m just me.  I’m Gregori Vaclav Schulz. My mom was interested in Christian martyrs when I was born, that’s how I got my name, and it’s definitely Gregori with an “I” and not a “y”, which gets me in trouble sometimes like it did the day this whole mess started.
Wednesday: A visit from Captain Wrath, another distracting character.

Friday: Dealing with the Distracting Characters

100 Days of Revision, Day 48 Update
The last week has been bad, bad, bad. I've barely worked through 250 words every few days. I'm totally distracted by life, other ideas, and the end of school, beginning of summer feeling. On the upside, I'm actually halfway there, and my halfway mark for the count down will be on Wednesday - so I'm ahead, sort of . . .

Do you have to deal with any distracting characters that don't belong in your current WIP?

How old do you think Gregori is?

And finally, do you have any exciting news to share? any summer plans?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Never Surrender 2

On Wednesday I posted my first post for this blogfest here
 but that was before Wednesday morning really got going . . .before all this:

By 9a.m. on Wednesday, I had learned that my Aunt Linda has passed away the night before, my youngest daughter came to me with a rash that looked like chicken pox, a cement truck had gone down on it's side in the low ditch-like space between our neighbor's driveway and ours, and a humor-filled party type atmosphere had taken up residence in the driveway area, with work crews laughing and snapping pictures, four tow trucks, coffee, folding stools to sit on, my parents watching the whole thing like a four ring circus, and my dogs keeping an eye on everyone.

I felt like someone had taken my normal life and tipped it on it's side, shaken it, and then set it back down again.

I had grief for my Aunt, while at the same time the joy knowing that she loved the Lord, and is far happier now in heaven than she has been feeling ill for the last few months.

I had worry for my daughter, with a fever and a bubbly red rash that popped and oozed.

I had this odd and somewhat funny spectacle in my driveway.

Neighbor's driveway, work crew with cameras, one of the tow trucks attempting to lift the cement truck is dug into their front yard with its front wheels off the ground.

This pic shows my parents with their camera, coffee, folding stools and the really big tow truck in the background in our shared driveway. The white blob in the trees on the right is the concrete truck on it's side. (And yes, these are my parents age 74 and nearly 71 who took a major motor scooter trip a month ago - oh and my Dad's hat is a "joke-fake-hair" hat.)

Life just kind of blew up in my face on Wednesday . . .and I had to keep moving to keep up with it.

My daughters and I had a goal of finishing our main homeschool lessons by Thursday, and despite chicken pox, fever, family loss, and a strange cement truck, we finished! (well, except for those pesky math exercises and journal entries I expect them to do over the summer)

Thoughts and emotions, words and prayers have swirled through me these last few days, but I just keep moving on. I hug my hubby. I cuddle my kids, have conversations, pray, write.

 I will never surrender to any kind of sorrow, grief, or worry that acts like a stop sign or a bottomless cliff. The joys of faith, life, and family are too full and fierce.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Loss in the Family, Not around today

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm not going to be around the blogsphere today, visiting, commenting, etc. My post that came up earlier was already pre-scheduled, and I forgot about it.

My Aunt Linda passed away last night, and I'm praying for my cousins, her sisters (inc. my mom) and others in our family. I know that she's with Jesus in heaven, laughing and smiling, but we'll miss her.

Never Surrender Blogfest

Never Surrender Blogfest is being hosted by Elana Johnson to celebrate her new book, Surrender. To participate, follow the link to sign up and post about a time you didn't give up between June 11-16.

I meant to choose a recent "never surrender" moment for this blogfest. However, due to an unexpected "find" of an old vhs video by my parents just a few days ago . . . I'm going to blog about something that is ancient history and very personal. I hope that's ok.

My parents found an old video of me singing in a solo recital in 1988, my junior year of high school. My mom remembers that recital with love and pride. I remember it with trepidation. I remember having practiced a song I loved over and over again, to go out on stage, having stage fright grab me by the throat, and then proceeding to sing the whole thing sharp and breathless (not a good kind of breathless, but the I can't get myself to pump volume through my throat kind of breathless).

So, they found the video on Friday, and I put off watching it until Monday. It turns out that I was right. I was sharp. I didn't get enough volume behind the words to the song until the end, which is supposed to be loud and powerful.

However, I have to say from a 24 year later perspective, I seriously rocked the red dress I wore that night. And I didn't look as frightened as I remember feeling.

Watching that old tape brought back a whole lot of memories - my junior year was one of the worst years of my life, even to this day. My mom was suicidally depressed. My grandmother who was like a second mom to me was moved (against her will) to my aunt's house for extra care. I ran into a guy that wouldn't take no for an answer, and after fighting, praying, screaming and swearing all at once for what seemed like an eternity of hell - help came. There were moments when I wasn't sure I could hold myself together, and one day I left school in the middle of an A.P. class and walked home. I didn't want to tell anyone what was happening. Rumors in my small town flew around, and my bullies had new names for me . . .

On the plus side, I conquered my usual stage fright that was multiplied by the shame of all that was going down in my life. I sang that solo, in that red dress, and I had a fun part in the spring school play that year as the Little Nun in The House of Blue Leaves. My friends cheered me on.

There were moments that year that I wanted to give up, to surrender to fear, depression, anger, and bitterness, but I kept on singing, and living, and loving my family and friends. I got help from a teen counselor, and I spent hours in prayer after school, and talked to God in a way that I felt I couldn't talk to anyone else - those weren't just quiet, head bowed kind of prayers, those were pounding the floor, crying, yelling kind of prayers followed by quieter prayers. I filled journals with my thoughts. I poured over my Bible, I went to a friend's youth group where I felt safe and loved, I found peace in choir class, just singing without thinking too much.

I still sing. I still pray. I still love. And I still refuse to surrender to fear, or bitterness.

Now I just have to get in good enough shape to rock a red dress again.

And here's one of my favorite worship songs, that I've sung as part of a praise team at my church . . . but this is a video of the Newsboys singing it:

Do you have a time when you refused to surrender?

Check out the Never Surrender blogfest and read more.

"Blessed is the man (or woman) who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12

"but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Monday, June 11, 2012

Standing Out!

In the last week I've come across three posts that reverberated with my own tug-of-war with

visibility vs. invisibility, camouflage vs. standing out.

Susan Roebuck wrote of her dislike of promotion here

 Jemi Fraser wrote about feeling invisible in her post Invisibility

Jennifer, a faith-filled missionary in South Africa, wrote a post about Camouflage

We each struggle with the opposite twin hopes: to be visible, and yet to be invisible, to be heard and yet to be safe, to stand out and yet protected by camouflage.

It depends on the day, doesn't it?  Or is that me?

When I was teen, I had moment when I wanted to fit in, when I wanted no one to notice me, when I wished I could be invisible. But those moments would only last for a moment, or a day, or maybe a few months . . .and then I would realize that I just stuck out like a sore thumb no matter how hard I tried to fit in with others. Then I would embrace my oddness and stand out on purpose. Then something would happen and I would wish for invisibility again.

Now I'm an adult, and a writer, and I still go through that same pendulum swing of wishing to be visible and then wishing to be camouflaged.

When I went to a writers' conference recently, I tried to dress comfortably, but also to dress in a way that didn't stand out. I just wanted to lay low.

Of course, when I got there, I realized that I didn't want to do that really, so I walked around, shook hands, and made conversation.

For years, and years, and years, I only told writing classmates, close friends and immediate family members that I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to camouflage my writing until it became amazing, awesome and famous.

Then about six years ago I decided that I wanted to get my writing out there, even if it wasn't awesome sauce. I started pursuing publication. I kept myself on a writing schedule, and kept myself accountable. Three years ago I started a blog - more accountability, more schedule, more standing out. A few years ago, I started talking about it with friends and acquaintances. (NaNoWriMo kind of forced that issue with that tough writing schedule).

It's true that I've been slammed a few times (like literally two times).

But the biggest truth about standing out and standing up for my dream of being a writer is that I have found:
tons of support,

amazing encouragement,

people who cheer me on,

and people who tell me to keep writing and keep dreaming.

So for all of you writers out there who feel like doing this:

I suggest you put down the camouflage and stand out instead like this:

It's worth it!
Be bold!

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7

Remember to check out those links I mentioned up above for Susan, Jemi, and Jennnifer!

Are you ready to stand out and stand up as a writer?

100 Days of Revision, Day 41
Had a few slow days over the weekend (part of June dance mom madness and knowing 5 grads this year), but I'm making slow but steady progress and am keeping up with weekly goals for revision.

Friday, June 8, 2012


All that insecurity I revealed on Wednesday came on a bad day in a bad moment that had nothing to do with all my awesome blogging buddies. You all rock!!!

In fact in the last two months I've received four awards! Four! It's pretty amazing. I've been very loved on and I appreciate it!

Tara Tyler of Tara Tyler Talks and Marcy of Maine Words gave me these sweet awards!
I would like to pass them both on to:
Allison at Geek Banter
and Laurel of Laurel's Leaves
and Nate Wilson of Sometimes the Wheel is on Fire

The Golden Eagle of The Eagle's Aerial Perspective gave me this award, and I really appreciate it since I often feel like my comments are lacking at times . . .so this award is super encouraging!
I would like to pass it on to all of you who stop by and comment, but I would like to pass it on especially to:
L. G. Smith of Bards and Prophets
and Joy of It's a Joy!

I've received this award before, but the awesome Geek Twins gave it to  me again back in April. (I'm really behind on my awards) The Liebster Blog Award goes to blogs with less than 300 followers.
I would like to give this award to:
and Joanne of 10 Minutes 2 Breathe

Go visit these awesome bloggers, have a beautiful, wonder-filled weekend, and keep writing!!!
And Many, Many Thanks to all of you for Encouraging me in this blogging and writing journey.

100 Days of Revision, Day 39
Wednesday I made huge progress in the evening, yesterday I wrote notes in margins. Today . . . I plan on working with 1,000 words.

And, in blogging and publishing news:
You can win a copy of Poetry Pact Volume 1 from Laurel's Leaves and take part in a blog hop with awesome giveaways to celebrate the release of Poetry Pact Volume 1 hosted by Angela Felsted

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It’s that time of month . . .when we examine how insecurity and exhaustion roll over us like waves on a rocky, stubborn shore.

A month ago, I felt truly zestful after the finish of A to Z, and I really didn’t know what to write about for IWSG, except for the fact that I felt encouraged by others and I wanted to go out and encourage more bloggers.

Since then, a rising tide of  blogging insecurities made me want to just bury my head under my laptop, and turn off the internet connection to the world.

My blog is kind of a mess. It’s random. I live on West coast time. I don’t visit other bloggers enough, and when I do, my comments suck. I don’t blog meaningfully enough. I don’t give any amazing advice, or tips for writing, or . . .enough of whatever makes an awesome blog. I’ve been blogging for three years, and I still have yet to master some of the blogging technical basics. What am I thinking, blogging? I started this thing with no research, background, or even knowledge of blog or web platforms, and just started winging it. I still feel like that’s what I do most of the time. My google reader list is totally unorganized and I can barely keep track of posts that I have read, want to read, or blogs that I haven’t visited in far too long. I get too distracted. I’m just not good enough at this blogging thing, I can’t seem to keep up . . .and well, what really makes me feel insecure about blogging is that I just don’t feel like I’m good enough at any of it.
Do you ever feel like that?

And what do you cling to when you feel pounded by a storm of waves?

 Join in on the fun of sharing your deepest, most painful writing insecurities and helping others see past their own. Go to Ninja Captain Alex's latest host post for ISWG here.

BTW - when those waves of insecurities hit me, I just pray, and keep writing anyway.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Writers Conference

In the last few years I've realized that I have focused on meeting writers online, and I haven't spent much time meeting writers in my every day "real" life. I know a handful of teen writers thanks to my experiences of teaching at our homeschool co-op, but I was the teacher . . .so I didn't feel like I could completely "let my hair down" and just share my writing too.

Encouraged by posts about awesome writing groups and conference experiences, I spent a few minutes in a quick search online for writers' groups in my area.I came across the "Writing and Publishing in the Harbor" Writers Conference hosted by my local library branch for free.

The morning I went I felt nervous. Was I prepared? Should I bring some of my writing with me? What clothes should I wear?

In a last minute decision for casual comfort, rebellion, and with some acknowledgement that most Washingtonians are casual too, I wore jeans, a sleeveless running shirt, a windbreaker nike jacket, and my keens (sporty sandal for water activities). I didn't bring a sample of my writing, and I didn't bring my laptop, just a few notebooks and a handful of pens.

I wasn't really dressed to impress, but I had decided to lay low and just check things out.

When I got there, it seemed that most of the other writers felt similarly about fashion choices, except for a few of the presenters, and a small handful of people who chose slacks and nice shirts. Whew! First obstacle down. I didn't stand out. (yes, there are stories behind that last statement - someday I'll tell them)

Hosted by a dozen local authors, the owner of the local bookstore who supports local authors, a professional editor/librarian and the library, it turned out to be an interesting and educational event. Most of the authors presenting were published through small presses, and one author/editor there owns and operates a local small press. A YA history mystery writer represented self-publishing, and another YA author represented the traditional publishing side of the market. There were two presentations, and several breakout sessions, plus time during lunch to just meet and greet other authors and presenters.

I met a wonderful lady who is writing her memoirs,  a teen who kept his writing close to his vest (he never said what he wrote), a friend from a local community theatre group that I didn't know was a writer (we seriously need to talk more), and a few other ladies who write fantasy and science fiction. I felt like I had struck it rich . . .it was so good to talk to other writers like me, live, in person, who are writing and striving for publication.

I didn't come out of the conference with a ready-to-go writing group, and I didn't come out of it with a book contract.

I did come out of it with a renewed sense of purpose, accomplishment, and encouragement.

I can finish my novel, and write the next one, and the next. I think I can even find a local writers' group, or start one, if I just stick with it.

As for publishing, I am beginning to think that my book is more suited for the e-book and p.o.d. market. Well, scratch that. I've been thinking that might be the case for a while now, and some of the statements made at this conference confirmed it for me.

So have you been to any writers' conferences lately?

Are you part of a writing group?

BTW, I love all my online writing blogging friends very much, and you have all helped me in my writing journey immensely!!! I just felt a need to get out and meet some writers face to face.

100 Days of Revision, Day 35
Had a few slow days over the weekend, a little frustrated by a "slow" chapter that I can't seem to make more lively, but I'm moving forward today with a few marks left on those pages for later.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wise and Beautiful Editors Who Say YES!

Yes is an awesome word!
Of course editors who say yes, often say it with a few more words like, "we would like to include your story/poem _ in our upcoming anthology/magazine." Those are very beautiful words for a writer to read.

So, what else is there to say? Yes is self explanatory, right?

Well . . .usually I've found that "Yes" from an editorial team usually comes with qualifiers like, "we would like to publish your work, however we would like you to make the following changes . . ."

Editors, as I hinted at in my last post "Wise and Beautiful Editors Who Say No?", are the managers of quality control for their publications. They want to have every line of a poem, every word in a story, and every page in a book be just right. They keep us from embarassing ourselves with misplaced commas, and ask us to replace awkward wordings with vibrant ones.

On three occassions I've had editors say yes without qualifiers, and all three times I regretted not having more feedback when I saw the finished product in print.

Editing can bring a piece of writing from ok to awesome.

What kind of experience have you had with editors and editing?

100 Days of Revision Update, Day 31
In the last thirty days I haven't hit my revision goals on a daily basis, but for the month I'm exactly where I want to be, just under the halfway mark through my novel. I have much, much more work to do just on my own, and then I'll read it aloud and go through it again before August 10th.

My youngest daughter, age 10 (soon 11), has been an invaluable asset. I think she may be an editor in training. She's very good at finding errors in my writing, and even in books she reads that have been published. Have a typo? She'll find it. Have a character doing something out of character? She'll point it out. The last few days during our state testing (a requirement for homeschoolers in our state), she lamented that the reading comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling tests were all way too easy. I know this all sounds like an incredible brag, so just to keep me humble, she hated the math section all the way through . . .we probably need to lessen our reading time and up our math time at home.

My oldest daughter also thought reading comprehension was easy, but felt suprised that she thought the science section too simple . . .she wondered how anyone could not know which birds are more likely to eat nectar out of a list that included parrots, robins and hummingbirds. She has no interest in editing, but she wants to create a video game for my book when it's finished.

So, my revision is going good so far, and my kids rock!