Saturday, November 19, 2011

Guest Blogger-Pamela S. Meyers



Hi Everyone,

Today I like to welcome guest blogger Pamela S. Meyers!

I’m excited to have Pamela stop by my blog today. She is going to answer some questions for us about her new release, Thyme for Love and give some insights into her writing life.

Give us a little preview of Thyme for Love.

April Love has always dreamed of being a chef. When her Aunt Kitty hears of a in-house chef position for a non-profit organization housed in a lakeshore mansion next door, April returns to Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, where she’d spent many summers growing up, to apply for the job. When she discovers her former fiancĂ© Marc Thorne working there, she wonders if this position was really God’s intention for her. After all, Marc all but left her standing at the altar to chase his own dreams in California. It doesn’t take long to realize Marc is hiding secrets and despite returning feelings for the man, April determines she will not make the same mistake as she did eight years earlier. But when their boss is found dead and Marc is framed for his murder, April has no choice but to turn sleuth to keep Marc from being accused of a murder he didn’t commit.


 What made you want to write this book?

I’ve always loved romance and mysteries, and decided to write a story that married the two elements together. I grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and have always been fascinated by the many 20th Century mansions that dot the lake’s shoreline. I toyed with the idea of setting the story in one of those homes, but decided to create a smaller lake and village just to the east of Lake Geneva to gain more freedom with some of the details of the story and its characters. I loved having the area located close enough to Lake Geneva that April and Marc could go there for a meal at one of the actual restaurants there. I also gave them backgrounds that involve working on Geneva Lake as many college students do during the summer months.



Have you always wanted to be a writer?

In one way or another I’ve always written almost since I could hold a pencil. When I was eight years old I asked for a diary for Christmas and I wrote in it at different times of my childhood. I still have that little book and it contains bits and pieces of my life from age eight until sometime in high school. Even into my adult years I’d journal from time to time, but never thought of turning that “need” to put words to paper into a career until years later. While completing my bachelor’s through an accelerated adult program, one of my professors suggested I could make a living writing. I published several magazine articles, but as the hankering to write stories grew stronger, I began taking fiction writing classes. At a local writer’s conference a multipublished author suggested I could turn one of my short stories into a novel. That was all I needed to hear. I soon joined American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) while the organization was in its infancy and through their writing courses and conferences I continued to grow in the craft.



Have you written other novels besides Thyme for Love?

Oh yes. My first novel which I would classify as a women’s fiction languishes in my computer at the moment. Authors very seldom publish their first written work as that often turns out to be a practice project. The storyline still resonates with me and I’d love to one day pull it out and rework it. There are a couple other stories that will probably never see the light of day. I’m very excited to have a novel set in my hometown of Lake Geneva, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, coming out in June 2012 from Summerside Press. It’s a 1933 historical romance, and I had a blast researching for the story.


Do you have any plans for a sequel to Thyme for Love?

I’m so glad you asked. Thyme for Love is part of a three-book series called “On the Road to Love.” Books 2 and 3 involved April and Marc, and both are set in Canoga Lake. In Book 2, Love Will Find a Way, April moves into an old Victorian home with plans to turn it into a restaurant and catering business. It isn’t long before a discovery made while they are renovating the home threatens to hijack plans for the grand opening. In Book three, Love’s Reward, April and Marc’s wedding plans are in full swing, until it becomes apparent there is someone who doesn’t want them to marry.


How do you get your story ideas?

There’s an old adage to write what you know. I might add to that, to always keep your eyes and ears open for a possible story line. That first novel I wrote was sparked by something someone said to me when she showed me a picture of my great-grandfather’s grave. My Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin story grew out of wanting to know the history behind the beautiful lakeshore recreational building that has become an icon of the area. Just today a newspaper article sparked an idea I’d like to develop into a proposal.


What is your daily writing routine?

My best writing time is morning, but I’ve had to make myself work outside the box at times when that kind of schedule doesn’t work. Since I am a morning person, I find it best to set my alarm as if I’m going to work. I get up at 5:30 and spend at least an hour in my Quiet Time with God. Then I try to walk daily for exercise before settling down in my home office to write. I recently converted unused space in my dining are into an office and that has helped tremendously with getting the sense of “going to work.” This helps me stay on task. Too many years actually working Monday through Friday probably contributes to that. On days I have an obligation away from home in the morning, I have had to force myself to be creative in the afternoon and early evening. I think as I start working on deadlines more and more that’s going to be essential.



What advice do you have for new authors?

Persevere, persevere, and persevere. I started out aspiring to be published in novel writing more than ten years ago. I had the raw ability and desire to write, but that skill had to be trained and honed, much like a young colt has to be trained. I have learned that writers need to develop what we jokingly refer to as rhino skin and also we need a positive teachable attitude. Join critique groups, take writing courses, attend writing conferences where great teaching occurs and you’ll have opportunities to meet with industry professionals and pitch to editors and agents. ACFW has a great yearly conference ever September that is for fiction writers only. I cannot tout ACFW enough. It is a must organization to join for anyone who writes fiction from a Christian point of view.



When you aren’t writing, what fills your days?

I volunteer at my church in the multicultural ministry, helping Japanese women learn to speak English and lead a women’s small group Bible study. I’m also chapter president of my local ACFW chapter which meets monthly. Also, I enjoy reading (surprise, surprise) and movies. Love to cook and find new ways of making things. You’ll find an adaptation of a recipe someone gave me called Chicken George at the back of Thyme for Love. I loved having April prepare it in the novel, and look forward to experimenting with more recipes for the sequels.



I hope you visit Pamela at http://www.pamelasmeyers.com/ to learn more about her books.



Pam, wishing you good luck with your release and thank you for stopping by.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Describe this!

Here is a picture of a beautful example of fall. Or at least I think so. It's a tree in the corner of a parking lot at USD. I get to see it every day and thought I'd share it and give any one who wants to a fun writing assignment:

Describe this treein one sentence without using the color RED in the description!

Here are a couple that I came up with.

The tree's leaves blazed like a sunset across the horizon.

The fall sun and shape of the tree turned the leaves into a flaming torch brigtening the crisp fall day.


Okay...I didn't say there were good! Your turn!

PS My blog won't let me make comments anymore so until I figure that out...sorry I can't comment back.

Rose

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

OCNOWRIMO....

Yep, I changed the name from NaNoWriMo to OcNoWriMo since I wrote and finished the rough draft of the third book in my series in October. October was my MONTH to write a book in month.

So, I started on the first of October and finished on October 31st and logged 44,500 words on my novel. Now, I know November is designated for 50K but since that is the maximum amount of words for the publisher I write for I shot for 45K so when I revise I have wiggle room!

I tried for a 1000 words a day and most days I hit that number and then some. I did write everyday too and of course, logged more words on the weekends. So, I averaged about 1300 words per day.

Since I do have a day job, there were days that I really didn't want to write but did anyway. There were nights I stayed up later than my normal bedtime to reach my word count goals.

I played "tricks" on the weekend to increase my word count goal. If I could write a 1000 words in one hour, I could stop and do something fun or relaxing for an hour, then I repeated and it worked!

Good luck to all the writer's out there participating in NaNoWriMo this month, I hope you reach your word count goals and end up with a rough draft that ready's to polish into a book!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

They changed their minds!

So, lots has been going on for this writer with a day job since I last posted!

My publisher had a change of heart and decided to extend the Heartsong Presents line for six months longer. Now, that isn't good news to aspring writers but it was GREAT news for me and few other writer's who had one or two books of a three book series published with them because now....THEY ARE CONTRACTING US!

At the ACFW conference in September, they contacted their authors to let them know this. Since that time, I've signed contracts for both the second and third books and submitted the full on of the second book, Job's Tears.

Now, I'm busy writing the third book in the series, Rose of Sharon because I have very tight deadlines...this book is due on December 1st and I didn't have one word written on this manuscript when I received notice they'd be acquiring books two and three.

So far, I've written 21,000 words so half way there and I try to go back through the manuscript on the weekends and edit, so that will help cut my revision time.

AND I promise to be more proactive here, although I've decided I won't be making daily posts anymore and I do want to get back to tips and exercises for writer's with a day job!

Speaking of which....it's time to go!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just when you think you've made it....

your publisher closes the book line that you were writng for! Sigh. Not only am I bummed that I pitched Lily of the Field as a three book series but I had other series books planned to propose to this publisher. So....back to the old drawing board for me.

I have the second book written and because, I'd corresponded with my editor and it looked like all systems go for the second book....it was polished and ready for send off. Then came the closing announcement and my editor lost her job. BIGGER SIGH. Right now I'm glad that I hadn't started the third book because I'm very doubltful that another publisher will want to pick up the last two books in a series started by another publisher.

Can I rework any of my ideas to propose to another publisher? Sure and I will but since Heartsong Presents were shorter word count and my next series idea was historical I'll have to rework the plot or add a subplot to get the books long enough. OR if Barbour opens up submissions for four in one novella's again...I'll have pare down the plot and think of another story idea to pitch.

So, if any of you writers or readers thought the name of this blog was self-defeating....this new twist in the inspirational publishing world just reiterates why until you're very established...don't quit the day job!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Word Count Wednesday!

I have no word count for April, YET!!!

And I haven't forgotten about my blog either...life is getting in the way and I'm using my free time to work on my writing or the business of my writing!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Word Count Wednesday!

I have 838 words for March! I finally have a rough draft of a short story that I'm targeting at Woman's World magazine.

Sorry about the brief blog hiatis...I'd like to say I have to meet a deadline but really my sinus/allergies are giving me fits!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taking Care of Business

Aw...the business side of writing....sometimes I think it's more stressful than actually getting an idea down on paper and into a publishable piece.

I can handle recording the income verses expenses but I get very tired of the follow up on submissions. That is what I've been doing this week. Calculating submission time, rechecking the publishers listed response time in their guidelines and resubmitting.

I thought that maybe in this electronic day and age, this set of publishing would go away but....I was wrong.

And because I've gained acceptances by following up on submissions, I know it's time well spent so tired or not, I forge on....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

Is the same as last week.....sadly.....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Poll

Do you own a Nook or a Kindle?

If so, do you like it?

Monday, March 21, 2011

A First!

Today, I received a packet from my publishing house. It contained copies of a newsletter with my interview in it. I'd actually forgotten that I'd filled out that interview questioner!

It had one feedback form from the back of the book. I'd hoped for more as in the "give aways" I made had a note asking people to please complete and return them. Although one person that won a book did post a GREAT review on Goodreads.com.

AND the biggie....a note from a fan....YEP...I received my first fan mail!!!! It's a cute note card that I will cherish forever!

So, if you read a book and really enjoy it, drop the author a line. They really do appreciate it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fun Friday!

Here's a St. Patrick's Day version of hangman. I almost like losing to hear that starcastic skelton!

http://www.dedge.com/stpatricks/

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Revelation

I judged seven contest entries and came to the revelation why most publishers only want agented submissions.

Out of seven contest entries, one was ready for submission, one needed just a tiny bit more polishing, three were average. The writer's were on the right track but needed to hone their craft more. Two were below average.

Now imagine if all of them were submitted to a busy editor. Yep, an agent is their buffer. If these manuscripts were submitted an agent, only two of the seven would be accepted for representation by an agent and then  submitted to an editor, thus reducing the slush pile.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

I've written 160 words on a short story. Not much but it's a start!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cautions

Here are a  few things I'm running across as I judge these contests entries. These are just reminders for any type of submission.

If you are refering to a famous author, spell their last name correctly.

Real people may stammer but on the written page is hard to read and very distracting...so is dropping the 'g' on words ending in "ing".

The grade/high school teaching occupation is overused...There are other types of teachers. Instructors teach the harp, hobbies, GED's, or a job trainer in a corporate firm. Be creative with occupations, didn't we all love Sandra Bullock as a ticket taker and Bill Pullman as a mover/furniture maker in While You Were Sleeping?

Readers don't want to know that the character turned off their car, opened their car door, turned in the seat, exited the car, stepped on the pavement, took fifteen steps to the store...Now your reader has stopped reading.

And writer's REALLY don't want readers to stop reading their work, especially if it's an editor!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Courage

As I judge these contests entries I'm reminded of how much courage it takes to be a writer.  It doesn't matter what level you're on in your career, it takes courage to put your work and yourself out there.

Rejection is inevitable and it takes courage to stick the manuscript into another envelope or attach it to an email and send it out into the publishing world.

Rejection is more than 'sorry this isn't right for us'. It's the bad review your debut book receives on an on-line retailer. It's the booksigning where customer's won't make eye contact with you. It's finding a returned contest entry, that you sent off with high hopes, that didn't make it through the first round of judging.

Writer's, they are the most courageous people I know!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fun Friday

This blogs been celebrating all week and giving away TONS of prizes including ereaders!

http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/beyondherbook/

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Word Count Wednesday....

is pre-empted because I agree to be a first round judge in a contest. I have seven first chapters to review by the end of March. I'm really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring Has Arrived!

Even though we are still receving snow and ice, I know that spring has arrived. How? The signs are here. Although I've yet to see a robin, another sign arrived in my email inbox...the announcement of a spring writer's conference!

So, now it's decision time, which conferences should I attend? Which ones do I want to attend? How many will my budget allow? Do I need to get working on a submission for any of the conferences I decide to attend? Will the conferences give forward movement to my writing career?

Just a few things to consider as I plot my conference plan of action.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Book or Movie

So I watched a movie based on a best selling novel this weekend and I'm thinking....the book HAD to be better because the movie, IMO was lousy. However, I've never read the book. Thank goodness, my sister has both read the book and seen the movie and she assures that the book is MUCH better than the movie.

Now, there are many books turned into movies that I enjoy. The various versions of Little Women on film have done the book justice. Yet, I like The Wizard of Oz movie better than the book. However, the book Holes was better than the movie for me, but that movie wasn't bad by any means.

What do you think on books verse movie?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

So far, I'm at zero for the month.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

MARCH!

Can you believe it? In 30 more days a quarter of the year is up! So, that means that I have 30 more days to make sure I'm heading in the right direction to meet my yearly goals by the end of 2011. I can tell you that means more disipline on my end. No more wasting valuable writing time.

Although I feel that I haven't made much progress with my writing career so far this year, I actually have. AND that's why it's so important to set monthly goals, keep track of your monthly activity and REVIEW it. Where I haven't met some of my goals, I have queried a couple of agents and received a request for a full proposal and I worked with three other writers and submitted a proposal for a novella collection. Not to mention I've done some marketing for my book that released in January.

So if you feel like you're spinning your wheels write down some of the things that you have accomplished since January 1st and you may be surprised just how much progress you've made!


PS Monday's post was pre-empted by a stage production of the Wizard of Oz. The perfect event for this writer to recharge her batteries.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fun Friday

Here's a quote that all writer's need to keep mind:



What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure. ~ Samuel Johnson

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Phone Interview

Tonight a friend of mine will be doing a phone interview with me for an article in a local magazine. Since, I don't know the questions in advance, I hope I can come up with good answers off the cuff! I have my cell phone charged, so that shouldn't be a problem. We're talking about my new book and she's read it so that shouldn't be a problem either. Yet....

I've been interviewed before for newspaper articles and have always been pleased with the end result, as I'm sure I will be this time, however, I do know other writer's who's printed interview doesn't have correct quotes or information about their book. Now, is it the writer's fault or was the article parred down due to column constraints in the newspaper?

Have any of you ever been interviewed and quoted wrong?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

Well, you all know that I've taking away words this month, paring down a single spaced chapter by chapter synopsis into a six page double spaced synopsis...so my negative word count total is 1600.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Contemporary or Historical

I write contemporary romances as well as children's stories. However, historical romances are a big market and many award winning YA novels are historical.

So readers and writers, I'm wondering what is your favorite? On a whole, I read more contemporary but depending on the era I do read historicals. Yet when I get a book or story idea, they are contemporary in setting.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Proposal Off

I did meet my self-imposed deadline for the proposal packet that the interested agent requested. I mailed it priority on Saturday so hopefully she'll have it tomorrow. But then...how long will it take for her to review and decide? Thirty days? Sixty days? THAT little bit of info is never in the submission instructions.

To pass the time I've decided that I should be polishing up a proposal and three chapters of another book that I have sitting in my computer files that I listed in my cover to show the agent that I have other book ideas in the works. So, in the event that she'd want to see it...I want to have it ready to go! The market I'm targeting for this book, only takes agented submissions, which is one reason I'm looking for agent.

So many writer's on the fence about having an agent. Recently, a writer asked me why I needed an agent because I seem to be doing well on my own. But then I explained that most publishing houses are closed to unsolitcited manuscripts and she could see my point. So that's why this year I'm really focusing on finding an agent.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun Friday

Today I'm linking you to a contest a writer is having in honor of her debut romance novel. Although time is running out, I know avid readers and romance fans might still want to get in on this!

http://www.thesullivanranch.com/   and click on contest. Tina Radcliff is really giving away a lovely prize!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Book Signing Aftermath

So, as the week trickles to an end, I'm finding out more good news about my books sale from the book sigining in Sioux Falls. Remember, I only left three signed books for the stores stock. Well I know that someone called on Monday to order one (or possibly more) because she asked a friend in common to forward the email on. Then my friend who lives in Sioux Falls tells me that because of her word of mouth promotion, someone she knows went and purchased a book....that wasn't signed! Yep, she saw the book and no signature which means, the store has restocked my books and the signed copies were gone by Tuesday! Yay! Not only is it good for me but the store too!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

Since I'm trying to par down a single spaced chapter by chapter synopsis into a six page double spaced synopsis, my word count is dropping rather than increasing!

So, today I thought I'd share another picture of the book signing. The lovely ladies beside me are Mary Connealy and Erica Vetsch.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Book Signing Success

All writer's have heard horror stories about book signing's gone bad. No one shows up. Everyone avoids making eye contact with you as you sit behind a pile of books, store employees are rude...well not at mine! Mary Connealy, Erica Vetsch, Sue Schmidt and I had an excellant turn out for our combined signing and we all did very well selling books. As a matter of fact, I only had three Lily of the Field books and one Wealth In Biblical Times book left on my table when the signing was finished. True, I had a lot of friends show up and purchase multiple copies but I'd say half of my sales went to new readers or people buying gifts.

What are some lessons learned? Tell people about your book. I know one lady purchased it because it was a romance featuring older characters. Two people bought it for gifts because of the quilting theme. One person purchased it because she was looking for books with settings in South Dakota. At first glance at my book, none of these people would have known those small facts that were very important to them as a buyer.

The bookstore, Crossroads in Sioux Falls, SD, and their staff go out of their way making authors feel special and supported which helps to make book signings at their establish a success.

This week I'll share a few pictures with you of my signing. The first one is my table..the only things I added to this table was the quilt block and the dish of candy. The rest of the items the store assembled for me. You can see why I said they were a pleasure to work with!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Signing Reminder

Rose Zediker, Erica Vetsch and Mary Connealy will be doing a signing


February 12th

at

Crossroads Book and Gift

3900 Westport Ave.

Sioux Falls SD

Phone: 605-338-5951

from 1- 3 pm

If you would like a signed book and you can't get to Sioux Falls phone:

Crossroads Book and Gift

605-338-5951

and the lovely people there will be glad to take your money and arrange to have the book signed and shipped

Fun Friday

This is the Lily of the Field quilt block pattern I describe in my book. My aunt made this for me!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

Remember last week when I reported ZILCH...it's worse this week. My word count is actually going negative!

How? I'm paring down a single spaced chapter by chapter synopsis (that the publisher wanted) to a five page double spaced over all synopsis of the story for the agent submission.

Consquently, I'm not keeping track of the word count I'm cutting....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Novel Retreata for YA/Middle grade authors

I'm interrupting my normal ramblings to post this information for my good writing friend, Nancy Wagner. She puts together great writing retreats and below is the information for the one she's putting together this year. If you are interested contact Nancy at nlsharpwriter at yahoo dot com.

********
Hi, Rose,


I know it has been awhile since you've heard from me regarding the Retreats, and I have no excuse except to say that I have been busy with 1--the planning of my second son's wedding, 2--helping with scholarship applications and college planning for my senior girl and 3--putting the finishing touches on the Retreats for Middle-Grade and YA novelists that will be held in 2011 and 2012.

My focus for this new set of retreats is "Where? Where does my work fit in the literary world and where will it find a home (hopefully sooner rather than later)?" Therefore, in this set of Retreats, there will be a strong emphasis on what is being published in the middle-grade and YA market at the present time and how do we, as writers, select an agent to represent our work to this market.

My hope is that by studying not only today's middle-grade and YA market but the body of work represented by the agents that attend Retreat 3, and by having the opportunity to discuss our writing with not one, but two of those agents, we will all leave with a better understanding of where our own personal writing style fits into today's market and what type of agent we want (or do not want) to guide us in our careers.

I am going to run the retreats in the summer and winter, rather than the fall and spring, so they don't interfere with regional SCBWI conferences (hopefully), or the National SCBWI Conferences. The first retreat will be held from Wednesday, June 22 to Friday, June 24, 2011, and will focus the plotting and writing the first draft of our novels. The second Retreat will be held on Friday, February 17-Sunday, February 19, 2012, and its focus will be revision of our novels. The final retreat will be Wednesday, June 20 - Friday, June 22 and it will focus on marketing our novels to agents.

There will not be any formal speakers for Retreats 1 and 2, although there will be some preparatory work to do before each of those retreats, as there was in the past, to prepare us for our time together. At the actual Retreats, there will be small and large group discussions regarding the work we have done between Retreats, as well as lots of time for actual writing. Retreat 3 will have 2, 3, or 4 agents, depending upon the number of participants who register for the series, and will give you the opportunity to have your submission packet reviewed by two of the agents in attendance.

I will run this series of retreats with a minimum of 8 folks (including me) and a maximum number of 24. The price per retreat is $600, and the last day to register and pay for Retreat #1 is May 1, 2011. But, if you want me to hold you a spot, I will take $300 as a down payment at any time before that, and then you can send me the other $300 by May 1.

This price per retreat includes a private room at each retreat, 6 meals (2 dinners, 2 lunches, and 2 breakfasts) at each retreat, and a critique of your submission packet at Retreat #3 by 2 different agents. All participants must register and plan on attending all 3 Retreats, but folks will pay for each retreat individually, about a month or two before each retreat is to be held.

If I do not get at least 7 other folks to register for the YA and Middle-Grade Novel Writing Series by May 1, then the Series will be canceled and you will get a full refund of the money you have paid. If you have to cancel but the Retreats are not canceled, I will refund you all but $180 of your registration fee (10% of the total $1800).

I hope that you can join us for this "novel" journey. I truly believe that it will be a life-changing event and will help all of us move our writing careers to that next level! And if you know of ANYONE you think might be interested in joining us for this adventure--PLEASE. Spread the word!! The more, the merrier (at least until we hit the magic number of 24!!)

Nancy, aka N. L. Sharp

Monday, February 7, 2011

Agent Query Success!

Early yesterday evening one of the agents I queried in December replied that they'd like to see a full proposal of what I hope is the second book following Lily of the Field! I say that with exclamation because that means my query letter and short paragraph synopsis is effective as well as the writing sample that I sent. Now, I had an agents interest with the first book, but interest is as far as the submission went so I'm hoping with the publication of Lily of the Field, it helps me acquire an agent.

I'm not only telling you this because it's exciting (to me!) but because this is a prime example of how you must be flexible with your writing goals. Preparing a 5-6 page synopsis of Job's Tears wasn't on my list of goals to accomplish this month. Neither was a marketing plan, a bio with the qualifications that I have to write this book or a synopsis of the next book in the series. BUT now, they are my goals.

Thank goodness, I have the first three chapters written and polished!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Writing Ideas

Most writer's will be asked at one time or another where they get their writing ideas. My answer is from the world around me and today that statement couldn't be more true.

A ground blizzard closed I29 between Watertown, SD and the North Dakota border stranding motorist from Wednesday night until rescue workers could get to them today. First, let me say that would be a horrible experience since the temperatures were well below the zero mark with life threatening wind chills but the writer in me is saying...what if....

What if two estranged siblings were traveling to a sick parents house and became stranded...would they settle their differences as they huddled together praying they didn't freeze to death?

What if a mother was traveling alone with her children, was she prepared? Will her children starve?

What lengths will a rescue worker take to save an elderly gentlement?

There are thousands more scenario's.....go ahead and list one that you came up with!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

Zero, nilch, nada.....

Oops...

I missed my Tuesday blog and I have excuses! Want to hear them?

I started a new job and it requires me to leave my house a half hour earlier and I get home a half hour later.

The weather was made getting to that new job a worry (I made it fine).

My Mifi died and by the time it was charged back up...I was getting ready for bed.

Now, those excuses are all true and I'm listing them, not to get me off the hook for not blogging but illustate how easily it is to get off the track even with the best of intentions. I know it sounds like I harp on time management but it is fundamental to a writer who works a day job and something that THIS writer will have to work harder on now her day job hours are different.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Author Talk

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to spend some time with like minded career people, in other words, writers! Though our group was small, only three, we had a great talk. One writer, I know from children's writing, then other I'd just met.

During the course of conversation, both women said that they were pleased to see that my romance novel was aimed at an older audience. A herione that they could relate too! And because most romance lines are aimed at younger women, these writer's seldom read romances because of this.

Now the publisher I write for knows their demographic includes mature women and that's why you'll find a variety of ages in their books.

As writer's, we should, also know the demographic of the readers of the line that we are targeting with our submissions. If this is not something you've considered, you should!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fun Friday

Here is a link to a Valentine Hangman game....

http://www.dedge.com/valentines/

Turn your speakers up to listen to the hangman's smack talk while you play!

Have fun!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh That Synopsis

I know why the word "dreaded" usually precedes synopsis in most writer's conversations. It is hard to pare down a 60,000 word story into a three page synopsis and still make it interesting enough to convince an editor to buy your book.

I have about 2/3rds of my third page left to go and I still haven't reached the climax of the story. Now, it's easy to wrap up the ending in about two lines in a romance...they work out their differences and begin a new life together so I'm not worried about that. I just need to get the tension ramped up in the syno

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

I'm up to 2500 for the month....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Decision Made!

I'm going to finish that synopsis!

Why did I chose that? Because I have the first three chapters of that book written and if one of the agents I queried responds that they'd like to represent me, then I'd have another project besides the one they are reviewing right now, to present to them.

Besides, with that project finished, a novella proposal nearing completion and the proposal on an editor's desk...I'd no longer have all my manuscripts in one basket!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Off Track

I pulled out my journal where I keep my monthly goals written down and I am not starting the new year out right! I'm off track already...now I'm still doing writing related things just not the what I set as my writing goals for the month.

I pondered how this happened this weekend but must say the pondering didn't light a fire under me to try to get one of those goals completed and crossed off for the month! But on the other hand, I did get all the items necessary for my part of the novella proposal finished and sent off to the other writer's involved.

So, I have a week left of January to try to get at least one more of my monthly goals crossed off. Should I chose the easy one, finishing a synopsis or a harder one starting a chapter by chapter outline?

You will know tomorrow because I've decided the only way I'm going to get a goal complete and forward movement on my writing is to post it publically so someone (and that's YOU) will hold me accountable.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fun Friday

Okay...this may be a stretch for fun for YOU but come February 12th, it will be fun for me!

Mark Your Calendars:

Crossroads Bookstore in Sioux Falls, SD is hosting my very FIRST booksigning on February 12th from 1-3 PM!

It gets BETTER!!!  Author's Mary Connealy and Erica Vetsch will be joining me...along with another author that I'm sorry to say, I don't know their name but I'm sure their autograph is just as valuable as ours. : )

So if you are in or around the Sioux Falls area, please stop in and see us...if you can't make the bookstore will take orders. Here is the link to their website: http://www.crossroadsbooks.com/

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Procrastination...

Yep, I'm doing it. Normally, that is not a word I'd use to describe myself but I'm having a little trouble getting moving on my one page proposal. Yet the plot line, characters and backstory are pretty solid in my head. Bits of dialogue buzz through my mind. Setting and scenes are fleshing out.

But for some reason, none of it is clamoring to come out.

Has this ever happened to any of you? If so what did you do?

Should I just start writing that "dreaded" synopsis and see what happens?  If I do that at least I won't be procrastinating...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday's OOPS! and Word Count Wednesday

Yep, completely forgot to blog yesterday. I have a couple of excuses....one I just accepted a new day job offer. It's at the University of South Dakota and there is a lot of loose ends to tie up at my old job training someone and then things needing authorized for my new job, like background checks, getting email set up so I can step right into my new assistant position there.

Second excuse, is I was working on my part of the proposal for a novella collection. I'm down to a one story synopsis, which I have to really hit hard the next two nights.

Which brings me to my word count number 2000.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Back to Business

After a week filled with guest blogging, it's time for me to get back to the business of writing. My three novella collection counterparts and I are busy trading story ideas and developing the necessary documents that make up a proposal.

Today is a holiday for me at my day job, so I'm planning on getting a one page rough draft of my story idea down on paper so I can start revising it until it sparkles. Sounds easy doesn't it? But paring a 20,000 word story down to one page, then one paragraph, then one line is not so easy!

Or at least not for me. Now, I do write tight because children's writing has such tight word count limits. The part that comes hard for me is: Am I getting the information in the synopsis that is going to make the editor say "YES!".

As writer's do we ever stop wondering about that?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fun Friday

I'm a guest blogger at Seekerville today. Come join me. It's always a party there!

http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Woo Boy....

It's fun to have an anthology idea and have an editor say I'm interested in seeing a proposal. It's fun to start contacting authors to see if they're interested in teaming up with you. Until, you have to disappoint someone who really wanted to help write the anthology.

That was part of my day today. Although everyone I had to turn down was very gracious, I knew some were disappointed and I know how that feels. I tried to be very professional in my response even though it was hard to put a positive spin on the disappointing news. But I responded to all the people who contacted me, even though delivering bad news is an unpleasant task because they are writers and people and deserve respect. And tonight, I'm saying a prayer for those writer's who contacted me and asking God to bless their writing and writing opportunities.

Now, I have an idea of how editor's feel....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Definition of Work...

Well, yesterday I bemoaned that I couldn't get back into the grind of writing so I was doing some writing related activities and you know what? That is working on my writing. It might not be tallying up word count at the moment but two emails I kicked off brought back good results.

First, a Crossroads, the Christian book store in Sioux Falls, SD responed to my email about a book signing with resounding YES! So, February 12th, from 1-3, I will be signing books along with another author who was booked for the day AND my writing friends, Mary Connealy and Erica Vetsch. Doesn't that sound like fun? I can't wait and hope the weather is good that day.

Second, another writing friend on the children's literature side of my career works for the Argus-Leader in Sioux Falls and pitched an idea to her editor on an article featuring my book, Lily of the Field and the editor said yes! So she will be reviewing my book for their review blog and writing up an interview with me for She Magazine.

Third, I queried an anthology book idea to my publisher and they are interested and want a formal proposal!

So now my nose will be to the grindstone as the work begins!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back to the Grind

So, all my goals are set but....

I'm having a hard getting back into the grind or habit of writing since the first of the year. It could be because we still have holiday celebrations to attend. Our last one is January 15th.

I am doing writing related activities, like marketing for my new book release and sending an idea query to a publisher. But getting words on paper for a new WIP...that is another story!

And another story is one of my goals...sigh!

So, in light of my problem, I've reading. Working on the big stack of books piling up. Books by publishers that I'd to have as a publisher. That is my solution to this writing slump that I'm in.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fun Friday

Back to the cartoons!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Link for my BOOK!

Here is a link to my publisher. Lily of the Field is a featured book. I'll be on their blog all next week.

http://www.heartsongpresents.com/

Thanks for checking it out!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

My word count for the month of January is ZERO....so far! I have hope that next week at this time I'll have real numbers.

I missed posting yesterday because I've been so busy "socializing" this week that I just haven't found time to blog. I serious, I'm busier after the New Year than during the Christmas holiday.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Writing Goals

Now I'm posting these publically it makes me even more accountable to achieving them!

1) Answer manuscript and/or work for hire writer calls and enter low/no fee contests
2) Revise the rough draft of Job's Tears
3) Write, polish, submit third book in quilting series, Rose of Sharon
4) Finish 2nd & 3rd chapter of biography aimed at middle readers
5) Work on proposals for three more romance series.

Now remember depending on acceptances or rejections, I may have to tweek these a little but hopefully by December 31, 2011, I will have completed at least three of these goals.

Hoping you all meet any goals you set for 2011!