Weekly Writing Update: Nah.

TimeTouristOutfitters

Summer reading started today at my library and I am wiped out so instead of talking about my own writing this week, I’d like to turn you on to a fantastic deal. Time Tourist Outfitters Ltd. by Christy Jackson Nicholas is on pre-order for just 99 cents. I’ve already read the book and it is a hoot! From the irrascible Wilda and her unique store that outfits people for time travel to her own travels back in time to the court of Mansa Musa and beyond, this is well worth your time. You’re welcome.

(I am working on my next paranormal romance but apparently it’s kind of tricky describing a character who your main character can’t see or hear in the first act. Who knew? I’ve gone back to character sheets to help me move forward.)

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Weekly Writing Update: Sharing Stories

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I currently have five short stories and a novel submitted to potential publishers, and two more short stories I need to pick potential homes for.

It’s a little like holding a lottery ticket. You want to find out whether you won or not but the anticipation is wonderful fun as well. Schroedinger’s cat is still alive! Yes, there’s fun in both creating and sharing. That sharing can take a multitude of forms. There’s at least one story that I’ve shared with my writer’s group which I may never send out, but it was cathartic just writing it and sharing it with them.

Yesterday, I sent a copy of my poetry book to Brené Brown on a whim. I recently read her book, Braving the Wilderness, and so many things she said resonated with poems in my book that I wanted to share it with her. She may never read it, may never even see it if someone opens her mail for her, but I sent it.

Making connections, sharing who we are, is a big part of why we’re here. Sometimes I see memes that say things like “I should just keep quiet, nobody cares.” Bullshit. I care, I’m interested in people’s stories and what they think, and I’ve found over time that whatever it is I think or feel, there are plenty of people out there who feel the same way.

So, keep on sharing your story. Somebody may be waiting to hear it.

Moments of Joy: Reading Out Loud

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I had a blast being the M.C. for the readings at Riverrow Books in Owego last Friday night. I got to listen to some great readings from fellow authors and read the titular poem from my collection, A Sanctuary Built of Words. (That can be found in my poems here.) At the end I think I heard someone sob slightly, either that or they yawned loudly. 😊

I also read a story I call “Drying Up.” It intersperses the last few hours of a woman’s life in Hospice care with memories from her life that brought her to that point and the peace she has made with people in her life.

I felt that poem and story exemplified my belief about why we come together to read out loud. Research Professor Brené Brown refers to it as experiencing our inextricable connection through collective experiences of joy and pain. It’s a wonderful feeling, that connection.

I think it also has something to do with Bibliotherapy, a term I first learned about during my college years. Merriam-Webster defines bibliotherapy as “the use of reading material for help in solving personal problems or for psychiatric therapy, also: the reading material so used.”

I know I’ve found comfort and knowledge in books that lead to personal growth my entire life.

I believe books and stories can be a place of escape, refuge, connection, and offer hope to help people deal with reality. That is what I’ve experienced through reading and what I hope to offer with my writing.

Author Reading in Owego, NY

AuthorReadings

How 2 Delays = Perfect Timing

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How 2 Delays = Perfect Timing (or) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Coffee Shop

I was sitting at the traffic light on Friday when it turned yellow. Have I been sitting at a green light? I stepped on the gas and glanced in the rearview mirror.

At least three cars were lined up behind me but not one of them had honked. I could hear the questions now.

“Is someone crossing the street?”

“Maybe it’s a cat.”

Perhaps there was a moth, but I didn’t see it.

Neither did my friend in the passenger seat (who shall remain nameless) and who didn’t say anything about the green light either.

We arrived at the coffee shop and there was a free space right in front of the Tioga Arts Council. I attempted to parallel park but the alignment seemed, uncharacteristically, to be eluding me until the third try.

We got out of the car and a woman stopped on the sidewalk. “I love your bumper sticker! Are you a writer?”

I thought for a minute. She must be talking about my Got Writing? decal in the window.

“Um, yes. Yes, I am.”

We chatted a few minutes and she suggested I talk to the Director of the Arts Council because they needed authors for a reading at Riverrow Books in Owego, New York, during the First Friday Arts Crawl.

Long story short, I’m dragging along several from my writer’s group and acting as the M.C..

And that is how two delays can equal perfect timing. 😊

More information about who all will be there and when later today.

A White Dog Driving a Car?

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I had a very strange dream this morning. In it, I had gone to a writers conference. Other people were concerned about getting parking tickets and I thought I’d better add money to my meter but when I went outside, my car had been towed away!

It was actually my husband’s car because mine was in for repair. I was stranded if I couldn’t get it back, so I went back to the conference and explained my predicament to the room. Two ladies volunteered to help me get to the impound lot before it closed.

We left and were walking down a snowy sidewalk. (This is where it gets weird.) We were following a small white dog driving a child size car. We were concerned about him and made sure he got safely home then went on to the office building but arrived too late. There was a bar on the ground floor so we stopped there for a drink and to consider what I should do.

In walked an editor I recognized, somehow, from a large publishing house, along with two of his staff. He sat down right next to me. Flustered, I asked if I could tell him my pitch line but flubbed it. I hung my head, saying, “It’s too long.”

“Yeah,” he said, “but I’m intrigued. Send it to me.” He gave me his card and I asked, “My query letter or the whole book?” He replied, “The book, and make sure you send it directly to me.”

I was home today because my car was in the shop so I worked on my query letter, marketing plan, and editing on my novel, Earthbound.

Anybody know any small white dogs that drive, or any bars where I’m likely to run into an editor from a publishing house? I’d be interested in either.

Submissions, Rejections and Presentations

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March is going out like a lion, with whirling, swirling thoughts. There’s so much going on!

I’ve recently received two short stories back from the publications I had submitted them to with a “no, but thank you for letting us read it.” Sent one back out yesterday to a new pub and will pick a new pub for the other one in the next couple days. Doesn’t do any good to let them sit.

I’ve been using Submittable and Authors Publish to find publications to submit to. They certainly do make it easier, though you need to spend the time checking out the current specs from the publisher.

For example, I read through everything on how to submit to one publisher then clicked on their link to Submittable and couldn’t submit. Why? I didn’t click the link to see their publishing schedule; they’re closed for submissions until the first of April. My bad. Next!

I’ve been reading through my plague novel, UNPREPARED, making myself cry all over again, which leads me to believe that besides needing an ending to tie up the loose ends, it might need a few more moments of levity and/or hope. I’m afraid it’s a little TOO bleak. I can do that though. Next week.

This week, I’m pretty focused on my presentations for a writer’s conference I’ll be talking at Saturday in Corning, New York. The first presentation, on Book Trailers, has SO many options on how to create them that I’ve decided to go the simplest route, creating one in Powerpoint with only images, text, and music, then talk about how to upgrade from there by adding video and voice overs. (I do love book trailers with voice overs. There’s something very inviting about them.) And with royalty free video clips available out there, you don’t even have to be able to take video yourself!

The second presentation, on getting book reviews, is not nearly as big but still has LOTS of options. There are so many avenues to approach people for reviews, from Amazon to Goodreads to professional reviews. I’m definitely going to try a Goodreads Giveaway myself very soon.

And real life goes on. Not sure yet whether I’ll be posting a new haiku this week or something from the poetry archive on Friday. We’ll see what I can come up with.

I’ve got some seeds.

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As always, the past week seems to have happened at light speed. I accomplished quite a bit and yet not nearly as much as I wanted to.

A friend finished her beta read of my novel, “Earthbound,” and now I’m going to apply those edits and hope to submit “Earthbound” to a publisher within a few weeks.

I’ve been reading through “Unprepared” to get a cohesive picture so I can write the last bit. It’s hard to remember everything you’ve done when you’ve written a book in two sections, over two years. For example, I didn’t remember I’d written one scene twice, in rather different ways.

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time researching book trailers on Youtube and getting excited about the different ways to make them and the different options for how you want the trailer to feel. There are some basic elements – text, still images, video, music, and voice overs, but you don’t have to use all of them and you can use the different elements in many different ways to tell the potential reader about your book. It’s a fascinating topic and I’m looking forward to creating one.

I may not have a book deal yet, but I’d say I’ve got some seeds that just might grow into one.

Winter is the time for Publishing Goals

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The holidays are finally over and I’m feeling a return to sanity and my publishing goals.

Admittedly, I haven’t done much of anything since the pictured book signing with fellow authors Joseph Crance, Judy Janowski, and Richard Nurse, at an antique store. Yesterday I finally began submitting one of my short stories to a possible publishing platform again daily. I’m also determined to finish a line by line edit on my paranormal romance, Earthbound, and get it out to beta readers by the end of this coming weekend.

Winter is here with frigid temperatures and the house only gets above sixty-two degrees when there’s a fire in the woodstove, but the sunlight is returning so I sat in the sun and edited this weekend. We have goals and we know how to make them happen.

Local Author Book Fair – Corning, NY

I’ll be at this Local Author Book Fair in Corning, NY this Saturday. Can’t wait! There’ll be a variety of authors in different genres as well as a pasta meal for sale to benefit the North Corning Fire Department, and a bake sale to boot. I’m a little worried about how much money I’m likely to spend. 😛

LocalAuthorBookFair

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