Monday, September 29, 2008

My Newsletter and Other News

I've started a newsletter to keep my friends and fans abreast of what's happening with my books. If you'd like to join, follow this link:

I expect the newsletter to be published every other month (unless a lot of great things happen in between:) I may make an occasional special announcement, but you won't be overwhelmed with email from this loop. It is not a chat group, so members cannot post to the group list.

In other news (since I've already published my October newsletter): I had an opportunity to meet with Tracy Farrell, an executive editor with Harlequin. Let me first say, Ms. Farrell is a delight and took the terror out of 'my first time' (for a pitch, that is.) As a guest speaker for the River City Romance Writers, Tracy's discussion was informative and enlightening about the current climate of publishing, especially in romance and related genres.

I'll be attending the New Jersey RWA conference at the end of October, where I'll be pitching a different manuscript. The workshop lineup for this conference looks great, and I'm looking forward to networking with other authors, agents, and editors, and meeting a few friends.

Now, I'm going to go and write something. :)


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Writing Out Loud

I am a writer. I tell myself this every day—between my real job (as my friends refer to it) and all of the other demands that gobble up valuable minutes.

Shortly after I began my first novel, I was presented an unlikely gift—I was relieved of my job. My services were no longer needed. Since I no longer had a real job, one of my friends suggested that I could now dedicate myself to writing. And so, I did. I worked feverishly to finish that first novel and to complete two others. I diligently set about soliciting rejection letters from agents and publishers.

Then I was offered a job back in my home state. It sounded like a dream job—if you have to have a real job. I made arrangements to stay with a friend while I looked for suitable housing.

I had developed a rhythm, a routine for my writing—write until three a.m., sleep until ten, proofread while I enjoyed my morning coffee. It worked well for me.

Now I found myself in someone else’s home and having to adapt to someone else’s routine. Apparently, people with real jobs don’t stay up until three a.m., and they are usually showering and clanking around the kitchen at six-thirty. I had been displaced from my routine and from my quiet work space, using only my laptop with a folding TV tray as a desk. Oh, did I fail to mention that my new housemate was studying music?

On one particular day, I had the house to myself. I took the laptop into the living room and began to edit my previous night’s work. As I got into the midst of my story, my housemate came in, settled into the recliner and began to practice sight-singing—her homework for the next day. (Thankfully, she sings on key.) But after realizing I had read and re-read the same paragraph three times, I excused myself and moved to the dining room.

Twenty minutes later, and as I was once again fully involved in my story, my housemate decided it was now time to practice the piano. The piano is in a small room—you guessed it—next to the dining room.

Not wanting to disrupt the household routine, I again excused myself and said that I was going to work upstairs in the spare bedroom. I placed the laptop on the wobbly TV tray and settled myself back into my manuscript. Before long, my housemate appeared on the second floor, stating that it was now time to work through her computer—the one right outside the spare bedroom. She had to go online and use a program that played music aloud so she could identify the notes. This involved singing the notes and, as I observed, talking herself through the exercise, swearing only occasionally.

I later discovered that, if you proofread your work aloud, it’s easy to clear a room. From now on, I’m writing out loud!

Monday, September 1, 2008

A New Review Is In

I just returned from vacation on Mackinac Island (as if that wasn't good enough) to find a wonderful review of The Year I Lost My Mind from Fallen Angel Reviews. You can read the review by clicking on the following logo.