Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Insecure Writers Support Group: In for a Penny, in for a Pound

 The Insecure Writers Support Group meets online every first Wednesday of the month. Founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG was created to support and encourage all writers in every phase of their work, from writing to marketing. Click here to join, and for information, writing tips and more.

Co-hosts for the the October 7 posting of IWSG are TB Markinson, Tamara Narayan, Shannon Lawrence, Stephanie Faris, and Eva E. Solar!

Well, it's that time of the month again. I was determined to report by this date that I had finished my novel and was finally submitting the blessed thing. I didn't think I could handle another post where I groveled and attempted to explain yet another delay. 

Happy to report, I DID IT! My main insecurity this month was hitting the 'send' button on my first query (to an agent) two days. My heart started to pound and I think I even broke out in a sweat. Now for the waiting stage, the toughening up period, as the results trickle in. I hope all are kind; I hope some are good, with requests for my manuscript and helpful advice if rejected. 

I've been using Query Tracker for the process and love it. You can organize your queries, set up reminders, research an agent's track record--their response time, number of manuscripts in genres queried, clients, current needs, and more. It's all about simplifying the "business" of writing. From there you can go to the actual website and conduct more research. It's time consuming, yes, something I expected, but necessary. "In for a penny, in for a pound," my husband likes to remind me. 


--Removed the dust on a manuscript I started awhile back.  

--Attending a two day writers conference, Rivers of Ink, this weekend in Richland, WA. I'm excited to meet some area writers!

--Visited the LA County Fair last week with my son's family. (My cute grandsons at the end :) The displays in the children's building were extraordinary. Here are some of the life size books and titles displayed in the reading section. Take a look. Aren't they great? 

Wishing you all well in your writing journey
and a fabulous month!  

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: Hansel and Gretel by Brothers Grimm and Christina Balagtas"Once upon a time, on the edge of a great forest, there lived a very poor woodcutter with his wife and his two children, Hansel and Gretel. His second wife often ill-treated the children and was forever nagging the woodcutter. The family had little enough to eat, and once there was a great famine in the land the man could no longer even get them their daily bread." (Published 1812) 

I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things: Good to Be Home

Oregon coast
After being on the road for over two weeks it's good to be home again. That said, the Oregon and California coast on Hwy 101 was breathtakingly beautiful. It's a 'must trip' if you have never traveled this route. I especially enjoyed seeing the redwood forest again in northern California. I was ten years old the last time I saw the gigantic display of Paul Bunyan and his faithful companion, Blue standing side by side. There they were, greeting me as we approached the "The Trees of Mystery" tourist stop. No longer animated (Paul's head moved before), I briefly turned into a kid again, much to my husband's delight. It was also his first time visiting the redwoods. 

The sun was magical that day

Some redwoods are ancient!!
I can't explain it......but the feeling here among these giants is almost spiritual.
We traveled on and parked the camper at our son's LA area home for 7 days hanging out with his family. We told them not to use their precious vacation time from work, that we just wanted to be part of their life for the week. Boy are they ever busy with the three boys. Soccer, school, homework, getting meals ready after work, laundry, dishes, household repairs, took me back to those crazy times when Vince and I were working, going to school, and raising our two. I sometimes wonder how we did it all, but I remember lots of mini rides, hiking, tennis, swimming; and downtime with books, video games and movies.
Our cute grandsons :) We went to the LA County Fair
Loved the giant book displays in the children's section

Alice and Wonderland display
 Leaving LA, we decided to head northeast through Yosemite National Park. Just 'think Ansel Adams' if you have never been through this magnificent park. I was pretty squeamish navigating those high elevation two-lane roads without guard rails in a camper. Plus, there was the problem of finding a camping spot, which we didn't find. We had to travel in the dark for an hour before finding lodging on the other side in La Pine, CA. Yes, a little planning on our part would have prevented that, but we are spur of the moment travelers, and it worked out in the end.  

Yosemite National Park - Glacier Point

Nice picture of hubby :)

From there we drove through Nevada to Carson City (the capitol) and Virginia City. Virginia City is pretty authentic if you are interested in an old mining town. In its heyday, a lot of wealth was invested in the community. Mark Twain worked there for a newspaper for two years before becoming famous. The buildings are original as are the boardwalks in front (some even felt unsafe to walk on). Being quite high up, the views are also incredible, and the train climbing to the top is still operational, offering rides to the tourists. We then drove through Reno. Anxious to get home, we didn't stop, but wouldn't mind a return trip. We are not gamblers, but the town is laid out nicely with plenty of other things to do. We noted that the views were more than familiar. Ha-ha. Divide Reno's population (apx. 233,294) by say 45 and you have where I live in Eastern Washington! 
Vince with our trusty steed :)'s good to be home, my favorite hangout of all. I'm a homebody by nature, although I sometimes need a trip to remind me of what's important. I had some details to finish on my book when I returned but I'm happy to report it's officially done. Querying now for The Shells of Mersing and happy about that!

So how was your week? I'm ~exhausted~ but in a good way. 

Happy Weekend!

Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you are grateful for that week. It can be about writing, family, school, general life or whatever. This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLitCo-hosts are: L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner"It was just noon that Sunday morning when the sheriff reached the jail with Lucas Beauchamp though the whole town (the whole county too for that matter) had known since the night before that Lucas had killed a white man." (Published 1948)

I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: Middlemarch by George Elliot"Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress. Her hand and wrist were so finely formed that she could wear sleeves not less bare of style than those in which the Blessed Virgin appeared to Italian painters;"
(Published 1871-72 in eight installments)

I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?