Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Publishing 101: What You Need to Know

While I'm home this week, I'm trying to get caught up on reading the magazines that have piled up in my reading pile. In so doing, I came across this article from the July/August 2009 edition of Writers Digest and found it to be a concise and well detailed overview of what every writer should know about the publishing process. The article is written by Jerry D. Simmons who is a 25-year veteran of NY publishing with Random House and the former Time Warner Book Group. I wanted to post it on the blog as a great reference tool. Here's the link:

Publishing 101: What You Need to Know

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Christmas, Pre-New Year

I hope everyone had a great holiday. As I get back into the blogging cycle, I'm pleased to say that this long weekend has helped me get back into my novel revising work. I'm so excited about the follow-up novel I worked on for NaNoWriMo back in November that I've decided to focus on getting that one polished now. I was able to write for two solid hours today, something that I rarely am able to squeeze into my hectic schedule. Tomorrow, I'm hoping to do the same thing.

Christmas was great, although my family had to change our plans as we had vehicle issues and we weren't able to take our traditional trek to NH. But it gives us something to look forward to as we're just postponing the trip for a couple weeks.

And now the New Year is coming quickly. This week, while I'm home with my son, I'm using the break from my full time job to organize my writing, revise, and set some goals for the new year. I come!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays everyone!

It's Christmas eve & I want to wish everyone a happy & healthy holiday. May we all remember the blessings we have in our lives: a warm home, food on the table, and loving family and friends that surround us. Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Quote of the Day - George Jean Nathan

This one is serving me well this week as I battle some unforeseen challenges of life:

"No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched."

– George Jean Nathan

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Received The Best Gift Today

I received the best gift today. It wasn't expensive. And it didn't come with any monetary benefit. And yet it was awesome. Tucked in a holiday gift bag, hidden with tissue paper, I discovered a hardbound book entitled, "How many people does it take to make a difference? One" It's filled with pages and pages of anecdotes and motivational snippets, words to inspire and stir to action. And what made the gift so perfect was the hand-written inscription on the inside cover, "To Michelle, Thanks for all your hard work & dedication! Happy Holidays. PS At this crazy place, you make a big difference."

The greatest gifts of our lives are the ones that help us remember what's important, the ones that bring us closer to family, the ones that inspire us to be better every day.


Title: Gift Book: 1: How many people does it take to make a difference? One ISBN #: 9781932319729
Description: The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away. Throughout your life there's a voice that only you can hear. It's a call to the true value of your life - a call to make a difference that only you can make. If you never hear it, something magical will be lost. But if you hear it and heed it, then your life will become a wonderful romance and adventure. Each of us comes into the world with certain gifts designed to make life a better place for ourselves and others. We all have special gifts that we've never opened. This book invites you to open and discover some of honor and celebrate those special gifts...and, above all, to share them with a world that truly needs you. Hardcover, 9 x 7," 80 pp.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Opinions on Writing Contests

Did anyone else read Nathan Bransford post on contests last week? If not here's a link: All About Contests. I'm curious to hear other opinions too. I mean I can appreciate the advice about making sure you understand a contests rules before entering - very good point, especially when it pertains to your rights and any publishing contracts that may be offered as a prize. But I was really surprised to learn that winning a prize doesn't seem to offer any more advantage in the eyes of an agent. And here I thought it might give an edge. Huh, there's just so much to learn. So maybe I need to go back and rework my plan. Anyone else have opinions either way?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Writing During the Holidays

I don't know about you but this time of year makes it exceedingly difficult to stay focussed on writing projects. With holiday parties, christmas shopping, school events, and a myriad of other holiday committments, I find that my time is being pulled in so many different directions.

I'm still trying to carve out time each day to write but the amount of time seems to be minimal compared to everything else.

Anyone else feel the same way?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Did you hear the news? This year the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award will feature two grand prize winners, one for General Fiction and one for Young Adult Fiction, and it will be open to novels previously self-published. This is going to be my first year entering the competition, and I'm excited to enter. I've got two choices of novels to enter, but both still need work. So the rest of December and January will be filled with revisions in preparation for the contest.

Open submissions for manuscripts will begin on January 25, 2010 through February 7, 2010.

Anyone else hoping to enter? Anyone have experience & advice for the contest they'd like to share?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Writing Contest Scams

The WM Freelance Connection blog had a great post yesterday entitled, "Spotting the Red Flags of Writing Contest Scams". Thanks ladies for a great post!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Writing Withdrawals

My eyes are barely open as I write this today. My son has been sick for the past two days, which means mommy is there for every cough through the very long nights. Oh yeah, and there was the ER visit on Sunday night. I am tired for sure. Which also means all my energy has been reserved for those important things like cooking and caring for my son. And Saturday was reserved for pulling Christmas decorations from storage, putting up the Christmas tree, and decorating.

So, no writing here the past couple of days, and I'm starting to get writing withdrawals. But hopefully, I can get a good nights sleep tonight and pick up tomorrow. That's the plan anyway.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Another Self-Published Success Story - Elf on the Shelf

And here's another example of "if you've got a good idea, it doesn't matter how it's published". As quoted from the Publishers Weekly article about the book, "A self-published children’s holiday book has become a bestseller at a major online retailer..." And from elsewhere in the article, "Sales growth has averaged 342% a year; first-year sales were a little over $100,000, and the company expects 2009 sales to approach $7 million." Bookstores are actually teaming up to meet the strict 12 book minimum, and there's now a waiting list for reorders. You've got to love it! And the most motivating part of all is: "Pitts said that when her family first wrote the book, a literary agent tried selling it to a major house but had no luck, so they decided to self-publish."

So guess what folks: write a good story, create a good product, and don't give up. You can do it!

Publishers Weekly Article: Elf on the Shelf's Sales Policy Works for B&N, But Not for All Independents

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Break Neck Pace May Have Slowed But Not Stopped

I'm not slowing down. Eventhough the mad dash to 50K is over, I'm ready to pick up where I left off back in October. Today, I already finished a final polish of my children's story, "Petunia Wiggles, Giggles, and Hops". And that means it's ready to start submitting to agents, contests, and publications. I just need to formalize a submission plan and I hope to have that done by the end of the week.

I've also submitted my writing to five contests over the last six weeks, so results should be rolling in any day.

Next on the agenda, will be to pick up my first novel, "The Hidden Force" and finish revisions so I can submit it to the Delacorte First Young Adult Novel contest by December 31st. Then I'll work on revisions to my NaNoWriMo piece, "Hidden Force-The Reckoning" so I can submit it to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest in February.

And then more revisions if needed, and off to literary agents galore! It feels really good to have so many projects at different stages.