August 27, 2014 § 1 Comment
August 27, 2014
I’m going to be taking a brief hiatus from blogging in order to get some manuscript changes done to submit to an agent. Eeeep! I know what I’ll be doing over Labor Day weekend.
While munching apples. After years, the dwarf apple tree by my back door, the tree I never water and that has primarily served as a decent screen between me and my neighbor’s bedroom window and a hangout for the birds, has actually yielded a bowl of apples! I felt like a little kid picking these off the branches.
Talk to you some time after Labor Day!
August 18, 2014 § 6 Comments
August 18, 2014
That agent rejected my submission.
This year I pitched to another agent at RWA and he likes my premise but does not like the fact that it is split into two—like, “everything was great until you said it was split into two”—and he wants to see a definite ending.
I agree. My love my original ending. My original ending is the reason I wrote the book.
So now I’m back to my original version, the one that is not split in two, and that means I have to cut a hell of a lot of words.
Panic attack has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen.
I’m getting through it with a little advice from my friends and other sources.
Stephen King, from On Writing, advice from his newspaper editor:
“When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”
These words are keeping my head on straight and guiding me through the darkness.
Ryan Winfield, author of Jane’s Melody, when I told him my woes:
“Don’t cut just to cut, but getting the word count down will hopefully make it crisper and make for better writing.”
So far, so good. I’ve cut 600 words from the first three scenes and they read much better. Only thing is, 600 doesn’t sound like very many words right now. I will not despair.
Louise Bergin, fellow LERA member and author of historical romance:
“Cut, but keep what you’ve cut off to the side and use it later as extras for promotion.”
Great idea. I’ve seen other authors do this, like Cora Carmack at the end of her book Finding It. I’ll probably end up with a year’s worth of blog posts of deleted scenes and original versions.
Dia of the invaluable Hot Tub Readers:
“Whatever you do, don’t cut any of the sex scenes.”
August 11, 2014 § Leave a comment
August 11, 2014
I’m not sure how it is that this guy didn’t pop up on my radar before now, because he writes just the kind of books I love to read.
Ryan Winfield did a book signing/panel with my LERA group this weekend at my local indie bookstore, Bookworks. After reading the synopses for Ryan Winfield’s Jane’s Melody and the recently released follow-up, Jane’s Harmony, I knew that I had to go pick up these books. And get them signed, of course.
I started reading Jane’s Melody this weekend and love it.
It’s set in Washington State, which is where I grew up. It makes me almost miss some things about Washington, such as the springtime flowers of daffodils and tulips and crocuses. Almost miss it. Makes me almost kind of wish we hadn’t been so poor when I was a kid so that we could have afforded a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island. Almost wish. (I did move to New Mexico for a reason: the sunshine!)
I’m also just so stoked that a man understands that a single, working woman doesn’t have time to change the light bulb in the garage (page 6) or pull weeds in the back yard (page 42). Okay, so maybe one or two men I’ve dated have given me crap about that.
I highly recommend this book.
August 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
“I think we should start praying.”
Boy, is that something you don’t want to wake up to.
My eyes flew open. I’d only closed them for a second. I looked around for a burning church or a jack-knifed 18-wheeler.
“What’s going on?” I said.
“My gas light just came on,” Martha said. “And we’re twenty miles outside of Big Spring.”
Twenty miles from a gas station, in other words. I knew we should have gassed up in Lamesa when the tank was still a quarter full. But oh, no. Martha said we were all right to make it to Big Spring, because she’s driven on fumes before and it was just fine. This from the woman who gets her oil changed every three months on the dot and whose trunk was crammed full with a real full-sized spare tire instead of a donut and who carefully planned this route to San Antonio through every small town in the state to eliminate a Texas Chainsaw Massacre scenario.
I’m all for a little adventure a la Thelma & Louise but two grown-ass women running out of gas on the way to San Antonio and the Romance Writers of America conference was not how I wanted to play this out.
It got real quiet in that car. Martha was praying and I was reciting Louise Hay’s “all is well the universe is taking care of me” mantra like I had a broken record inside my head.
When we headed over that bridge into Big Spring, flying past the reduced speed limit sign, Martha was like “F**k that. I ain’t stopping and I ain’t slowing down. Come on, Chevron station. Come to Mama!”
The Chevron sign came into view and we were like “hallelujah.” Literally. Like for real. “Hallelujah, baby” as we rolled up to the open gas pump.
I’m sure people were wondering why we tumbled out of the car, laughing hysterically.
Martha said, “No more of that. From now on, we are never going below a quarter tank again.”
“Yeah, I think the risk-taking portion of this trip is over,” I said. After all, I had a book to pitch.