Thursday, October 30, 2008


Broom courtesy of irina souiki

I'vd added a few new widgets. Most noteably my word count for NaNoWriMo. I'm not a techie, so we'll see if it works--starting Saturday.

I've also added the RSS feeds widget, so please subscribe.

I'll be adding more as soon a November is over. Stay tuned.

By the way, how many of you are participating in NaNoWriMo?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Warren Adler Short Story Contest

Pencils by phatcontroller

Sharpen those pencils it's time for the Warren Adler Short Story Contest.

Adler is the author of The War of the Roses, Random Hearts and a host of other novels (27) as well as short stories.

Top prize is $1000. The contest ends January 16, 2009 and has an entry fee of $15.

The theme of the contest is pretty open - Short fiction in all of its varied genres.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Looking for a speaker for a writing conference??

Street in Quebec City

Hey, didn't mean to leave the lights off for so long.

October has been crazy. First part of the month, I went on a cruise to see the fall colors in New England and Canada. Instead of seeing colors, we out ran a hurricane (yeah in New England--who would have thunk?) Then our scenic cruising day on the St. Lawrence, it was so foggy we could barely see over the side of the ship. What gives with that?

But the gem of Quebec City was waiting for us. What a treat! If you've never been there, it is so worth the visit. It's not for the faint of heart. There are hills and winding streets, but around every corner, there's a neat little shop or cafe. I can't wait to go back.

The last part of the month I've was busy getting Saturday Writers annual fall workshop lined up. It was this past Saturday. We had a magnificent day. The weather was outstanding. Our speakers were awesome, and it's over. And the best part if next year someone else gets to plan it :)

If you're planning a workshop or conference I've got some names you might want to try. Krista Goering from The Krista Goering Literary Agency was our agent. She did a presentation in the morning and took pitches in the afternoon. She is a delightful woman, very friendly and outgoing. I would highly recommend her.

In the afternoon we had an editor panel that consisted of Anna Genoese, a freelance editor, Dr. Susan Swartwout from Southeast Missouri State University and Rebecca French Smith from Missouri Life magazine. All of these ladies did a great job and again and recommendation from me is in order.

My thanks to all our great speakers for taking the time from their schedule to spend the day with us and share their expertise.

On a side note, my writing friends have convinced me to set the current novel aside for the month while I take Sissy on another adventure. That's what I'm going to do. I've been at this one for almost a year now and it seems like I've read it a thousand times, probably because I have. Plus I need a break because I have this huge new plot line in my head and it keeps distracting me. Once I get it on paper, I think I will be better able to go back finalize my first one.

I'm gearing up for NaNoWriMo which starts November 1st. I'm not going to be as active on here, but will be trying to post my results daily and give the rest of you a little pep talk. You know, if I can write 50,008 words in a month so can you. So, freeze up a bunch of meals, buy scads of chocolate, wash up all the laundry and pull up a chair. The writing is about to begin. AND I can't wait.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Synopsis = #$^$^#$*%$#@#$

The Aftermath courtesy of mr. rich

Really. I'm trying to write the dang thing. I thought the query was tough. Piece of cake compared to the synopsis. And I know why I don't like them. Remember book reports. I hated book reports when I was in school.

I always won top honors for reading the most books, but my grade always suffered because of the stinking book reports we had to write. I can even remember saying, "Why do we have to write stinking book reports? It's not like we'll have to do book reports when we grow up." Ha! Little did I know.

Where's the Cliffs Notes for my novel when I need it? Oh wait, I would have to write it, wouldn't I.

A fellow critiquer (thanks Tom) sent me a link to mystery, suspense, thriller writer Lisa Gardner's website where she has a online lecture Conquering the Dreaded Synopsis .

And it's a great link. Lots of great detail, but I'm brain dead. I read it and I know what I supposed to do, but gaaaaa, it just does not compute onto the page.

I know I need to introduce my characters, fill in the plot points and YES.... I know I have to tell the ending. But it sounds like a book report from junior high and no thank you Mr. Blevins for making me write them. Apparently you didn't teach me anything. You should have sttod over my desk and beat me with the book you were so handy at throwing across the room to get our attention. Sorry, I digress--that's a whole nother blog topic.
Back to the synopsis or rather the bad book report. It sounds like Susie did this and then Susie did that and then the bad guy did the bad thing and Susie ... Well, you get my drift. I'm usually not bad at transitions, but I know that's the problem here.

Yo, Lisa, wanna help a sister out? If you love writing the synopsis, how about you do mine? What's one more? I know you're a good sport or else you wouldn't have all the great stuff on your webiste for fellow writers. All you have to do is one, then I'll get the hang of it. I promise! I'm a quick study, but I need to see the real deal in print to be able to catch on.

I'll send you my outline and you whip out a synopsis for me. I'll be your BFF forever and I'll read all your books forever more and give you great reviews (wait that's kind of like a book report. What am I saying?) Okay, I'll read all your books and give you 5-star ratings.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Ribbon courtesy of Yongjiet

A quick aside to my normal posts.

I recently had the opportunity to participate in On Deck for the Cure, a fundraising event founded by Holland America in support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

I won't go into the details of the walk, but just want to take the opportunity to remind all my female friends to remember to get their annual mammogram and don't forget your monthly breast exams. Early detection is the key to survival.

You aren't too busy to save your life. Pick up your phone and make an appointment.

And for you guys, men get breast cancer, too. So, don't ignore a suspcious lump.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Here's a Contest for 30 and Younger

Money Grab courtesy of Steve Wampler

From Narrative Magazine...

Narrative is calling on writers, visual artists, photographers, performers, and filmmakers, ages eighteen to thirty, to tell us a story. We are interested in narrative in the many forms it takes: the word and the image, the traditional and the innovative, the true and the imaginary.

First Prize is $1,500
Second Prize is $750
Third Prize is $300.

The prize winners will be announced in Narrative. Additionally, ten finalists will be chosen and announced in the magazine. All entries will be considered for publication. (Limit of two entries per individual.)

Read the rest of the guidelines here .

There is no entry fee and entries are due by October 27, 2008.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Too Many Irons in the Fire

The to-do list courtesy of Brian Indrelunas

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. My to-do list is beginning to look like my college thesis. I'm considering having it bound for posterity.

Seriously, I can't scratch an item off the list without adding two more things two it. How's a girl supposed to get anything finished? And bad as that is I only managed to work on the novel a little last week. So I'm back at it this week and gearing up to make the final edits. Keep me on my toes people!

What's your best tip for staying caught up?

P.S. I promise to get back to posting regularly. That's on the top of my to-do-list. Honest. I've also placed stop worrying about my 401K at the top of the list. It's only paper, right? At least that's what my husband keeps saying.