Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Back to work and stress and all the wonderful real life things. And, once I finish Shadow, I need to decide whether to start a new cozy or attempt the urban fantasy that seems to be calling, even though I don't have a good handle on the story yet. I'm thinking a half-fairy, half human with all kinds of conflict between the halves, all kinds of power to be mis-used, used with interesting results, angst of being different, add in darkness, change and saving the world from evil of one kind or another. Could be fun. Need to come up with a name, profile etc. to get jump started. In the mean time AA has to defeat the shadow curse, free the children before they become moon children and etc. My work is never done. Waiting to hear back from Bloomingtree on AA and then I will have to tackle multiple proposals for Privy and Spider.

Monday, July 30, 2007


We had a wonderful week at the cabin. Went to an art show on Sunday, got Fab. jewelry and saw great paintings. Monday we went shopping and walking in La Veta, found the most lovely restaurant in the courtyard of the La Veta Inn. To-die-for food and lovely atmosphere with umbrellas, fountains, adobe etc. Tuesday we went even further up the mountain to have a picnic on the Cucharas River, water to cold your feet go numb in 5 minutes. The rushing stream was lovely, as was the picnic with lots of laughter, cucumber, goat cheese/cream cheese cucumber sandwiches with fresh baked honey wheat bread and fruit. The rest of the week was reading, writing, walks to the meadow, painting.

We had a black bear cub visit almost every day, a cinnamon bear a couple of times, various squirrels, chipmunk, hummer and assorted other birds daily plus raccoons in the evening. Mom had lost her tail and had 4 babies along. Alas, one of the babies disappears and we think maybe a bobcat or mountain lion culprit. Did eat at the Timbers one night and the food was good but pricey, don't think the new owners will make it unless the cut down on both the portions and price.

Cuchara is at about 10,000 feet so it never got above 80 and was 40-50 at night. La Veta was a little warmer, maybe 80-85. I'll share pictures when I get them back.

Now I need to finish the first draft of Agatha Ann and the Shadow Curse. I actually finished plotting it at Colorado.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


First-my friend who had such a discouraging time from agents at a recent conference, now has a new agent who doesn't think her market base is gone. Go figure. We could have told her that.

Saturday I leave for Colorado, birds, critters, bears, girlfriends. Can't wait to write and sketch and loaf with friends, get renewed, come back with energy and ready to go. Will post pictures.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


A friend of mine has had multiple books published, non fiction. She recently attended a conference where several agents told her to "forget about it," books in her niche that is. According to the experts, her kind of books no longer sell. She has based her career and marketing of herself around a specific market, branding I think the current term is. So, now what? Does she turn herself inside out, find another niche, give up, write the "great American novel?

That's what she wonders. I say, write the book you want to write, as honestly as you can. Make the switch to fiction. Try writing in a different specialty. Switch from books to articles and market yourself more widely to general markets. Diversify. Don't be afraid to take risks. Easy for me to say, I'm not the one making my living at writing and trying to balance so I can make a living and find a new focus. But keep on writing and being positive. I still believe persistance has to work.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Yasmine's Magic Key

My friend, Yasmine, a well published author of fiction and nonfiction, most recently the Sister's of the Moon" series, once searched for the Magic Key to getting published. I think all writers look for that one magic piece of knowledge that will ensure that we get published. And, we're never satisfied. Once all I wanted was to be published. I got published in magazines with non fiction. Then I wasn't satisfied until I published fiction. Sure enough, I had my first short story published in a small press magazine called Potpourri. Then I wanted to be published in larger market. I had a story published in Byline Magazine. Never satisfied, my next goal was to publish a book and to have a column in a newspaper. Now I have had three text books in nursing published and have a column in a nursing newsletter. There was no magic key. It was being in the right place at the right time and being willing to take risks. Most importantly over the years, it has been persistence. It has taken twenty years of working at writing steadily.

I always worked full time at nursing so I've never had the luxury of working at writing full time. Now, of course, I want to publish book length fiction, for both the adult and juvenile markets. When I reach those goals, I still won't be happy. I will want to be on the best seller list, do book signings, speak at conferences. See, I want it all.

That is what makes a writer. For me the Magic Key has been persistence and desire. To reach the goal you have to work for it. You hear about the new writer getting the six-figure advance, but will that writer be able to continue? If so, cool. For me nothing comes easy but if I work at it long enough, I can do it, whatever it is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What to Do

I'm trying to make decisions. Should I finishe revisions to PTM or work on the next Agatha Ann book since I have it started, or all of the above? I want to have PTM in perfect shape so if the miracle happens and I find an editor or agent who want to see it, it is done. But if the editor likes Spider Wizard, they might want to see an almost finished second AA book. Decisions, decisions. I just might have to do all of the above plus at least get an outline done for a second Privy to Murder book in case it catches someone's eye.

I'm finding I'm getting better at self editing my fiction. Not quite as good with my nonfiction because I get in a hurry. I think it stems from writing for a company big on the "expert writers" coming up with the technical material and then they clean it up for you. Makes you lazy. Yet another flaw to work on, and I have so many.

Now, the push is to finish AA rewrites, get it in the mail to the editor and pray to get feedback at least. A sale would be good, unrealistic I suppose, but wonderful. On vacation in a week and a half, I hope to get a handle on what to do next.

I write because I want other people, kids in particular, to have the same experience I did with reading as a kid, finding new worlds and becoming lost in them. That's the reason I'm passionate about the Agatha Ann books.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Romancing the Weird

RWA, Romance Writers of America's big conference takes place this weekend in Big D. An amazing number of Urban Fantasy writers are showing up. I know I saw Jim Butcher at a regional RWA conference. So is urban fantasy a romance? Not always, at least the Dresden Files don't seem to come off that way. Now I may have to join RWA and start checking into that. Maybe Privy to Murder would fit a line of Romance. Going to have to research that.

Started the last (maybe) rewrites of Agatha Ann before sending it off to the Bloomingtree editor. Really hope she wants it but may be a pipe dream. Had wonderful critiques from CP and my sister the teacher who comes up with questions a kid would ask if reading it. Great stuff. Well, back to real (paid to do) work.

The house is much more peaceful without five extra people but I miss everyone.

Monday, July 9, 2007

What I like about writing.

  1. Telling a story
  2. Getting lost in a world
  3. Building a world, society
  4. Creating characters I like
  5. Seeing scenes in my head like a movie
  6. Re-writes once I have down the bones
  7. The hope of publishing book length fiction
  8. Setting my own hours (more-or-less) unless I have a deadline
  9. The desire to give to others what was given to me as a child, ideas.
  10. Teaching others to do the same thing, in spite of the potential heartache.

What I don't like.

  1. Lonliness
  2. Dependency upon editors and agents
  3. Rejections
  4. People who don't understand what I do
  5. Feelings of inadequacy, especially after a rejection
  6. The inner editor, critic (The snarky one.)
  7. The length of time it takes to get published
  8. The lenth of time it takes to publication

Friday, July 6, 2007

The 4th And . . .

Went to the Bethany 4th of July parade and had a great time. It was longer than usual, Hannah loved having candy thrown at her. Plenty of music, red-white-blue, marchers, old cars, horses and etc. Floats, especially scouts. Cool beans. Went to the park to look at booths of junk, let Hannah ride kiddie rides, eat fair type food, got a terribly sunburned face. Went to mother-in-law's house for the evening, ate good food and saw aunts, uncles and cousins. Kids went to the fireworks and had fun.

Now, as soon as all the company leaves, I can finish the AA last set of revisions, send it to the editor and see if I have any better luck than PTM had with the agent. After my trip to CO, I'll do mass proposals for PTM and AA and decide if I'm going to start the second in the Party to Murder Series or the next book in the Agatha Ann Series. Onward and upward.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Tomorrow's the 4th of July. Did you know there are people out there who don't know who we got our freedom from, when we got it or who the first president was? They don't know the name of the national anthem. Grown-ups, who are raising children. How sad is that? I'm not someone who wears red, white and blue every day or flies the flag from my are antenna. I don't have bumper stickers that say "Love America or Leave."

But, come on. It's the basics, guys, and it's why we write, because we want to say what we believe, whether others agree or not. No other country has freedom of speech to the extent we do. Our country isn't perfect. My God, we have Bush and Scooter Libby on one side, Paris Hilton on the other. But, if I say that Bush is pushing the envelope by commuting Libby's jail term, I won't be hauled off to jail.

So tomorrow, wave a flag, watch a parade, write something, enjoy freedom of speech and the fact that you won't be placed under house arrest for disagreeing with either Democrats or Republicans.

Monday, July 2, 2007


If you divide something into two equal parts, do you divide it in half or in halves? Do you half care? Either word you choose, you will agree with 50% of the experts. Do you realize that people care enough to fight about this. I understand people becoming incensed over stupid spelling mistakes or the use of double negatives, but some things strike me as being beside the point.

Good or bad writing is not about grammar, it's about engaging the reader, communicating, making the reader think, experience an emotion, even if it's disagreement. Most of us write to communicate, whether we write fiction or nonfiction. Then there are those who write not to communicate but to show off language skills, impress others with their knowledge and superiority and those are the writer's I cannot bear. Being obscure for the sake of, that's like an artist who paints his own vision and then looks down upon anyone who doesn't understand that vision without being given a clue.

In my opinion, a real writer communicates on some level, a commonality existing so that everyone can enjoy that communication on their own level.

Blog Archive