Saturday, October 31, 2009

31 October Status, Goals, and Progress

Happy Halloween, Ladies. May all your tricks be card tricks and all your treats fun and sweet!

Monday, October 26, 2009

26 October progress, and a bit on the NJRW conference

Sometimes the generosity of our published authors astounds me.

On Friday night, after the awards ceremony, I realized I'd entered my story in a total of seven contests: two in 1996, before an incident had me shelving the story and turning to other writing outlets, and five since 2005 where it reached the finals four times. The best it ever placed was third, however, and it did that twice. Always the same kind of comments (and I must add, some of them have me wondering whether the judge actually read the work or skimmed so missed some salient points. I mean, if someone is faceless, chances are you haven't seen his/her face, right?): Excellent writing skills, beautiful imagery yadda, yadda, yadda. BUT . . .

So, on Friday night, I threw me, myself, and I a huge pity party, cried my eyes shut (and paid in spades Saturday morning!), and debated tossing the %*&@ manuscript in the trash. Those kinds of comments give no direction. WHAT is behind the incessant "but?" Where was I---and I didn't fool myself the story was at fault (although blaming it would have been so much easier)---falling short?

Saturday morning, I talked to a friend who is a NYT best selling author. She asked if I'd read her comments. What? It turns out she was my published judge. She told me she'd written extensive comments (which, the contest coordinators promise, I shall have by email tomorrow) and knew what the story lacked. Then she talked to me and put a face on that elusive "but."

She didn't have to do that. The woman has a career many of us would commit some kind of felony to have. Even so, she took the time. I am so grateful.

I told her about the challenge, too. She thinks it's a great idea, but told me to trash the prologue I'd written, and then told me why I should. (Okay, I'm cringing here, but I have to say this:) After thinking about it, I have to agree, she's right.

So everything I've done so far goes into the circular file, but it'll be worth it for a stronger, more saleable manuscript.

What other profession gives so freely of its time to those that would follow?

Writing is a lonely, often discouraging profession, but there are hands out there ready to help, encourage, even slap, if need be. How can we not offer the same to each other and, in time, those who will follow us? I must say, I feel honored and privileged to be counted among such amazing, selfless women.

Now it's on to keeping my part of this challenge bargain. I'm excited. Scared, but excited.

Time to get to work!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Meet the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood, the 2009 Golden Heart Finalists.

For anyone who is interested, The Sisterhood is currently posting daily blogs with hints to make your potential Golden Heart(R) entry shine. Check it out. They may have exactly the advice you need.(

Go For The Gold

I adore my sisters, both the 2007 Bond Girls and my 2009 RSS sisters, and look forward to expanding my GH family in 2010(if you're going to dream, dream BIG,) but didn't want to recycle the story that has already finaled twice. What to do?

I have a story eating a hole in my brain. It is the prequel to the one I've entered previously. Needless to say, I've been thinking about this story, these characters, for a while. They want their day in the sun, and now's the time to give it to them.

Projected length 100,000 words.

So far, I have five. You read that right. Five. The first line.

The Golden Heart deadline is 2 December 2010. Although registration remains open until 16 November, once I finish this post, I'm on my way to the RWA web site to register (nothing like having something to lose to push you to the limit.)


Anyone needing (or wanting) to finish, edit, or polish a manuscript for the GH is welcome to come along for the ride. The only caveats: You must register for the GH (That something to lose weighs heavy on committment.) You must try to keep yourself healthy despite the pressure: Stretching, walking, bathroom breaks at least once an hour. (Very hard to function with your blood pooled in your butt, folks. Get it circulating.) And you will post, first, your goals on this blog, then report your progress---whether daily, every other day, twice a week, or weekly is entirely up to you.

The object is to help each other achieve, to know we aren't alone. My 100K is the catalyst. Surely knowing I have so much more to write than many of you will get you doing your ABC's (Apply Butt to Chair) and reaching for the prize.

Good luck ladies.

On your mark.

Get set.