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It has been three months since my last submission. And, believe me, the hypocrisy of this—the fact that I haven't submitted my work in months and yet continue to give submission advice through this platform—is not lost on me. Every week I've scrambled, hours before my deadline, to think of something—anything—to share with you all about the process. Something I've learned, something I'm thinking about, something I'd like to be doing better.
What are my reasons? Plenty. Because I haven't finished a new story in months. Because my old stories feel old and woven tightly with the doubt that comes from continuously being rejected. Because this is hard. Because I often question the legitimacy of my changes in this world without…Continue
Like many women of her generation, my mother was deeply concerned with appearances. We weren’t well off, but she managed always to dress herself and her children nicely. We never went out without being perfectly groomed. We were taught excellent manners, and any time guests stepped foot in our house, they found it spotless.
I didn’t embrace my mother’s preoccupation with appearance (imagine her shock when I became a free-spirited 60’s college student in ragged jeans!)—except in one area of my life: My fiction.
I have always been a perfectionist with respect to my fiction writing. I am shy about my drafts. I hone and polish again and again before I let a single person read a chapter. No one—not an editor, a beta-reader, or my closest friend—lays eyes on a story until it has been…Continue
“a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content.”
So if genre is a category of literary composition, what’s a category? And why does genre matter? A post on agentquery.com articulates a great response to “why genre matters” with the simple statement that genres are “a staple of the publishing world.” This characterizes what genre is better than the actual definition above because it speaks to something universal in the…Continue
Did you know you probably have an Author Page on Amazon? Amazon automatically creates Author Pages for most authors, but if you haven't claimed yours, you aren't taking full advantage of this option. Setting it up on Amazon's Author Central site is easy, free, and a great way to connect with readers. In addition to information about your book(s), your page can include your photo and bio (where you can include your e-mail address, a link to your Facebook page or website or anything else you want to share with readers), your tweets and blog posts, even video! There's also a "Follow" button under your profile image that allows anyone to connect with you and receive notifications if you write additional books. (In my opinion, that feature alone is worth creating a page.)…Continue
In a past life I lived and sailed on a sailboat for 10 years with my husband and our two young boys aboard Cowabunga, our 42-foot "ketch" (two masts). We first moved onboard in 1980 and we set sail from Bordeaux, France, in 1982, arriving in Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco, California, in 1990.
Our boys, Sean and Brendan, were 3 years old and 5 months old when we set sail. We first moved on board when Sean was 1, and Brendan soon followed a week after his birth. The first time they…
So I've just re-launched Between Death and Heaven on smashwords. I had a contract with a publisher and they had my book in their hands for a year and a half; no reports, no information, no promotion that I could see, an allergy to being asked questions...it was frustrating to say the least.
So I decided to take my power…
Meet it- stand up and face it. Tell it very loudly “I’m bigger than you are!” Then step forward and watch it run the…
"If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die."
I love this quote. It's so true. Writers tend to write about people they know, or take someone from an experience they had and put it in their book.
John Green is a good example. There was a part in his book Looking for Alaska when a guy ran around campus, wearing a fox hat while shouting different things about how he was the "motherfucking fox" and no one could catch him. Someone asked John where he…
Practice is necessary to the development of skills in every field, from work to sports to art. Watching Wimbledon this week reminds me of the hours I put into tennis when I was a kid, tossing balls in the air to practice my serve over chalked marks in the driveway, hitting shots against our uneven garage door. Originally my backhand was lousy, but years of leading with it in practice turned it into my best shot. In Jeremy Denk’s fascinating article on his life in piano lessons…
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