Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The offspring of a childless writer are her stories, phrases, poems future ideas that wait to be developed.  Those all sat in the form of a word file on my external hard drive.  Yesterday in a whirlwind of clicking and tears I discovered they were dead.  The file I kept them safe in was clean, belching a corruption error message anytime I desperately clicked to find those files.

So here I sit, empty page before me angry at the sentence of this terrible fate.  The ugly white page laughing at me.  I start over.

Maybe a redo is not a bad thing.  Fresh starts are something I have wanted in other areas of my life. I just never thought I would have to 'redo' my passion and love.

November 1st, Update-
The external hard drive is visiting the best techno genius I know.  He is up to his armpits in digging out the files.  The early report is that things are looking good and some files have already been found.

In my panic I have already started redrafting the outline for book two and the other 5 books I had started.  Feeling a bit better about life.

Just got a call from the genius..after many intense hours, 5 different recovery programs he has recovered the files!  My heart sings!  It is like a child that has been found.  Thank you, thank you!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Free E-Reads

I have to confess, as a writer I have had a turned up nose to the e-readers that are out on the market.  Seeing them as the new downfall of the publishing industry and the evil that is eating away at my breaking into the publishing world, I have kept my distance.  I think I may be crumbling, maybe they aren't that bad.

I am a member of a site called http://www.stumbleupon.com/ it randomly selects registered or submitted sites based on your interest.  It is one of the most amazing ways to burn a few hours and find some amazing sites you never knew you would be interested in adding to your favorites. Here lately, I have been stumbling on a regular basis.   I have found a terrific number of free e-books.  As an avid reader the idea that there are scores of books out there for free does send chills of excitement through me.  As a  writer it makes me sad that there are giant numbers of text that someone slaved over for sometimes years just sitting out there of no value.  It is a little like seeing the clearance rack at the book store, all those shiny sad books trying desperately to tempt someone. 

After 'stumbling' on enough of these enticing free ebook sites, and looking over at that heavy, leaning, stack of dusty books next to my bed I think maybe those new ebooks might not so bad. Plus they may be my way into being published.   

Top 8 free e-book sites:
  1. Project Gutenberg- Comes with its own mobile application for any phone.  Having perused many of the titles it, none of them have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, mostly because they came out years and years before the journal was started.  That being said there are still some interesting titles that I wouldn't mind looking at. Jane Austin and Mark Twain will always have a soft spot in my heart. 
  2. Manybooks- Supports the same titles but is way more user friendly.  The site gets its books from the Project Gutenberg, but it includes reviews of titles that you may not be as familiar. 
  3.  Scribd- Is really cool!  It links up to your facebook account showing your friends favorite books and suggests books you may be interested. This site allows you to submit your own text be it one page or an entire book to share with everyone.  It also has excerpts of books that have just been released mixed in with the self published titles. 
  4. WOWIO- Is the self proclaimed only online supplier of online comics.  Although they are not all free they are pretty cheap running any where from $0.99 to $1.50.  
  5. Bookyards- Has over 800,000 titles that are all free.  The books that they tout are a combination of philosophy, political theory, Enlightenment literature and some random stories thrown in to the mix.
  6. EBookee- Is one of the original free ebook sites.  It was a nice mix of recent fiction, classics, and nonfiction. 
  7. Worthy of Publishing- is a site of particular interest to me.  It allows aspiring writers to upload their precious pieces of writing as a test drive.  It gives you a forum to market test your writing and gives readers a forum to have their opinions heard. 
  8. Free-ebooks- Has great home page graphics, easy to navigate and is another one of those that are open to the unpublished writer.  What makes this site different is the majority of books are from brand new unpublished writers.  The books are ranked by downloads and library saves.  If you like a new writer then you can select the hyper link and go to list of books by the same writer.  It also has that cool share function that have begun to attach themselves to new articles all over the web. 
Although, I have highlighted many of the exciting sites that are open to new writers it is important to remember that these books have not received the type of editing that the traditional publishing houses require.  Just like watching those growing number of Youtube videos that lack the polish of the professionals there is a certain amount of forgiveness that one must accept when reading one of these indepenendant works.  Just like supporting the young documentarian these are easy and interesting ways to read from the writers of the future and past without having to pay a dime. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rejection Sucks!

Received my first agent rejection letter yesterday.  After doing all this research the agents start to feel a bit like rock stars.  When I got the letter it felt like LL Cool J wrote me but just to tell me, "It is not you, it is me."  I was flattered to have a personalized letter of encouragement but felt kicked in the stomach for the no. After a quick session of weeping on the back porch, I came back in to get to work.  

Knowing the rumors that this was to be expected I made a list before I sent anything out.  In this time of sad desperation I went to the list.  I plucked out my next top two favorites, Folio agency and Ethan Ellenberg.  A quick question to the magic 8 ball and the letter went to Denise Little at Ethan Ellenberg.  It was an email query, a first for me.  I was nervous about the format but think I got everything right.  Some research revealed that she is a bit behind on her queries...but to hang on and she will reply within the two weeks.  Hope that holds true even for the holidays.

Even though I am licking my wounds I still am moving forward.  The next query letter has been sent.  I added another two thousand words to book two.  When feeling sad action is the best medicine, but so are friends.  A very encouraging post was left on my Facebook page from a dear friend, Rodney.  In it he left a link to a web page that really made me feel better.  I will share it here.  Enjoy.  Remember, get back up and turn failure into victory.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Are you inspired?

Watching the Sound of Music inspired me...it usually does.  I always get the urge to glide out of my little house twirlling my front yard singing with all my might. Makes me forget the pavement is uneven, and the door doesn't stayed closed unless you bolt it and well the neighbors are not really the Sound of Music "type," so movie inspirations have to go elsewhere. 

I am constantly looking for inspiration.  When I am feeling particularly spent from a long binge of writing there are a few tricks that seem to get me going...

1) Routine. 
Not the most sexy of inspirational words, but man I love it.  It is like that afternoon walk, you start to crave it look forward to it.  This has been my saving grace many a day.  I know the writing will be at 6-midnight everyday there are no questions 1,000 words will be done.  On those days when feeling super seeped in creativity I may start a little early but that is just gravy on top of the regular day's work, because I won't finish early I will only add to what I already have.

Not only is the time routine but I "get into my office."  Settled into the sofa, pillow on my lap with the laptop perched on top, glasses on and the earbuds in listening to my tunes I am in the zone.  As soon as I get in the position I can feel it, building inside ready to come out words race to be the first to sprint to my fingertips. According to Mark McGuinness I am on the right track, in his blog RSS Creativity, creativity is a balance of routine, systems and spontenaity.

I've tried not having a routine.  Jack Cheng on his blog states that "no routine is the worse routine." I have to agree it was an utter fail for me as well.  Whatever gives you the feeling that you are ready to work, make it yours and do it regularly enough to make that connection to the activity to the creative deed. 

There is an entire blog of interviews of artistic masters and what their routines are to be creative. 

2)Mindless wondering.
When I am so stuck I can't find my way out need a little brain message.  I hop on www.stumbleupon.com.  Just the random clicking and I find the most random and amazing things that I would have never found on my own.  It is truely a cool exercise.

3) Join the world.
The boring exestinces of being chained behind a laptop can suck the life out of you.  Every now and then getting out in crowded spaces and sitting still is all I need.  I don't have to be apart of the crazy life around me.  I pull out the notepad and write, listen, observe and ponder what the story is behind the drama that surround us everyday. It is the real life sound of music that gets my pen twirling around the page.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Once Wrote a Query

When I was up to my armpits in rough drafting, slinging words and desperate for the right phrase I had no idea that I was in the middle of the best time of my life.  I thought when I finished there would be high fives, cheering crowds and instant recognition.  Instead I clicked the close button on the screen and went to bed.   For weeks I wondered around listless, unsure what to do with my free time, scared about what came next. 

My obsessive nature wouldn't let it go.  Instead of letting the words flow on the weekends, I sat unshowered, searching, researching trying to figure out my next step.  Do I try to look for an agent and face the chance of multiple rejections?  Or do I epublish and hope for the best?  Looking to those I admire the most I asked, talked and asked some more.  Then I found the coolest site, haven't been able to find it again but man I am so happy I saw it that week.  On there it said that only 3% of those that start a novel finish it. Feeling brave as a member of the elite gave me a bit more confidence.  I took the next step...made a writer's plan.

Plans are essentially check list, another passion of mine.  With goals in hand I felt more like myself, ready to move forward and send away my baby to the unknown world.  This required a very painful first step, capture the essences of my love/book in a short summary that will blow the socks off of any agent.  Locked down for an entire weekend my hair sat thrown in the ugly, unwashed bun, I hacked at the query in my tight, faded sweats grumpy, with the world- writing my query letter to my future, (please oh please God) agent. That Monday I put it in the mail.  Looking at the mailman I felt like a bad Mom just handing her child to stranger that I bumped into after leaving the delivery room.  He could sense some hesitating and commented, "Out of site, out of mind." Boy he was so wrong.  As soon as he turned the corner with it I felt like throwing up.  That was on the 25th of October, and still nothing.  I know deep down that it has only been gone six business days but it does not help. I know that all of my favorite writers had to do this multiple...like double digits worth of times.  That doesn't help.  Maybe the pain and stress will fade as I do this more. 

Think I'm going to go back to my happy place, go back to rough drafting.