Friday, March 09, 2007


Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
~Mark Twain

Boy, am I glad to see Friday! It’s been an incredibly busy week, mostly because I took Monday off for traveling and thus came back to a desk piled high with work…

I’m headed to my local RWA chapter meeting this weekend, which will make for good discussion as always, and possibly a home and garden show as well (hubby wants to go…somehow with a foot of snow still on the ground it’s hard to think about that!).

Oh, and did I mention that I joined Absolute Write last week? They have great forums with some terrific members who actively post on a regular basis. It’s easy to spend an awful lot of time there ~ but do check it out if you have the chance.

I also registered my blog with Google Analytics, which tracks my site traffic. It’s interesting to see how often and from where people are stopping by, how long they’re spending, which pages they’re visiting, etc. And again, it’s too easy to spend more time than I should studying my stats instead of writing.

Writing. Oh yeah. I should do some of that this weekend, too. One Night in Memphis is about 1/3 done and needs some attention. And I’ll probably be working on promotional stuff as well.

Okay, I’m back on Monday!

Happy Weekend!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Day After the Debut

"Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. "
~Sharon O'Brien

By all accounts, yesterday’s Writers’ Wednesday debut was a hit, so I will definitely be continuing it in the future. Thanks to all for the content ideas, too! And remember: if you’d like to write a post as a guest blogger, I’d love to have you! Just leave me a comment here, or email me through my website (there’s a link over there, on the sidebar). Don’t be shy: you have more expertise than you might think!

Good news from The Wild Rose Press: they’ve read my partial of Lost in Paradise and requested the full manuscript. So that’s exciting. Still, no matter how many times I’ve sent out fulls, it remains more than a little nerve-wracking to send your baby out into the big bad publishing world for a stranger to review.

Cross your fingers for me, and I’ll keep you posted!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Welcome to Writers' Wednesdays!!

Welcome to the debut of Writers’ Wednesdays!

Each Wednesday, on my blog, I’ll be posting a brief article (and I mean brief: 300-600 words) on a “How To” aspect of the writing (and publishing) process. I’ve discovered, through much trial and error over the last few years, that I’ve gained a lot of experience that other writers might find valuable before they struggle through it themselves.

If you have a topic you’d like to see addressed in one of the “How To” blogs, let me know! Or even better, if you’d like to write one of the Writers’ Wednesday posts, contact me to be a guest blogger. Spread the word to your friends and fellow writers, too.

Without further ado, here’s Writers' Wednesdays #1: How To Write a Novel

Visit any library or search engine, and you’ll turn up hundreds (maybe even thousands) of resources that will give your advice on how to write a novel. Some of my favorites include Stephen King’s On Writing and Bob Mayer’s The Novel Writer’s Toolkit.

Definitely do your research; there's no substitute for solid advice from published pros. But to give you an idea of what's involved, before you read an entire book (or bookshelf) of guides, here in mini version are my top 5 tips for beginning a novel and working your way through from start to finish. Stay tuned for additional Writers’ Wednesdays blogs on all the details…

1. Devise your storyline. In one sentence, state what your story will be about. (This is also called a logline – a general statement that summarizes your entire story.)
An alliance of cowardly deer hunters searches for treasure in a dungeon.
The bohemian nephew of a timid politician’s ex-wife has only 1 hour to live.
Note: This sentence should excite you; it should be the one thing that will remind you why you loved the idea, when get frustrated halfway through the novel.

2. Brainstorm the details. Who are your main characters? What is their conflict? What are they searching for in the story, and how will they be different at the end than they were in the beginning? What are their names? Where is the story set? A fictional or factual location? What is the black moment in the story, and how does the story end? Some people like to outline all of this. Some write from scene to scene. You need to figure out what works for you, in putting all these pieces together. But you do need these pieces.

3. Set a schedule and workable goals. This is the most critical piece. Set a deadline for yourself. Really. Too many people start out strong and then lose steam as the weeks and months go by. Pull out a calendar and decide, realistically, how many words you can write in a day. Not sure? Start with 500 and go from there. How many days can you write in a week? Total up your days in a month, allowing a little bit of time for the unforeseen, and set a goal for yourself every month (I will have 5000 words written, or I will have finished three chapters).

4. Write everyday. Taking into account the demands of your daily life, commit yourself to writing X amount of days each week. Then do it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t find something else to do. Don’t say you’re too tired. Sit down at the keyboard (or the pad or paper, or the microphone), and compose. It’s too easy to lose focus when you take time off.

5. Reward yourself. Writing is hard work! Give yourself some incentive when you reach a milestone: that first 2000 words, or the halfway point, or the end (definitely the end!). Chocolate is good. Or a shopping spree. Or a Starbucks nonfat latte. Or a bubble bath. get the idea.

There’s more, of course, but this will get you started. You can write a complete novel, if you really want to. You can!

As Featured On Ezine Articles

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Scenes from the Beach

"One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach; one can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few."
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

A view of the Florida Gulf Coast shoreline:

and my mom and I on the beach:

(It was pretty cool and windy, but still warmer than NY, that's for sure!!)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My Sunday-Monday Blog

"My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty, and that's the law."

~Jerry Seinfeld

OK, those of you who visit on a regular basis know that I usually take the weekends off from posting.

But today I had to write, because tomorrow I probably won't, because...

Guess why?

Guess where I'm sitting right now?

In sunny Florida, about 60 miles south of Tampa and 5 miles from the Gulf Coast.


I took the weekend to visit my parents, who are newly retired and wintering down here, and I'm flying back tomorrow morning. (I really, really, do not enjoy flying, but I haven't figured out any other way to cover 1000 miles in less than 3 hours.)

It's been a wonderful respite from the cold and gray that is New York winters, and I know how lucky I am to be able to hop on a plane and leave that behind for 3 days.

So here's an interesting question for you: if you could go anywhere in the world, for just 3 days, where would you go, and why??