Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Finishing book #2 this weekend

Okay, so it's only the first draft that I'll be finished with, but this is HUGE! I have my husband to thank since he is taking himself and the kids away to visit grandma and grandpa. I'll have the entire weekend to myself, with the exception of all the stinkin' animals that also live here, to write, write, write. My husband left town with the kids a few times when I was finishing Missing Maggie and it was a tremendous help. Even with a "finished" product, I am no way near being finished. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I'm right on track to self-publish again in October.

Friday, February 24, 2012

"Chopped" for writers

What if there was a "Chopped" television show for writers? In case you aren't a fan of the The Food Network, "Chopped" is an hour-long reality show where four chefs compete to win $10,000. After three courses, with one chef being cut after each, the winner is announced. To make it even more challenging, the chefs must create their plate using the specific ingredients given to them. So here's what I'm thinking, let's have four writers compete for some money. During each round, writers are given a topic  to write about during a set amount of time. The writer with the worst essay gets the boot. I don't know who the judges should be. They could either be English professors or avid readers. My vote is for the reader. Anyone else up for a battle?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rochester's Book Babes

My afternoon with the "Book Babes" was grand. We shared a fabulous meal, which included ribs and a chocolate torte with fresh raspberries, and had great conversation. I have to admit I was nervous before I left my house, but once I got to our meeting place, that all went away. I mean, what's to be nervous about? I was joining a group of women to talk about books. I love talking about books! It was a little different being that it was my book, but a book all the same. The "Babes" asked me a few questions about how Missing Maggie and the character of Kody came to be. I asked them a few questions about what they liked and what they thought I might do better in the next book. After we said our good-byes I drove straight to a coffee shop and jotted down several pages of notes in my writing journal. I took mental notes during our conversation that I didn't want to forget.
  • Create better transitions when changing narrators
  • Create believable characters for a believable plot
  • Create well-rounded characters that are satisfying to the reader
  • Find an editor to catch my grammar mistakes
I have to say my first experience of joining a book club was a positive one. I can't wait for the next one. Thanks, ladies!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book clubs - gotta love them

To date, I've been asked to join two book clubs in their discussion of Missing Maggie. On President's Day, I'll be joining the Rochester Book Babes, which I'm very excited about. It's a lunch meeting with drinks. Bonus! The other date I have scheduled is in early March with an old friend who lives in the Minneapolis area. I'm so very appreciative that both groups chose my book as their monthly selection, and then that they want me to join in on the fun. I'm not real sure what to expect, but it will be a learning experience to say the least. Hopefully my being there won't hinder anyone from giving me some constructive criticism. These meetings are opportunities to grow.

Please let me know if your book club is interested. I'd love to join you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's all about love

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd post a paragraph from "Missing Maggie" that explains some of Kody Burkoff's views on love.

The thought of never wanting to be away from someone, of having another human being totally consume you until they are all that you can think about. That’s what I’ve been striving for. That’s what love should feel like. It shouldn’t be some mediocre feeling you have when someone walks into the room. The feeling of love should be dynamic. Sparks should fly just like in the cartoons. Your heart should enlarge to three times its size and beat outside of your body. You should be able to stand up on the couch at the Oprah show and proclaim your love for that one special person. Come on, don’t tell me you didn’t think what Tom Cruise did was just a little bit adorable. That’s what it’s all about, folks. It’s all about love.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The great ones...

Last night I was asked whether or not I thought the great authors from generations past purposely included literary elements in their works, specifically symbolism and theme. I asked myself that same question just a few days ago when I chose a word to describe something. I can't think of either the word or the something at the moment. Regardless, I told my friend that I did believe those writers thought about those elements while they wrote, and that they took tremendous effort in picking words to represent the story they were telling. In college, I had an entirely different mindset. I thought the English professors made all that stuff up. For what reason, I don't know, but I just knew that the author never intended to provoke that much thought into the color red, for instance. Maybe some day I'll try to write with deeper meaning. Maybe some day I'll write a novel for college students to ponder. Or maybe I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and hope for the best.

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's a marathon, not a sprint

I've had time to calm down after my little panic attack the other day. It seems that I briefly lost sight of the fact that selling a self-published book without any sort of marketing strategy (money) was like a marathon, not a sprint. I had a lot of issues going on that day too, none of which you want to hear about. It's just so hard to be patient some days, especially when my emotions are running hot and cold. Most days I feel like a little kid in December waiting for jolly ol' Saint Nick to bring gifts. The other days I feel like Debbie Downer from an old Saturday Night Live skit. I don't think medication is the answer. The only reasonable answer I can come up with is to keep writing. So that I shall do.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A big fat zero

It's been almost two months since I've had to record a zero for a single day's sales and I have to admit it's sent me into a bit of a panic. Is this the end of the line for my writing career? Is this a sign that I should take up knitting or something else crafty to finish off my years? Drastic thinking, I know. I've also considered that Amazon is having problems, perhaps their systems are bogged down by the number of sales my book is really producing. Hee hee! Wishful thinking. The optimist in me is telling me that it was one day of bad sales and things are bound to pick up. I won't reveal what the pessimist is saying because she's lost her privilege to speak.