"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!



Wishing you all a safe and Happy New Year. Thank you so much for visiting and supporting my blog. I look forward to visiting with you all again in 2014!

What projects are you working to complete? What goals are you setting?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!



I hope you have the chance to spend time with family and friends, and that you remember to celebrate the birth of our Lord. I pray you are able to enjoy all the traditions that make this time of year so wonderful.

Thank you for visiting and supporting my blog. I wish you a truly blessed Holiday Season. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Writer


The holidays can be especially hard on a writer. From Halloween gatherings in October to New Year celebrations through the first week of January, writers often struggle with finding the time to keep their projects going.

They feel guilty for wasting "family time" on their own work. OR they feel drained from stress, and a lack of inspiration overtakes them which causes a case of the all too dreaded "Writer's Block".


They best advice I can offer is: DON"T LET IT!

As Toni Morrison said: "I can't explain inspiration. A writer is either compelled to write or not. And if I waited for inspiration I wouldn't really be a writer."

Even if you only spend five minutes a day writing - perhaps first thing in the morning or right before laying your head down at night - you can stay motivated and maintain at least a minimal feeling of accomplishment on your projects.

Still struggling? Try these tips for curing the writing blahs.

Burnt out from NaNo or not sure how to find a writing routine? Read these 4 Tips on how to write like Nicholas Sparks.

Want to read blogs by other motivational authors? Try Jody Hedlund.

Happy holidays and HAPPY WRITING!

What tips or practices keep you going?



Friday, December 13, 2013

Poll: Letters to the Editor

Okay readers, I need your help!

I'm hearing a lot of debate from writers about whether or not you can consider a "Letter to the Editor" a publishing credit?

If so, does it help or hurt your resume' if you include it when querying an agent, editor, or publisher?

Your thoughts?

Monday, December 9, 2013

7 Common Fears and Advice for Writers

I'm making a guest appearance today at Nicole's Write Me a World.

I hope you have a chance to stop by and comment on my post 7 Common Fears and Advice for Writers. The article is based in part on my own experience and in part on interviews I have completed with agents and editors.

Feel free to let me know if there are any questions you want answers to, problems you need advice for, or agents and editors you want to hear from in my future posts and articles.

HAPPY WRITING!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Power of Words

It sat in my “to be read” pile for two years, but once I picked it up, it didn’t take me long to read the more than 550 pages of The Book Thief. Markus Zusak has written an unforgettable story about the ability of words to feed the mind, the soul, and sway nations.

Set in Germany in the years 1939-43, the story unfolds from Death’s point of view. The country is holding its breath and Death shares how busy he has been, how he will become busier still, and that he is haunted by humans.

The tale focuses on Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.


In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time. Is this 2005 publication being taught in any schools? I wonder if it might find a place alongside or even replace Diary of Anne Frank in curriculums around the world.
This extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller is now in movie theaters. I don’t think I’m going to the theater to see it. The horrendous beauty of this book could not possibly be conveyed through film. Words indeed hold power. I will, however, probably see it once it’s on video.
Have you read this or any other Zusak books? What did you think of his writing?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Evaluation Mode

Congratulations to everyone who competed in NaNoWriMo! If you didn’t meet the 50,000 mark, or maybe you did, but you don’t like how it turned out – you are still successful. You attempted something tremendous, and you still deserve the kudos.

In my own case, I have a basic first draft, but I’m not certain about the word count. I wrote the whole thing out in a notebook. I’m not entirely happy with the climax or ending, but the bones of the story are there. And isn’t that the whole point of this challenge?
Now comes the fleshing out, and polishing. Try these 10 Ways to Add Depth to You Scenes.

I hope no one is rushing to submit. Apparently many agents and editors have quit taking pitches in December for this very reason. See: Four Things Writers Should Remember in December.

This is also the time of year I start evaluating what I have accomplished since January. I begin setting my goals for the new year. Some of those ambitions may include daily word counts, markets to tackle, or even research to complete. No matter what level you consider yourself (beginner or professional) here are four matters to attend to this next year.
How was your NaNoWriMo experience? What goals are you working toward now?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving for the Writer

It's the week of Thanksgiving in the United States. I'll be spending the time with family, friends, and finishing several projects. I hope you all enjoy a wonderful holiday full of good times.

For some fun reading, here are ten reasons I'm thankful to be a writer.

What are you doing this week?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Win NaNoWriMo in 9 Days!

Anyone participating in NaNoWriMo? Anyone struggling with or given up of NaNoWriMo?

Not to worry. There are nine days left to November, and thanks to Melissa Maygrove I found the article How I Won NaNoWriMo in 9 Days. 

That's right - nine days! The author, Ava Jae, shares her tips to completing her work in such a short amount of time. She also offers statistics to show you how she achieved her goal. It's worth a look.

Best of luck and HAPPY WRITING!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Best Websites and Blogs for Writers

Sometimes, we all need a little inspiration, motivation, or help navigating our craft and the publishing world.  Every year Writer's Digest publishes their top 100 sites for writers, but if you're like me, you don't have time to visit those hundred (which may change every year) as well as your own friends and followers.

So, here are just ten of my picks:

Rachelle Gardner - author and literary agent.
Writer's Digest - for all your writing needs.
Nathan Bransford - children's author and former literary agent.
Jody Hedlund - Christian Romance author.
Hope Clark - Mystery Writer and popular Newsletter Editor.
Mysterious Matters - Inside tips of the mystery publishing business.
Kill Zone - Musing of 11 top selling authors.
Alex J Cavanaugh - Bestselling sci-fi author.
Jane Friedman - editor, publisher, and professor.

Which sites do you just HAVE to follow?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Half Way There!

If you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month and following the daily word count, then you should have approximately 25,000 words on Friday.

I’m honestly not sure where I am on my word count. I've been writing in a notebook in place of typing. Trying to trick my brain by not watching the word count. We'll see if this method works for me.
How is your NaNoWriMo project progressing?

Monday, November 11, 2013

American Warrior Writing

Thank-you to all veterans and active military. We may not show it enough, but you are so very appreciated!

My interview of Vietnam War author Tim O’Brien appears in Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 2 which officially releases on November 15th.

This anthology presents essays, fiction, poetry, interviews, and photography by military-service personnel, veterans, and their families. It is the second in an annual series published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in cooperation with the Missouri Humanities Council's Veterans Projects and the Warriors Arts Alliance.  

"The stories and poems of service and sacrifice are essential in understanding what has so broadly been termed 'the American experience.' For me, Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors is required reading and worthy of a thousand tears."     ―St. Leger Monty Joynes, veteran, Vietnam

Books can now be ordered from the Southeast Missouri State University Press and Amazon. Volume one can still be purchased from both as well.


Interested in submitting to Vol. 3? They are already accepting submissions which are due by June 1, 2014. Contests and prizes will be awarded in each of the five categories. To learn more, please visit:  http://www6.semo.edu/universitypress/Contests/PTB_Contest.htm

Friday, November 8, 2013

One of Those Days...

It's just one of those days...

 
 
How is your WIP coming along?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Edge of Freedom


 
The November/December issue of Southern Writer's magazine came out on Friday. My interview with author Elizabeth Ludwig can be found in this month's issue: http://www.southernwritersmagazine.com/ 
 
Ludwig is the author of eight Christian fiction novels, including her "Edge of Freedom" series now available from Bethany House. Her ninth book, and the third in the series, will be available in March. You can learn more about her at: http://www.elizabethludwig.net/

Have you read anything by Ludwig? How about an issue of Southern Writer's? What are you reading now?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

This is my crew - ages 6 and 4.
 
Below is a picture of our oldest child ;-)
 
We've been celebrating with church and fall festivals, dance class parties, pumpkin decorating contests, costume contests, and school parties (I'm so candied out!). 
 
Thanks to a forecast of 100% rain for Halloween night, the girls will probably be enjoying a popcorn and movie fest in place of the usual visit to friends and family.
 






Now that the temperatures are finally dropping I just want to stay home cuddled up with a good book. (For a list of ten of my hauntingly good picks, see here.)

Interested in FREE scary books for a Halloween read? Try these!

Need a last minute Halloween costume idea? Try these 10-minute literary costume ideas.

How are you celebrating this season?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Interview With an Agent

When you are trying to find an agent, you have every right to question or interview them. After all, you hope to have a long relationship with this individual. It’s best to be certain the two of you are compatible. When interviewing with an agent be sure to:

1)      Answer their questions, but listen carefully.

2)      Don’t dominate the conversation, or become pushy. Just be direct and concise.

3)      Ask if they are a member of AAR – Association of Authors’ Representatives. If they say no, ask why. It’s not necessary for them to be, but you may want to learn more about their background and experience: like this.

4)      Ask about their procedures for selling your work, books they’ve sold in the past, which authors they have represented in the past, and who are they currently representing, etc.

5)      Ask to speak with some of their clients. Another author can give you the most unbiased answers about working with a particular agent.

6)      What is their plan for selling your book, and how long do they believe it will take?

7)      What do they expect you to do to help with sales, and what services do they offer?

8)      How much input and communication will you have about your account, and how often will you receive updates?

9)      Do they have a protocol for how you will work together - assistants who will help with your account, how often do they like to meet or speak with their authors, and when is the best time to contact them?

10)  What are your options if you don’t receive the results promised after X amount of time?

Agents should not ask you for fees up front because they get a percentage of your deal. In other words, they only get paid if you do. You also don’t want someone who is promising you a certain amount of money, movie rights, or any other perks. They cannot foresee what a publisher will offer you.

You want an agent who will be completely honest with you.
Have you interviewed with an agent? What tips do you have for someone about to sit in their first?

Friday, October 25, 2013

$40 Conference for Writers

On Saturday, November 9, 2013, Bayou Writers' Group will hold their annual conference Bridge To Publication. It's a small, affordable conference that offers quality speakers, and pitching opportunities.

 
DiAnn Mills - Keynote Speaker: award-winning writer of Christian fiction and writing coach to authors in any genre. First published in 1998, she currently has more than fifty books in print, which combined have sold more than a million and a half copies.  http://www.diannmills.com/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Jessica Kirland - Agent with Blythe Daniel Agency: She is acquiring and representing adult fiction, young adult fiction, and some non-fiction. She will be taking pitches. http://www.theblythedanielagency.com/jessica-kirckland-joins-as-marketing-literary-agent/
 
Jill Marr - Agent with Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency: Jill is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers and horror, women's commercial fiction and historical fiction. She is also looking for nonfiction by authors who are getting their work published regularly in magazines and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience. Jill is looking for nonfiction projects in the areas of self-help, inspirational, cookbooks, memoir (she especially loves travel and foodie memoirs), health & nutrition, pop culture, humor and music. She will be taking pitches. http://www.dijkstraagency.com/meet-the-agents.html



Stella Riley - Aquisitions Editor for Soul Mate Publishing - She will be taking pitches. http://www.bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/2013/07/more-conference-news.html

 
 
 
 
 
Glen Pitre and Michelle Benoit - Screenwriters. For more information: http://www.bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/2013/07/2013-conference-update.html
 

If you want to see who else will be speaking, or if you want to drive to Lake Charles, LA for this one-day event we'd love to have you. Go to our website where you can learn more and register:  http://bayouwritersgroup.com/
 
FEES:

_________ $35 for BWG Members (Must be received by Nov. 1)
_________ $40 for Non-Members (Must be received by Nov. 1)
_________$50 At the Door on Nov. 9
_________$25 Students— with ID

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

You Ask the Agent...

Hey awesome followers! 

As many of you know, I conduct interviews for several newspapers and magazines. I'm working on a "Literary Agents Answer Your Questions" series, and I'd love to ask the questions and get the answers you want the most.

So, here's your chance to ask everything you've wanted to know. You can request to hear from specific agents or agencies, to cover specific genres, and any other questions or criteria you want to learn more about. Share them here!

Which agents would you like to hear from, and what do you want to ask them?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

And the Winners are...



Congratulations to my blogoversary winners!

1) Johnathan Harp

2) Crystal B

3) Nicole

Another special thank you to all of my followers!

HAPPY WRITING!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Three year Blogoversary and Giveaway!


Saturday, October 19, will mark three years since my first blog post. Thank you so much to my followers. I've learned so much from you all. The ability to laugh, cry, and experience our writing journeys together has meant so much to me. I always look forward to reading and sharing with you.

As a thank-you, I'm giving away three prizes. You have a choice:

1) A FREE copy of an interview I have conducted with an author, agent, or editor - not published on this site. These have appeared in national newspapers and magazines.
2) A FREE guest post from me on your own site.
3) A FREE 500 word critique. This can be any 500 words you want. You can submit a scene, short story, blog post, or resume'.

To enter, simply leave a comment below letting me know which prize you want to win. I'll announce the three winners on Saturday, the 19th.

GOOD LUCK and HAPPY WRITING!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dark Road Home

I just finished reading Dark Road Home by Elizabeth Ludwig:

Ana Kavanagh's only memories of home are of fire and pain. As a girl she was the only survivor of a terrible blaze, and years later she still struggles with her anger at God for letting it happen.

At a nearby parish she meets and finds a kindred spirit in Eoghan Hamilton, who is struggling with his own anger--his sister, Cara, betrayed him by falling in love with one of his enemies. Cast aside by everyone, Eoghan longs to rejoin the Fenians, a shadowy organization pushing for change back in Ireland. But gaining their trust requires doing some favors--all of which seem to lead back to Ana. Who is she and who is searching for her? As dark secrets from Ana's past begin to come to light, Eoghan must choose which road to follow--and where to finally place his trust.


This book is a wonderful sequel to No Safe Harbor and now I'm anxiously awaiting book three of her "Edge of Freedom" series!

Elizabeth Ludwig is also an interesting speaker and talented editor. To learn more about Ludwig and her books, please visit: http://www.elizabethludwig.net/ 

What are you reading?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Purple Moon" Blog Tour and Great Giveaways

by Tessa Emily Hall

Selena's life isn't turning out to be the fairy tale she imagined as a kid. That hope seemed to vanish long ago when her dad kicked her and her mom out of the house. This summer might finally hold the chance of a new beginning for Selena ... but having to live with her snobby cousin in Lake Lure, NC while waiting for her mom to get out of rehab wasn't how Selena was planning on spending her summer. She soon begins to wonder why she committed to give up her "bad habits" for this.

Things don't seem too bad, though. Especially when Selena gains the attention of the cute neighbor next door. But when her best friend back home in Brooklyn desperately needs her, a secret that's been hidden from Selena for years is revealed, and when she becomes a target for one of her cousin's nasty pranks, she finds herself having to face the scars from her past and the memories that come along with them. Will she follow her mom's example in running away, or trust that God still has a fairy tale life written just for her?

 
Behind the Scenes: Christian Human Videos

I’ve incorporated a certain human video into “Purple Moon”, which is one that actually went viral on YouTube several years ago. This skit is performed to the song “Everything” by Lifehouse—and, in a way, it actually inspired the story for “Purple Moon”.
I’ve always loved Christian human videos/skits, even before I found out that my parents used to direct them when they were youth leaders. I think human videos are a powerful form of ministry—sort of like the way that Jesus used to illustrate certain truths by telling parables.

For those of you who are not familiar with human videos, here are some of my favorites:

·         “Everything” by Lifehouse. There are several versions of this skit—however,this one is probably my favorite.

·         There’s one other song and skit that inspired “Purple Moon”, and that is “By Your Side” by Tenth Avenue North. This skit isn’t as popular as the other one, but I think it’s just as effective.

·         I also love this one, “Breathe Into Me”, which is done by the Basement Drama group.

·         Another group that performs human videos is Unashamed, and my absolute favorite of theirs is the one to the song “Worth It All” by Rita Springer. Some of my other favorites of theirs include:How To Save A Life&Bleeding Love




Have you ever performed in a human video/Christian drama? Of the ones that I listed, which one is your favorite?

 For a complete blog tour list and more chances to win prizes, such as an autographed print/ebook version of my book, $20 gift card, Starbucks instant mocha (because who doesn't love coffee?!), coffee mug, bookmarks, sleep mask, sketchbook, "The Anxious Christian" by Rhett Smith, "Courageous Teens" by Michael Catt & Amy Parker, OR "God,Girls, and Guys" by Robin Marsh & Lauren Nelson, AND a "Purple Moon" Prize Pack, visit here .


Purple Moon now available.
Follow Tessa:

"That's what gives me hope, knowing that the moon that glowed in the sky on that magical night is the same one above us now."
 –PURPLE MOON, Tessa Emily Hall

 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Escalation Cover Reveal

Today is the official Cover Release day for Stephen Tremp’s Escalation!

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” - Albert Einstein

In Escalation, the final installment to Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Trilogy, a seemingly innocent discovery in Einstein-Rosen Bridges, or wormholes, becomes a Pandora’s Box—opening doors to other unexpected and unpredictable realities such as parallel universes, time/space travel, and an evil hitchhiker from another dimension.

Chase Manhattan has survived attempts on his life from numerous sources in his effort to destroy the technology. But he is far from safe. Now Chase and his comrades must not only break world renowned physicist Professor Nicholas Fischer out of prison a second time, but also smuggle him across hostile borders in Europe and the Middle East to prevent events threatening to spiral into World War III.

At stake: an end to Western civilization as we know it. The result: an epic clash where science and the supernatural take center stage, vying for mankind’s destiny. The setting is global as the world divides into an East vs. West climactic battle. The action is swift, adrenaline-charged, and non-stop. Unending twists and turns will keep the reader turning pages and wanting more.

Together, Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. Escalation will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, action, and horror.

Keep watching for details on ordering. You can learn more about his books at: http://authorstephentremp.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 4, 2013

Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors

My interview of Vietnam War author Tim O’Brien will appear in Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 2 which releases on November 15th.

This anthology presents essays, fiction, poetry, interviews, and photography by military-service personnel, veterans, and their families. It is the second in an annual series published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in cooperation with the Missouri Humanities Council's Veterans Projects and the Warriors Arts Alliance.  
"The stories and poems of service and sacrifice are essential in understanding what has so broadly been termed 'the American experience.' For me, Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors is required reading and worthy of a thousand tears."     ―St. Leger Monty Joynes, veteran, Vietnam

Books can now be preordered from the Southeast Missouri State University Press for $15 and will soon be available on Amazon as well. Volume one can still be purchased from both.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 2013 Writers Conferences

Looking for some great ways to hone your writing skills? These October events will help you take your writing to the next level:

Women Writing the West Conference
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Dates: October 11-13
Cost: $320 for non-members, $260 for members
Description: Women Writing the West draws writers of all genres whose works are set in the Trans-Mississippi west. This year’s conference offers group and breakout sessions to inspire and inform your writing, publishing and marketing, opportunities to meet our guests, agents and editors, and celebrate the gathering of fellow writers. The conference kicks off with Friday morning’s tour of the Steamboat Arabia Museum; sessions begin Friday afternoon. Sessions include:
  • Fiction: How Fiction Works, Brian Shawver, author of The Language of Fiction
  • Nonfiction: Moderated panel with archivists from the National Archives and the National Frontier Trails Museum, among others
  • Short Story: Putting a Lot into a Little, Catherine Browder, author and university instructor
  • Memoir: More than Memories: Writing a Readable, Publishable Memoir, Jo McDougall, poet and memoirist
  • Children’s Lit: The ABCs of Writing for Children & Young Adults, panel moderated by member and former WWW President Sheila Wood Foard
  • Professional sessions: “State of the Industry” panel with attending publishers; “Pick Me, Pick Me” panel with attending agents and publishers; Self-publishing, with Doris Baker of Filter Press; Social Media Marketing with WWW Marketing VP Susan Tweit

Auburn Writers Conference
Location: Auburn University, Alabama
Dates: October 18-19
Cost: $250 for full weekend or $150 per day
Description: You come to a crossroads. You make a choice. Left, right, forward, back. That’s how it usually goes. But what if you don’t choose? What if, instead, you embrace all directions? What if you stay in the crossroads, in the intersection, in the place where all possibilities present themselves?
Join us this fall for the 4th Annual Auburn Writers Conference’s Artful Crossroads: Where the Arts Intersect, on October 18 & 19th in Auburn, Alabama.  We will come together and talk not only about craft and publishing, but about the ways in which our words reflect other forms of art. For some, it will be in the creation of characters who happen to be artists, for others, it might be the fusing of literature with another kind of artistic expression such as music, or visual art, or performance.

James River Writers Conference
Location: Richmond Virginia
Dates: October 19-20
Cost: $240 for full conference; or $170 per day
Description:  Join us in Richmond for the 2013 James River Writers Conference to pitch your project, improve your craft, and meet fellow writers. Speakers include award-winning book designer and author Chip Kidd, National Book Award-winner Kathryn Erskine, best-selling and award-winning author Christopher McDougall, award-winning authors Cece Bell, Lydia Netzer, Megan Mayhew Bergman, and Philippa Ballantine, Book Doctors Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, founders of Pitchapalooza, and agents April Eberhardt, Deborah Grosvenor, Victoria Skurnick, and Paige Wheeler.
Since 2003, the James River Writers Conference has been our organization’s signature event, and our most meaningful contribution to the literary community in central Virginia. Well-respected within the publishing industry, we have attracted prize-winning authors and highly regarded editors and agents from around the country to share their wisdom about writing and publishing. More than 300 people attend this two-day event, known for its inspiring, collegial atmosphere.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival
Location: Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland
Date: October 26
Cost: $40 (includes one workshop)
Description: The 2013 F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival will feature “The Lost Trip of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Or, How to Build a Novel from ‘Hole in History,’” a talk by R. Clifton Spargo, author of the recently published novel, Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, which the Washington Post praised as “the one version of the story that resists the temptation to glamorize Scott and Zelda out of their humanity.”  Other events at the Festival include screenings of the 1949 and 1974 films of The Great Gatsby, followed by a panel discussion, “Which is the Greater Gatsby?” comparing the 1949 and 1974 versions with the 2013 Baz Luhrmann film, moderated by Michael Dirda and featuring prominent area cinema experts Murray Horwitz, Bob Mondello, and Jane Horwitz. 
Also in the day’s offerings will be writing workshops taught by E. Ethelbert Miller (memoir), James Grady (mystery/thriller), Merrill Leffler (poetry), and Alan Cheuse (fiction); a writing workshop taught by Robert Olen Butler; the announcement of the winners of the annual F. Scott Fitzgerald  Short Story Contest; and a reading by Robert Olen Butler.

Whidbey Island Writers Conference
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Dates: October 25-27
Cost: $280 (early bird until 9/16); $300 (regular)
Description: Gather with your fellow writers for the 15th annual Whidbey Island Writers Conference where, surrounded by mountains, forests and water, experienced professional writers, agents and editors will share their knowledge, technique, practical experience and joy of writing. Cross the lovely waters of Puget Sound and immerse yourself in the written word, hone your craft and sharpen your marketing and publicity skills. When you leave you’ll be a stronger and a better writer. Check out the detailed conference schedule here. Highlights include workshops, agent pitches, manuscript critiques, a poetry slam and musical performances by Mary Lambert and Ian Moore.
 
For more options, just try a search for "October Writers Conferences". HAPPY WRITING!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall in Love with Your Writing

It’s Fall, and time to love writing again. Rejection, frustration, envy of others, and real world demands can drive a wedge between you and your passion. Just remember, you started writing because you love it! Here are four ways to remind yourself, and reignite the spark for your craft.
1.      Focus Your Time – It’s one thing to write for money or on assignment, but if you don’t enjoy what you are writing, you’ll begin to detest the process. Planning, rewriting, submitting, and marketing can all take a toll as well. Devote an equal, if not greater, amount of time to YOUR choice of writing projects. And stay away from people and activities that distract or bring you down. Time will rekindle the love.
2.      Rediscover the Romance – Turn off the interruptions of phones, social media, etc. Spend time alone, sipping your favorite beverage, listening to your favorite music, reading your favorite books, and let your mind wander. Write out your thoughts, fears, guilt, hopes, dreams, and scenes that create themselves in your mind. Write without the intention of publishing, seeking an audience or approval, or even correcting your work. Let go and enjoy the process. You are redirecting the passion that led to your love of writing.
3.      Share the Love – Allow yourself to spend time every month with other writers. Join a writer’s guild, critique group, or read books and blogs on the craft. Occasionally surround yourself with others who value writing because it is a solitary endeavor, and sharing the passion you feel will fuel your creativity and success.
4.      Build Your Inspiration – The best inspiration comes from developing a fan base for your writing. Readers commenting on your posts, or asking about your next publication provide you with continual support and motivation.
All writers experience burn out, whether it is for a few hours or a few years. Allow yourself to ignite the passion, fuel your creativity, and fall in love with this craft again.

I'd love to hear your ideas. How do you ensure that your relationship with writing remains healthy and full of love?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Free "Thrilling" Reads

Fall is here and with Halloween just around the corner, I thought I would share five "thrilling" books now available for free download.

















HAPPY READING!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Reading Treasures

I've been insanely busy this past month, and as a result I'm having trouble getting into any of the books I pick up. I read a variety of genres, but as I peruse my "to be read pile" for a great escape, nothing seems to click.

So, what are you reading? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Affordable Writers Conference

The Bayou Writers Group annual conference, A Bridge to Publication, is set for Saturday, November 9, 2013 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The cost is $35 for members, $40 for non-members, $25 for students with an ID, and $50 at the door. Below is a few of the agents, editors, and authors who will be speaking and taking pitches. For more information, visit: http://bayouwritersgroup.com/


1) DiAnn Mills - Keynote Speaker: award-winning writer of Christian fiction and writing coach to authors in any genre. First published in 1998, she currently has more than fifty books in print, which combined have sold more than a million and a half copies. She often works with Lahaye and Jenkins of the popular Left Behind series.  http://www.diannmills.com/

2) Jessica Kirland - Agent with Blythe Daniel Agency: She is acquiring and representing adult fiction, young adult fiction,and some non-fiction. She will be taking pitches. http://www.theblythedanielagency.com/jessica-kirckland-joins-as-marketing-literary-agent/

3) Jill Marr - Agent with Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency: Jill is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers and horror, women's commercial fiction and historical fiction. She is also looking for nonfiction by authors who are getting their work published regularly in magazines and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience. Jill is looking for nonfiction projects in the areas of self-help, inspirational, cookbooks, memoir (she especially loves travel and foodie memoirs), health & nutrition, pop culture, humor and music. She will be taking pitches. http://www.dijkstraagency.com/meet-the-agents.html

4) Sue Carswell - Author, ghostwriter, seasoned journalist with extensive knowledge and experience in print, broadcast, publishing, and blogging. Unique skill-set with expertise ranging from story development and strategic planning to reporting, writing and editing all editorial content from pop culture, to lifestyle, to hard news. High-profile positions include roles at O, The Oprah Magazine, People, Vanity Fair, Good Morning America, Random House and more.

5) Stella Riley - Aquisitions Editor - She will be taking pitches. http://www.bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/2013/07/more-conference-news.html

6) Glen Pitre and Michelle Benoit - Screenwriters. For more information: http://www.bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/2013/07/2013-conference-update.html

 MORE NEWS, EVENTS, TO COME SOON...