Wednesday, June 27, 2012


“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”
—Harper Lee

       I read my last post and feel like a different person wrote it.  This isn’t an unfamiliar feeling.  Any writer knows that with great hope comes the eventual loss of hope. 

One positive piece of news can make a day.

One negative feedback can break a day.

       For me, it seems to be coming from all fronts. I apply for jobs, many through  Sometimes, I get an email that an employer has read my resume (hope).  Sometimes, I get an email that the position has been filled (loss of hope). 

       I spent much of Sunday applying for non-teaching jobs.  I’m still applying for teaching and even better paying instructional aide jobs.  What is one qualified for (other than teaching) with a History B.A. and M.A.? I worked at GEICO full time, and then part time during grad school, but that was a long time ago.  I hope to find a position in education, so maybe there will be some more vacation time for me to spend with my kids.  I’ll miss the summer. That is, if I get a job. At least my last job is waiting for me.

Then there’s writing…

I’ve sent 10 queries.

I’ve received 2 rejections.

 Vine Leaves Literary Journal  accepted my poem for their July issue. (YaY!)

       In the midst of that happiness, I received 2 bits of negative writing feedback, so the brief moment in the sun became a tsunami.

I feel like hiding.

I’m tired of saying I’m a teacher who isn’t teaching.

I’m tired of saying I’m a writer who isn’t published.

Small pieces.


       Since summer began, I’ve been devoting lots of time to editing.  I plan to have 2 more projects to query by end of summer. 

Too bad the story of my life is… the best laid plans.

Depressed yet? 

I’m leaving us with some inspirational quotes.  We could use them about now.

“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”
—Stephen King, WD

“Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.”
—Leigh Brackett, WD

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
—Larry L. King, WD

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
—George Orwell

“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.”
—Philip Roth

Okay, maybe not all inspirational.

What do you do to keep a thick hide?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Naked Ambition

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he falls while daring greatly.  So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory no defeat.”

- Theodore Roosevelt

Here’s what I’ve been up to in my writing life:

Naked Eye

I’ve never worked this hard on a query. Never worked this hard on a manuscript.
Never had a manuscript make it this far in ABNA (though it was cut for quarterfinals).

Since then, I’ve had 1 more writer look at the query. Had 4 more writers look at the manuscript.  It hasn’t been polished—it’s been scoured

Now I’m querying the editor and agent who requested partials, along with the other editors and agents who attended the conference. 5 out so far. More to follow.

Project X

I completed the rough draft 2 weeks ago at 60k.  Revisions began yesterday.  Soon enough I’ll be looking for readers. 

The query + 9 pages were critiqued at the NE-SCBWI conference in April.  The editor thought the manuscript had a good voice, and there was a market for it.  She gave me some direction, which I incorporated. Best of all, she thought the query was solid.  This is crazy 1 person looked at it besides me, and I didn’t revise it that many times.  Could it be I’ve finally figured out how to write a decent query? 

Time will tell.


Aubrie Dionne                                      
is hosting me on her blog today to tell about 100RPM.  
For details, PLEASE VISIT! 

Writers, where are you in your writing life? 
Wherever you are, I hope you’re victorious.

P.S. My friend Brigid 
has a wonderful piece in a contest. 
Please read her  ENTRY. 
If you like it…  VOTE!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


“Art is nothing but the expression of our dream; the more we surrender to it the closer we get to the inner truth of things, our dream-life, the true life that scorns questions and does not see them.”

I decided to write a post about a time I didn’t surrender.

It’s for the release of  Elana Johnson's 
new book Surrender

The problem is…

I’m not fiction.

I’m real.

What insurmountable odds have I faced and overcome?

What dramatic showdown occurred where I prevailed?

What antagonist did I battle with…

You get the idea. 

Most of us fight smaller fights.

I try not to compare myself with others.

Their successes are not my failures.

My successes are not their failures.

It’s best to focus on me.

I can dwell on what I haven’t


Beat myself up.

But there is--

a house to handle,

children to cherish,

a husband to hug,

students to school, 

family and friends.

So I keep moving forward--




I face my demons everyday. 

I won’t give up.

For if I surrender,

I won’t succeed.

Surrender is available TODAY: 

The thrilling and seductive sequel to Possession puts love on the line in a dystopian struggle for independent thought.

Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…

     Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
     All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.
     Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque…. 

Get your copy today!