April 29, 2015

Wednesday, April 29

This week has been dedicated to cleaning and organizing my office. When we moved into this older, cottage style house nearly three years ago, the room I chose to be my office had a teeny, tiny closet. (How in the world was it EVER used for clothes storage?) I had deadlines to meet during that move, and after, so I shoved things into the closet until such time I had the nerve to tackle it.  At this moment, my neat little office isn’t so neat.

I’ve found so much old stuff. Old ideas jotted in old notebooks or on old scraps of paper, old short stories (some completed, some left undone for a good reason). A file folder bulging with carbon copies (yes, carbon copies) of query letters. Oh, my, I wish someone would have taught me how to write one back then. They are truly awful, but I’ll keep them to show new writers I made the same mistakes they make now. Maybe they’ll derive some comfort and hope. I have also unearthed enough writing tips to fill a book, discovered several packages of manilla envelopes, new and used file folders, and plenty of dust.

Then there are all those early book manuscripts. The ones where I was just beginning to crawl as a writer. The ones where I was finally able to walk as a writer were marginally better. By books five and six, I more or less knew what I was doing but still needed a lot of work and practice before I could even consider of entering any marathons.

I’m not finished with this cleaning/organizing task, but I know one thing for sure. Never, ever throw away book or story manuscripts. They might be old and dusty, yellowed with age, but they hold a lot of gold. Some of it can be mined. The first April Grace book, In Front of God and Everybody, proves that. It was an old book, chucked away for years.

I have a book coming out soon that was written nearly twenty years ago. It’s been polished and revised, brought up to date, but still, it’s a story salvaged from my desk drawer. Dare I say, it’s really good. I think so, anyway. I hope so.

April 13, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

I’m batting around in my head (ouch) my writing projects for the next month and a half. When several contracts and deadlines occur close together, this can be a balancing act designed to bring sleepless nights.

My inclination is to work on Upside Down and Whopperjawed until the end of May, and if it isn’t finished by then, turn my attention to Honey Dipped Secrets because that deadline is early July. That editor (HDS) wants a very detailed outline of the story. Since it is something I don’t do, it’s going to be a challenge. Twenty pages or thereabouts, single-spaced, broken down by chapters. This is not the way I create stories, but in this instance, I feel it’s the smarter way to go. After all, it’s nice when an editor likes and trusts me, and if she finds a flaw in the plot, we can work it out before the book is written. Who knows? I may love being a hard-nosed plotter. (I doubt it, but I’m keeping an open mind)

Let’s not forget the other book that I have yet to complete. Deadline? August. Eek.  That one isn’t even on my personal schedule yet. Double eek.

Top Ten Ways to Stay Off the Bestseller List

There are many more ways than this list of ten. Any one of these will insure that you never reach any writing goal, let alone bestseller status. If you think of more, please add them in your comments. I’m interested in your thoughts!

Top Ten Ways to Stay Off the Bestseller List

  1. Never start writing, only talk about it
  2. Spend all your time trolling Facebook, Twitter, and other such places.
  3. Wait for inspiration.
  4. Bounce from one story idea to another without choosing one.
  5. Reach a tough place in your book, stop, and start a new story.
  6. Never finish anything you start.
  7. Believe you know it all and there’s nothing to learn.
  8. Defend your book to anyone who tries to help.
  9. Never promote.
  10. Receive one rejection and give up.