"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.


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?