You have made it all the way here, so you may as well sit down, take a minute to look around, and enjoy. What you will find, depends on the day and my mood. You just never can tell.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Submissions - How to

If you are a writer, you have to learn all about submissions.  Whether you are submitting to a magazine or a publisher or an agent, there is a process you have to learn and accept.

1.  The research.  I don’t mind this part of the process.  I use market books, and google and site searches.  I like looking up agents and publishers and magazines.  I like to see what people are reading and what is coming out and new book recommendations.  Plus I like lists.  It’s a nice way to feel like you are making headway as you make your way down a list and mark things off as done.  The research, yeah, this part is fun.  Yes, really. 

Once you have done your research and made your lists, you move on to crafting:

2.  The Query.  We all hate this little guy.  I hate it, as I think I am good at telling stories, but I suck at being a salesman.  I don’t want to be a salesman.  Well too bad!  You have to learn and learn it as well as you can.  I am still learning.  I personalize each and every query letter.  There is not one query letter that goes out that is exactly the same as another even if I am sending multiple queries out on the same project.  Try to make your book or story or article interesting.  Try to brag about your self.  I am really bad at this.  I don’t want to be noticed.  I want my book to be the star, not me.  I like the shadows and watching the world.  The query is not easy to do.  Don’t just wing it.  Take time and think and try to be exciting and excited about your project. 

After you are done tearing your hair out over the query, then you get to pull out the rest of it drafting:

3.  The Synopsis.  I have shed tears over writing a synopsis before.  Frustrated tears, the I suck at writing tears, this project is awful tears.  Again, I will say I am not a salesman.  I sound stiff and boring a lot during this process.  I don’t know how to sell a book.  I know how to write it.  My solution is to write one, send it to other authors for feedback.  Rip up the one I wrote and try again with the feedback.  Again, find new authors to look it over and again, add in their feedback, until I feel like it’s as good as I can make it.  I never feel it’s perfect, but I always feel that it is good by the time I send it out.

4.  The package.  Now that you have a basic package of documents, next you have to put it all together. Each market and person and whoever you are sending to will want something different.  Give them exactly what they want.  Don’t deviate.  Don’t think you know what they want better than they do.  So I again will stress, give them EXACTLY what they ask for. If they want something different, they will tell you or ask for it. 

Once you do all this and hit send, you will inevitable come to:

5.  The regret and the mistakes.  I do each submission one at a time.  I will usually only do one or two a day if I have a big list, because I don’t want to overwhelm myself.  I like to recheck all the information and all the materials everyone wants.  But there are days that no matter how hard I try I find mistakes in my submissions.  I agonize over the query.  I agonize over the format.  I agonize about the spelling of names.  But I still find wrong things.  A missed name change.  A format letter that I didn’t update the date on because I was too busy freaking out over the content.  Or, my favorite: when I don’t put the correct name in the email, because I’m looking at the wrong list.  Oh yes, I did that once, recently, and beat myself up over it all day.  Knowing that my hard work and agonizing was a complete waste, as I insulted them by not having the right name.  I love that…let me tell ya.  We all have to remember that we are human and not perfect.  Do your very best and the hard work will payoff in the end. 

Don’t give up.  You can do this.  If you have any questions, I may not have a perfect answer, but I will always try to give you the information I know.  So, ask away.  Good luck out there everyone.  This market is hard.  I got your back.

One last thing before I go:  I will be working on a Nanowritmo Book again this year.  Therefore, I will be swamped for November.  I will do my best to stay in touch by social media, and I will of course return emails.  Otherwise, you may not see much of me until December and let’s face it by December we are all a little crazy so maybe not even then. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Indian Summer

What is Indian Summer?  I heard about it all the time growing up and in my head I thought it had something to do with when the Native American’s had their summer.  The minds of children…what can I really say?  Ask me sometime what I thought the saying "making ends meet" really meant.  Hint:  I thought the word was MEAT not MEET.  Ha!

What the actual meaning of Indian Summer is: A period of unusually dry and warm weather in the autumn.  But it also can mean a period of happiness and success occurring late in life.  For me, I’ll take the warm weather.  In Ohio, I swear that every year, the first day of fall hits and it goes from 90 degrees to 50 degrees overnight and from dry and hot to cold and damp.  I am not a fan of this time of year, as most of my regulars will know. 

How am I staving off the effects of the coming winter?  Well, this lovely Indian Summer is doing wonders without much effort from me. I also got a few bright purple mums to bring life to a dying garden.  I hope they last a good long while.  They make me smile every time I walk passed them.  I am adding more festive scents to my warmers so that the house smells of apples and cinnamon and pumpkins and spice.  That at least gets me thinking along the lines of coming events that make me happy.  That helps a lot.  Other than that, not much I can do about the changing seasons. 

I know so many people, including the tiny dancer (the traitor) that love this time of year.  It’s the hoodies and the bonfires and the falling leaves and the cooler more enjoyable weather for some, and the lack of bugs.  I get it.  I really do.  But for me?  I’ll take the bugs, if I can get the heat.  At least the horror movies are still on. 

Happy Autumn Everyone

Monday, October 3, 2016

Welcome to October

It’s October.  I guess if I have to survive the coming winter, there should be at least something I enjoy about this time of year.  Well, I am happy to announce that there is.  It’s called SCARY MOVIE SEASON! 

I happen to love the horror movies/series/books genre.  I don’t only deal in the genre in October but, this is the time of year that I can find a horror movie on tv any day of the week at any time of the day.  It’s exciting.  Some movies are really bad, but that is part of the greatness of the season.  I can watch all kinds of movies that never made it to the theaters and enjoy them all the same.  I can honestly say that of the horror flicks out there; I have probably watched 90% of them.  The top movies, the B movies, the made for TV movies, all of them.  Some are so silly they are funny.  Some are so scary I have to watch something easy afterward before I can go to bed (those are my favorite).  Some are gross and bloody and some are boring as all get out.  All in all, I can usually find something redeeming in any movie in this genre. 

Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order:

1.  The Exorcist.  The original.  To this day, this movie still creeps me out.  I have it on VHS and on DVD.  I have seen it so many times, but it still is one of the best.  

2.  Salem’s Lot.  Both the book and the movie are entertaining as all get out.  Not so much goose bump inducing scary, but very good story and characters. 

3.  Nightmare on Elm Street.  This is a gory bloody mix movie.  It’s great. Plus this is the first movie of that Johnny Depp was in.  The series continued on for many movies but this is by far the best one for me.

4.  Halloween and Friday the 13th.  These weren’t so much scary to me, but I liked the ideas behind them.  There are many sequels to each of them, which will keep you entertained for a long time. Granted these movies are part of the T&A time period and if you don’t know what I mean by that, then you are not an 80’s horror movie girl.  No pre-teen/teenage girl want to spend a night watching a horror flick with her boyfriend or parents when it’s all boobs and butts.  Can you say awkward? 

5.  Phantom of the Opera.  This isn’t really scary at all to me, but I love this movie.  It’s one of the few that I feel sorry for the bad guy.  It breaks my heart every time. 

There are so many more that I could make this list go on and on.  These are just a few movies off the top of my head that bring good memories along with them. Things like: how I felt while watching, who I was with, was it in the theater or at home, all kinds of reasons.  What movies in this genre are your favorites?  Do you have any?  Maybe you aren’t a horror movie fanatic like me.  That’s okay.  What is your favorite genre then?