Sunday, December 12, 2010


FINALLY...Nine years later, my first novel is complete. I would certainly be a publishers nightmare if it took me this long everytime... The truth is life got in the way, or perhaps it was me, standing in front of myself.

The point being, a self-taught writer, through the help of so many people (mainly my fellow Critique Circle critters) I'm done...for now. I can move forward to the next project and since it is a sequel, my main character, Georgia can finally move forward as well.

The writing of my book may be finished but the work has just begun. THE PITCH. There are so many sites and blogs available on line to teach you how to query and write a synopsis. I was fortunate enough some time back to have the help of author, Susan Juby and Diane McIntosh of Bright Ideas Design to teach me about pitching. And with the help of my critters have refined my approach.

Okay, so now I have my materials together...WHAT'S NEXT?

Who do I pitch to? Do I go with traditonal publishers or self-publish? Hmm... That's a subject for my next blog. ( you've looked at my history of blogging. Not great!)

Now I've reached this stage in my writing, I know how important my blog can be as a tool to reach my writing goals. So I intend to keep it updated. And I have this, perhaps misguided, belief you all would like to join me in my journey to being published.

At the moment, my manuscript is in the hands of two publishers. One who read it last year and took time to show me where it needed work. He suggested I do rewrites and would look at it again after that. The other recently requested the whole manuscript after reading the first four chapters. And so begins mine and Georgia's journey through the world of slush piles and rejections.

The sole intention of this blog is to tell you to follow your dreams, perservere. I did and I'm proud of how far I have come. I've reached a stage in my life where I can devote time to my dream of being published. Nine years? So is a series of journey's, some roads are longer than others.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I can't believe it has been that long since I last posted. Maintaining a blog is not the easiest thing to do. It requires commitment and perserverence. Guess I've got to work on those. But, I am determined to get it together and keep it going.

My post today is comletely self-absorbed, all about me. LOL. Earlier in the year, I entered a novel contest, Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.  NO...I didn't win, didn't even make the first cut. What I will receive is a proof copy of my novel which I consider a great prize.

I  spent many hours this weekend creating my own art work for the front cover, quickly editing my manuscript, adding a back cover,  biography,  and just submitted it for publishing. The process was exhilarating and fun. 

Some of the writers in my on line critter group, Critique Circle, are also receiving a proof copy of their manuscripts. It is so inspiring to share their excitement and see what covers they have created. Bubbling with excitement, I want to share this expereience with all of you.

Okay, so I'm still not published. But when I get my proof copy, I will be doing my happy dance. I will be motivated to keep querying agents and editors. And, I will be able to see what my book will look like in print. Pretty cool, I'd have to say.

So, what I hope for all of you, reading this, is you find your motivation to keep on keeping on writing.

Have a great week.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Welcome back.

It's been quite a week. Not much writing, editing, or critiquing my fellow writer's works. I spent the week visiting and caring for my 88-year-old mother, as my sister, her regular caregiver, went on a cruise to Alaska. It was wonderful to have the time to spend with her. Although there were moments of anxiety over health issues, there were many more filled with laughter over her comments and antics. Enough to fill up my notebook for future stories.

I did take some time to think about what to write on my blog this week and decided to talk about a book I read a few years ago. In my opinion, this book is a must read for aspiring writers. The knowledge I gained from this book is invaluable.

The book is called, "The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile" by Noah Lukeman, a literary agent with his own agency. An accomplished author, agent, and speaker, he comes well-qualified to write this type of book and it has become part of the curriculum for many writing programs in universities.

The basic message of this writer's guide is some agents and publishers will skip over a synopsis or plot summary and go straight to the manuscript or sample chapter attachment. The first five pages must introduce a protagonist with well-developed characterization, a great hook, even pacing, and progression. To the qualified reader, any common mistakes found in the first few pages are bound to be repeated over and over throughout the manuscript. The agent/publisher may quit reading if this is the case. This guide stays away from plot development because even the greatest story cannot be sold if it is full of common mistakes and displays poor writing skills. The idea is for the writer to edit their first five pages, apply their new found knowledge, and use it to edit the entire story before sending it out into the publishing world.

I highly recommend this book and added a link to Noah Lukeman's website. He has written other books you might find interesting as well.

As an added note, some of you who subscribe to Miss Snark's First Victim blog site, recently entered her query letter contest. If you go to Noah Lukeman's website and click on About, you will see a reference to an e-book called, How to Write a Great Query Letter. This short is free for download, his way of giving back to the publishing community.

Have a great writing week and keep on keeping on writing.



Monday, May 10, 2010


Welcome to my first blog. I have no idea where it will take us, but welcome along for the ride. I will add links to writing sites, favorite blogs, and contests. Like my writing, this blog is a work in progesss.

While setting up this site and choosing to show you my favourite spot to meditate, write, and daydream, I decided to put this question to you. Where and how do you get inspired to write?

For me, it is nature. Of course, everyday life, people, news, and my own experiences supply the fodder for my stories. But to work out the details and pull it all together, I need nature.

The tranquility of our trout stream does that for me. I won't say quiet because it is never so. The wind whistles through the leaves of the aspen, willow and alder trees lining the water's edge, which are full with a variety of birds, singing their songs. The water flowing over our rock waterfall, gurgles and churns it's way into the still pond, where trout-rainbow, brook, and dolly varden-hit the surface for bugs, creating a slapping sound. This is where I am quiet and become the dreamer.

When I'm in my office at the computer, one look out the window reveals the peaks of the local mountains surrounding our valley village of 650 people. A train traverses across Lime Mountain, sounding his whistle as it descends into the valley below and crosses Kelly Lake Road.

Nature is a part of me. It defines who I am. It stands to reason that mother nature must be a part of my writing. If I get writer's block, a hit of nature sets me straight. We all need something to get us back to our passion. I think it is important to figure out what it is for you.

So, back to you and my question. What does it for you?