Monday, April 29, 2013

Looking For Feedback...

It's been a beautiful spring week with the iris's in bloom in front of my apartment. With that brings the bumble bees and hornets. Unfortunately, the hornets decided to make a nest in my air conditioner unit, just outside my door. Agh! But not to worry, when I turned on my air conditioner for the first time this year, they went crazy. I haven't seen them for two days, so I hope they aren't coming back.

What does that have to do with writing, you ask? Believe me, I have a purpose in mind. When I first started writing, all was well and I was very excited about writing every day. But as time went along, it was like the seasons. It was winter, and everything looked bleak. Then spring came, with fresh ideas and challenges to write. Then came the bumble bees and hornets. You know, those critical jabs that you dodge so you won't get stung? I've always said you can learn from criticism; take the best - discard the rest. But when they build a nest near you, it's personal. So I've been careful about polishing my latest story until it shines.

I'm starting a new story this spring, after spending all fall and winter wrapping up Call of the Dragon. While I outline my story, I'm trying to decide whether or not to query an agent. It's a big decision for me, not because I'm worried of rejection, but because I'm not sure if I want to get wrapped up in the process of querying. It seems time consuming, but since I've never done it, I can't say.

If you've done the agent publication route and have some ideas for me, I'd appreciate some feedback. A little goes a long way for me. And since it's spring, I can sit and watch the flowers while I wait to hear from you. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Medieval Muse in Review

Who said a small book counted fly? I've received three five star reviews and over 900 downloads at Smashwords and their affiliates since publishing this ebook. It was my first endeavor and I chose to make it free of charge. I'm happy to say that it now is continuing to be downloaded, as of today.

I don't think I would have published this ebook, except my sister, artist Loretta Stephenson (she did the cover, also) encouraged me to follow my dreams. She said: "You don't get anything if you don't try at all." It might not sound like the most profound thought in the world, but it is very true. Without giving yourself the permission to get out there and see what happens, you'll always wonder.

Thanks to all of you who have supported me and I hope you enjoyed reading Medieval Muse. I am preparing to bring a new book to you about kings and dragons, entitled Call of the Dragon. It will be out in a few months, but for now, thank you!

Medieval Muse

What happens when Victoria Budroix receives a cameo that promises to give her the desires of her heart? Since she doesn’t know what that would be, a trip to medieval times, intrigue, threat of war and an overbearing lord are on the list for her to choose from. Or could it be meeting her one true love?

Sir William of Conrad has escorted a stranger home to be under his protection. He discovers this woman speaks her own mind and melts his heart. He faces his father’s outrage and a broken alliance with the neighboring clan by falling in love. 

Available at Smashwords here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It's Time To Lose A Little Weight!

Yep! This is me today, as I trundle out of bed and head for my morning cup of coffee. I'm not really as frazzled as this picture displays, but I am feeling a little out of sorts.

You see... I've been on a diet for the last 6 weeks (my sister would rather hear me say: a lifestyle change), and while I can report I've officially lost 19 pounds, I'm feeling like I need to do some other changes also.

One of those places I need to change is in my writing habits. I need to put them on a diet, too. What's that? I can honestly answer that I don't know all the things to clean up my writing, but to start with, I need to look at brevity. How concise is my work? When I write, I tend to ramble and then have to go back and delete a sizable portion of was, just, but, as, and so on. I think you get the picture. In other words, I need to lose a little literary weight.

I recently read another book by Noah Lukeman, How To Write A Great Query Letter and one of the main points I got out of it was keeping to the point. Make your statement and move on. Don't belabor the issue by filling in the white spaces with unnecessary words. In a query letter it will get you rejected. In your stories and books it will cause them to be overweight, or carry a plethora of extraneous material.

Like I said, it's time to experience a lifestyle change and cut out the extra words. Be good to your work and treat it like it was a part of your body. Go on a diet and cut out the extra adverbs and see how beautiful your work becomes. It will be strong and powerful in its new body, carrying less baggage and more literary punch. And, you'll become that lean, mean writing machine that you've always admired in others.

Good luck on you diet! Let me know how you're doing!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Thankful Day...

Ever have something staring you right in the face, but you don't recognize what it is you're looking at? That's what I'm feeling like this week. Every time I sit down to make a post, I feel tongue-tied. I just don't have a clue what to write about. Have you ever been in that position?

Last week I visited the good ole' mammography clinic and had the scare of my life. They thought there was something "unusual" on the x-ray. But, after going back today and having the radiologist give me the all clear, I'm breathing easy again and thankful for small blessings.

It's times like these that make you stop and say thank you for the life I lead and the wonderful people I've come to meet along the way. At age 61 I'm awed by all the things that I've experienced in my life. Not only have I been a musician and soloist, I'm traveled to different countries, I've worked as a registered nurse and I experienced having three wonderful children. If all that isn't enough to bring out a few stories, then I don't know what is!

Have a happy day!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Looking For An Agent?

I have just finished a compelling book entitled How To Land (And Keep) A Literary Agent written by Noah Lukeman. This book gives you all the reasons why you should seek out an agent, how to find the right match and how to keep the relationship intact. I am probably the last person to introduce this book, since I never really wanted to go the route of having an agent, but I have to say, this book gives me lots to think about.

Mr. Lukeman divides his book into three parts:

Part I: You
This part tells why you need an agent, how you should prepare your manuscript and how to build your platform and credentials.

Part II: Them
This part provides you with 35 resources to research agents, how to approach them, the art of follow-up and how to protect yourself.

Part III: After The Storm
This part explains how to keep your agent (and when to let him go), and a section on what to do if you can't find an agent.

Although this may sound like a short book report, I want to emphasize that this book is encouraging to any author, straightforward in its feel from an agent's point of view and honest. I recommend it as excellent material, along with his other book: How To Write A Great Query Letter: Insider Tips & Techniques For Success.

For those of you who already have an agent, this could give you excellent tips on how to keep a great relationship going between the two of you. And how to know when it's not working for you (if you don't already know).

Enjoy reading these books and if you already have read them, are there other books you can recommend?