Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Today Rachelle Gardner did a great post on agent's editing for their clients. Some agents are willing to roll up their sleeves and polish your MS til it shines. BUT (we've all heard that BUT cancels out whatever you said before it) in this tough market, where anyone and everyone is trying to get their book published, agents shouldn't have to. Why? Because there's just so much freakin' talent out there. They have PLENTY to choose from. Yes, they have to sort through a lot of slush to find it, BUT when they do find a well written, ready to submit to publishers MS, they are going to thank the query Gods if they don't have to spend hours upon hours of hard work to get your MS ready.

I think many aspiring authors hear the tales of a new author that wrote a story, queried a few agents, got representation quickly, and became a best seller. Now, everyone thinks they can do it. Sad fact is, it RARELY happens like that. Many of us MUST go through draft after draft, beta readers, critique, line editing, suggestions on plot and character development, etc etc etc. And then when we think it's perfect and ready to go, we should probably go through all that stuff a few more times.

It's a tough market. Agents want GREAT. Not "Okay, but needs some work." Many of us are guilty of "querying too soon" even though we've read the agent blogs that say not to. We think they won't care that a few commas are missing, or that there are too many adverbs. Surely, they'll think the story is so amazing that they'll happily do all the editing work for me. Ummmmmmmmm, no. Probably not. BUT, way to think optimistically (aka foolishly).

Agents are busy people. And publishers are being very picky in this economy. Good won't cut it. Make it great. Then, once you think it's great, make it phenomenal.

What do you think? Are you hoping that an agent will see your story as a diamond in the rough, or are YOU polishing it until it sparkles and shines?

Saturday, June 27, 2009


So I decided to create my own award for a few of my writer friends that I am eternally gratefully for. All you fellow writers out there know how priceless feedback, critique, and advice can be. I've met so many great people through this wide and wonderful blogging world. I think it means a lot if we show our appreciation once in awhile. Feel free to give this award to anyone you feel is worthy.

The FIRST--the very first in history--recipients of the Thanks A Latte award are...

Megan Rebekah- Thank you for the great advice on conflict, and MC development. For catching my love of eyes, so it didn't annoy anyone later. And for meeting me for coffee to discuss writing in real life.

Marie Devers- Thank you for being so knowledgeable with grammar, strong sentence structure, and catching those typos on my revision. And of course for sharing Moxie's world with me.

Becca Brown Thank you for your brutal honesty, your keen eye for non-teenish words, and for your hilarious sarcasm that makes me laugh out loud (real laughing, not the fake "lol" kind.)

This award is served with a big heap of gratitude to the recipient.
Somehow you’ve sweetened or perked up my writing and I am grateful for the advice or wisdom you’ve shared with me. May your good karma coffee cup always be brimming with sunshine. Thanks a latte for all you’ve done!

Share this cup with someone in the future and spread the java joy.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I've talked about how I'm a people watcher and many times I develop my characters based on sayings or body language that I observe in other people. Since I started writing my novel, I've noticed I find bits of inspiration everywhere. Sometimes in the strangest of places.

I was walking my dogs one morning and noticed an absurd amount of worms on a neighbors sidewalk. Pretty gross but whatever...moving on. The next day, and the next, I noticed more and more. Many were dead or dried up from the sun. I literally felt like I was walking through a worm graveyard (minus the graves). However, one morning a line came to me. You writers know what I'm talking about, that sentence or two that you keep repeating and think, "Hmm could this work as a story? Could this be my great first line that hooks readers?"

The line (which I am totally in love with by the way) started a new, wonderful, magical story that has been manifesting in my mind. How did it all start? Worms. Lots and lots of worms. Worms = Magical Love Story. Go figure.

I've only written about 5k words so far because I'm busy revising The Kindrily. But I'm excited about my newest story, and I can't wait to see where it takes me.
What bout you? What's a strange or interesting place you found inspiration?

Monday, June 15, 2009


BJ Anderson suggested a wonderful idea. The third week of each month a group of us are UNPLUGGING from the social networking world so we can focus on writing. No Facebook, Twittering, Blogging, etc.

I'm sure it will add hours of writing time to my work week--which I desperately need right now--so I am participating. You are welcome to too.

Sorry if I'm not reading or commenting on posts but I will be busy writing. Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Yesterday I posted that I was grounding myself from blogging so I could get my revision and editing done. I should be sitting in the corner with my dunce cap on but I'm rebelling because I need some writer advice. :) And technically this IS part of my revision process, so I don't feel guilty.

SONGS. Who the heck knew quoting a song or two in your novel could cause such a hullabaloo?! I used to have old song lyrics (Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra etc) at the beginning of a few of my scenes. I also quote two or three lines from a U2, Beatles and Frank Sinatra song. NOW, after reading posts about what a pain it is to obtain permission to use songs in a novel, I've done some reevaluating.

Chapter intro songs got cut. No biggie there. Frank song, I'm thinking of just saying Frank's voice sang over the radio (not quote exact lyrics). Beatles song, I can cut without a piece of my heart breaking away. BUT my U2 song quote is more about the underlying message behind the couple lines. SO...I'm thinking...what if I have my MC say she's quoting the band E3 (or whatever...obvious, but not actually U2) and MAKE UP song lyrics that are similar so the meaning is still there, but not U2's lyrics? Do you think that's a good alternative?

I don't want agents to read my book and turn up their nose because there's a song quote in my first 100 pages. What do you think?

PS, If anyone knows Bono could you have him call me so I can get his permission? Thanks. :)

Friday, June 12, 2009


I love my blogging world. I've learned so much from my new Writing World friends and received great support, critique, suggestions, advice etc. However...

I am grounding myself until further notice. No blogging. No Facebook, Twitter, or anything else except my manuscript and dictionary.com.

My MS is going through changes. And I'm beyond frustrated that it's taking me so long to accomplish my goal.

So warm regards to all of you. I will miss you dearly. BUT I am locking myself away for a day or two (or three). My mission...

-Taking out many of my "was" sentences.
-Adding more conflict.
-Cleaning up the new conflict and dialogue I added.
-Researching this whole song quoting/free domain issue. To see if I need to cut my song quotes. (Don't erase that post Tess! I need it to do research.)
-calling Bono if I do need to cut my lyrics because dang it, my U2 quote is such a great moment in my story!
-Yet another round of "is this adverb helping or hurting?"

In the soon to be famous words of River Malone, "Try not to miss me too much!"

Ah that reminds me,
-Develop River's goal and motivation more clearly.

Friday, June 5, 2009


The universe sends me daily notes that keep me inspired. No, I'm not crazy, someone actually created a website where you can sign up to receive daily emails with a note from "The Universe." Some days they really hit home, or make me smile, or tell me what I need to hear. Today's note made me do that head nod thing where I agree with every word I read, but lately, may have forgotten such a beautiful truth. So I decided to share it because so many of us are in the same boat. For all you aspiring authors, substitute your name for mine when you read it. It applies to all of us. :)

"The baby steps in the beginning of a journey, Karen, always seem inadequate compared to the brilliance of the dream that inspired them. This is natural. If the dream wasn't so far "out there" and dazzling, it wouldn't be worth dreaming! Just don't be led to think that the physical ground you cover with your baby steps is all that they accomplish. Because for every mortal step you take, another cog in a giant wheel behind the curtains of time and space advances, and with it, 10,000 new possibilities.

Better than Star Trek,
The Universe

PS. And you shall wonder, Karen, at what you ever did to deserve so very much."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


For several weeks a few people have mentioned they can't open the comments section on my blog. Some can't open it at all, others can't post a comment. They get an error screen. :(

Has anyone else had this issue? Any suggestions on how to fix it? Could it possibly be the template I chose? (Maybe it's got a cookies glitch with Internet Explorer?? That seems to be the browser that people are using when they have issues).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, June 1, 2009


“Whatever with the past has gone, the best is always yet to come.” ~Lucy Larcom

It's my 30th birthday.

When my mom was this age she was married and had my brother and me.
I have no boyfriend, two dogs, and a WIP YA novel.
Very different paths of life.

On my 29th birthday, I had no idea I was going to write a book. No idea that I would attend a writers conference, or discover a beautiful new world of talented writing folks. So I can honestly say that A LOT can happen in a year.

Who knows what my 30th year of life has in store, but all I can say is "bring it on."

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