Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rosie's baaack...

Rosie went on vacation for a while as her story evolved. A woman like you, like me and millions of women all over the world, Rosie is a real, flawed human woman trying to get through life with as little pain as possible. But, in order to grow and become the people we are meant to be, we must take risks and the end result may involve a little pain. Well, Rosie does end up having pain - lots of it - but it's what she does with it that makes her special. So, she gives Marcie, her young neighbor, a little advice on how to save her marriage in this second book in the Rosie Chandler mystery series, "A Murder in the Neighborhood." Here's an excerpt:

    I answer the phone and it's Marcie. This can't be good. I expect to hear crying on the other end of the line. At least that's how it's been for the last two weeks, but I'm pleasantly surprised.
    "Rosie, wait 'till I tell you," She says. "You will just die."
      "Oh, oh. Marcie, what have you done?"
      "I've saved my marriage, that's what."
      "Oh, do tell." What else could I say? I'm not really comfortable getting the inside scoop like this - especially when it comes to a person's love life.
      "I've signed up for belly dance classes!"

So, yes, Rosie is back and I couldn't be happier.

Crimebake, 2014

     On the last day of this, my sixth Crime Bake, I can't help but think about my first. It was in 2009 and I didn't know a soul. I felt shy and intimidated by the throngs of people who had come to learn more about the craft of writing, and to pitch their novels to agents and editors, hoping to land that coveted contract with a big-time, NYC publisher.

     I sat at a small table table practicing my fifty-word pitch when a woman came over and asked me if that was, in fact, what I was doing. I told her it was and she said, "Okay, pitch to me." I practiced with her for a while, she wished me luck and went on her way. My shyness kicked in and I retired to my room, ordered room service and went through my swag bag. I did mingle a little more over the next two days, met a few people and came away a little smarter.

     Now, as I look around the table, it is filled with the wonderful people I've met over the years; some from past Crime Bakes, others from past Seascape writing retreats. All generous, helpful people with a common goal - to write and be read. Life if good.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Here we go again!

     A few hours from now, Margo and I will be on our way to the NECRWA conference in Burlington, MA, always such a fun time. The attendees are so friendly and the authors, so generous with their tips and their books. Yes, books! Every time you turn around someone is putting a free book in your hands. When you walk into a conference room for a workshop, there are more books; on your chairs and on the tables. The raffles are fantastic and numerous, and the food is great! 

Two years ago, Margo went by herself. She loved it so much I decided to go with her last year. We loved it so much the two other women in our writing group decided to go with us. Yay! We're taking up half a table! 

Margo and I are going a day early to get some serious writing done, and Lisa and Rachel will join us on Friday. We've all submitted five pages of our manuscripts to be critiqued by agents and editors. I'm hoping I get some constructive feedback.

Regarding CrimeBake, I waited until the last minute to submit to the Al Blanchard contest and to Level Best Books. I sent "Listen, and You Shall Hear" to the contest, but I was too late for the anthology. They only accept hard copy and it had to be postmarked by today. Oh, well. Live and learn.

I'll post this week-end from the conference - with pictures!

~ Later

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Writing tight.

With only a couple of weeks remaining until the Let Your Imagination Take Flight RWA conference, I was rushing to submit the first five pages of my my short story, A Necessary Romance, before the deadline.  In my haste, I deleted the entire story! All I had was a hard copy, so I had to type it in all over again.  When I got to the end of the fifth page I realized that it was in the middle of a sentence. I couldn't really stop there, so I had to start cutting. But, cut what? What words could I possibly throw away? I"d sweated over every one of them! Alas, one-by-one, I killed my darlings. Killed them until I had five pages that would leave you wanting more, but not leave you frustrated.

I didn't think it was possible; the story is so short, but it was. I know about writing tight, and I thought that's what I'd done, but when I was able to cut so many words and make my story more meaningful at the same time, it was a revelation. You KNOW I'm now going to have to go through all my short stories and start cutting!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I am a writer!

A sweet daydream I've had throughout my adult life has been to step off a plane in Hawaii and have a lei placed around my neck. I've seen that in movies and have always thought it magical, so as I walked into the banquet hall at Crimebake this year, and a pink lei was placed around my neck, it did feel magical. Some people can't sit down to write without their coffee, a special hat or even a stuffed animal sitting atop the computer. Well, I have a pink lei! I wear it when I write and since November have felt lost without it, so thank you, to the Crimebake committee for choosing a tropical theme for our banquet this year.

A few days ago, I looked at some of my short stories and a few chapters of a novel I'm writing. Maybe it was my frame of mind, maybe my stories aren't half bad, but I've decided to give it the old college try - again. I made a list of the steps I need to take in order to get published and began taking those steps, because as the saying goes, if not now, when?

~ Onward 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Better Late Than Never

I'm a FLASHWORDS winner!


It's true. While on vacation in Key West, I received an e-mail saying that I was a winner. I couldn't believe it and I was so happy. But, it gets better. My friend, Margo, was also a winner. 


We couldn't tell anyone until the winners were announced at the Crimebake banquet, so neither of us knew about the other until that night!

 It was so exciting. We read our stories in front of approximately three hundred attendees and I wasn't the least bit nervous. I was too happy. Actually, I was thrilled to death. Get it? SinC, death... ha ha.

I just find it so hard to believe that I didn't get right on this sucker and blog about WINNING! 

Actually, and I can't explain why, I haven't written much at all since then. Oh, sure, a few things here and there, but for the most part I seem to have abandoned all the characters I love so much.

It's time to get back into the swing of things so Rosie can get on with her life.  I registered for a Scrivener class in August with SinC NE., but I couldn't keep up.  I had hoped that the program would help me get more organized. I'll try again.

Anyway, Margo won Flashwords again, last November. I loved watching her read her story up there - on the stage - without me. Ha ha.  She was so confident and I got all choked up. She did great! My story didn't make the cut this time.  I'll try again this year.

In the meantime, I'll take a few days to sit and look at what I have. Really look. I have a few questions to ask myself and a few decisions to make. Am I really a writer? Do I have what it takes to go all the way? Is it the rejection I fear, or the acceptance? Hmm… I'll never know unless I follow through to the end. So, here I go. Time for some truth-telling. I'll be back with the answers.

Till then ~