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Showing posts from October, 2005

Insecurities in writing

Captain's Log, Stardate 10.31.2005 Happy Halloween! I'm filching--er, giving away candy at the front door to all these kids. (The Butterfinger Crisp bars are GOOD.) I just emailed Dee about something that's been bugging me--as I do the rewrites for my suspense, I'm feeling insecure. I got great feedback from Wendy and those authors' scoresheets, so I know what I'd like to do, but I'm having a hard time feeling confident that I can do it. Please, no fuzzy-wuzzy cyber-hugs or anything like that. This isn't something I need encouragement about. I need to sharpen my focus, sift through all I've learned from books, articles, and workshops. Most of all, I need to pray. I know my insecurity often comes from Satan. I give in too easily. I was even expecting it, ever since the ACFW conference . I can't shake it. It's like flapping your hand to get gunk off your fingers, but it's too sticky to let loose. I need t

I'm so glad they didn't like my book!

Captain's Log, Stardate 10.25.2005 No, you don't have to call the insane asylum or even the Humane Society. I had a great time talking with my agent last night. It's so nice that she's nearby--about 90 minutes from San Jose. I also got to meet her husband, who's totally nice. I had a fun time. The best part was when Wendy gave me some feedback sheets from best-selling authors who had looked at my first chapter. And none of them liked it. I got mostly 3's out of 5's. Why is that good? Because I got the harshest criticism I've had so far on this suspense manuscript, and it opened my eyes to how I could make it even better. To raise it to that next level in craft. To polish that rough rock into a diamond somebody might want to buy. I'm all fired up now. I'll be revising my suspense manuscript so that it'll be the best I can make it right now, with all the know-how on writing craft that I know at this point.

Ask an Author blog

Captain's Log, Stardate 10.23.2005 NovelTalk has started a new blog called " Ask an Author ." Aspiring writers can submit questions and NovelTalk's published authors will answer. I think this is a great idea, especially if writers have a very specific question about the writing craft or business. Sometimes it's just hard to find the answer we need on various online writing articles, because we don't know where to start. Writing: Been doing contest judging, and I'm almost done. I really do like judging and giving back to the writers groups, especially since I myself received so much when I first started writing. It's just been hard to pinpoint exactly why an entry seems flat to me, or a character seems bland. I don't want to just say, "This doesn't work for me." That's the epitome of the useless comment. I want to be able to say, "This character seems unemotional because she doesn't see

New agent

Captain's Log, Stardate 10.21.2005 I signed with Wendy Lawton from Books and Such literary agency . I'm very excited for several reasons. Wendy is really nice and I've gotten along well with her the times we've chatted--I got to know her at RWA National in July since she's Marilyn 's friend. It was a total non-pressure sort of thing because I didn't need to worry about making a stellar impression since I didn't need an agent at the time. I also talked with her at ACFW Conference in Nashville, which again was a non-pressure situation. Wendy is extremely excited about my writing, which makes me feel like a supernova. I had never realized what a difference it makes in how I feel when my agent is enthusiastic about my stuff. She also lives in California, about an hour's drive away from me. It's nice to know I can meet with her occasionally. I'm still doing contest judging. It's been really great for me in that I'm

WOUNDED HEALER by Donna Fleisher

WOUNDED HEALER by Donna Fleisher (Homeland Heroes, book 1) From the back cover: Flooded with panic, two words burst through Erin's mind: GET HELP. She ran for the door, but someone grabbed her, twisted her arm behind her. Erin's shriek was smothered by a cold, clammy hand. "Shhh--" Breath tickled her ear--" Just take it easy . . ." Surrounded by the oppressive sand, heat, and tension of Operation Desert Storm, soldiers Erin Grayson and Christina McIntyre shared a special bond. But when an ugly secret from Chris's past shattered without even a good-bye. Four years have gone by since that day in the desert, but Chris has spent her entire life running from the past, hiding her deepest secrets from those who care for her most. And now tragedy has ripped apart her life. She sees no hope in tomorrow. Overcoming her own anger and doubt, Erin rushes to Chris's Colorado cabin. When Chris's fear of God and Erin's faith in him collide, they are

DIE BEFORE NIGHTFALL by Shirlee McCoy

DIE BEFORE NIGHTFALL by Shirlee McCoy From the back cover: "EVEN OUT HERE IN THE COUNTRY, BAD THINGS HAPPEN." Raven Stevenson was in Lakeview barely twenty-four hours when she heard those ominous words. She'd come to the small Virginia town to reconcile with her brother and forget the haunting memories of her past. She didn't expect to find friends, community - or a thirty-five-year-old mystery of tragic love. Nor did she expect to meet Shane Montgomery, whose love for his ailing aunt Abby breaks through Raven's carefully built defenses. When Abby unwittingly shares some of the secrets behind that long-buried mystery, she and Raven are targeted by someone who wants those secrets silenced - and who's willing to kill both of them to do it. Camy here: This is good, solid romantic suspense--half romance, half suspense to add the tingle of mystery and mayhem. Raven comes across as a very real woman, not too sweet or to

Parents and contest judging

Captain's Log, Stardate 10.16.2005 My parents are visiting me this weekend, so things have been busy taking them to the places they especially like to eat and shop. They live in Hawai'i, and there are certain things hard to get there. Like Frankie, Johnny and Luigi Too! restaurant's linguini with clams in garlic cream sauce, and Rodney Strong reserve zinfandel. I'm judging a contest right now. It's a great experience for me because I'm doing a lot of high-level structural analysis of the entries, which are the first couple chapters and a synopsis. I'm looking at character GMC and spiritual conflict; at each story's Inciting Incident, Climax and spiritual epiphany; at scene structure like Goal and Rise, at pacing and reading flow. I am doing a lot of praying as I judge these entries because I want to judge both lovingly and honestly. In the contests I've entered, there was nothing more frustrating than low scores without explanati