Friday, January 29, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The UGHly!

I'll start off with the good - a short story I submitted to Mezzo Magazine was chosen for publication in their January on-line issue. I couldn't be more thrilled! I have been doing my version of the "happy dance" all week waiting for it to go live. Check it out, it's entitled Where You Least Expect It:

Next, is the bad. I didn't win the Perfect Pitch Contest with Donna Alward. I didn't even make the top eleven. However, I did get back some great feedback from Donna and I think she is very amazing for even holding the contest. I am very embarrassed to find out that I let some grammar errors get through. See what happens when you spend so much time on what you are saying and not enough time making sure you are saying it correctly. Even though I didn't place, I did want to share my pitch and her comments:

Hell Bound is the story of a contemporary demon hunter, consumed by revenge, who finds redemption in the arms of an unlikely savior.

Healer hunts and kills demons on a daily basis, but there is one demon who continues to elude his capture – the demon who murdered his sister two years ago. He has sworn to use any means necessary to destroy this demon, and won’t let anything or anyone get in his way. Now, his closest lead is the demon’s next target, the naive and outspoken Krystina Hall. Krys is a research assistant for the local newspaper and enjoys her normal, easy-going life. All of that changes when she is the witness to a demonic ceremony that results in the murder of her boss; and suddenly she is thrown into the middle of a world she never knew existed.

When Krys shows up at a Catholic Church seeking protection, Healer sees this as the opportunity he has been waiting for to take down his sister’s killer, and he intends to use Krys as bait. Krys only thought she was the one in need of saving, but she soon finds herself willing to do anything to save Healer’s soul from being eaten up by revenge. So she goes along with Healer’s plan on one condition,when she returns to her normal life, he must give up demon hunting and come with her. As they work together to stop a demon from releasing Hell on Earth, they quickly discover true Hell would be to lose one another and the passion they have found.

Donna's comments were that she really liked my logline and the use of the words revenge and redemption. Her more specific comments regarding the body of my blurb were, "Tiny nitpicky item: no conjunction after the use of a semicolon. In your last paragraph, you have a slight problem with tense agreement. "Krys only thought she was the one in need of saving, but she soon finds herself..." First phrase is in past, second in present. Since pitches and synopsis are usually in present tense, I'd simply change it to "Krys thinks she's the one in need of saving, but she soon finds herself..." The onward - after condition I would use an em dash rather than a comma."

Feedback can't get any better than that!

Now for the UGHly - While I have worked quickly to finish my ms and I think my pitch is ready, my inner critic is still plaguing me with doubts about it being ready to submit - is the conflict strong enough? Are the sex scenes sensual enough? Is anyone really going to care about my hero and heroine? Okay, I could go on forever. Well, guess I will be sending the edited pitch in within the next few minutes and then I will have to move on, ready or not.


Monday, January 18, 2010


Distractions, distractions. Now that I seriously want to sit down and write, I am inundated by distractions. This week is all about making pirate costumes, making a paper mache parrot and octopus and putting together a mini pirate ship float for my daughter for a pre-parade walk on Saturday. I thought this week would be about getting my NB finished up, and yet I am still on ch. 4.

However, I am 18 days into January and already I have been working hard towards reaching several of my goals. I have come out of the writing closet with my husband (who wants to help me by giving me lots of story ideas). I have submitted the January "Your Story" entry to Writer's Digest and I am considering pitching my NB by the end of this month. Oh, and I have read about 5 books.

Take that distractions!

Monday, January 11, 2010

To Pitch or Not to Pitch?

I just can't rant and rave about eHarlequin enough. It has a great online community of supportive women and also boasts author participation like I have never seen - weekly blogs and forum posts from the authors themselves!

As if this isn't enough of a reason to be a part of their community, they also have editor pitches. That's right, I repeat editor pitches. You can send in a two paragraph blurb about your book and if you are chosen you get actual chat time with the editor to sell them on your book.

Now here comes my dilemma. I was planning on submitting a piece of work to them anyway via email at some point this year, but now I have an opportunity to try and pitch if I send in my blurb by February 1st. The problem is that I know that my manuscript will not be at its best by pitch time. So, do I try for the pitch or take my time and when I thing my final product is worthy send it in? Hard choice.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Isn't it funny?

Isn't it funny how one word spoken by a stranger can affect us the rest of our lives?

Prime example - I was in elementary school and our teacher announced our class would be part of a writing contest. We were all given bounded white books and told to write a story and design our own cover. I was thrilled. I had the best story ever (according to me). It was about a little girl who rescued a kitten from a field where its mother had been stomped to death by a horse. The kitten had a really long tail and large ears. All the other kids made fun of the girl's kitten because of its looks, but she loved it with all her heart. (I did mention this was elementary school, right?) Eventually the kitten grew into a beautiful cat and all the other kids felt bad they had ever made fun of it.

My teacher's evaluation of my story was summed up in one word - morbid. Yep, she actually said that to me. To my young mind that equalled horrible. I think my self-esteem took a severe blow that day. I can't even remember that woman's name, but I remember the look on her face and what she said. Every time I write something to submit, I worry that someone is wrinkling their nose up in distaste on the other side.

Worries aside, I am still writing and submitting.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Writing goals for 2010

I did a lot of whining last year and wasted a lot of time. Time that could have been spent doing more of what I have started to love - writing. I never thought of myself as a writer. Ever. In fact, I have told no one (hubby, family or friends) that I have started writing as a hobby. I like doing it in secret. That way if I am a complete failure at it, no one will be the wiser.

2009 was a bit of a bummer year for me and my family. Without boring anyone with specifics, I will just say it felt as if someone had put a hoodoo hex or something like that on us. Almost every month it seemed as if we received a little kick in the pants. Well, 2009 is finally over and hubby and I have decided 2010 is going to be a great year.

Part of what will make this year great for me is taking writing a little more seriously. I have decided to set specific goals for myself and keep an update of my progress here for all the world to see (except for hubby, family and friends).


1. Write. Almost every published writer has published some form of a "how to" for writing. Their practices and opinions vary widely except in one area, writing. They all say in order to become a writer, one must sit down and write, daily. Common sense, right? My goal for this year is to sit down and write at least five days a week and to post a blog entry at least once a week. Doable? We shall see.

2. Style and Grammar. All writers can continuously improve their writing by studying the various grammar and style principals. My goal is to study up on these subjects and try and learn or refresh my knowledge on a specific rule at least once a week.

3. Submit. There is nothing more rewarding to a writer (at least I think) than to see their work published. Last year I dabbled a little and submitted a few short stories to Writer's Digest for their short story competition, submitted a short story to Mezzo Magazine, and I participated in's Write a Date with Destiny. This year I will submit a short story for all six of Writer's Digest short story competitions, I will write at least three short stories to submit to Mezzo Magazine, I will participate in every Date With Destiny posted on, I will write a novella to submit to Harlequin's Nocturne Bites series and I will begin work on a novel for submission to an agent.

4. Patience. Several writers have stated that it took at least 10 years to see their writing published. Well I can wait. I hope. I shouldn't be too old before then. I think.

5. Read. This is an easy one. I love to read. Losing myself in books has got me through some troubled times. My goal is to read 50 books this year with five of them being classics. This may mean turning off the t.v. occasionally.

6. Come out of the writing closet. This will be the hardest. Several times I have had my writing confession on the tip of my tongue, but I have held back. Like I said above, if I fail no one will know. However, if I tell someone close to me then perhaps I will be held accountable for my goals.

Well, there you have it. To some writers my goals may seem mild, but not to me. I have a lot to do, so I'd better get started.

See you soon,