Monday, May 30, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Hatred simmers to a boiling point. However, over the next few days stumbling through the forest, Annie discovers that life isn't so black and white. Some of the "good guys" do bad things and some of the "bad guys" show compassion. And beneath the skin of an enemy, there may lurk a friend ... or more. (But will her friends and countrymen ever understand if she has a change of heart?)
What about you? Have you ever discovered common ground with an enemy? Did that change your relationship? How?
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
What about you? If you were to plan a vacation, where would you most want to go? Why?
Friday, May 20, 2011
For those following my blog who aren't writers, here's my abbreviated version of the Path to Publication:
- Get an idea. Brainstorm, research, outline, and put 80,000 words on paper. (Check)
- Revise and send out chapters to critique partners. (Check)
- Revise again, incorporating the feedback received with an empasis on theme or symbolism. (Check)
- Read out loud. Polish. Check for any misplaced commas, etc. (Check)
- Develop the sales tools needed to get the attention of an editor or agent -- synopsis, pitch, one-sheet, and proposal. (Check)
- Since the bigger publishing houses only accept proposals submitted through agents or after meeting authors in person at writing conferences ... research potential agents and their submission guidelines. (Check)
- Send queries to several agents. Wait to see if they are interested and want to see more of the manuscript. (Check)
- Register for a writers conference. Request appointments with particular editors. Prepare verbal pitches. Hope and pray they request a proposal and/or three chapters after you meet them. (Check)
- Get an agent to agree to represent your work.
- The agent shops the manuscript to specific, targeted publishing houses to attract the interest of an acquisitions editor.
- The acquisitions editor - whether he/she learned of the manuscript from the author or an agent - presents the project (and others) to the publication board. Marketing and sales input is gathered, and they decide whether to offer a contract and set the terms.
- The contract is negotiated and signed.
- The editing process begins. The publishing house sends a letter full of content and plot changes. The author makes the changes and sends the new manuscript back. Copy-editing is done and changes approved. Final galley proofs are sent and signed off.
- Meanwhile, the marketing department develops the back-cover blurb. The cover is designed and approved. The sales team gets the season catalog and makes the rounds to get bookstores to place their orders for books. The author works with the marketing department to get advanced copies out to book reviewers, schedules blog tours, and send out press releases.
- Repeat. (Except, if you have an agent, skip steps 6 through 9. If you have a multiple-book contract, also skip steps 10 through 12.)
Does that mean I have an agent? Not yet. Does that mean this editor will fall in love with my book and be able to convince the publishing board at her company to offer a contract? I hope so, but no guarantees. And I'm still a long way from step 15. However, I am one step closer ... and that is worth a celebration.
What about you? If you are a writer, where are you on this path? If not, what path are you on and how do you measure progress toward the goal?
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Work is physical or mental activity done in order to achieve a purpose. A sustained effort to overcome obstacles in order to produce or accomplish something. And hard work would be ... um, extra work in order to reach the goal.
Last week I went to the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. In many ways, attending a conference qualifies as work, especially for an introvert with chronic fatigue syndrome. Being around people all the time drains energy that isn't easily replenished while sleeping in a different bed. Actively networking and meeting people. Attending classes and workshops from breakfast to bedtime. Skyrocketing hopes and nerves before meeting with agents and editors. Recovering quickly when appointments didn't go quite as planned.
There is no substitute for hard work when it comes to getting dreams off the ground. Thomas Edison should know. He experimented with thousands of different filaments before finding the right combination to produce a long lasting glow in a light bulb.
What about you? What work does your dream require? Have you ever tried to get by with less? How did that turn out?
Monday, May 16, 2011
What about you? What do use as a reference point in life? Do you look there first when changing your direction?
Friday, May 13, 2011
(By the way, this author is one of my critique partners. I had the privilege of reading the first draft and then bought a copy when the book was released last month so I could see the end result after the revisions and editing. Great job, Laura!)
What about you? Have mistakes from your past held you captive? Have you been unhappy with your situation but still afraid to take a risk? Has there been someone in your life to help pull you forward into freedom?
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
What about you? What is your dream? What inconveniences will you need to overcome in order to achieve your dream?
Monday, May 9, 2011
Another resource is the travel guide, a book that focuses on a particular area. It often includes a little history lesson, a description of must-see places to visit, a list of recommended restaurants, and maybe even a few places to avoid.
And, someday in the future, I may be able to pass along what I've learned about this life's journey.
What about you? Do you follow the advice of others or try to forge your own path? What maps and travel guides are you making for others to follow?
Friday, May 6, 2011
What about you? Have you ever felt you were lacking in comparison to others? Have you ever felt trapped in a life that didn't turn out like you had imagined? What did it take to pull you out of your rut?
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
It’s tempting to justify, argue with, or dismiss these evaluations, especially if they hit on a sensitive area. But, I want to grow. And in order to measure that growth, I need a starting point.
What about you? How do you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses? Who would ask to give input?