I was a Comic Con virgin. It has always evoked images of nerdy Treky fans and comic book geeks. Neither tickled my happy parts. I haven’t kept up with Star Trek since the television series ended and the one and only comic book I bought back in the seventh grade was Archie. So when my daughter, Courtney, called and expressed interest in going to Denver Comic Con 2015, I hesitated. Continue reading
I attended my fourth writer’s conference. Although they are similar in format, this one always stands out in friendliness and inclusivity. A positive energy source emanates throughout the Colorado Spring’s Marriott. It must be built upon a special kind of bedrock. Agents, editors, and best-selling authors are willing to have conversations with people like me; the super fans of the conference.
Here’s what inspired me and what I learned:
If you write fiction: Your blog, social media presence, and overall author’s platform are meaningless to traditional publishers. The agents suggested focusing on writing books instead. After you’re published, they are grateful if you already have a blog since they’ll want to link you up.
If you write non-fiction: The polar opposite is true. You better have a successful blog with lots of social media followers as part of your author’s platform. You should be booked for public speaking engagements, interviewed on podcasts and in YouTube videos. Publishers look at anything and everything you’ve done to build your presence, following, credibility, and to show you’re a respected expert in your field.
Sign up for critique sessions. It can be unnerving, but the input is invaluable especially if an agent you would like to pitch is giving the critique. They are the experts who you are trying to impress.
Attend the agent panel. This is a top priority for me at every conference. They talk about their pet peeves, what’s new in publishing, etiquette, and include their individual stories. You get the most up-to-date info. Every one of them chose their career because they love to read books.
What I learned: Continue reading
I started writing over four-and-a-half years ago. I had an idea for a non-fiction book, a snarky take on Boulder women. If you’re not familiar with how to assemble a book proposal, non-fiction is skiing down a gentle slope compared to fiction where the writer must plod along the desert and climb craggy mountains with blown out tennis shoes and holes in their socks. I’ll get to that later. At that time, I only needed a query letter, a table of contents, and a few sample chapters. Continue reading
When I decided to write a novel for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, I had no idea if I could. You see, a five-year-old child inhabits my brain and can throw quite the tantrum. If I don’t want to do something, she sends waves through the entire length of my spine which becomes rigid. Then she starts chanting, “I don’t want to. I don’t want to! I DON’T WANT TO!” This screaming fit is usually accompanied by the stomping of feet and the transformation of ordinary household objects into projectile missiles. Continue reading
I wrote 50,000 words in 23 days to win NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month.
I happy danced and then cried a little when the NaNoWriMo Team sent a YouTube Video with their congratulations.
Every day in November, I woke up and felt driven. Writing in the morning worked the best for me, but oftentimes I started up again around four O’clockish. I had to make time for it no matter what was going on. Yesterday, I was less than 2000 words away from my 50,000 word goal, but I went skiing with my husband, Danny, our niece and her boyfriend.
I wrote on the way down the mountain, (in my car, of course, and no, I wasn’t driving), but I was 800 words shy of the 50,000 word total when we rolled up in Boulder. After writing an average of 2179 words per day, it killed me to be so close, but I had to go to sleep.
After cranking out a rough draft and working my hiney off every day in November, what will it feel like tomorrow? Continue reading
When I wrote my 25, 000th word for National Novel Writing Month, it reminded me of swimming through the Boulder Reservoir to touch the ice during the Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day. They’re both a sink or swim venture. It got tough when I could barely touch the bottom. My legs and arms grew heavy with the cold and they moved in slow motion. In place of the silly grin I wore while splashing into the frigid water was sheer determination and a painful wince. One of the lifeguards standing on the pier shouted, “Do you need help?” It was hard to breathe, but I yelled back, “I can do it!”
I don’t know how many have dropped out of NaNoWriMo already, but the numbers have got to be high. I think writing 50,000 words in a month takes a certain kind of endurance. Crazy endurance. It’s for crazy people who have the time to commit, or in my case should be committed, but also have a lot of nerve and stamina. I love taking on new challenges and always have.
Not everyone can sit down and write on command. It can be intimidating to stare at a blank page. I’ve never had writer’s block. Maybe it’s all those Thursdays I found myself on a deadline and would crank out a Friday flash fiction or the stream-of-conscious writing exercises from a year ago when I woke up every morning for a month and wrote one word at time in a notebook until I filled a page. In both, I wrote the first thing that popped into my head. Continue reading
I’m an obsessed idea freak, by that I mean, once I get an idea in my head I have to accomplish my goal. It drives me nuts until I do. After talking about it, visualizing, and then calculating the best route, I keep my eye on the prize gleaming at the finish line. I’m sure it has something to do with the challenge and enjoying the creative aspect of the work, but I believe it has a lot more to do with achieving sparkly goals.
In the past, I visualized a stained glass window, and then took a class and constructed five. I visualized angels or birds flitting and floating on my ceilings. Then one snowy Sunday afternoon, I pulled a ladder from the garage and painted them. It gave me enormous satisfaction to create something out of nothing.
Since this has always worked with art projects, I wondered if it would work with writing. Continue reading