Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Male POV

At the conference I was able to attend part of a class called Male POV, hosted by Randy Ingermanson. (The author who developed the snowflake method)

The class was awesome and I wish I could share my notes with all of you. The biggest lesson I learned from this class was about the male ego.

Yes, apparently this is one of the most important factors in a man's thought processes.

He's sensitive and his ego is tied to his self-respect.

I can think of a whole bunch of different ways to start incorporating this into my manuscripts. How about you? What do you think of a man's ego? His need for self-respect? Do you think it's different than a woman?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Grumpy Professionals at the Conference

If there's one thing that hammered home some reality for me at the conference, it was hearing horror stories about agents or editors. And what reality smacked me upside the head, you ask?

They're human.

Yep. Fallible, exhausted, excitable, annoyed, happy humans.

At a conference it can be easy to get caught up in the rush of meeting someone who can make one of our dreams come true that sometimes editors and agents tend to take on celebrity status.

I was shocked when I heard the first story of rudeness, but then I took notice of my surroundings and slowly, slowly drifted back to Earth.

Pitch appointments were all day long for these professionals. About five sit in a big room at different tables and in fifteen minute increments they listen to us pitch, they read our work and they (hopefully) give their opinion. One agent whose class I attended could barely speak in the evening, her voice was so hoarse.

Lesson learned? They're at the conference for work, not play (well, not too much play, LOL) I decided I wanted to look everyone in the eye as a person (a fellow dog lover, a fellow bookaholic, a friend), and not as a stepping stone to success.

Have you ever met a celebrity? How did you react? Is it easy for you to see beyond someone's profession?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Who Tagged Me? plus Thanks and a Video

OKAY, SOMEONE TAGGED ME TO ANSWER TEN THINGS (OR SOMETHING) AND I CAN'T FIND THE POST OR REMEMBER WHO DID IT!! I'm super sorry, but could you remind me who you are? *cringing and feeling bad, but still wanting to play*

Also, Thank you to Character Therapist Jeannie for the Lemonade Stand Award!
The Lemonade Award is a feel good award that shows gratitude or a great attitude


Also, thank you to author Nancy Parra who gave me the Superior Scribbler Award.


Thanks also to Tabitha for giving me the Panda award! Very cute. :-)

Everyone who's given me an award, you've made me feel very special. :) I haven't given out any but I hope to in a separate post soon!



Stand By Me: I love this song and thought the video was pretty cool.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sore Feet, Happy Heart

The biggest, most wonderful part of the conference was meeting all my writing friends. My feet still hurt from walking in heels and my heart is still happy from bonding with these lovely women.
It was cool to see who these ladies are, and hear their voices, outside the cyber world.



Left to Right:
Eileen, Jeannie, Jaime, Me, Katie, Jody








Done anything lately that was somewhat painful but you didn't care because you were so happy? Ever met other writers? Or someone who had a similar passion to yours? How'd it go?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monkey Business During a Conference

What happens when Krista (and her poor, unsuspecting husband...)and I get together for dinner?









You can see more pics from our dinner on Krista's post.

Would you climb a tree while dressed business casual? When was the last time you laughed like a child?

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm at the Conference

I'm not sure when I'll be able to post but if I'm able to, this might get updated with pics. :-)

Hope you're having an awesome week/weekend.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This Made Me Weep

Thank you Wendy for sharing this.





I know what this video means to me, but what does it mean to you?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Guest Blogger Candi Wall on Promotion!

I'd like to introduce one of the first writer's I ever "met" back in my RWC critiquing days, Candi Wall. She's a very talented writer who writes super hunky heroes. Not only that, but she's a genuinely kind person whom I'm honored to have on here.



Hi, Jessica!

Thanks for having me.

In true ‘Booking It’ form, I’m going to try to keep this thought provoking…

Hello, my name is Candi Wall, and I’m an aspiring author.
I’ve been aspiring 365 days a year for 16 years and every day is a battle.
Being an aspiring author has made me do things I never thought I’d do but I find I can’t give it up. >grin<

My novel STAY is entered in the Next Best Celler Contest at TextNovel.com
(Which means I write my novel in increments of approx. 500 words at a time, post them in mini chapters and hope to get enough votes to keep myself in the top twenty. The top twenty are then whittled down to ten, and out of the ten, Dorchester Editors will pick a winner who will receive a publishing contract. Yikes!)

Not something I’d typically do, but I’m enjoying the ride and hope that this little snippet will encourage all your readers to try something new.

In the ever-expanding,
dirt-under-your-nails-digging,
do-anything-to-get-pubbed,
here’s-my-first-born,
can-I-give-an-ovary-for-an-agent-contract,
game of getting your name out there promo bonanza, I’ve found that there are some really great, old-fashioned ways, of getting the word spread.

This contest has made me be more social, more outgoing, more extroverted than I ever thought possible. Trust me when I tell you I sat outside of my local bookstore for close to an hour trying to calm my rolling stomach enough to walk in and ask if they’d feature me as a local talent trying to win a publishing contract.

I sucked it up, took my business cards, one sheet explanations, and plowed ahead like I was the most educated, well prepared, beautifully written, aspiring author that lived on the coast of Maine. HA!

Thank goodness the owners were a kind couple who’d run the gamut of the publishing world for years before I even thought about putting pencil to paper. They poured a cup of tea, sat me down and we talked promo ‘old style’ for close to an hour.

Goodness knows, there are still some amazing people in this world. You just have to have the courage to go find them. So now I get a phone call when my cards or one sheets are gone, and one of my cards goes into each and every bag that leaves their store.

You better believe that lovely couple will be one of the first to receive a signed copy if I’m ever published. Heck, I’ll sit for Q&A and tea if they want. Gotta love the people who still realize there are some dreams worth working for.

People can be so fantastic!

So - ever done anything out of your own character? What were the results? Share!


Candi Wall
www.textnovel.com / ‘STAY’
www.musetracks.wordpress.com

You can vote for Candi by registering at TextNovel.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Writing Conference Preparation

I didn't get my teeth as white as I wanted, but I've been working on other things.

Here's what every writer needs to have in their arsenal when heading to a conference (if they've completed a manscript):

Fiction Proposal: Harder sounding than it actually is. The toughest part for me is the comparable books section

One-Sheet: Kind of fun to make, actually. Here's some examples.

Pitch: Blech. You know how I feel about this.

Flash Drive: Just in case anything weird happens, like my beautiful papers get soaked, or an editor wants to read the full, ASAP. (lol)

Folder: Buying one at Wal-Mart on Sunday, to hold all my stuff in.

Business Cards: Not sure who will keep them but from what I gather, they're a good idea.


Maybe you've gone to a conference, maybe you haven't, but have you needed any of the above? Created any? What's the hardest part for you?

On Monday the fourteenth, I have a guest posting about a new, very cool writing opportunity!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Crucible

I've been reading Stein on Writing for the last two years. It's an excellent book and I picked it up yesterday to read a chapter. The chapter I'd read last caught my attention though, and I reread it.

Says Stein "A Crucible is an environment, emotional or physical, that bonds two people. It can be a scene or a series of scenes, but more often the crucible is an entire book. The crucible is a relationship, often one influenced by locale."

He cites some examples, including Lolita, because the hero is in love with a young woman, really, a child. The Count of Monte Cristo is a story that immediately came to my mind. First, the hero is in a prison in the sea from which no one ever returns. Then he escapes and his crucible becomes his desire for revenge, which keeps him from the only woman he has ever loved.

Have you ever heard this term before? Is there a crucible in your manuscript? Can you think of any books or movies with a definite and strong crucible?

*I'M ADDING THIS LINK MY FRIEND FOUND. UNBEKNOWNST TO ME, CAMY TANG WROTE AN ARTICLE ON THE CRUCIBLE. IT'S VERY HELPFUL.*

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Every Book is Different

I've been inhaling the backlist of a favorite author and to my surprise, I realized some of her books were just okay.

Not awesome, like I'd expected.

It's a relief to know that every book doesn't have to be bestselling wonderful in order to get published.

Are some of your manuscripts better than the others? Does your favorite author have books that seem to vary in awesomeness?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Where I'm At

First, I hope all of you have a wonderful, relaxing Labor Day!

For this post, I just thought I'd share a run-down of where I'm at in my writing.

I have a proposal for an older manuscript with an agent, but she's had it a long time so I'm not sure if the interest is there. Hoping though, and still very excited that it's under consideration. :-)

I'm almost done editing this WIP and then I'm going to give it to a few people to read over. This is also the WIP I'm planning to pitch at the conference in two weeks.

Not only that, but I just got some contest results back on this WIP.

*cringe*

I'm smarting still, but mostly at my own stupidity. I forgot to change my synopsis to reflect the changes in my WIP. Therefore, my motivations didn't line up and both the judges caught discrepancies between what the plot was supposed to be and what the chapters were showing. There were also some other excellent suggestions, but overall my scores were low so that wasn't the best e-mail for me to open before trying to do edits.

But I'll bounce back. That's what writers do. We suck up the good comments, second-guess them but still LUV them, and we shudder at the bad (aka necessary) ones and plow forward with them to guide us.

What do you do when something doesn't go how you expected? Where are you with your writing? On a lighter note, any fun plans for Labor Day?

Friday, September 4, 2009

We All Got to Learn to Do It Sometime

*grossness alert*


We all have to learn to deal with doo-doo eventually.

Consider me a newbie mom, but it never occurred to me that my son should be wiping himself until about a month before kindergarten. And then the flashbulb went on and I scrambled to teach him.

One problem.

He didn't want to. He's fastidious and doesn't like to make mistakes, so the thought of taking care of this daily chore literally reduced him to screaming and crying on the toilet.

Basically, he didn't trust himself. He was afraid. Scared to get his hands dirty. Afraid he'd miss something.

This is probably weird, but it made me think of us as writers. There comes a point where we have to "grow up" and trust ourselves.

We can't always rely on a crit group, agent, or editor to wipe up our mess.

I think this should be a part of maturation for every writer, that we can look at our work and be confident in our ability to clean it up. Not saying we'll make it perfect or that we won't miss something, or even worse, that we'll create a mess and spread the crap farther than it needs to go.

Just saying this is a part of growing up. As a writer and as a person.

In life, have you ever tried to clean up a mess and made it worse? Have you ever, trembling, stepped forward and made things better?
Do you think any writer can ever get to that place of confidence? Do you think there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Oh Vanity of vanities....

In preparation for the conference I'm going to put my body through some painful things. Eyebrow pluckings, teeth whitening and mustache removal.

Anyone else interested in adding to my confession of vanity?

Have you ever gone through a painful experience in order to look good? What's the craziest thing you've ever done to yourself?