Sunday, January 31, 2010

Backing Up Your Posts

Hi everyone,
I'm still dealing with a nasty sinus infection, so I thought I'd pass along this information. I got it from Susan, who got it from Jean (who so kindly passed it along).

Backing up your entire google blog is incredibly easy. You just click on your settings tab, once you're signed in. Then click on export. When the save box pops up, just save your blog to whatever file you want with whatever name you want.

Now I have every single post I've ever written stored on my hard drive.

Have a wonderful weekend! And I hope all of you stay healthy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Query: Sell Your Story Part 2

As most of you pointed out in the comments of Part 1, creating a query is hard work. Thank goodness for cyber space.

Here are some links for great places to learn the ins and outs of query writing.

Elana has an awesome exercise she employs when writing queries.

Author Nancy Parra wrote a four-part series on writing queries.

Agent Janet Reid hosts Query Shark, a raw, brutal place for learning how to write an awesome query.

There are tons of other places full of information on writing a great query. Agent blogs are incredible founts of information.

When did you first realize you had to write a query before you could submit a manuscript? What's your favorite site for gleaning query information?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm Sick

Yep, fun stuff. Mostly just a really nasty cold. Who cyber-sent it my way?
:-)

Be back hopefully on Friday with some query linkage.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Query: Sell Your Story Part 1

Most of us don't look forward to writing the query, but in my opinion, it's the most important part in snagging an agent or editor's attention.

This is really hitting me because I'm a judge in a contest that includes the query as part of the submission.

Brace yourselves:

Several queries were not good. Not horrible, but not anything that would entice me to read more. Imagine my surprise when some of the entries were really, really good. Solid writing, intriguing plots...yet I would've never guessed by the query.

If an agent doesn't read pages, they have nothing to go by but the query.

And if the query doesn't dazzle: form rejection.

What do you know about writing queries? Have you written yours and was it easier than you thought, or more difficult?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Links for Writers

First, are you in the midst of preparing your query? Don't forget to polish up your proposal too. Agent Jill Corcoran posts about the importance of finding comparable books for your proposal

Also, my crit partner Linda has started her very first blog. Check her out HERE.

We all know how fragile a writer's ego is. Check out laugh-out-loud author Sandra Bricker as she dishes about The Secret Life of Writers and Their Egos.

What do you think? Will there ever be a time where you'll shed your writerly insecurities? Have you ever overcome a deep insecurity? How?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A New Direction

For the past year and a half, I've been submitting a historical romance. While it garnered a few requests, it has also garnered its share of rejections. The last rejection was filled with good advice and an invitation to resubmit.

I think I'm going in a new direction though.

My other manuscripts are contemporary romances. If an agent sells my historical, there's a good chance I'll be expected to continue writing historicals. Right now my heart is with contemporaries.

Thus, the historical is done making the agent rounds. One of my contemporaries is ready to be queried and I think that will be my new direction.

Which direction are you headed in? What's your favorite genre to read? Do you realize that you may expected to continue writing whatever you first submit?

Thanks to Diane for inspiring this post

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Award Thanks

I got these awards a while ago and I'm sorry I'm just now putting them up. Thank you, ladies, for thinking of me!



Thank you to Susan.





Thank you MaryBeth!

I have to pass this on to Susan because I met her shortly after starting this blog and she has always been so faithful in commenting. Not only that, but she is diligent and loyal in compiling a weekly update with prayer requests and praises. Susan, you're a blessing to know. :-)




Thank you Julie!


So many of you deserve awards! I'm watching my nephews and am a little busier, but I should be getting around to all of you today. :-)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Viruse, Trojans and Spyware, Oh My

Long story short, I got a trojan on my laptop. That did NOT make me happy, especially when McAfee said it got the bug, and then I kept getting pop-ups. I believe it's gone now, but so is my word counter because it was while I was updating it that the trojan appeared.

So anyone who has a word counter from the same site as me (nanowrimo), just be careful. I'm not positive that it was this site where I picked up the virus, but I'm paranoid about it and wanted to pass the info on to all of you.

Not only that, but for a while now I've been having an issue where I visit a blog and when I leave, the window begins to reopen so fast that I have to log off in order for my computer not to freeze.

I'm aware that it's happened to several other bloggers. Do you know why? Is it a google glitch? Add-ons? A virus?

I would LOVE to know how to make this stop. Any advice?

Have a happy Sunday and Monday everyone, despite the pitfalls of life in cyberspace. :-)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fridays Are Too Nice for Hatin'

I have a confession.

No one hate me.

But I like to clean.

There. I wrote it.

Not only do I enjoy most of my chores, but I feel compelled to do them no matter what. At the expense of writing, blogging, and sleep, I must have a clean kitchen before I go to sleep.

What's your Main Character's house look like? How do you handle your daily chores? Do people who are the opposite of you intrigue or annoy you?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Use Your Verbs Wisely

We've all heard to avoid passive writing. To pick strong verbs. Vibrant verbs.

After a while, active writing becomes easier. Because of this, I sometimes grow lazier. I forget to choose my verbs wisely. Sometimes I forget they're good for more than just strong writing. They're needed to set the mood of a scene. The right verb can pull the emotion off a page and fling it into the reader's heart.

I'm reading fellow blogger Patti Lacy's An Irishwoman's Tale right now. Her writing inspired this post. Especially one particular sentence.

Pg 24 Something like a smile flirted with her lips.

Flirted.

What an awesome image! I probably would've wrote edged or turned up, but do you see how the word flirted creates an immediate feeling? It more than shows.

It evokes.

Do you fall into the trap of using the same verbs over and over? Do you ever forget to try your best because something is easy for you? Which authors do you feel use language in fresh and exciting ways?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Work First, Play Later

I'm back! I had a wonderful time with my family. Thank you all for asking. :-)

In 2009 my schedule evolved into a blog first/write later kind of thing. It happened that way because my husband began using the computer in the afternoons and evenings for his project, but now that I have a router, my schedule's changing.

It's time to work first, play later. That means I do my chores/errands in the morning, write at naptime, and visit your wonderful blogs in the afternoons and evenings. So if I don't show up in the morning, don't be alarmed (if you even notice, lol). I'm just changing things up.

I'm too exhausted in the evening to write, that's why. During the day I have way more energy to write but at night there's a fifty percent chance I won't do it because I'm so tired.

When's the best time for you to write?

I also need to shout out my awesome crit partner, Linda Glaz! Some of you may have met her at ACFW. She's a wonderful, faithful, knowledgeable lady who, I'm proud to say, just became agented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary! Woohoo! She deserves this so much and I can't wait to see where 2010 takes her. You can see her glowing pic and funny blurb HERE.