Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Those of you who’ve been following for awhile know that I don’t ‘officially’ do this very often but, alas, it must be done.  After today’s Writeoncon, I will be unplugging for the next couple weeks, from now until the kids go back to school September 4th.  

Having the kids and hubs around full time has made maintaining an online presence damn near impossible, but the worst is that I haven’t written more than a few lines in the three weeks since I’ve been back:(  So I’m hoping to use my hiatus to spend more time in my writing cave, working on the neglected wip that’s been haunting my waking hours. 

When I get back in September, I’ll be participating in GUTGAA, a month-long uber fun (and helpful) blogfest for authors ‘Gearing Up to Get an Agent’ which helps participants polish their pitches for pitch contests, presenting them to a mass of agents and small publishing houses who judge the results. Since I am in a constant state of GUTGAA, I knew this blogfest was for me! If you're interested, you can join here.

I hope you guys have a fantastic few weeks! I’ll be back debut September (hopefully with another 30k under my belt and more time to contribute to this awesome community!).


Monday, August 13, 2012

School Year's Resolutions

If you’re a parent like me, you may find yourself making resolutions based on the upcoming school year rather than the January 1st  holiday.  September through July is a pretty decent amount of time to set and meet goals over, after all.

This year my school year’s resolutions are:

To file for French citizenship. I thought getting my French driver’s license was hard. But that was nothing compared to the amount of money and paper work that goes into filing for citizenship.  For instance, I just found out that starting January 2012, I need to take a (80 euro fee) test to prove I speak French well enough to be considered before I can file.  Lovely. And all documents have to be translated (fees for that too) and issued less than three months ago. *sigh*

Find a job. My teaching contract was up in April and there’s no guarantee I’ll have a new one this October. Thankfully, I’m still covered financially by the Education Dept’s unemployment until I find something.

Finish writing and revising my current wip in time to start something new for Nanowrimo in November. That’s right. I’m going to attempt that beast again even though last year’s results were dismal. 

Find an agent.  Duh. :)

What are your school year’s resolutions?

Friday, August 10, 2012

FMFB- WriteOnCon

Good morning Friday bloggers and welcome to our weekly Bloffee Get-Together, where we make new friends, discuss this week’s blogosphere news and make each other hungry:)

All you have to do to participate is 1. Comment  2. Tell us what you’ve brought for breakfast. (This morning I’m serving up pancakes and sausage with loads of syrup.) 3. Find someone in the comments section you don’t recognize and check out their blog. Voila! A potential friend and follower connection has been made!

This week a lot of fellow bloggers and writers are getting ready for this year’s WriteOnCon. – A free online writer’s conference. It’s a great alternative those of us that can’t make it to the biggest annual conferences around the globe and features fantastic agents, editors and authors.  The open forums have already forced me to get my butt in gear and write a query letter for my current wip, not to mention renew my writerly motivation to finish this damn draft. I was feeling a definite lack of inspiration these last few weeks but those of you who posted on Wednesday’s post helped me overcome the hump! Don’t know what I’d do without you guys!

What are you guys currently working on? Anybody else joining WriteOnCon?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


“Yeah. But when I didn’t come home from school, my parents called the cops. Only it wasn’t the cops that showed up. It was a couple of guys dressed just like the ones we saw at the bar. They stopped us right before we crossed state lines, grabbed me and threw me into the back of a black van.”

“What about Gracie?” 

His expression grew shuttered. “That’s just the thing. They didn’t say anything to her and she didn’t seem surprised that I was basically being kidnapped right before her eyes. She told me she was sorry and that she loved me and didn’t ‘give a damn about directives’.”

“Okay. That’s weird.” Lacey leaned back.

“No,” Viv countered. “No- Adam and Kenny talked about ‘directives’ too. They made it sound like some kind of orders given by the higher-ups.”

Beau let out a long breath. “So, you think she was one of them?”

She bit her lip. “That’s what it sounds like. I’m sorry.” 

He cast his eyes down sadly.

“So, how did you escape?” Carson interrupted, clearly unmoved.

Beau blinked. “Well, I…uh. Um.” He shrugged and scratched his head.“Actually, I have no idea how I escaped.” He turned towards the author writing this ridiculous scene. “Yo! Katie! A little help here?”

All characters look my way expectantly. Then four pairs of eyes struggle not to roll as I put my hands up, yet again. “Sorry! I don’t know how he escaped either. But I promise to give it some thought, okay?” 

Alas, three days have passed and my characters are currently still stuck in that stupid hotel room, waiting on my enlightening explanation of how Beau managed to escape from the back of the black ops van and find his way to them. Even though he had no weapons, no allies, and must have had to rely on his wit and intelligence to escape the situation.

Unfortunately, the mastermind behind Beau’s escape isn’t feeling very witty or intelligent at the moment. Actually, the term ‘brain dead’ comes to mind when I attempt a brainstorming session. All I seem to want to do lately is pop peanut m&m’s, watch back episodes of ‘Game of Thrones’ and read books that have already been written (so much easier, right?). 

But my characters are getting restless, as they rightly should. *sigh*

How do you break out of a writing funk?  Of course, if you’d rather tell me how you’d break out of a black ops situation, please, feel free to share:)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Goodreads- Star Ratings and/or Reviews. How Do You Decide?

So, this morning I got one of my weekly Goodreads update emails. I love these because I can see what my friends are reading and reviewing.  Oh, and it reminds me to update my own books as well.

Needless to say, I subsequently scanned through my ‘to-read’ pile. I read four books off my list and two that were not on my list while on vacation this summer and it was time to rate and move them to the ‘read’ pile.

I say rate.

 Not review. 


I love reviews. I don’t know where I’d be without them and I love reading other people’s takes on the books I’ve read. But the truth is, most often than not, everything I could say about a book has already been said and I just figure my star rating signifies that I support the points and opinions of reviewers who gave the same rating.

However, I will do a written review on some occasions.

If the book or the author isn’t well known and their work took me by surprise.
If a book makes it to my ‘favorite book/series/author of all time’ pile.
If there aren’t a lot of reviews already and I really enjoyed the work.

What is your personal review policy? Do you do a written review for every book you read? What about books that don’t float your boat? Do you stick with the star rating or do you explain why? 

What about some of my author friends out there who have books up on Goodreads? Do you prefer readers to write a review of your book, or are you satisfied with just the star rating? If someone puts a two or three star rating- do you wish they’d write a review to support it?

Friday, August 3, 2012

FMFB: How Much Does the Self-Pub Revolution Really Influences the Big Six?

After five weeks away from the blogosphere, there’s nothing I need more than a good ol’ fashioned Friday Morning Follower’s Bloffee. Today our virtual breakfast potluck is taking place at the gorgeous bed and breakfast I stayed in my last week of vacation. The old farm house is seated back off a scenic route in a quiet corner of Connecticut, surrounded by gardens and forests. It was seriously a perfect place for a little writerly getaway. (Not that I got any writing done whatsoever.)

So, for any newbies - all you have to do to participate in bloffee is:

1. Comment. 2. Tell us what you’ve brought for breakfast. ( I'll be serving up some virtual texas omelettes. It's what I'm in the mood for:)  3. Find someone in the comments section you don’t recognize and check out their blog. Voila! An instant friend and potential follower connection has been made.

So, any particular posts that stuck with you this week? I was pleasantly surprised, after Wednesday's post, to see this post by Nathan Bransford, where he declares the gatekeepers to publishing have been replaced by ‘influencers’.  While I agree with this in some respects, I’m not sure this development holds a ton of weight when it comes to traditional publishing. Sure, maybe trends will be set by indie-published books (Like Fifty Shades) that will have traditional houses following suit, but, as far as I can see, it hasn’t really changed the way the big six acquire material on a large scale, has it? I mean, I assume they’re following trends and keeping their eyes open, but everything I’ve read and heard in the last few months leads me to believe the power-houses are still operating pretty much the same. What do you guys think?

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Flaw

A couple weeks ago, I got a rejection email from an agent who had requested a partial manuscript.  She was really nice and supportive and enthusiastic about my work. But inevitably, she passed due to some writing and grammar mistakes she’d noticed. And, from looking at my synopsis, she wasn’t sure the major plot issues would be resolved satisfactorily. 

Now, I should take heed, right? Be honored that an agent went out of their way to give me specific feedback? But to be honest, all I could think was ‘well, that’s a shame. If she liked my writing as much as she professed to and laughed out loud so much, she probably would’ve been pleasantly surprised, had she kept reading.’ Things like this remind me just how flawed the path to traditional publication can be.

I imagine manuscripts going into an agent’s inbox like a used-car lot.  Some cars are in better shape than others. Some run but still need serious work in order to get you anywhere.  But in the end, any of them could get you where you’re going eventually and each of them is perfect for a specific kind of driver.

But there’s only one customer in the whole lot. 

The Agent.

And The Agent will only look at cars of a specific make, model and color. At this point, they’re not sure how much work a car needs or if it even runs. But they decide they’ll only take the metallic green BMWs for a test spin.

Out of the ten cars that perk their interest, two won’t start, three need serious work, four need some subtle reparations but could easily shine, and one is in tip-top condition.

But, didn’t I tell you? The agent has a very limited budget. And what they secretely hope is to find a brand-new model amongst all these used cars. A diamond in the rough. Something that will take them for miles and miles. In short- they’re looking for reasons not to buy one of these used ones, still holding out for that spanking-new dream car.

But even so, she takes five-out-of-those-ten cars for a test run. 

Three don’t make it past the driveway. One has a funny smell. Another has a plush interior. The Agent wanted leather. The third....well the third’s seat just didn’t fit her ass the right way.

The model that’s in the best shape is driven all the way to the local Mcdonalds. The Agent orders a value meal. She eats in the car. She thinks this car might be okay! It runs well. Gets her where she wants to go. But then, on the way back to the dealership, she realizes it has a funny smell too. Kind of like fried onions. (hmn. Wonder why?) She passes.

The last car doesn’t run as well. It also has a smell, but it smells a little like vanilla and cinnamon. The interior is plush but, even though The Agent prefers leather, the seat fits her ass just right. In short, it’s not exactly what she wanted. It’s what she didn’t know she wanted- a car that gets her where she wants to go and is a joy to ride in.

So she takes the car. She repairs the car and takes it to a manufacturer/distributor and convinces them to have a thousand more models made just like it for the general public. Not because it runs the best. Or because it’s the shiniest or a lot of people will look at that car and think ‘Oh, I’d love to take that one for a spin!’. But, because she enjoyed being in the car. So she figures others will too.  After all, she’s got a few editor friends who’s asses are shaped just the same way as hers. 

But it won’t be the case for everyone. There were a lot of other colors, makes and models in that used-car lot that may never see the light of day. And if one-hundred avid drivers of BMW’s were allowed into the lot, instead of that one agent, maybe 75% would have preferred the blue metallic over the green or wouldn’t have pulled into that Mcdonalds and made the tip-top model smell like onions. Everyone is different. Yet, what is brought into the traditionally published world is based on the personal tastes of a privileged few.

And that, right there, is the tragic truth of the matter.  *sigh*

There’s no doubt  that the path to traditional publication is flawed and the huge burst in popularity of some self-published titles only proves this theory. Did you ever have a moment where ‘the flaw’ became abundantly, painfully clear and discouraging? Do you think, in light of recent developments in the publishing industry, things should change? 


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