Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Yikes! Conference Notes...

I have decided I must be a masochist. Believe me!

The seminar was very good. Chuck Sambuchino shared quite a bit with us, and, a lot of it, things I didn't know. He shared some good printouts with us. One thing that continually bothers me -- in this day and age of technology -- why people would present and not use a Power Point presentation??? I know the perils of presenting. I've been there -- even with a technician available, a huge presentation that I had prepared for a Utah LOTR convention didn't work. (Thankfully, I knew my material backwards and forwards and the audience seemed to be captivated anyhow. Who wouldn't be when it comes to Tolkien and New Zealand. :)_.)

Publishing options today.  Chuck had us look at what WE wanted and then use that to choose whether to self-publish or go the traditional route. Well, I'm still not sure. He also suggested that we try the 'agent' route first.

Agents:  Follow agents on Twitter. Querytracker.com. Publishersmarketplace.com

Query Letters: Gave us a great 7-point plan to pitch in a query letter. This was most interesting. More detailed than I've seen before.

First Page Reading / Critique:  He said he was being kind. I don't believe it. I was one of the few who had her work critiqued. He spent a lot of time on pajamas. I'll not go into it, but it was a tiny part of the first page and easily correctable. Why he focused so much time on that, I don't know.

And then -- dread after dread -- just shoot me now -- I can't believe it --

He suggested I start in a new place. Honest to goodness!!! Do you know how many times I have been told to start 'Sings' in a different place!!! The last time was at Skyline -- which I truly felt was valid -- where I chopped off THREE chapters.

My friend, D, had her's read, too, and all Chuck could say was, 'Weird. Perhaps if I had a cover letter to tell me about the story, I'd be able to say if it was good weird or bad weird.'  He couldn't figure out the main character -- whether it was a parrot (the character's surname is Parrot). Or if it was a kid. Yet, it distinctly stated the character had rubbed arthritis cream on his legs. What boy uses arthritis cream. I have to give Chuck the benefit of the doubt... No. He didn't listen. Or read. Oh well.

Social Media and Blogging: The interesting part of this subject was looking for a niche.  Loose subject connection -- meaning not having the blog talk about my book at all, but bringing it up every now and then, and having an image and link on the side of the blog of the book.  Altogether different blog - not associated with writing whatsoever but still with the image and links. And last, Writing focus -- which is what my blog tries to be. He also shared SEO -- Search Engine Optimization. Related key words that I should be using to help people find my blog (or FB or Twitter) account.

I left the seminar feeling demoralized, but I was not in the best of health that day. My friend, D, felt just about the same. Too numb to consider what had occurred. I was ready to chuck writing entirely, but today, after a good night's sleep, I have reconsidered. :)

Working on 'Sings' tonight. And will continue.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Flushed With Success

Another session with writing. Another part of the 'daily grind.' I forced myself to work on 'Sings'  because I need to submit for October's Skyline meeting. And it's true. I need to submit. I've wasted too much time, of late, on not writing. I felt, if I didn't submit soon, I'd fall into the void again. And I did NOT want to fall into the void. Too hard to find my way out.

A few years ago, I created a map to go with 'Sings.' When you create a new world, a map is a necessity. Besides that, male readers love them. I don't know why, but they do.

I digress. When you create a world, it helps to figure out the name of the world. :)  Long hours were spent devising names for the characters, the kingdoms, the cities, etc. etc. But I needed a name for the world as a whole. Like 'Middle Earth' for Tolkien's world. And the world of 'Dungeons and Dragons.' Or even, the world of Equestria (My Little Pony). A world needs a name. It eluded me. My poor world. An orphan. No name.

Two days ago, the Muse struck. And now, I have a name. My world is Nagarra. Saying it sends shivers up my spine. It is delightful. To me. Hopefully, it will be delightful to my readers.

And so tonight, as I prepared to attach my map to my submission, I reveled in the Power Point map that lay open before me. There it was. Nagarra. With its cities and its mountains and its kingdoms. Talk about a head rush! Phew.

I attached the next chapter and the map to my email and sent it off.

And now, in the glow of this moment, I am looking forward to tomorrow. To the seminar. To my critique.

Of course, with #3 from The Four Agreements in my head, preparing me to not make assumptions about what will happen, but with an open mind, ready to accept the feedback and #2 - not take it personally.

Life is good.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Getting Excited

I met with my friend again, last night, and read the next chapter of 'Sings' to her. She loved it.

It's getting exciting again - which is awesome. I've hated not being excited about writing. I mean, it seems insane to have to push myself to sit down and write -- and yet, that's what I've been having to do for the last year.

I'm going to present the next two chapters to Skyline in October. Looking forward to that. I expect some great suggestions.

Saturday is Chuck Sambuchino and the writing conference. An email arrived today with some of the topics that will be covered, luncheon ideas, and stuff like that. I've not been to a conference in a very long time, and I am looking forward to this. Oh! Oh! And another exciting development -- Chuck is going to critique - for free - the first page of whatever we want to share. I am DEFINITELY doing that. *crosses fingers in trepidation*

As for editing, I discovered that my latest chapter had too much exposition in it. I was able to take it and put it into a scene that flowed. That was fun, too.

Hope you're writing, my friends, Blessings,

Monday, September 25, 2017

To Publish Or Not To Publish

In retrospect, I think it might have been better to have NOT been bitten by the publishing bug. Wrecked all kinds of havoc on my writing. Yet, I've still got the bug. And it is rampant and vicious. And pretty darn neat.

A friend came over on Saturday and brought a truckload of articles on self-publishing. (I've tried the conventional publishing route for years and it's not working, friends!) So, we then googled the term and came up with a bunch of other articles and websites and such. It was an exhilarating, if confusing, few hours. Self-publishing doesn't seem to be the quagmire I thought it was.

One thing I've been concerned with is the scams that sucker onto authors who want to publish. My friend knew of some names to 'run' from. So, we concentrated on the legit groups. There are a gazillion. Almost.

The process boils down to:  do I want to pay to get published or not. Seems simple enough, doesn't it. Yet, the pay as you publish costs are pretty hefty. I've linked some sites below for you to peruse, if you're interested.

I think I'm going for it. As you might have noted in my last blog, I'm not as far along in the editing process as I had thought. But that only means a few more weeks, hopefully not months, of slogging along and finishing the book. :)

If you care to share your experiences with publishing - whether it be self or conventional - I'd appreciate your efforts. And I think my readers would learn something, too.

One other thing my friend showed me was a conference coming up this Saturday. Chuck Sambuchino will be the keynote speaker. I immediately signed up. I've heard Chuck before and look forward to this session.    http://www.chucksambuchino.com/

Blessings, keep writing, sharing, exploring, living and loving,

NOTE - WARNING --  I am not endorsing any of the people/products listed below. As in all things in life, proceed with caution.

Here's some good articles on the subject:

Self-publishing websites: