Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Today, I'm celebrating my two-year wedding anniversary. And I thank the men and women who have fought to give me the right to do that.

Happy Memorial Day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays #20

Oh happy day.

The weather in Pittsburgh is gorgeous. I've spent the past week revising, revising, revising, and it's all going very well.

AND Literary Agent Extraordinaire Janet Reid posted amazing comments on her blog regarding the PennWriters conference. I can't tell you how much fun it was meeting Janet in person.

But perhaps the better deal was hanging out with Octopussy.

Those glasses to the upper right of the photo belong to the mysterious, rarely photographed Janet Reid.

By the end of the night, Octopussy (who is in desperate need of a worthy first name and perhaps a middle initial) and I were old pals.

Finally, it's been a whole week since my little puppy boy had his surgery. He's still hopping around on three legs, rather pathetically, but he's definitely on the mend. He's spending more time hanging outside than being wrapped up in a blanket like he was last week.

Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cool, Collected Links #1

Nothing like finding a great article on how to write a query letter the day after you've sent 50 out to agents.

That particular situation did not happen to me, but I find great resources online maybe not at the greatest time to find them. So I'm going to start compiling them here, on the blog, for your benefit as well.

Here are this week's Cool, Collected Links:

Advice from Literary Agents: Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency, Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary Agency, and Edward Necarsulmer IV of McIntosh and Otis at the NESCBWI Conference

A Look at Free, Online Writing Communities

Tempting package from AS King and worth checking into future auctions on this site

Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner always has something interesting to say

Really funny Comics

Three Steps to Writing a Breakout Story

Things to Consider When Offered a Publishing Contract

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Debut Blog on Working Stiffs

Today, I'm debuting as a contributor to Working Stiffs, where crime writers talk about life, work and murder.

After attending Janet Reid's Social Media workshop at PennWriters this weekend, I'm excited to become active again in the blogosphere.

My first blog post will be The Difference a Year Makes to inspire writers who like me thought an agent and a publishing contract was going to come along much sooner than reality provides.

Check it out.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Tips: Volunteer at Conferences

The PennWriters Conference was brilliant this weekend. I learned a lot and met some really great people, which I will continue talking about on this blog and on Working Stiffs tomorrow.

But today, it's about a tip. When you attend conferences, which you absolutely should if you can, get more out of them by volunteering. Working the registration table ensures you meet everyone, including agents, editors, and published authors, as they walk in the door.

Introducing presenters gives you more face time with them. Offering to timekeep pitch sessions gives you face time with agents.

PennWriters has a great opportunity to PennPal with presenters, agents and editors. I was PennPal to Alex Glass of Trident Media Group. It was a pleasure. Alex is very funny, and he boosted my ego by needing me more than some other PennPals needed their counterparts. I found myself wandering the hotel by his side to try and get him in the right place.

He offered great advice to writers in his presentation, and it was a pleasure getting to know him even a little better.

The only guarantee you have to selling your writing is by making it shine. Work on your craft and polish your pages. But, volunteering at conferences adds value to your overall experience. There are usually several opportunities, so next time you attend a conference, reach out to those in charge and offer to help in some way.

For more on the value of interacting with agents in person, check out this great blog post from Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays #19

It's a rainy Monday.

But it's a good day. The PennWriters conference this weekend has inspired me to return to my blogging. So, here's to a fun video for Rainy Days and Mondays.

Intellectually, I can't possibly buy it, but it's still pretty entertaining. And it's dedicated to Hero, my little pup who's in surgery today.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Deferring to my students. . .

I won't be blogging for a while (big surprise, right?).

But my students will. I'd like to defer to them. Please take a peek at what they've been working on for the past few months, and offer a comment or two when you see things you like. I know they'll appreciate it.

The blog is:

Thanks for your support.