Sunday, December 30, 2007
It's been four years since that editor's critique....and the novel has improved drastically...it even garnered me an agent and interest from another editor....but that's another (horrible) story. Anyway....because I've been learning so much over the years---mainly thanks to the wonderful writer friends I've made--I feel confident in passing along my *wisdom* to new writers. So, for the last few months I've been a part of a forum where writers are encouraged to post chapters for feedback. Now, I've made it a point not to read or comment unless specifically asked because most consider my feedback a bit....harsh. Not that I do it that way...it just comes out that way online.
For the most part, I've gotten great thanks from some of the people...but there are still several there who just don't want to hear what they're doing "wrong" and will argue till they're purple that I just didn't get it! Especially since others (their friends) are giving them those pats on the back they so desperately want. How is that helping??
So...why bother giving critiques to writers who only want me to pour some sugar on them? Call me a masochist...haha...no....actually because eventually they're going to see that it isn't just me.
And if these writer's can't take a critique from me, how are they ever going to handle rejection from an agent or editor??
Which reminds me....the Avon editor had asked to see the manuscript again if I cleaned it up...she's not at Avon anymore but with another major house. I wonder if I should consider resending to her??
Friday, December 21, 2007
Last year, around this time, I was asked to participate in a Latina based anthology by an editor who really loved my work and was ready to submit my novel FORGET ME NOT to committee. However, before I could send her the completed novella (which is really more of a short story) and she could submit my book, she left the house for a better position elsewhere. Talk about deflating the ole ego boost. Then of course the rest of 2007 went totally downhill!! (I won't even rehash that since it's history and why dwell on it??)
So, anyway in November, on the advice of a writer friend, I submitted the story, who's new title is now HER WILL, HIS WAY, to a couple of online publishers. This week one of them emailed asking if the story was still available. I said yes. She offered a contract. I signed. And, after the first of the year the book will go through the process and be available online by the summer!! **woo hoo!**
I'm very proud of the work I did on this story and even the few people I sent it to really loved it! So I'm looking forward to sharing it with more people.....and hey, if they like this story....wait till they get a hold of my novels!! hehe
Anyway....as soon as the story is available I'll let you all know....although I'm sure you'll hear me shouting from the rooftops. ;-)
Happy Holidays Everyone!!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
I haven't had a job in nearly fifteen years but it's pretty much like riding a bike, right? Although, I haven't done that in quite a while either. Hmmm.
I've only had two types of jobs in the fifteen years I did work. I calculated earlier...my first job was in 1978 and I stopped working in 1992.
The first job I got was in food service...I worked for Long John Silvers, Pizza Hut and Friendlys (in NY). The other job was as a letter carrier with the US Postal service...which was also in New York, Hartsdale to be exact then Beaumont Texas and I did a year in Alaska. That one was my last job because it was really difficult to keep a job when I kept having kids (hah) and the government found it necessary to transfer my Coastie husband every two years. He retired in 2000 and got a real job, but he was getting paid so well it wasn't necessary for me to work...plus, both of us preferred our four children have someone home at all time.
Well, now the kids are mostly grown (the youngest is 12) and our finances are getting very tight (thanks to child one...but I won't go there) and we're having to rely on credit cards for everything right now. My husband is determined to pay them all off by this summer....which can only happen if I find a job. We were really hoping my writing would pay off....but every time I got close to selling....it didn't happen. *sigh* So, anyway, in order to make that goal for my husband (because he really deserves to not have to live paycheck to paycheck after all the time we had to do that)...I'll need to find a job.
I'm kind of nervous about it because like I said it's been fifteen years since I've had a job....I don't know if I have the patience to learn one...especially in food service...which is where I'm planning to apply. Why food service? I like it. You get to meet all kinds of people and interact with them. Of course that can also be a downside. haha With the holidays approaching, everyone is hiring, so it shouldn't be too hard to find something. Right??
Anyway....wish me luck...I guess.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
On a bright note, my youngest, who plays baseball started his first game as pitcher on Tuesday. Coach said when he told J he'd be starting pitcher that night, J just looked at him...no reaction whatsoever. Most boys are usually excited or at least smile, say something....not J. I think he was secretly panicked because he's only been pitching a couple of years and usually one or two innings in a game. I don't think he wanted coach to know he was freaked. Anyway, he did a great job! Only gave up one hit in the first three innings, one run in the third inning. By the fourth inning he'd given up a few hits and thanks to several errors, gave up a few more runs. coach pulled him in the fourth with two outs and runners on because he wanted J to come out of the game ahead (meaning if the relief pitcher gave up runs and let the other team pull ahead, it wouldn't be J who lost his lead...ya know?) Anyway...we won anyway. J went two for four with a walk (and a double). He's become quite the ballplayer in his six and a half years of playing...we're very proud.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Like I mention in the previous blog, I think it's mostly hormones making me feel so whiny....or rather the lack of homones...I don't think my HRT works. My "depression" could also be due to the fact that the year is almost over....I'm always down near the end of the year. Must me a mental thing...or a getting old thing.
Anyway, I'm starting to feel somewhat better (could be the herbal tea I'm drinking) and, although I haven't started writing again, I've jumped back on the horse (so to speak) and started submitting to a couple of publishing houses. It'll be months before I hear from them...if at all...so in the meantime I'm hoping to get some reading in. I have several books staring at me...wondering when I'm going to get them read. So, I should do that.
Anyway (yes, I say that a lot) I'll probably try to post more on the blog front too...not that I have much to say.
Well....almost time to get the girls from school, then feed them, then go to number four's baseball game. He went 0-3 at Tuesday's game, so hopefully he'll do better tonight....he's the clean-up batter. Tomorrow child # 1 has his physcial and psyche eval for the sheriff's department...so...wish him luck!! Not that he needs luck to show he isn't psycho. Child number three was supposed to be an extra in a film today, but they booked over her, so she lost the spot. Bummer. But, at least I'm not spending the evening sitting in a waiting room while she films, and missing my son's ballgame.
Did I say I was leaving? yeah. okay. Thanks for reading and for being my friends. ;-)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Anyway....here's the song....extra points if you can guess the artist.
TIME FOR ME TO FLY
I've been around for you I've been up and down for
youBut I just can't get any relief
I've swallowed my pride for youI've lived and lied
for you But you still make me feel like a thief
You got me stealin' your love away' Cause you never
Peeling the years away And we can't relive
I make you laugh And you make me
I believe it's time for me to fly
You said we'd work it out You said that you had no
doubt That deep down we were really in love
Oh, but I'm tired of holding on To a feeling I know
I do believe that I've had enough
I've had enough of the falseness Of a worn out
Enough of the jealousy And the
I make you laugh
And you make me cry
I believe it's time for me to fly
Time for me to fly
Oh, I've got to set myself free
Time for me to fly
And that's just how it's got to
I know it hurts to say goodbye
But it's time for me to fly
Monday, October 15, 2007
Maybe the problem is I want it too much and therefore am psychically sabotaging my chances.
Another online friend is always talking about signs, so maybe I should start looking at them too.
I used to think finding an agent was validation that I could write.....now....not so much.
For now all I know is, this is too hard and I'm ready to quit.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Okay, I'm over it. More or less.
Now, there's nothing wrong with getting jealous. It's a natural human emotion. But how you handle that emotion is what matters. My jealousy over not getting my work sold (just yet) only makes me want to work harder to see that it happens. But, it seems that some people will use their jealousy to sabotage someone's chances at making it in the publishing world. Case in point--I entered a writing contest at Gather.com. It's a first chapter romance contest which is also sponsored by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books Imprint. The winner of this contest will get a guarenteed publishing contract. Now, normally I won't enter contests because I don't do well in them. Mainly because I don't write by *category* rules. But I figured, since this contest is going to be voted on by the public....much like American Idol type voting....I would have a better chance. Plus, I really wanted to know how my novel would fare in the public (non-writer) eye.
Now, as a contestant, we're more or less required to read/rate/ comment on the other entries, which is not a problem. And a lot of these entries are from new writers....several of whom haven't quite learned the *craft*, but they have such an interesting story premise, that you really want to know how the book is going to turn out. So, when I read, I read as both a reader and a writer. And when I comment, I give as much feedback as I can to help them *fix* the problems I saw.
Now, every writer knows how subjective writing is, so you take to heart what comments your given and if they work for you, great. If not....throw them out. The problem is, although these writers say they want honest feedback, what they actually mean is, "tell me I'm wonderful!" And if you have the unmitigated gall to tell them something in their story needs work (for instance stop with the prologues that have nothing to do with the story, and the background information that can be weaved in, and the over-telling exposition!!!) then they get defensive and tell you, you don't know what you're talking about or you just don't get it. Then, they'll stop by your entry and rate you a 1 out of 10 stars to make it look like your story sucks. It's ridiculous, really. I mean, I don't even presume to think my story is the best one there....because I've read a select few of the stories that left me feeling like a hack. But I DO believe my story should be in the top ten and I'm not alone in my thinking. I've had published authors email me and tell me how great the chapter is, how it should move onto the next level, how it's the best of the bunch. But with the petty jealousy of the other contestants and their friends, I'll be lucky to make it to the next round.
Okay...sorry, this turned into a rant.
Anyway....if you'd like to know for yourself if I'm worthy of moving to the next round or perhaps even being published, then stop by and read my chapter DARK OBSESSION. And, if you enjoy the chapter and want to see me as a finalist, then vote/rate me a ten...because when they tally the votes, they will only count the tens.
Voting ends Tuesday September 18 and the finalists will be announced the following Monday, September 24. One more thing, you will have to register at Gather.com in order for your vote to count.
Thank you in advance to those who drop by.
And, if you're wondering what my novel is about, here is a brief description:
Ray Chavez has just been given a foreboding message by his long deceased great-grandmother. But Ray, a 33 year old farmer from the Rio Grande Valley, does not believe in visions or omens or the necromancy of his Mexican/Indian heritage. Although, Ray feels he's doing his part by humoring his sister Sylvia, a practicing Spiritualist, and his grandmother Maria, a non-practicing Curandera, he ultimately dismisses the vision as a bad dream.
However Ray may reconsider his position when Lexie Solis stumbles into town, in search of a new life. Ray feels an instant attraction, as well as a connection, to the skittish young woman, and he pursues a relationship with her. But what Lexie does not tell Ray and his family, is that she is running from an abusive ex-boyfriend and he may be more powerful then even she wants to believe.When Lexie is assaulted by an unseen force, they soon learn that Jerry Kemp's obsession with Lexie goes beyond his need to control her; he wants to possess her soul as well. Lexie's only hope for salvation lies with Ray. But will he be able to embrace his destiny to save the woman he loves as well as his own soul?
Thursday, August 02, 2007
My cousin Michelle, who's kind of like my little sister (we're that close) wanted to surprise her mom (my aunt Minnie--pronouced Meanie) so she didn't tell her we were coming. It was just me and my two girls, who are ages 13 & 15 and aside from getting taller these last seven months, they haven't really changed much. Anyway....we made plans to meet up at the Texas Roadhouse...it's a restaurant and Michelle and family were meeting there to have dinner to celebrate her son's birthday. Mik has four kids ages 3-9. So, I told my daughter to go in first and go up to the table and ask to take my aunt's picture....like those people who charge you five bucks when you're on vacation. She said, what if she says okay? I told her, take the picture anyway. Then I said, it might take her a minute but she'll recognize you.
So, Becca goes to the table while Manda and I hide behind the booth watching to see what happens.
Michelle pulled out her handheld video camera to tape the whole thing.
Becca walks up to the table with her digital camera.
Becca: "Hi. Can I take your picture?"
Uncle Ramon: "Why do you want to take her picture?"
Becca: "It's for a school project." (uh....it's July....school doesn't even start for another month!)
Aunt Minnie: "Okay. Sure." (sits back in her seat and smiles...wondering why Michelle is laughing hysterically)
Becca takes the picture then shows it to them. She waits a moment and when she realizes they still don't know who she is says, "Would you like me to take another one?"
At that point I send Manda out...who is immediately recognized. Then I step out from behind the booth and say, "Geez Minnie, it's been seven months, not seven years!"
It was really funny.....but I guess you had to be there.
Anyway, our trip was a lot of fun but now it's back to reality.
We flew home late last night so today I've spent the morning paying bills. Now I need to clean the house because....three guys...alone for ten days....'Nuff said. Actually, the house isn't that bad. But it hasn't been really cleaned since May (because I was laid up for a month after having surgery). Now that I'm up and around (and completely healed) I get to do housework again. Yay me. Plus, tomorrow is my son's birthday...he turns 12 and Tuesday is Becca's birthday...she turns 14. We're not really doing anything big for them since the trip was sort of Becca's present and Jeremy got a brand new set of golf clubs and played golf nearly everyday we were gone, but I do want to get them something....like a cake. Plus....school starts on Monday (YAY ME--and that's without the sarcasm!) so I've got to go fight the crowds at Walmart and gather supplies. Oh, and Jeremy didn't go to registration yesterday so I have to do that as well. And I have to go to the post office and mail out a request to an agent, plus do some much needed revisions on my novel Dark Obsession for a contest, and complete my current novel House of Cards.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Case in point....my "writing career". I put that in quotes because it's not much of a career. Sure, I've written two very good books and a novella and am currently working on what I think can be a bestseller, but I'm not published and at the moment, I'm unagented. Yes, I had an agent and she was a very nice lady, but she dropped me because apparently I don't write fast enough for her. At least that's the 'general' excuse she gave me, which I'll accept because it's better than thinking she was wrong about my work.
Anyway....I went through my grieving process, wondering if all this heartache was really worth it, and-thanks to online friends (I totally adore!) like Melanie Hauser, Lauren Baratz-Logstead, Georgie Dowdell, Devon Ellington and a whole slew of writers at Backspace I realized it's not the end of the world. I'm a good writer and when my time comes I'll sell my work. The agent I had, though a real sweetheart, just wasn't the right agent for me. The agent who will get me a multi-book deal, who will sell the film rights and who will put me on the same shelf as Nora Roberts, is out there somewhere. And, when the time comes, I'll find him/her.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a closet optimist, but I DO believe in fate. And I believe things happen for a reason. I may not see that reason for several years, but eventually it shows up.
So why dwell on something that happened when there's not much you can do about it? It's not only a waste of energy, but a waste of time.....and the older I get, the more precious my time.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
And, speaking of hot it's time to gather my summer reading list. There are several author friends who have books out, that I'm looking forward to reading. Here are a few titles on my list so far....
Bobby Faye's Very Very Very Bad Day by Toni McGee Causey (check out the book trailer)
Cover Up--Michele Martinez
Hell's Belles--Jackie Kessler
One Shot--Lee Child (who I had the ultimate pleasure of meeting a couple of weeks ago. And the awesome part....he remembered my name from when we met in 2005!!) *sigh*
Anyway...that's just a few books I have on my shelf to be read....since I can read a book in two days, and I'll be on bed rest for a few weeks I'll have a lot more than these on my shelves....plus, of course, I'll be working on my own manuscript (hopefully).
Next week (May 30-June 3) I'll be in New York for the Backspace conference. I'm really looking forward to meeting all of my online friends face to face. I've been corresponding with most of the members of Backspace since 2003 and they've been the most supportive, encouraging and inspiring group of people I've ever met, not to mention they're very talented writers.
So....with such an awesome start to my summer....how can I go wrong?? =)
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Life in Az has been going well, I guess. We haven't hit those Hotter'n Hell temperatures yet, much to the disappointment of my youngest who wants to go swimming in our backyard pool. I wouldn't even mind swimming daily for the exercise since I could really use it!
Aside from that I guess you could say we've adjusted. The kids have made friends, the younger one is still playing baseball and having a very good time....except for a couple of weeks ago when he got clocked on the chin by a 70 mph fast ball. But, the kid's a trooper and is still batting around .500
We've had our share of the media blitz this week. Apparently some very disturbed individual at my daughter's high school has been threatening violence, leaving cryptic messages on the boy's bathroom wall and accompanying it with a mutilated carcass (according to the rumor mill) and a couple of burning folliage. The date of the attack, which is supposed to include a bomb and hand guns, is scheduled for tomorrow...April 20th. Again the rumor mill is that the massacre is to be held in the name of the two psychos who shot up Columbine and that historic psycho responsible for the Holocost (not one of these individuals deserve to have their names spoken aloud). Anyway, the police and school officials are taking the threats seriously, especially in lieu of what happened this week in Virginia. Needless to say, a large majority of the student body plan to stay home Friday....my daughter included. I had tried to let my daughter know there was nothing to be scared about, that her school is safe. However, all my convincing went out the window today. The school was on complete lockdown today...no one in that didn't belong there. Cops, placed together in pairs, haunted every few feet of the building and blocked all entrances. After school all of the students were then corralled a block away at the football field and parents were told to pick them up at the church another block away. Needless to say, we were told this when we got to the school. My daughter, a freshman, is also special needs and the most timid child you'll ever meet, and being new had no idea where she was supposed to go. The extra precautions today totally freaked her out, added to the fact that the school was evacuated for half an hour while they checked into a suspicious package in the boys room, which turned out to be someone's science project. Anyway...thankfully we got my daughter a cell phone for Christmas, so her brother and I were able to talk to her while we hunted her down. Then, one of the aides at the school spotted her and was kind enough to walk her to where we were parked.
Leaving the school we couldn't believe the amount of press waiting to see what would happen. Helicopters hovered over the school, news vans for the local affiliates as well as radio stations were set up everywhere, satelite dishes and all. It certainly made me feel, even more, for the people in Virginia and Colorado, Kentucky....everywhere these tragedies happen.
And it's really sad that, when these stories hit the news, more focus is put on the killer than on the victims .
Friday, January 12, 2007
2006 was one of the not so great years of my life….I can’t say it was the worst, because there have been worse….but like I do EVERYTIME something sucky happens, I move on. Only last year, it was harder because I let it get to me….the stress and anxiety and stuff. I told myself, this year would be different….literally. After all I’ll be in a new home, in a new state, minus one child (*sniff sniff*) and hopefully starting a new career path…or at least upgrading my current so called career.
So, anyway, the new year started like it always does, full of hope. Then….deja vu….I get a call from my agent telling me she will be leaving her agency to open up her own. Now, why is this Déjà vu? Well…because in January of 2005, five months after I signed with my first agent, she called to tell me she was leaving her agency to take an editor’s position at Simon & Schuster. You’d think this would be a good thing since she was my agent and loved my work…however…not so….my Romantic Suspense didn’t fit into the Latina line she was to be running. So, I had to spend practically all of 2005 looking for a new agent, and by the end of November, I'd finally found one!! My books went on submission in January 2006….we’ve had some interest….one editor in particular was very enthusiastic and even asked for a meeting at the RWA conference in Atlanta last July, and since then I’ve been somewhat furiously revamping the story for the editor. Then the holidays came around, and all the stress it entails….which included me and the kids having to move the first week of December because our house sold and living in a motel for eight days while they went to school, then spending a week at my cousin’s house (that would be a head count of 12!) so my son would get to see most of the family before he shipped out, then going to San Antonio for a week and leaving my son there, and me and the rest of the kids and my husband driving twelve hundred plus miles to our new home in Arizona. *heavy breath*….sorry…I keep digressing….
So…I get a call from my agent who said she’s leaving the agency to open her own….however, unlike my first agent….THIS agent wants me to come with her! YAY! So, I still have an agent which means I don’t have to stress so much about whether or not I suck as a writer. (call me neurotic)
So….starting February, my work will be pitched again but under the new agency name. No big….we still have that one editor who LOVES me….but wait….my agent now tells me the editor is considering leaving her house for another one. **ARRRGGHHH** What is this curse I have???
Okay….so I’m being dramatic. Turns out (I just learned) that the editor not only left her current house but took a position with a major house, where she’ll be a head editor and can buy her own projects, as opposed to assisting an editor and having to go through them for her buys.
What does this mean for me? Hell if I know. But, I’m hoping it’s good.
Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned.
Thanks for reading.
And…..Have a Happier New Year!