Monday, November 30, 2009

New Moon book giveaway: Everyone's a winner!

Since there were only three ladies in the US and Canada that didn't have a copy of New Moon, I did some networking and got two more copies. All three ladies are now happy owners. Congratulations to:
Jackie B, Jackie O and Marjorie R. Enjoy girls!

Friday, November 27, 2009

An author and her readers: How far is too far?

I've e-mailed three authors whose work I really like. One sent back a rather extensive reply. She answered questions I had about the origins of her surname and was quite chatty. The second sent a brief thank you for my interest.  It is the third response that took me aback.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lessons for Writers from New Moon, the movie

I spoke to several people today to get their opinion of New Moon. The sentiment was the same: it was good, but not as good as Twilight. They had no plans to go back for another viewing, though several of them saw Twilight multiple times. What's the difference? As I said on Sunday's post-it's the focus of the movie: Bella's inner angst and turmoil. It's hard to make those kinds of emotions exciting and attention grabbing on screen.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Moon book giveaway

If anyone is interested in the opportunity to receive a pristine copy of New Moon, please leave a comment. Include a reference to your desire to receive the book in addition to any thing else you wish to add. I happen to have two copies, so I'm giving one away. The opportunity will be open until next Sunday, November 29, 2009.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Moon movie review

I don't usually go to see movies on opening night, but I was near the theatre after work and the next showing available was less than two hours away so I bought a ticket and waited in a nearby Barnes and Noble.
If you're one of the few people on earth who hasn't seen the first installment of this saga, you need to do that before seeing New Moon. You can't get the flavor for what all this is about unless you've seen Twilight first. I have friends who didn't see Twilight, but were drawn into the advertisements and planned to see New Moon. Do yourselves a favor and see Twilight first. New Moon was truly like being dropped into the middle of a story. It's a continuing saga-true, but I found that a bit disconcerting. It didn't have a clear beginning for someone who isn't familiar with the story.

Mind you, I have not read New Moon yet. I intend to.  I found out from the first movie, it was better to see the movie first and then read the book. Lots of people were disappointed with the movie after reading the the book first.  I didn't have any expectations when I went to see Twilight, because I had no idea it was a book. I discovered that little tidbit when I was sitting in the theatre and spoke to the people waiting for the movie to start! Of course I went right out, bought it and devoured the book. I decided then, not to read any subsequent books until after I've seen the movie, that way, I won't be disappointed by any deviations from the book.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Backspace Agent-Author Conference: Opening Pages

The second day of the conference, the attendees read the first two pages of their manuscript. It was evident that people had put a lot of thought and effort into what they had written and expected to be affirmed. For the majority, it was not to be. The agents were direct in what was not working and why: Not identifying the appropriate audience for your writing, writing things there was no way the POV character would know, being too descriptive with your writing; not getting to the point quickly enough.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Backspace Agent-Author Conference

The first word that comes to mind after attending this conference is SUBJECTIVE. I learned there is no one standard for what will lead an agent to be interested in a piece of work. It is highly subjective and dependent on their own personal tastes. Let me give you some examples.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Can anyone write and get published?

The other day, someone I met mentioned she was writing a book. Naturally I was curious and asked what it was about. She said it was about her life. I said, "So you're writing a memoir?" I received a blank stare. I explained what a memoir was and we discussed fiction vs narrative non-fiction. She said she had spoken with a publisher and I questioned who it was. She couldn't remember the name but said, "It's something like 'Universe'." I said, "Is it iUniverse'? She got excited and said "yes."

"So you're going to self-publish?" Once again, that blank look. I asked her if she had a way to distribute her book? She hadn't thought about that.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Revision one, two, three...

I've had a fairly steep learning curve as I began to formulate my novel. I bought books and searched for information on line about the craft of writing and story telling. A consistent theme was the need to revise and edit your writing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

So, you think you're a writer eh?

I've always had a professional reputation for being a skillful writer. Since beginning this adventure known as penning a novel, I've learned that creative writing-good creative writing is a different animal entirely. It requires different skill sets than  academic or scholastic writing.

Clinical/technical writing does nothing to enliven the imagination. It's goal is to transmit information-period. When you're writing a novel or a memoir, you want to bring the reader into the world of the story. Your goal is to make the story so engrossing, the reader is not conscious they're reading a book-they are there, in the story, right along with your protagonist. Maybe they even become your protagonist. This is a skill that takes time to develop. You have to practice. the more you write, the more you realize you need to write-and write, and write, and write...It's an ongoing process. Recognize that, accept it and be prepared to do what's necessary to get your character's or your own personal story told.

After many interruptions, I was finally offered a seat in a nursing program to take the clinicals. After much thought, I turned it down because I really want to work on my novel. The program is intense and there is no way I would be able to work full time, take the clinical classes, do the internship in the hospital and work on a book. I have to prioritize. I want to give my book the best chance possible and that means giving it the time it requires. I know I made the right decision, because I don't regret it one bit! I enjoy writing and I'm excited to see where I can go with it. If you have a passion for something, give it your best shot. Even if it doesn't work out as planned or as you would have desired, at least you know you did your best and you'll have no regrets.


Sunday, November 1, 2009


I've been thinking about starting a blog for awhile and I decided to bite the bullet and do it. You may wonder what the meaning of my blog title is: Writing is a Blessing. Well, writing is a form of communication. It's a means of communicating  over time and distance. It enables one to communicate with someone he or she has never met and possibly never will and yet, information can be conveyed. That information can be for entertainment purposes or for information. Of course some use writing to hurt others, but that is not the goal of this blog.

I'm an educator and counselor by profession, so I'm always giving advice and teaching in some form or another. I'm also working on my first novel, which I hope will be sufficiently interesting and well written to elicit publication.

I see writing as an opportunity to help, enlighten and inspire others, hence writing as a blessing. If I write a novel that is entertaining and transports the reader to another experience, or offers a written word of advice that is helpful, that's a blessing. I'll be touching on a number of issues:  my attempts to become a published author, what I learn about the process as well as other topics and interests as they come to me.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll join me on this journey toward being a blessing to others.