Publishing Resources

Yikes, where has the time gone since my last post? I blame spring cleaning, travel, research, and writing almost 20,000 words of my new novel. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

Meanwhile, Jane Friedman’s annual review of Book Publishing Paths is available. I have found this resource to be extremely valuable, both for my own use and for advising new and aspiring authors. Here is the link to her post:

https://janefriedman.com/key-book-publishing-path/

Happy writing!

Books and Quill

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CHILDHOOD SUMMERS OF YORE

A lot of what I write about draws from personal experiences. Usually those experiences don’t translate precisely onto the page, but rather are selected pieces that fit a particular story line. Since I grew up in the fifties and sixties, when life was so-o-o-o very different for children, the activities and environments would seem alien to today’s kids, but there’s a commonality to experiences of being a child surrounded by other children and learning social skills through that medium.

Camp Yowochas - FarmhouseWith summer on the horizon, I started thinking about my summers as a child. From age six to age twelve I spent four weeks of every summer (last two weeks of July, first two weeks of August) at Camp Yowochas, in Grafton, NY, and one or two with my cousins in Valley Falls, NY. They were idyllic times.

 

Camp Yowochas - View Point (2)Camp was structured, which didn’t always fit my personality. But I met kids from far and wide–places as far away (to me) as Long Island and even California. And, it turned out, many of those same girls reappeared in my life in high school. That was when I began to understand the concept of “it’s a small world.”

The weeks with my cousins were completely unstructured, but never boring. We’d spend whole days riding our bikes around the village (never past the Post Office! was the rule), playing our own game called Wild Goose Chase, various forms of hide-and-seek, plodding through the woods, chasing butterflies with a net (and, I’m embarrassed to admit, killing them in a jar and adding them to my collection). ALL unaccompanied by adults. And no one worried about our safety. Evenings we’d lie in the grass and view stars and chase lightning bugs. All pretty idyllic compared to today. Of course, it was the height of the Cold War, and the frequent air raid drills at school drove my mind to believe that the Russians were going to bomb us any day now – to the point that my heart raced every time a plane flew overhead for a number of years. Still, they were good times for growing up.

Any photos that survived from Valley Falls vacations are tucked in an album somewhere, I think at my brother’s house. But photos from Camp Yowochas resurfaced a few years ago.

Simpler times–so different from today.

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TURN AN IDEA INTO A GREAT STORY!

Once again, Jane Friedman shares a guest post with innovative approaches to taking a basic (and seemingly trite or overused) idea and turning it into a captivating story. Read on:

https://janefriedman.com/develop-idea-great-story/

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BAN THE BLOCKS!

vintage books with cup of coffee,magnifying glass, free copy space

It’s all about the writing. Excuses don’t cut it if you are serious about your writing goals. Whining won’t get the words onto the paper. Taking your dog for a walk doesn’t take all day, and still leaves time for writing. Have an appointment midday? Instead of seeing that as breaking up your day and therefore an excuse for not writing, look at it as a gift – an opportunity to write early, refresh your creative juices, and go back to it with renewed writing spirit.

Typical Other Excuses:

“I don’t have time to meet my writing goals.” MAKE TIME! HOW COMMITTED ARE YOU?

“I keep getting interrupted.” SET GROUND RULES. LOCK YOURSELF IN A ROOM. GO SOMEPLACE (LIKE A LIBRARY) WHERE THE INTERRUPTIONS ARE ELIMINATED. JUST DO IT!

“I need to be inspired to write.” FIND WHAT INSPIRES YOU. MUSIC? ESSENTIAL OILS? CONNECTING PEN TO PAPER INSTEAD OF SITTING AT A COMPUTER SCREEN? IF YOU STILL AREN’T INSPIRED, JUST WRITE. ANYTHING! IT’S LIKE EXERCISING YOUR BODY – ONCE YOU GET PAST THAT CRITICAL FIRST 10-15 MINUTES, IT FLOWS.

“I don’t like what I’ve written.” SO SET IT ASIDE AND JUST KEEP WRITING. YOU CAN FIX OR DISCARD IT LATER! THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO MAINTAIN THE HABIT OF WRITING EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY. EVEN IF IT’S ONLY FOR A HALF HOUR. EVEN IF YOU PRODUCE GARBAGE. AGAIN WITH THE WORKOUT ANALOGY, YOU HAVE TO WORK THOSE MUSCLES TO SEE ANY RESULTS. YOU HAVE TO WORK THAT WRITING MUSCLE TO PRODUCE A STORY, A NOVEL, ANY WRITING.

Are you really, truly, not-just-an-excuse busy? EVEN THE BUSIEST PEOPLE CAN CARVE OUT TIME TO WRITE. THE BLOCKS OF TIME MAY BE SHORT. YOU NEED TO TRAIN YOURSELF TO GET RIGHT INTO IT AT THE APPOINTED TIME AND WRITE, FOR A HALF HOUR, FOR AN HOUR, WHATEVER YOU CAN MANAGE.

Long before I had the luxury of retirement and was trying both to write and to train for marathons and work full time, my weekday schedule looked like this:

  • 2:30 am – rise and shine, throw on exercise clothes, drive 1 ½ hours to the gym while listening to books on tape, run 7 miles on the treadmill and spend a half hour on weight work, shower, drive to work.
  • 6:30-7:30 am – write
  • 7:30-11:30 am – work
  • 11:30-12:00 – write or edit and eat lunch
  • 12:00-4:00 – work
  • 4:00-5:30 – drive 1 ½ hours home, listening to books on tape

As you can imagine, by the end of dinner I was done in for the day. Good thing, because I had to get to bed early so I could get up and repeat this 5 days per week. Weekends allowed a little more time for writing, but even writers need a life – so weekends included socializing, doing some kind of workout or hike with my dog and husband, and catching up on TV shows taped throughout the week.

My point is clear. Making time for writing is in your hands.

Time Flies

JUST DO IT!!

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You’re Not Done Yet!

THE SECOND ACT NOVELIST (https://janefriedman.com/second-act-novelist-6-ways-prepare/)

I love this post on Jane Friedman’s blog–probably because I relate to it so completely. I spent many years whining about how I wished I could afford to stop working so I could write full time. Then reality hit, and I realized that would never happen, at least not until I could retire. That reality check lit a fire under my behind. Did I really want to wait ten years before I closed the book on my first published novel?

Read and relax

Absolutely not!

It was a challenge, and I didn’t have much life outside of work and writing, but my first novel, Autumn Colors was published in 2011.

I was so thrilled, I got right to work on book number two, In Her Mother’s Shoes. I guess I was on a roll, because that one didn’t take four years to write! It was published in 2012.

I stalled a bit after that. Well, that’s not entirely true. I wrote one novel, Transition, which–after negative feedback from a few trusted sources, I discarded. Instead, I went to work on Star Catching. That one was released in November 2016. During the years between In Her Mother’s Shoes and Star Catching, I retired – a little sooner and a little lower on cash flow than I originally planned but, well, life happens, and I must say I love retirement.

I took a few months off from writing after Star Catching came out, but I’m now hard at work on–and very excited about–a new novel, as yet unnamed.

My point is this: few writer wannabes have the luxury of writing full time unless they have either a blockbuster book that gives them big cash or if they happen to be independently wealthy. That doesn’t mean your writing dreams are dead. It means it’s harder while you are working, but you can plan for that golden era when you retire and have that luxury to do exactly that.

It’s worth the wait, especially if you plan for it!

https://janefriedman.com/second-act-novelist-6-ways-prepare/

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On Muslim Women’s Day, let’s just remember they’re human too.

Source: On Muslim Women’s Day, let’s just remember they’re human too.

I felt this was an important post to share, given the limited information and misconceptions among many Americans.

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Insight Updates on E-book Sales

Once again, I’d like to refer you to a post on Jane Friedman’s blog site, with an update on the status of e-book sales she posted last year:

https://janefriedman.com/myth-print/

 

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