Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Can you judge a book from a blog?

Last week I wandered around Borders with a 30% off coupon burning my hands, but I couldn't find ANYTHING I wanted to buy. Of course, I had just purchased a pile of books at the Midwest Lit Fest (yes, as soon as I'm completely unpacked I will list them) so my 'to read' pile is towering. But still... 30%... what a wasted opportunity.

Today I received a 15% off coupon from B&N in my e-mail. Since my membership discount expires at the end of the month I decided to take the plunge and buy something with the two discounts. I went with books by two authors whose blogs I enjoy reading:
Diana Peterfreund, author of Secret Society Girl
Tess Gerritsen, author of The Mephisto Club and many other books including Vanish (the one I bought)

I hope I enjoy the books as much as or more than the blogs. Has anyone else bought books because you like a blog or are you all (all 3 of you) waiting for my book ? ;)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Make Sure it's Flawless

That is some of the advice on a Do's and Dont's tip sheet from the conference about sending your work to an agent. While I appreciate the advice, it's been paralyzing me, because while flawless is an admirable goal, it's also impossible.

I can' think of a single book I've ever read that was absolutely flawless, can you? Every author (and human) has strengths and weaknesses. If the strengths are used to great advantage and the weaknesses minimized, then the book works. I will minimize the flaws in my manuscript and then find someone who appreciates my strengths and can help accentuate them to get my book published.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Send Me a Few Chapters

That's exactly what you want to hear when you pitch your idea to an agent at a conference, and it's what I did hear. Yay me. Now I need to take the plunge, quit playing with it and send the first few chapters in. This is not a done deal, but a necessary step in the process. I hope at the very least I get some feedback.

I am revising revising REVISING. I didn't make any major changes - no characters or subplots eliminated, but I am tightening everything up.

The conference went well. I learned a few more interesting tidbits, but not as much as I did last year. Why not? Because I've already learned quite a bit about how this whole process works. I was relatively new when I went last year, and going again showed me just how far I've come. If you had told me last year that I'd be back in a year with a completed manuscript that I would successfully pitch to an agent I would have laughed, but here I am. Excellent. Where will I be next year?

Remind me to post the list of books I bought. I ended up spending more on books than on the conference itself... One of the new authors (Tasa Alexander) was compared to Elizabeth Peters, so I can't wait to try her book.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Read two books in two days!

I'm en route to the Midwest Lit Festival. I have a pile of TBR books with me, but I left my pile aside to stop and read two of Dorse's while I'm here: 12 Sharp - Janet Evanovich and Size 12 is Not Fat - Meg Cabot.

I enjoyed both! I enjoyed just sitting back and reading, but 12 Sharp was much better than the last 3 Plum stories in my opinion. I was ready to ditch the series, but Dorse got me to read it by telling me it was all about Ranger. I heart Ranger.

Size 12 is Not Fat was a fun, easy read. I can't say it's a must-read, but it worked. In my opinion, size 12 is sometimes not fat, but sometimes it is - depends how tall you are. On me it's a little bit too chubby. Maybe the book title guilted me into going running, or maybe the fact that I'm already signed up for a 10K race in early October did it, but I ran for 54 minutes today. No slow slog jog, either. Hard intervals. Freaking exhausting.

Recovery required a trip to the Clinique counter for two $13 eye pencils - I know, I know it's ridiculous, particularly when I have an alternate source of $2 pencils, but my source doesn't have taupe. AND I wanted the free gift. I know, I know, it's cheap marketing ploy, but every makeup bag I've ever owned has been part of a free gift with purchase. I'm a sucker for those things. Did I mention I also impulsively bought their eye makeup remover? The Clinique woman rubbed it on my hand to remove all the test taupe lines, and it felt so amazing I had to have it. My current EM remover burns like hellfire if I get it in my eyes, which I often do.

Wow - long ramble.

Speaking of rambling... what is November? To E. it's hunting season - yuk. He'll be off with 'the boys' for most of the month, which leaves me free to sew new tablcloths (HA) or... commit to NaNoWriMO - I think I'll do it. Last year I was already in the middle of my since-abandoned stalker books, but this year I think I'll be ready to start book #2, and what better way than NaNoWriMo? Who is with me?

BTW - please do not read into this that I would not be able to do NaNoWriMo If E were around. I could, but I would feel bad because I would be stumbling around in slacker pants dribbling coffee on myself mumbling about characters and plot, and he would be building a boat out of scrap metal, with no stimulants or pshychotic episodes.

Friday, September 08, 2006


I booked myself for the next 2 weeks to focus on my book, including attending the Midwest Literary Festival. I JUST sent my last outstanding freelance assignemnt and can finally get my head back in my chick lit world :)

Interesting piece from CNN on the current state of romance and chick lit.
be sure to click on the video links - I thought those were the most interesting parts.

Does anyone out there read romance? I went through a Danielle Steele phase in the '80s but otherwise never really liked it. Has the genre changed? If I like chick lit, would I like modern romance? Any recommendations?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Back to the Grind

Ok, so my life isn't exactly a grind, and my summer was anything but lazy, but stilll - something about back-to-school time makes me feel like I better shine my shoes and get my A game in gear.

Speaking of shoes, I have a HUGE painful blister from wearing grown-up shoes to 'the office' yesterday. ow ow ow. I'm sooo much happier to be at my home office in bare feet, although I wish the maid would wash the floors.

As I said, yesterday I had to go to a 'real' office which meant driving in traffic and dressing for success. Today I am working from home. I have WAY more than 8 hours of work to do, but still I woke up feeling energized and ready to go. I definitely have some kind of mental block against working away from home. I do have a pretty cushy setup here - corner office with a view. : )

Book status: I've heard back from 2 of 5 readers. I gave one a little slack until next week (she's related to me and back to school time is crazy busy for her). Another received it late, but I'm hoping she finishes soon. The other.... I'd like to hear from.... it's ok if you have negative comments - I got several already and I plan to use them to improve the next draft so please don't be shy. If you haven't had time just let me know - I understand.

Better get cracking on paid work. My boss doesn't appreciate slackitude and she's got her eye on a new fall suit from Mexx.

Monday, September 04, 2006

My summer vacation

Four days and three nights of kayaking down the St. Maurice River.
No, there were no bear attacks and E did not have to tow me, and we did not stay alive by eating minnows and Pop-Tarts. See the whole story here.