HI everyone and thank you to Rebecca Lynn for inviting me to join this wonderful group of writers. I am very excited to be here!
Let me start off by introducing myself. My name is Sarah Hoss, I am 37 and a married mother of three. That alone keeps me busy. We live out in the country in a small community in Indiana where some of my neighbors and friends are Amish.
When I told my friend that I was going to join this group, she gave me a look and asked if I was serious. Then it dawned on me; the name. I was one of the biggest fans of New Kids on the Block. Yes, I really was. I had everything they sold and I was in love with Jon. That seems a long time ago now. But how fitting to have one of my most memorable times of my life share the same name with this memorable time in my life.
I started writing 3 years ago and had wanted to write children's books but I could never get an idea to come to me. It was very frustrating. I loved to read and did so all the time. I got hooked on Scottish themed romances when I picked up Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I have been smitten every since and that is what I write. Historical romance with a time travel twist. I have many ideas about different kids of books I want to write includig a Native American romance.
One day I was driving down the road and I had this idea come to mind. I could see the countryside; see the dark hair of my heroine blowing in the wind. Then the story started to come to me. I went straight home and wrote it all down. I finished Highland Dreams in October. After I started editing I went looking for an agent. Book two is well under way and I am enjoying writing that one as much as I did the first one. I haven't found an agent yet, though I have had one ask for seconds. Here's to keeping our fingers crossed! ; ) I have made great friends along the way. Some have been published authors and some haven't, but all are wonderful ladies that I am lucky to have met.
I am a member of RWA and CHRW. You can find me on my blog at www.heart-of-romance.blogspot.com or on Facebook. Just look for Sarah Hoss, Author. Hope to see you there!
I feel like I am leaving something out and I imagine two hours after I post this I will be thinking, "Oh man, I should have said that!" But I will get to post on here again so anything I have forgotten, I will mention then. As for now, I will say good bye and until next time!!
HI everyone and thank you to Rebecca Lynn for inviting me to join this wonderful group of writers. I am very excited to be here!
Hi everyone! Well, I guess I'm probably one of the last of the new New Kids to introduce myself to the blog. I just want to say that I'm really excited to be here and thank Rebecca Lynn for creating the blog and bringing all of us, with all of our different points of view, together.
My name is Jennieke--pronounced: Jen-i-ka; yeah it's a bit silly, but blame my parents :)--and I've been writing for about five years. Mainly, I write books set in the Regency period--I'm currently trying to sell a Regency-set young adult book--and I dabble in screenwriting, but I do try to be a realist, and selling a screenplay is even harder than selling a book, so that's where I'm devoting my efforts. By that same token, ever since I decided I wanted to be a writer, I've been working toward learning the publishing industry. This led to a couple jobs: I interned and then worked as an assistant to agent Andrea Hurst (so if anyone has any questions in that area, I'd love to help), I interned at Prima Games (an imprint of Random House that does only video game guides), and finally, I got a Master's in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California (basically the equivalent of an MFA, so if anyone is curious about going through workshops with a bunch of literary fiction writers, please ask:).) I currently work in marketing in Northern California, and when I'm not writing, I'm taking care of my organic garden, traveling, or looking for great restaurants.
Anyway, on to bigger and more interesting things...I'm really enjoying this year's RWA conference. Orlando is much more humid than this "poor" NorCal girl is used to, and we fairly wilted at the amusement parks earlier this week. The only people I felt worse for than myself were the Brits we kept seeing (esp. at the Harry Potter part of Universal). We spent last summer in England and Scotland, and the Brits were uncomfortable during an 80 degree heat wave. The day we went to Harry Potter World it was 105 easy. But other than the weather, Orlando is great. Everyone at the conference seems to be in great spirits, and I've met a bunch of new friendly people. (Virtual wave to everyone I've met so far!) I went to the Beau Monde conference Wednesday and danced the night away at their soiree, which was so much fun. I went two years ago in San Francisco, and this year's was just as good a time. Yesterday was a day filled with workshops and going to book signings. I also pitched an agent and got a request for a partial so I'm very excited about that. I have another pitch appointment this morning, but I'm doing my best not to be nervous about it.
Thanks again to Rebecca Lynn for including me in the New Kids blog. I'm happy to be part of this dynamic group of writers!
If you don't have one, find one. If you do have one, thank them profusely. If you can't think of how to find a mentor, just hold on, I'll get to that.
Yesterday at the PRO Retreat, we honored the PRO Mentor of the Year, HelenKay Dimon. She was nominated and selected because of her contribution to RWA (Romance Writers of America) PRO (actively seeking publication... pro just sounds cooler than asp, right?) members development.
So the picture above is not of HKD, or even of Jaci Burton, whom I also met and would love to talk about for awhile. Althoug those are both of the women who have mentored me today, they are not pictured here because I'm saving those for later. Pictured above is Jayne Ann Krentz, with RWA President Michelle Monkou.
I don't put them up because they're my mentors. I put them up because they represent what mentors bring to the table: experience and leadership. They are willing to give advice, and they have the experience to know what they are talking about, at least in their own lives. Granted, it might not work in yours.
This is different than a coach. A coach knows the basics, knows the theory, and is good at seeing the big picture. Coaches should be good at helping you figure out what you're not doing and giving you a strategy to get there.
This is also different than a peer. Peers provide encouragement. They may provide advice, feedback, comments, questions, discussion, a shoulder to cry on.
I don't differentiate because you need one more than the other, but because I've just realized that I do. I have a coach, great coaches in fact, and more than one. I have amazing peers. They support me and challenge me, just like peers should. But until today, I didn't realize that I don't really have a mentor. And while I'm taking steps to change that, I'll talk about them later. I just wanted to post my thoughts for the day.
So glad you all stopped by. Please let me know your thoughts on the subject. Feel free to disagree or ask questions. Looking forward to more discussion on this topic in the future.
Recently I purchased Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. It was recommended to me as a writer’s resource keeper. Of the many gems of Mr. King’s writing wisdom, the nugget I’d like to ooh and aah over today is his confession of writing rapidly with the door shut.
What? Close out the fur-babies, the hubby, my Nickelback iTunes? And what about stopping to make those pesky corrections after I re-read the paragraph I just wrote? Oh, the horror!
Well, Mr. King is the master of horror novels.
So, I allowed his little tidbit to marinate in my shocked and awed mind.
Mr. King explains that he literally closes his door and writes as quickly as he can, transferring what’s in his brain into words exactly as they come to him. He doesn’t stop for corrections and only flip-flops back to check characters and essential back story. He focuses on the goal of finishing the story by writing fast enough to outrun self-doubt. Revisions eventually come, but not until the first draft is complete and adequate time has passed so that sink holes in the plot and stumbling blocks in character building become as apparent as a shimmery full moon in a cloudless, black velvet sky.
Suddenly, I got it. For months, I couldn’t get past the first few chapters of my current WIP because I kept stopping to revise and rework it. As a result, the story twisted tumultuously and kept changing. Mainly, because I became unsure of where I was going with it. Self-doubt mowed me down and kept riding over me each time I made a change. I thought I was working toward improvement when I was actually disassembling the foundation and scattering it to oblivion.
Although I’ve been writing since childhood, I’m a novice when it comes to the craft of writing for publication. Knowing this, I read how-to books, take online classes, and whatever else I can find to do to learn the techniques I need to develop for success. I have charts and outlines and character interviews and storyboards. None have worked to help me complete this WIP.
Mr. King talks about starting with a situation that organically develops into a story. He defines the difference between plot and story as “Story is honorable and trustworthy; plot is shifty, and best kept under house arrest.”
I found that when I returned to the basic inciting situation for my hero and heroine, their story began to naturally evolve. Twists and turns and reveals are occurring that I never imagined when trying to systematically structure the storyline. I also found the writing is easier and faster than when I was struggling to make the jig-sawed plot pieces fit together. With resounding clarity, and a sliver of guilt, I accepted that formal plotting doesn't work for me.
Now, my mission is to write hard, write fast and let self-doubt choke on the dust my fingers leave behind while I'm tapping out that first draft. Do I expect it to be a masterpiece? Not in any lucid reality, but that’s okay. Ernest Hemingway said “The first draft of anything is sh**!” So, I’m in good company.
Critique partners. Some writers have them. Some don't. So how do you know what YOU should do?
Do you really want a stranger pouring over your manuscript, ticking off items that don't make sense or red lining an entire paragraph for deletion? Does their opinion even matter? Its not as if a critique partner is the one accepting or declining your masterpiece. A masterpiece that you've spent countless hours fine tuning.
Why, just that one paragraph they marked for deletion took you almost an entire week to complete. They have no idea how many hours you spent staring at the computer screen searching for just the right words to describe your heroine's dress. Or the hours it took to research the designer who supposedly created the stunning gown she's wearing. Thats a lot of time and effort to risk on someone who couldn't possibly understand how important that paragraph is to your story.
Sound familiar? I used to think I was a strong writer and didn't need another person looking at my mansucript. Several rejections later I began to change my mind. I found a critique group and let them whip me into shape.
The first thing I learned was to let go of my ego. Trust me, it wasn't easy. Then I learned that no matter how well written a scene was...I'm talking pure romance gold...if it didn't fit, it had to go. Once I cut the emotional apron strings to my writing, everything else began to fall into place.
A good critique partner wants you to improve and will take your writing as seriously as they take their own. They want to partner with you. Rejoice in every contest final or win, jump for joy when you get the call, and beam with happiness when your first novel finally shows up at the local bookseller.
I belong to a great critique group. I can always count on them for sage advice, motivation, character analysis and praise when my story warrants it. I can also count on them to nail my butt to the wall if what I've written is dribble. They refuse to let me get by with "ok" writing. Do my feelings occassionally get bruised? You betcha. Does that stop me from submitting my next entry to them? Not at all.
Writing is such a personal effort. We pour our heart and soul into our work so putting it out there for someone to judge is not an easy feat. And yet how can we possibly expect to get better, to learn and eventually find publication if we don't allow another pair of trained eyes to evaluate our work? Its easy to lose objectivity when you've revised and edited a manuscript several times.
I would much rather have a critique partner toss my pages back with editorial suggestions than an agent or editor say, "Not for us." I've experienced both, and when the latter happens I always wonder if I've submitted too soon. Was my manuscript the best it could be or was there more I could have done to make it better?
I've judged contests where the entrant's plot was good, the characters believable and the story full of promise. What a shame that a "good" manuscript just needed another set of eyes to turn it into a "great" manuscript.
It’s a tough market out there, as we all know. A writer should submit their work only after they have made sure it is grammatically correct, formatted properly and above all else, a tight, readable story.
So where does one find a critique partner? There are many online critique groups within various RWA chapters. I personally like online because it goes faster, is easy to use "comment" balloons in Word, and is more business like. I'm a no frills person so it suits my personality and writing style. If you enjoy chatting and discussing the comments and reviews in person, by all means find a critique group that meets on a regular basis. You can always look outside your local chapter. Yahoo has lots of groups for writers. Craigslist has writer meet-ups. Post a request on your local bookseller's bulletin board. Ask a friend who is an avid reader to critique your work.
Its important to find a critique partner who is knowledgeable enough about writing techniques to offer sound advice without corrupting your story. You want someone who will have your interests at heart and will offer suggestions while allowing you to make your own decisions. Try the "Three Bears" test. Meet with three different critique partners. One will probably be too hard. One will probably be too soft. But hopefully you will find one who will be just right!
Some of you are making those last minute preparations before you board your plane or load up your car. Me, I'll be staying right here in Kansas watching the corn pop up in rows. I can't exactly say I'm happy about it, but such is the way of life.
I knew there would be no conference for me if I didn't have a contract in hand. And since I didn't give it my 100% I have nobody to blame but myself. And I can honestly say that I didn't give it 100%.
With the flurry of emails flying across the writer's loops it's hard not to feel disappointed. It's also hard not to reflect on what I've accomplished, or the lack of accomplishments, over the past year. At this time last year, I had one completed manuscript, a border story set in 1603, with promise. It had finaled in several contests, and I had even received a request at Nationals, during a very botched spur of the moment pitch (I highly recommend attending workshops that include agent panels) but only if I made significant changes. I also had a Western in the beginning stages (I'm talking about one complete chapter) that I was uberly excited about.
Part of the experience at Nationals is the pitching to agents and editors. The only appointments left to me were those who I knew were adamant about not looking at anything Scottish. So, I pitched an incomplete story. A story with only one chapter. And wouldnt' you know it, the full was requested. Not once, but twice.
And I never sent the requested material. I swore I'd never be in the large percentage of requests who never sent their material. Yet, here I am, a year later still holding onto all requests.
Why? Well, I'm not sure. When I left for Conference and all throughout I wasn't real sure who I was as a writer. Sometimes I still question who I am. I did a lot of hemming and hawing. Did I really want to make the changes to my Scottish historical and make it something other than what I had envisioned? Did I want to put it down completely and complete my Western? Or did I want experiment elsewhere?
Those were tough questions to answer. And true to character, I shut down. I went to work at our upholstery shop, and then before I knew it school was back in session. When November came around, a moment of inspiration hit me hard and I plotted a new story. I completed my first draft in 55 days. Which meant I took a fairly long break from completing my Western. Which meant once I had gone back to the Western I pretty much had to start all over in order to catch the flow of my voice.
I'm still working on revisions of my Western. I hope to be done soon. Being unpubbed I want to make sure I do things right and provide a very clean manuscript when I begin submitting.
I don't regret pitching. It was a great experience, especially for someone like me who is very challenged when it comes to speaking with people. I do wish I would have finished my Western many months ago, but as a very good friend pointed out, I can't go backward, only forward. And she's right. The only thing I can do about yesterday is change how I'll do it tomorrow.
If you're going to Nationals and it's your first time enjoy every moment of it. Take advantage of opportunities, whether it's meeting up with online friends or pitching cold. And remember it's all a learning experience so there's no room for disappointments, even a year later.
Why, you might ask?
Because I'm sick. I have an unbelievable migraine, I'm sitting in my room in the dark, with my computer on low-light, trying not to throw up all over the musky-smelling rooms at the Swan & Dolphin. So I probably won't be doing much in the way of Disneying, despite previous plans to Epcot all over the place.
I'm going to be chronicling my Nationals experinece on my Food Writing Blog. If you're at Nationals and want to meet up, shoot me an email: rlcameron (at) yahoo (dot) com. Or, if you have my phone number, feel free to text me.
Since romance is one of my genres, I belong to Romance Writers of America. This week, as many of you may know, is the 2010 RWA National Convention. Some of my fellow New Kids will be in attendance. I, however, will not be in Orlando. (Boy, am I jealous!) I look forward to hearing good news and good stories when they get back, but for now I wrote a poem about missing out on all the fun. So here it is:
Ode to RWA National Conference
Did I mention July is that time of year?
When romance writers gather and cheer.
The RWA National Conference of 2010
Had to find a new spot in early spring when
The Music City in deep flood waters swirled.
They moved the whole thing to Disney World.
So it is to Orlando I wish I could go,
Deep in the south where living is slow.
To join with others who write romance,
Whether by plot or by seat of their pants.
To meet and network and party in bars,
With unpublished authors and Romance Stars.
Along with camaraderie at this grand event,
There'll be workshops on which time can be spent.
Roundtable discussions, without a doubt,
Will discuss publishing inside and out.
To editors and agents, newcomers will pitch.
Showing how their novel fits the right niche.
The "Readers for Life" signing on Wednesday night
Will help fund the pro literacy fight.
Saturday brings round the Awards Ceremony.
They hand out neither the Oscar nor Tony.
Instead they give to the top of their art,
The RITA Award and the Golden Heart.
When the winners are announced, in my office I'll be.
Alone, with only my characters consoling me.
Like Cinderella, in the corner I'll sit.
Waiting for news, just a little bit.
What a glorious time will be had by all,
But home I'll sit, not attending the ball.
I'll hear all about it when friends return
A smidgen of jealousy in my heart will still burn,
I listen with a smile to all of their stories,
Tales of new friends and knowledge and glories.
And then I will vow to all who will hear,
I'll be in New York come conference next year.
Julie Shumway © 2010
Okay, I'm done whining. (for now)I want to wish all of you who are attending RWA Nationals good travel, good fun, and good news from the editors and agents. I'll see you in New York next year.
** Loved the post on Seekerville this week about first lines. It was not only informative, but also a lot of fun to look at my own first lines. I may do a post about my first lines at some point. We'll see.
** Lynn Raye Harris had a great post on etiquette at these big conference dinners that many of us will be going to. Great way to figure out which bread plate is yours!
** The best of the pre-conference what-to-bring blogs that I read in the last two weeks was on Happy Endings Blog, written by guest writer Eliza Knight. Fantastic advice about what to take, how much money to bring, what to expect.
** A little shameless self-promotion. I won the VRW Fool for Love Contest in the Inspy category, and the editor requested a full manuscript. If you haven't read the story yet, here it is.
** I really love The Character Therapist blog in general. This post on how to develop YA characters was really excellent, in my opinion.
** Musetracks did a great post this week on pitching. If you're getting ready for Nationals this upcoming week, I'd highly suggest reading this one.
** Another psychological post--becuase you know we writers always have to do psychological research for our characters! I thought that Mary McCall's post on victimizers was quite well-done.
** Y'all know how much I love my Kindle. Seriously. But Kaelee decided on a Nook, and wrote a great post on why. I'm definitely not trading in my Kindle any time soon, but if I were to buy a new e-reader today, I might be persuaded to go Nook. We'll see... I'll let that sit a bit.
** Cyndi D'Alba posted some pictures from her room at the Swan & Dolphin, and they totally made me excited to get to Orlando!
See you all there, if you're coming, and online, if you're not. Have a fantastic week!
I may be the lone Canadian in the bunch, although Rebecca is an honorary Canadian, if not actually one by blood, which she might be. I grew up in the Prairies--think Corner Gas--and now live in the Rockies, so I've gotten to live in quite possibly the two most beautiful parts of the country.
You may be wondering why the post has a picture of my puppies, and not of me. Well, I write erotic romance. And as I've found more and more, erotic romance authors are still worried about their public image. It's rare that I will find an actual in-person picture of an erotic romance author, so really, I'm just being a sheep. On a more serious note, I have a public persona that does not mesh well with the idea of writing sexy books, so I can't afford to use my real name or have a picture of myself attached to my work at this time. I hope that, in the future, people will be more open-minded and I will be able to "come out of the erotica closet", so to speak, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
For now, I hope you enjoy the picture of my fur-babies (I like that, Kaelee). We love them, and they have been our family for almost six years now. Beautiful fur-babies they are. That's Kai on the left and Cymru on the right, and they are the delight of my life.
They're also calling for me to come walk them, so I must dash, but I look forward to this community, and to getting to know all the writers in it. I hope that we can be of some help to each other, and that new writers or unpublished writers of all kinds will come and feel as welcome here as I do.
So, welcome to my fellow bloggers, it has been a pleasure to meet you all. And welcome to the unpublished writers of today and tomorrow. We're glad you stopped by.
Okay, I'm not published yet. At least not as a novelist. But I did make one more step forward in the publishing process. I had a full manuscript requested from one of the editors of the line I would love to write for at Harlequin. This obviously made my day! :-) I will blog more about it on Sunday (my day), but I just wanted to say something quickly while I was up and it was late. Camryn's post is scheduled to go live soon, so I wanted to get it in so hers could be on the top of the page.
But I told the whole story here on my foodie romance blog. So feel free to stop on by. You can also wait until Sunday for more news. :-) Either way is great with me.
Thanks, all, for the support. I look forward to having more news soon. Of course, there's no guarantee, but I'm hoping for the best, as we always do.
Let me tell you a little about me. I've been saying I'm a writer since 1999 when I wrote my first short story. I was leaving a bad marriage, my son was soon to fly the nest, and instead of cleaning the house that Saturday morning, I got in the car, turned right at the freeway and drove an hour until I found this exit in the middle of no where.
Moore's Hollow turned into a dirt road right off the freeway exit. Nothing for miles except desert hills and sagebrush. And a cow path dirt road. I turned my car around, got back on the freeway headed home. But the why of the exit kept at me. Who lived out there in a house I couldn't see? Why would they live so far away from everything? And why would the Oregon Department of Transportation even build the exit?
By the time I arrived home, I had a story. I went into my den, turned on the computer and wrote the entire story in one sitting. My heroine was dictating her story. Or was it my muse? All I know is after that story, I was hooked.
I started taking classes at the university. Realizing that a Masters in Fine Arts would be a fun if not totally practical degree, I stopped. I read Writer's Digest. I sent in essays. I was published in a few small papers, a couple of national magazines, and even broke into Chicken Soup with a story about my divorce.
It took me ten years before I finished my first full length manuscript. And now I have three sitting on my computer hard drive. Two contemporary romance and a cozy mystery. I'll be pitching one of the romances to the senior editor of Harlequin American Romance next Saturday. Keep your fingers crossed. I'll let you know how it turns out in two weeks.
I've sold short fiction to True Love this year - A Fair Romance in July; Life Rewards Risk in August; and a story about truth in on line dating that is scheduled for publication in October.
So that's who I am, at least on the writers side of me. There's more. I've got three Pom's and a cat. A new husband who supports my writing even if he doesn't understand my need for the piles of books around the house. And a day job that pays for electricity, internet, and health care while I'm working on my dream at night and in the wee hours of the morning.
I'm still putting together my web presence...
Friend me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/lynn.cahoon
I'm a native Floridian who prefers moonbeams to sunlight, magick over science, and traipsing through forests in lieu of highways because unicorns and leprechauns are more compelling than concrete and tail lights. A night owl by nature, an early riser by protest, I was forced to surrender my vampire card when the Consortium of Necrophiles exposed my garlic obsession.
In between tutoring fledgling dragons on the dangers of buzzing airport towers and moonlighting as a werewolf whisperer, I argue with our ancestral faery who gobbles all the cookies in the pantry, dole out treats and mad love to the precocious fur-babies—Monster Puppy and Brave Little Basset, and snuggle with the hubster, Professor Xavier, while watching American Idol and Fringe.
Pizza, rocky road ice cream, and Nickelback are the muses that fuel my soul. And M&M's, Doritoes, and sweet tea. Scones with strawberries and clotted cream. Scottish Highlanders, space captains, knights with dented armor, and things that go bump in the night.
People claim that I'm weirder than I look—an assertation I whole-heartedly endorse. Champion of the underdog, friend of the forgotten, seer of the invisible, I believe imagination is the elixir of life. Slurp it often, I do.
If you're a foodie author and you're going to #RWA10 (RWA Nationals 2010) in Orlando, please send me an email if you'd like to network with me while you're down there. I would love to meet other foodie romance authors and see what's going on in the genre.
My email address is rlcameron (at) yahoo (dot) com. I put out a little longer plea on my foodie blog, but I'd love to hear from you, whether you visit that or not! :-) Thanks so much.
You can also leave a comment on this post with your email, and I'm more than happy to email you.
When I utter those words to a stranger, the response is immediate and predictable. "Really? What do you write? Where can I buy it?"
I elaborate by explaining I'm an aspiring writer in search of a publisher. Their hopeful expression quickly morphs into a wounded mask, as if I've victimized them with a mean spirited prank. "Ohhhhhh...." Disappointment fills the air.
They're disappointed because I'm not "famous". I understand. Who among us doesn't like to name drop once in a while? There's an invisible badge of honor that comes with having spoken to someone who lives in the public eye, often perpetuated by a trickle down process. "My cousin met someone who has this friend with a roommate who met So and So..."
I'm disappointed because this person failed to appreciate the agonizing days, months and years I've spent toiling over four completed manuscripts and multiple short stories. They know nothing about my active participation in RWA, ARWA (Austin chapter), SARA (San Antonio chapter), Kiss of Death, my critique group or the countless hours I've spent in workshops learning skills to improve my craft. The fact that an editor requested a full which led to a request for revisions means nothing because, in the end, it failed to produce a contract. I've written for newspapers, authored corporate newsletters, designed my own graphics and created respectable book trailers. But none of that is relevant because I'm not published. And because I'm not published, I must not be a "real" writer.
Well, I've got news for them. I'm a writer, damn it!
This blog is devoted to unpublished writers who strive for the day when they receive "the call", a prelude to the day when they receive "the contract", and a milestone on the road that leads to "the advance" or "royalty check".
We come from a variey of backgrounds and are motivated by a multitude of reasons. Serious writers pursuing a career. We may be balancing a full time job until we can happily promote our backlist, or struggling to find writing time as a stay at home mom. A few of us might be students juggling studies with the passion of telling a story, or a retiree who draws on a lifetime of experience to create an intricately woven tale.
Whatever brought you to this site...welcome. We'll share information and successes. (I refuse to mention failures because no one "fails" until they stop trying.) We'll discuss various avenues for publication, explore social networking, expand on ways to improve our craft and chat about marketing and self promotion. We may also throw in a few colorful topics just for fun.
Enjoy the camaraderie as we inch our way forward in search of publication. I look forward to chatting with you in the future.
Learn more about me at http://www.author-debsanders.com/.
Visit my other blog at http://debsanders.wordpress.com/
Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/debsanders01
Friend me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/debsanders01
When I got Rebecca's email about her New Kids on the Writer's Block blog, I was intrigued by the idea of doing a group blog. (And by intrigued I mean scared to death.) So, of course, I volunteered. (Volunteered? What are you nuts?) I'll be blogging on Mondays. (Yes, I know, it's Tuesday.) I wanted to introduce myself, but then I read Renee's intro and thought maybe I already had, except I sing soprano. (Okay, more like second soprano since I haven't practiced the high notes in years.) And I live in Wisconsin not Kansas. And there is the four kids thing, but I have two girls and two boys, ages 26, 23, 21 and 17. (You'd think they'd all be out of the house, but alas, they're not.) Oh yes, I can't forget my 4 year old granddaughter and husband of 27 years. Okay, so I'm not Renee. (But I still maybe nuts.) Let me start over.
My name is Julie Shumway. I live in Wisconsin with my husband, four kids, one granddaughter, two dogs and five cats. I'm currently at home full-time, but come fall I may have to search for a part-time paying gig.
My writing consists of poetry and fiction. Currently I have three completed ms in need of revising. The first ms I am actively revising is a historical romance set in 1855 Wisconsin. Of the other two mss one is a contemporary romance and the other is another historical. For the summer I am writing a historical romance set in the late 1920's. On occasion, I put a poem or two on one of my blogs, and I write posts on another blog with my writing partner. All are slow going in this summer heat. In addition to my writing I'm working on another project to improve my health. This too, will include some writing and a blog, but it is as yet in its infancy. You'll probably hear more about that too.
As from my professional creds, I am unpublished at this time. I am a member of Romance Writers of America, Hearts through History, and RWA Online.
I look forward to taking part in this bloggunity. (To translate, I am still scared to death, but really excited.) Feel free to ask questions if you would like to know more about me, and I'll try to answer them. (There is, however, no guarantee I won't embellish a bit, after all, I'm a writer.)
I just wanted to take a moment to say welcome to our new bloggers.
* Deb Sanders - Her intro post is here, and her website is here.
* Kaelee Morgan - Her intro post is coming tomorrow, and her website is here.
* Renee Lynn Scott - Her intro post is here, and her website is here.
* Julie Shumway - Her intro post is here, and her website is here.
* Camryn Rhys - Her website is here, and her intro post is coming Friday.
We have four new bloggers, in addition to the five we've got as of today, who are interested but haven't picked a schedule yet. I'll put up a schedule on the side of the blog as soon as everyone's on. But for now, please say hello to our new bloggers. They're going to be such a great resource for me, and for all the new writers who visit New Kids. We're all in this together. Welcome!
I was delighted when Rebecca put out the call for co-bloggers. Not that I need another place to blog. Seriously, I co-blog at two other places AND I have five of my own.
Why so many? As you'll find out I'm not actually new to the writing scene, but I haven't been around for a long while either. Back in the fall of 2006, Avon put on a writer's contest that lasted several weeks. If you don't know what I'm talking about just google Avon Fanlit. To my knowledge it was the first of its kind from Avon. And as far as I know they haven't done one since. The whole experience was AWESOME! I met some wonderful lifelong friends. Some are now published, while others are still working toward publication.
Prior to Fanlit I had no idea it was possible for someone like me to become a writer. What do I mean by someone like me? A homeschooling mother of four with some college education. I was, still am, an honest to goodness domestic engineer. I didn't have a masters in English, or in Anthropology. I didn't work at a library. But those lifelong friends I mentioned, well they embraced me. They took me by the hand and showed me the way. And that is how I came by my first blogging gig at Romance Roundtable. That was three years ago this fall. Now, I also co-blog at Kansas Word Warriors with my local writer's group.
As for my own blogs, I started out with my pen name Renee Lynn Scott. Let me tell you a little secret, I just knew I was going to be the next Hannah Howell, I just didn't figure it was going to be so difficult. I've since moved from Scottish Highlanders and onto Westerns. Not because I'm chasing the market. Good gravy, if you know anything about the market you'll know that Westerns and Scottish historicals are some of the hardest romance genres to break into. Anyway, the heroine of my current WIP came to me in a dream. She haunted me for three weeks before I agreed to write her story, and that is how I ended up at writing Westerns. I call it one of those God things. As Renee I'm all about writing in the secular romance market. I believe there are some stories that need to be told which just don't fit in the neat little package of the Inspirational guidelines.
So, why New Kids on the Writer's Block? Let's just say I think it's another one of those God things. Many times I don't know the rhyme or the reason, I just set out to do what I believe I'm called to do. Besides, it's all those lifelong friends that we gain through our writing journey that helps us know we just might have the write stuff.
Now for all those little things you probably want to know about me. I belong to Romance Writers of America, Celtic Hearts, Hearts Through History, and Kansas Writer's Inc. My favorite hangout place is Writers of the Roundtable. Oh, and I'm of the book reviewers for The Season. No, I'm not published. Yes, I have three manuscripts, all under revisions. No, I'm not for rent. Well, maybe if the price is right. ;) Three girls, one boy (20, 17, 14, 12). Happily married, at least most days (gotta love a man who brings you green carnations on St. Patrick's Day and then forgets your birthday;) ). Dogs, no cats. Muse's name is Loki- yes, the Norse god of mischief, my Loki is a sheep. Plotter on a good day, pantser on a bad day. Hobbies- genealogy, history and photography.
I think that about wraps it up. If you think of anything else, just ask. If the answer is within my realm of knowledge, I'll try to answer. If not I'll google.
I look forward to blogging here at New Kids on the Writer's Block.
I've been going through a transition lately and hoping to turn New Kid on the Writers Block blog into a blog where multiple newbies write about their writing, their professional development, review books, and anything else that might fit in to the new writers' experience.
I'm looking for both experienced bloggers (with establisted platforms) and new bloggers (who either don't have their own blog yet, or who are looking for somehwere in addition to blog). I want to refocus this blog on writing. On resources for new writers, networking, social media, the craft of writing, workshops, agents, editors, new books, technology... basically, the sky's the limit.
But I need help. I know I'm not the only new writer out there, and my original goal was to make this blog a place of resources and fun information. But now, I'm overwhelmed. There's so much to do and think about, and I just feel like I need some community. I also know that I only know one part of the experience of being a new writer. I'd love to hear from all kinds of people, writing in different genres, of different ages and different stations, writing about all kinds of different things relating to writing.
New writers band together, eh? We're all NKotWB, so why not band together? Eh? I'd like to have a couple of people join on and rotate days with me so we're posting every day and sharing our writing life. And I hope that my life has settled down enough that I will be able to be more regular on the blog as well. Performing Arts Camps will soon be over, and summer is notoriously busy for all of us. But I hope that I can find some people who have some interest.
So: if you are a new (unpublished or recently published) author, and you would like to blog for NKotWB, please email me at rlcameron (at) yahoo (dot) com. Obviously, replace the (at) with @ and the (dot) with . and we'll all be good. Love to hear from you. Don't be afraid to write me. I'm looking to make new friend! :-)
We just finished a week of Young Singers Club. We had younger kids doing a Disney-themed week, and the older kids doing a Glee-themed week. Both groups had a ton of fun. I thought it was a blast.
For our Glee songs, we picked:
"Don't Stop Believing"
"Lean On Me"
Cassidy Cook, our choreographer, did a great routine for the Gaga that I wish I could have recorded. But I had to run sound, so it was a lot more difficult to do anything else during the actual show. But I did manage to get some pictures of the girls during one of the breaks. So I'm including one of them.
Now, Cassidy and I have to get ready for Mamma Mia/Mary Poppins that will be happening next week. I'm super excited for it. But I know it's also going to be a hard week. I hope we can have as much fun with Abba as we did with Gaga. :-)
I'm sure we can!
This week at Young Singers Club, I have been working with the Glee kids. We've also had a Disney camp going at the same time, but I haven't spent much time with them. I've been working with Cassidy Cook as a choreographer, and we've been having a great time.
Tonight is our recital, so today, we're prepping for a big gig. It's intense. It's a lot of fun, but it's very intense. Most of these kids have never had a gig like this before that they've had to work this hard to produce. A lot of them have some kind of performance experience, but it's been sort of low-key. So this is a new and intense experience for them. But I think it'll be good for them.
I've been seeing them grow through the week, but the most interesting part has been the way they've sort of grown into different people in their personal selves. Our motto is "empowering students through musical performance" and we use performance skills to help the kids have fun and to become more confident and engaged in their lives. It's been a great experience. And it's great to see that what we want to happen is really happening.
Anyway, the recital is tonight at The Rock. The Glee girls have been working hard on their songs, and especially on some difficult choreography for Lady Gaga's Bad Romance (which, as a romance author, I find very ironic). It should be a fun show!
Just wanted to take a quick moment to say Happy Fourth to everyone.
Here's a great recipe if you are looking for something to take to a Fourth of July picnic or party. This is one of my favorite recipes to make. I hope you enjoy it!
2 T. oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled
4 T. chopped jalapeno chiles
1 10-oz pack spinach
2 c. grated Jack Cheese
8 oz. cream cheese (cut in 1/2” pieces)
1 c. half and half
2 2.2-oz cans sliced black olives, drained
1 T. red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Heat oil in heavy skillet over med. heat. Add onion and sauté about four minutes. Add tomatoes and chiles, and cook for two minutes. Transfer to large bowl and stir in spinach, cheese, half & half, olives, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, spoon into shallow, ovenproof baking dish. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.)
- ► 2012 (84)
- ► 2011 (222)
- Another New Kid!
- Another New Kid Intro and more RWA Conference Stuf...
- The Importance of Mentors
- Writing Rapidly with the Door Closed
- The Critique Mystique
- Nationals~ A Learning Experience
- At Nationals, And Still Not Going
- RWA National Conference
- Sunday Shout-Outs
- The Last of the Newbies
- Publishing News: Becca
- Intros all around...
- Newbie on the Loose
- Foodie Authors Unite
- I'm A Writer
- Another New Kid
- Welcome to All the New Kids!
- You Got the Write Stuff, Baby. . .
- Looking for New Kids
- GooGoo for Gaga
- Young Singers Club: Glee
- Happy Independence Day
- ▼ Jul (22)
Monday: Food of the Week
Tuesday: Favorite Recipes I
Tuesday: Favorite Recipes II
Wednesday: Foxy Foodies
Thursday: Best Foodie Books
Thursday: Writing Prompt
Friday: Food Network Shows
Friday: Food Shows on TV
Saturday: Foodie Romances
Saturday: Foodie Blogs