The Business Of Publishing- A Writers Take

Writing a killer novel is just a tiny facet of the whole shinny deal, the rest is work, and the hardest part happens before you even land that book deal.


How do I know? I’ve spent hours researching the industry.


Why? Because ever since I first considered being published I wanted to know just what I was getting myself into. Mainly because I’m lazy and don’t like to be surprised by work I’m not prepared for.


Now I want to share the business part of writing, as I understand it. If you know something I’ve missed please add it to the comments. If I’m dead wrong, laugh at me until you cry then please correct my delusions.


Step One: Think up the best damn story the world has ever seen and butcher the crap out if it. This is the fun part!


Step Two: Shove it in a dark dusty spider infested drawer and ignore if for at least 1 month. This is a great time to think up an even better mind-blowing story to mutilate.


Step Three: Dig the treasure back out and read over the story. Decide it’s utter crap and in a fit of disgust, shove it away again for another month.


Step Four: Pull the mess out once more and, with the determination of a mailman hating dog trying to escape the confines of the backyard, rewrite the dirty bastard until he’s as smooth as aged whiskey.


Step Five: Pawn the cranky old man off on your closest, dearest friends and watch them squirm as they try to say something nice about it. Take everything they say and do the opposite.


Step Six: Now that you have a fairly decent turd, send it out to complete strangers and listen to their take on it. Then use this invaluable information to polish your turd to a mirror shine!


Step Seven: Lock it away in the highest room of the tallest tower in a dragon guarded castle. This will prevent you from attempting to make it better or correcting those typos, that’s not your job.


Step Eight: While your precious waits to be rescued by a cantankerous ogre, toot your horn across every writer’s network site. This is vital, without them knowing how uber awesome you are they may decide to swoop in on your six book deal, you must dissuade them.


Step Nine: Once you over shadow every other writer on the web set up a facebook author page, LinkedIn profile, twitter account, mindless blog about the greatness of your life, website, MySpace page and any other social media site you can think of.


Step Ten: Hound your friends and family to like, tag, share, retweet, pin, blog and otherwise forward your greatness along the World Wide Web.


Step Eleven: Now that the world knows how great you are, submit a self-serving query to the first agent you stumble upon. Send all 350,000 words, just to save them the trouble of requesting it. A sample book contract will also be a big help.


Step Twelve: Open a bottle of wine, light up that stogie and wait for the six figure advance check to come in the mail.


Step Thirteen: Realize you suck, wallow in despair and pledge never to pick up a pen again.


Step Fourteen: Start at step one again, only this time do your homework instead of taking the advice of a layman blog writer.

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When Dreams Grow Wings

It’s Friday and I have no idea what words to spread across the pages. So, I’ll re-post something that I really enjoy. Simply because I can.

Dreams keep the spark alive in all that we do.  They put a little smile on our faces when things appear too hard and keep the words flowing.  We all have dreams, those little ‘what if’s’ and ‘that could happen to me.’  You know what I’m talking about.

My dreams span the world.  From the Phone Call, to the “You must have read the decimal point wrong”, and the simple 100 blog views.  These dreams keep me writing.  I know they could happen.  It’s happened before to others.  And as fun as it is to dream, I’m also realistic.  Could my dreams come true?  Yes.  But I know I must work for it.

I’d jump and scream and cry if my dreams came true, I’d also jump and scream and cry just to hear that I’m getting published at all.  I dream of becoming the next Dean Koontz, Stephen King, or J. D. Robb.  But I know they didn’t start as they are now.  It take’s work, dedication, tears and laughter.  It means that I must write and submit and write and submit and write some more.  I have to be rejected by a hundred agents and then rejected by a dozen publishers.  I have to watch my hard work put under a microscope and torn apart.  And that’s a ride I’m looking forward to.

So far in my life I’ve had dreams come true and after much thought, I’ve found out why.  I broke each dream down into steps or stages and worked my fingers bloody to meet each one.  Each step builds a ladder to my dreams until I reach the top.

An example of this:  The dream to be published.  Can you get published by dreaming of it?  No.  You must write something to be published.  Then you have to make it sparkle like star-dust.  Once there, you have to convince others that your star-dust out shines all the others and watch it go through the blender.  But once those steps are met, the dream can come true.

However, there is still the chance that your dream could grow wings.

So Dream on writers.  Dream and dream and dream.  And write and write and write. And then dream some more.

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7 Reasons I’m Jealous of a 3 Year Old

Not a day goes by when I’m not insanely proud of my daughter. Yes, that includes all the times when she ignores me, disobeys me, irritates me, frustrates me and makes me want to run away to a dark corner to cry. But I tell myself she’s only 3, just a kid, but damn is she smart! And that not only makes me extremely proud, but down right jealous at times. Why would this writer mom be jealous of a smart 3-year-old you ask? I’ll tell you. I have decided to share some of the things my daughter has said, word for word, and let you decided.


1)      This is the last time I’ll go with Sasha, who lives in Highbida where no one lives alone. We have to take the school bus far, far away really fast to get to his workshop where he sings as he makes cookies with sprinkles that crunch like leaves without water.

2)      I don’t want to be a big girl. It’s too much work and not very fun.

3)      Tree’s walk around in the forest to mess with people who don’t believe in them. I can’t blame them, I would hate to be stuck in place and have birds poop on my too.

4)      When I grow up, I’m going to be on American Idol, only I’m going to finish first.

5)      I don’t want a night-light; the dark isn’t scary at all. It’s the monster’s that try to take advantage of the shadows that I have issues with.

6)      One day I want to fly like the birds so I can taste the clouds and sky.

7)      I like it when the clouds cry, it makes everything grow and I get to splash in sky tears.

Need I really go on?

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Empowered In Black

Nancy huddled deeper into her hoodie and stared out her window. A brisk morning breeze blew dead leave across the gravel road and she could hear the crisp rasp they made even through the glass. Another shiver rolled down her spine and she wished, not for the first time, to be back in the warmth of California and out of the bitter autumn of Michigan.

She kicked the wall before turning to her closet. Today would be the start of something new, the first day of a new high school. She ignored the blue jeans and skirts that would allow her to blend in with the rest of the kids and grabbed a pair of black paints with blood-red piping and over sized legs. As she pulled them on a fire spread through her chest.

In all the years she’d been there, she’d fought to fit in; a southern bell among the Yanks. Nothing she had done worked and she’d been cast aside as worthless of notice.

She pulled on a black mesh shirt next and fire grew. Then a black lace tee she’d ripped down the front and closed with crossing safety pins and the warmth nearly filled her.

With a practiced hand she drew eyeliner across her lids and crimson stain across her lips. She pulled her long black hair back into a high ponytail and secured it in place with a spider shaped clip, and the sweet blaze reached to her fingers and toes.

Eagerness filled her as she slipped her feet into platform buckle boots and threw on the floor-length trench coat. With a flip of the collar, the fire entered her soul.

Before leaving to seek the gates of hell, she grabbed her spiked leather choker and studded wristlets, as power vibrated to her core. She stepped out into the cold and though it stung her cheeks and fingers the fire within kept her safe from its cruel bite. Anticipation tingled to the very tip of her nose as she waited for her mom to start the car and as they sped to school, Nancy knew there was no turning back. The knowledge lifted her lips and brought a sparkle to her eyes.

The car pulled up outside the large campus. She swept the ground and shuddered at the mass of people. The very same who had tormented her through Jr. High, the same who considered her beyond their notice. With a last deep breath, Nancy grabbed her bag and threw herself from the car. Four long strides, the coat whisked behind and around her like a protective shade, and she met the wall of bodies with a smirk tilting one side of her smile.

The instant she pressed into the mass, the horde shuddered and the sea of bodies parted before her. Head held high and fire burning deep within; Nancy made her way across the grounds, the River Styx, and pulled wide the mouth of hell.

Students and staff alike stopped dead in their tracks as Nancy pushed on. No longer worthless and beyond notice but an invisible force that parted seas and started fires. She would be ignored because she chose to be. She would be an outcast because it was her doing. She would be remembered on her terms and not the whims of anyone else. Shrouded in black and the power it gave, Nancy took her worth back with a line of eyeliner, the sweep of a trench coat and a knowing crimson smirk.

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“How do you like your coffee?” He asked with a grin and a wink.

“Hot, slightly sweet, a tad creamy and alone.”

Yep, I went there.

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With Gilded Wings of Paper

With wings of gilded paper and a scepter of silver graphite I ready myself to take the leap from this world to the next. Terror, cold in my veins and hot in my chest, sends pain shooting down my spine while hope’s light bubble numbs my mind and opens my heart. Just one step and the ground will fall from under me and the abyss of unknown will swallow me whole. Hold me my gilded wings and ward me from myself sweet scepter!

Exhilaration, pure and horrible, as the Winds of Change rush forward to greet me, rush forward to guide me down this path where so many have fallen and failed. Translucent spheres, so delicate so precious, bob around me, the dreams and nightmares of my peers, of my self. I am not alone. Hold me my gilded wings and ward me from myself sweet scepter!

Visions of grander and despair bloom from the darkness. Yet, not a one among them can I reach for mine are always with me. I am not above such, my soul says, while the promises and threats play out before my eyes. Reach and take and make it your own. With a sweaty hand I reach out and the Winds die, plummeting me to certain doom. And I know, as death rears to claim me, that I must find a way to banish the demons who blind me. Hold me my gilded wings and ward me from myself sweet scepter!

With graphite scepter I slay the Devil, the epic battle for my soul, but the damage has been done. I cannot erase this memory, this hope of flying among the stars where so few have gone. Yet the Winds of Change unfurl my broken wings of paper and my scepter has held strong. The land before me is barren, a land of broken dreams. But some how I know all is not lost. And I look forward, to the emptiness, the unknown and let myself soar no longer eager but just as willing. Hold me my gilded wings and ward me from myself sweet scepter!

I cannot deny my dream of dancing in star-dust, even if it’s out of reach. For the first time I look up, not forward or behind but up. A silent tribute to the unreachable. Peace fills and over flows, mending my tattered wings. Oh how I would love to bathe in star light yet, I’d be just as happy with the moon. The Winds of Change gust, lifting me from the land of broken dreams and toward the speckled blackness above. Hold me my gilded wing and ward me from myself sweet scepter!

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A Warrior’s Blessing

Sometimes kids say the cutest things, other times they can be unintentionally rude or hurtful. Still other times, their lack of verbal filter can open someone’s heart and lighten a burdened soul.

My three-year old daughter, full of a sense of wonder and curiosity did just that while we waited in line at a store. She’s developed a fascination with the diversity of people, and an elderly man stood in front of us. He used crutches and had only one leg. His face was lined with the weight of his years and a heavy shadow pressed down on him.

Full of innocents, my daughter pointed to the lost leg and asked, “Where did that man’s leg go?” Her voice carried and I was mortified for her when the old man turned to her. Quickly, I got down on her level and told her she had been very rude and to apologize.

To my utter astonishment the man crouched down next to us. “I don’t mind miss,” he told me. “Little Lady, I gave my leg protecting freedom.”

My daughters bright blue eyes grew wide and she ducked into my shoulder. “I don’t want to give up my leg too.”

The old soldier laughed and touched her nose. “I didn’t mind giving mine so you would have the freedom to make that choice.”

Then my daughters face lit up with a smile only toddlers can manage and she threw her arms around the soldier’s neck. “Thank you so much!”

As he struggled to stand his eyes glistened, the shadow left and the weight released his shoulders. When he left the store I saw tears on his checks. Her simple act and heartfelt response lightened this man’s spirit and visibly warmed him.

I can’t say if he regretted his loss before he met my daughter but I can say with great certainty that she showed him the true, priceless value of his sacrifice. This may not be a personal blessing, but it is a great blessing to an old soldier. Sometimes, a blessing of others does more good that one on yourself. And children are the biggest blessing of all; them and their unashamed inquisitive nature.

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