Tag Archives: blog

The Promised Secret: FTWA

And the big reveal!

As promised, I shall spill my super-secret news.  My only regret is that while you are reading this, I am likely squinting into the sun on my 8 hour trek to the Quad Cities for my writer’s conference.  Not that this is a bad thing, it’s just that I’d love to see your reaction—in real time—to the latest and greatest writer’s blog to hit the net.

From the Write Angle is comprised of an incredible group of writers on their way to publication.  In fact, some have publication dates right around the corner. 

What’s your poison?  Literary fiction, nonfiction, historical, romance, contemporary, YA, juvie lit, gritty noir, movie scripts?  We’ve got all those and more.

Where are you on your literary journey?  Just starting, polishing, querying, critiquing, subbing or pubbing?  Yep, we’ve got someone with your experience level writing posts just for you.

Words can’t convey my excitement for this project.  From the Write Angle is a one stop shop for writers, but don’t take my word for it.  Hop on over and see what it can offer you.

As a word of caution, however, don’t expect to find more of the same.  From the Write Angle is exactly what it says: writing journeys, professional insights and unparalleled support from writers with…well…distinctly different angles.  It is not a homogenized blog on the writing process.  Nor is it differing views on one aspect of the journey or genre.

What can you expect?  Over time, you will get author, agent and editor interviews.  You’ll find book reviews, resources, links and general tutorials.  Contests will pop up from time to time and news updates in the writing biz will be liberally sprinkled in and around traditional blog posts by industry savvy writers.

From the Write Angle is comprehensive and offers writing tips and information to any aspiring writer or published author, regardless of passion or background.

So, what are you waiting for?

Visit From the Write Angle and see what we have to say. 

Yep, that’s right.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m one of the writers I’ve been gushing about.  Well, not me per se, but the blog itself. 

Before I go, I’d love to give a huge bear hug to Cali and RC for their dedication and technical support on the project.  The blog is gorgeous!  Hugs and hand-claps go to those who worked on formatting, Facebook, twitter and our B-E-A-utiful icon found on these other social network sites.

Another round of applause goes to my fellow scribes, of whom I love dearly and respect even more.  These peeps are going places and I urge readers and writers alike to check them out, follow them, FB them or tweet with them.  My hope is that someday you will hold their words in your hands.

My final declaration of devotion goes to the AQCrew.  If not for Agent Query, our group never would have met, bonded and supported each other these past three years.  It is through my experiences at AQ that I grew the most as a writer, and it is because of my fellow writers that I found my agent—who I might be talking to right at this very second…face to face! 

And this, my friends, is the magic you will find at From the Write Angle.

Now get going!


Worst Sales Pitch Ever

My DH was a Kirby Telemarketer back in the day.  He rocked the house, often securing more “free” carpet cleaning appointments than his co-workers.  He’s a charmer, my DH, and a natural-born salesman.  He could charm a snake out of its skin, then sell it back for a profit and have the snake thanking him in the process.

The telemarketer who called me yesterday couldn’t sell a fishbowl of fresh water to a dehydrated guppy in the middle of the Gobi Desert.  

**Here follows a shortened version of our conversation for the sake of clarity.  These lines are verbatim without the extra condescension smack in the middle of the phone call.**

Him: Can I ask why you don’t want to renew warranty on your 2008 vehicle?

Me: Because it’s still under warranty.

Him, sarcastically: It’s expired.  A vehicle is only under warranty for three years.

Me, losing patience, of which I have times infinity: I would appreciate if you wouldn’t talk to me like I’m stupid.

Him: Well apparently you are.

Yep, he had me.  I simply could not subtract 2008 from 2010 and come up with three years like Boy Genius did.  Thankfully he pointed out the error of my thinking and charmed me right into renewing my warranty.  Not!

Just sayin’, but it might behoove us writers to learn a trick or two before peddling ourselves and our novels to the reading public.

Are you a natural-born salesman or does it take a concerted effort to put yourself out there?  How will/do you handle self-promotion when it comes to marketing yourself and your book?

Got any more What Not To Do stories for our learning pleasure?

What’s Community?

I hear this phrase a lot.  I use it often myself.  The Writing Community this.  The Writing Community that.  It is spoken as if the first letters should be Capitalized.  Like the White House or the Swine Flu.

This shows a level of importance.  But what exactly does Community mean?

To me, it is a connection to other writers and industry professionals.  This sense of Community refers to real life connections as well as those floating around in cyber space.  Yet it is more than the sum of my writerly relationships.  It is a feeling of belonging.

Writing has always been a solitary business.  Writers often lock themselves away while drafting their newest masterpieces.  Editing typically occurs in the confines of a private space–whether it’s an office, a closet or the library.  We sit alone typing out submission packages and our trips to the post office are not group efforts.  At least not in my experience. 

Waiting can be a lonely endeavor.  And since much of the querying process consists of waiting, writers need something to keep from going insane.  Hence the Community.

But is there more to the Writing Community than support, waiting games for which AQ is famous for and commenting on each other’s blogs? 

Over the last nine months I have watched AQers come and go.  I hope some of those leaving have reached their dreams and not simply given up.  I pray that the handful of steadfast AQers all reach the best selling list.  They are fabulous cheerleaders, mentors and individuals in general.  Not to mention their writing rocks.

If any one of the core group on AQ got his/her book published, I would stand in line for its release.  But I am one person.  It takes thousands for a sell-through and many more to reach break-out status.  Which makes me wonder, does the Writing Community have a role in helping writers reach these benchmarks?

Is there a new level of support to help debut novelists?  Or is the line drawn when we are asked (even silently) to lay out our hard earned cash?  What about the established mid-listers in our midst?  Do they need something different?  If so, what can the Community do for them?

What steps will/do you take to support the members of your Community?

warm wishes to my writing buddies~ cat

Fingers Never Forget

It’s been six days since I last held my keyboard.  When I booted up my computer this morning and began typing, my fingers flew across the keys.  Miraculously tapping letters in the correct order to form coherent sentences and fluid passages.  I was happy to learn that fingers never forget.

The physcial act of writing appears to be almost as soothing as the cerebral aspect of it.  Over the long weekend, I missed it. 

I wonder if writing is an addiction.  Physcially, emotionally and psychologically.  I think it may be.  I have heard of many writers who dabble in the craft, only to give it up for Real Life.  I definitely have.  And yet I keep coming back to it in much the same way an alcholic returns to the bottle. 

The drive become stronger with each dabble and the frequency between bouts shortens.  I come back to writing with renewed vigor and intensity, while the thought of not writing makes me want to throw up–literally.  My stomach hurts at the thought of not being able to write anymore. 

The pathway from my brain, and the incessant chattering of characters therein, to my fingertips has been forged.  I was fine during the long, snowed in weekend as long as I didn’t think about it.  I deliberately left my laptop at home so as not to be tempted during the midst of the Christmas celebration.  Out of sight, out of mind. 

Like an alcoholic, I steered clear of the bar and it worked. 

Until this morning when I woke up.  I had planned on getting up and working out with DH.  However, as soon as he left the warmth of our bed, my laptop called to me.  I was alone.  I had no responsibilities at 5:30 am.  And my computer was in my bag next to the night stand.  The temptation was more than I could handle. 

I booted up my laptop intending to finish my edit on my chapter book.  Yet my fingers instinctively hit the internet button.  I chastised myself as I waited for my homepage to load.  I knew that if I let this insanity continue, I would not get to my editing before the day demanded my attention elsewhere. 

I checked my emails and told myself to ex out.  Self said, “I can’t leave my fellow scribes waiting.”  After all, it had been six days since I last posted. 

So here I am.  Commenting.  Checking out Cassandra’s blog and posting on my own.  I’m thirsty for more.  It’s that first tiny sip as I perch precariously on the edge of the wagon.  I feel myself tipping over the edge.  I see the road on which I will land and yet I can’t stop myself.  When I am finished here, I will open my file and lose myself in the beauty of the written word. 

It may be hours before I come to my senses and realize I have lost half a day.  Like all addicts, I will feel guilt.  Guilty enough to motivate me to finish the afternoon responsibly.  Guilty enough to ignore my manuscript tonight.  Guilty enough to understand the raw craving and the consequences of giving in to the urge to work on my NaNo novel. 

Yet not strong enough to put my writing away for any length of time because I am an addict and fingers never forget.

Over the years, I have reprioritized things in my life to accomodate my addiction.  I have learned to let my house go just enough that it is still clean, but not perfect.  I haven’t turned the television on in years for myself to enjoy.  I have cut back on my reading and have given up my more mild hobbies of scrapbooking and card making.  I have sacrificed some pleasure to feed my addiction.  Thankfully I had the luxury to do so without significantly impacting my family. 

How about you?  Do you find writing to be a mere hobby or a driving addiction?  How have you reprioritized to accomodate your desire to write?  Do you feel any sort of guilt connected to the time you spend at your keyboard?  If you’re a non-writer, what activity in your life could be considered an addiction?

I have always thought there should be a support group for writers.  Then again, maybe there is and it’s called networking…

cheers~ cat