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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Writer Beware!


The Writer Beware! blog has a good post today on facing reality in the publishing world.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Reality Check on Aisle Writer Beware
Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

Writer Beware gets a ton of email. Reports of schemes, scams, and fee-charging, of course, but also questions about agents' and publishers' reputations, questions about the researching/querying/submitting/publishing process, requests for advice, requests for recommendations.

Requests to deny reality.

Say what? Well, a request to deny reality is when a writer sees something on this blog or on the Writer Beware website, doesn't wish to believe it, and wants to be told that in his or her case, it's just not true.

As in, "Your website says that agents shouldn't charge upfront fees, but this agent who wants me to pay $500 is so nice, are they maybe legit anyway?"

Or, "Agent X is on your Thumbs Down list, but they want to represent me and their website looks professional, are they really so bad?"

Or, "I found your Alert that says Publisher Y is being sued, but they have books on Amazon, so couldn't it all be a mistake?"


Read the rest here--and beware!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Finding the Right Word

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\ / TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT -- http://www.heartlight.org/
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October 23, 2010


VERSE:
A man finds joy in giving an apt reply -- and how good is a timely word!
-- Proverbs 15:23



THOUGHT:
Knowing the right word at the right time is a great gift. But even the best of speakers has to admit that the best of his or her words are not nearly as good as those the Spirit gives.

Nevertheless, we must not excuse ourselves for our insensitive speech, unkindness, or missed opportunities. Not paying attention to what was said is no excuse. Not being spiritually in tune with the needs of our companions is a cop out. Simply not knowing Scripture well enough to bless others with gracious speech at the appropriate time is self-deception. Listening to others after having listened to God in his Word is what tunes our ears and our hearts to bless others.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The China Anniversary


Today we are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, which I have learned is traditionally the "china" year. Next year my parents will celebrate their 50th--the gold year. We are all so blessed!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Resources for Writers

Have you checked out Laura Resnick's Resource Page for writers? It's well worth your time.

Whether you're a beginning writer seeking basic self-education or a mid-career professional in need of specific information, this page contains a wide variety of recommended resources that may be useful to you. There's also a section below that's specifically for teenage writers.

What follows is a long list of books, blogs, articles, services, organizations, workshops, and websites that I recommend. I am personally familiar with some of the resources on this page; all of the others were recommended to me by other working writers and publishing professionals.

Scroll down to browse the whole page, or click on a specific link in the contents list to go straight to the secton that interests you. I update this page regularly, so be sure to keep checking back here for new resources.



Laura's Contents:

* Books That I Recommend
* Books Recommended By Other Writers
* On Agents
* On Packaging
* Some Online Posts and Pieces That I Recommend Reading
* "Will You Read My Manuscript?"
* Recommended Resources On The Web
* Blogs (About the Publishing Industry)
* Writing Workshops and Courses
* For Teenage Writers
* Want Help With Your Manuscript? (Reputable Freelance Editors)
* Miscellaneous (Fun & Interesting Sites Related to the Craft & Business)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kick off the Christmas Reading Season!

With only a little over two months left until Christmas, it's time to dive into the holiday reading season.


Best Friends or True Love? Only Santa Knows.

Kathryn Graham hates Christmas. She hates the snow, the decorations, the whole nine yards. Nick Pringle on the other hand can’t get enough of the season. He may be her best friend and fellow writer at Redburn Weekly Magazine, but sometimes his exuberance gets on her very last nerve. Now they’ve been assigned to cover the orphan toy drive story. It’s just a puff piece not the serious journalism Kathryn hopes for, but maybe—as Nick says—there are no old stories just new angles.


Nick Pringle has been in love with Kathryn practically since the day they met. When he realizes that she’s lost her Christmas spirit, he figures he’s just the guy to help her find it again. He enacts a plan to send her anonymous gifts from Secret Santa, but will any of this really make a difference in her? Will she ever see him as anything more than her smart-aleck partner even after their tender kisses? Then again maybe he’ll get what he wants for Christmas after all.




Excerpt:

Outside the air remained chilly, forcing the use of a coat, but it was still fine December weather. Kathryn wrapped a scarf around her neck as she walked down the street with Nick. The last time they’d been together, she’d held his hand and it had felt so comforting. For some reason today, she felt at a loss with him walking several inches away from her. There was something building between them and if she didn’t do something about it—it would only get worse.

Emboldening herself, she grabbed Nick’s arm and wrapped her hands around it. His eyes dropped to hers and filled with puzzlement. She could imagine the thoughts going through his head—like ‘what was on her mind now?’ Or ‘what am I in for this time?’

She parted her lips and smiled at him. “Don’t you just love Christmas, Nick?” She waited to see how he’d react to her using his words from last week. The same words she’d rebuffed at that time and now understood so much better.

“Christmas? Isn’t that just about commercialization?” He smiled as he threw her own words back at her with a grin.

“And where did you ever hear such a horrible thought, Nick Pringle?” She filled her voice with feigned reproach.

They shared a smile as they continued down Main Street . A little thrill moved in Kathryn’s chest. This felt right; it felt good. The friendship she had with Nick could never be replaced. She glanced at the store windows decorated for the season. It reminded her of shopping with her mother and sister as they looked for Christmas gifts for her father. It was one of only a few fond memories she shared with her family. Soon after that Christmas, her parents divorced and her life fell apart.

Kathryn studied Nick’s face again, his raised cheeks and straight nose, rounded just perfectly at the end. He tilted his head at her and formed his lips into a closed smile. Never had she encountered such understanding and empathy in anyone until she met Nick Pringle. He oozed kindness and warmth and yet he had a teasing kind of personality when he wanted to use it. It’s why they got along together. He was easy-going and she was wound tighter than a toy top. But he could dish out the sarcasm when necessary. It kept the friendship interesting and fresh. More than that, he made her feel safe--as if she could tell him anything.

“Nick, did I ever tell you my father left my mother the day after Christmas when I was twelve?”

Concern etched Nick’s face and his eyes grew soft. “No, you never did.”

Kathryn curved her mouth to one side and sighed. Then she faced forward, letting go of Nick’s arm and shoving her ungloved hands into her coat pockets. “I can still remember what he said when he left. Lorraine and I were in the living room still figuring out all the gifts Daddy had thrust upon us the day before, when he came down the stairs with his suitcase. He said, ‘ Marion , I promised to stay until Christmas, but Christmas is over. I’m leaving now.’”

“That’s unbelievable.” His arm slid around her shoulders and she didn’t shrug him off as she usually would. Instead she snuggled close to him and rested her face against the softness of his overcoat.

“My mother tried to get him to stay, but he left anyway. He didn’t even say goodbye to me or my sister. I started thinking about that the other day, and I realized that it is because of how my father left us that I hate Christmas.”

“You never hated Christmas.”

She raised her eyes up to his. “I did.” A sob caught in her throat. “I hated Christmas. I tried to join in with everyone, but basically I wanted nothing to do with the day.”

“And that’s changed now?” His deep, observant eyes searched her face. Nick’s compassion for her well-being touched her profoundly and it almost brought the tears to the surface.


Read another excerpt on my website.

About the Author:

I'm Cindy K. Green, author, teacher, maid, mother, wife and accountant. I have degrees in history and education and taught middle school up until about six years ago. Now I stay home and homeschool my two boys. I was born in California and now live in North Carolina out in the country about a ½ hour from Raleigh . I've been married for 15 years. I'm published in several genres: Inspirational, historical, contemporary, young adult and suspense. Those are also the genres I like to read. I spend my (non-existent free time) reading, watching period dramas and doing my best to keep this house one step away from becoming a disaster area.




Available here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Making Plans?


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\ / TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT -- http://www.heartlight.org/
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October 10, 2010


VERSE:
Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
-- Proverbs 19:20-21


THOUGHT:
"Man proposes, heaven disposes." Most of us rush to give advice and make grandiose plans. The Wiseman reminds us that wisdom comes from submitting to instruction for a significant period of time and then, only at the end of long listening does it come. If you are like me, you would do much better to let your plans ripen a bit more in the light of the Lord before you launch into them. I am comforted that James, the wisdom writer of the New Testament, reminds us that God will give that wisdom if we seek it and not doubt. But while we pray for wisdom, let's pray also for patience to listen to the Lord's truth in Scripture so we may recognize wisdom when it comes!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Appearing Professional

Check out Cec Murphy's blog post today---



Beyond the Amateur Look (Part 1 of 6)

Unless you have established a relationship with an editor, you won't send a manuscript without permission.

"We look for a reason to reject manuscripts," an editor-friend said.

I understood what she meant. Editors are overwhelmed and their staffs are smaller these days. More people now try to write, and many of them send multiple submissions for the same article. Instead of getting 300 manuscripts a month as book publishers might have 20 years ago, those same publishers receive 300 a week.

Good editors easily eliminate a high percentage of the manuscripts without reading a word. They need only to look at the layout. "Amateurs won't take time to learn to submit a manuscript properly," another editor complained.

Most publishers provide guidelines on their website. Despite that, a large number of articles and books come to publishers that show the writers haven't looked at the guidelines. Think of it this way: If you send in a manuscript that deviates from the standard look, it's enough to cause an editor to blink. The blink causes the editor to put the pages in the reject basket.

I want to offer a few guidelines to help you get your manuscript read. This will avoid the initial rejection and the editors might actually buy what you've submitted. The guidelines are easy to follow and simple to learn.

Read the rest here.