Monthly Archives: February 2013

Some Days I Will Have to Settle for a Laugh and 200 Words


I awakened early this morning, about four hours early, before the birds or the sun were up. I read for a while, seeking a jumpstart on my day through inspiration. I got nothing. I ate breakfast, fed the dogs, loaded and ran the dishwasher, loaded and ran the washing machine, dressed for the day. Still nothing.

At this point, I ponder my options.

I have 4,000 words of a 7,000 word story completed. I have half a novel completed. The Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe has started the next anthology, a Christmas themed one this time.  I haven’t started my taxes yet. I can work on any of these projects and be  productive. Yet I can’t muster the energy to start anything.

My shoulder hurts. I am almost three weeks post-surgery. I want to blame my lethargy on the pain, but it would be a ruse. The fact is I am in a funk.

Now what?

Recently I wrote about my Uncle Dick and his family newsletter that he sends out monthly. The new one sits on the ottoman in front of me. I open it and read.

About page two, I chuckle to myself while reading a humorous commentary Uncle Dick has borrowed from the Time Union. Afterwards, I grab the computer and start this post. It’s progress. At least I have written almost 300 words today. And it’s not yet 9 o’clock in the morning. So there’s still hope to get something done and scratched off the to-do list. Right now, I am happy for a belly laugh and 200+ words.

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Writer Karen Gadient on Twitter and Marketing


Karen Gadient, who is both an author and graphic designer, has been a Twitter user for five years. She has watched the evolution of Twitter into a marketing madhouse and shares a thought on how to make your Twitter presence more meaningful to your readers. She says:

 Too many people just push their work. True marketing is about YOU more than what you do. When people like a person, they begin to like their work. By the ocean of BUY MY BOOK spam out there in the Twitterverse, I wonder if others even see Twitter like I do.

Guest Post by Marcie Connelly Lynn


My friend Marcie and her husband David live aboard a sailboat and are traveling the globe. They have one last long passage to make to complete a circumnavigation of the earth,  that last leg from Australia to the southern tip of Africa. They have sailed from Africa east past South America via the Panama Canal to Australia, where they are now–and a zillion points in between–over more than a decade.

I asked Marcie to write a guest blog, since she is a published author. She and her husband both have sold many magazine articles. Furthermore, Marcie is an accomplished (and published) photographer. She has LOTS to share for those aspiring to do the same. Read up and enjoy!!!

I must have at least four books in the works at the moment … all of them in various stages of “incomplete”. There’s a cookbook which needs a rewrite and an update; a novel based on fact; an anthology of sailing stories and another mystery novel which revolves around our life at sea. What keeps me actively writing though is our daily blog, our website and freelance writing for magazines.
Marcie and David 2012 Australia

My husband and I have lived aboard a sailboat for the last 13 years, very slowly traveling around the world. Writing has always been a passion for me, so it was only natural that I’d keep personal journals and continue writing as we sailed from place to place. Now I post our experiences daily and write articles for publication.

Want to take a stab at getting published in a magazine? Try this.

  1. Determine an area of expertise or interest. Figure out what you’d like to write about. Do you have a hobby? Are you a parent? Do you sail? Do you like to travel? Do you have pets? Are you a farmer, a hairdresser, a welder, a 50+ retiree?  Obviously, the more you know or care about your topic, the more it will show in your writing.
  2. Research what journals or magazines cater to this interest. There are magazines out there for every interest imaginable. Don’t forget to research regional magazines for your area. They’re smaller and may be more interested in your articles than national journals. Think outside of the box. We tend to write for sailing magazines because we sail and live on a boat, but I’ve submitted articles to cat magazines because we used to have a cat aboard. I submit articles to travel magazines. I’ve even submitted funny anecdotes to Reader’s Digest.
  3. Obtain the Writer’s Guidelines for those magazines of interest. This is key. Some magazines are very specific as to the length of the piece, the format in which it should be submitted, whether photos are required, their terms and amounts of their payment. The links below this post provide lists of magazines and their guidelines. These lists are not exhaustive by any means, but they’ll give you an idea of what’s out there.
  4. Get a copy of the magazine(s) in which you’re interested. Read it. See what types of articles they publish. Get a feel for the mood of the pieces. Are they serious? Whimsical? First person anecdotes? Determine what “departments” they have that might prove suitable for the article you want to write.
  5. Figure out your angle. Magazine articles usually do one or more of these things: inform, persuade, instruct or entertain. I tend to write informational/entertainment pieces on the places we visit. My husband, David, writes how-to pieces (instruction) on various topics relating to the boat. Write your article.
  6. Proper grammar, spelling, punctuation required…need I say more?
  7. Research your topic carefully. If you’re using facts and/or statistics to give some depth and color to your article, make sure you document them well and provide the source if necessary.
  8. Many magazines will accept articles on “spec”. Others prefer you send a query. I call this a teaser. Tell them in a short, succinct paragraph what you intend to write about and why it will be of interest to their readers. They’ll  review what you send them and get back to you if they’re interested. Send your best piece. Make the teaser irresistible. Then write the article. Make sure it’s ready to go.  If you don’t hear from the publisher within a couple of weeks, send them a reminder, asking their level of interest. Caution: Do NOT send the same query to several magazines at once. Be patient and submit to one publisher at a time. If two or more magazines should happen to accept your article or idea and you have to tell one of them “no”, you probably won’t get another stab at that magazine. If you don’t hear in a month after a reminder, consider it dead and move on.
  9. Don’t be discouraged if you get a “reject” notice. It’s common. Not every article received can be published. Find another magazine and send them the same teaser. We’ve had several articles rejected by one journal which were happily accepted by another. 
  10. If you get a bite and some interest in your teaser, respond immediately. Some will ask you to do a rewrite. Cut it down here…expound a little there. Get on it right away. We’ve had situations where the publisher delayed in responding and then we received an urgent email saying, “Oh, didn’t I tell you? We need your article for the next publication. Can you send it and all photos today?”  Needless to say, having the article written and ready to go was key.  We scurried, but got it done.

I doubt you’ll get rich from writing for magazines. We certainly don’t, although we usually succeed in having about six to eight articles published each year. We average ~$300-500 per article. You will, however, see your article in print, promote yourself, build confidence and polish your writing skills. Sometimes that’s enough!

About Marcie…

Marcie & David Lynn have lived aboard “Nine of Cups” since 2000. They’ve sailed over 70,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans  and visited hundreds of anchorages and ports in their travels. They’re currently down under in Tasmania. Marcie writes a daily blog www.justalittlefurther.com and maintains a website www.nineofcups.com. Both David and Marcie contribute regularly to Ocean Navigator and Good Old Boat magazines.

Www.oceannavigator.com

http://www.goodoldboat.com

Writer’s resources

http://www.freelancewriting.com/guidelines/pages/index.php

http://www.internet-resources.com/writers/markets/online-guidelinesMO.htm#MMM

Hints for Using Twitter by Guest Author Shelton Keys Dunning


My recent remarks about learning to use Twitter sparked a terrific response from author  Shelton Keys Dunning (https://twitter.com/SheltonKDunning). Thank you, Shelton, for sharing helpful information for writers everywhere:

When my editor told me I needed to do the Twitter thing, I thought, what’s she smoking? I made fun of Twitter, calling those that used it twits. But she introduced me to another platform Tweetdeck (Twitter, only better) and I actually find I like the format better: http://www.tweetdeck.com

There’s also a Tweetdeck app for your smartphone that is set up the same way. You can break up your follows and topics into handy-dandy columns and set up alerts and what not. It’s fairly user friendly, but if you run into any trouble let me know. A good hashtag to follow for writers if you haven’t already come across it is #amwriting

I’m happy to see you in the Tweetsphere. I’ve only been here for a year so I’m not an expert, but it is fun if you know what to look for.

Holing Up to Write


Ok. I am making a pledge here. I want to feel compelled to do what I promise. I am taking six weeks to check out of my day-to-day life in order to hole up in solitude and FINISH MY NOVEL.

(No excuses, Moore. You are on the hook now, so finish the book already.)

I will check in regularly to let you know how I’m doing. Hold me accountable. If I start floundering, kindly pull out your riding crop and, well, you know. It’s time to complete novel number one, so that I can start novel number two.

Step 1. Get the suitcase out of attic storage

Step 2. Pack clothes, computers, cell phone, checkbook, arm sling

Step 3. Get to the airport early

Step 4. Settle in and start writing

If I Tweet


If I compose a tweet on Twitter, who sees it?

And how does one garner followers anyway?

I am begging you experienced Tweeters to write a guest post here on the topic Twitter for Dummies. Go to my profile for my e-mail address. Let’s talk, er, tweet.

Let’s Party at a Writers Conference!


The Creatures, Crimes and Creativity Conference is coming to Maryland in the fall of 2013. Why don’t we all go and have a party while we learn to write better? Sounds like fun to me.

Several links below will tell you more about it.

Registration form: http://creaturescrimesandcreativity.com/?page_id=2

FAQ: http://creaturescrimesandcreativity.com/?page_id=319

Schedule

3 Day Conference

Friday, September 13, 2013 Registration begins at 8:00 am Early registration ends November 30, 2012

FRIDAY

8:00 am to 5:00 pm – Registration 11:00 am to 11:30 am – Welcome presentation 11:30am to 4:30pm – Writers Roundtable 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm panels 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Agent Meetings 2:00 pm – Panels 3:00 pm – Panels 4:00 pm – Panels 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm – Book signing by all Friday authors 6:00 pm – Buffet dinner – opening ceremonies & keynote talk

SATURDAY

7:00 am to 9:00 am – continental breakfast 9:00 am – Panels 10:00 am – Panels 10:30 am to 12:00 pm – Writers Roundtable 11:00 am – Panels Noon – lunch / special guest interview 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm panels 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Writers Roundtable [1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Agent Meetings] 2:00 pm – Panels 3:00 pm – Panels 4:00 pm – Panels 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm – Book signing by all Saturday authors 6:00 pm – Banquet dinner – Keynote talk

SUNDAY

9:00 am to 10:30am – Buffet Breakfast (w/omelet chef) – special guest interview 11:00 am – Panels Noon – Panels

Attending Authors

Ann Arbaugh Bob Bailey Austin S. Camacho Lauren Carr DB Corey Jeffrey Deaver Christina Freeburn John Gilstrap Tracee L. Garner Christopher Golden Cherley Grogg Trice Hickman Norwood Holland Deliah Lawrence Larry Mathews Amy McCorkle Cynthia McDonald Larry Mild Rosemary Mild Juli Monroe Robin Murphy Penny Clover Peterson Ramona Rene B. Swangin Webster

Attending Agents

We have already confirmed the following agents will be attending the 2013 conference. Check them out and don’t forget to sign up to pitch your work to one of them!

Emily Gref – Lowenstein Associates

Emily Gref is an associate agent and subsidiary rights manager at Lowenstein Associates. Prior to Lowenstein Associates, she worked at the Strand Bookstore (and later at Shakespeare & Co.), and interned at Serendipity Literary Agency, Donald Maass Literary Agency, Penguin Young Readers’ Online Marketing, Tor Books, and Arthur A. Levine Books.

In fiction Emily is particularly looking for speculative fiction, science fiction, and fantasy for middle grade, young adult, and adult. She has a special weakness for historical fantasy, steampunk, and unique fairy tale retellings. In any novel she is hoping to find a strong voice, stellar world-building, surprising twists, and main characters that represent diverse experiences.

Berta Treitl – Grosevenor Agency

Berta Treitl is an attorney and literary agent. Berta is selectively building her nonfiction list in three areas: science and technology; current events, law and politics, biography, business and marketing; and art, design, cooking, health, and lifestyle.

In fiction, she’s interested in historical and high-quality mysteries. Berta focuses on projects that present a counterintuitive or fresh viewpoint and that feature unusual communities, travel and foreign locales, and female main characters.

Before joining the Grosvenor Literary Agency, Berta worked at a respected New York agency and in private legal practice. She is a member of the New York Bar, the District of Columbia Bar, and Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts.

C3 Anthology

Acorn Book Services has graciously offered to publish an anthology for the C3 Conference in 2013.

Please pay close attention to their submission guidelines below:

Word Count: Maximum 7,500 words.

Genre: Any of those genre accepted at C3

Limit: One short story per author, who must be registered and attending the C3 conference.

Limited to twenty-five stories accepted for publication so be sure and get registered today so your story can be part of the anthology!

Please include author photo, bio, website, and other information to accompany short story in the anthology.

Short stories accepted for the anthology must be edited, and will be edited and proofed by Acorn Book Services. By submitting a short story, the author agrees to giving Acorn Book Services rights of usage of the short story in the Anthology to be published in print and e-book form (at the cost of Acorn Book Services). The printed format will be given to attendees of the C3 conference. This anthology will serve as a promotional tool for the authors, who will retain all ownership rights to their story.

After the conference, Acorn Book Services will then release the anthology in e-book form on Amazon. In this e-book format, in exchange for use of their short story, the author will receive further promotion as the e-book will also include the author’s bio and links to their website and places where their books can be purchased.

All of this is at no cost to the author, other than the cost of attending the C3 conference. All proceeds from the sale of the e-book version will be retained by Acorn Book Services to help offset production cost of the anthology.

Deadline to submit: March 1, 2013.

For more information or to submit your story contact Acorn Book Services at writerlaurencarr@gmail.com