Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Art of Thankfulness

Even my daddy, always quick with a negative comment delivered with his trademark pessimistic attitude, was thankful for certain things.

He thanked "JC" often for not allowing it to rain while he was fishing ... on the rainy side of Washington state ... as the clouds gushed forth.

While in the throes of end-stage cancer, he was thankful for someone to drive him to his favorite watering hole, to have "one last" Canadian Club and water--no ice.

He was thankful for all of the mistakes he'd made in his life and made every attempt to repeat some as often as possible.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to have had our home full of family and friends for the last four days. We celebrated: Thanksgiving on our schedule--on Saturday--and son's birthday on Sunday.

I'm thankful for a wonderful husband, children, grandchildren, and our ten-year-old one-eyed cat who seems to be slipping into senility. If only there could be some sensibility in senility.

I'm thankful to have been given the ability to form letters of the alphabet into words worth reading. Writing has opened a new world for me to explore with new friends and acquaintences.

I've learned to take the opportunity--OFTEN--to list what I'm thankful for. Reading these lists sometimes makes the more harsh times easier to withstand. A positive attitude may be just what we need to make those times happen less often. I happen to believe that we draw to us what we believe we deserve.

Attitude is a state of mind. Only I can change my attitude. Being thankful keeps me grounded.


Where do you find a publisher?

When you do a search for publishers, what do you find? Subsidy and vanity presses. That's not what you are looking for! What you need is a list of traditional publishers. But where do you find that?

One place is .

According to their website: "If you're looking for a real book publisher for your novel (not a POD publisher, vanity publisher, subsidy publisher, or other pay-for-it publisher), you have found the right place."

On that page, (for free!) you will find a list of over 400 publishers who have at some point bought rights from first-time authors. Make sure you study each market before submitting, but this is a great place to get started.

Good luck on your quest!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Secret Agents

To get published, you need an agent.

To get an agent, you need to already be published.

Writers get this conflicting information all the time. The good news is that there ARE agents who accept new authors. How do you find them?

Chuck Sambuchino has done your research for you. Not only does he give valuable advice on contacting agents, but he shares a list of 23 agents who are actively looking for NEW authors.

Read his article and check out the list at


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A NaNo Rant Featuring Renee' Barnes (aka Trish)

TWC partner Renee' Barnes is doing NaNoWriMo this year. It takes guts to tackle NaNo when one has a family, and during the beginning of Silly Season that begins before Halloween. It's only tackled by those who take their writing seriously. Or have a very helpful family. Or are crazy. No offense meant, Renee'. (And Kim Richards, Glenn Walker, and others.)

My personal feeling is that those in Congress who declared the month of November as National Novel Writing Month were idiots, or perverts, or worse. Why couldn't they have proclaimed May (after tax season and before school is out) or October (after school starts and barely before the beginning of the Silly Season mentioned earlier) as NaNoWriMo?

Why did they have to choose Thanksgiving month? My house is full, or being prepared to be full, of company for most of the month. I barely have time to blog, moderate chats at TWC, and meet my magazine deadlines during November! That doesn't even count getting ready for Christmas ... Oy!

I've been keeping up with the two, yes two, stories Renee' is writing. Both are not only the best first drafts I've ever read, but she's managing to promote TWC's members in her tales. Mentioned so far are John Everson and the team of Joe Moore/Lynn Sholes--and their latest release--The Hades Project. Way to go, Renee'!!

If you'd like to take a peek at her novels-in-progress: and

Renee' has sent me an email that explains why the Health Department is against NaNo. Let's just say "the sink is piled high" ... I'm sure the laundry baskets are over-flowing as well, but she keeps on writing. I suppose if her men (hubby and sons) get too hungry or too naked, they'll pitch in to help while she keeps her fingers on her keyboard.

While you're at Renee's NaNo site, also click the links to her buddies. They could all use a bit of encouragement.

WTG NaNo participants!