Getting yourself “out there”

Becoming a writer is no easy task because rejection is never quite that easy to swallow.  But you can learn from it. If you believe in yourself, in your work then continue marching forward. I plan to and I plan to submit my manuscript to Harlequin Romance.  Those of you interested in the Historical Romance genre can check out Harlequin’s website here for further details:

 

Harlequin Historical Key Elements

  • Strong and dynamic characters with believable, relatable conflicts, appropriate for the time in which they are set.
  • Central relationship as the driving force of the story.
  • Historical research and accuracy are essential to bring the world to life! But remember to focus on the romance.
  • All levels of sensuality are considered. From the tingling sensation you get when a wet-shirted Mr. Darcy rises from the lake, to the explicit bedroom romps of Tudor times, whatever the level of sensuality, chemistry and sexual tension are vital.
  • Variety is key in this line – we’re happy to publish stories from ancient Greece to the Wild West and all the way through to the mid-twentieth century.
  • Word length: 75,000

For explanations and tips about conflict, dialogue and emotion please click on How to Write the Perfect Romance

 

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The creative bug

I write on this blog because, to put it simply, I love to write.  I think about all the illiterate people in the world who miss out on some beautiful literary works of art–and being able to read, to put my thoughts down on paper is a priceless gift which I never take for granted. I found inspiration everywhere, from my childhood experiences to my world travels and military service.  To be a great writer takes patience and fortitude. It also means accepting rejection letters in a way they can motivate you to do better.  Being a writer means having a thick hide, taking constructive criticism not with a grain of salt but as something quite flavorful to chew and create something meaningful.

“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”
—Catherine Drinker Bowen

“Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.”
—Leigh Brackett, WD

“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”
—Harper Lee, WD

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.”
—Ernest Hemingway

 

Joy eternal

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.”
Carl Sagan

 

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How to syndicate your writing

Depending on what your writing style is and where you see yourself (is this a hobby or do you wish to make a living) will determine where to look. There are endless possibilities out there. With the Internet even more 😉

And lord where to start? First of all, you need to write and write often. If it’s a chore than think twice before considering making this a livelihood. For myself I enjoy it.  Since my preteens the written word and developing my imagination has kept me focused on this first love and passion.

If grammar isn’t a strong point then catch up on some basic elementary grammar rules.  Boring but think about the payoff.

Once you’ve conquered the basics find out what you’re passionate about.  Writing about what you know, what burns inside of you to come out…well, writing it down becomes that much easier. Find an editor, (or a friend whose pretty good at constructive criticism) 🙂 and flush out any weaknesses.

Then start your search first for markets seeking new writers. Sometimes these don’t pay or they don’t pay well however getting your work out there is what counts.  Some may work with you under contract, or others may only accept freelancers. Google is your friend and you can type:  “column writer wanted” and research the various markets out there. Be confident  and assertive in your product it’ll show in your penmanship and will open doors!

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out  in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use  for it.
Anais  Nin

Simply for the joy…

My sister gave me some solid advice the other day regarding all this free time I have while my S.O. is on the graveyard shifts.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself because we cannot always be together as we would like my sister suggested I try one of the many meet up groups in Saint Louis. Chicago also has them and since my sister’s husband tends to work late summer hours she has made friends and connections through these types of groups.

Because writing has been my lifelong passion I decided to find out if any of the Meet Up Saint Louis groups catered to aspiring writers like myself.

Sure enough they did and I plan on contacting them to join.  I know my craft still needs some tweaking because let’s face it…most of us are not natural-born Hemingways or Bronte’s.  (But God I wish I were!)

The gist of this post is simply to point out…instead of feeling bad that you can’t be with your partner find ways to make the time worth while. Enjoy those moments of solitude but at the same time find productive ways to spend your creative energy.

Saint Louis Writers Meet Up Group

Welcome to the oldest, largest, most well-established Meetup of writers in the St. Louis metropolitan area!

Our core value is this: writers are people who write, period. Everything else is purely extra.

Do you have a story in your heart you’re dying to tell but need some guidance about the art and craft of writing to start it?

Are you in the ponderous middles, losing steam halfway through your first draft and fighting for the motivation to finish?

Have you completed that glorious first draft of the Great American Novel and would like to workshop it to get some positive, helpful feedback?

Do you want to hone your writing skills and participate in a writing workshop that has been critiquing monthly drafts for over five years?

Then you’ve come to the best group! All of our members are dedicated to the art and craft of story-telling, and we take our core value seriously: we are writers, people who write.

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Meetup Agenda:
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1) Introductions (and collect dues)
2) Monthly Draft Critiques (completely voluntary)
3) Roundtable Discussion on a new topic each month

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I don’t mind a few quiet nights here and there but at times it can emotionally drain you because well…..we are social creatures and crave human interaction. At the same time I know I relish my solititude….I know I do and was trying to figure out what to do with all this free time. 

So thanks to my dear sister for opening up a potential of possibilities!

For the love of words

I cannot imagine a life without books, without my blog, without the love for the written word.

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.   Anais Nin

The best prose comes from the heart, when you have experienced sorrow and heartache…and the same can be true when you’ve lived through the most sublimest of joys.  I have known both extremes and when experiencing both my words have such a profound affect not only on myself, but to the hearts of my readers.

Marketing oneself

Honestly it’s harder than one might expect. I have a manuscript in the works which I plan on finding representation so why does it seem harder to create a query letter than it is in actually writing the story?

My family is quite artistic. My daughter loves to draw and she has been keeping up with her own writing hobby. I have a few cousins/uncles who also have taken up the brush…I have a cousin who is an excellent photographer (and am not simply stating this because he is my cousin)…he has a wealth of ideas and energy which would be great to see in the mainstream.

But why is it so damn hard for some of us to lay ourselves out there and figure out a way to “brag” about our accomplishments.

Fear of rejection?

Possibly….

Self-doubt in our own talents….could be.

But there are also those of us out there who are uncomfortable “tooting our own horn.” Just doesn’t feel right though we know by doing so we are opening up ourselves to not just rejection but to a wonderful potentiality of possibilities.

…….am ready to open the door.

Mermaid Tears

A poem by my daughter:

Tears flowed through her lonely eyes

Waiting for his return

Droplets fell upon the sea rocks

Making them shine like the stars

Longing for her love to come back

Being together as one now and forever

No sign of her love over the horizon

Sweet tears filling the ocean

Drop by drop the tears came out                                         

Waiting and waiting until

She saw her lover coming for her

Now the tears has turn to joy

Time is my enemy

I look back at my life

I look in the mirror

Do I recognize who I am

Where I have gone?

My heart aches for change

Reflections into the past.

Is time my enemy?

Or a comforting friend?

Showing me the way forward

Remembering the way back.

Memories enfold into my heart

As I realize the gift of time to bear.

For time is not my enemy

But an old familiar friend……….