Pain split my forehead in two. The upper region—the part I was sure was responsible for planning, judgment, decision making, knowing right from wrong—felt like it was wrapped in a two pound bag of hot potatoes. Behind that cranial layer of pressure-cooker mush, hundreds of tiny splinters were being hammered into my eye sockets, deadening my ability to see and move. Nothing, I was convinced, was going to save me from this pain, except perhaps a lobotomy.
Digging through a box in a sudden cleansing urge, I came across a couple collections of matches. These collections stored in various containers, including a cool old tin that belonged to my dad, spanned my teenage, college and post college years, as well as several travel destinations, clubs, bars and cities I lived in. From these collections I was inspired to write a short story, Remembering Matches, and enter it in @writersdigest contest. Feeling good.
Twitter up and running (finally) and now ready for the madness of #PitMad.
Follow me. Wish me luck.
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. – Albert Camus.
#MotivationalMonday a day early
Not often do I jump on a bandwagon, soapbox or rant, but I am stepping up now. This is to all the strong women out there… and there our millions of you…
I respect, admire and appreciate you… and I know you don’t get enough people telling you how bad ass you are.
There is a Band of Super Women who are busting ass everyday — single and married, old and young, different ethnicity and different beliefs — but we all have one thing in common. We are committed, dedicated and loyal. We are working hard to support our families financially and emotionally. We are working hard to make a difference to those we love and those we don’t know. And some of us are working hard to survive.
The saying is: Behind every good man is a great women.
I say… move over. We are not standing behind you… we are standing next to you… or on our own. We are powerful Super Women busting ass and keeping it all together.
Here are a few links to some organizations that deserve R-E-S-P-E-C-T. (Feel free to add more in comments and I will add to the below.)
We are not Superwoman. We are Super Women.
–Inspired by one Bad Ass Woman, ML
Spent this past weekend @writersdigest conference in NYC. Jaw-dropping informative at times.Mind-numbingly exhausting at other points. Unfortunately, is this for real at one session. But overall, a feast for my writing senses.
Thought I would share some of my #writersdigest notes and rambles.
- 1. Read for technique
2. Strong premise and first chapter. Don’t over write first chapter
Don’t cause others to suffer from MEGO. My eyes glaze over. Boring
3. Beta readers. Use them!
4. Marketing… Jacket is key
5. Marketing… Publicity is key. Build a brand. Finding a publicist.
6. Blogging… Social networking. Do it.
7. Build relationships in bookstores.
My pitch is Pitch Perfect.
Pitch. Query letter
3 to 10 sentences. Like the back of a DVD box.
- Title, page count, genre,
Log lines. 1 sentence description of a book.Building blocks of pitch
1. Introduce main character
2. Say something is interesting about the character. Introduce what the main character wants
3. Introduce inciting incident
4. What is the main conflict of the book?
5 What’re the complications?
6. Unclear wrap up
7. The stakes.
8. Short lines. Be specific. Don’t be general. Internal and external struggle.
Create emotion. No subplots.
Bio that is relevant.
My pitch is far from Pitch Perfect.
Chuck’s Guide to literary agents blog.
Opening of the book
2. Probability. Sincere honorable all on the table
3. Power. You are the only person who could write this
4. Problem. Feel that something is coming but not necessarily the conflict
5. Possibilities. Sense
6. People. Character driven vs plot driven
7. Plot. Do it well.
Editing. 1 round to 7 rounds. 9 months to a year
3 to 4 years to get it published
Endings: Climax or big bang
Character, conflict and choice.
Flashbacks need to be organic. Part of someone’s memory
Avoid italics. Use for emphasis only
Very little marketing spend. Mostly none. You do the marketing
Band together with other writers
Social media… The author has to be promoting
Twitter. Definitely. Ugh.
Be realistic with your expectations
Every milestone doesn’t change your life. Manage your expectations
Hard to break through the noise.
Contact bookstores. Indies. Build relationships through twitter. Drive around to bookstores and sign them when travel. Booksellers are recommending
Biggest challenge… Getting word out about the book and distribution
Ask What if.
Should I outline or not. Yes. Do whatever you need to.
Laptop or pen and paper. Yes. Do whatever you want.
Research. Don’t let research stop you from writing.
If you are good at anything else besides writing, don’t be a writer
Guilty helps. Feel bad when you are not writing.
Don’t be a DOUCHE BAG.
Better to think you suck. Pushes you.
Don’t tell me you don’t have time to write.
Don’t talk about your book…….
Don’t get on a train. Write what you love.
Only bad writers think they are good.
Editors. When readers tell you something wrong, they are right. You must fix it.
You can do it better
Don’t settle to just be publishable. Demand that you are great.
Amateurs wait for the muse to arrive, the rest of us just get to work.
You can always fix bad pages. But you can’t fix blank pages.
Luck plays a part. As long as you are writing
Good friends and potential writing colleagues met.
Agents X 5. Excited.
More work to do. No time like the present.
Don’t waste your time and talent.
Blog more. Re-look at chapter 1. Should it be two chapters? Does it need to be punched up?
Apologies for errors. Sent from my iPad
This past weekend I went to LACMA to see an Academy screening of Penelope Spheeris’ Decline of the Western Civilization I and III. This wasn’t my first time; I saw both films when they opened to very limited release. The documentaries captured a music scene and culture that some feared or didn’t understand, but others found accepting. The music resonated with teens who didn’t conform to what society dictated as normal or acceptable behavior, look and attitude.
As a teen of the ’80s, the film took me back to those years — and the screening to some old punker friends (and an ex). While today I am coming from a different place (a few decades older, and hopefully wiser), the film was just as exciting. And the music… the music and lyrics were just as powerful as they were so many years ago… though some of the topics were a little less relevant.I could barely contain my energy listening and watching Fear, Circle Jerks and X.
Thanks to Penelope Spheeris for capturing a scene and culture that embraced those just “the other side of normal.”