Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Have you seen my Muse?

I have a household of family staying with us. Some have moved in, some are just visiting, and more are on the way. It is not an easy arrangement. The pantry and refrigerator are jam packed, and only a third of it is mine. Disquiet has become the norm and teenage angst is around every corner.
Early mornings have been my best time to sit at the keyboard, and I've managed to edit a couple more chapters of The Mother of All Viruses, my first novel. I'm pleased to see that it is pretty clean, I've only made a few minor tweaks.

I've also managed to add a couple scenes to The Diva of Mud Flats, my third novel. It's still mostly a piece of rock that I am chiseling down to something artistic.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Back in Business

Well, I finally got one of my computers working (without spending money on it, yay!) I had to salvage a hard drive from another laptop and reload the machine from scratch.

I re-polished the first three chapters of my book, and found another grammar error that I repeated throughout the book. I think English must be my second language.

Now I can get back to revisions on the first book and writing some more scenes on the third.

I got another rejection, but my rejection database is on the other computer. I'll have to find some way to get that off of there and onto my flash drive.

That's all I have to share, just more me, me, me for this segment.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Technology is not being my friend

I put myself under the gun to produce a synopsis for The Lost Art of Magic. I had previously written a short synopsis, but it just didn't work. So I started putting together a full scene by scene synopsis.

I was already having problems with my main computer, the power died to the USB ports which effectively shut down the mouse, keyboard and printer, so I dusted off my old laptop.

Last Friday, I completed the first draft of the synopsis and was ready to start editing it (lots of typos, and I kept slipping back into past tense.) That's when the lap top stopped booting up. Fortunately, I keep all my work on a flash drive. I have the flash drive backed up on the main computer and the lap top. I used the restore CD's to see if the lap top could be revived. They reported that the hard drive was in trouble. I was able to fix some bad sectors, but it still wouldn't boot up.

I dusted off an older computer. It booted up just fine, no problems with the mouse, keyboard or USB ports. However, it refused to read the flash drive.

I finally figured out how to limp along on the laptop until the hard drive fails completely, but then my printer runs out of toner.

I have managed to complete the synopsis. But I'm afraid that if I try to send it out, my router will turn belly up, or my Qwest modem will freeze. Not really, but just to be sure, I'm going to give the first three chapters one more dusting before I send them off.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Three Coins in a Fountain Pen

What is with all the THREE's in our lives? I thought of a lot of titles when I started this article. The Three Faces of Eve, Three on a Match, 3:10 to Yuma, Three Days of the Condor, and the list goes on.

So who cares? What does the number Three have to do with writing? Well, to borrow a phrase from Sesame Street, this message is being brought to you by the number THREE.

It's not enough to write a novel. It's not even enough to rewrite it over and over to get it perfect. You still have to write it two more times (for three in total).

You have to write a Query letter, which is kind of like writing a limerick to sell an opera. Then, you also have to write a synopsis, which is kind of like the readers digest condensed version of your masterpiece.

So here I am, ready to send my manuscript off to another agent, only she wants a synopsis. I thought I had one, and I sort of do, but I took a look at it and gagged. The software I use has a feature to help write a synopsis, but to take advantage of it, you have to fill out descriptions in all the chapters. I thought I had, but I was wrong. So now, I am filling my mornings and evenings with writing short condensed descriptions of every scene in my book.

Oh yeah, the synopsis is written in present tense. I can't just cut and paste the important stuff. Six down, fourteen to go.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Query Letters

Why are query letters so darned hard? Writing a novel is child's play compared to writing a query letter. Could it be a right brain-left brain thing? Probably not, but, it certainly is a whole different animal and requires a completely different set of skills. This is a job for a salesman. My father was a salesman, and he wrote advertising copy. If he were still alive, I could probably ask him.

I'm no salesman. As a child, I took paper routes to get out of the house. I didn't care about the money and hated asking customers to pay. I also hated school candy sales for the same reason. I guess I didn't get that gene from my father.

Maybe, the next time you pick up a really awful book, check out the back cover and ask yourself, "I wonder if this guy (or gal) can really write one hell of a query letter?"