Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cursor… Cursor… Sip tea. Cursor...

Right now I’m sitting on my back porch. Finally, a summer morning I can enjoy the outdoors. Not a cloud in sight. No drizzle of rain to further drown the garden plantings and the temperature is just perfect.

Last week I said I was late because of Margie Lawson. The statement was true. I spent last Saturday taking a two hour track over to NJ, attended Margie’s Editing workshop presented by the NJRW chapter and made the trip back home. It was long day, made longer by the fact I couldn’t sleep for thinking of my wip. Anyone who has taken Margie’s classes on line can only imagine the energy this woman projects. Awesome class!

Over the past year Margie’s teachings hit home with me and made a real difference in my writing. If you don’t know what I mean, take a Margie class. Two other people have also helped mold my writing. Kasey Michaels and my critique partner Sylvie Kaye. Both didn’t hold back punches when reading my work. They both gave me advice, whether I took it or not was up to me. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t, sometimes I changed my mind after mulling it over and reversed my decision. There have been other writers, contest judges, who encouraged me along the way. The result is my work.

Writing is like any other profession. You need to work at it every day. You need to take lessons and advice from experts, and sometimes from layman, and unless you’re financially set and supported, you will need sacrifice other activities in order to reach a level where other professionals look at you as an equal.

Whenever I give someone the go ahead and read my work, I tell them to rip it apart. I want to know what does and doesn’t work for them. I want my work to be the best it can be.

So, who has helped you along the path and how?


  1. And you have to wrok at working on youe WIP every day. There are so many distrations.

    But once it's out in print of by E-format, you know all the hard work was worth it!

  2. Hey, Kathy. You're so right. I can't wait to get my book in hand. I'm hoping for fans. Thnaks for posting and have a great Sunday.

  3. My husband actually went out and bought a computer and told me to start writing down these stories I would make up. He is also my biggest fan and bugs me constantly about the "next pages."

    P. L. Parker

  4. WOW! You are a very lucky lady. I have to admit, my DH is my biggest supporter too. Story: I just received my first contract this past spring. The day after my old laptop wouldn't turn on. I was in a panic. His words, we don't need a big screen TV this year. Take the income tax refund money and get a new one. sigh.. Love the man. Forunately, I got the old laptop up and retreived my files to move over to the new one.

    Thanks for stopping by Pat. Give that guy a hug.

  5. Good mentors are invaluable. I listened to Margie's workshop and learned to SHOW emotion. I took Mary Buckham's classes and learned the value of intriguing hooks. I followed a full day class with Donald Maass, OMG I learned so many things a writer MUST learn. I had personal mentors who now are NY bestsellers, Roxanne St. Claire, critiqued my partial and last chapter. What a difference her suggestions made. Early in my writing days, HQ western Stacey Kayne taught me how to show emotions and maintain a fast pace.

    Yes mentors are good for us writers, but even better are the good critique partners. I am blessed with two excellent ones: Helen Scott-Taylor with Dorchester and Joan Leacott.

    I've also discovered a few years ago that critiquing and judging contests helped me improve my own writing by assessing the good and the bad, and explaining why I like or dislike some paragraphs.

  6. Hey a Pink Fuzzy Slipper blogger. Thanks for stoppping by, Mona. Good point. I learned alot from contests. Both entering and by judging. While judging, I was amazed how many people have the same idea and don't go beyond the simple concept and make their book different.

    I hope one day, someone will consider me their mentor. ;>)

    BTW: The Pink Fuzzer Slippers are hosting Diane Love Snell today. Stop over there too.

    Great interview.

  7. I haven't had mentors, but I've been blessed with supportive friends and a supportive spouse. I've always written so that helped.

    I would have loved to attend the Margie Lawson event, but leaving dh alone that long isn't an option yet. Soon, I hope.

    My biggest asset is my current CP, Laurie Kellogg. Our work is worlds--in some cases literally--apart, but that doesn't matter. She call 'em like she sees 'em and was instrumental in getting me back in the game as an aspiring author. The year we met she convinced me to enter the GH. I didn't expect to final. She told me I would. She was right. (Sometimes I hate it when she's right, but not that time!)

  8. Those are the kind of friends we need. Brutally honest. I hope hubby is well in time for DC.

  9. I so agree with you about Margie Lawson! I took her all day workshop at Dallas Area Romance Authors a couple of years ago. She is a powerhouse who made me analyze my work in a new way. Another workshop that made a big difference was Laura Baker and Robin Perini's all day workshop "Story Magic." Maybe I was just at the right point in my writing, but that workshop changed the way I plot books. No more sagging middles. LOL Recently, I attended an all-day workshop sponsored by Yellow Rose RWA chapter at which Joan Johnston spoke in the morning and mystery author Deborah Crombie spoke in the afternoon. Their talks meshed perfectly. People in the room probably saw a lightbulb flash on above my head. LOL I have several critique partners and one, Gigi Sherrell Norwood, is also a powerhous. She is dead on with her critiques and great for brainstorming. Other critiquers include Jeanmarie Hamilton, Ashley Kath-Bilsky, Geri Foster, Brenda Chitwood, and Sandy Crowley.

    The point I my tirade is this: writing is a very lonely profession. We sit all day [if we're lucky] at our computers, locked in our lofty tower--or tiny corner. But we don't write alone. We depend on others to help us along the way. Thank goodness for good critque partners and friends and online groups.

  10. Amen on the supporters, Caroline. I'm hoping to hear Robin and Laura in DC. I think they are scheduled. I've listened to Robin on tape and as you said lightbulbs!!! Thanks for sharing your views. I hope you stop by again and bring a few friends.

  11. Autumn,
    I have taken numerous writing classes, cumputer classes, etc. I think strong determination is what helped me along this path. I write because my soul and imagination need to be nourished.
    Also, thank you for visiting my blog.
    Cierra James

  12. Hey, Cierra. I enjoyed my visit. Thnak you for stopping here. You're so right DETERMINATION is the key. And you know, I can't imagiane not writing too. I might as well stop breathing.

    Hope to see you again.