Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Meet the New Critique Group!

Wanted to introduce my new critique group members, all of whom are VERY cool, very open, and excellent critiquers.  Don't know the value of a good critique group?  Check out Mary Kaley's blog on Critiquing.  I posted a guest blog there a while ago and am now even more convinced that a critique group is ESSENTIAL to quality writing.

Anyway, here's my group, and a lovely bunch of ladies they are:

Ilene Wong - writing one of the most unique YA novels I've read (follow her at @IleneYWong).  She's repped by Andrea Brown, an agency I hope to get into (query letter went out last night!)

Helen Kitrosser - a very insightful and witty non-fiction writer, great critiquer.  Soon to be featured in COBBLESTONE magazine!  (Ok, so she queried, but hey, this is OPTIMISM ABOUNDS, right?)

K.M. Walston (Kate) - the PUBLISHED author in our group, unfortunately was unable to make our first meeting, but her critique of my YA book floored me and honored me like no other.  Check out her blog here and definitely check out her new book CRACKED, due out in 2012... Follow her at @KMWalton1

Kelly Lyman & Christine Danek - I introduce them together cuz they're a pair.  They actually do seem like sisters from another...uh, mutha, I guess (doesn't rhyme...)  But they also are YA writers with some VERY unique ideas and stories.  Just gotta get them to write together... ;)  Follow them at 
@kellylyman and @mywritingjourne respectively.

Suzanne Gaadt - another non-fiction writer of little known women lost in the annals of a male-dominated history.  Great stuff, and soon to be mandatory reading for my 2 daughters.  

Leigh Ann Tyson - the mystery woman.  Haven't met her yet, but is working with Random House on her latest historical fiction picture book about a mule learning he WAS Big Enough.  Optimism.  She'll fit in perfectly here.  Can't wait to meet her.

And finally, Aimee Rodriguez - writer of middle grade fantasy, terrific ideas and middle grade voice.  Will be fun following her story through.

So those are the women I'll be spending one Sunday with every month, hoping to refine my new project "SOLARIS" into a huge hit and helping each of them on their way to published glory.

Meanwhile, we're all back to pounding the pavement for agents and publishers, but focused on getting our words down.

Next on the blog - what the heck SOLARIS is all about!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The future starts now!

Got a request from someone who labelled themselves a "future illustrator of children's books".  I quickly and gently corrected her that she IS an illustrator of children's books, just not a published one yet.  Mentality has everything to do with it, and the words you put out there go a long way towards convincing yourself that it's real.  And let's face it, if you don't believe it, no one else will.

I used to think that a writer was someone who was published and has his work read by strangers throughout the world.  Then a realized a writer is someone who writes.  That's it.  Whether or not anyone ever reads what they write, they're still a writer.  Being paid or not paid to do it doesn't diminish it.

So if you're just starting out and you're thinking "Someday I'm gonna be a writer" or worse, "someday I'm gonna be a REAL writer", stop right there.  Change the words.  "I AM a writer.  A REAL writer."  Then, all you have to do is get someone to read it and buy it to be a published writer.

Oh, and by the way, being a writer is hard work.  Never forget that.  Writing is re-writing, as someone once said.  So don't go thinking that because you're calling yourself a writer or an illustrator that you're set and the magic will start happening.  The "secret" to success is perseverance, meaning making mistakes and learning from them, growing in your style, and not just writing and thinking good thoughts.   But that's what being a writer means.

So WRITE ON!  And don't forget to check out The Varcolac - my on-line ever growing blovel (blog novel)!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The New Blovel Starts!

As promised, here is my first chapter for my new blovel (blogging novel) The Varcolac.  Take a look!

I'm tired of waiting around for agents and publishers and I don't have the money to self publish.  So here's a way to combine critique groups (feel free to leave critiquing comments) while having my work read by a larger audience than four or five (like maybe ten people!)

The story is about teens who suffer from Clinical Lycanthropy, convinced they turn into animals when the moon rises full, and the leader of a Lyncanthropy Fighting racket, The Varcolac, who captures them and fights them for sport.  The hero, Dominic, must make his escape and get the help he needs to lead a normal life, before the Varcolac has him kill again.  Unfortunately for him, Dominic is the Varcolac's best fighter, and is making him millions.

Let me know what you think.  Cool stuff abounds!

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