I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD-SLAPS, SPEED-BUMPS and LIGHT-BULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

When rejection feels good


Six queries, five rejections and I couldn’t be happier. Well, that’s a lie I certainly could be more mirth-filled if I took off another ten pounds and got asked to the publishing-prom but this time around I think I’m on to something.

These have not been form rejections. Oh there’s the “we’re not the right agency” and “I’m not the right agent” BUT there’s feedback; encouraging and constructive feedback.

“You are a strong writer and very funny…,” said one.

“You are a good writer, much better than what crosses my desk these days.”

“Laugh out loud funny,” another said.

Each compliment bolstered my very damaged writer’s ego after over one-hundred form rejections related to my two novels. That’s per book and that doesn’t count the no response means no.
 
This book is a memoir. A different kind of memoir which bubbles up above the rest because of how it is organized. The title has been in the header of this blog forever.

HEAD-SLAPS, SPEED-BUMPS and LIGHT-BULBS, one woman’s WTF, oops and ah ha moments of life. (Gee, I love my title.)

The agent comments, unexpected and wonderful, keep me in the game. The constructive comments are getting my attention.

“Engaging, strong and funny but it didn’t draw me in.”

“I liked the sample, a lot, but I didn’t fall in love with it.”

These got me to sit up and aim at something which has bothered me since I started querying. In the first thirty, too much history, too much background, too much writer’s bullshit until I get to the meat. So last night I printed the first thirty pages to figure out what’s missing. (Egads, found a few damned typos.) And, what does the sample lack? Or what do I have to take away?

That’s why I am posting today. Had to get my head out of the thirty pages in order to come up with, just one more article to cut and paste into the sample in order to show (not tell) just how this thing works. So it’s contemplation, elimination and addition time. I’m pumped.

And, I’m working on a (three agents recommended) proposal. An, It can Happen To You / Erin Brockovich kind of memoir.
 
My keys are a-flamin’ and my mind is a-racin’. I love this shit.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Merry Christmas


While researching agents and editors, publishers, wish granters, gate keepers and God, I came across a short story that is as beautifully written as the birth certificate of your first child. Amy Einhorn mentioned the story in a Poets and Writers interview. If she loved it why would I not try to find it?

Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory.

What I know of Truman Capote fits on the head of pin labeled Studio 54 and In Cold Blood. To me he was a swishy talking, funny looking little man with a reputation as a writer I thought must be a misnomer by way of a bestseller, which by chance, went stratospheric. Oh-my-God, how can I call myself a writer? To have not gazed in awe at the little man, who stood so tall and towered with words, makes me feel unworthy.


I’m sure the link doesn’t work so copy and paste might have to do.

The story will stir your heart, the writing will blow your mind.

Truman Capote – Live on little man with the diminutive voice which rumbles this writer's soul, live on.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I'm a corn swimming in butter kind of girl


Yesterday I got the nicest rejection I have ever gotten in twenty-five years of doing this.

This is, in part, what I found in my inbox from (agent who rejected me).

“I’ve now had a chance to read these pages, and there’s much to admire – a mix of wit and tenderness, and so many genuine, relatable laugh-out-loud moments.”


HEAD-SLAPS, SPEED-BUMPS and LIGHT-BULBS,
one woman’s WTF, oops and ah ha moments of life

I took about forty, of my (well over a hundred) published essays, op-eds and columns and shared why I wrote what I wrote and what happened after. As I wrapped them all in life as it happens, I found an arc and made a memoir. I thought it worked and now I know it does.

That agent's one line is Sunday dinner with good stuff filling my belly, leaving me satiated and smiling - except for the lima beans. I’m not thinking about the little flattened green orbs which I am choosing to leave on my plate. I'm not thinking of what I do not like.

I’m a believer again. A believer that effort and tenacity are their own reward and that corn dripping in butter tastes a hell of a lot better than lima beans any day.