Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

On Monday, I walked along the river, looked up and found a message along the metal folds beyond the railway,

             your life is beautiful. 

Some letters were cut in half but the words were still readable. The period at the end made it fact. It secured the sentence in its place. The words could not float away.

The certainty of it made me pause. I knew that there, standing beneath those words, I could not argue, and I carried the message with me as I walked away.

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope that, no matter where you stand, you find comfort in that conviction.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Winner of Free Critique from Sharon Mayhew

Thanks to so many of you who entered to win a free critique from Sharon.

I asked Tyler to pick a number between 1 and 11 and he picked 2.

Therefore, the winner is: Joanne Fritz! Joanne, I'll put you in touch with Sharon.

This colorful photo seemed festive for the occasion.

I wish you all a very happy week.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Win A Free Critique from Writer and Editor Sharon Mayhew

Some of you may know the amazing Sharon Mayhew, our BLOM (blog Mom), friend, writer, and editor. She just started her own editing business and is giving away a free critique!

Sharon has critiqued my work and helped me enormously. When I struggled with the opening chapters of my novel (and we all know how important opening pages are) she gave me great advice that helped me re-look at it. This advice helped me land a lot of full requests from agents, and eventually, an offer of representation from an agent.

She has a great eye, is knowledgeable about the industry, and has sat on both sides of the slush pile. She's always so thoughtful, smart and kind with her feedback.  If you're looking for an editor, I highly recommend working with her.

More about Sharon's decision to start editing can be found here.

More about her services can be found here.

To win a free critique, please comment on this post by November 24th.

The winner will receive the choice of the first 250 words of a picture book critique/line edits, the first seven pages of a novel critique/line edits or a query critique/line edits.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


At my new writing desk, in its new room, I sit one window east of where my old desk used to be. I'm closer to the sill and the glass is cold. Now that the leaves are falling away, I begin to see a small piece of Manhattan's skyline. From this window, the Freedom Tower is just out of view. But I know it's there because one window west, at my old writing space, it is.

Tonight, I relish in the new view, in it's new angle. I am an impatient writer. I don't always like the pace I write at, which is to say, slow. In the month of November, everyone ticking away words, I feel especially less-than. But in the past few weeks, nothing worked, and I had to stop myself from soldiering on the cluttered path. I became slower than a slow writer. I became a writer who didn't write at all.

And it was exactly what I needed.

I cleared away some of the doubt and smudge and, this week, I returned to a story I had been working on. 

I had crowded a character with too many competing plots and I thought I was the grand puppet master. I thought I could bend anyone and anything to my will. I thought, I was the storyteller. Ha. Ha. 

Once I let all this go, I realized that she, alone, knows her story. I stand up to the microphone, make my introduction, swing my arm out in grand gesture, and say, take it away.

Holy smokes. She has a lot to say. 

I'm finally listening. I'm finally seeing what's been there all along.