Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Love/Hate Wednesday


My clients. I know it was just #agentsday, but truly, I wouldn't be who or where I am without all of my fabulous clients!


When writers pretend to have an offer of representation so that I'll read faster.

Oh yes, this happens. And guess what? I also have lots of agent friends and...we ALL know when this happens, because we totally talk to one another. Trust me: you do this, and you set yourself up for failure. You'll get a faster response, sure...but just a faster "no."

Agent Jennifer Laughran wrote a great post all about this, and offer of representation etiquette you should check out!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Love/Hate Wednesday



It is important when setting goals for both your writing and career that they be SMART goals. Specifically, I'm talking about:

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement. What do you want to do? Why?
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress. When do you know it's complete?
  • Assignable – specify who will do it. Can also be Achievable: how can it be accomplished?
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources. Is it relevant to what you want to achieve overall? Worthwhile?
  • Time-related – specify when you will complete the goal (a hard deadline, not just "in the future" or "someday")

How does this translate to your writing? Well:

  • Specific: revise the first chapter in order to engage reader immediately with voice
  • Measurable: a review of first 30 pages from at least three betas hitting target response
  • Assignable: YOU will do this, by reading this fabulous post from AIA and reading at least four first chapters of comparable titles
  • Realistic: engaging the reader immediately will result in overall request rate improvement, along with direction to further improve the voice in the rest of the novel, and voice improvement on future first pages of novels that I write
  • Time-related: by June 28th

It gives you the how, the what, and the whens to success.

Try mapping out all of your goals this way (if you have to think harder to do it, GOOD; you're thinking about how YOU can REALLY make it happen), and check them off as you achieve them to see just how SMART you are!!



Too hard? Tough buttons. Cry me a river. SUCK IT UP!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Adventures at the Library: Special Collections!

This is a post all about my adventures in the San Diego State Special Collections Archive...looking at picture books from the 19th century.


Did you know that you can TOTALLY go do that?! It's open to the public and wow, what a cool treat.

What was interesting about these picture books is that very few of them had author names.

“Freaks and frolics of little girls” (1887)

Most were fairy tales or other morality tales, solely for the purpose of instructing children on how to behave.

Think your hair picture book is unique? THINK AGAIN. This trope has been around for a very. Long. Time.

“R. Caldecott's first collection of pictures and songs”

Originally, the artwork was hand-painted.

“The history of Richard Whittington and his cat” (c. 1800)

And these stories were universal - there were many different languages of antique picture books!

“Die Nibelungen dem Deutschen Volke” (1920) by Franz Keim

And for antiques, they were still pretty darned awesome.

“Little Red Riding Hood: A ‘Pop-up!’ book” (1934)

“Revolving pictures: a novel picture book of dioramic scenes” by Ernest Nister (1892)

And at the end of my visit...I got to see something PRICELESS (well ok, it's actually worth like 2.2 million dollars but...)

Oh that there? That's just copy-edits by the Church on Copernicus's De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres).


So yeah. Libraries are cool.