September 23, 2009
I’m collecting names. I have two perfect names so far, and I’d love to get more. The two I have are both baseball players:
Aren’t they great? The assonance and alliteration and overall rhythm of each is spectacular. If you know of any other great names, post them here!
1 September 2009
I got the most amazing rejection letter yesterday. It actually made me feel good. I will copy it here so everyone can read it:
I enjoyed reading these pages of Syncopation. You’ve chosen a good subject: a recognizable name who hasn’t been overdone and who has an intriguing back story. There’s also some beautiful writing here. I love the opening piece about the pulse of the universe. You’re also trying some more unconventional devices with the names and the back-and-forth between time periods/narration. I’m not sure these are entirely successful, but I may not be the best judge. I tend to prefer more straightforward narrative. The unconventional elements make this more appropriate for a more literary list than mine.
I’ve enjoyed seeing your work. I wish you the best of luck in finding a home for it.
[Editor’s name withheld]
Isn’t that a great rejection? Makes me feel so literary and hopeful!
September 21, 2009
Writing groups. Not everybody agrees in the efficacy of writing groups, but my group has done a lot for me. It keeps me writing, revising, cleaning up what I write. Plus, I enjoy sharing what I’m working on and talking about the writing process with other writers. My group is an open-minded, thoughtful, kind and supportive group. I’ve heard horror stories of groups with members who decimate other members’ writings. If you find yourself in that sort of group, get out immediately. If the group does not support you, improving your writing through kind and supportive suggestions, then pay its members no heed and find a group that will.
For a brief time, I was a member in an online writing group, and that worked well for me at that time in my life. In these environments, you can meet up with people from far away, and revise and comment and talk when the time is convenient to you. I worry(ied) a little about sending electronic copies of my material into the ether, but a writer can only worry about that for so long. Afterall, I’m having such a difficult time getting my own stuff published, why would someone else have an easier time of it?
So, my recommendation is to find a writer’s group that fits your needs and is supportive. Then, write, write and write!
4 August 2009
I learned at the Historical Novels Conference this June that successful authors must have blogs. I cringe a little at this idea, as I am fairly appalled at the amount of personal information published on the web. It seems to me an intimation of bad taste. Would Jane Austen blog to her readers, describing every detail of Harris Bigg-Wither’s marriage proposal? Would she, in her next blog, explain that Bigg-Wither is, in truth, a cad whom she cannot possibly marry, with illustrations of his poor character? I think not.
Nevertheless, I desperately want to be a successful author—the term “successful” here being defined as “published.” So, here is my blog. In entries to come, you will hear about my life as a writer and reader, and as a teacher of writing. In proper good taste, you will learn little about my arousing, arresting, bracing, electrifying, exhilarant, eye-popping, far-out, hair-raising, heady, impelling, racy, rip-roaring, rousing, spine-tingling, , titillating, zestful, and oh-so-mysterious personal life.
(The author would like to thank thesaurus.com for sections of today’s blog.)