Showing posts from November, 2010

Christmas Wish List (Barbara's First Blog of Christmas)

7:55AM.  My fingers hovered over the keyboard waiting.  Tension hunched my shoulders and adrenaline rattled my arms.  I felt like a horse in the starting gate of the Kentucky Derby. All I want for Christmas is an agent, and for one lucky writer, The Knight Agency wants to grant that wish.  To enter, I had to be one of the first 125 people to post a comment on their blog starting at 8:00AM. I refreshed the window every few seconds, waiting for the entry blog to appear at 8.  I set my cell phone alarm, so I wouldn't miss the time.  At 8, the blog appeared. I scrolled to the Comments link, amazed to find that no comments had posted yet.  Did I really have a chance? By the time the comment window popped up, sixteen comments showed up on the blog.  Don't panic, just type. I typed it short and sweet and hit publish. Oh no!  An error!  (Basically, too many people clicking on Publish Comment at the same time.) I hit the back button, prepared to type again.  There were alr

Michael Connelly, Steve Berry ... and Bob Strother

In August 2007, I discovered a state-wide, non-profit writing community, South Carolina Writers' Workshop (SCWW), and quickly became involved in the organization. Since then, I've rubbed elbows with agents, editors, and authors including Michael Connelly and Steve Berry. I can't list everyone I've met.  Several of them are not household names, yet, but one name you should learn is Bob Strother. Bob Strother's work has appeared in a number of literary journals and magazines, and he was recently nominated for the Small Press Pushcart Prize. His stories explore our innocence and our dark sides, always making the reader stop, think ... and often cringe. I've enjoyed listening to Bob read his forays into the world of human nature, lulled by his voice which sounds like Dick Estell of NPR Radio Reader fame. That’s why I’m thrilled to tell you about his upcoming print collection of short stories: Scattered, Smothered, and Covered . Here's a taste of what you w


My blog title violates one of the basic tenets of good communication I cover in most every training class:  don't use jargon if your audience might not know the meaning of the term.  Still, I broke the rule.  Any idea why?  I'll explain at the end of this blog, but for now, I'd like to tell you what NaNoWriMo means. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) began in 1999 with a group of writers in the San Francisco Bay area.  NaNoWriMo draws writers and would-be writers together in November to each write a 50,000 word novel.  It's a no-holds-barred approach to writing.  Just write!  Get it down and dirty, but get it down. Most writers know that first drafts never look pretty anyway, so the goal of NaNoWriMo isn't as far-fetched as it seems.  Even so, this is my first year trying to do it.  Why?  November ain't the easiest month for me to commit to writing 50,000 words.  November has elections, my birthday, several friends' birthdays, and Thanksgiving, no

Vote for Your Rights

It took twenty-two minutes total—from my house, to the polling place, to vote and return to my house.  That's it.  I did choose the middle of the morning, but with all the media talking about the impact of this election, I thought I might have to stand in line for a little while.  Nope.  I waited three minutes before the volunteer escorted me to a booth. I hate politics, so I'm not going to riff on who I voted for or who should win, but I can't help but feel a little put out when I'm the 77th person in my precinct to vote at 10:45 am.  Seriously?  My husband went a couple hours later and he was 98th. What a turn out. My parents raised me to vote in every election.  It's a right that so many people take for granted.  I realize with the negative media, it can be confusing, and a little overwhelming, to decide who to vote for, but with a little research you should be able to make a decision. No, the candidates aren't perfect.  Last I checked, I wasn't perf