Friday, May 28, 2010

WAIT A MINUTIA

Details!
The bane of writers.
Making sure everything is correct.
Otherwise your editor will really let you have i!.
That’s why it’s hard to sit through a movie…
And not notice details.
This week I saw both Robin Hood and Sex in the City 2.
Enjoyed Robin Hood.
Loved Sex in the City2!
What can I say?
I’m a Sex in the City kind of gal.
But in both movies…
There were things that made me go, hmm?
Like continuity issues in Robin Hood…
Now you see curls in King Richard The Lionheart’s hair…
Now you don’t.
Now the trees have leaves…
Now they don't.
And then in Sex in the City 2
I got caught in the glam details…
The clothes…
The sets and location…
And whose forehead had the most Botox.
But mostly I got caught up in the camera lens.
In both movies everyone looked like stick people.
Even the horses.
Why I don’t know if the huts in Robin Hood were made of wattle and daub…
I do know the size of Carrie’s calves.
And yes, Sarah Jessica Parker has thin calves…
But not that thin.
(Hey! Can someone use that lens on me?)
Ah,
I often long for times past…
When I could go to a movie…
Transcend reality for a couple of hours…
And not get caught up in minutia.

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, May 27, 2010

AW-THENTIC

Aw.
Hometown girl…
Crystal Bowersox…
Didn’t win American Idol 2010 last night.
Her future though is bright none-the-less.
And you got to give the girl her due…
And her do (hair)…
She kept it all real…
Kept her own style…
And she kept her composure.
She took rejection up on stage in front of 7,000 + fans…
And 20 million TV viewers…
And didn’t cry.
In fact, she looked radiant.
At 24 she’s got more self-control than I do at my age.
Yes, I admit…
I’ve shed a few tears when I got a rejection letter.
And last night…
At another live performance…
I shed a few more.
My 5-year-old grandson was on stage for the kindergarten recital.
He and all the other kids sang little hearts out…
Performing patriotic songs…
And grandma got teary.
Well, what can I say?
Later, I went to bed thinking about performing…
Or whatever you do…
That you got to do it with all your heart …
Keep it real…
And be true to yourself…
With your own style.
I guess when it comes to my writing…
I feel I am keeping it real, with my style and voice.
And it may take awhile to find that agent …
Who absolutely loves and sees potential…
In my stories …
But I know eventually I will.


Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

UC&P

OK, I admit it…
I’d heard about BEA…
And read some agent’s blogs about BEA…
But I’ve never actually researched all the ins and out of:
BookExpo America
So I Googled it.
OMG!
My knowledge of the publishing world just EX’d…    
Ex-ploded…
Ex-panded…
Ex-pounded…
And then I explored the exhibitor list of BEA…
Dude!
Huge!
Over 1,500!
And over 500 authors attending!
Even Barbra Streisand was there.
It used to be…
Whenever I’d read or heard an agent’s comment…
 “This is a business, it's not personal”…
(especially when explaining the rejection process)
I always thought of Michael Corleone’s line from The Godfather
“It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”
I then smiled because I got it!
But now…
After checking out BEA…
My perspective on publishing is that it’s not strictly business…
It’s a BIG business!
And from now on…
Not only am I going to look at it as a BIG business.
But up close and personally too.

Always, Em-Musing
P.S. This is the first time I've ever used/written "dude"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

AUTHOR ON DEMAND

I love that I can order TV shows on demand
Like Castle.
On cable.
Didn’t watch the season finale of Castle the night it aired…
But I did yesterday.
OMG!
The best episode ever!
I mean…
The tension between Castle and Beckett was great!
The ending was bittersweet.
And the scene when Castle has angst over character 
development is priceless…
To any author who has similarly struggled.
(I’m guessing all authors)
But I almost fell off my sofa at the poker game scene.
OMG!
There, sitting across from Rick Castle were…
Stephen J. Cannell, Michael Connelly, and James Patterson.
OK fellow Writers?
Does a TV show get any better than this?
Well, depending on the genre…
I guess it could.
Hmm?
If Rick Castle’s genre was say, horror instead of mystery…
Who would be at the poker table?
King, Straub, and Koontz?
And what about romance?
Roberts, Macomber, Collins?
And then there’s women’s fiction…
And all the other genres.
Hmm?
Let’s say you were having a genre party…
What genre would it be?
And what authors would you like to see at your table?

Always, Em-Musing

P.S. While doing research for this blog, I came upon Wikipedia’s listing 
of best selling fiction authors.  
There, listed as writing 4,000 romance novels (pause to gasp), was 
Spanish author, Corín Tellado (1927 – 2009). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corín_Tellado
I’m in awe that she was so prolific.
I’m exhausted just imagining writing that many novels,
And…
I’m going to quit whining about anything to do with my writing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

LITTLE MISS MUFFIN

Yay!
Actually got up this morning at 4:30.
My favorite time.
No distractions.
After making my coffee…
I brought my mug…
And one of my homemade fruit/veggie/fiber muffin/bars…
Into my office and made my list of “to do’s” for the day.
I was in heaven!
I figured I had a few hours…
Before the phone calls started…
And my mind wandered.
My goal was to send out five queries today.
But first I’d blog.
Had one already in mind but then–
SPIDER ALERT!
Overhead…
Circling…
Too high to hit…
It then moved down the wall.
Round and round it scurried…
Getting ever increasingly closer to me…
(Why? What does it want?!)
And then…
IT’S COMING STRAIGHT AT ME!
Time to get my weapons.
A flip flop and my Swifter floor cleaner.
And now…
It’s within smashing range…
I grab the flip flop…
Take aim…
TWHAP!
MISSED!
DAMN IT!
It fell behind a book case…
That is right next to me…
That’ll fall apart if I move it.
So I take the Swifter and push it under the bookcase
Hoping to snare it.
But no spider.
I wait for it to crawl out.
No spider.
I stand waiting, watching for 5 minutes.
No spider.
At some point I know I have to sit down again.
But I keep glancing around the room…
Every spec on the floor is suspicious.
And I’m suddenly itchy everywhere.
Where is the spider?
If I don’t see him again…
I don’t know If I can get anything done today.
At least in my office.
Maybe it’s time to pack up my laptop…
Grab my Starbucks gift card…
And work where I know there will be distractions…
But no spiders.

Always, Em-Musing


Friday, May 21, 2010

SUNNY SIDE UGH!

I’ve been complaining all spring…
About the sun not coming out…
Well the other day it did…
Gloriously!
I was in the kitchen…
Making some homemade organic bar concoction…
So when I’m hungry and want to keep writing…
I don’t’ have to resort to a pre-packed protein bar…
That really doesn’t have much substance.
(mine has fruit, veggie, nuts, flax meal and a secret ingredient)
Anyway…
The sweet potato peel dropped to the floor…
And slipped way under the stove… (how’d it do that?)
So I had to get on my hands and knees to find it–
OMG!
Something else was down there!
EEUUWW!
Was it alive?
Wasn’t sure.
It had hair—like a cat.
Too little for a cat though.
Was this my cat’s cloning attempt gone awry?
No. That’s silly.
Perhaps a kitten?
But I don't have a kitten.
And what ever that thing was…
Wasn't moving…
It was also fluffy and see-through.
A kitten ghost?
No, that’s even sillier!
And then…
The sun’s rays…
Shone on whatever the hairy thing was and–
EEEUUWW!
A DUST BUNNY!
A big, old, hairy, greasy conglomeration…
Of cat hair, cooking grease, crumbs, dried macaroni…
And what ever else had slimed its way down there.
How could I have missed this evolving, disgusting creature
When I cleaned there all winter long?
But I guess that’s what happens…
When the sun don’t shine…
You find all kinds of things…
Where the sun don't shine.


Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

RE: GUT ACTION

I wasn’t going to blog today…
Or at least this morning.
Because I told myself that I MUST …
Continue editing those first 30 pages…
Before submitting them to an agent with my query.
But I wanted to share a blog I came upon…
I stumbled upon it from someone else’s blog…
Just can’t remember whose.
In particular, The Intern’s 3/12/10 post caught my eye…
“The Ten Best Things You Can Do For Your Manuscript”
It was the Intern’s thoughts on why some manuscripts make it…
And why most don’t.
And it’s why I’m still editing this morning before submitting.
And to think…
I almost jumped the gun…
And submitted too soon.
Why?
Because sometimes I get caught up in other writer’s time.
Especially when they share that they write so many words a day…
Or write for so many hours…
I start to feel like a slacker…
And that this manuscript should be out the door…
And on an agent’s desk…
No matter what!
Even though something in my gut says…
Hmm? Not quite there yet.
But thankfully for my manuscript…
I saw The Intern’s blog…
And will not settle for “anyway.”
(you gotta check out her 3/12/10 post)
And I’ll submit when each sentence, paragraph, and page…
Resonates in my gut.

Always, Em-Musing

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

MUSE ICK!




Last week…
After posting on my blog…
That I was a nervous wreck…
Anticipating pitching at the RWA national convention…
I realized I’d better start practicing…
So as not to be such a wuss.
Well, I started practicing everywhere in my apartment…
The kitchen…
The living room…
My office…
And even in the shower.
And of course being wordy and rambling…
(and loving loooong hot showers)
My pitching practice continued…
After I stepped out of the shower…
Dried off…
And stood in front of the mirror…
To do my hair and make-up for the--
Aaahh!
My muse!
Was staring back at me!
Lord!
She’d left my shoulder…
And was in the mirror!
And in full blown “Pitch” mode!
OMG!
Where were all those corny comments coming from?
Who’d did she think she was? A comedian?
And what were all those facial expressions?
Who’d she think she was? Meryl Streep?
Cripes!
I don’t know what’s worse?
Being a wuss or a wacko?
And then suddenly…
I realized exactly what I need to do!
Practice at Panera’s!
Well, not by myself to a bunch of strangers.
But with my fellow writers…
At our weekly coffee klatch!
It’s so good to have friends who are writers…
Because…
Not only do they understand me…
They understand my muse…
(Because they have one too.)

Always, Em-Musing





Friday, May 14, 2010

THE LIT TEASE


Lately…
I’ve been reading on agent’s & writer’s blogs…
About the pitch and the hook.
So, I’m guessing that if you’re a writer reading this…
You probably don’t need any visuals to understand them.
But I can’t help myself…
Visually is how I think sometimes.
And that’s when it struck me…
What the pitch and hook would look like.
OK—THE PITCH
That one or two sentence elevator spiel.
Picture yourself holding a time bomb…
You have 30 seconds…
Before it goes off.
But you can’t get rid of it…
Until you say your 30 second pitch of absolute literary wonder.
TICK TOCK
And it better be good!
Otherwise
BOOM!
Yup! You bombed!
And now —THE HOOK
You’re on stage
You have one chance…
To give a one-sentence enticing hook of your book.
If it’s good…
You get to continue.
But if it stinks?
A big giant  

HOOK 
(sorry, couldn't get the clip art to paste here)

Will literally (or literarily)…
Yank you off stage.
So?
Has thinking visually helped me come up with my own pitch and hook?
Nope!
Because the only visual pasted across my brain lately…
Is me trembling…
With copious sweat dripping off of me…
Cowering in a corner…
At RWA Nationals in Orlando
Waiting for my pitch session…
With an agent or editor.
I’M SUCH A WUSS!
Time for me to muster up some self esteem…
Or courage…
Or meditative techniques to calm down…
Or…
A better deodorant.

Always, Em-Musing

Question:  What do you think this quote is talking about?  
                 “It’s become a bit of a pitch word to hook 
                  people’s interest.”

Answer:    BURLESQUE  -  So said Chicago burlesque dancer 
                                           Michelle L’Amou in an interview.         
                                           And if anyone knows the art of 
                                           “show” don’t “tell” and teasing 
                                           the audience and having them 
                                           craving for more, it’s a 
                                           burlesque dancer.






Thursday, May 13, 2010

SPRINGTIME FANTASY

“Spring is my favorite season!”
Really?
It’s what a lot of people say to me.
But it has to be the spring in their heads…
Or screensaver photos of spring…
Or spring depicted in movies…
Or the spring in their imagination…
Because no one in their right mind…
Would love the spring the Midwest is having now…
And a good portion of the East too.
Of course the flowers and flowering trees are gorgeous.
Of course they are!
But the gloomy, rainy, still cold days…
Are getting to me.
And it happens every year!
At least here.
But I can say that I love…
The “few” postcard perfect days…
That manage to occur.
So…
As far as I’m concerned…
I just wish…
The wishy-washy days of spring…
Would come to an end…
And the consistency of summer would get here.
At least I’d know how to dress.
And just out of curiosity…
And just so I didn’t look like the biggest pessimist in the literary world…
I Googled poets…
To see what some of them thought about spring.
And I found these:

The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day When the sun is out and the wind is still, You're one month on in the middle of May. But if you so much as dare to speak, A cloud comes over the sunlit arch, A wind comes off a frozen peak, And you're two months back in the middle of March.   Robert Frost

O, how this spring of love resembleth 
The uncertain glory of an April day!  
William Shakespeare

If there comes a little thaw, Still the air is chill and raw, Here and there a patch of snow, Dirtier than the ground below, Dribbles down a marshy flood; Ankle-deep you stick in mud In the meadows while you sing, "This is Spring."  Christopher Pearce Cranch

in Just-- spring when the world is mud-- luscious the little lame balloonman whistles far and wee 
e e cummings

April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.  T.S. Eliot

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.  George Santayana    *my favorite

Thanks guys! I feel better.

Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

OH SEA CAN YOU SAY


I was sitting in my car at the long bank line yesterday…
(Outside temp 45, pouring rain)
When I noticed something odd.
No, not that it was friggin’ cold for spring…
But an electrical line full of birds.
And even that isn’t odd in and of itself.
There were some grackles, a few pigeons and…
A seagull.
Hmm? It just seemed odd for a web-footed sea bird…
To be perched up on a line.
But a bigger “hmm?” to me is…
Why do some gulls come inland anyway…
And hang around seas of asphalt?
So I Googled it.
Seems they’re scavengers…
And like to eat rodents.
Guess they’re a good thing in grocery store lots…
And garbage dump sites.
But is that why they came inland in the first place?
And that made me remember when I came inland.
I moved from Long Island as a teenager…
With my parents to Toledo…
It was not only a culture shock. . .
But a water shock.
Sorry, Lake Erie. I like salt water.
Suddenly, John Masefield’s poem, “Sea-Fever” came to mind.
It's one of my favorites…
I relate to his poem...
And specifically to this stanza:

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

And one day, I will live by the salty sea again.

Always-Em-Musing