Wednesday, July 28, 2010

BATTING ABOVE AVERAGE

Finally!
RWA National Conference day has come.
Lord knows I’m ready.
And as promised…
My new shape!
Don’t see it?
It’s in the little photo box of me.
OK…
It’s just me in a new hat…
But it’s not just a hat…
Really!
This hat makes me feel confident…
This hat makes me feel stylish…
This hat…
Hides my wrinkles.
No, just kidding.
I don’t know…
Maybe it’s like in the movie, The Mask
When Jim Carey put it on…
He altered.
Well, that’s how I feel—altered…
Or shifted…
Or delusional!
But whatever…
I’m wearing this hat to Orlando.
And if I pitch and bomb…
Or worse…
I don’t even get to pitch…
At least I’ll be networking my little heart out…
In my new persona…
And if for nothing else
I'll be remembered as…
The old bat in the hat.

Always, Em-Musing

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

RWA SHIFTER

While my current novels aren’t paranormal…
(some may say they’re not normal, but that’s another matter)
I have written two that are.
In my second novel for instance…
I have a shape shifter.
What a concept!
Shifting into another form!
Imagine the possibilities!
And what fun you could have!
Well, I’m going to tell you a secret…
I too have…
“Shifted.”
Really!
I won’t show you my shifted self today…
But in tomorrow’s post I will.
Tomorrow’s post won’t be long…
Because…
Ta ta ta DAH!
I’m leaving for RWA National Conference in the morning!
WOO HOO and YEE HAAA!
And I’d love to think I’ll be so organized…
That I’ll be all  packed tonight…
But I’ve traveled enough to know…
ALWAYS there’s something at the last minute
That’ll eat up time.
So while I won’t have a long post tomorrow…
I will post a photo of my “shifted” self.
And actually…
It’s my “shifted” self who’s going to RWA nationals.
Somehow in this persona…
I feel more confident.
And thanks to all who wished me good luck and good health yesterday.
My throat, back and dryer are…
Better, better, fixed.
So…
See you…
Or rather…
You’ll see the new me…
Tomorrow!

Always, Em-Musing

Monday, July 26, 2010

I NEED A FIX

Either I woke up in an alternative universe…
Or this is one bad day!
And it's only 6:00 A.M.!
Normally, I never ask “why?” when things go wrong.
I usually just rationalize—it’s life. Life happens.
But bad things are happening this morning.
And I don't know why considering
I had a good weekend!
New business cards that look great!
Practiced my pitch to my writer group Saturday!
(a bit long, but they liked it. I’ll tweak)
Even bought  new pair of heels for RWA Nationals
And they're comfortable!
But I woke up hearing a motor humming.
Hmm?
Oh, no!
My dryer!
Still going!
Since last night!
I jumped out of bed…
OW!
My back!
Just went out!
Why?
How?
All I did was sleep!
(It couldn't be the heels, could it?)
Hobbled…
Ow!
To the dryer…
Clothes still damp.
Why did my dryer quit drying?
With three loads of clothes yet to do?
Including some lingerie for RWA Nationals too!
I hobbled downstairs…
Ow! Ow! OW!
Feel like a train wreck!
I ache all over!
Even in my
Dear God!
An impending sore throat!
(I knew I shouldn’t have picked my teeth with my finger last night!)
OK! That's enough!
I’m going to take Aleve Cold and Sinus
And some vitamin C and zinc
Chase them with a glass of Airborne…
Then grab the Yellow pages…
Hobble back upstairs
Crawl back to bed with the phone…
Wait till 9 A.M
To call a repairman, my chiropractor, and my doctor…
And see if me and my dryer can be fixed before…
Wednesday morning…
When I leave for…
RWA Nationals.
OW!

Always, Em-Musing

Friday, July 23, 2010

CLOSE COUNTERS OF THE QUERY KIND

All day yesterday…
I rewrote…
Rehearsed…
And rehashed…
All things query and pitch…
Till my mind felt like a saturated dishrag…
And my nerves wiry like a Brillo pad.
All of the pitches I had practiced…
And all the new queries I had written…
Felt contrived…
Forced…
And phony.
Early evening…
I stood in the kitchen…
With a sink-full of dishes…
And heard a voice in my head.
OK
Just so that you don’t think I’ve gone off the deep end…
It wasn’t a weird voice…
Or a voice of a celebrity or God…
That I heard.
It was me—my own inner voice…
Anyway…
My inner me said, “Just tell the story…
Don’t try to be cute or clever…
Just tell your protagonist’s story…
With the conflict she faces.”
And then…
With my hands submerged in suds…
Washing the grease from the frying pan…
A query/pitch flowed out of me.
Clean and simple.
I went to bed with this query/pitch still in my mind.
And when I woke up…
It was still there.
So for now…
This is my story…
And I’m sticking to it.
And I pray…
With the RWA National conference in Orlando less than a week away
This one has staying power.

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, July 22, 2010

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE WORD KIND

Years go…
(many, many)
I was in advertising…
And attended a seminar.
The speaker stood at the podium…
And announced his topic…
Intellectual incest.
A collective, “HUH!” gasped ‘round the room.
Just the reaction he wanted.
He then went on to explain the concept.
I don’t have his exact words…
But here is what I found on the Internet:
 Intellectual incest is a situation where too many people in a group all think alike and exclude legitimate diverse viewpoints. Not all points of view are intelligent arguments but sometimes when people become too uniform, they fail to evolve for lack of fresh new ideas. The concept is similar to genetic inbreeding. Realists are encouraged to exchange ideas with people who are not of the same mindset because it gives both individuals the opportunity to learn something new.  When people hang out with people who agree on everything then there is less opportunity to learn from a new point of view and it leads to stagnation.
Why do I even bring this up?
Yesterday…
I had a meeting with someone in marketing and advertising…
To talk about me as an author…
And how best to market myself…
After I’m published.
(yes, I will be one day)
I happened to bring two versions of my query letter…
Ones that I’ve been working on for more months than I want to admit.
I showed them to him…
Not for a critique…
But rather so he could see what my book is about.
He read them 
Then looked at me and said, “Pitch me.”
My head reeled. Was he kidding? Pitch him?
“You’re going to a national conference next week and hope to pitch, so pitch me.”
My mind spun trying to find the rehearsed words…
I did…
And I pitched…
Rather clumsily I might add. But pitch I did.
He then looked at me and smiled…
“I don’t see the conflict,” he said, “the high stakes.”
HUH! I gasped in my head, not wanting to look stunned.
Could it be?
That the query and pitch I’ve worked on for months…
Has a hole?
Big enough to drive a Mac truck through?
Am I too close to my own story?
Not objective?
Yes!
As painful as it is to admit, yes.
So here I sit…
Again…
Revising my query…
And reworking my pitch.
With RWA Nationals just a week away…
I’m feeling the pressure.
Do I work better under pressure?
Not sure how to gauge
But I'll keep you updated.

Always, Em-Musing 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CAN WRITERS DIGEST?

I swear!
I hadn’t planned on writing another story…
About spiders!
But yesterday, on the blog, Pimp My Novel
Eric’s topic was, "You Ain’t in it For The Money."
(Eh hem? Aren’t you in publishing for the money?) 
Anyway, here’s a blurb from his blog…
From this week's New Yorker:    [Rod Blagojevich's] wife, Patti, ate a tarantula in a contest with the actor Lou Diamond Phillips in Costa Rica for the reality show "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!" The couple explained that they needed the money.
(That story actually happened in 2009)
Eric went on to write, May you never need money so badly.
And I pray I never do.
However, both the New Yorker story and Eric’s post from Pimp My Novel…
Got me thinking about the money side of writing
And how far I, or other authors would go to get published.
And then the TV show,  Fear Factor came to mind.
Remember? It’s when part of the show…
Consisted of the contestants eating gross things.
So?
What if…
(and the assumption here is that there are five great manuscripts)
Five unpub’d authors had to compete and eat gross things…
To win…
A signed contract with an agent?
Hmm?
Would I?
Could I?
Ever eat a tarantula?
Well…
I really want to get published…
But in what form would the tarantula be?
Raw?
Chopped with mayonnaise on a cracker?
In a shake?
OK! Enough!
I guess…
If ever that actually happened…
I'd figure it out then.
But for now…
Thank the Lord…
We unpub’d authors…
Don't have to face gross situations
In order to get published.
We just have to do it the old fashioned way…
Write a great story…
Write a great query…
Pitch a great pitch…
And take our chances with the odds.
And I can digest that.



Always, Em-Musing

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

KING ME

Thank you Stephen King.
Thank you for reminding me I need to read…
Thank you for giving me permission to find the time to read…
Thank you for pointing out that in order to be a good writer…
A writer must read.
On my friend Connie’s  blog last week…
She had this clip of Stephen King.
Oh, and it’s not that I don’t read…
I do.
But I don’t dedicate specific time every day for reading.
(unless you consider time on the pot)
Reading always feels like a guilty pleasure…
When there are so many other things that need to get done.
It’s why I love to fly.
What else can  you do at 30,000 feet
With no interruptions?
Even waiting to get on the plane…
Is valuable reading time.
Next week…
I’m going to the RWA National conference.
The plane ride to Orlando
Is about two and a half hours going…
And two and half hours coming back…
I figure that’s five hours of pure uninterrupted…
Reading time.
Except for stopping to eat
That  very small bag of peanuts.


Always, Em-Musing

Monday, July 19, 2010

THE STORY IN THE LOVE

Saw three movies last week.
Very unusual for me…
In the past…
I may have seen three movies…
In a year.
But last week it was Eclipse, Inception, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
All great movies.
Which one was my favorite?
Hmm?
The SPFX in Inception were incredible…
The action scenes even more so…
And the plot was layered…
Literally…
A dream within a dream within a dream.
And it’s not hard looking at Leonardo Dicaprio for 2 hours.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice also had great SPFX…
And action scenes.
The plot however—predictable.
But that’s OK. My grandkids loved it.
And who doesn’t love Nicolas Cage? Greasy hair and all?
In Eclipse both the SPFX and plot…
Were well done, done before and predictable…
Because obviously if you read the book…
You knew the ending.
And if you saw the first two movies…
You already saw the SPFX.
For me though…
Eclipse
Had the best action…
Oh, not the external action…
Like car chases and shoot ‘em ups.
It was the internal conflict…
That kept my interest.
Even though I knew what Bella was going to do…
I was still rooting for Jacob.
(yes, I’m team Jacob)
Just give me a love story…
Any sustaining love story
"I am here and I love you. I have always loved you and I will always love you." Edward
And that's all the SPFX I need.
(Hmm? Maybe I'm really a team Edward?)

Always, Em-Musing

Friday, July 16, 2010

THE ITCHING HOUR

Superstition says…
That if your right palm itches, money is coming your way
Well last night…
I woke up out of a sound sleep…
With the heel of my right foot itching incessantly.
So?
Being it was my right foot
Does it mean I’m going to lose money?
As I scratched, I asked myself, why would I lose money?
Then I realized that I shelled out some bucks for RWA Nationals.
What if I’m going to be a big loser there?
I quickly chided myself for thinking negatively.
It’s probably only a mosquito bite, I thought.
But there’s no blood source on a callus.
Yikes! Spider bite?
After all, the spider I almost killed got away.
Revenge?
Naw.
My cat was sleeping by my feet.
If there was a spider there, surely she would have pounced.
Then all of a sudden…
Different parts of my body started itching.
Do you know how hard it is to scratch a back while lying on it?
Hives?
Naw.
I hadn’t eaten anything new or suspicious.
I glanced at the clock—2 A.M.
It was too early to get up and start writing.
I was actually expecting it to be 3 A.M
Because isn’t that the witching hour?
And this incessant itching sure felt like…
Some evil imp was attacking me.
Hmm?
I had to find a way to get my mind off of the itching…
And the spider…
So I started reciting my pitch…
That is actually part of my latest version of my query letter.
(yes, I know, yet another version)
Over and over I recited the pitch until…
Sweet sleep came upon me…
And I woke up at my usual time of 4:30
Feeling very positive…
About my pitch and…
NO ITCH!

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, July 15, 2010

DEAD BRAIN TALKING

I feel brain dead today.
RWA Nationals is two weeks away…
And I’m still working on my pitch…
Designing a business card…
Maybe even a promotional piece…
And of course putting together my wardrobe.
I hear the hotel will be freezing!
( at least I won’t be bloated)
I also need to find photos on the Internet…
Of the famous authors that are going to be there.
Like Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber and more…
So if my luck has it 
And I wind up standing next to one of them (yeah right!)…
And they're not wearing a name tag (they don't need to)
I'll recognize them and won’t say something really stupid like…
“So what do you write?”
And speaking of name tags 
I just read in RWR
That being a "newbie," I’ll be wearing a bright orange name tag.
At first, I didn’t like that I’d be singled out like that.
But then I figured…
If I do say something stupid (very likely)…
Whoever I'm talking to
Will take pity on me because…
They’ll know I've just got a bad case of…
Newbie nerves.

Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

BANANAS FOSTER . . .

As readers of this blog know…
I have a mortal fear of spiders.
And recently…
I discovered a secret about them.
Many of you think spiders are just harmless little critters who…
Mind their own business until we (me) humans…
Stumble up on them and WHAP them with a shoe…
Putting me out of my misery.
Well, I’m here to tell you that spiders…
Are more cleaver than we can ever imagine…
They can read!
And I can prove it.
Yesterday morning…
I began figuring out what I’m going to wear to RWA nationals…
And I pulled out a tan shirtwaist dress from the closet to try on.
As I laid it on my bed…
Out scurried a black spider!.
Of course I screamed…
And of course it darted away before I could get a shoe.
For pity's sake!
What did this spider want in this dress?
Then I noticed something that made me go, “HUH?”
We all know spiders hide 
In banana shipping crates…
And sometimes in grocery store banana bins.
And I had bought this dress at…
Banana Republic!
See what I mean?
Coincidence?
I think not.

Always, Em-Musing

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

WICKED GLEE

They say you should confess your sins
To cleanse your heart…
And soul.
So here goes…
This past weekend I indulged…
In reading wicked pleasure!
No, not erotica
Not porn…
And not even scanning the obits.
No, I read with glee about other people’s misfortune…
In…
The National Enquirer
Mea culpa!
But I couldn’t help it!
The headline caught my attention.
“Plastic Surgery Shockers - Over 50 new photos.”
I know, sick right?
But in my defense…
At my age…
There’s not much I can do to make me feel better about how I look…
Except to see movie stars at my age…
Who look worse
Even after plastic surgery.
Mea culpa!

Always, Em-Musing

Monday, July 12, 2010

OY STORY

After watching my grandkids last week
And hearing them beg me to tell them scary stories…
It got me wondering just what kind of story…
Would scare the bejeebers out of me?
Well, I have a writer friend who writes paranormal…
Below is an excerpt from something she wrote in an email just this weekend. 
don't know what I just did but the last half of my book and the final edits have been erased. I have no other version except the file without the last 40 hours of work.  I hit some button that gave me a tiny text box on the cursor then it deleted a ton of stuff and said 'too many corrections in this file. I hit undo and nothing happened. I am left with an excerpt of 1 paragraph from the last eight chapters. The rest of the rewrites, edits are gone. I sobbed and screamed hysterically then called the computer store. They might, I repeat might, be able to recover a previously backed up version.
AHHHGGG!!!!!!!
There was only one thing I could to calm down after reading this frightening tale.
No, not booze
Carbonite!
I finally quit procrastinating…
And subscribed.
Hope all of you have a backup plan too.

Always,  Em-Musing