Monday, April 25, 2011

What Not To Write To A Potential Literary Agent

I've been traveling around the writing/publishing part of the blogosphere and came across this great blog (click link below).  From their About Me:  "BookEnds, LLC, is a literary agency focusing on fiction and nonfiction books for adult audiences. Primary agents include Jessica Faust and Kim Lionetti."
They post some great stuff that I think would be helpful to writers.  This particular post is hilarious.  I hope you enjoy. 

BookEnds, LLC — A Literary Agency: LOL: "It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of the laughter here at BookEnds, but the minute this came into my inbox I knew I had to pass it al..."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Female Writers In Late Night

It's a sad state of affairs.  I don't have a lot of time this evening, but I had to share this.  Click the link below to find out more.
Stargazing blog by Malene Arpe

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I did some writing today…

I’ve been feeling more inspired lately.  I think it’s partly because I’m in the second half of my pregnancy.  Doctors say that dreams are more vivid in pregnant women.  I think that’s true.  I was having many nightmares during my first trimester and my husband and I realized it was because of a television show that I sometimes watched before bed.  I didn’t stop watching the show, but it stopped being the last thing I watched and I stopped watching the re-runs.

I think that dreams are often connected to the imagination.  I’ve had so many new ideas lately and thoughts on expanding old ones.  So my husband took my daughter out for a couple hours and I got to write.  Below is a sample of a short story that has been unfinished for likely around a year.  I think it’s done now.  It just needs some editing.

Dear Sarah,

It’s been weeks and still no news from you.  I need to know that you’re okay.  Please call me. My home, cell and work phone numbers are below.



These letters of yours are getting rather personal and we are not in what you think is regular correspondence.  I appreciate that you own some of my paintings and you are a fan, but you should remember that I don’t know you.  I haven’t met most people who have purchased my work.  I would ask that you remember this when you write letters to myself or any other artist.



I do know you.  I know so much about you.  Your image is reflected in every stroke of your paintbrush.  I imagine being there when you paint.  Your studio filled with light, the glow of the sun in your hair.  The way you remodeled your home to fit your needs was brilliant, even if Claude was against some of the changes.  He doesn’t know you like I do.  He doesn’t see into your soul.

I only saw a brief mention of a discussion group on your website.  The information was incomplete, then the entire thing went down.  We’re going to have to see each other some other way.  If you insist on being with Claude, I can be discreet.  Eventually, you’ll see we were made for each other.

Forever yours,


Friday, April 15, 2011

Author E-Signatures In The Works?

Jennifer at Crazy For Books posted about author e-signatures.  If ebooks are growing in popularity, this seems like a logical step.  Click the link for more information.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I’ve just sent 3 of my stories out into the world.  Will any of them get accepted?  Is it terrible that I try not to hope?  I want them to be seen by more than just me and the handful of people I’ve let read them.  I’m just scared.  I’ve read a lot of rejection letters.  I’m also more emotional because of the pregnancy.  So I’m going to put myself out there more by posting samples of the stories I’ve sent.

The scent of the rose drifted up. Ashley sniffed the flower, but did not smile. She didn’t know what to say. Should she say thank you? Should she throw the flower back in his face? Yes, she still cared about Chad; they had been together for a long time, but it was over. He had to learn that. He had to move forward with his life as she was trying to do with hers.
Chad…” There was sympathy in her voice, sorrow for the pain.
He peered into her. The longing inside him reached her. Was she weakening? “I want you to come home, Ash.”
Ashley breathed deeply. No, she did not want to move back in with him. She no longer wanted to marry him, if she ever really had. How many times would she need to say this? How many more times would she have to hurt him with her words? Chad had never noticed them drifting apart; he never noticed much of anything.
“I’m not moving back in with you, Chad. I don’t want to have to say it again. I don’t want us to keep hurting each other.”
Chad furrowed his brow. “I’m not hurting you. You’ve hurt yourself by leaving.” His voice was low and angry, though Ashley could tell that he was trying to remain calm, trying to move beyond anger to win her back.
Ashley held back a sigh. Her day had been going so well. Another argument was the last thing she wanted. She thought she had left that behind when she’d moved out. “I told you before, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. We tried to make it work… For a while I thought it was going to, but you didn’t really change. You did what I asked you to do for a few weeks, then everything went back to the way it was. I can’t live like that. You shouldn’t have to either.”
“You’re wrong,” he declared, like a candidate wanting her vote.
“No, I’m not. We’re going to take some time apart…take a break. Can’t you just give it some time?” Ashley’s body language lowered, her shoulders slouched. It was time for Chad to go away.
It was as though he had expected it all to get better today. One visit. One rose. She would return with him, and everything would go back to normal. Chad clenched his jaw. His hands formed tight fists, nails digging into skin. He fumed inside, Ashley could see it, but he wanted to keep control. He wanted her to come home.
Ashley didn’t know what to do. She wanted to just walk away. Go inside her parents’ house, her home again, and forget that Chad had ever shown up. That’s all she wanted. A quiet, uneventful day.
Cautiously, she took a step back. Chad moved forward. Why couldn’t she get away? “I’m going inside now, Chad.” Why couldn’t he let her go?
Chad’s anger flared. “We’re talking!”
“No, you’re talking. I’ve said everything I have to say… Just give me my space.” Ashley half-grinned, attempting a conclusion. She shut the car door and turned to walk to the house.
Chad’s chest heaved, his jaw clenched. “You have to listen to me.”

*           *           *

Paul and Nikki exchanged a brief glance. Their father seemed to be in a pleasant mood. Maybe today will be a good day. Henry is in a good way. We can all have an enjoyable breakfast. Maybe I’ll have a whole week without anything bad happening.
Nikki watched firmly as her father began to take the food she had prepared. As he finished, she nodded to her brother to begin taking the food he wanted. Paul seemed to force himself not to ravage his breakfast. He placed as much food as he could on his plate without his father taking notice. Once it was there, Paul looked at his father, who remained captivated by his daughter’s culinary delights. Paul restrained himself and managed not to inhale the meal. Nikki noticed that he did eat quickly though.
            “Nikole?” Henry was suddenly staring at his daughter.
            “Yes, Henry?” she answered immediately.
            “Aren’t you hungry for this wonderful food you were so kind as to prepare for us?”
            Kindness had nothing to do with it. She glared down at her plate and saw only half a slice of bread and one sausage. Nikki did not feel particularly hungry. “Sorry, I guess I don’t have much of an appetite this morning.”
            Quiet fell over the table. Henry contentedly ate his breakfast. Nikki could sense his thoughts. He enjoyed every succulent bite, as he had so many times before. He felt no need to raise his voice or punish his children. He watched them so fixedly, every bite they ate under his scrutiny. Paul consumed his food with great care, appreciating every bite. Nikole nibbled at her breakfast. What a polite lady he had made her. Perhaps her appetite would return later in the day. Each child was so disciplined; Henry fell deeper into his calmness. There was nothing to interrupt his mood. All Nikki wanted was to let her father finish his food, clean the kitchen and go to her room.
            When Nikki put the last bite of her food in her mouth, the phone rang. Henry angered immediately. “Who could be calling us this early in the morning?” A discernible annoyance appeared in his voice; Nikki quickly rose out of her seat.
            Before picking up the phone, she glanced down at the digital display; it read 11:27 a.m. She took a deep breath and spoke to the caller. “Hello, Kritisch residence.”
            “Nikki, is that you?” A familiar voice was on the other end. Blood rushed to her face.
            “Yes, may I ask who is calling?” Nikki knew who was on the line; she knew everything that was about to happen.
            “Nik? It’s me, Danny.”
            Danny.” A whisper, Nikki allowed herself a momentary tingle. Danny was actually calling her house. It’s Danny! Why is he calling? Did I do something stupid last night? Did I embarrass myself? Is he calling because he doesn’t want to ever see me again? Nikki’s thoughts were jumbled, interrupted by Henry.
            “Nikole?” Her eyes met her father’s intense stare. “I would like to know who’s on the phone.”
            Adolescent excitement crashed down around her. Fear took over. Nikki stated a half-truth she hoped her father would accept, “It’s just someone from school, Henry. No big deal.” She attempted a dismissive though respectful tone.
            “Nikole, what have I told you about having your friends call at this time in the morning on Sunday!” Henry gritted his teeth, and Paul slid down further into his chair. Henry spoke through clenched teeth. “Get off the phone now. We haven’t finished our meal.”
            Nikki turned herself away from her father as a tear welled, but she held it back. She breathed deeply, hearing the caring voice of her friend, “Nikki, are you okay? Was that your father? Can you talk?”
            She had to end it swiftly, “Look, Danny, I’m kind of busy right now. I can’t talk to anyone. I’ll see you at school tomorrow… Bye.”
            “But Nikki . . .” She hung up. Nikki took a difficult breath and turned to face her father.
            He now stood out of his seat, his eyes focused sharply on his daughter. Without thinking, Nikki strode back to the table and cleared the dishes. Everything was cleaned. Paul had eaten all that could fit inside his stomach. Nikki felt her father’s eyes on her back as she moved around the kitchen. She opened up the dishwasher and put in the plates, cutlery and whatever else was dishwasher-safe. As Nikki worked, Henry stared harder at her. Her anxiety had returned, the day of peace gone. She stole a glimpse of her brother. She could see the tears filling his eyes. Eyes at that age should still be innocent, not full of dread.

*           *           *

Frail hands reached into the musty closet.  It was dark.  She had forgotten the light.  Stupid.  The thick wool jacket was rough against thin skin.  The heavy coat emerged and she stepped back.  This was once light as a feather.  Slowly, the jacket covered her small frame.  She breathed deeply.  One hurdle crossed.
            Socked feet shuffled to a wooden bench by the closed door.  She shook her head, looking down.  Her socks always managed to fall, though new.  Did ankles shrink?  Weight traveling to the torso.  Another failure of age.  Another un-improvement.
            Bones creaked as she bent, sitting slowly.  No more plopping down on a bench.  She carefully slid on comfortable loafers.  The thick soles cushioned against harsh tile and bone.  She wiggled her toes.  A sneer curled as she pulled up the socks.  Too old to mutter curses.  Rising, a hand quickly reached to her back, bracing herself.  She was a little stunned at how fast her hand moved.  Small favours.