Writing Wins and Woes: How to begin?


It is almost February and I have not moved even a snail’s pace into the agenting arena. I am so stuck with “How do I begin this process?” Yes, I have Holly’s article on How to get an agent? Link for that is here:

I know about agentquery.com and I’ve looked at it before. Every time I do, I get overwhelmed with the amount of agents. It is so difficult to say to myself “I entrust my baby with this stranger.” It’s almost like finding a babysitter for your kid. I never trusted anybody but my parents, my husband’s siblings or a few times a very responsible teenage girl from church. How can I do less with the work I’ve toiled over?

I’m beginning to see a flaw in my character. I often do nothing and hope the situation rights itself in time. Guess what? That may happen with a facial blemish, but it’ll never happen with writing. I’ve got to make it happen somehow. Nobody is going to email me tomorrow with, “I’d love to publish your book. Send it right over.”

So, February starts my big agent search. Follow along. I’ll let you know how it goes. If you have any advice, no matter how big or small on how to pick an agent, let me know. I’m aware that I’ll probably query many before one even shows the vaguest interest in me.

Next week, I’ll post on what I’ve done in my baby steps to find an agent. Say a prayer for me. Thanks.

Writing Wins and Woes: Writing Resolutions and the winner is:

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And the winner is: Melinda Moore. Melinda Moore picked the same random fairy tale I chose, Beauty and The Beast. Sorry, Holly. Unfortunately, Twice Upon a Time is temporarily unavailable on Amazon. Hopefully, it will be back soon. A free copy will be sent to our winner as soon as that happens.

Here are some ideas I came up with for some new year writing resolutions. Feel free to choose one of these or come up with some of your own. I’d love some comments on these or any you might have or if you have writing resolutions of your own.

Here we go:

Writing Resolutions for 2015

1. Spend X amount of time writing each day. You pick the amount. It’s all up to you. But stretch a little.

2. Write X amount of words each day/week. I did this last year. I made my writing goal 3000 words per week. Sometimes I made it. Other times I did not.

3. Read X amount of books in the year. Make some of them writing books. A good reader is a good writer.

4. Join a writing critique group.

5. Enlist a critique partner/ hire a critique professional. Believe it or not. Some are not terribly expensive. A writer’s Path has submission guidelines for Under the Microscope. You can share the beginning of a novel/story and he will critique it for free if he picks your story. Here’s the link: http://ryanlanz.com/utm-submissions/

6. Start journaling every day. It helps keep the writing process in focus.

7. Start a blog/change up the blog you have.

8. Make a submission goal. I did this now for three years. My submission goal in the past was two submissions a week, but now that I’m going to focus more on getting a book published, I’m downsizing it a bit for this year.

9. Pursue the agenting process/ or self publishing process/ or small publishing company process. Pursue something anyway to further your writing.

10. Finish something you started. Take that short story off the shelf and finish it. Finish that novel or novella if you’re not ready for the bigger book yet. Finishing something gives you an incredible feeling of accomplishment even if it is not published.

Well, that’s a few. Now here are the ones I’ve chosen for this year.

1.My Submission goal is downsized now to one a month.

2. Writing: I’m going to endeavor to write one hour every week day. That will probably include lots of stuff; journaling, blogging, or story/novel writing. It will not include emails, though. I’m not cheating that much.

3. Reading: One book a month, at least, and three of them must be writing books.

4. Get an agent. Or try to anyway.

5. Be on the way to publishing a book.

There you have it! Feel free to comment and adopt one of these goals yourself. Share
your resolutions with me. Let’s be inspired together!

Writing Wins and Woes: Twice Upon a Time

twice upon a time

I’m very excited to announce That Twice Upon a Time a new book of fairy tale re-tellings is now available on Amazon. Yay! This was to be the week I talked about New Year’s resolutions, but I am postponing that blog to next week so I can gush on Twice Upon a Time. It’s what you expect from someone who has a story in the book, right?

But Twice Upon a Time is more than fairy tale re-tellings, it’s fairy tales with a twist. Many of the stories don’t end happily ever after, which makes this book unique. Not all the fairy tales are from stories you’ve heard about. Some of them are little known tales, like my story taken from The Enchanted Canary. This was a story I hadn’t heard about until I researched it for Twice Upon a Time. So, if you’re in the mood for a fairy tale gone wrong, a new take on an old classic, or a brand-new spin on a little known tale, read Twice Upon a Time.

And I want to help you do that. I am giving away one kindle edition of Twice Upon a Time to a lucky blog reader. I’m going to pick a random fairy tale. In the comments of this blog, I want you to pick your favorite fairy tale. If it matches my pick, you win a free kindle copy of the book. No repeats. I am only giving away one book. If the story is listed twice, the first one posted gets the book. I’ll announce the winner next week. When the winner is announced, you’ll need to email me at my paintsplashes email, paintsplashes@comcast.net with your desired email where you want your kindle edition to be sent. That’s it. I’ll have it sent as soon as I get your email.

So, comment away, everybody. Also, if you like the book, let me know. Better yet, write a review in the Amazon listing of the book. Thanks, and happy reading. That’s a real happy ever after.

Writing Wins and Woes: Paradox Child

paradox child

a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities. This is the definition for a paradox. I love the title of this book, Paradise Child, by Jane Yates. Each of our lives as writers is a bit of a paradox, isn’t it? So we are all Paradox Children. I really enjoyed reading Jane’s book. Her life in itself is also a paradox. Despite being dyslexic, which makes writing difficult, she is a wonderful writer. Her creativity shines through in this first book of the series of three. There is a lot of magic in Paradox child. Lily, a 12 year old girl lives in a family of three, her mother, Rose, and her gran. Her father isn’t around but there is a magical reason for that, too. Her family practices magic in spells but there is a good deal of H. G. Wells type science fiction, too, when Lily discovers her Mom likes to time travel. This book centers on the Pitts River Museum in Oxford, England, where Jane lives and works. There is a good deal of educational reading in this book as it explores the artifacts from the museum and weaves them into the story. Did I mention that this book is also a mystery? Children are disappearing from Lily’s school. To find out why that is I’ll have to continue on reading the Paradox Child series. Why don’t you join me? Paradox Child can be bought on Amazon for your kindle for the low, low price of $2.99. On February 12th Jane is debuting a new book, called Garden, which is inspired by the the classic, The Secret Garden. It is published by Autumn Orchard. garden_ebook

Next week, I’ll be talking about New Years resolutions for writers. I’ll share mine and have some suggestions for you. Until then: Keep writing and read a good book. Take a chance on a new writer and you might find a gem like I did with Paradox Child.

Writing Wins and Woes: Yearly Stats

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I thought the beginning of the year would be a perfect time to post my yearly stats for 2014.

Shari’s Stats:

Submissions: 76

Acceptances: 19

Rejections: 57

I hope these figures help you see that a writer’s life is challenging. Sometimes my writing life seems like the Whack a mole game. Every time I send in my work, it gets clobbered. Often times I feel like the editor is just waiting to get my piece so he can hammer it. He is poised and ready. Here it comes. Whack! But really, it’s not true. There are acceptances. Yes, they are few and far between, but they motivate me to keep going.

Here is the good news for this year: I had a publication in Daily Science Fiction. This is something I worked hard to accomplish. It was a goal that I realized!

Guardian Angel Kids included me in their online magazine 6 times this year! That means a 50% acceptance rate in their publication. By the way, here is a link to January’s fairy tale story. http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/01-015-3Dflip/index.html#p=8

I had a publication in Timeless Tales! Another first in a publication I repeatedly tried for.

I won the Penn Cove literary Award for the second time!

I had 5 acceptances for print publications! Three for Guide, One for Kid’s Ark and One for an anthology yet to be released, Twice Upon a Time.

And Last but not least, I have made some fabulous, faithful writing friends: Melinda Moore, Holly Jennings, Jane Yates, Lorelle Page, Kate Wolford, Tahlia Kirk and a few others. Thank you friends for inspiring me and thank you readers for continuing to tune into this humble blog.

Thought for the Day: Writing is not just a destination. Don’t make the end goal the all important feature. Take heart in the road marks along the way.