I spent twenty dollars, less than a half tank of gas, on a self-editing workshop and its value far exceeded its cost.

I wrote my first novel in three months. I spent three more months editing. After I let a few friends read it, I edited some more and was ready to query. But a little voice in my head said, “Not yet, learn a little more before you cast your baby to the wolves.”

Boy, am I glad I did! Through the seven day self-editing workshop, hosted by Roses Colored Glasses, I learned key writing tools crucial to the success of my work. The class, moderated on yahoo groups, was flexible to my schedule. Feedback given by published authors on assignments was prompt and constructive.

Now, it’s back to page one, novel one. “I will not be discouraged. I will not be discouraged.” My work will be better for it.

A Million Things to Learn

Have you ever felt like you don’t know Jack? I mean, he climbed a bean stalk, he’s responsible for the frigid winters, he tumbled down the hill with Jill, he writes awesomely chill music, he serial killed many in London, there was even a little ditty about him, but you still don’t know Jack.

As a writer, you not only have to have a firm grasp of the mechanics of the English language (which is a daunting feat in itself), but must also have a working knowledge of the publication industry and all its avenues, marketing know how, and be (just a bit) tech savvy. Are you overwhelmed yet?

They say, “Ignorance is bliss.” And, “Knowledge is power.”

We’re past ignorance, if we’ve chosen writing as a career. On to knowledge. I’ve gathered a multitude of knowledge from guide books on literary agents, editors, and publishers from my local library. Some of these books may be slightly outdated, but the base information is the same. I have joined my local author’s group, Diamond State Romance Authors, which is a branch of the Romance Writers of America. There are many other genre based authors groups, if romance isn’t your thing like International Thriller Writers. I have also pursued several writer’s blogs. One of my favorites is Nathan Bransford. His posts are always informative and entertaining.

Here’s hoping we all get to know Jack a little better!

I Did It!

I completed my first short story! I must say, I’m partial to novels. But this short story stretched my writing muscles. Telling a story in 4,000 words, one must be concise. No rambling.

Did I mention I love to ramble. For me, it develops the story. You learn the characters and the setting more intimately in novels. But short stories have their nuances. A short story is sharp and quick, enveloping the reader for however brief a time completely in its world.

I made a vow in my last post. So, I also read a book this week! I didn’t venture out this time. I read who I know and love. Linda Howard. I read Diamond Bay and devoured it short time. It made me hungry for more.

Novels or Short Stories, which do you prefer?

Books, I Miss You!

Listening to audio books is not reading.

I love reading. But lately life and dream reaching have gotten in the way. Between writing, website construction and launch, raising of a three-year-old, nurturing of animals (two dogs and a horse), husbandly devotion, and a little me time my books have gotten lost.

I love audio books. But I fooled myself for a while thinking that the audio books I listened to on trips and recently during daily travels were enough. They’re not. There is something relaxing and exciting about seeing the words in front of you, be them on page or screen. The act of turning the page is intriguing. The pace you set is powerful; rabidly fast-paced trying to figure things out or slow and steady savoring each sentence, each action.

So, this week I vow to read a book. Now, what to read?