Wildcard Wednesday: Grief

Hubby is 1/3 owner of a small business. He and his two business partners started the company about ten years ago and have grown it to a dozen or so employees. The recession hurt, but they managed to keep all of the employees in their jobs. They are like a  family.

The three owners are around the same age but they have vastly different personalities. Each has a distinctive role in the business and they compliment each other’s expertise. They are a good fit and work well as a team. They trust and respect (and dare I say love) each other, and they always have each other’s back.

Hubby and I met when the company was brand new and got married in a small ceremony almost nine years ago. Both of his partners and their lovely wives were there to celebrate with us. And when Hubby’s step-dad died in April the four of them were at the funeral. There have been many occasions where we’ve had the opportunity to support each other and all six of us have stepped up to the plate.  As I said earlier, it’s like a family.

Yesterday, the wife of one of the partners, who had been very ill for some time, crashed. They were at the hospital, and Hubby and the other partner joined them there. Hubby kept me posted by phone, but when they decided to do surgery, I headed to the hospital too. They opened her. They closed her. They told the family there was nothing they do. She died yesterday around 4:15 at the age of 52.

Losing some you love is painful. Grieving them brings even more pain. The emotional highs and lows in the weeks/months/years after a significant loss are sometimes hard to comprehend. I’ve learned through personal experience you can’t skip grief nor can you rush it.

Everyone grieves differently and I think it is presumptuous to tell someone you know how they feel. I learned this when my mom died 19 years ago. Well-intentioned friends would say, “I know how you feel,” but in reality, I wasn’t sure how I felt . . . how could they? For me, it was much more comforting to hear words of sympathy I could believe: “I’m sorry for your loss,” or “I can’t imagine how you are feeling,” for example.

When my mom died, I had a lot of other things going on in my life. I put my grief on the back burner and didn’t work through it. I thought I had handled it well. I thought I was fine. Then, a few years later, it came crashing down so vehemently, it almost paralyzed me. Later, when two very close friends died, I started grieving immediately. It still took over a year to fully grieve their deaths—and I still miss both of them and my mother too—but letting myself feel sad or angry or whatever I needed to feel in the moment made acceptance much easier.

As I get older, I realize I am going to see death among friends more frequently. I’ve accepted that. I don’t know if the more times you grieve the more efficient you’ll become at it. I just don’t know. I wish I had a way around the grief, but I believe it has to be felt to be released.  And loss hurts, damn it!

Have you experienced loss? How have you grieved? Does it get any easier???

 

RIP PATTY

~Kay

 

Manic Monday: Both sides of a beta read

Happy Monday! Sunshine and low 80’s here after rain over the weekend.

Several of my recent posts have dealt with Beta Reads. Now that I’ve been on both sides of that fence, I can tell you it’s not an easy one to straddle.

The number one thing a writer wants from a beta reader is honesty. It is essential, or the process won’t work. But that doesn’t mean when you get the feedback from a beta reader it doesn’t sting a bit to see all of their comments on what you thought was your finished, polished product. Thank goodness no one has requested a full…yet!

What do you do? You go back to your manuscript with the beta reader’s comments and make the adjustments that feel right to you. If something doesn’t resonate, you don’t have to change it. After all, it is your manuscript and you have the final say. I ran into that with query feedback. I found I was trying to change my query based on everyone’s feedback and what I got was a query without my authentic voice. I had to start all over because the author’s voice is a crucial element of the query. It was a good lesson to learn because it holds true with a manuscript as well.

On the other side of receiving beta feedback is giving beta feedback. I beta read a book for someone in my critique group over the weekend. She writes beautifully and is probably the most lyrical writer of our entire group. I found a few little things here and there, but overall it was a good, smooth read which is always the author’s objective. It was easy to give her feedback because I thought her book was agent-ready with only a few minor tweaks, even though it wasn’t in a genre I normally read or a book I’d typically buy.

But what if I’d hated her book? How would I have handled it then? As I said earlier, honesty is essential. When something (a book, a chapter, a query) is poorly written or doesn’t make sense the author has to be told. Personally, I’d prefer the feedback not be sugar coated, because that sends a mixed message. The rule of feedback is to start with something you like, hit the problem areas, and then end with something good. The logic of that is obvious.

The most motivating feedback I ever got was from a lady with whom I’d exchanged a few chapters to see if we’d make good online writing partners. She basically ripped me a new one.  She was gracious but direct. She said she could tell I was a good writer and that I was great with dialogue. However, she thought I needed to start over with a rewrite—for a number of reasons, each of which she pointed out. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it’s what I needed to hear. In retrospect, I think others had tried to tell me the same thing, but sugarcoated it to the point I didn’t get the message. After her feedback, I enrolled in the online revisions class and did a complete overhaul of the book. I cut the first three chapters, which was like cutting off my arm. She’d pointed out these chapters were pretty much all backstory, and in my heart of hearts I knew they had to go so . . . delete.  In the end, I liked it better. It was better.

She apologized for her bluntness, but I appreciated it. Her assessment was on the money. No one wants to start over when they’ve already put so much time into it, but it was exactly what I needed to do. So, good for her for being so direct, though I could tell it pained her to do so. She showed me the toughest feedback could be presented in a kind and respectful way. As difficult as it is to be on the receiving end of a hard-hitting appraisal, I suspect, as a writer, it’s easier to receive harsh feedback than to give it. (Reviewers–a different post at a different time.)

When you give feedback do you sugarcoat it or are you direct? Which would you rather receive?

~Kay

 

Friday Favorites: Character Chat ~ Loralee

Today’s guest blogger is Loralee Anderson, a character from MURDER ON MUSIC ROW.

Me! Me! Me! It’s my turn to blog—well not really, but Nan won’t mind giving up her’s ‘cause she knows I had such an exciting week to tall y’all about.

I got a call from a friend in Panama City (PC)—that’s Florida, not that other one. Anyways, he gave me a tip that a opening act for a beach concert had just dropped out. We ain’t even hung up the phone good before I called the promoter. And guess what. I went and got myself hired for the gig. HIRED – did you hear that? That means they gave me money to play and sing, which, as we all know, I’d do for free. Around Nashville, unknown singer/songwriters almost always has to beg for a chance to play—except at the Bluebird Café—they’re good about giving everone a chance IF they perform their own stuff.

I know when I say Panama City the first thing you think of is teenagers—and you wouldn’t be far wrong. Thing is, teenagers love country music these days. Go figure. The band I was opening for weren’t country, they sang that rock #%$&  you can’t understand the words to. Did I just say that? I sound like my momma talking about the good rock of the  80’s and 90’s. But I have to say this band did have good draw. And after the first night, word got out a real live country singer from Nashville was performing and it was standing room only the rest of the week. And being on the beach so there was lots of room to stand.

It was a real rush to hear those kids screaming and yelling for little ole me. Because I’m from Nashville made them think I was famous or something. They hooted and hollered like I was Reba or Dolly. I’ve never had such good audiences—even if they was mostly kids—and I was real proud of myself. They only thing that would’ve made it perfect was if Nan and Emma could have seen me.

Well pack your bags and go to Rome, who do you think showed up for the performance on Saturday night? Yep! Emma and Nan. They found a cheap one way flight on Southwest and flew down to see the act, get in a day or two of sun, then drive back with me. Nan takes Mondays off and Emma don’t work so it was easy for them to get away. I just about wet myself when I saw them in the audience singing and dancing with all the kids. Emma could almost pass for twenty, and Nan and I could shave ‘bout five years off and probably pass for thirty. They both had cameras and took lots of pictures. I’d post them on here, but I don’t know how. You just have to trust me when I say they was scrapbook worthy.

I tell you last week was one of the most exciting weeks of my life and the fact that I got to share it with my two besties made it even better. I’m still almost speechless about it all. I know that’s a shock, cause I ain’t never speechless, but I swear when I saw them I teared up and could barely finish my song. I took a short break for hugs ‘fore I went on with my set. I tell you now I sung my heart out. The only thing that could have made it better is if y’all could have been there. I hope you can catch me in another show in the future. Maybe I’ll really be famous by then and you can tell folks you knew me when I was slumming in clubs and singing on the beach.

Me and the girls spent Sunday on the beach, just like our college days—‘cept back then we slathered up in baby oil and now we use sun screen and wear a hat. I guess we’ve turned into old farts after all.  We’re back home now and in our usual routines. This gig got me to thinking about getting an agent. Do you think anybody’d take me on? Do you know any agents you could hook me up with? What do you guys think? I’d love to hear your opinions.

~Loralee

Wildcard Wednesday: Progress not Perfection

I was born right smack in the middle of the baby boomer generation. This means, of course, I grew up without personal computers—even in college. Therefore, when it comes to computer projects, I’m sometimes leery.

I was tickled with myself when, over a year ago, I obtained a domain name and picked an online web hosting company without help. I even set up a website—sort of. I got as far as my front page before the fear set in. I put an “under construction” sign on it and moved on to my blog.

As I got more comfortable handling my blog, I wanted to tie it to the website and build more pages. I’d already built a blog page and a welcome page on my blog site, but then I had this other site linked to my domain name, which only directed the reader to the blog. I don’t think it was even a link, because I didn’t know how to do links when I set it up.

Over dinner with friends, one a computer expert—and almost my age, by the way; what’s up with that? —I bemoaned that I didn’t know how to link my web site with my web-hosting company to my blog site and asked him to help me the next time they visited our home. He readily agreed, but told me all I had to do was go to my web host and link them. Yeah, easy for him to say—he teaches this stuff.

But I’m an adventurous sort (LOL) so I opened my Blue Host site—which always makes me think of a blue (or black) hole—and although I was intimidated, I found the place to link them. It was easy, but the Blue Host front page still overwhelmed me so I got off before I did something to mess up everything.

See, that’s the problem. I’m savvy enough to learn how to use software. I’m quite proficient with the Microsoft suite and can surf the web like a beach boy, but when it comes to data, I’m still afraid I am going to wipe out something. I took enough computer programming classes (before PC’s) to know for every action there is a reaction and sometimes it’s not the reaction desired. Although there are safeguards, I’m afraid I might destroy my data, blow up my computer, or somehow annihilate databases for miles around. I do know how to back up my data (I think)—let’s just hope my neighbors back up theirs. No, we’re not on a neighborhood network, but that doesn’t mean in my imagination I can’t destroy their home computers. Irrational, I know but still a fear on some level.

Yesterday, I finally got my “under construction” Blue Hole website linked to my blog (yea) so now when someone goes to my domain name, my blog magically appears. I was aware I could do pages on my blog—I’d already done a “welcome” page—so I decided to add some more pages and make it look more like a legitimate website.

I added a query page and posted my well-crafted query, in case some agent with nothing better to do stumbled across my website. Of course I’m aware an agent with that kind of time might not be my best choice, but you never know. I’ve met one best selling author who found her agent by posting her query on her page in Publisher’s Marketplace. He’s from a top-notch agency and he contacted her! This is a little different I realize—hold on while I add my query to my PM account—thanks, I’m back—but it’s worth a shot. More likely, I’ll get feedback about what does and doesn’t work about the query—not that I haven’t already asked for and gotten opinions from about a gazillion people—one reader’s comment might be the one that makes my query leap to the top of the slush pile.

I decided to create two more pages. The first one is “Blog I Follow.” I thought about naming it “Bitchin’ Blogs” but my mother-in-law pops in occasionally and, yes, I’m a 56-year-old woman who still cares what her MIL thinks. In theory, setting up the Blog page would be easy because all I had to do was copy my Google Reader over to the site, but, as it turned out, this process was quite laborious. I’m sure there was an easier way, but I did a lot of cutting and pasting as well as link building.

I divided the blog page it into sections: Agents, Editors and Publishers, and Writers. I thought about adding another section for “Readers,” but if they write a blog, doesn’t that make them a writer? The jury is still out on that one. I’ll update this page as I add new blogs to my Google Reader.

The other new page is websites to help other writers. These are websites I’ve found in my quest to navigate the writing and publishing worlds. Maybe another writer can benefit from the hours days weeks of research I’ve done. If you have other wonderful writing websites (oh, the alliteration), please leave them in the comments section and I’ll add them to my list.

The pages are pretty much built, though I know they’ll be a work in progress for a while. Check them out using the buttons at the top. Next, I’m going to try to figure out how to tie my domain name directly to my welcome page, which means I’ll have to add a “blog” button to the top. (I’m sure it isn’t as simple as that–or maybe it is.) I’d also like to jazz the pages up a bit, but that’s gravy. Having a barebones website is progress.

The good news is nothing exploded or was erased (to my knowledge). My neighborhood is still intact. Whew! At least I’m less squeamish than my dad who is afraid turning his computer on might break it. Oh, poor Dad.

Until Friday . . .

~Kay

 

Manic Monday: From Pedicures to Beta Readers

Over the weekend, hubby and I joined another couple for some luscious pedicures. I’d never had a pedi quite like this one. I’ve experienced the lotions and scrubs, but paraffin I’d only had on my hands and, while I’d had hot rock massages, they don’t compare to hot rocks on my feet. Yummy!  I’m not sure I can go back to my plain ‘ole pedicure where the highlight was hot towels toward the end.

It’s the same thing with writing. We may be perfectly happy with our writing until someone challenges us to take the next step. And once we’ve taken that step and experience the feelings that accompany better writing, we won’t be willing to go back to our prior level.

Who can help us leave the regular pedicure behind and progress to the paraffin and hot rocks?

A writing partner with whom we exchange pages would be a good start. Next a critique group with several members so we get varying (and often conflicting) points of view, and finally beta readers who’ve not read our work before but are willing to read and comment on the finished product.

Where do we find these people? I found my first writing partner online. I wanted someone who was at my level (or a little better) and found a guy in Atlanta. We exchanged chapters and notes as we read each other’s entire novels. I got to know him pretty well through his writing and the remarks he made on my work, but I don’t know whether he’s married or single, whether he has children; I don’t even know his last name. In that relationship, it was all about writing.

My crit group consists of seven talented writers. Some are already agented and published, some not–yet. I also found this group online. We are extremely diverse in our thinking and writing. My book is a cozy mystery while others are working on fantasy, steam punk, young adult and other genres. This group has encouraged me to step out of the box and try some new things. They don’t hesitate to tell me when something doesn’t work.I’m a better writer because of them. It’s an honest but kind group. Because this is a long-term commitment, we are getting to know each other a little beyond our writing. I know who has children and who doesn’t. I’ve exchanged private messages with several on topics that wouldn’t interest the whole group. We’ve even created another forum where we could brainstorm ideas or work on scenes that just were not working.

My beta readers were a collection of online acquaintances, readers and writers I knew, and people with occupations similar to my characters. I needed a cop and didn’t know one, so I marched myself into the local prescient and recruited myself a cop. (It was kind of fun, actually.)  I was lucky to have chosen dedicated readers and I’ve gotten superb feedback. In the sake of full disclosure, I also had alpha readers–friends and family who read the chapters as I wrote them. I got some useful feedback, but most of them told me how great the book was (when I knew it wasn’t–yet). In the future I will share works-in-progress only with a writing partner or critique group, and not ask for feedback from people who love me.

So after a writing partner, a critique group, both alpha and beta readers, not to mention a complete revision of the manuscript, gobs of editing and polishing, there’s not much more I can do with my manuscript other than (gulp) send it to agents. So I’m off to the scary land of Queryville. Will I find an agent? Will I get a book deal? Will I live happily ever after? I don’t know, but my toes look great.

~Kay

 

Friday Favorites: Character Blog (Emma)

Guest Blogger: Emma Morgan, a character from MURDER ON MUSIC ROW

Hello again,

It seems like it has been forever since my last post. For some reason, Loralee seems to think she can post on my week as well as hers.

I’ve not raised too much of a ruckus because I’ve been busy with my two daughters. They love to hang out at my mother’s house—she has a pool—and we enrolled them in day camp at the Adventure Science Museum. When they aren’t busy with those activities, I’ve tried to make special memories for them with at home art projects, cooking together, and a few cultural things slipped in without their knowledge. They also love to go with me to the Farmers’ Market and we’re trying to go organic. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

The only reason I beat Loralee to posting today is because she’s probably still asleep. She and Nan went a little crazy last week at the CMA Fest. I wasn’t surprised at Loralee, but Nan . . . she usually has more sense than that. They called me an old fuddy-dud because I wouldn’t go out with them. But I’d prefer we act our age (thirty-five) than act like a bunch of teenagers away from their parents’ supervision for the first time.

Nan’s worked all week so I don’t think she’s been staying out late the last few nights—she’s more responsible than that—but Loralee, now that’s another story altogether. Loralee is a singer/songwriter and those folks keep strange hours anyway. Sometimes she is so zany I wonder if we made a mistake asking her to be a godmother to our girls. Of course we asked Nan, and, at the time it seemed like the thing to do. Don’t get me wrong; Loralee  has a heart of gold. It’s just the common sense she’s lacking.

Regardless, it allowed me blog today. We’re all three ready to get our book published and Kay says she’s ready to start the query process. Of course we’ve heard this before and she’s pulled back to polish some more. That book must be as polished as Loralee’s toenails. Keep your fingers crossed she’ll actually do it this time because we are all anxious for you to follow the antics of our book.

I’d better run. I’ve got to pick the girls up from my mom’s and we’re heading to the farmer’s market before we go home to start dinner. There’s always a huge mess when they “help,” but it’s worth it to spend such quality time together.

I hope all of you are having a spectacular summer. I’ll see you on a future Friday. Maybe it won’t be so long between posts this time.

Fondly,

~Emma

 

Wildcard Wednesday: Laptop addiction

I learned to type in the tenth grade, and ever since I’ve preferred a keyboard—first a typewriter, then a computer.

I got a MacBook Pro for my birthday and the nice people at the Apple store offered to transfer the data from my PC to the new Mac for free. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. The problem was finding a two or three day window of time to let them do it.

I transferred most of my documents, but I wanted someone who knew more than me to move my photos, e-mails and contacts. I was changing e-mail platforms and wasn’t sure I could switch from Outlook to Apple’s programs without messing something up. Saturday I paid all of my online bills, wrote Monday’s post and scheduled it in advance, and backed everything up. Then, two months after the purchase, I bit the bullet and dropped both computers at the MAC store.

I have both an I-Phone and an I-Pad so it’s not like I wasn’t “connected.” It’s just when my laptop is away from home, I feel a bit discombobulated. Perhaps it’s time to go to a therapist for laptop addiction.

I got MAC back late yesterday and spent the evening bonding. How about you? Is your laptop connected at your hip or do your other mobile devices suffice?  Is there anyone out there with a similar detachment disorder? I’d love to know. Maybe we could form a support group.

See you Friday.

~Kay

 

Manic Monday: 150 Posts

Wow! 150 posts since I got serious about blogging last August. Three times a week–it really adds up! Thanks to everyone who reads my blog, especially those of you who leave comments.

Back in April I wrote a post on finding a literary agent. Everything in that post still stands, BUT I’ve found an easier way to do it. Query Tracker has it down to a tee. I’ve perused QT for a while and played with it in the limited “free” edition. One of the members in my critique group highly recommended I join, so I did. At $25 a year, it is quite the bargain.

Remember how I told you to look at Publisher’s Marketplace, Preditors and Editors, websites, etc. to check out an agent? Well, with QT, it’s a one-stop shop. In addition, if there is a change of status regarding an agent you are stalking watching, you get e-mail notification. You even have links to the agent’s blog and website. How cool is that? It’s a major time saver.

In addition, they have a formatted spreadsheet of sorts (you know me and my spreadsheets) where you can show, with cute little icons, who you’ve queried, requests or fulls outstanding, rejections, and lots more. One of my favorite features (besides the spreadsheet, of course) is how you can sort, with or without filters, and get a list of agents in your genre with the specifications YOU want. And you can see who isn’t accepting queries. If you prefer you can query straight from the sight, but if you’d like to send your query by e-mail, there is a place to paste the query onto your agent page sent so you’ll know exactly what you sent.

My disclaimer…I don’t know how accurate this information is so I recommend always going to the agent’s website and checking submission guidelines for yourself. Regardless, it is a great resource and certainly worth the money. I say give it a try and see what you think. Let me know–I’m really interested.

Until Wednesday,

Kay

 

 

 

 

Friday Favorites: Character Post

Loralee Anderson, a character from Murder on Music Row, is today’s guest blogger.

Hey ya’ll

Here I am trying to post and the darn Internet is down. If I miss today’s (Friday) deadline, it ain’t my fault. I think I’m actually taking Emma’s posting turn, but she won’t care cause she’s so busy with her daughters this summer. Emma’s mom has a pool and those two rascals has just about turned into fish.  Emma keeps ‘em soaked in sunscreen, but they’re still brown as biscuits.

I saw where Nan wrote about those cotton-picking cicadas last Friday. After about six weeks, they’re almost gone which is good cause this is Country Music Award Festival week where all the country music stars come to Nashville to play and do concerts and sign autographs and just be seen in general. They used to call it Fanfare cause the stars mingled with us ordinary people, but now it’s just plain ole CMA Fest.

The cool thing about this week is locals get gigs and be heard to. Stages are set up in the middle of streets and vacant lots downtown. We don’t get the prime time spots, but we do get to play (sometimes). The idea is for music to be coming from every stage and outta every bar and dive downtown and if you’ve ever been to Nashville you know there’s a whole bunch of them.  Some people have even asked for my autographs which is super cool.

Used to you had to buy a ticket for the whole week, but now you can buy day passes, which is great for the locals who have to work during the day. And a lot of it is just plain free. They can’t charge you for walking around, now can they. They do big concerts with different lineups several nights and they are fricking awesome. You ain’t never seen so many cowboy hats and boots as at a Fanfare concert. (Sorry, I still can’t call it CMA Fest–maybe next year.)

I tell you it’s a big week for the Nashville economy even though it’s hot as blazes. It usually rains in the afternoon and I read in the newspaper it’s a law or something that it rain on Friday. I thought that was a hoot. By the way, it’s Friday and the sun’s shining and there ain’t a cloud in the sky.

Well, I better go cause I want to get downtown. Even though I ain’t got no gig, I’m gonna walk around in my boots and hat, and carry my guitar. Who knows, if I see Brad or Keith walking down Broadway I may even let ‘em sign it. I ain’t never let nobody autograph it before, but for them two and maybe a few others, I’d even provide the pen. So I’ll see you next time.

~Loralee

 


Wildcard Wednesday: Fear

Monday I put my tap shoes back on after an almost five-month hiatus due to that horrible fatigue-causing crud I had all winter. I danced 3 ½ hours and could barely walk yesterday. But I’m going back for more today. Last Friday and Saturday nights were the annual dance recital. I had the costumes for all four of the dances my group preformed and knew two of them from before I got sick; I simply had not had the energy to rehearse. There’s always next year.

I thought seeing my over-fifty dance troupe perform without me would make me sad, but instead I was proud of them for doing such a great job. What did make me sad, however, was seeing the little ones—the four, five and six-year-old dancers (and I use that world loosely). Of course I laughed until I cried because they were so adorable, but it also reminded me of when I started dance at that age fifty years ago. I was so full of optimism and unafraid to try almost anything. I’d yet to learn the stumbling blocks that have tripped me up as I’ve gotten older: perfectionism, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown . . . you get the idea. What if I’d kept that six-year-old trust of the universe, just assuming everything would work out? How would I be different today?

These are hypothetical questions, of course, so I don’t know the answers. I do know it took getting over my need to be perfect, my fear of rejection, my fear of the unknown, etc. to start this journey of sharing what I write with others.

At first (before I knew how to check my statistics) I judged my posts on how many comments they garnered.  Because it wasn’t so many, I started writing for myself, sort-of like a journal I’d leave out for others to pick up and read if they chose. Then I read a post by ProBlogger that said only one-in-a-hundred readers leaves a comment. Gulp! I learned to check my statistics and amazingly found my readership had grown each and every month. The first time I met someone I didn’t know who said, “Oh, you’re the blogger,” I was pleased (of course) but then insecurity set back in. I found myself thinking about my readers and what they would “think” as I wrote, which caused me to lose my voice. To be authentic as a blogger, I have to be myself. To be authentic as an author, I have to be true to my characters. I can’t worry about what others will think—I just tell the story.

If I thought writing a blog was putting myself out there, it’s nothing like sharing my novel with others. At first, I shared chapters as I went along with close friends. I quickly learned that was a bad idea because a) these chapters sucked and b) they were unrecognizable after revisions and editing. Friends who read the early chapters and then the finished book, didn’t recognize them as the same story. I think I’m happy about that.

It scared me to death when I joined a critique group, but as I got to know them, it became much easier. I quickly learned when they (kindly) told me something sucked, they weren’t saying I sucked, just said portion of the book. Funny thing is, for the most part, I already knew that section was a trouble spot. In a relatively short period of time, I’ve learned to trust the other seven members of my critique group–some agented and published and some unagented and not yet published.

Then came beta readers. Except for a cousin who is a lawyer (and there are lawyers in the story) and an aunt who did a fabulous line-edit, my beta readers were either in the profession of one of my characters and/or people I’ve met online. I’ve gotten almost all of the beta reads back, and it’s been fun seeing the different opinions. I was taught if one person has a problem with a scene, as the writer I should look at the scene as objectively as possible and decide if it needs to be “fixed.” If two people have a problem with the same scene, then there’s a problem with that scene.  I’ve applied this concept to my book, and it makes it a stronger story.

Next comes the search for an agent via the query process. Agents will be reading my words. Really, really  scary.  Yet, I wanted to put  on a costume and dance before a full house of 1800 people. Perhaps my fear factor needs a tune-up.

What are your fears? How do you overcome them?

 

Until Friday,

~Kay