Tag Archives: Writing Conferences

Deep breath, hit send. Fly baby, fly.

Betas and drafts.

Betas and drafts.

I might as well be standing outside naked–in a public park surrounded by people staring at me. That’s how exposed I feel right now. Today is it. The day I send Bound to Die out into the world. Yes, a few people have read it, liked it, even. But, today is the day I send it to agents and editors–the people I met at last year’s PNWA conference who said, “Sounds like a great story. Send it to me when you’ve got it.” The people who will pass judgment on it in a way that has me feeling raw and vulnerable.

I made a goal to send it off before THIS year’s PNWA conference. It’s July 3rd, and I’m meeting that goal by a scant two weeks.

I took all my beta-reader’s delicious (and sometimes painful comments) and worked through them over the last few months. I hired a professional editor to look at the result and rewrote based on his comments. All the while, I tried to maintain the integrity of my voice, my character’s voices. Did I make every change my readers suggested? No. I seriously considered every thoughtful remark and comment. I agonized over cutting characters, adding in more of this or that. At the end, I am feeling really good about the book. It’s got a beginning, a middle, and an end–complete and full story with characters who make me want to write more of them.

It’s hard work. I was consumed by it in a way I had never experienced before. Working late into the night is pretty strange experience for me, but that old Journalism degree pounded a fierce compulsion to meet deadlines into my psyche. I’m done…I’m finally done.

Well, for now, anyway.



Filed under Writing

I Am Writer–Hear Me Roar

Okay, go ahead and groan out loud. My mind is sort of mushy today due to the fact I spent most of it in a semi-comatose state with my arms wrapped around my sick son. There’s a lot of guilty pleasure in this. I mean, who really wants their child to be sick? Not me. But, the days are fast approaching when my nearly nine-year-old boy is going to get to that stage where cuddling with Mommy becomes more freaky than comforting. I hate that it will happen and accept it at the same time, so I snatch these moments of childhood when they are offered, even if I might catch his cold as a consequence. It gave my head much-needed space to think and just veg for a while.

After his latest nap, he felt pretty chipper so went outside with a big stick to wander around the property. I jumped onto the computer to check email, FB and my recent obsession,Twitter. (Anyone reading this blog can follow me @LRockenbeck) I’m finding this whole “#” interesting. You add the symbol followed by a word indicating an interest and, voila, you reach other people with the same interest. Sort of interesting for marketing purposes, and very helpful for networking. One of the various #writing tweets by Kristine Rusch caught my eye. From her blog:

Without writers, there are no publishing companies, no game companies, no comic book companies, no movie companies, no record labels. Without us, most of the entertainment industry will collapse. —Kristine Kathryn Rusch

That’s a whole lot of pressure on writers. It’s a whole lot of power, too.

Both of the recent writing conferences I attended were filled with discussions about the publishing industry. Sounds like an obvious sort of thing to talk about if you are a writer, but there has been significant change in the industry over the last couple of years. Publishers–and it doesn’t matter WHAT they publish–are scrambling to catch up to the world of electronic publishing. In the mainstream market, there is an added layer between the writer and the publisher–the agent. In the erotic market, there is almost no agent representation. Writers work directly with publishers. And, for the most part, the erotic market has moved almost whole-scale to the e-book market with “print on demand” and specialty bindings making up the print market. Books in leather-bound covers with art, beautifully made and worthy of holding onto or giving as gifts are seen as the future for print. The book that you usually buy, read in a day or two, and discard will be primarily found in electronic format.

With less reliance on dead-tree books (how’s that for a great positive e-book marketing term?) out there, the world of electronic books becomes infinite. There are no shelving space problems, and the publishers don’t hate you if your first, second, third or even fourth books don’t sell. In the traditional print world, publishers had to put enormous resources into printing costs, distribution and marketing. If your book didn’t sell, you became “un-publishable” and your career crashes to a nasty stop. Under this model, the power really is in the hands of the publisher. In the electronic market publishers take almost no risk at all.

Rusch’s blog about the need for writers to see their own power rings true. All too often, I hear writers talking about publishers and agents with some sense of fear–as if they are gods that we must bow down to or else lose the chance of people reading us. The agents, editors and publishers that I have met are nothing more than people hungry for good writing. The general sentiment that a writer needs to find an ‘agent’ and then everything will fall into place really is pretty much, as Rusch describes, like waiting for Prince Charming to sweep in and save the day.

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Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Sweet And Sour Pickles A Crunchy Tasty Hit

No mirrors involved. This is just one long hallway.

I just got back from Las Vegas and another writing conference yesterday. It was a tiring but rewarding weekend. I met dozens of people I’d heard of and whose work I had read. I also talked to umpteen editors and publishers–tossing around story ideas and coming up with several viable projects. (Now I just have to get my self in gear and do some major writing.)

The overall size of this conference was small compared to the PNWD conference I blogged about earlier, but it was every bit as fulfilling. I spent most every waking hour involved in either social situations or in conference classes and panels. As someone who spends most of my days at home alone at the computer, I found it almost too much. Maybe it’s just that it’s different from my norm, or maybe it’s because my throat is still sore from all the talking. Or, it could just be sore from all the cigarette smoke I breathed in as I walked through the casino to my room.

The airport was subdued seeming to me yesterday. Flying on 9/11 wasn’t exactly something I relished, but I didn’t really want to give power to fear so booked my return flight as practically possible after the conference had ended. Sure, I could have left on the 10th, but I would have missed out on some very valuable social bonding time.

Cool and crisp.

When I got home yesterday, I was greeted with welcoming, warm hugs from all and the scent of some delicious Welsh Cakes Bill was just taking off the griddle. It was enough for me for dinner, but by eight thirty in the evening I was a little peckish. I routed through the fridge to see what we had and remembered that one of our unsealed jars of sweet pickles should be ready to test. I opened the jar and pulled out a cold fresh spear. The mix of spices was from the spice store in Pike Place Market (thanks again to M. for bringing her supply!). The crunch of the pickle was perfect! I think trimming off the blossom ends and brining the cucumbers overnight did the trick. I can’t wait to see what the “Dutch Crunch” end up tasting like. Unfortunately, we can’t open any of those until we have more room on our pickle shelf.

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Filed under Food, Uncategorized, Writing