Blog Stuff

Seven Sentences

I owe an apology to my friend Darlene FosterA couple of weeks ago, she tagged me for the Lucky 7 Meme. Then, with the twin punctuation posts followed by my absenteeism, that fact slipped into the often murky swamp I call my memory. So … I’m sorry, Darlene, and thank you for choosing me.

The rules of this fun meme require that you turn to page 77 of your work in progress. I have two WIPs, one I’m not leaking a word of in public yet, and the other is a collection of short stories. Those stories are in no particular order at the moment, so I don’t know which page will end up in 77th spot. Instead, I’ve chosen my 7 sentences from page 7 of one of those stories.

In this scene from “Better Left Alone”, a middle-aged and newly divorced woman, is on her way to have lunch with a man she hasn’t seen since high school.

Teresa left home early. Two blocks from the restaurant, she pulled over to check her hair and makeup one last time and to slow her breathing. What impression would she make if she arrived disheveled and hyperventilating? She restarted the car, but then sat for a moment wondering at her sudden insecurity. Yes, as a giggly girl, she’d had a crush on Mark, but life had tempered her in the years since high school. She’d raised three children, ran a small business, and—yes, she had—managed to keep a marriage solid for most of twenty-seven years. She was Woman, and could roar with the best of them.

Now then, the rules of the meme say I have to pass it on to 7 other writers, so here’s my list:

  1. Alannah Murphy
  2. Jennifer Neri
  3. Laura Best
  4. Kat Magendie
  5. Christa Polkinhorn
  6. Dana Mason
  7. K.S. Bowers

If these fabulous women choose to accept this meme, they must:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 sentences and post them as written.
  4. Tag 7 authors.
  5. Let them know.

If anyone else wants to play along, grab the logo and rules and post your excerpt. And don’t forget to let me know, so I can drop by to read your 7 sentences.

Blog Stuff, Links, Writing

From me to you and you and you and ….

Two fellow bloggers cited me for awards this past week, so I’m taking time to say thank you and pass them on. First up, Jennifer Neri, who gave me the Liebster Blog Award. Liebster is German for dearest or beloved and carries the sense of “favorite”.

The rules say to pass it along to five favorite blogs with the stipulation they’re to have less than 200 followers. Unfortunately, I don’t know how many followers most blogs have, so I’ll just bring to your attention some blogs I’ve never cited before, but enjoy reading.

Recipients, do what you will with your award. Feel free to obey or disobey the “rules” of reciprocation or passing along.

At Judith Baxter’s blog Growing Younger Each Day she rages against growing older with humor and great insight.

Chris King‘s blog is named bridgesburning, but I don’t know why. I do know she says a lot of interesting things there.

Victoria, Lisa, and Christi at Writing Up An Appetite combine writing and food, two of my favorite things!

Darlene Foster blogs often about her travels, so it’s probably no surprise that she’s the author of a series of children’s books featuring world travel.

Kate Cardon Parish‘s blog kateschannel is what it sounds like, her show. So go tune into her thoughts on life.

Jessica Luton shares some uplifiting advice on her Serenity Writer blog. And if you follow her on Twitter she’ll inspire your day too.

Hmmm … that’s six, not five. Oh well, I gave you one to grow on. 🙂

I was going to cover both awards today, but that’s a lot of links to throw at you in one sitting, so I’ll leave the second award for the next post. Enjoy the links.

Agent, Blog Stuff, Fiction, Opinion, Query, Writing

Guest posting, follow me

Blogger friend, Jennifer Neri, asked me to guest post at her blog. She suggested some topics, but then she asked me a question: Now that you’ve self-published, would you ever query agents again? Go to Jennifer’s blog to read my response.

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Blog Stuff, Fun Fridays, Writing

Versatile and irresistibly sweet?

My email inbox is an abyss. If I don’t respond immediately, I’m likely to either think that I did, or forget I ever received the email. Two months ago Kate Cardon Parish awarded this blog the Versatile Blogger Award. Her email arrived during the comment blitz after WordPress Freshly Pressed one of my posts and was promptly buried in all those email notices.

Recently, Hannah Fergesen awarded this blog the Irresistibly Sweet award. Both rules for these awards state that I must share 7 random facts about myself and pass the award on to 15 other blogs. I’ll combine the rules, meaning I’ll reveal only 7 facts, not 14, and share them with only 15 bloggers, not 30. So, read the enthralling tidbits about me and then go visit Kate and Hannah’s excellent blogs. Then, visit the blogs listed below. Or be rebellious and do none of the above.

  1. I don’t like the taste of coffee … in any form.
  2. I get anxious when I sweat.
  3. The first book I ever checked out of a public library was A Mouse in the House. (Not the book currently in print.)
  4. I have seen a ghost.
  5. By the age of 26, I was the mother of four boys.
  6. I can’t swim.
  7. I’ve worn the same shade of nail polish on my toes for 38 years. It’s by Revlon, and they change the color name from time to time.

Now aren’t you glad you stopped by my blog today? I mean, really, how could you have lived the rest of your life not knowing those facts about me?

Okay, I’m supposed to pass these awards on to 15 blogs, but I know some of you already have these awards or don’t do “fun” posts. If so, ignore the rules and just consider this a shout out to your blog. And I’ll add one extra for luck. New and old friends, in no particular order:

  1. Kayla Olson
  2. Michelle Davidson Argyle
  3. Christa Polkinhorn
  4. T.A. Olivia
  5. Natasha Drew
  6. Jennifer Neri
  7. Laura Best
  8. Amanda Hoving
  9. Cathryn Grant
  10. Christi Craig
  11. Trisha Sutton
  12. Kasie West
  13. Candice Kennington
  14. J.C. Hart
  15. Heather Simone
  16. Judy Croome

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Advice, Critique, Editing, Feedback, Fiction, Novel, Revision, Tips, Words, Writing

Blinded by the words

As I near the end of my final pre-agent editing round, I fear I am only tinkering. Not long ago, one of my critique partners warned me to beware of editing “just to make it different, not better.” I think I’m at that point now.

Five fellow writers have read and critiqued this entire novel. I’ve made many positive changes based on their feedback. This final polish round was necessary, and as far as I’ve kept to minor edits, I feel confident that the changes are positive. But new ideas keep coming to me. I wonder if I should add this layer, or whether this could be the real reason he did that, or shouldn’t she be thinking about this here? Am I enhancing or confusing the plot?

The problem is, I’m blind to my own words now. I could put it away for a while, not look at it, but I’ve done that with individual sections (it’s written in three parts) and it made no difference. I can’t forget the story I’ve written.

So I add a few sentences … and then I take them out. I write a whole chapter showing a different level to this character’s conflict and then I decide it adds nothing. I make notes on where I need to change this bit of dialogue or the action in this scene to reflect this new aspect of the character’s personality and then decide that’s just silly.

I know I’m not the only one who fears over editing. Jennifer Neri’s recent post reflects a similar worry. I think it’s time for me to stop mucking about. A new virtual writer friend has volunteered to read this novel and give me feedback. I’m interested to see if any of the parts she advises me to cut are my recent twiddlings.

What about you? Do you ever feel you may be editing the life out of your work?

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