Friday, August 28, 2009

Critique group

I have had the best luck with my critique group. So many times I have heard stories about finding the right fit and trying different ones, but I must have struck it rich. Our group has older people, younger people, married and not, with and without kids, illustrators and those of us challenged by art and enticed by words.

I find the information that they share about the work I am creating the most meaningful and important. My point of view has begun to be defined and I feel that I am writing tighter. I know that their goals are in line with mine and combined we can support our dreams.

Together we are going to launch a website to highlight our accomplishments as we achieve them. More information on this later as I get it.

What I really want to say is I find it crucial that I listen to these people that have a valued interest in me. They see me differently than I see me, differently than my family and friends see me. They see the potential of what I am trying to do and have learned a few things along the way to help me. So thank you, to my group for all your understanding, I look forward to being a cheerleader on your sideline too!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

This is my Pre-publication pre-post, Post

"This is how its supposed to be", Jack Johnson


My book got picked up today! I sent my son down to check the mail box and he came back with the normal selection of bills, solicitations and fliers. Sticking out of the end was a strangish envelope, one that had some weight to it and marked Publishing Company. Paul handed the pile to me saying "Did your book come, mommy? When is that coming anyway?"

I calmly walked up the driveway into the house, my heart pounded with every step while contemplating the changes in my life that are about to occur. Off to the side of the counter top I neatly dropped everything but the strange envelope. Deep breath. Sliding my hand across the glue to try to keep the envelope and its existence in tact I pulled the letter from within out and a flurry of pamphlets describing the company poured out on the countertop. Blah blah blah, what does the letter say?! "Monsters.... love it.... marketing.... call us..... something.... something else...." Fall to the ground with tears.

I am an author.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On to Mermaids

I love worlds of fantasy.

As a child, I knew in my heart that my baby dolls were real. They were just being really still because if an adult saw them move they would want to put them into a real adopted home.

I know, still to this day, that monsters live under the stairs. I know that when the timing is right that they will reach out and grab my ankles and pull me under. What happens next is a mystery.

I want very much to believe that mermaids existed. I wonder if they are just an extinct species and find it odd that so many sailors say they have seen them. I find it hard to believe that a seasoned sailor would mistake one for a whale, porpuss, or manatee. I wonder if they were hunted like the witches of Salem. I wonder if they did have legs or just flippers and fins. My goal now is to create a modern mermaid tale that appeals to boys and girls.

Some sources of inspiration for this project are;
Ralph Cahoon, Cape Cod folk artist
The Narrow Lands
Long John and the Mermaid
Pirate vocabulary

Saturday, August 8, 2009

when to blow the horn

A few years ago, I went to a bachelorette party for a dear friend of mine in Boston. We found this really great bar with dueling piano men. Oh cool, So, we rocked it out for a while dumped a bunch of money at the bar on juiced down drinks. Collectively we decided to ask a piano man to play a song inline with the stupid but wicked fun game we were playing. So armed with my best intentions I drop the request in the basket ontop of the piano with the game card attached. He looks at me oddly and continues to play. At this moment I realize best intentions are not good enough. He is playing for money. Thats all he cares about. Not the twenty-five women buying drinks at the bar or the general happiness of the audience. He never plays the song but scores $65 to STOP playing the yankees baseball song.
Okay, So whats the point of this you ask?
Did I send out my manuscript with the best intentions and really didn't know I needed to 'tip' the editor, assitant, editor, INTERN? Is there a part of this industry I just don't know? Is the tip supposed to be kickass brownies or high end swag? I know the point of the industry is to produce income, but WHO DO I NEED TO BRIBE?