50 Shades of Green

 

envy4

 

It seems unlikely that anyone–especially anyone who’s ever undertaken the head-scrambling angst of setting pen to paper with the intent of composing brillaint, unforgettable prose–could fail to notice  obsess over the boggle-the-mind, runaway-success stories that bolster certain books to the lofty heights of Mega Bestsellerdom .

Far from what would ordinarily be considered masterful or especially remarkable, they are oftentimes books more likely to furrow foreheads, clench lips, and inspire interior chants to boom–Why? How can this be? Where have all the grammar school English teachers gone?–if only in an effort to drown out the not so pretty sour grape spills of Not Fair! WTH Because, seriously, How is it even possible that such crappy, hackneyed, over-under written book sell beyond the bounds of a bazillion gigaton?

Deny it if you must.  Insist that you yourself harbor no writerly dreams or aspirations that such a phenomena would sweep in to propel the spine printed with your name.  (And as you continue with your vehement protests, how about we pause here a moment to step in and check your pulse. You know, just to be sure your heart is still beating.)

JUST THE FACTS MA’AM

Reasonable, impossible, or mind-boggling as it may be, the fact remains that someone out there is buying, reading, and talking-up those mega selling books. Many many someones.  Enough someones to dropkick records and propel certain books to the top of the lifetime achievement bazillionare club.

It’s enough to make a green-eyed monster swell to the proportions of Everest.

Envy1

 

 

 

 

AND THE WINNER IS…

It’s essential to keep in mind that, unlike contestants in the Miss Universe contest,  books are NOT in competition with each other.  Should “50 Shades of Anything” suddenly go spiraling off into oblivion never to be seen in print again, its disappearance would have no impact whatsoever on that truly awesome and magnificent book your book waiting behind curtain number two.  Because, once again, repeat after me: Books Are Not In Competition With Each Other.

ROCKETING BOOKS UP THE CHARTS AND INTO THE STRATOSPHERE

The numbers are about readers. The gazillion, bazillion readers who open their wallets, click the buy-it-now button, pluck down their Visa cards, and spread the word.  They hold the keys to the book lovers kingdom. Simple as that.

If there’s a formula for hitting the sweet spot, I don’t know it. As a writer, I simply aspire to find the words that feel closest to my truth.

Okay, I can hear you thinking… So, what’s up? It’s nice to share 😀

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As I Was Saying …

saying

Hum … well, actually, you see … I um …

Okay, so yeah, I don’t quite recall what I was saying. It’s been a long, long while since I last dropped in on my lovely little piece of internet real estate here, and that makes me sad. And a little bit ashamed.

 

WE RUDELY INTERRUPT THIS BROADCAST

I’m generally tougher than that. Am in fact a disciplined, regimented, list-making, task oriented being, and falling off the map is not my standard response when one of those *straight-to-the-gut* sucker punches catches me unawares. Yet this time around the blow was enough of a wallop to send me reeling through the Christmas holiday and straight into the New Year.

REGROUP, REKINDLE, REFRESH

The thing is, getting one’s groove back is no easy task. Whether just returned from a three month trek through the Italian countryside gorging on cheese and salami and copious samplings of Vino (admittedly something I haven’t experienced outside of my head), awaking after months in a coma, or shaking off the dazed confusion of a hit-and-run assault by Life.  Make no mistake, it can be tricky.

A MIND RUNNING ON RANDOM FUEL

It takes a fair amount of random fuel to rekindle the engine, narrow the focus, reset the brain’s GPS.  A matter of unleashing our brain doodles to roll out across an endless pasture where they can wrestle around while we’re trying to remember how to re-saddle the horse that’s dumped us on our bum.  Unchecked scribbles that keep our brains from knocking around in an empty room…

BRAIN OFF THE LEASH (AKA, MINDLESS SCRIBBLES)

… is there any relevance in the fact that all of my favorite numbers are Odd?

*

Can I maybe actually really accept that invitation to jump on a plane to New Orleans for Mardi Gras? Dump the guilt of home-bound responsibility–claim it’s necessary research for the WIP though the setting of said novel is rural Maine … unless, right, a flashback. The original designer of flashbacks must have come up with this writers tactic after running away to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

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Breakfast for Dinner tonight.  Kiddies favorite meal when hubby is away on business and this is the last chance before the bird lands back in the nest tomorrow.

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Politics suck.

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Spanx: sausage casings for humans. The concept works, but the name makes me giggle. Great title: Spanx.  If you loved Fifty Shades of Grey, you’ll adore Spanx.

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Today is the day! I’m gonna reclaim my Mojo and jump back into the sadly neglected wholly abandoned WIP.  Not this instant, but soon. Once I’m done thinking …

thinking

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Wowsa, there’s a lot of ellipses in here … I must really like them … see how nicely they fill the spaces in my head …

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Just how long is a Cotton pickin’ minute? Is it longer or shorter than an ordinary minute?

*

Done with checking my RANKINGS, LIKES, REVIEWS on Amazon. No really. Done. Finished. What’s more idiotic than angsting over stuff I have little no control over

… wonder if it’s been three minutes yet?

*

Oh yeah, but there is that other book I read about on someone’s blog and wanted to check out.  Can’t recall the title just now …  but I’ll remember if I just poke around a little on Amazon. No, really, I’m only looking up that ONE book. Not going near my page. Just having a quick look at that other book that ISN’T mine.

Oh, wait!  Hold on.  Before I take off, how about you take a moment to drop a mindless scribble of your own right here. The floor is yours. What cha thinkin?

PULL UP A CHAIR AND POP A CORK

This gallery contains 6 photos.

  A POP HEARD ROUND THE WORLD       … although maybe, it’s actually just the echo of a popping cork here in my still dark kitchen at 6:00 AM. Normally I’d be pouring coffee, but today, you see, I’m … Continue reading

Nobody Cares

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

… as much as you do.

THE BIG PARTY 

I’m not saying that no one gives a hooey about what you’re writing or have written.  Maybe you’re so blessed that the day you turned the knob and let yourself out of the writers closest your cheerleaders fell into formation, practiced and ready to spin a dozen perfect cartwheels of support over your heartfelt endeavors.  They bought your book, tooted your wordy genius to their circle of friends, posted on Facebook, tweeted from sea to shining sea.  Possibly even set your heart to singing by posting a review on Amazon and/or BN.  They told you how proud, excited, impressed, joyful they are over your accomplishment.  They begged for a sequel and your smile stretched so wide it nearly split the seams of your face from ear-to-ear.

C.O.D

You’ve worked hard.  Persevered across the fiery coals of doubt, rejection, and uncertainty regardless of  how much it never failed to sometimes hurt.  You’ve paid your dues and can at long last bask in the radiant light of an accomplished dream. It feels good.  Because it should.

BEWARE THE BURSTING BUBBLE

Whether it be weeks or months later, the thing is, it does happen.  Readers read … and then they move on. Readers have an appetite that requires constant care and feeding of good books, not just one book.  Yes, they read and thoroughly loved your book.  But now the marching band has turned the corner and your personal parade has dispersed to return to their own lives. But this writing gig is your real life and you’re still here. Alone.

FOREVER ON YOUR MIND

It’s something beyond wonderful when people care about your creations.  When they take time to share your passion and connect with your characters and stories.  And although none of that stuff is why we write, it puts an extra special spring in our step and twinkle in our eye. Until they leave. Pack up their pom poms and return to whatever they’ve temporarily set aside.  Leaving you to sweep up the confetti in a suddenly empty room.

SHHHHH, NOT SO LOUD

And here you are. No less passionate, still eyeball deep and consumed with all you’ve created. You haven’t finished talking about your characters lives, thinking, wondering, obsessing about them.  Worrying they have no friends on the playground and nobody has invited them to sit at their lunch table.

THAT BAD?

Not really. Just the facts.  No One Cares … as much as You Do. Just because you’ve written a book doesn’t mean people are going to want to read it. And even if they do, their potential love for your work will never surpass your own and you shouldn’t expect it

SINCERE APPRECIATION

Be gracious and appreciative of well wishes and enthusiastic readers.  Just keep in mind, when the final cork is popped and the lights go out, it’s still your baby. You brought it into the world and you’re responsible for future nurturing and midnight feeding.

Are you expecting too much from your readers?  How difficult, or potentially painful, do you find it to draw the shades on your party and wave goodnight to your guests?

Jeezaloo–fingers crossed that someone really does care that my baby number two, “Asleep Without Dreaming,” is due for release in 7 days  😀

Cover Me Please

          FINISHED! And there you have it.  Two altogether exhilarating words for anyone who has ever poured months, years, lifetimes into writing a book. Despite multiple drafts, rewrites, painful edits, etc … etc, there comes a day … Continue reading

WHY SO EXCITED?

Aren’t you so EXCITED?!  Of course you are!  At least it certainly seems you ought to be, considering that when you skim the news feed on FB, stop by to read a blog post here and there as you cruise through cyberspace, noiselessly tip-toe through twitter, it’s pretty much everywhere. Excitement, and lots of it.  Can we really be this Excited so much of the time?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m right there with you  to blow-up the balloons and toss the confetti in celebration of those occasions, announcements, and achievements of high excitement.  You’ve just gotten a new agent, your book is/will be published, you won the Nobel Prize? Absolutely that’s EXCITING stuff. In fact, pardon me while I dash off and bake you a cake …

EXCITEMENT OVERLOAD

In truth, it’s not the overabundant use of the word EXCITED that has me grousing, it’s the observation that maybe there’s far too much EXCITEMENT being tossed around, and quite possibly we’ve gotten a wee bit lazy with our word-ology.

Okay, so if you’ll hold your excitement for just a moment, I will make my point by serving up some suitable, and yes, EXCITING alternates courtesy of the every handy-dandy desk thesaurus:

EXCITE: inspire; upset, accelerate, agitate, amaze, anger, animate, annoy, arouse, astound, awaken, bother, chafe delight, disturb, electrify, elicit, energize, evoke, fire, fluster, foment (huh?) galvanize, goad, incite, induce, inflame, infuriate, instigate, intensify, irritate, jolt, kindle, madden, mock, move, offend, precipitate, provoke, rouse, start, stimulate, stir up, taunt, tease, thrill, titillate, vex, warm, worry …

Clearly, it’s nothing if not a thoroughly lazy exercise in word usage  to so often default to the generic EXCITED when we have such a diverse menu to choose from.

IF YOU’LL PARDON MY EXCITEMENT

Over here in my little corner of the world, this first half of 2012 has seen more than a few truly exciting astounding milestones. 

AND SO, A FEW EXCITING STIMULATING HIGHLIGHTS

1. Child #3 graduated with honors from Tulane University in New Orleans this past spring.

Aside from the “official requirement” that we pack up the jalopy and head off to one of my very favorite cities in order to attend said graduation, there is the deeply personal excitement fire of waving my third child off into the world with college degree in hand as she pursues her hearts desire. (Not to mention that by graduating with honors, I am assured that my darling girl did indeed resist the temptations of Bourbon Street and perpetual Mardi Gras well enough to open her books and work hard when necessary.) Certainly every parent thrills at such achievements in the lives of their children, but for those who, like me, carried their own Ivy League dreams straight from High School to enrollment at the University of Real Life, (although to my credit, I paid attention, studied hard, and did my homework along the way to earning a self-awarded doctorate) there mighty milestones elicit high levels of excitement animation.

2. Child #4 completed his Boy Scout Eagle Project this summer. Yes, absolutely the stuff that makes a mama proud, but there is something infinitely exciting stimulating in witnessing a 16 year old boy take a mighty step toward manhood by proving he is far more than an eating, sleeping, video game playing entity (cue Dr Frankenstein as his creature comes to life, “IT’S ALIVE!!!!”), by willingly shouldering the necessary design, planning, fund raising, labor, and responsibilities necessary to accomplish a mighty and highly ambitious project. In this case, by metamorphising a neglected Memorial plaque on a boulder dedicated to WW II veterans, into a beautiful memorial garden complete with archway, benches, brick walkway, flag pole, night-time lighting, and plantings. So yeah, this is one of those things that truly excites  inflames my pride receptors.

3. I am a shiny new Grandmother (or Mimi, if you happen to be Baby Sebastian.)!!!  Although I’ve only been wearing this newbie title for 4 days now, it fits quite nicely and feels especially comfy. To those of you who are grandmothers, have a grandmother, long to be a grandmother, I needn’t elaborate on how over-the-moon, EXCITED ANIMATED I am now, and will forever be.

4. Having weathered the accustomed angst, turmoil, and brain strain hairpulling, sulking, whining of writing, I now have a mostly official date penned on the calendar for the release of my latest novel, Asleep Without Dreaming. (September 18, 2012. Woo woo!) If you’re a writer, no elaboration necessary.  If you’re a reader, I hope pray, gnash teeth, cross fingers that you’ll consider climbing into your favorite comfy chair with my book and while away an afternoon. After mucho years of scribbling out these chapters, my EXCITEMENT supreme sense of electrification is near blinding.

AND SO

What exactly does all this word-muddling prove, you ask?  Probably that EXCITE, EXCITING, EXCITED, are pretty good words.  Because, shoot, we really are  EXCITED! And for good reason. EXCITEMENT is a feel good, done good, bring on the parade, perfect fit of a word.  Accept no substitutes imitators that sound really awkward and stupid. I might be inflamed, animated, fired up and stimulated, but mostly I’m EXCITED, by golly! EXCITED, EXCITED!

EXCITED is life at it’s finest and nothing quite expresses it like good old tried-and-true EXCITED EXCITEMENT! 

So what’s got you Excited lately?  It’s fun to share, please do 😀

*Hoping you don’t mind my adding a fleeting dash of EXCITEMENT by announcing that my debut novel The Secret of Lies will be FREE on Kindle August 2 – August 3 in celebration of the near-release of Asleep Without Dreaming 😀

MY MIND ON A SHELF

“These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but MINDS alive on the shelves”

Gilbert Highet 1906-1978
Teacher & Scholar

I am not familiar with Gilbert Highet, but his words are immortalized on a bronze plaque outside the public library in Baltimore Maryland.  I’ve read and reread this single line  inasmuch as it speaks volumes to my writers heart, particularly when I am struggling to compose that perfect sentence or Frankenstein design the endearing or imperfect character persistently struggling to stear me into their story. Despite all there years of writing, the actual process is something I find impossible to explain let alone understand. Somehow, to say that it “just happens” comes across as something of an insincere cop-out, and yet that’s pretty much the truth as it applies to my own experience with words.

Which isn’t to say that it’s easy.

It sometimes never happens that a perfect chorus of words will tango across the page with the poise and grace of a winning contestant on Dancing with the Stars.  Yet just as often, it’s a matter of strapping on a headlamp and heading in to excavate  the treasure that’s right over there behind that mammoth pile of boulders.  And you keep at it with heart and diligence, until all at once–total darkness–the vivid path of illumination unceremoniously extinguished when the bulb burns out.

FORK IN THE ROAD PIE

Even then you can’t allow yourself to cave to temporary obstacles or turn-tail from the illusion of a bottomless crevasse. Okay, so take a moment to hoist the white flag and head to the kitchen for a medicinal slice of conciliatory pie (although you’ve been writing  not baking, so it’s likely there is no pie.), but only a moment.   You’ve learned the essential importance of holding on by now. Your creative mind hasn’t taken a powder, left the building, or fallen into something scary and bottomless.  You know that if you stay in your chair, even if only to doodle in the margins, the tiniest speck of an idea will spark and then somehow–whether consciously fueled or not–will quaver and persistently swell to rekindle the fire. And I am never anything less than awed and amazed when the dust of creativity finally settles and a finished manuscript rests in my hands.  Not that I understand how it works.  I just know it does, not easily, but it does.

THE END (NOT!)

It takes me at least a year forever  to finish the first draft of a novel– not a 700 page Stephen King size tome, but compositions half their size,  between 350-375 pages. Then comes the editing–another year of rewriting, rewriting, disgust, agony, despair…and only then does it begin to look like something connected to the vision that first caught my attentions. I marvel over writers who produce a masterpiece in the space of a few months–or incredibly, weeks. How that works I can’t imagine.  I can only assume it”s because my mind is set at 33 where others are steady at 78.

Still, I’ve come to accept bemoan my slower pace as necessary for me. I am after all an obsessive compulsive editing machine. I hack, slash, and burn until I can see the words coming to life and feel my characters breathing on the page, and for me that takes some time.  The reward for my efforts, a cross-my-fingers-confidence that my work is pruned, polished and ready to stand right up there in the shadow of the big boys.

Except when it’s not.  And editing resumes.  Because it is my mind after all–quiet, hopeful, earnest–there on the shelf.  My story. My characters. My truth. Me.

I’ve always had something of a problem with the adage that so often accompanies rejection or bad reviews.  I assume it’s intended to soften the blow: “It’s not you that being rejected or disliked torn asunder by the roots, just your writing.”  Agree? Can/do you separate your personal self from your words?

Positively Peevish

Lest anyone assume I woke-up this morning  wearing my Grouchy Pants or have overindulged on a breakfast of Cranky Flakes, allow me to clarify that I am actually quite jolly and chipper as is most often the case in the AM hours–before the real world comes along to slap me in the face and wring-the-merry from my smiley face.

Nevertheless, there are those things that gnaw and grate.  Drive-by moments that come along to poke and  irritate, despite all good intentions. That rub against the conscience–sometimes in the background, other times in the forefront–but always there somewhere, ready to jump and churn at the first not so gentle nudge.

It started this morning with a Styrofoam coffee cup on my neighbors lawn. I spied it from my kitchen window.  A startling, heinously deposited object of stark, non-bio degradable  ugliness discarded on Mr. R’s hard-earned and carefully tended square of sod heaven.  The sight of which launched me directly into Peeve #1:

Littering boobs who seem to think trash cans were designed as unnecessary ornamentation.  Honestly, but I despise litter in all of its hideous forms. No excuses or attempts at rationalization accepted. It’s disgusting.

It is in fact the aforementioned despicable crime that leads me directly into this companion peeve to #1, which is Peeve #2:

Pet owners who walk their dogs (purposely steered their pooches beyond the bounds of their own neighborhood) with the deliberate intent of “Poop and Run.”  No doubt you’ve seen them, bag-less dog walkers who pick-up speed should they spy a previously unobserved witness to their dastardly deeds.

Of course thoughts of pooping naturally lead me to considerations of eating, thus Peeve #3:

Foods with healthy sounding names that are anything but healthy.  For example Nutri-Grain, or the uber appealing Nature Valley.  A wise choice for those in pursuit of  good health?  ACK!!!!  NO! NO! Lies, all lies!  Both contain Fructose (HIGH Fructose in some cases.)  Fructose, as many of you know, is the REIGNING DEVIL of bad horrifying  ingredients. To quote Dr. Mercola of #1 Natural Health Website, “Fructose is the NUMBER ONE source of calories in the US.  An ingredient that is found in virtually all processed foods cannot be considered “moderate.” Even most infant formulas contain the sugar equivalent of one can of Coca-Cola, which helps explain how six-month old babies can be obese.”  I realize that not everyone cares to be known as the Food Nazi, as my own wiseacre family has titled moi, but Jeezaloo, how about food manufactures ease-up on the blatant trickery toward consumers who really do care to improve their diets and chose wisely. If it says NATURE or NUTRI on the label it should be a rule that, yeah,  it really is. (BTW, a good rule to keep in mind when scanning the ingredient panel–beware the “toses,” they’re all stinkers. Aka, Fructose, Maltose, Sucrotose, etc.)

Needless to say, such talk of devious deception leads me straight into  Peeve#4:

People who lecture against talking Religion and Politics and then do so themselves. You know the type. They make a grandiose point of their peacekeeping rule of excluding those potentially one thousand percent quarenteed heat producing topics from all social conversation, but then proceed to poke sharpened and poisonous barbs into aforementioned gentle and purposely civil conversation.  I think it’s safe to say that the majority of us have very strong opinions of Religion & Politics, thus there are generally no allowances for slip-in, snide references, or drop and run deliveries (see Peeve #2) of said topics.

Okay,okay, simmer down, I hear ya. Enough of the cyber whining– I get it.  Still, I know you have plenty of peeves yourself.  I can hear them knocking around in your head, so  here’s your chance to pass them along (and maybe even get a soothing touch of sympathy). Large, small, or passionately festering, the floor is now open. Let er rip  😀

Liebster Love & Comrades of the Pen

Last week I had the great pleasure of learning that I’d been tapped for some Major Blog Love by Ellen Gregory, when she awarded me with the Liebster Blog Award.  (Yes, that is me you hear hootin’ and hollerin’ just because winning stuff is fun and festive!) So my sincere thanks to Ellen 😀

To explain, I’m going to quote Ellen who quoted Laird, who quoted Mike Schulenberg:

According to legends that come to us from antiquity, the Liebster is meant for blogs that motivate, inspire, and have 200 followers or less.  Its apparent purpose is to summon new followers like some sort of mystical talisman, increasing the power of those of us who are just beginning. — Mike Schulenberg

The Liebster Blog rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you on your blog and link back to them.
  2. Nominate up to 5 others for the award.
  3. Let them know by commenting on your blog.
  4. Post the award on your blog.

So without further ado, I select the following five to spread the Liebster love:

Janet Lawler: The New York Screenwriting Life

Kathryn Magendie: Writing From My Mountain Cove

Heather Webb: Between the Sheets

Sherry Issac: Psychological Sizzle

Jodi Lea Stewart: Walking on Sunshine

And really this is merely the tip of the Island of Beautiful Blogs. But it does bring to  mind the fact that it isn’t merely about being entertained, informed, and having a friendly chit-chat across cyberspace. There is also the absolute joy or connection with like minds — or even not so like minds.

The following post seems a good fit with Liebster Love. It’s a repost from my long ago, far away blog, but remains a favorite for it’s close proximity to my heart.

COMRADES OF THE PEN

Do you recall your very first best friend?  How about your first writing  friend? The one you excitedly shared your aspirations with, secure in knowing your heart’s desire was completely safe and theft proof in the vault, because your best writing friend shared the inherent angst, struggle, and unsurpassed joy of putting words on paper.
Hugh Hefner, The Early Years
I started writing my “little stories’ in grade school, keeping everything in various notebooks that I’ve long lost track of. My first foray into writing with a friend was in third grade and it nearly landed me in the hot seat down at the principal’s office. My friend and I (also named Barbara), had somehow came up with the then thrilling idea to co-author a weekly newspaper, the name of which was THE NAKED CITY. We’d heard the title on a television program and been shocked, titillated, and immediately tempted to be naughty. I don’t recall much story-telling in this joint venture, but the main feature of our newspaper were naked stick-figures adventuring in a big city.  It was all great fun for a week or two, and my co-writer, Barbara, was most generous in offering to keep our back-list publications safely tucked away in her classroom desk. We were wildly enthusiastic to share our newspaper with classmates, and the brief surge of popularity was heady stuff. Or at least up until the moment when one dissatisfied reader tattled to our teacher and Barbara was forced to hand over our complete inventory of THE NAKED CITY on the spot. Barbara was prompt in implicating me as her trusty co-writer, and I was equally prompt in responding with a vehement denial.

All these years later, I am left wondering if  Barbara still holds a grudge…

Seventh Grade, The Bronx Bomber Comes To Town
I grew up in a small town in New York.  Postcard pretty: farms, rolling hills, mostly quiet, and generally peaceful. A new family moving in was immediately noted and carefully watched as they blended in. Maybe it was the leather jacket, the movie magazine tucked under her arm (when the rest of us were still reading Archie comics), or a combination of both, but from the first day when the new kid swaggered onto the school bus, my attentions were immediately captured and have held steady for over 35 years.

Unlike myself, who kept my writerly aspirations safely tucked away for my eyes only, waiting for my confidence to kick in, Janet made no secret of the fact that she was an aspiring screenwriter. Born and raised in the Bronx, she was an all out enigma in our small town and quickly became known as “The Star.” Whenever she arrived in English class toting a newly finished script, our teacher was enthusiastic in allowing the class to read and perform her masterpieces. Needless to say I was thoroughly enthralled with this leather clad epitome of all things cool. Our friendship came on fast and furious in such a way that has held on strong for the duration. We’ve come a long way from the days of skipping school to sit at Janet’s kitchen table drinking tea and typing her scripts, and despite time and distance, she remains my top-tier writing champion. It’s been a thrilling ride, supported each other from rock bottom rejections to the exhilaration of standing on the summit.  While my debut novel currently makes its way in the world, Janet, too, has had a myriad of writerly accomplishments: writing award wining plays, a movie script optioned by a renowned Hollywood director, and writer of a popular blog, THE NEW YORK SCREENWRITING LIFE: 

Writing Friends From Afar, Yet Close As A Key Stroke
Social Media. Blessing or curse?  I’ll be honest and admit that my first foray into social media was in consideration of what I assumed was a necessary evil for authors with stuff to promote. I didn’t get it — until I did. Certainly promotion is essential on some level in some places, but the true treasure to be gathered from those favorite Facebook groups, blogs, websites, etc, is the connection to REAL people traveling the same road, carrying a familiar cargo, and pressing on to similar destinations. Sort’ve like one REALLY BIG road trip.

I find it remarkable and exhilarating. These are not simply avatars passing on the internet, they are shoulder to shoulder, pen stroke to keyboard, comrades of the written word. Yep, right here with me, generous, sympathetic, and just as enthusiastic to accept the invitation to my party as I am to accept theirs.

A recent glowing example of newly discovered writer love came to me with the discovery of a most fabulous novel and it’s equally fabulous author. Several weeks ago I found myself reading “Tender Graces” by Kathryn Magendie. Now when I say fabulous, what I mean specifically is that I LOVE everything about this book .  I’m talking Triple Crown: story, characters, writing style.  Now, in my pre-social media life, I would have loved this book, studied the author bio on the back cover, and wondered all sorts of things about this mysterious creature who could write so beautifully. Not so in the here and now where we can find books, love them, and “meet” their authors, as I myself did with Kathryn Magendie, an incredibly gracious writer who has much to share and does so most generously. Comrade of the pen? You betcha! (And a crazy cool aside, she was reading my novel, The Secret of Lies, at the same time I was falling in love with her book. A situation guaranteed to kick-up the thrill of reading several notches.)

Writer love is a most wonderful thing and I gladly trade my promotional aspirations for the far more durable gift of pen-to-pen friendships.  How about it, have you been thoughtful in passing around some of your own writer love?  Would love to hear how you discovered your comrades of the Pen 🙂