Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Oh, Patience

Okay, I know.  Patience has never been one of my virtues.  I mean, I wait out of necessity, but that's not really the same thing.

I read a thread from one of my favorite agents about patience today.  It struck me.  Here it is:
7 times so far this year: I request full manuscript and author responds "I've just self-pubbed. Are you still interested?"
There's LOTS of great reasons to self pub, however if you're doing it because you're impatient with the query process, well...

 Incidentally, we are a *tad* behind in reading, but these 7 authors weren't waiting more than a month for those full requests.

 Wow.  As you can see, this is a whole different level of patience.  

As an author, I can tell you that these people probably had been querying long before they sent their work to her.  As an author, I can also tell you that they probably received so many rejections that they thought there was no chance they would ever get there.  

So why not just self pub?

I mean, you can.

But is that what your goal really is?  It does come down to that.  If you don't know what you want, it doesn't matter what you get.

If you know what you want hard enough, you will do whatever it takes to get there.

And when you give up because something else is probably easier and less painful, you'll never know what you might have been able to do.

It's interesting.  I know there's not one right answer for everyone, but it's good to ask ourselves once in a while.

Friday, May 25, 2012


It's the last day of school.  Need I say more? 

I'm feeling happy today. 

Last night was our Spring Show for the Boise Cloggers.  Aah.  I get such a rush spending that much time with such great people.  They are incredible, talented kids and parents.  I love them all. 

I'm always surprised at the end of a day like that, the same things happens.  I'm dead tired, but I can't sleep.  All I can think about is how great everyone danced.  How much fun it was and most especially, how blessed I am to have them in my life.

I don't take it for granted.  I treasure it.  I wonder how I ended up so lucky to be part of their lives. 

But I'm so glad I did.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What to do with Awards

Last weekend I spent sixteen hours with David Wolverton/Farland.  I couldn't help but notice how every writer has a different take on the writing business.

I learned some simple, valuable things about writing itself.  So simple that I could share it super quick.

*Start your story with pain- usually emotional.
*The middle of a novel is all about escalation
*Know your outer arc vs. the inner arc of your protagonist
*For YA girls, it's all about wonder, romance and adventure
*For YA boys, it's wonder and adventure
*For middle grade boys and girls, it's wonder, humor, adventure and horror
*Adults don't really get into drama novels until later in life
*You can make money writing books, but it can also take forever to do it

That's not even really a nutshell of the weekend, but it's what's been floating around in my head.

Now for awards.  David loves to brag.  shrug.  I mean, he has the coolest stuff ever to brag about, but he loves to shamelessly brag.  Or maybe to him, it's not bragging, it's simply a reflection of his experiences.

He used to be Stephanie Meyer's professor.  And Brandon Sanderson's.  And he taught Dan Wells.  And probably hundreds of other super successful writers.  He told Scholastics to push Harry Potter when it came to America as an unknown.

He's made lots of money.

And, he's won awards.

He's not afraid to tell you any of this stuff.  In fact, he loves talking about it.  Which, I have to admit, was a foreign feel to me.  It didn't even rub me wrong, it just felt weird to hear someone talk about cool stories and huge successes for two days.

We always hear about failures.  How hard the road was.  People usually slip the rest under the rug and hope you know how fabulous they really are without telling you.

So what did I learn from this?

If you don't tell people what you've done, they won't know.  People do want to know.

I bet that when you read that he used to teach Stephanie Meyer, you were suddenly interested in who David Farland was.  Or, have you heard the whole story of how he was a significant part of why Harry Potter went big?  But you want to, I bet.

Bragging, boasting, telling the truth.  We've been trained only to tell our failings.  It's sort of a society norm.

What about the good things?  Keep it a secret.  You must appear modest.

And then no one will know that you can do anything.

You can see why I raised my hand and asked what good would it do me to have a gold seal on a bunch of books that aren't in any stores.  A book that if I do get published by a big press, won't even be recognized as a book at all.  Isn't that like not winning the award in the first place?

No.  I had it all wrong.  He told me to tell everyone.

It's an international book contest.  International.  It doesn't even matter that you've never heard of the contest- it's still proof that I CAN WRITE.  Not just cruddy, mediocre junk, but GOOD stuff.

Whoa.  It feels weird to brag.  Wrong even.  But that's what we're supposed to do in the book industry.  If we don't tell people that we're good, they won't know.

A whole committee took the time to decide that my writing was above other things out there.  For that, I owe them and myself the recognition that they were probably right. 

I don't know about you, but this is a whole new way of thinking.  Try it.  Start telling people what you did right and see what happens.  And, if you have a similar story to share, please tell me.  I would love to hear.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The 2012 Book Blogger's Cookbook

The 2012 Book Blogger's Cookbook

Get on the train to delicious books and mouth-watering recipes.  Be sure to take a moment to get off the train long enough to see all the stops along the tour.  Big prizes.  Talented writers.  Fun blogs.  It's a win/win.

Go here NOW!   Seriously.  I love this stuff.

I get bored in the kitchen.  I've got five kids and they've seen all my tricks.  I need new ones sometimes and this cookbook is filled with fresh ideas.  Yumminess.  And it all works.

Christy is an adorable person, but you should know that she is also a talented Irish dancer, which naturally earns her big kudos with me, AND she's a writer with ideas that seep into your head never to leave.

And she cooks.

Need I say more?

At the LDStorymakers Conference a couple weeks ago, she took second place in the nonfiction first chapter contest.  Further proof that this girl knows what she's doing.

But if you're in it for practicality, get the cookbook because new food is fun to try, and in this case, even better to eat.

And... check out all the book reviews from bloggers... cuz I'm in it!  I was a little shocked she let me in.  So I'm taking the bragging rights here, and telling you that I've helped write (two tiny spots) a new book!

Ha ha ha.  But it's tons of fun.

Here's the official listing...
The 2012 Book Blogger's Cookbook is a community project from some of the blogosphere's best book bloggers in a simple, easy to read format.  The cookbook combines a love of reading and dining to help you find books you'll devour and recipes you can't put down.

You’ll love The Book Blogger’s Cookbook because…

The Book Blogger’s Cookbook has 50 different book reviewers from every corner of the blogosphere.  It bridges the gap between author and reader—putting you in touch with book reviewers who can separate the 5 star books from the mediocre.
The Book Blogger’s Cookbook showcases great reads and provides an interactive experience with links to author and book reviewer websites. The cookbook is created for those who like to experience what they read long after they’ve closed the book.
The Book Blogger’s Cookbook tells why each recipe complements its companion book.  Recipes and books combine to make the reading experience satisfying and entertaining.

Book launch and Contest
During the first week of the book launch, The 2012 Book Blogger's Cookbook will be available for a reduced price of .99 cents.  Please spread the word. 
Every person who comments on one of the blogs during the tour will be entered to win a grand prize: a copy of every book featured in The 2012 Book Blogger's Cookbook (22 in all, over $200 value). 

About the author:

Christy Dorrity loves to read about cooking and cook about reading. She was taught early to have a discriminating taste for both books and food. Christy grew up on a trout ranch in Star Valley, Wyoming. She taught elementary school and lives in the mountains with her husband Devon and their five young children. When Christy's not reading or writing, she's probably trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.

twitter: @christydorrity

Monday, May 14, 2012

In no particular order

I didn't really mean to be a once-a-month poster, but I've been a busy girl.  Now that the LDStorymakers Conference and Clogging Nationals is over with, I'm taking a breath and jumping back into my regularly scheduled life. 

And, I didn't want to post something out of obligation.  I wanted to say something because I had something to say.

So here are some things I've thought about more in the last few weeks.

*Agents and editors are people too.
*Don't give up
*Sometimes when you least expect it, great things happen
*Be grateful, there is always something to appreciate
*Live in the moment
*It's okay to live only one moment at a time
*It's okay to be addicted to vegetables
*You would be surprised how many people you can relate to
*You would be surprised how many people share your same problems
*I'm addicted to reading
*Yes, you can live through disappointment after disappointment and still end up a decent person
*Make goals and stick to them
*It's okay to find a new way to fit all the old things into your life
*I will never finish the laundry

And now that I have some of those thoughts floating around, I'm going to pick one here and there and explain it later.  And I'm going to send you on a blog tour for my friend who writes awesome recipes.

Okay, I'll be back soon!