Monthly Archives August 2010

Practice Makes Perfect: Practice Writing!

When I was a child, I took dance lessons. I went every week for my lesson, and when it was close to a recital, we had extra lessons. When I was at home, I would practice the new steps my teacher taught us. Later, I took piano lessons. I was a competitive pianist at one point, but I didn’t get there by just sitting down at the piano and playing. I took lessons, twice per week, group lessons one Saturday per month, and I practiced at least an hour every day after school, most of the time more. Later, when I started playing in the band at school, we practiced every day, and took our instruments home and practiced at home too.

Not only did we have to practice, but we also had to read books on theory, learn how to read music, study what the words and symbols meant, and more.

When ...

Read More

Cutting the Love: How to Edit DOWN Your Manuscript

As an editor, I have no problem taking someone else’s story and slashing things that are unnecessary out of it. I’m not emotionally married to that work. I didn’t have the story in the back of my head or live with the characters inside of me for months or even years while writing it. When it came time for me to edit my own manuscript, that was a different story entirely. “No, I need that. It’s important. No, don’t cut that. Oh, see, I love that so much, leave that!” I went on like this to myself about everything.

WHAT BROTHERS DO was my first complete novel, and it topped out at a little over 120,000 words. That’s too many words, especially for a first novel, so I knew my job was going to be a tough one: I had to cut. Worse yet, I didn’t have 2,000 words or even 8,000 words to cut. I have 24,000 words to cut from this novel. Twenty-four THOUSAND words to cut from the novel. A novella is only 24,000 words give or take. I was going to cut an entire novella out of my novel! Gasp!

I should let you all know that WHAT BROTHERS DO was a...

Read More

Liquid Fire Chocolate Sauce at The Melting Pot, Houston, TX – The Melting Pot review! My son enjoying his 16th birthday at The Melting Pot fondue fusion restaurant in Houst...

Read More

Queries, Contests and Birthdays

My ‘baby’ turned 16 on Friday. He thinks he’s so grown up sometimes and then other times, he acts like a little kid still. He told me on Friday that he still feels like he’s only 13. I laughed. I guess it’s different when a 16-year-old boy feels 13 than when his thirtymumble something mother feels like she’s 90, usually because of the 16-year-old boy.

The Melting Pot

We had a good time for his birthday: took him to eat fondue at The Melting Pot – oh…. yum! I love The Melting Pot, so very much! For those who have never heard of or gone to them, they are a mid-class (little nicer than a Chili’s or TGIFridays, but not suit and tie dress either) with a heating plate and special burner on each table, where big cast iron pots sit. Using a double boiler system, they come to your table and make melted cheeses with sauces to dip breads, apples and veggies into. Then you pick a cooking style and they bring you meat...

Read More