Historical Romance

Historical Romance with an Inspirational Touch

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thinks You Can Think

If you have seen Suessical the Musical the title of this blog is probably familiar. I love this show and it is another I am involved with this year. I'll be doing makeup for 71 characters for the local children's community theater and have been having a blast designing their faces. But, it is the lyrics to Oh, The Thinks You Can Think that speaks to the writer in me. It is the first song of the show and begins like this:

Oh, the thinks you can think!
Oh the thinks you can think
If you're willing to try

The song continues and later the boy sings:

Oh, the thinks you can think!
Any thinker who thinks
Can come up with a few

Following, different Suess characters are introduced and the show takes off.

If you are a writer, you are a thinker. While we may not create famous characters like Horton the Elephant or The Cat in the Hat, we do hope our characters are memorable to your readers and last for as many years.

Have you ever sat back and just let your imagination fly? It doesn't matter if these characters make it in your book, or how farfetched the scene or setting. Isn't it just fun to let your mind go and come up with the craziest things?

Suessical the Musical, Music by Stephen Flaherty, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens

Monday, June 08, 2009

Blog Block – Kind of Like Writer’s Block – Part 2

A few weeks ago I was at a loss as to what I should blog about. For my own blog, I write when something comes to me. But on this particular day I was to blog at my publisher's site. I am one of those people who can happily write away, alone in my own world, until someone gives me an assignment and then all original thought disappears from my brain. When I could think of no interesting topic, I posed the question to my critique group and asked them for suggestions. They offered several, thank goodness, and I used the first one. But, I liked them all and saved them to be used later. Here was the second suggestion:

"I wrote an article several years ago on my own website. As an unpublished writer, a friend of mine was having the discussion about writing the book of your heart versus not doing it for a first book. Which sparked the idea for the article. It's just a suggestion but new writers are very interested in what to do with the first book. You know the one that just flowed from your heart. Should you write the book of your heart, or write what's 'popular, that will sell'. Maybe you can blog about that."

Well, my personal thoughts are to write the book of your heart. You will never move forward and write the sellable book until you get that first book out. At least that was the case for me. Who knows, you may be lucky enough that your first book is your first sale. How many of us have the first novle tucked away, the one we cut our teeth on, the one so full of new writer errors that it will take a decade to rewrite? But, it is the first baby, and like my mother once said, "You always make mistakes with the first child." Of course, others may feel differently, so feel free to chime in. Should you write the book that is marketable, or the one of you heart even if it isn't the most popular genre at the moment?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Lists to Ponder and Plans to Make

Though it is still 6 weeks away, and I have plenty of time to plan, I find myself returning to the Romance Writers of America website to review the conference line-up. I attended for the first time last year and enjoyed every last minute. There was a short time however, in the late morning on Saturday, when I sat down in the lounge with my friends and knew I could not move. I thought it impossible to add even the tiniest bit of information into my overly saturated brain. Perhaps this is why I am planning ahead now. I didn’t know what to expect last time. Now I do.

The easiest part is taken care of. I will arrive on Tuesday and meet up with my critique partners. What is especially exciting is that of the group of us going, I’ve only met two face to face – at last year’s conference. There will be seven of us this time and I can’t wait to meet them in person. We’ve spent over a year reading each other’s chapters, giving advice, cheering contest wins, editing work, and grumbling along with the entrant over poor scores. We’ve already talked about our families, work and our plans. All that is left is a face to face chat and I can’t wait.

Wednesday will be an easy day. Nothing is really required of me since I am not a chapter leader or a librarian. So, I will wander in sometime to register and then show up for the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing. This is where the first list comes in. I’ve already read through it once and there are so many names of my favorite authors that I hope I can get to them in the two hours allotted. This was also the place where I got my first piece of advice. When it is your first conference, you have a ribbon that says “first timer”. Victoria Alexander, whose books I loved, saw the ribbon and told me to pace myself. Boy, was she right. I may not have gotten it last year, but I will certainly heed it this year. The rest of the evening is up for grabs, though my crit partners are thinking of attending the Beau Monde Soiree. We shall see.

As for Thursday and the remainder of the conference. I am at a loss. Too many wonderful workshops and so little time. I guess I will keep reading and picking and changing my mind until I get there.

How about you? Do you attend the RWA Conference? Do you have a plan of attack on how to make the most of the experience? Who is your favorite author and one I should be sure to get a book from? Having been only once I still consider myself a newbie and welcome any advice.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Got a Good Mystery?

Do you love a good mystery? Can you write a compelling story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, biting their nails? Can you do it in 5,000 words or less?

Second Wind Publishing is holding a Short Story Contest – Murder is on the Wind - Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem. The winner will have their short story published in an upcoming Mystery anthology. The deadline for entry is July 1, 2009. For more information, visit secondwindpublishing.com.

This is the second short story contest Second Wind Publishing has held. The first was last December for publication in their Valentine’s Day / Romance Anthology, Love is on the Wind. I know that one of the winners is now contracted with them for publication of her first romance novel.

So, what do you have to lose? I think everyone has a mystery in them. Don’t you?