Life, Writing and Scattered Ruminations

It’s been rather busy the last few weeks with lots of different activities and events to distract and occupy my mind. Last weekend, I attended a writer’s conference where I picked up a few good tips and networked with some other writers. Along the way, I aggravated my neck and shoulder so that I had trouble sleeping several nights after the conference due to pain. I finally cleared that all up so I could think to work on writing.

Since I lost my job back in February, I’ve been looking for replacement income and working to ramp up a variety of projects. Unfortunately, I’ve stumbled with consistently working on The White Arrow so that I’m up against some deadlines on a couple of peripheral projects.

These projects have a bit of back-story to them; ideas I had shelved until I could complete The Bow of Hart Saga this year. However, an opportunity to work with a literary agent came my way back in December. I had to provide her some content about these two projects several months ago and she liked them well enough that I now have representation. So I’m juggling three projects at the moment with the possibility that one or all three of them might end up under contract with a publisher later in the year.

As such, this week I switched to these projects and have made a lot more progress. I guess the proposals weighed heavier on my mind than I thought. I probably should have worked on them first since they are shorter (for the moment) and needed my attention well ahead of The White Arrow’s ultimate timeline requirements.

But now that I’ve concentrated on the side projects, I’m moving them out of my way so I can get back to The White Arrow with some renewed creativity. I’ll continue pushing forward with the rough draft next week with a bit clearer focus than the past several weeks and hope to finish it by the end of the month if not before that date.

It’s been a little busy around the house too. One of the dogs needed a minor surgery. We’ve taken in a stray kitten who’s a playful ball of fur. We’ve been careful to socialize the dogs and the kitten but they are getting along well with each other. However, there’s still a bit of curiosity on the part of the dogs.

My riding mower is quite old and the deck was far more rusted than I had thought when the mowing season started. Having a good swath of grass to mow and living in central Alabama, a good riding mower is very handy to have lest I spend most of a day exhausting myself with a push mower. It’s good exercise but I’m good for nothing else the rest of the day after three hours work in the heat. However, there is no replacement deck available for my old mower so a friend offered to repair it by cutting out the rusted spots and welding in replacement metal. Hopefully, repair will be completed soon and I can get back to work on the yard.

Along the way, I began repairing a couple of chairs around the house too. One, being a simple re-glue after cleaning off the old glue, is completed. The second one is a bit more complex since the dowel is broken. I’ll fiddle with it and make the repair so it should be in one piece soon.

Until then, I’ll keep working on my various writing projects and looking for a new job. Otherwise, I’ll keep expanding my writing career the best I can. With three projects, I certainly don’t have time to fret since there’s plenty of writing opportunity regardless of my job status.

Thanks for reading today and please leave any thoughts you may have in the comments section.

Keeping my fingers dancing on the keyboard for now,


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Conference Notes Pt. 3: Warm-up Your Pitching Arm

I recently attended a local writing conference and came away with notes on several topics which interested me. The last two weeks, I posted about creating compelling characters and writing for trade publications to supplement your writing income. This week, I’m covering another observation from the conference I attended – going prepared to deliver your best pitch.

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Deliver your best pitch at a writer's conference. Photo courtesy free section.

Deliver your best pitch at a writer’s conference. Photo courtesy free section.

I had two friends go with me and they were attending a writing conference for the first time. They came with ideas in mind as well as work ready to pitch to agents that were attending. Since I’m mainly working on self-publishing, I arrived with nothing in mind which is a mistake. Here’s why…

One friend kept talking to a particular fiction agent and got a sit-down meeting with him even though the agent’s calendar was full. This friend, pitched his two fiction book series. The agent passed on the first project but wanted to see the second one. So far my friend was 1 for 2 – not bad on your first try with an agent at your first writing conference. But, since the agent also represented film and TV projects, my friend went for broke and pitched a TV show idea. The agent knew of someone possibly looking for related programming and told my friend to write the pilot. That’s 2 for 3 – amazing!

Next we ate lunch at another agent’s table. The conversation went around with all of us since this agent was quite affable. When asked about anything she was doing, my second friend pitched a non-fiction idea she’d had for a number of years based on some personal experiences. The agent bit and told her he wanted to see her idea within a month using his online template. Wow, this was incredible!

Go to a conference ready to deliver a pitch. Photo courtesy free section.

Go to a conference ready to deliver a pitch. Photo courtesy free section.

However, by now you see the lesson learned. I arrived with nothing to pitch. The old adage, “Nothing ventured nothing gained” is apropos in this instance. Take my advice, have a few ideas in mind – maybe even slightly developed – when you go to a conference. You never know what may happen. As writers we are creative and lots of ideas come to mind. Just because you can’t act on it immediately doesn’t mean someone might not be interested in the right circumstances. Also, just because an idea isn’t in your main genre doesn’t mean it can’t be developed – especially non-fiction. And just because you are self-publishing doesn’t mean it eliminates you from other publication opportunities.

So take my advice, attend that next conference with a finished project or non-fiction idea ready to pitch to the nearest agent or editor. You never know what may happen! Don’t get caught sitting on the sidelines. Congratulations to my daring friends – now go get ’em!

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. I’ve updated the site with a new landing page starting today but you can still view the News page for announcements. As part of the changes, new email subscribers (you won’t be spammed nor sold) will receive my free new guide, 15 Must Have Apps for Self-Publishing Authors. Sign-up today! I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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