"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Authors Anonymous is Anticlimactic

I first heard of this movie about a year ago, but had completely forgotten its existence until I saw it in a clearance bin recently. The description reads:

After a dysfunctional group of unpublished writers with the motto "all for one" accept Hannah Rinaldi (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) into their fold, the last thing they expect is her overnight success - but that's exactly what they get. While her career takes off, her eccentric and envious colleagues (Chris Klein, Teri Polo, Dylan Walsh, Dennis Farina and Jonathan Bennett) struggle to find their own paths to publishing fame and fortune. Tensions rise, rivalries form, and hearts are broken. Rejection turns to desperation. Good thing they're only armed with pens...

I scooped it up, and eagerly returned to my couch to enjoy this little known comedy. While it is mildly enjoyable and I can definitely see some familiar author traits and experiences in these characters, the movie was far from what I was hoping for in a montage to the craft.

The show begins with someone (an unknown and never revealed crew) following these characters to make a documentary about critique groups. The camera captures the best and worst in the differing personalities of these writers.

Since it is enjoyable enough to watch when you have absolutely nothing else going on in your life, I might generously give it three out of five stars.

If you're curious, here is the trailer:

Have you seen this film? What did you think of it?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Week

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
              -Psalm 107:1 NIV

It’s the week of Thanksgiving in the United States. I’ll be spending time with family, friends, and finishing several projects. I hope you all enjoy a wonderful week full of good times.

In case I don't make it online again this week - Happy Thanksgiving! I'm extremely thankful for my online family. 

For some fun reading, here are ten reasons I'm thankful to be a writer.

What are you doing this week?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Win NaNoWriMo in Just 9 Days!

As most of you know, I chose not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I won't bother recapping my reasons now. 

However, if you are struggling to finish, or if you find yourself wishing you had joined in it's not too late. There are nine days left to November, and thanks to Melissa Maygrove I found the article How I Won NaNoWriMo in 9 Days.  

That's right - nine days! The author, Ava Jae, shares her tips to completing her work in such a short amount of time. She also offers statistics to show you how she achieved her goal. It's worth a look.

Best of luck and HAPPY WRITING!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? How are you doing?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Writing for Veterans

Thank-you to all veterans and active military. We may not show it enough, but you are so very appreciated!
A couple of years ago my interview of Vietnam War Veteran and author Tim O’Brien appeared in Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 2. Since then, the publishers have continued the tradition of supporting our troops. 

This yearly anthology presents essays, fiction, poetry, interviews, and photography by military-service personnel, veterans, and their families. It is an annual series published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in cooperation with the Missouri Humanities Council's Veterans Projects and the Warriors Arts Alliance.  

"The stories and poems of service and sacrifice are essential in understanding what has so broadly been termed 'the American experience.' For me, Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors is required reading and worthy of a thousand tears."     ―St. Leger Monty Joynes, veteran, Vietnam
Books can now be ordered from the Southeast Missouri State University Press and Amazon. 

Interested in submitting to Volume 5? They are already accepting submissions which are due by June 1, 2016. Contests and prizes will be awarded in each of the five categories. To learn more, please visit:  http://www.semopress.com/events/proud-to-be-writing-by-american-warriors/

Chicken Soup for the Soul publishers are honoring veterans and their families as well. They are taking submissions to two different titles this month: Military Families and The Spirit of America. To learn more, visit here.

Interested in reading more veteran related material? Try Noir and Returning War Vet Sub-Genre, or Being a Veteran.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Bridge to Publication 2015

Save the Date – Saturday, November 14th, 2015.
University United Methodist Church (3501 Patrick Street, Lake Charles, LA)
8:00 am – 4:30 pm

*SCHOLARSHIP: BWG is offering two scholarships this year to persons in need of having the registration fee covered. Please fill out the form below for your chance at receiving the scholarship.


1. Literary Agent Gordon Warnock, Fuse Literary Agency, www.fuseliterary.comWill be taking pitches. Represents a variety of nonfiction, graphic novels, & contemporary realistic literary fiction for adults, NA, and YA.
2. Literary Agent Heather Flaherty, The Bent Agency, www.thebentagency.comWill be taking pitches. Seeking YA and MG (middle grade) material.
3. Author Heather Hildenbrand presents: Author Platform, Economy-Friendly Publishing,www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.comwww.phoenixauthorink.comSpeaking Topic: Eco(nomy)-Friendly Publishing.
4. Pitch Coach & Author (and wearer of many other hats) Chantelle Aimee presents Mystery Writing. She will also be available for 15 to 30-min critique sessions for a fee (fee TBD).www.chantelleaimee.comSpeaking Topic: Mystery Writing
5. Exposure team, Warren Bujol (Editor) and Calvin Tyler (Publisher). Will be speaking about their local magazine. www.readexposure.comSpeaking Topic: Freelancing
(Speaker photo sources: All photos are taken from the speakers individual websites listed above.)
If you plan to pitch to the literary agents, or would like to have a critique session (cost TBD) with Ms Aimee, please contact them to see if material is requested beforehand and how to send it. (Email? Regular mail? First 10 pages. First chapter, etc…?)
Pitches will be only 10 minutes each, so it is best to be prepared and not waste your time or theirs. Pitches will be on a first-come first-serve basis with a sign-up sheet at the door.
Supported by grants from the City of Lake Charles, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, the
Lake Charles / SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Arts Council of SWLA. Also sponsored by American Press Foundation. Also donations from L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles, Adsource Outdoor, Obvious Mobile with Obvious Advertising, Wise Publications, and Paradiddle’s Dancewear.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

IWSG: Audience of None

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

It's easy to let fear incapacitate us. We worry about no one liking our creation; agents and editors will turn us down, publishers won't see the merit, readers won't finish reading it. Writer's block takes hold and prevents us from enjoying craft. In short, we feel we're writing for an audience of no one and give up.

You should be writing for an audience of one: yourself. Tell a story you enjoy, exercise emotional turmoil in a tale of your choosing, keep working to improve your talent. In short YOU are the first and only true person who needs to be pleased with your writing. Don't worry so much about what others think.

"Imagine you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. See? And no one had to die."
                                                        - Booker Prize winning author Anne Enright

This quote may seem extreme, but Enright is correct. Only spend your time working on projects you are happy with. Stop worrying about pleasing everyone else.

Are you enjoying your WIP?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pen-L Seeking Submissions

Many of you are busy participating in NaNoWriMo. However, if you are ready for the submission phase then the husband and wife duo at Pen-L Publishing is taking submissions.

If you'd like to learn more, check out my interview with them in this months holiday issue of Southern Writer's magazine, or visit their website at http://www.pen-l.com/

Tomorrow, I will be posting my monthly contribution to The Insecure Writers Group. 

Best of luck on your projects!

Monday, November 2, 2015

No NaNoWriMo for Me!

I've decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this time.

There are only 9 weeks left of 2015, and I hope to spend it finishing up some of my incomplete projects and submission goals.

If you are participating, let me know so I can stop by to cheer you on in your progress. I wish you the best of luck!