July 31, 2013

Mid-summer Recap

Somewhat unbelievably and much too quickly, July has come to an end.  For me, this month has been filled with chaos and many ups & downs. 

Some of the highlights include successfully meeting my Camp NaNoWriMo goal for my next manuscript, and Life Under Examination winning the Blogger Book Fair Reader's Choice Award!  Moments like those help keep me going in the face of my growing agent rejection count.  I have also entered my first manuscript in 5 RWA chapter contests, so I am anxiously awaiting the preliminary results. Unfortunately it'll be a long wait as those are 6-10 weeks away.

In case you missed them, I have also had two guest posts published in July. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts! 
Of course, though the conclusion of July means the conclusion of Camp NaNo, a writer's work is never done.  This manuscript still needs to be finished, more guest posts need to be written, and other fun events are constantly coming up, not to mention daily life, both on this blog and in the non-virtual world.  

Welcome to my whirlwind! Let's see what August brings...

July 29, 2013

Continuing Down the Path

A new reader to my blog asked recently what those sporadic stats at the top of some of my posts were (for instance, "words written in new manuscript").  So, I'd like to take a step back today and refocus.  This blog is about writing, and more specifically, taking my writing from its starting point all the way through to publication, traditional or otherwise.  It's about my pitfalls, successes, and every step in between.  

While I cannot say that 100% of my actions are strategic motions down that path – I am not a robot after all – that journey is my primary focus. That means: 
  • Writing new material
  • Regularly updating this blog, hopefully with interesting and useful information
  • Participating in the larger writing community as a whole, for instance through:
    • Twitter, Facebook, & Goodreads
    • Virtual events such as the Blogger Book Fair and Pitch Madness
    • Supporting other writers' journeys
  • Contributing to other writers' and readers' blogs, via guest posts, comments, and more
  • Querying agents and editors
    • Dealing with rejections, responding to requests, and generally vacillating among excitement, depression, and determination
  • Submitting to writing contests
  • Seeking out networking and exposure opportunities

This list is probably not all-inclusive, but it should give you an idea of my primary, writing-related activity, which will be detailed on this blog.  There are also offshoots to this journey, in which I participate for fun or practice, or to support the community as a whole, beyond the writers' world.  These include, for instance: 

It may seem, perhaps, that this blog has recently lost focus from its original purpose.  The fact is, I am new to many of these steps and pieces.  I am sorting it all out, and, if you're willing, taking you along for the ride.  My posts will continue to cover the range of my experiences, though I make no claims as to their similarity to others' experiences.  This blog will also continue to welcome the input of guest posters from within the writing world. 

Are there topics you would like to see addressed? Let me know!

July 27, 2013

BBF Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to everyone who made the Blogger Book Fair as exciting as it was!  All of us authors and bloggers know we would be nowhere without our readers, and I'm grateful to each one of you who took the time to stop by my blog, read the guest posts, and enter my giveaway.  Results were powered through the Rafflecopter widget, which uses Random.org.  That being said, the winners are:
  • Jackie R. (Autographed copy and keychain)
  • Cindy B. C. (E-book copy and keychain)
  • Laura F. G. (Keychain)
  • Brigette S. (Keychain)
Winners should expect to see an email from me soon and will have 72 hours to respond.  If a winner does not respond, an alternate winner will be selected.

July 26, 2013

Flash! Friday: Prompt #34

You may think that I've been extraordinarily busy with both the Blogger Book Fair and Camp NaNoWriMo (which is true), but that doesn't mean that I've forgotten that it's Friday!

This week's Flash! Friday prompt limits us to 75 words (+/- 5) on the photo below:
Photo by Wolfgang Moroder, WikiCommons

BBF: Coming to a Close

It's the last day of the Blogger Book Fair!  While one of the benefits of a virtual event such as this one is the fact that you can continue to read all of the fantastic guest posts, excerpts, etc., it is the last day to take advantage of some promotions such as discounted books and giveaways – so don't forget to check those out.

In this fast-paced week, writers and bloggers have come together, demonstrating our strength and reach as a community (despite the relatively small percentage of community members actively participating in this particular event).  The purpose of this event was promotion, and fun, but the implications of our community's potential shouldn't be ignored. 

Given the opportunity, we can have an immense impact simply by doing what we do best.  So, I would like to use this final BBF post on my site to remind everyone about a project organized specifically to provide that opportunity: Scripting Change.  This community effort depends on writers, and bloggers, to contribute to their efforts for the sake of raising money to support fiscally responsible nonprofit organizations.  This year's recipient is the MSTR Scholarship Foundation, which offers financial assistance to students affected by chronic illness. 

Each and every one of us can help, whether by liking the project's Facebook page, submitting a piece of poetry or short fiction (guidelines here), or spreading the word.

Our Words Can Change the World

July 25, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: Day 4

The Blogger Book Fair is soon coming to an end, but it's still going at full speed! Guest appearances continue to be posted, giveaways are still open, and even the Reader's Choice Award voting doesn't end until later tonight.  So what are you waiting for? Check out the Fair's Directory to join in on the fun while you still can!

While you're here, don't forget to stop by my Blogger Book Fair posts: 
And of course, check out their guest appearances here and enter my dedicated giveaway!

Guest Post by Emma Calin

This should be a guest post for the Blogger Book Fair to tempt you to read my books. However, since I am on the blog of a lovely poet, I wanted to share some poetry with you from a collection by a good friend, Oscar Sparrow.

I had the honour of writing the foreword for this anthology, so it feels like one of my books in any case!

The collection is called “I threw a stone” and is an eclectic selection of poems about life, love and nature. Some of the poems are serious, some are funny, some are raw and brutal. All exhibit Oscar's unique talent of distilling the essence of a subject into poetic form. The book is unusual in that the digital version includes a link to a FREE audio recording of all the poetry, recorded by Oscar himself with a specially composed musical introduction written by a local young musician. What better than to hear a poem read aloud by the poet?

July 24, 2013

Tips to Find Inspiration Every Day

By A. J. Hayes


Last year, on my 30th birthday, I took the challenge to write a poem a day for a year and post it on my Tumblr blog. I completed the task earlier this year, and compiled all 365 poems into a collection, 30th Year Poetry. Inspiration for these poems came in many forms. I talk about the specific inspiration for the poems in the book. In order to “get inspired” on a daily basis, I recommend doing the following:

July 23, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: Day 2

Unfortunately, one of the authors with whom I was scheduled to exchange posts for the Blogger Book Fair had to drop out at the last minute.  Rather than deprive all of you of the post I wrote for her site (and we all know it'd be an unacceptable loss) I am publishing it here.  I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments!

Agent Adventure

Finding the Gatekeepers of the Walled City of Publishing


Having chosen the traditional route, a writer begins a quest not unlike that of medieval heroes. We’ve packed our bags with the necessary supplies (our finished manuscript, a polished query letter, determination, and as a bonus – internet access) and now set out to make it past the gatekeepers (aka agents). At least one must be convinced of our worth before we are allowed to enter the walled city of publishing and fight for a place in its perpetual tournament. First, of course, we have to seek out the gatekeeper most likely to appreciate our potential.

July 22, 2013

Reader's Choice Awards!

As we kick off the Blogger Book Fair, in an extremely fortunate twist of fate, the Author Alliance 5-star review (by Nada Adel Sobhi) of Life Under Examination was posted today!  With lovely comments such as:
"I loved it. And that’s all I’m going to say about it. I will leave it for the rest of the world to read and see for themselves. *thumbs up Ms. Glazki*" 
and: " Life Under Examination deserves more than a 5-star rating for it is a collection that can, and will, touch each and every one."
Ms. Sobhi has certainly warmed my heart and reddened my cheeks!  

The timing is in part fortuitous because the polls for the Reader's Choice Awards have opened!  So please check out this thoughtful review, and then go vote!! (Life Under Examination is listed under "Poetry")

Blogger Book Fair Kickoff & Giveaway

The 2013 Summer Blogger Book Fair has officially begun!  This is my first time participating in a virtual book fair, but it's certainly shaping up to be quite the experience.  Authors and bloggers from around the world have come together to bring you a week saturated with wonderful guest posts, book reviews, giveaways, free & discounted books, and so much more!  Check everything out through the BBF directory.

All books participating in the Blogger Book Fair have been entered into the Reader's Choice Awards, including mine! Head on over to Shut Up & Read blog to cast your vote. Votes for my collection would of course be greatly appreciated, but don't forget to check out the many other categories!

July 20, 2013

Guest Post Etiquette

This isn't my first post relating to virtual etiquette, and while I certainly do not aim to become the Emily Post of the blogging world, there are nevertheless some dos and don'ts I'd like to share, based on both my experiences and common sense. I hope you will find them useful!

July 19, 2013

Flash! Friday: Prompt #33

It's Friday, and by now readers familiar with my blog know that that means it's time for Flash! Friday Fiction! The prompt is the lovely photo below, but this week we're challenged with an exact word count of 200.  Here goes!
Photo taken by Florian Fuchs (from Flash! Friday site)

July 15, 2013

Time-release Quid Pro Quo

All those of us who have been raised to be respectful know the importance and value of saying "thank you" to those who help us out, in ways great or small.  In many cases, people communicating through social media continue this nicety, which allows for courteous and amicable interactions.  Important as it is to demonstrate our gratitude, however, sometimes the best way of doing so on social media is not simply by saying, "Thank you."

This does not mean that demonstrating your gratitude is optional! But sometimes, there are better and more effective ways to repay the kindness that was shown to you.  So next time someone shares news of your release, retweets an important message, pays you a compliment, or anything else: 
  • Do thank them when it happens.
  • Do not consider that to be sufficient, especially if this person repeatedly supports your efforts to promote your book, blog, or other product.
Instead, go the extra mile:

July 14, 2013

Why Do I Write?

By Katherine Polillo


It’s a simple enough question, so one would think it has a simple enough answer, but it doesn’t. Why do I write? Because I enjoy it, it makes me happy, I crave the creative release… yes, but there is more than that.

Many years ago when I packed my bags and went off to college I envisioned a life and career very different than the one I’m living. I wanted to make a difference, and the na├»ve 18 year-old I was thought that the best way to do this was through politics. I became a history and political science major and began pursuing internships with Congressional Representatives. After several years and key life experiences I became very disillusioned with the political system, and washed my hands of the entire affair. I transferred colleges and tacked on a key piece to my college major. I decided to enroll in the Secondary Education program. I wanted to make a difference and the way I saw to do that was by teaching.

July 12, 2013

Flash! Friday: Prompt #32

  • Words in WIP: 13,761
  • RWA chapter contests entered: 5
  • Blog posts I've intended to write but haven't yet: 1
P.S. Have you checked out my recent guest post on Silent Rejections?
 And, it's Friday! This round of Flash! Friday requires 250 words +/- 25 on this prompt:

July 10, 2013

Update

Between preparing for the Blogger Book Fair and working on my next novel (11,600 words!), I have admittedly been slacking on the "writing interesting blog posts" front. This one won't be an exception, except letting you all know about a guest post that went up today, that ties in to my last post on the reality of rejections: Silent Rejections and the Successful Author.  Check it out on the Girl Who Reads blog!

More interesting posts coming soon, I promise!

July 7, 2013

Reality of Rejection

Everyone who embarks on the path to traditional publication learns quickly that rejection is an intrinsic and unavoidable part of the process.  Some choose to wear rejections as a badge of honor; others hide them away.  Many comfort themselves, and others, with the reminder that even hugely triumphant authors were rejected – countless times! – before succeeding "overnight." Even friends who have no active knowledge of the reality of the publishing industry remind me of stories such as that of J.K. Rowling when I mention my current rejection count. 

It is, indeed, important to remember that each rejection boils down to an individual's opinion, affected by a constellation of circumstances.  But how many rejections does it take until we realize the problem isn't the circumstances, but the proposal, or even the work? Because the reality is, although every published author has stories of rejections, what really matters is their magic number – that one instance of acceptance.

July 6, 2013

Giveaway Winners!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in my giveaway!  Some formalities:

  • Winners were selected at random via the Rafflecopter widget.
    • The selection process is powered by Random.org
  • Winners will have 7 days to respond to an email sent to the address with which they entered in order to claim their prizes.
    • Otherwise, alternate winners shall be selected, also at random.

And now, the winners are . . . 
Ellen M. A.
&
Donna L. S.


Congratulations, ladies!  Look out for an email from me for further instructions.


July 5, 2013

Flash! Friday: Prompt #31

This past week has been more than simply busy, in a way best illustrated by numbers:
  • Words written in new manuscript: 6,930
  • Form rejection count: 4
  • Silent rejections: 1
  • 5-star review count for Life Under Examination: 2
  • Blog posts I've intended to write, but haven't yet: 2
But that last category will have to wait some more, since today is Friday, and that means it's time for Flash Fiction!  Today's prompt requires 200 words +/- 5 on this photo:


July 1, 2013

Kicking Off Camp

It's July 1st, which means Camp NaNoWriMo has officially begun!

This spinoff of November's original National Novel Writing Month takes place exclusively online, with participants – campers – grouped into virtual cabins.  It also allows for more flexibility in your writing experience, as participants can set their own goals for the month (as opposed to November's standard 50,000 words).  For some, that may be writing 10,000 words, and for others it may be 100,000 or more.

It's not too late to sign up!  Log in with your NaNoWriMo credentials, or create a new account, and get writing!