Sunday, January 31, 2010

In Progress A Five-Year WritingPlan

By December 31, 2014 I plan

to be a writer-in-residence at a writing conference or college
to have sold 3 novels, the 2 I completed in 2009 and 2010 as well as the one completed in 2011
to have sold a how-to book based on my class assignments
to have attended the opening night of my first play
to be marketing novels written 2012 - 2014


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lost in a Book

In sixth grade my favorite book was Storm Canvas, a sea story set in the War of 1812. I wanted to run away to sea to be a cabin boy, but since thatwasn't in the cards, I jumped aboard the book and sailed away.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Creative Writing

I wrote this to read at my Creative Writing Class's public reading on 1/28.

Creative Writers

We fill our cups with each other’s words until they run over.

We fill picnic baskets, trunks, silos, freight cars, and hay barns with our words. Every one a gift.

Listening to each other’s words is as pleasurable as eating watermelon on the porch steps (with comments launched like watermelon seeds into the back yard).

Our words interlock

like the strands in a multi-colored braided rug.

Our words blend and sing harmonies.

Our words pluck long-forgotten chords in each of us.

Some words grow in neat rows, willing to be weeded and watered.

Other words escape and tangle into briar patches, resisting and drawing blood when we try to pick them.

Some words roam wild and free on the high slopes and have to be chased down and forcibly corralled.

Other words are as docile as sheep waiting to be penned.

As writers, we have to be

…as persistent as prospectors panning for word nuggets that will assay into stories. faithful as fishermen, patiently casting into a pool of words to see which ones will bite, taking the keepers home to fillet and fry up as stories and poems.

…as tough as tight rope artists, walking the wire of writing and step by assured step bridging the gap between inspiration and story.

I celebrate the writers who have read their work tonight!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quick to No

Okay, first query sent off in 2010, response in 4 hours, "No."
Impersonal response reminding me it's better to "know" than wait for a personal gentle let-down.
Hmmm. Not sure about that. The limbo of querying, in which all is possible for weeks until the reply comes back, was truncated today. After 4 hours, Grace was back in my court.

Time to serve an ace.

This is why having 10 queries out at a time is such a good idea.

Friday, January 15, 2010

5-Year Plan

New Year's resolutions are not enough: I am formulating a five-year plan. I have given myself to the end of January 2010 to design it. I plan to buy a Levenger (great notebook source) 5-Year Diary, so every day will show me not only where I am but where I'm heading.

My last 5-year plan (1980) had a single goal "get a job in the fire service." I accomplished that one in 4 years. Published a book on arson in 1982, joined the Bellport Fire Dept. as a volunteer in 1982; became an editor with the NY Fire Dept. --temp, 1983; full-time, 1984.

What does a five-year plan have to do with Grace at War? Everything! For 2010: have at least 10 queries out at all times; sell the book. See it in print by 2012. Meanwhile, get the new novel ready to send out before November 2010.

I'll post my progress!