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Thursday, February 24, 2011

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Generally, I don't make a fuss, cause a stir, or make gratuitous attempts to draw attention on my birthday. But for some reason, this year I'm sayin, 

"To HELL with that! It's my 36th birthday!

In 36 years I have not:
  1. Been hit by a semi truck
  2. Been attacked by a shark in the Pacific
  3. Fallen off a cliff
  4. Overdosed on a deadly mixture of dark chocolate cake and Cabernet
In 36 years I have:
  1. Met and fallen in love with my husband
  2. Been blessed with 2 knock my socks off every day kids
  3. Seen some pretty fantastic places in this world of ours
  4. Met and befriended some pretty amazing people in this world of ours
  5. Written 2 books (and the 3rd is gestating)
  6. Finally figured out that, for the most part, I'm supposed to celebrate this life and try to enjoy as much of it as I can before I do get hit by a semi truck.
So that's exactly what I'm doing, I'm thanking God and being grateful for every single tiny day I have left on this planet because personally, I'm frigging ecstatic to still be here. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Have you always?

Put pen to paper; fingers to keyboard; crayola to the wall? Have you always wanted to be a writer? (assuming you are and haven't just accidentally stumbled across my blog because you were Googling Becky Taylor the British pop star or Rebecca Taylor the oh so fantastic fashion designer. Darn it husband with the most common last name on the planet!)

Or, worded differently, have you always written (wrote?--it's like 3:00am and neither sounds write--right?) and only recently (and I mean within the last 10 years recently) considered pursuing the publishing brass ring? And can you even make cents--sense? of this blog post? (Enough!)

I can't sleep and I'm feeling nosy. Tell me a story, tell me your story.   

Monday, February 21, 2011

Educating the Self

When I am lacking information, I search.

Over the last many moons I've learned quite a bit about writing, querying, blogging, trying to find an agent, finding an agent, e-readers, contracts between agents and writers, contracts between writers and publishers, the "decline" of publishing, etc, etc.

But recently, I've been trying to learn as much as I can about what happens after your initial dream comes true (reputable agent says, "yes!") and you gallop off into the sunset with your signed agency agreement.

As just starting out writers, we spend loads of time wishing, hoping, praying, and educating ourselves about act I in the process (writing a, hopefully, sellable ms and finding an agent.)

But what happens next?

So if, like me, you're wondering about the submission process and how editors, publishers, marketing, and sales departments decide if they want to invest in you and your work, here is a few of the most helpful posts I've come across on the subject over the last few weeks.

Writers Digest--Publishing 101What You Need to Know

Blue Rose Girls--Day in the Life of an Editor

The Acquisitions Process

Girl With A Pen--Day in the Life of a Book Editor

And my favorite:

Rachelle Gardner's Behind the Scenes at a Pub Committee Meeting

Thank you to everyone who shares their knowledge and expertise on the web!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Here's a little something to help get you in the mood

SONNET 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

--Shakespeare 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How Are You Buying Books?


The New York Times has started reporting on E-Book bestsellers as their own category. Here is the new, I think easier to navigate, page with the E-Book category divided into fiction and nonfiction.

Since purchasing my Kindle last year, I've noticed a trend in my own book buying. For my "Keepers" as I like to call them, I'm still buying hardbacks. These are those books that I either know, or suspect, I will want to have around on my shelves for many moons. Often, I envision passing these books down and around and so I want their physical presence to remind of them every time I browse my own shelves.

My kindle has been filling up with all those books I would have purchases as either trade paper or mass market.

You might suspect that this suggests a literary genre divide. Maybe all of the Literature is still purchased in its rightfully enduring and sure to eventually gather dust and begin smelling like a fine book format? And this is true, I do buy books I think may end up on the future Must Read lists in hardback. But I have found that I also buy the hardbacks of genre fiction that I either really enjoy first on my kindle (they've had some emotional impact on me that I want to remember) or that are apart of a series that I suspect will become a genre classic for various reasons--sort of like owning a hardback of Carrie.
 
How are you buying the majority of your books these days?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

That First Mile

Me in 2009 right before the start of the The Other Half Marathon in Moab, UT. Also, the last time I seriously exerted myself in the name of running.

I run I jog. Not everyday, not even every week these days. But still, I make an effort...sometimes. I don't especially care about running. I don't time myself, push myself to get better, or subscribe to Runner's World (and if I did I would probably only read the feel good personal essays anyway.) What I care about is keeping my stress levels below some manageable thresh hold, my sanity above some indicator of reasonable mental health and, quite frankly, a consistent jean size.

But I don't LOVE jogging.  Any other exercise that was cheap to maintain, easy to access, and could get me just as much exertion for time put in (outdoors) would do just as well for me.  And, given my luke-warm affair with the sport, it's no big stretch to realize I never get better at jogging. Always, I run the same speed, roughly the same distance, and infrequently enough to always feel like that first mile is going to give me a heart attack.

But here's the thing--I don't care to get any better. I don't care to get faster. I don't care if I run longer distances. I don't even care if I walk across the finish line at the Bolder Boulder this year.

And so, I never take any steps to improve. I keep doing the same things over and over. I run the same routes. I run the same (somewhat) comfortable speed. I haven't even purchased new running shoes in like two years!

There are many things I do want to do really, really well--take writing for instance. It takes time, effort, energy...study, to get better at anything.

The thing is, there are only so many hours in a day. Thus, running I don't care to invest any more time in than it takes me to throw on a pair of faded sweats and head out my front door. For me, what has helped me focus my efforts is being honest with myself and differentiating between the things I do want to spend my time becoming skilled at (writing) and the things that don't make me insane with jealously to see others outpace me (not writing--running.)

So what do you think--what are you okay with just being okay at? 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Luck of Hard Work

I was so taken by Laura Pauling's post regarding luck and opportunity this morning that I scoured my office for a couple of my favorite quotes. The first I posted in her comments section and here is the other:


Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work
--Thomas Edison

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SNOW DAY!!!!

 We're having a SNOW DAY!!! I love snow days, mostly because they are like this unexpected (and thus unoverplanned for) present of a day.

For the special occasion, I will be donning PJ's all day.

This picture is taken from my back door. This is, actually, an embarrassing, practically nonexistent amount of snow and hardly seems worthy of SNOW DAY status.





 I'm pretty sure the decision to cancel school all over the Denver metro area was based more on this.

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