Archive for April, 2009

Blog Hoppy

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

No, that shouldn’t be happy. In honor of the guy in the big, furry bunny suit, it’s hoppy. Pass it on.

Because I’m still laboring at my desk, here are some great places to visit if you’re so inspired. First, the Blaze authors have a new group blog. And Kensington author, HelenKay Dimon, has a snazzy new website. Love the new colors, HelenKay. Last, there’s an interesting new blog out there called Romance in the Backseat. Whose back seat, you ask? I’m not sure. But the blog features interviews with authors in the back seat of a car. It’s a cool concept, so go check it out.

Hop, hop, hopping into the long weekend…. Have a good one, everyone!

Spring Fever…Scattered Brain

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Yesterday was the first day in my neck of the woods that I could honestly say felt like spring. Yay. My tulips should be blooming soon. Maybe my ears will follow. :::collective groan:::

You should expect to find the blog light on content over the next couple of weeks. With a long weekend approaching, my ‘Rents returning from their winter away, doing taxes, and badgering Youngest Son through his college finals, I can barely find time to scribble out a scene here and there. I’m in the last two or three chapters of the WIP, so that’s where I’ll be placing my focus. I want this book done, so I can put it aside and give it time to gel while I tackle a shorter project.

How about you? Want to share your writing goals, your Easter plans? Is spring visiting your part of the globe? Are your ears sprouting?

Oh, before I forget, I am hosting one guest blogger in April. The lovely Vanessa Kelly, a debut regency historical author with Kensington Publishing, is visiting April 15th. That’s next Wednesday, and, yippsee-doodle, there’ll be a book give-away involved.

Book In a Nutshell Contest

Monday, April 6th, 2009

The Knight Agency is running a cool contest:

Get noticed, get feedback, get an agent. Here’s a chance to have your project reviewed by one of the agents at The Knight Agency. Submit three compelling sentences (150 words max) about your completed, unpublished manuscript to Write BOOK IN A NUTSHELL in the subject line or it will not be deemed elligible. One submission per project, please. Twenty of the best submissions will be chosen and requested by various agents who will then give feedback on your work…and it may even lead to possible representation. Hurry, the deadline is April 20, 2009. Winners will be notified by May 1, 2009.

Did you get that deadline? April 20th.

This is an excellent opportunity in an extremely tight market, so if you’re looking for an agent, get crackin’! (The books and the nutshell, har, har).

Bye-Bye ER

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

I watched the series finale of ER last night. Hard to believe the series started when Youngest Son was three or four years old. I’ve watched ER from the first episode, and I don’t think I’ve missed more than a handful of episodes in the last fifteen years. The series retrospective and finale was worthy of my favorite TV show. Yes, even when Grey’s Anatomy made an appearance, as much as I love that show, if I’d had to choose between the two, I would have chosen ER. Well, now I don’t have to choose, because Grey’s is the only medical drama I’m watching now. I tried getting into Private Practice and couldn’t. Okay, that’s not really fair. I watched the first episode and it didn’t catch me. I like my medical dramas set in hospitals. Plus, I was never truly enamoured of the character of Addison Montgomery while she was on Grey’s, so why would I follow her spin-off?

Boston Legal wrapped up in the fall, and Men in Trees was cancelled last year. With the ending of ER, I’m three TV shows down in my weekly line-up! My PVR could use the break. I’ve added Castle to the line-up, frankly because one of the main characters is a writer and I like seeing how his profession influences the story. Haven’t decided yet if I’ll stick with it. I’m enjoying it, but if it disappeared, I wouldn’t miss it. And, what the heck, I’ll try Southland next Thursday. I haven’t watched a cop drama since Hill Street Blues, so I’ll give it a whirl.

I really enjoyed the ER series finale. After suffering super disappointing finales when Seinfeld and Will & Grace ended, both NBC shows, I admit I was a little worried. But the story lines and relationships all wrapped up nicely, and the introduction of Mark Greene’s daughter, Rachel, as a newbie medical student was a  nice touch that brought the series full circle. Okay, so Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway were missing from the finale, but I loved how the series caught up with them last week. And, after all this time, I think the character of Dr. John Carter has finally grown on me.

So, bye-bye ER. I rarely buy DVD box sets of TV series. In fact, the only one I do have is Sex and the City, because My Liege and the boys saw fit to buy them for me. But I think I sense an ER collection in my future. And I love the idea of watching the series from the beginning again, see if I can catch any guest stars making double appearances as different characters (naughty, naughty). And who wouldn’t want to watch Dr. Romano lose his arm to a helicopter blade again? The arrogrant twerp.

Did you watch ER? Will you miss it? Which character(s) did you enjoy the most?

Automated Query Responses

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

I was surfing agent websites last week and came upon one that said the agent hoped to reply to every query, but could only promise to reply to the queries that sparked her interest. This got me thinking about my agent searches in the past and the “No Response Means We’re Not Interested” practice. While I understand how busy agents are and the quantity of queries they receive, I do wish there was a way a writer could at least receive acknowledgement that her query has been logged. It’s terribly frustrating to wait four – six months for a reply only to follow up and discover that the agent didn’t receive the query in the first place. Can not the query email address send out an automated “Your query has been received” message? You know, like the messages you receive when the person you’ve emailed has gone out of town?

As it so happens, BookEnds agent Jessica Faust opened up her blog yesterday to complaints about agents. I only had time to scan the Comment trail, and lo and behold one of the most major complaints was this “No Response Means We’re Not Interested” practice, when, for a writer, “No Response” might and can mean, “You’re Lost in My Spam Filter,” or “I Know It’s Been Ten Months, But I’m Still Undecided about the Partial.” The same idea I suggest here was suggested several times. Why NOT set up a special email address for queries and then have that email address automatically respond to every query with a form “We’ve Received Your Query and Will Get Back to You if We’re Interested” note?

See, we can understand not receiving a reply after our original query has been acknowledged. It’s not knowing if the query even arrived that causes the frustration.

If anyone can think of cons to automated replies to email queries, feel free to list them here.

By the way, I don’t believe BookEnds practices “No Response = Lack of Interest.” When I scanned the Comments trail of Jessica’s post, it reminded me that I had this post in my Drafts folder, so I dug it out. Timing is everything, doncha know?

14 Names

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Because it’s April Fools Day, I’m posting something foolish. Filched from Avery Beck

1. YOUR REAL NAME: Cynthia Cindy Lee Lou Procter-King (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but it sure drove SEW nuts when we were kids, so it’s worth it).

2. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME (mother and fathers middle names): Jean Andrew (Yawwwwwwn).

3. NASCAR NAME (first name of your mother’s dad, father’s dad): Archibald Duke (okay, so Duke was my paternal grandfather’s nickname, but NO ONE called him William, and Archibald Duke sounds cool!)

4. STAR WARS NAME (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name): Proci (Sounds like the name of a drug!)

5. DETECTIVE NAME (favorite color, favorite animal): Wedgewood Blue Kitty-Pooch. (She runs a high class agency, I assure you).

6. SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name, county where you were born): What’s a county? I think that’s more an American thing. We have counties, but we don’t go around remembering them. I’ve decided this means I’m much too cultured to have a Soap Opera Name.

7. SUPERHERO NAME (2nd fav color, fav drink, add “THE” to the beginning):  The Plum Sneaky Pete (Not that I drink them often, and there’s a good reason for that!). Do I have a cool Superhero name or what?

8. FLY NAME (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name): Cing :::calling Jeff Goldlum::: :::Jeffy, can you hear me?:::

9. ROCK STAR NAME (current pet’s name, current street name): Allie Paranoid (as in I won’t give out my current street name on my blog). Do I have a cool Rock Star Name or what?

10. PORN NAME (1st pet, street you grew up on): Bootsey Paranoid II

11. YOUR GANGSTA NAME (first 3 letters of real name plus izzle): Cinizzle

12.YOUR IRAQI NAME (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, first two letters of your middle name, last two letters of your first name then last three letters of your last name): Agh, I have to think? Okay…Ioledying. Sounds like I Lay Dying. Hmmm.

13.YOUR GOTH NAME (black, and the name of one of your pets): Black Keisha. Yeah, I rumble.

14. STRIPPER NAME (name of your fav perfume, fav candy): Summer Cups.  (It’s really CK One Summer, but that doesn’t sound very stripperish). (And, I must point out, the full name of the candy is really Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, however, again, it’s a mouthful, so I cheated).

There you have it! Mock me at will.