Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Congratulations, M. Kate Quinn

I'm proud to tell you about the new release Summer Iris by M. Kate Quinn. She is a fantastic author and my critique partner!! That's us holding the new release. Marykate in the middle and Shari on the right. They are the best critique partners in the world!
You can purchase the Summer Iris from Barnes & or her website It makes a great summer read, gift for a friend, or book group discussion.

Summer Iris is a funny, poignant romance that takes a stunted, middle-aged woman, transplants her to a cottage by the sea for a summer and cultivates her into her true self.

Everyone can relate to the need to find themselves. You'll laugh along with Iris as she journeys to her heart's true desire. Pick up a copy now and tell me what you think.

Talk to you later...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Your Life's Purpose

Have you ever read The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo? It's a fantastic book about a young man's journey to find his personal legend. My book group read it recently and a question that came up in discussion was "is it narcissistic to pursue your personal dreams?"

I say no. It's our responsibility to fulfill our life's purpose. But what about the people who step on others along the way? You know the type. They're only concerned with their own interests. They don't open their hearts and minds to the people and the world around them. As I like to put it, "Life in the Key of Me."

Being a writer on the path to publication teaches you a very valuable lesson. Other writers will have success when you aren't. It's like when all your friends are getting married and you have to keep going to those puffy, frilly, cake eating, weddings alone. What do you do? You certainly don't make it about yourself.

What has led so many to turn their focus on the world inward? I have my opinion on it, of course. We live in a society where everyone is a winner and no one can come in second place because it might hurt their feelings. We've become so worried about boosting self-esteem all we've done is create mediocrity and people (children and adults) who think the world should revolve around them.

Technology has added to this interior spiral. Don't get me wrong the advancement of technology is a great and needed thing, but now we are bombarded with ways people can tell you about their trips to the bathroom, their need to have a drink because the day was too difficult, or their crush on the neighbor's cousin's, father's uncle's spouse. Way too much information if you ask me.

Let's go back to that young boy in The Alchemist. He pursued his personal legend, his life's purpose, with his eyes and heart open so he could receive the signs telling him how to continue on his path. When you shut down you miss grace operating in your life, your actions are driven by negativity, and your piano is stuck in the key of "Me."

Your life's purpose waits for you. Open your heart and your mind and when you ask someone how they're doing, really listen. This time it might need to be about them.

Talk to you later...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To Edit or not to Edit

Hello to All! I apologize for being inconsistent with my blog posts lately. I've been up to my eyeballs in edits. I'm trying to get my latest work in progress Don't Play With Fire ready for a huge conference I'm attending in July. I've been making major changes to the plot. I think I have it all figured out now. The only thing left is the fine tuning which is easier said than done. All my writer friends know about that!

So, I got to thinking - What the heck am I going to write about on the blog? Might as well talk about the importance of editing. I mean, we could talk about the NJEA again or bad parenting (I could go on about that forever) or children who don't know how to play nicely, (wait a sec, that goes under the bad parenting column!) But since editing is on my mind it might as well be on yours too.

How often do you edit your work? You don't have to be writing novels to do editing. You could be writing notes to your children's teachers. Everything needs to be rewritten at least once.

In the day and age of emails and texts do you even bother to look over what you've put down? I bet a lot of you don't. I edit everything now. I even edit television commercials and other people's conversations! Scary, I know. But I can't help it.

You may be saying, "Stacey, I'm a great writer. I don't need to edit. It's you who suck." And my response to that is (after I stick my tongue out at you) "Stephen King you ain't!" And even he edits!

So, where am I going with all this? Good question. When writing it's important to slow down and spend some time with it. Think of editing like hanging out with a good friend. You want the time to last. After you've written something you should put it down and walk away from it. The longer time you can put between you and the piece the better. You'll come back with fresher eyes and you'll see things you've missed.

You may not have made your point as clearly as you would've liked. You might have mispelled a few words. And please, for the love of Pete do not rely on spell check! Give your piece to someone else to read. They will bring a different perspective to what you've written.

If you're doing creative writing learn your craft. There are tons of books out there to help you. Or attend writing workshops about character, plot, conflict. Read your favorite authors and see what they've done then go back and reread your work.

Because of emails and texts I think the art of writing (and it is an art) is becoming a thing of the past. Many can't even put a complete sentence together and it's sad. Call me old fashioned, but I think everyone should take pride in the words they put down whether on paper or screen. Remember the old adage: It's not what you say, but how you say it? If you can't write well then you sound plain old dumb.

Talk to you later...