My First Literary Contest

Contests: Anyone else going for the blue ribbon?

I follow several blogs on writing, and came across a post about the PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association) Literary Contest. So, after reading up on it a bit… and mulling over the idea of spending the $50 entry fee… I decided to enter The Enduring.

There are a dozen categories:

1. Mainstream
2. Historical
3. Romance (electronic only)
4. Mystery/Thriller
5. Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
6. Young Adult/Middle Grade
7. Nonfiction/Memoir/How-To
8. Screenwriting
9. Poetry
10. Short Story
11.  Children’s Picture/Chapter Book
12. Adult Short Topics (Article/Essay/Short Memoir)

My work went in under the YA/Middle Grade category. They allow 28 pages max (including a one page synopsis.) I took a few days to make sure everything was in order, then shipped it off today.

Now that it’s done, I started looking into a couple others that interested me. Does anyone else out there participate in this kind of thing? Any words for or against?

Let me know what you’re thinking! And, in the meantime…

Keep Writing!

Laura

My Writing Goals for 2012

20071126-todo-list

A fellow blogger wrote a good piece about setting some writing goals for 2012, and I thought this would be a great plan for me. First of all, I love to make lists. It’s something about the sheer joy I get from check-marking tasks as they are completed. My way of presenting myself with a pat on the back or a gold star, I guess.

Also, with a  mind that spends a great deal of  time in my own personal Never Never Land (I warned you—unrestrained fancy.), I need occasional reminders that keep me grounded. The plan is to hang my list across from my desk. That way I see it all the time, and have no excuse for forgetting things.

Several of my items concern the internet. I’m planning to set up my website this year. Also, I want to blog regularly, and stop ignoring my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ll be sending out queries for The Enduring, and as soon as I finish the major edit in the works, Heart of the Jagdiip will start going out again too. I wrote a few chapters of the sequel to TE, and I’d like to complete the first draft this year. There’s another story idea on the back burner that I’m trying to develop enough to get a rough outline laid out. Then, I added one goal to read 2 new novels a month, and another to spend on night a month gaming or watching movies to give myself the occasional break.

It’s a pretty tough list. Knowing my schedule, things might not get done as quickly as I hoped. But I thank S.A.M. for inspiring me to actually put together some kind of game plan!

 

Keep writing!

Laura

Thankful and Moving Onward

Thanksgiving Day is done and gone. Family and friends ate their fill, took whatever leftovers I could force upon them, and still managed to leave me with a refrigerator packed to the gillsLeftovers. And now, late at night while things are quiet, I find myself sitting here in a state of reflection.

Like many writers hoping to build a career around what they love, my life is divided between family, what folks refer to as a real job, and countless hours staring at a computer screen in a corner of my home. So every once in a while, I have to think about my choices.

Sure, if I weren’t writing, my house would be cleaner. Meals would be better planned, and the laundry would get done more often. I could spend more time hanging out with friends, and the checkbook might get balanced properly once in a while. And what about the other side of this? What about the personal ups and downs of writing?

Earlier this year I was offered the opportunity  to submit The Enduring to a publisher attending Dragon Con. Needless to say, this filled me with oodles of glee, and I jumped into revisions the moment I arrived home. In addition, I  re-wrote my synopsis to meet their requirements—a minimum of ten pages, and containing the complete emotional story arcs of every major character. Then off, via email, it went.

I wish I could say this story had a dramatic ending with someone offering me loads of money for a multi-book series, but alas, things didn’t work out that way. I did get a helpful, and very complimentary reply, and an offer to submit future works. And so it goes—a dose of excitement, one more disappointment, then a big twist of hope tacked on the end. Yet I wouldn’t have it any other way….

I guess that means the laundry and the dusting will wait.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Keep writing!

Laura

Fun @ Dragon Con

Approaching dawn from my hotel window

My first Dragon Con has been great! We arrived in Atlanta on Wednesday, August 31,  and our room at the Westin Peachtree Plaza was gorgeous. Almost made it worth the $200 a night price tag….

I attended a two day writer’s workshop with Jody Lynn Nye, and it was a wonderful experience. I learned so much. Each participant sent sample pages in advance for her to critique. I was kind-of excited about getting her input on The Enduring. Jody also selected a few works to be critiqued by the entire group. Mine was among those chosen, so I came home with a huge stack of notes from everyone! Yay!

Oh, and did I mention all the panels? I wanted to spend all my time just running from one to the other. I really appreciated the opportunity to meet so many writers, as well as a agents, editors and publishers… but I had to occasionally remind myself this was supposed to be a family vacation.

Hey, Laura! Remember those other people staying in your room?

Hmmm… when I stop and think about it, they do look vaguely familiar.

Okay, so I took some time  for other stuff as well. I didn’t make it to either Buffy panel (bummer), but my family did get to do some fun things together. And we spent hours in the Exhibitor’s Rooms, the Dealer’s Room, Artist Alley, and we visited the Walk-of-Fame areas more than once.

Now I’m headed home. It’s back to work tomorrow—a terrifying thought, since I know all will be in total chaos. But once things settle down a bit, I will turn my focus to putting what I’ve learned to use. And then? Edit. Edit. Edit.

Keep writing!

Laura

Where I Am Now

As Dory says, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

Thinking about what I want to accomplish with this blog, I guess the first thing is to talk about is where I am.

I have completed two novels. The Enduring is an 80,000 word, young adult contemporary fantasy. Heart of the Jagdiip is a 96,000 word, young adult high fantasy that reaches into the contemporary world.

I sent out several queries for Heart late in 2010, but stopped over the holiday season. By the time I could begin again, I was busy writing The Enduring, pushing everything else aside until I finished it this summer.

Currently, I am querying agents with The Enduring. While waiting for replies, I continue to polish that work, and also made the decision to do a major edit on Heart as well, shifting POV (point of view) around a bit. My side project is to outline the ideas I have for sequels of both novels… just in case. Heart has the potential for four sequels. The Enduring can be expanded to a trilogy. I would love to finish both of these series, but will probably choose something new to write next. There is little pointing in devoting months of my time to a sequel until there is interest in the first.

So, that’s what I’m up to. I have some other plans coming up, but I’ll save that info for my next post.

Keep Writing!

Laura

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