Works-in-Progress

redpenHave you ever thought about why current projects are called “work-in-progress” (WIP)?

Have you ever been in the middle of something and it…just…doesn’t….feel quite right?

I’m there.

I have a couple friends I can use as sounding boards and I am very grateful to them! Last night, I chatted with one of them on Facebook;

The project, a book, was tentatively titled Selling Yourself Is Not Prostitution: Networking & Self-Promotion for Wallflowers. For now, it will be a newsletter and possibly an ecourse that will be available through Udemy. Nothing on that is set in stone yet, but I will let you now what happens with that.

It will still be a book. Just not in the way I had originally planned it. But that’s the way it goes with WIPs. They’re changeable. Unless you have a written contract in hand that says it has to be a certain way, you can always change it up. So I am.

Today, I am working on setting up the newsletter. It will be offered through MailChimp.com. I will post tomorrow when I have the signup information.

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All Work and No Play

DSC_0090I am writing this while sitting at Basin Park. I just had lunch at the Balcony Restaurant at the Basin Park Hotel here in Eureka Springs. I am in town for another two-week residency at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow.

I decided I needed to start a blog post that I could tpe in later.

Part of me says I need to get back to work on my book. Another part agrees, but insists I can do it later, after the rain comes in.

For now, I’m watching traffic, taking a few pictures, and enjoying the breeze.

Why am I telling you this? Do I have a point?

Yes. I do.

We all have things to do, places to go, people to see.

But do we ever slow down to enjoy the people and things around us?

(Right now a guy has started playing a guitar not too far from where I sit. He’s pretty good too.)

The doing — the work — is good, but enjoying things — playing — is too.

You know the swaying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? Why tolerate a dull life? Enjoy it!

Recently, in the news and circulating on Facebook and other social media sites, articles and reports talk about how Americans don’t take any time off. They always work. Why?

MasterCard companies is cashing in on this as well.

I’m not saying you have to live it up. I am saying enjoy what you have, who you love, while you can. You don’t have to be busy all the time.

Q&A with Angela Drake

From her Amazon Author Page:

Angela Drake believes in happy endings, the magic of ‘what if’ and in second chances. When not living vicariously through her characters, Angela writes about and promotes Texas and classic country music. She is an active member of two local writer’s organizations. Angela enjoys time with her granddaughters, gardening, journaling, and a myriad of artistic pursuits. She shares a home in the Ozarks with her husband, three dogs and two cats. She loves networking with readers and writers through her Facebook, twitter and blog.

Today we are fortunate to have Angela on the blog for her new book, Somewhere Down the Line, published by Boroughs Publishing Group. She took the time from her promotion efforts to answer a few questions for us.

What was your process during the writing of Somewhere Down the Line?
I wrote Somewhere Down the Line during NanoWriMo 2012… in 18 days!

I immersed myself in music by the band who inspired the story, including the title track. I cruised the internet and found THE house on Galveston Bay. If I had a cool million Dollars to toss around, that house would be mine. LOL

How did you decide on a publisher to submit it to?
Serendipity played a big roll. I didn’t write Somewhere Down the Line with the intent of seeing publication. This was just one of those stories I had to write based on an idea that would not turn loose. One of those ‘what if’ things that came about during a situation. That was in Nov. 2012. In the spring of 2013, Boroughs Publishing Group offered up a contest called ‘What’s In A Name?’. The story had to be based on a song title. I had one! The clincher was that Chris Keesler is the Editor In Chief of Boroughs. I have admired Chris for years. This was my chance to work with my dream editor. I wound up being one of the three top finalists, guaranteeing a contract for my novella.

New Somewhere Down the Line_coverAfter it was accepted, what was the process of getting to publication?
I went from six months without a budge to from edits to publication in under 5 weeks. I have Chris Keesler to thank for jumping into my corner and taking the lead. Sometimes you have to speak up when something doesn’t feel right.

Is this part of a series or does it stand alone?
Somewhere Down the Line is a stand-alone. However, through the process I have found a way to combine my one true passion, music, with writing stories. So there will be more books with a song title theme and/ or music settings.

What’s next?
I have two projects in progress. One is to figure out why my first completed work hasn’t seen publication yet (though it did get ‘The Call’ once). I’ve changed the title to A Christmas to Remember (Dolly Parton song) and see if I can’t move this one out the door.

My new project is about a fireman in New England, a widow with a young son and exploring the history of ‘Field Days’.

Visit Angela’s blog by clicking her picture above. You can buy Somewhere Down the Line on Amazon.

You can also find her at:
Facebook
Facebook Fan Page
Twitter

Skype for Interviews

I have had a Skype account for quite some time. I’ve used it a few times, particularly when my nieces spent the night and Face Time wouldn’t work on my mom’s iPad.

Fast forward to a few days ago. I needed to do an interview with someone who is currently in a different country. I knew she wouldn’t want to do a phone call, international rates being what they are, so I thought we would end up having to do it via email.

She suggested Skype. I had never thought about Skype for interviews. It was a wonderful idea! The interview went very well and I’m already almost half-way finished with the article.

I know many people use Skype on a regular basis. Yes, we had a few glitches, some on my end and some on hers. Overall, it was a 20-minute conversation that would not have been possible otherwise. Now?

Now I can meet my deadline. And I got a reminder of a great tool that I need to remember to use more often.

Remembering Peggy Moss Fielding

pmfThe first time I met Peggy Moss Fielding was at the first writers’ conference I went to in 1999, held by the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. Even then, I admired her spunk and wit.

Not long after that, some friends and I heard about writing classes she taught in her home to members of the Tulsa Nightwriters. Now, we were already members of the McAlester McSherry Writers, but there were no rules that said you couldn’t be a member of more than one group, so we joined and went to Peggy’s class.

If I remember correctly, that first class was on writing romance, but that’s neither here nor there.

Peggy was a stickler for writing every day, no matter what. We started calling her Warden Peggy. The only excuses ever granted would be with a note from the Pope or the president of the Southern Baptist Convention (or your denomination of choice).

It is in large part because of Peggy’s influence that I am (still) a writer.

You know the saying “God broke the mold when he made” some person. I truly believe that to be the case with Miss Peggy. She was a firecracker and had stories to tell! (And that’s not counting the ones she wrote.)

She wrote inspirational pieces, true confessions, how-to books on writing, romances, etc. If I were to list everything she wrote, it would take the space of about 3 or 4 posts. She once said she would write anything at least once except for poetry. She told a story of getting her first sales. Two of them came in the mail at the same time. One was from an inspirational magazine and one from a confessions magazine. She hurried home and told her mother she sold two stories, “One to God and one to the devil, but the devil pays better.”

There are so many stories I could tell about Peggy, but since they involve other friends of hers, I will leave those to them for the telling.

In a romance writing workshop she had, I had a novel in progress titled “Satin’s Thief.” She loved that title. She said, “If you don’t use it, I will!”

OK, Peggy. That’s my next project. I promise.

And some day, some time, when we meet up again in the afterlife, I hope to be able to tell you that I wrote. Every day. At least 30 minutes.

Oh, and Peggy? In case you wondered, you were loved and are already very dearly missed.

50% Writer, 50% Business Person

Eloisa James
Photo (c) 2014 by Jen Nipps

Eloisa James was the keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc., conference earlier this month. She also presented a lunch session one day of the conference.

If at all possible, you need to hear her speak. She is very polished and very knowledgeable.

Of everything she said, one thing has really stayed with me.

“You are 50% writer and 50% business person and the business comes first.”

Why did that resonate so much in my mind?

That’s an easy answer and a hard truth.

I tend to ignore the business side of things. I write too much for free or for very little pay. Speaking of which, I’m going to stop writing for free. That means I’m going to start charging you to read this blog.

Just kidding.

The blog is something I do for me as well as for you. That’s something I couldn’t charge for.

There are things I can do — need to do — should have already been doing — though.

At the moment, I am a writer-in-residence at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. In addition to working on a book about self-promotion and networking (Selling Yourself Is Not Prostitution: Networking & Self-Promotion for Wallflowers) while I’m here, I will also be planning how I can address more of the business side.

I need to do that.

I have to do that.

If I don’t, there is no sense in my continuing to work as a writer. No one would expect an accountant or a lawyer to work for free. They wouldn’t expect a doctor to either.

Why should writers?

Why should any kind of artist?

We shouldn’t.

I’m going to change that for myself. I have friends I can call on for advice. Friends who have made their livings as freelance writers/editors for years. If they can do it, so can I.

But I have to put the business side into practice as well.

What about you? What is it in your writing life that you tend to neglect even though it needs attention?