Tuesday, March 27, 2018

WOK's Future...and You

Your back aches and your neck is kinked from hours and hours of writing. You've plastered your rejection letters with pride. You've read the books, attended the conferences...but your resume is still lacking a bit of shine.

The publishing industry looks for dedication and craft. Simply put, if you're dedicated enough, even the roughest draft will become polished.

Volunteer. And volunteer with pride.

We're gearing up for our 2018-2019 year and are on the lookout for just that.

Here's just a few of our needs...

Critique Co-Coordinator
Co-Vice Presidents (2)
Critique Group Leaders

Friday, March 23, 2018

Helping Animals Live Tomorrow

This post is for my daughters. 
Once a quarter, they host a donation drive for a worthy non-profit. They're driven with compassion to change the world (no matter how small it is).

If you're on Instagram or Facebook, you can follow their efforts by searching for Kind Girls Make Strong Women.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Child's Heart

Two of my daughters earned new phones (that was a grandparent deal, not one of mine). The younger of the two couldn't sit still, her excitement palpable. She played with the features, the sound at full volume. She took videos and pictures of everyone in the house, pets included. By the afternoon, the older of the two bared her teeth and all but strangled the younger.

Older (and supposedly wiser) she berated the younger and went too far. Damon and I intervened and took her new phone. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth, not to mention the full court defense she launched. And yet, Damon and I said, no. She had to take responsibility for her mistreatment of her little sister.

It wasn't ten minutes later that the younger came to us in tears, big crocodile droplets. She handed me her phone saying, "take my phone and give hers back." When I told her that her sister needed to learn, she responded, "I do too. It's my fault. Take my phone."

Her offer to sacrifice shifted the mood of the entire house. Kindness crept back in and order was restored. It was only a moment of tenderness that invited love in. 

It's been a few weeks since that incident and I can't shake the image of my daughter's tear streaked face begging to take her sister's place.

Compassion leaves a mark, imprints the memory on our hearts. I hope one day I'll be the person my daughter already is. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Best of Pitches, the Worst of Pitches

I absolutely loved judging Writers of Kern's Pitch Contest. Each of these submissions were given at the conference without preparation. I do have a confession, I loved reading the worst pitches. It truly takes talent to purposely write badly.

Best Pitch

Winner: Rossely Harmon
A young troublemaker accidentally turns her town into stone and must embark on the dangerous journey of defeating the Beast on the Mount in order to reverse the spell and get back to her family.

Runner up: Rossely Harmon
Years after witnessing the brutal slaughter of her family by a blood-thirsty dictator, a young Haitian girl attempts to escape the racially divided society by befriending a highly  ranked soldier.

Runner up: Lori Renee
Young love dares to overcome the social stigma and complications of mental illness while searching for a missing teen.

Worst Pitch
Winner: Ian Cant
This may not be the best of books, but on the other hand, it may not be the worst of books either…I think.

Set in a recent revolutionary episode in an exotic foreign locale, the English milord foils his foes and liberates his fair lady. He does a noble thing, which is good but dies at the end, which is not so good. But in between the story is action-packed and no more gory than necessary.

Runner Up: Joan Raymond
All my friends told me this is a good book. It’s like the love story where everyone dies. From Poison. Then one person gets a dog. And then they find out its magic—and everyone comes back to life.

Runner Up: Ava Rose
The characters aren’t nice. The main character dies because of them. She can’t runway. They all die.
The End.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Blogger Help

You might have the blogging system down, posting twice a week or shoot, thrice a week sometimes.
You might feel like you're drowning.

Here's a quick hint.
If you think of something, do a draft. Then leave it.
When you think of something else, write another draft. Even upload a picture.
Pretty soon you have five, maybe eight draft posts. They'll take a bit more love before publishing but it won't be overwhelming.

Bit by bit, you'll have the rest of your twenty six posts. Better yet, you'll be in the habit of writing. You (and your brain) will be trained to write a few times a week, maybe even daily.

You can do this.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Save The Date

Writers of Kern would like to hear from you. Not through the phone or via computer, but in the flesh. Face to face.
Come join us for our first annual Strategy Meeting, April 7th 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

We'll talk about the 2018-2019 year as well as the future of Writers of Kern.

RSVP for details.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Pitch your Best, Pitch your Worst

Writers of Kern is changing its conference game.
For the first time, we're offering a pitch contest like no other. Pitch us your best and pitch us your worst.

Come prepared or do it on the fly. No more than 200 words per pitch.

See you at the conference (whether its your worst or best yet).

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Four adults, three children...one capital

My family (plus my parents) are headed to Washington, DC in just a few weeks. The girls have researched historical sites and museums galore. We'll arrive at the height of Cherry Blossom season and hopefully the end of blistering cold nights.

But, having never been, I'd love to hear about your must-see sites?
Keep in mind, our children are aged eight, eleven and thirteen. They're eager to learn but still fairly naive (the Holocaust museum will have to wait until they're older).

Send your suggestions on over!

It's never too late to join

It doesn't take a poet to be a blogger. It takes just a moment. Join the challenge. 
It's never too late. 

Blog about your spoiled milk. Blog about your family. 
There's nothing too mundane or too insignificant for a post. 

Because here's the deal. We're human. And when we read about someone else's ordinary life, it connects us. And that's what we're all searching for. 

You don't need to be eloquent and you don't need to be glamorous. You just need to be you.

Email me to join. You can do it.

Monday, March 5, 2018

To Conference or Not to Conference?

What's the deal with writers conferences?
I've been asked this at least a dozen times in the last month. I, for one, am a conference junkie. I'm headed to Writers of Kern in a few weeks and Storymakers in May.
The publishing industry is a far cry from the loner's paradise it once was. Agents (like this one) attend for "three reasons: relationships, relationships, relationships."
Only at a writers conference can we experience a high concentration of creative energy. There's a fluidity to it. The speaker shares an idea or guidance, which in turns touches a writer who then shares their own idea to another writer...and then a writer talks with the speaker, who is given a new idea to ponder.

I've met lifelong friends because of writer conferences. I've not yet attended the conference in May and already this morning I spoke (via Zoom) with future attendees (one from Scotland, one from Idaho and one from Utah). 

For those of you who are sitting behind a screen shaking your head...

Trust me, it's not nearly as scary as you're thinking. Come join the fun, who knows, your future agent might be waiting for you.