“Congratulations!  Your synopsis and 1,000-word manuscript have been selected for the 2010 Midwest Writers Workshop Fellowship.”  Well, heck thanks, MWW!

What the hay! I’m a Fellow! 

Looking forward to an intense weekend of revising my manuscript with some industry experts.  We nine Fellows will spend Friday and Saturday writing and revising manuscripts in progress under the direction of three veteran writing coaches. The fellowships will pay the writers’ retreat costs, other than travel and incidental expenses.


“This retreat experience has been an extraordinary event for the previous Fellows. We are very happy to continue this intensive opportunity for writers with serious works in progress,” says Jama Bigger, Midwest Writers Workshop director.

Well, all righty then, write on.


Six words.  Seven Syllables.  Everything shifted every so gently.

Yesterday, I had the honor of attending a workshop hosted by an author whom I greatly admire.  Did I mentioned she is published?  Very published ladies and gentlemen, in the way of three or more dozen novels, not including the novels re-printed in Russian, French, and other languages I wished I would have learned before my brain stopped being a sponge.

The last half of the workshop the author held a critique of our works in progress.  Of the group of five, my critique was last.  Why?  Because of a shoe.  One errant shoe lost by my seven-year old Busy Son (because, after all, I am the Chief Finder of Things, Lost and Hidden).  The shoe was nowhere to be found, and we needed something other than a sock covering his left foot before I could drop them off with Sparkly Hubby and make my way north to the bookstore. I was last to read because I found the shoe, but forgot my manuscript.

I arrived at the workshop, and realizing  my error, my stomach dropped through my size ten Born clogs. I was lucky.  Linda, the goddess of Books Alive, grabbed my SD card and saved the day, printing my work in progress and handed it to me just as the fourth review ended.

So the author read my words.  Midway, she stopped reading my novel, her eyes glistening.  I was concerned that I had erred terribly with my writing, perhaps I included too many adverbs or “ands” or “thens” — maybe it was just bad composition.  I thought the worst — until I realized that my words had made her cry.   And when she was done reading she looked at me and uttered the six words that title this post, the seven syllables that will keep me writing, for another day.

Now, if I could just find that missing backpack . . .

In my dream world. . .

April 9, 2010

. . . I would be a published author.  The other day I Priority mailed my first chapter, 1000 words of my ten thousandish revision of my work in progress.  The worst part?  Writing the one page synopsis *collective groan by the writing audience.*

I submitted the novel in hopes of gaining a fellowship to a local writing academy — it’s a contest you see, and my tummy is in knots thinking the administrator has opened the red, white and blue envelope, pulling out my five page WIP.  In which pile did it land?  Yay?  Or nay.

On second thought, maybe the first paragraph could us a little tightening.  What have I been working on this morning?  Revising the first chapter.

Now For My Real Life…

April 9, 2010

While trudging forward on my Badass Novel, I continue my day “job” helping Sparkly Hubby.

Today’s task?  Reviewing the myriad of resumes submitted for a job opening at his Sparkly Business.  I am here to let you know we are doomed.  Writing is abysmal.  The clincher? Potential applicants who email with a precursor:  they would “like to know how much it pays” or “how long the hours will be” BEFORE they email their resume. 

Geesh, give me a break, can I offer you a foot rub too?

You thought we were in a recession, people scrambling, hungry for work n’est pas?   Not so.  Most people are fairly clueless as to what makes an attractive resume for a hiring manager.  Scary when it’s me, true, but I am OCD wordwise enough that I can tell if an applicant has put thought into his words when writing.  Therefore I am taking keyboard in hand and giving us all a “what to do and not do when submitting a resume.”  And heeeeeere we go!

What Not to Do (as opposed to What Not to Wear, luv ya Stacy and Clinton):

1. Do NOT under any circumstances write in your career goal as “looking to find employment because I really need a job.”  Hmm. Nope.  Not the taskmaster I am looking for.

2. Do NOT write your resume in Bodini MT bold, Neurochrome, or French Script.  Or Jokerman or Curlz.  Just because the font is available, well, it doesn’t mean you should. 

3. Do NOT name your resume bobjonesgenericresume.doc

4.  Do NOT attach a separate cover letter; paste it into the body or your introductory email.  I’m lazy enough, just enough, that I’m not going to open your second text document, even if it does reveal the secret to getting published.  I digress. 

5.  Do NOT push send without using spellcheck and having a second set of eyes review your work.  I know how to spell employment and it has a y.

DO include in your resume:  1.  a clear concise goal appropriate to the job for which you are applying;  2. include dates, because you see, if you don’t, it’s kind of a clue that you weren’t there very long — or that you helped yourself to the kitty and got canned; 3. name your resume pursuant to the job at hand — I know you have a generic resume; I just don’t want to see it. 

For instance I would name mine:  helenreallywantstoberepresentedbyyourliteraryagency.doc.  A little long, yes, but it conveys clarity, don’t you think?

Hello world!

April 9, 2010

Moving over from Blogger to WordPress, just to see if the water is bluer on this side of the blogosphere.