Thursday, July 22, 2010


My famous blogging buddy, Bill Kirton, published a post about deadlines on his blog not to long ago, and I've been thinking about them--in one fashion or another--ever since.

When we don't have a deadline (aka, we don't have a book contract or other freelance writing contract that requires a deadline), we angst over the fact that we don't have a "book" or a  "job" or a "project."  Or, more likely, the prospect of a much-desired bank deposit.  But that's another topic...

Some of us write best when we don't have a looming deadline because we're not under pressure.  We get into our schedule, our zone, and nothing interferes with it:  not an agent, a publisher, an editor, a submission, a rejection--nothing.

Others of us diddle around when we don't have deadlines.  The Muse comes (or doesn't), and we don't sweat it. We sleep in instead of setting the alarm at 5am to get an hour or two of writing in before we go to work. We watch TV or settle in with a good book when we get home from work instead of firing up the old laptop.

I suppose the same can be said when we DO have a deadline.  I've heard that some writers have a difficult time dealing with the pressure...knowing they have X number of days until D-Day.  Which translates into X number of pages to be written per day, or X number of words to be written per day, etc.

I have two deadlines at the moment:  one for a freelance project and one for the book I just sold.  So what, you're asking yourself, am I doing writing this blog post when I should be writing some 100,000 words for paying projects that are far more important?

All I can say is that I write.  It's what I do.  And I write lots of stuff, in different genres and formats.  Unfortunately, my responsibilities don't disappear when I'm on deadline.  Neither does the world (and its occupants) spin away on its axis and leave me in peace and quiet when a deadline looms.  In fact, deadlines tend to be the catalyst for the shit hitting the fan in other areas, pardon my crudity.

Even though my deadlines are in September and October, I've already calculated how many words and/or pages a day I need to write between now and then to meet the deadlines.  I've also factored in sickness, emergencies, and an assortment of other stuff--like my husband, my kids, work, and a number of other people and responsibilities.

Good think I have a calculator.  Or is it?

How do YOU deal with deadlines?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rant on Entitlement

I have run into WAY too many people lately who believe they are entitled to a variety of things...all of which they are not entitled to.  Here are two recent examples.

Why, when someone cracks his car up does he believe it's his insurance agent's responsibility to pay for the damage to the uninsured car because the insurance agent didn't send him a SIXTH notice that the policy had been cancelled a year ago?  (No, this did not happen to me.  But it did happen.)  The first five notices weren't enough, I guess.  And I suppose  the fact he didn't receive a single insurance bill during the past year wasn't a big enough clue that his insurance had been cancelled, right?  What about all that paperwork he didn't get?  I don't know about your insurance company, but mine sends me DOZENS of mailings each year, aside from invoices:  policies, ID cards, ballots to vote at the corporate annual meeting, solicitations, etc.  He didn't think it was odd that all the junk mail from his insurance company just stopped?  Guess not.

I know a woman who got fired from her job because she lied on her time sheet.  She, however, believes her employer fired her unjustly.  Here's the scoop:  When she recorded her work hours on Wednesday, the woman realized that on Monday she'd incorrectly recorded her hours.  To compensate for the two hours she'd shortchanged herself, she added two hours to Wednesday's hours.  Well, unfortunately for her, her boss worked late on Wednesday and knew for a fact the woman hadn't worked the two extra hours.  When asked why she'd lied about her hours on Wednesday, the woman explained about the error on Monday's time sheet.  Herr boss didn't buy the woman's story.  "You lied on your timesheet and you just admitted you lied.  Why should I believe anything you say?"  The woman is not only offended that her employer would think she's a liar, she's offended that she lost her job for such a "little" thing.

Two completely different situations, but each person is upset and offended because someone else didn't come to the rescue.  THEY goofed themselves up, but feel entitled to free insurance and an employer's trust when neither of them deserves it.

How does this tie into writing?  I just wrote about it, didn't I?  (Guess I'm still a bit pissy.)

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Signed the book contract today and all parties are happy.  More news as I gear up for marketing and promotion, get an estimated release date, and ...oh, yeah--finish the book!

Thanks, everyone, for all your suppport via my blogs, e-mail, and in-person.  I couldn't have accomplished any of this without my family, friends, and business associates.

Friday, July 9, 2010

BOOK SALE pending!

I just received an offer from a wonderful publisher for a business book, with an option for them to consider follow-up business books for a series.

Fridays have always been my favorite day of the week and there's no reason for me to prefer a differnt day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

RANT on Revenge

I am stepping up on my soapbox here.  So, if you don't like all the hollering and shouting, you may want to tiptoe on past.

I received an e-mail from a writer acquaintance recently, sharing that an evil person has a plot against him.  I will not share the plot because I do not want any evil-minded people out there acquiring a new method to use for tormenting and taunting writers--or anyone else.  Suffice it to say, the evil person launched a personal campaign to malign my writer acquaintance's wonderful published works.

The story brought to mind a similar event, one that I will share.  On my Author Exchange Blog, I interview published authors, editors, agents, and all manner of folk in the publishing industry.  The interviewees usually enjoy the free promotional opportunity and post links to the interview on their websites, blogs, etc.  Did you notice I used the word usually in the previous sentence?  It was intentional.

Last year, I published an author's interview and, upon checking the comments a couple of hours after it appeared, was horrified to view a comment.  Actually, the comment was a novella--a diatribe against the author citing an interminable list of wrongs, ranging from the author's mistreatment of family from the time she was a child to more current misdeeds.  Mind you, nothing in the comment/novella pertained to the author's writing or published works.  It was clearly a vicious sneak attack on the author.  For all I know, the contents of the novella could have been true.  My blog, however, was not the appropriate forum for the commenter to air his/her "issues."  (Did I mention the commenter left his/her comments using the name ANONYMOUS?  How weaselly is that?)

This particular incident introduced me to the security measure known as "moderating comments" on a blog.  If a blog host does not moderate comments (choose to have the comments e-mailed to the blog host BEFORE allowing them to appear live on the blog), they appear immediately online--in all their glory.  If a blog host does not moderate comments, the only way to get rid of them is to delete the entire blog entry (which includes the offending comments).

I deleted the interview, along with its offensive novella, and reposted it.  Yes, I began immediately moderating comments--on that and all the other blogs I host.

Which brings me to this:  If a person is so angry with, and wronged by, another person that he feels revenge must be exacted, why does he have to be so darned sneaky?  Why can't he simply walk up to the person who committed the wrong and punch him in the nose if conversation won't resolve the matter?

Okay, you've got a point.  Jail is not a prospect most people look forward to and might just be a deterrent to the nose-punching alternative.  But still.  I can think of one (or seven) people who've really and truly pissed me off over the years.  A couple of them were downright sneaky and nasty; one or two were simply users.  It would never cross my mind to sabotage them online.  Mostly because when I wear my insurance hat, I am very familiar with offenses such as libel, slander, invasion of privacy, etc.  And as much as I might want to see those 1-7 people get theirs, I sure don't want any negative consequences to reflect on me when it happens.

I've just made it clear that I don't understand revenge.  Which is why I've never used it as a plot device in a novel.  Can anyone explain to me--in simple, basic language--what motivates a person to risk all sorts of painful consequences for revenge?

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I am in the process of overhauling my websites and decided that I want to begin offering a monthly contest.

WHODUNIT? is the result.

It's not just a contest that'll give away free stuff (although it'll certainly do that) it allows entrants to complete the ending to a mysterious scenario.  Anyone can enter, from published writers, to readers, to Facebook friends, to my 11 year-old granddaugher (I hope).

Check out my websites, let me know what you think of the recent changes, feel free to recommend updates, and enter the contest.  Entries will be accepted through the 25th of each month and winners will be announced on the website on the last day of each month.