Common Writing Mistakes

I’ve been reading a lot of first pages over the past couple of months. A lot, a lot, a lot. (My best guess is around 300, so while I am prone to exaggeration sometimes, when I say “a lot,” I mean it.) And here are some (made-up) examples of problems I see over and over. […]

Thoughts on the Marathon Bombing Verdict

April 15, 2013, started like any other day. I got up and started working, not having lived in Massachusetts long enough to remember the state holiday, and my daily routine not taking me anywhere near the marathon route (I work from home, so I mostly go to and from the coffee pot in my kitchen […]

Being Awesome, Week 13

There’s a lot of good stuff going on in May, with Nestpitch ending and QueryKombat starting. Here are just a few things for me to be grateful for that happened during the last week. We bought a BBQ! Yippee! That means we can now enjoy eating food cooked outside. It also means I can eat […]

First 250 Dos and Don’ts

With QueryKombat right around the corner (and PitchWars coming up soon after that), here’s a glimpse into things I do (and do not) want to see on your first page. Do: Show us your character’s awesome voice. I want it to sound like they’re talking to me directly (without them actually breaking the fourth wall […]

Being Awesome, Week 12

Last week I went on a MUCH-needed vacation, so this one is pretty easy. Vacation = bonus awesome things. Meeting my baby niece. She’s kind of a lump, at only six weeks old, but she is a cute lump. Spending four days with my sister and her husband. Even better, giving my husband time to […]

Being Awesome, Week 11

Another week gone by already? Alright, here we go. Seven days, seven awesome things: On Sunday, I awed everyone on my trivia team by being able to correctly state the capital of Berundi. I’m calling this a double win – the only reason I knew the answer is that it happened to be a random […]

Shhhh! Don’t Wake the Writer!

I am taking a break, guys. Feel free to review one of my favorite blog posts, posted over on The Writer Diaries:

Being Awesome, Week 10

It occurs to me that some people may think Being Awesome is about bragging. That’s really not it at all. I’m not saying “Gee, my life is so fantastic, look at me and be jealous.” Life is hard. For every awesome thing that happens in a week, at least three non-awesome things happen. But that […]

The Much-Maligned Prologue

Once upon a time, I was Defender of the Prologue! I was thinking about getting a cape and a badge and everything. I didn’t understand the war on prologues at all. I’d open a book, and go, “LOOK! THIS BOOK GETS A PROLOGUE! WHY CAN’T I HAVE ONE??* Yet, everywhere I looked, agents would say […]

Being Awesome, Week 9

Good morning! I decided to push this week’s post back a little, so all the #PitchSlam posts would still be the first thing to pop up when agents visit my blog to make requests. But, I think these weekly affirmations are important, even though I’m essentially the only person who reads them. So, here we […]


Lights, camera – ACTION! The critics will soon be busy making their selections from the Red-Carpet Premier entries!  Remember again that contests are subjective. What tickles one person’s fancy, may do nothing for another. There were tons of excellent entries. Even with five people making selections, that’s nothing compared to the number of literary agents out there. No […]

1. Pitch Slam: GOODBYE, GOOD-GOODY GIRL, YA Contemporary

Title: GOODBYE, GOOD-GOODY GIRL Genre: YA Contemporary Word Count: 68,000 Fav. Movie Genre: Mirella loves “Golden Age” musical movies because they bring the whimsy of the stage a little closer to home. Plus, she wants to star in all of them. Pitch: After landing the lead in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Mirella embraces her character on stage […]