Friday, December 30, 2011

Making New Year's Resolutions

Well, do you make them? I do and they're usually the same each year. Sometimes I fulfill my resolutions and sometimes I don't. Maybe if we put our New Year's resolutions in writing for all to see, we'll be more likely to achieve them. What do you say? Want to give it a go?

Here are mine (who can have just one?!):

Write more routinely
Read more often
Try Yoga
Get back into my exercise routine of four times a week
Polish my women's fiction and send it to 25 agents this year
Write two more children's picture books
Either finish my romantic suspense novel OR finish the sequel to the women's fiction OR start an entirely new novel
Get my website up and running

Okay, lofty goals but the first four should be easy to incorporate. It's that darn bottom half of the list that haunts me. How about you? Tell me your goals for 2012. We can do this. Seriously.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Express Yourself

While shopping for Christmas gifts, I thumbed through several catalogs and looked at many sites. I discovered some clever, hilarious sayings on tees and plaques. Here are my ten faves:

"I'm so busy I don't know whether I found a rope or lost my horse."
"Wine Improves With Age. I Improve With Wine."
"Ho Lee Chit" (using a Chinese-like font)
"I'm so old I fart dust."
"When in doubt, mumble."
"Sometimes I laugh so hard tears run down my leg."
"Don't make me put my hands on my hips."
"Be careful or you'll end up in my novel" (I have this one!)
"With enough thrust, pigs fly just fine."
"I'd agree with you but then we'd both be wrong."

Hope these gave you a chuckle during this frenzied season! Which one is your favorite? And please share other clever sayings.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Two Book Signings This Saturday!

I'll be taking vitamins as I prepare for two book signings this Saturday, December 3.

8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sequiota Elementary's Holiday Bazaar
Shop for jewelry, candles, Miche purses, holiday decor, and of course, books. Stop by my booth for free bookmarks and coloring pages and an autographed, personalized copy of WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE?
(Location: On Ingram Mill south of Battlefield--behind Springfield 8 Theater)

2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Alexandria's Cupcake Cottage
I'll be reading my new picture book every half hour. Alexandria's has yummy cupcakes and will provide free hot chocolate!
(Location: Republic Road near Arris' Pizza and Fremont)

I hope to see you at one of these events. Thanks.

P.S. How do you like my fancy schmancy banner?!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Book Signing Blastoff

Whew. It has been awhile since I've posted. Let me explain.

My new children's picture book, IT ALL CHANGED IN AN INSTANT, was published this fall and I've had a book signing bonanza starting with the grand opening of the Well Fed Neighbor Market on October 1, followed by signings at the Ozark Creative Writers' Conference, Kickapoo High School's holiday show, FruityLand Yogurt and a holiday show at Hickory Hills Country Club. Tomorrow, I'll be at Baglady Boutique.

Some of these were hits and some were misses. I guess that's why writers need to schedule several signings. You never know who will attend and if they're in the market for your genre.

My book sales have ranged from one lonely sale to over 47 books sold in a few hours. At one signing I sold 9 books while I sold 26 books at another! The least I've sold--two books at one signing and only one last night. Hardly worth the trouble to set up and sit there for hours but you just never know. See the wide range? My average sales to date: 17 books per signing. Not bad.

But this really isn't about selling books. Not to me anyway. I've also attended three schools and five classrooms. The feedback from those has touched me immensely. That's why I'm doing this. I can't think of anything more important than children's literature. More about my adorable little fans in another post. I plan to visit several more schools in December.

How many book signings do you schedule for new releases? Were all of yours a success or were your sales similar to mine--hits and misses? Let me hear from you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Six Words About Fall

Most of you know how much I adore six-word memoirs. It has been awhile since I posted any, so I thought I would start with a few of my favorite fall images and events all condensed to just six words.

Pumpkins for carving. Pie for eating.
Wish I understood football, American pastime.
School back in session. Moms play.
Chilly mornings. Coffee on the deck.
Time to wear boots, sweaters again.
Red, orange and yellow leaves. Picturesque.
Deer, hunters in woods. Challenge begins.
Fall menu includes soup and chili.

Please chime in with a few of your own sixes about fall.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Have An Author Page!

I now have an official author page on the Mirror Publishing (my publisher's) site at

Check it out. You'll see my picture, a bio (and will probably find out things you never knew), my picture book cover and the synopsis that will appear on the back cover.

So many things to do... I must get new business cards, my own fan page (that sounds weird) on FB, a website, handouts for kids, and much more. Also, I've already started lining up book signings and readings for October and November. Please let me know if you want me to read to your class or have a signing at a book store, coffee shop, boutique, fall festival or, well, anywhere.

Any recommendations for new authors and what is best to do first? I know. Put one foot in front of the other. Take a breath. It gets overwhelming but is seriously FUN.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Launch In September!

My picture book, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE? will be released sooner than anticipated. It'll be available by mid-September. Yippee! I'm so excited.

As I've said previously, I wrote this book to instill hopes and dreams in little ones since they hear depressing news daily and most likely have parents or relatives who are unemployed. I want children to be optimistic and think they can achieve anything.

In WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE? the teacher, Mrs. McGee, poses that important question on the first day of school. Students excitedly (and sometimes shyly) answer in verse. Their delightful career aspirations cover the gamut from fireman to dancer to dentist. Some want to be a mommy while others aspire to be the president! Many other professions are mentioned. You'll just have to get the book to see which ones.

The book will be available on, online at Barnes & Noble, plus I'll have a stash for book signings. Hope to see you at a signing or at a school for a reading! Please let me know if you are an elementary school teacher or know one.

Many thanks to Mirror Publishing; the editor, Neal Wooten; and the illustrator, Leo Silva, for making my dream come true!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Meet Mrs. McGee

Meet Mrs. McGee, the teacher in my upcoming children's picture book: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE? Isn't she adorable? I just love her. The illustrator, Leo Silva, did a fabulous job creating Mrs. McGee as well as other characters in my book.

On the first day of school, Mrs. McGee challenges the students with that important question and gets a variety of answers (excitedly and sometimes shyly) including dancer, fireman, baker, mommy, astronaut, and many more careers written in verse. The teacher also emphasizes why learning is so important.

During our economic downturn and high unemployment, children hear dreary news daily and retain more than we give them credit for. My goal in writing this book was to instill hopes and dreams in children that they can be whatever they want to be.

Yesterday, I saw the cover art, which was an exciting day. I'll let you know when I have a release date but it's looking like October or early November--just in time for the holidays! I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Work Begins

Okay, after all that pre-conference pitch talk, it's over. And it was a fantastic conference. Next year, plan to attend the Ozarks Romance Authors' Conference. You'll be glad you did. BTW, it's not just for romance writers.

Agent Louise Fury with L. Perkins gave great advice and was hilarious. Avalon editor Lia Brown was encouraging, warm and also had several publishing gems to share.

Amazingly, I had two pitches. I thought I had only wrangled one. Turns out, I found out about my second pitch at the exact minute it was to occur. Upon discovering this, my eyes bulged, my stomach lurched, and Cecily, the conference chair, asked if I wanted to reschedule. I knew I'd just get nervous so I went, even though that meant showing up a couple of minutes late (and if you only have ten minutes, that's precious time evaporating quickly) so I walked fast to the room.

I knew enough about Avalon that they didn't accept long works, and my women's fiction is 90,000 words. Lia asked if I had anything else. I told her aobut my romantic suspense and she liked the story! Hooray!!! I told her it's about half finished and she asked for a partial whenever it's ready. Yippee. I'm excited to roll up my sleeves and work on it.

My original pitch (the one I knew I had) was with literary agent Louise Fury. I didn't think she represented women's fiction but I still had that pitch in my head (since it's a completed ms), as well as a pitch for a picture book series I'm co-authoring with my daughter. We're about 75 percent finished. Happily, Louise liked my women's fiction premise, asked me to send a partial, AND she wants to see the picture book when it's finished. She also gave me advice about my upcoming project.

That's three separate projects. Plus, I have another one that I haven't yet announced but will soon. Whew. I'm tired just thinking about it but I'm excited, too.

I'm so proud of all my writer friends who got up the courage to pitch. Fingers crossed that many of us will have success. How did your pitch go?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Face Your Fear of Pitching

Several of us are pitching this Saturday during the annual Ozarks Romance Authors' conference Writers from the Ozarks will pitch to either literary agent Louise Fury with the L. Perkins Agency or Avalon editor Lia Brown. And we're nervous.

Whether you're a virgin pitcher, a semi-pro or a pro, let's face our pitch fear head on. What exactly are you afraid of? See a list of possibilities below, then add your own.

I might forget my name, or worse, my plot.

It's highly possible that I'll cry, pee my pants or faint.

What if my book isn't good enough?

I can't figure out how to boil 300 pages of perfect prose down to a sentence or two.

I'm afraid I'll stutter throughout the entire conversation. And turn red.

I just don't have that author "look."

I don't know HOW to pitch.

If I get a book deal, I don't know the first thing about marketing.

I just want to sit in my office and write. Leave me alone.

I've written several books. Which one should I pitch?

I don't like the business side of writing.

What if I get a three-book contract (we can dream!) and I can't meet the deadlines?

I self-published. Will that hurt my chances?

I'm afraid the agent or editor will love my pitch, publish my book (which will sell millions) and I can't handle the success.

Do you relate to any of these? What are your fears? Please chime in. Let's face this pitching thing head on--and good luck!

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Pitch Season

Batter up! Well, not exactly. While it is baseball season, it's also pitch season for writers. Many of us are getting ready to pitch to agents or editors at upcoming conferences and our nerves are a bit, well, frayed.

Yesterday, I read about a YA author who had a unique take on pitches. He writes a one-sentence pitch before he writes his novel. By doing so he stays true to his premise and he doesn't go through the agony of trying to boil down 300 pages to just one sentence. I think it's a great idea and it has already helped me come up with a pitch/premise for another novel.

Of course, that won't help with my current, finished women's fiction. I have to pare it down for my pitch. Luckily, Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner just blogged about pitching. Below is an excerpt from her post. You can find the rest at I'd encourage you to read the comments section as well. You'll hear some pitch horror stories and won't feel so alone.)

From Rachelle: Too often, people sit down and nervously launch into some kind of story and I find myself dizzy with confusion. I sit there like a deer in the headlights and then I say something like, “Let’s back up. What’s your name? And is this fiction or nonfiction?”

Here are some guidelines:

→ Don’t try to tell the whole story. Start with the plot catalyst, the event that gets the story started.

→ Then give the set-up, i.e. what happens in the first 30 to 50 pages that drives the reader into the rest of the book. Include the pressing story question or the major story conflict.

→ Fill out your pitch with any of the following: plot elements, character information, setting, backstory, or theme. You want to include just enough information to really intrigue your listener.

→ Finish by giving an idea of the climactic scenes and the story resolution.

→ Try not to tell too much of the story in the pitch. The pitch is supposed to get somebody interested, not tell the whole story.

→ Include only a couple of characters.

→ Include one plot thread, or two if they’re closely intertwined. You can hint at the existence of other characters and plot lines.

Be prepared to answer questions that could include things like:
→ How does your story end?
→ What published author’s style would you compare your writing to?
→ Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
→ Is this a series? And if so, what are the subsequent books about?
→ Have you worked with a critique group or a professional editor?
→ Have you pitched this to publishers in the past? If so, what was the response?

Again, this is just an excerpt, and I encourage you to hop over to Rachelle's blog and read her entire post.

Have you ever pitched? Are you going to pitch soon? Tell me about your past pitching experience or how you're preparing for one now.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Last fall, I was published in my first anthology! It was exciting. My poem entitled "A Country Drive" appears in ECHOES OF THE OZARKS, Vol. VI, published by High Hill Press. This anthology features a great selection of Ozarks' stories and poems written mainly by authors from Missouri and Arkansas. It's a great read. Check it out. If you'd like an autographed copy, let me know. They're just $10.

Do you read anthologies? I've always enjoyed them. What better way to sample several authors' work at once. If you're a writer, I encourage you to submit to anthologies. If you're a reader, then, by all means, please read them.

Reminder: The Storm Country Anthology to benefit the Joplin school libraries has a deadline of July 15. Google for more info.

What is your experience with anthologies? Do you read them? Have you been published in any?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Writing About Cowboys

I must admit I've never written about cowboys but all girls love cowboys, don't they? The rugged, handsome features. The strong, beautiful horse. The sexy boots. The big hat. The gorgeous scenery. The sprawling ranch. Those tight jeans.

Okay. Enough about that. You get the picture. I've thought of another book idea and it involves cowboys (non-fiction). I need your help. What comes to mind when you think of cowboys/cowgirls? Cowboy hats? Horses? Oval belt buckles? Buffalo? Country music?

Please chime in and give me a good cowboy vocabulary from which to work. I'll wordsmith the cowboy slang and let you know how it goes. Thanks!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Writers Helping Joplin Tornado Victims

Unless you've been living in a cave, you know about the total devastation our neighbors in Joplin experienced via a massive F-5 tornado in May. Many volunteers are helping in a variety of ways. Personally, I can't wait to go there and help however I can, donate clothes and shoes (when families have a home to put them in), give cash and more.

In the meantime, here's a way that writers can help! The Joplin Writers' Guild and the Missouri Writers' Guild are putting together a Storm Country Anthology containing short stories and poems. NOTE: Participating writers must be from the Midwest.

Writers may submit a short story or essay about any type of Midwestern storm. Fiction, non-fiction or poetry is accepted. Proceeds from the book sales will go to the Joplin school system to buy books for the libraries damaged by the tornado.

Submission guidelines:

Your story should include storms and severe weather in the Midwest, including tornadoes, floods, snow, ice, and wind.

Must be an original work of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry

Maximum of three submissions per author/poet

Fiction - Any genre up to 1,500 words

Poetry - Up to 30 lines per poem

Nonfiction - Features, essays, memoirs up to 1,500 words

Deadline: July 15, 2011

Submit your typed Word document in 12-point Times New Roman and include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address on the first page of each submission.

For prose, use a three-space paragraph indention and a double-spaced manuscript. For poetry, submit a single-spaced manuscript.

Note: Number the pages and proofread carefully. Author retains all rights.
Include a third-person author bio (75 words max) and e-mail to or snail mail to: Claudia Mundell,
1815 River Street, Carthage, Missouri 64836

Questions? Please e-mail

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Swimming With Sharks

Ah, you might say, "Sure, you're swimming with sharks. You're a writer. Writers deal with all kinds of sharks of the human kind--publishers, editors, agents, critique groups, reviewers, other writers, right?" Well, yes, Probably. Definitely.

But I really, truly swam with sharks!!! Three couples recently toured the Exumas in the Bahamas via a chartered cruise, the Alexandra Bear. We had an amazing vacation, enjoyed warm, sunny weather, terrific food, clear, turquoise water and SHARKS!

My two good friends, Bruny and Linda, and I were brave enough (or dumb enough) to swim with nurse sharks. The guys kidded us, said we were crazy and they should have taken out bigger insurance policies. But did they dip their toes in the shark-infested water? No. They did not. Instead, they stood on the dry dock and took pictures and videos.

Now, you know why I've been remiss and haven't posted in awhile. Instead, I've been swimming with sharks. How about you? What's the craziest thing you've ever done on vacation?

Friday, April 22, 2011

What Are You Working On?

I know several of my readers well since they're writer friends or family members, but some of you are new here. I thought it would be fun to fill each other in on our current projects. So, what are you working on both professionally and personally?

I'm working on a huge surprise birthday bash for hubby (I'd tell you the theme and more details, but with my luck, he'd read my blog for once. Doubtful--but you can never be too careful with a surprise party.)

Professionally, I've just started to query agents for my debut novel, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, a work of women's fiction set in the Midwest with four professional women who have chaotic lives, ridiculous family members and impossible situations. A normal day, right?!!

I'm almost half finished with the sequel to COCONUTS and two-thirds finished with a romantic suspense, yet to be titled, which is set on a college campus.

I've got a cookbook cooking and two ideas for non-fiction books simmering. There just aren't enough hours in the day, are there?

Finally, I've completed two children's picture books and may have an announcement soon! Fingers and toes crossed. I have more picture books drafted and waiting patiently in the wings.

How about you? What are you working on?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Your Ideal Book Cover

Let's keep dreaming. There's so much rejection in writing that we need to stay positive and visualize good outcomes. So...I thought it would be fun if we imagined our perfect book cover. If you could select your cover, how would it appear? (And if you already have the cover of your dreams, what does it look like?)

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Pink cover with cute girls holding wine glasses or shopping bags
Black cover with blood dripping down
Purple cover with vampires and spooks in scary trees
A damsel in distress with a hulky guy
An older woman wearing a fur coat, a huge diamond, with a younger man
An older couple in rocking chairs
A gorgeous beach scene
A breathtaking mountain scene
An ominous storm
Fast cars and a sexy couple
A yacht or sailboat with a beautiful sunset
Cute babies, adorable animals or yummy food
A haunted house
Cozy fireplace, quilt and a cat
A big-city skyline with airplanes, traffic and mobs of people
A farm or ranch scene
Young couple with a stroller

My women's fiction novel would have four women sitting around a table drinking cocktails, holding leopard print menus, laughing, with tall palm trees in the background. And they'd all be wearing heels and dressed to the nines. (The hippie parents and cop might be in the background.)

My second novel, a romantic suspense, would have a university logo, show an evil, cunning professor, and a beautiful, unknowing woman with college buildings or students in the background set on a gorgeous, green campus.

Okay, it's your turn. The possibilities are endless! What would your ideal cover look like? By the way, I know the artists decide on covers, but we can still dream, right?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Go Ahead. Dream.

You did it. One of the biggest accomplishments (if not the biggest) of your life came true. Your novel is published! You got the call months/years earlier from an agent or editor, did the requisite editing--revising your novel a hundred times--then played the not-so-patient waiting game.

Now, you're holding your book in your own hands (or reading it as an ebook). I've been published in several mediums (print, television, an anthology, online poetry, and six-word memoir book) but I'm still waiting for the day when I publish my first novel.

How would you respond after all the blood, sweat and tears actually came to fruition? Use just four words, please. I'll go first:

I'm having heart palpitations.
I can't believe it.
Oh, my God. Breathe.
I really did it.
A dream come true.
The best day ever.
I knew I could.
How should I celebrate?
Wish I could change...

Okay, your turn. Tell us in just four words what you said (or will say) when your novel is published. Go ahead. Dream.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My "Root" Poem

Each month, poet and children's author David Harrison selects one word as inspiration for poets. The word for March is "root." Hope you enjoy my poem below.

By Beth Carter

The square root of 8
is 64.

Or is it the other
way around?

Let’s get to the root
of the problem.

Math and writers
don’t often mix.

I try and think of a unique way to incorporate each month's word. I appreciate all of David's inspirational, well-chosen words aned root was a favorite of mine. I even drafted a children's picture book using "root."

Do you like poetry? My husband thinks all poems must rhyme. I've tried to explain free verse, but I admit I most often write in rhymes or haikus.

Feel free to submit a "root" poem of your own! We'd all love to read it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

E-Publishing Vs. Traditional Publishing

Well, what do you think? Would you try e-publishing? Have you tried it? And do you enjoy reading books via a Kindle or Nook rather than a hard copy in your hands?

E-publishing is definitely on the rise and there are some notable success stories of late. Namely, Amanda Hocking who is just 26 and has published nine novels going this route. Her books have sold from $.99 to $2.99, and get this, she has sold a million books! You don't need a calculator to add up her impressive sales.

Hocking's trilogy has also been optioned for a movie. Her genre is YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy. I have to wonder if that genre attributes to her success. I don't imagine many baby boomers or seniors would purchase that book and her audience--teens and twenty-somethings--are very tech savvy.

Recently, Sleuths' Ink featured a guest blogger, thriller author Boyd Morrison who wrote The Ark. Morrison also e-published and sold a gazillion books online. Of note, both of these authors have agents. I wonder if they got them before or after they e-published?

Finally, Sleuths' Ink founder Shirley McCann recently e-published a collection of her short story mysteries that were once published in Woman's World. I understand she is also going to e-publish her YA novel, The Necklace. Kudos to you, Shirley, and here's to much success! BTW, this baby boomer likes your YA because it isn't filled with crazy other world stuff.

I do want to know the answer to one question: How do you have a book signing if you e-publish? Please chime in and let me know if you plan to e-publish. I'm definitely open to the idea.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Two Wins On The Literary Front

After a wonderful vacation, I returned to receive two fun wins on the literary front as follows:

Selected first runner-up in David Harrison's poetry contest and chosen Poet of the Month by judges for my haiku entitled "His Touch."

My novel's first sentence was selected as the favorite at our recent JANO awards party. I really like this win because the hook is so important.

Now, if only I had time to get back to writing that novel! What's new with you on the literary front?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Borders, You'll Be Missed

Sad news has recently been reported about my favorite bookstore, Borders. Apparently the well-known chain is bankrupt and 200 Borders' stores are closing. I held out hope that our local Borders wouldn't he affected, but according to a good friend, that is not the case.

Our Borders has gone above and beyond to accommodate local writers. Much more so, say, than the local Barnes & Noble. Several writer friends have held signings there--drawing big crowds. Denise and Gary, the assistant manager and manager, respectively, went out of their way to accommodate my first-ever signing last spring. I was nervous and had specific requests. They happily obliged and my signing was a success. Big celebs like Sarah Palin and Dog the Bounty Hunter held signings at our Borders last year. Both had a maze of long lines that snaked outside the store. I don't understand how such an accommodating store can be caught in this fray.

Walking into Borders felt like home. Several employees knew my first name while many others recognized my face. And...Borders' coffee is amazing--especially their sugar-free, fat-free vanilla lattes! I'm going to miss this bookstore. A lot. I hope all of the Borders employees land great jobs at other local bookstores so I can see their friendly faces again and again.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Writing Children's Picture Books

Some of you may not be aware that I also write children's picture books. I absolutely ADORE writing them. They make me laugh, giggle, and just feel warm and fuzzy inside--something I hope to bring to my readers.

Now that JANO is over, I'm going to let my novel rest for a month and focus on writing more picture books. If you have any funny children's stories, traditions, or anecdotes you'd like to share (and let me possibly incorporate), please let me know. I'll mention you in the acknowledgement section if I use your information.

Children's literature is so important. Let's instill the love of reading at an early age.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Six Words on JANO

It's here. The final weekend of JANO. Sadly, I'm not inspired today. Here are some kick-in-the-pants six-word memoirs we all need as writers (I'm talking mainly to myself at the moment.)

Hunker down and write. Repeat daily.
Aching fingers, tired back. JANO time.
Get back to normal Feb. 1.
Homestretch for JANO. Type away madly.
Ignore social media, emails. Just JANO!
Are 50,000 words doable? Yes. Maybe.
50,000 words. One month? We're nuts.
Wearing wrist braces. Must be JANO.

Care to add some of your own?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kicking Off 2011

This year I already have several writing projects in tow. I submitted five recipes, two rhyming recipes (yes, they rhyme) and two essays to High Hill Press for a new cookbook the publisher is working on.

I also submitted two essays to SMITH Magazine for possible inclusion in their new book entitled THE MOMENT. SMITH strayed from its six-word memoir format and asked writers to tell about a moment that impacted their lives using 750 words or less. I actually wrote four essays (about 3,000 words) but only submitted two.

While at the pharmacy counter, the pharmacy clerk mentioned two words that made my eyes fall onto the counter. I picked them back up, washed them off with antibacterial gel--well, I was at the pharmacy, after all--and said, "That would make a great children's picture book." She agreed and I drove straight home (forgetting all about my planned errands) to type a 1,000-word kids' manuscript. Hopefully, it will be my third picture book.

Finally, I've written about 17,000 words for JANO, our January challenge to write 50,000 words. I'm behind on this goal but I'm chipping away and really enjoying one of the characters. Maybe a little too much. She may have to become the protagonist which would be a big rework. Egads. And I'm the one who hates editing. Sigh.

To recap, I've written over 25,000 words this month. No wonder I'm taking Tylenol arthritis medicine. What are you working on?

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's JANO Time

Last year, our mystery writers' group, Sleuths' Ink, came up with the concept for JANO. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of January. National Novel Writing Month does this on a huge scale every November. Several of our writers participate in NaNo, but many of us are too busy with the holidays, Christmas shopping and hosting company so we decided the first of the year better suited our needs. January is a great time to kick off the new year with a novel in hand, plus it's too cold to venture outside in the blustery Midwest.

With JANO, we write like mad during the month--no editing. Writers of all genres may participate. I'm working on a new novel that is commercial fiction with elements of romance and possibly elements of suspense or mystery. I'm only at 6100 words and short of my goal. To achieve 50,000 words, we must write 12,500 words per week. That's a push and I'm hoping my muse kicks in very soon since I'm so far behind. (If it doesn't, I'm chucking this novel and going back to last year's!)

In February, we'll have a celebratory party and award prizes in thirteen categories including the first three writers to reach 50k, best first sentence, best first page, most unique setting, and so on. The camaraderie, motivation and support by fellow writers is the most fun for me.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. Good luck to all the JANO writers.