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Set for life….

This is a topic/prompt I’ve thought about a lot in recent years: What would I do if I won the lottery?

You would think the ideas would be endless. They might…for some. But not me.

If I suddenly came into great wealth there are really just a few things I’d do with the money.

  1. Make my husband retire. And I mean MAKE!!! He’d have no choice at all in the matter.
  2. Pay off all the mortgages/school loans/ debts of my parents and in laws.
  3. Start a foundation dedicated to PAYING IT FORWARD. I’ve had so many blessings in my life ( even if I don’t win the lottery) that I feel I need to help others as I’ve been helped, with the stipulation they pay the good fortune forward.

That’s really all I can think of for now. I wouldn’t suddenly leave on a world tour; I wouldn’t go buy-crazy and get boats, houses in every state, flashy jewelry.

I have simple tastes and not much actual NEED.

Don’t hate me….heehee.

Let’s see what some of the other authors in this blog challenge would do with a sudden influx of ridiculous cash. MFRWauthorblogchallenge

And if you’re trying to find me, look here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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#MFRW I don’t like your voice….

The prompt of this piece is the worst writing advice I’ve ever gotten. I’m gonna share that, but a little backstory first so you can understand why the advice was the worst!

I’ve been searching for a literary agent since I started my journey in publishing. Haven’t found one yet but it’s not because I haven’t tried. At every conference I attend that allows agent pitches I sign up for a spot. In the past three years I’ve pitched myself and my work to 9 different literary agents. 6 were NYC based, 2 were from California, and one was from the NorthWest. They’ve all been industry  pros with great author pedigrees and clients,  but none of have them have offered to represent me. They’ve all asked for me to send them my work, which I have. Now remember, I’ve pitched to 9 agents. 4 never bothered to contact me back after I’d sent the work and waited the allotted 30 then 60 days for a response. When I did re-email them, no responses. 4 sent me form rejection letters within 15-30 days after I’d mailed my CV and work, not commenting on what I’d sent. The last agent I met with was last year. I’d actually connected with her via email  prior to the conference and she’d asked me to send her my work right away so that she could get a feel for what I wrote before meeting me. I complied.

I met her face to face for an allotted 15 minute meet/pitch and the first thing she said to me was “I don’t like your voice.”

 

I knew she meant my writing voice, not my actual voice voice. Even so, that was a bit…harsh as an opening line. She went on to say she’d read 5 pages of the 30 she’d requested and couldn’t get past the way I wrote. There was nothing technically wrong with it, she said, just that it was unappealing.

Huh?

Okaaaaaaaaay. This had taken exactly 15 seconds of a 15  minute space. What was I supposed to do? Sit there and just stare at her until time was up? Stick up for myself? Cry?

 

I mean really. Talk about how to hurt someone’s feelings. Only, mine weren’t hurt, surprisingly. No, I was feeling something else entirely.

When I get really mad I tend to get very quiet. Deathly so. People around me have remarked that me, quiet, is terrifying.

 

I was so stunned by what she’d said, I couldn’t think of a response. That silence, I think, prompted her to say her next thing – the worst advice I’ve ever gotten. “You should think about changing your voice. Experiment with something different, because I just don’t think you’re going to sell commercially sounding the way you do.”

Huh?

It was apparent to me that she hadn’t read the publishing CV I’d sent along. Last year I had already had 8 books traditionally published and had contracted for 3 more. So without an agent I’d already sold 11 book to publishers. If she’d read that she would have known that SOMEBODY liked my writing voice enough to publish me. 11 times. Traditionally.

 

Again, I stayed silent and smiling, even though I wanted to stick my tongue out at her and say, “so there!!” I know. Real mature. By now I knew even if she offered me a contract ( which she didn’t) I wouldn’t sign with her. If you have an agent you want her/him to be on your side, have your back, and promote you and your work and strengths. When I continued to stay mute she said, “Well, I have a lot of people to see today. I’ll be making decisions on who I want to take on, what work, and such, so  I’ll get back to you within a week or so with my decision.”

Huh?

Hadn’t she just told me my voice was horrible and that I’d never sell commercially? That certainly didn’t sound like she wanted to represent me, does it? I couldn’t take it another minute. I stood, shook her hand and said, “thanks for meeting with me. Enjoy the rest of the conference,” and I bolted before she could say another word.

Weird, right?

Do I really need to tell you she never, ever, got in touch with me again? Not even a form letter.

Like I said: weird.

So that advice –  to change my writing voice – was simply the worst piece of writing advice I’ve ever gotten. Who would say that? WHY would you say that? Each writing voice is unique; distinctive; individual. I could understand that she didn’t like mine. You can’t please everybody. But as an industry professional to actually tell me to change something that’s so inherently part of me is like asking me to change my DNA makeup; my height; my personality. Would you ask Dr. Suess not to rhyme? Would you advise ee cummings to capitolize?  Make Janet Evanovich ditch the humor? Good God, would you ask Jane Austen to stick to writing letters and give up on the whole fiction thing?

Needless to say, I am still on that quest to find an agent. Preferably one who likes my voice.

Since this is a blog hop, click on the other authors in this challenge and see more example of bad writing advice!

 

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The best parts of each season….#MFRWauthors

I live in New England where in Autumn, there is no prettier place to be, so this topic may be a little skewered to the FALL for me!!

Let’s start with SPRING since by definition, this is the start of it all ( even tho the calendar says Jan.1 is!!)

For me, the best part of spring is the sense of ANTICIPATION I get. Flowers are starting to peek up from grass that is finally turning green. Daylight doesn’t disappear at four p.m. We shed our protective outerwear and begin to make plans for all the holidays to come – Memorial Day, The fourth of July, Labor day.

 

With SUMMER, I turn LAZY.

Mostly because I don’t like to sweat and the heat makes me clammy, so I tend to just not move much, hence, lazy. But….the days are longer and filled with …more. More of everything. More sunshine, more flowers, more ice cream, more vegetables growing in gardens, more reasons to relax.

AUTUMN, as I’ve said, is my favorite season.

Even though this is a season where things begin to wind down, I have to tell you the best part of this season is that I tend to RE-ENERGIZE during these months. When the leaves change and turn colors, I tend to clean out all the clutter from my house and life. I know I should be doing this in the spring ( they don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing!) but in the Fall, when I spend more time in the house and not outside in the heat, I fill the time with reorganizing, restructuring, and culling from my life, be it clothes that no longer fit, books I’ve read that need to be donated to the Library, or rearranging the furniture to satisfy my inner feng shui.

In Winter I turn to PLANNING mode. Since I hibernate, it seems like the best time to do this.

All the books I need to write for the next year; all the changes I need to make in my life in order to be a better person; all the things I need to do for the rest of the year that will lead to my happiness.

SO…what? You thought I’d write that the best part of winter is Christmas, gardening in Spring, picnicking in Summer, and apple picking in Fall? Well, duh! Of course those things are good. But for me, it’s not about the things, it’s about the feelings. Romance writer, remember? HeeHee

…and I’m sure my fellow #MFRWA authors have totally different takes on the best part of the seasons, so stop by their blogs and read all about it!

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