Long ago there was a movie, Poltergeist, I think, that had a memorable promo. In the commercial, a little girl sits on the floor and stares at a fuzzy TV screen. After a few seconds, she turns to the camera and says, “They’re herrrreee.” Whatever she sees on the screen that we can’t, is here, coming to get us.
I’m not coming to get you, but I could easily be the little girl who turns from her computer screen and says, “I’m herrreee!” Because today, I appear to be everywhere.
First of all, I’m here -- to tell you briefly about a workshop I attended this past Saturday. The Heart of Texas chapter of Sisters in Crime had a fundraiser/workshop led by author and former NY editor, Russ Hall. It was a great workshop. Russ talked about the opening pages of your manuscript and how important they are. He handed out examples of published openings and analyzed them for us. He broke down the query letter, then had us write our own sections of a query letter and read them aloud. After which, the group discussed what we’d done. He went over the synopsis, from the one sentence elevator speech to a longer synopsis. At the end of the day, he did one-on-one consulting with each participant, discussing material -- a query, a synopsis and the opening chapter of a work in progress -- we had each submitted prior to the workshop. As I said, a great workshop by Russ.
While I’m here telling you about the workshop, I’m also over on The Blood-Red Pencil. I’m one of the editors who post advice on that blog. This month, the BRP is trying something new. In among the advice, we’re posting book recommendations. We each picked out a book or two we thought would make good Christmas presents - ones that you might not have heard of or thought of before. Today, I’m recommending Five Years at Sea by James V. Lee. The book is a memoir/travelogue/diary of the years James spent aboard Navy ships as a civilian teacher of English. From 1989 to 1994, he traveled the world, visiting nearly forty countries and going on 16 deployments with various ships. Even if you’ve never served on a ship, you’ll enjoy the first-hand look. And if you like to travel, James takes you to places you won’t find in a travel book, complete with pictures.
And lastly and bestly, I’m over at Karen…following the whispers. This past Friday, I posted on her blog about things I’m seeing repeatedly in manuscripts I edit. Karen, being the wonderfully crazy woman that she is, invited me back. So, I’m over there with a few more problems I encounter. The best thing about these “problems” with your manuscript is that you can correct them. They are not insurmountable and correcting them can make a big difference in your manuscript.
Remember to come back here tomorrow. I'll be introducing you to guest blogger, Dr. Norman German, who's going to tell us about the four years of research he did for his third book, A Savage Wisdom.
As you travel the cybersphere, watch out. I’m herrreee! And there and there.
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