Wednesday, November 18, 2009

She’s Herrrreee!

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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32 comments:

  1. Girl! You're making my head spin with all your appearances. Okay, I'm going out to track you down. And I'll look forward to hearing about Dr. German...

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  2. Wow-- you are all over the place! Will go find you:)

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  3. The stars aligned and everything happened on one day.

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  4. The beauty of cyber-travel. I'll be cruising through cyber space checking these out ;)

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  5. It's definitively not a scary thing to have you all over the place!

    Have you been drinking energizing shots of Red Bull?

    Will check out everything.

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  6. You are everywhere aren't you!!

    The first five pages is a great book that helps us with the beginnings. It getting all the remaining five pages to be so polished that haunts me.

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  7. You are one busy lady today! It's like a virtual version of Where's Waldo only it's Where's Helen. Will try to make all the stops as they each sound interesting.

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  8. Ooh, I like that, Jane. Where's Helen is much less scary than She's heerre.

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  9. So glad you're here, there and everywhere. Oh, that was a Beatle song, wasn't it. Especially glad you agreed to be with me again.
    Karen

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  10. Helen, you do get around. Thanks for recommending the Lee book. It's a perfect Christmas gift for my husband.

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  11. You can run, but you can't hide. I'll find you!

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  12. Congrats on being everywhere! I can see I have a lot of reading to do. :)

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  13. That workshop sounds fabulous! You seriously got your money's worth. I'm off to read your post. That book sounds great too. I've always thought I'd love a job like that on a ship in the ocean forever. I wonder if I'd manage though. I'll find the book and do it in my head.

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  14. Wow, sounds like that was one terrific workshop, and you sure are a busy lady today. Have you cloned yourself? LOL

    Great suggestion for a book, and I will check out your other suggestions on Karen's blog.

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  15. It was a great workshop. Russ knows his business.

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  16. Just read Karen's post!

    And Poltergeist was a great movie!!!

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  17. Busy, busy, busy. Off to read Karen's blog next.

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  18. Busy, busy, busy. Off to read Karen's blog next.

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  19. Helen - I enjoyed your visit to Karen's blog. And, thanks for the Writer's Digest list of agents. I missed that when I checked it out earlier!

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  20. Okay, I've got my work cut out for me, I'll pop on over.

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  21. Now, when all of y'all start showing up at Karen's blog and at The Blood-Red pencil, they're going to be staring at their monitors saying, They're heeeerre.

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  22. I guess I'll see you here, there and everywhere. Very nice.

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  23. Loved your articles on Karen's blog!

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  24. Hi Cyndi and Sheila! And everyone - thank you for commenting.

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  25. Eeek!! *runs away* *not really*

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  26. You may have to take a long nap after today. Maybe by now you're already asleep. (g)

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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