Thursday, May 30, 2013

OWFI's Agent Panel's Quotable Quotes

The first weekend of May is the annual writers' reunion/conference for Oklahoma Writers Federation.
My writing group's party room. Yes, we have wine with our name on it.

Here are a few helpful quotes from the agent panel:

On Query letters

"Be short, sweet, professional." --Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management

"Please include a phone number." --Paul S. Levine  of Paul S. Levine Literary Agency

"A 2000 word query letter is not going to excite anyone."--Paul Lucas of Janklowa & Nesbit

On Pitches

"The best pitch is the one that makes you want to read more of the book.  The worst one is the one that makes you wonder why they're writing a book." --Jim McCarthy

"Best pitches are the ones that make me want to sign that person.  The worst are when I think I can't wait to talk about this at work on Monday."--Jim McCarthy

On Self Publishing

"I'm very open to self-published authors.  I'm more enticed if you've sold a butt load of copies."--Jim McCarthy

On Social Media

"Own it if you're going to do it.  Delete it if you're not." --Paul Lucas

Other tidbits

"Looking for projects I think are fun."--Paul Lucas

"New Adult is very happening." --Sara D'Emic of Talcott Notch Literary Services

"Don't be an asshole.  It's not worth it." --Jim McCarthy

Happy writing, ya'll!

Does anyone else have a quotable quote from a writing conference? Please post in the comments.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oklahoma Love

 During a still Monday morning, I looked at a weather map indicating storm chances. I said, "Oh my. Oklahoma is the center of a bull's eye.  

But I was thinking, "Dear God, help us."

Here are a few links addressing ways you can help with the recent tornadoes that ripped up Oklahoma and broke our hearts.

Child psychologist Lisa Marotta wrote how to soothe your child's fear after the storm. 

Be sure to check out Metro Family's ways to help victims of the May 20 tornado.

Oklahoma Women Bloggers posted a list of different ways to help, too.

Please comment below if you know of other ways to help.

Friday, May 17, 2013

What do you love?

 Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
-H.G. Wells

Garrett left this morning to ride in the Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York.  

He's going to have a blast. He's a mellow man, so I'm doing the Snoopy happy dance on his behalf.

Cycling is his passion.

One of the best things about having a passion is getting to share it. 

We start 'em early around here.

It's contagious.

The perfect potty training bribe: bike with no pedals.

Although, he trains practically every day, Garrett participates in only a few organized rides each year.

Tornadoes hopped all around us when we arrived at the 2012 Red Bud Classic, but the weather didn't dampen our spirits.
I have a feeling we'll be cheering for more than one member of the family before too long.

When Max received his first real bike this spring, I'm not sure which of my guys was more excited.

What is your passion? Have you shared it with anyone?

Friday, May 10, 2013

And the winner of TMI Mom: Oversharing My Life is...

Tracy! Congratulations. selected the winner since I could not possibly choose from the stories.

For those of you who would like to purchase a copy, you can go here or here.

Check me out with the author Heather Smith Davis and her editor Mari Farthing.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Listen to Your Mother Show: These are my people

We send our stories into a theater packed with 400 bodies. That's 800 ears.  We send our stories into a social media project that will spread our stories to more bodies, more ears.

We can't take them back.

The house lights go up, but there is a strange combination of stage lights still shining that leave much of the crowd in the dark--at least from my view point. Applause fades to giddy conversations as cast members reunite with their people.

I stand alone onstage, peering into the gloomy abyss.

Where are my people?

A silhouette waves, and I think it's one of my tribe.  The cast member in front of me waves back.

Where are my people?  They were coming... right?

Loneliness sweeps over me as the waves of emotions the show tossed about go out to sea and come back for me--pulling me into a place that churns like a sea monster.

Then I take a deep breath.  I'm being silly. A saying drifts across my psyche: "If your ship doesn't come in, go out to meet it."

Right. Even if my people aren't here, I have a whole new sisterhood in the inaugural cast of Oklahoma City's Listen to Your Mother show. And these amazing women and man deserve to be congratulated.

I step off the stage and into this new world where everyone knows my story.

My eyes adjust to the light.  I see them.  I hear others call my name. 

I am not alone.  I never was. 

That's the thing with sisterhoods.

Some you grow up with.
childhood friends Tina and Ange--and our mommas--at the show
Some you help create.

my Inklings at Christmas--didn't get a pic after show!
Some you find through other people.
Tina, moi, Shannon, Kellie, Ange
Ashley and Jennifer at Kentucky Derby party. (They didn't wear the hats to the show.)
And some you share your soul onstage with.
2013 cast of Oklahoma City's Listen to Your Mother show (photo by Macy Fitzgerald)
Just when I feel lost at sea, my family--the ones I'm related to and the ones I've adopted--buoy me.
my hubby and kids at after-party
my mother-in-law, mom, and dad at after-party
They always do.

Even if I can't see them doing it.

Our cast was warned about the "me too" moments when strangers approach post-show and connect to your story.  I really didn't experience that.  However, I did catch people watching me, and when I looked their ways, they avoided me.  Now I know why. Since that day, I've heard from two people who told me my story helped women who were still so raw that they couldn't tell me personally.

I didn't share my secrets in vain. My story is a letter in a bottle tossed into the sea meant to be found by someone I may never meet.

That's why I did Listen to Your Mother.

Because, sometimes, it's not about me having a buoy. It's about me being the buoy.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Giveaway: TMI MOM by Heather Davis

If you liked Jenni McCarthy's Belly Laughs, you'll love TMI Mom: Oversharing My Life by Heather Davis.

It's fricking hilarious.

It's perfect for mommas.  

Short Chapters
Are you reading more Harold and the Purple Crayon than Fifty Shades of Grey these days? This book is for you. The pacing is quick and snappy. In the time it takes you to spray stain remover on muddy play clothes and let it set before washing, you can read a chapter. The chapter length is also great for carpooling.  While you're waiting in the car to collect your tot/tike/teen from an activity, you can read a chapter and then greet your offspring with a big smile on your face.

Kindred Spirit
Someone else knows. You're not alone in this mommy gig. Maybe you've never peed in the shower, but you can certainly identify with hiding from the wee ones when you want to have a phone conversation. And you probably understand the value of paying a babysitter to go on a date--only to end up at "Hellmart."

Heather Davis tells true stories about family life. Other people run out of clean drinking glasses.  Other moms have mommas who question the propriety of their undergarment choices. It's comforting to know someone else walks in momma shoes.

Guaranteed Laughs
Read with caution. Choose reading places wisely. I enjoy Heather's blog at Minivan Momma, but I wasn't prepared for the laugh snorts in store for me.  On more than one occasion, I nearly woke my family from laughing so hard.

This book is about full disclosure. I giggled through her conversations with her editor in notes. Don't you wonder what sort of conversations go into creating a book? I love the insider feeling of reading their comments in parenthetical.

Here's your chance to read it for free.  From one momma to another, I'd like to give you an autographed copy. Give it to another momma. Give it to your momma.

How do I get this book?
Simply comment on this post by telling me something about yo' momma.

Contest ends Wednesday, May 8.