Going to Pitch workshops

I’m energized.  Just went to a Spring into Publication workshop presented by the Redwood Writers Branch of the California Writers Club.  A great day with talks about editing, revising, critiquing, how your books gets published, a panel on self-publishing do’s an don’t’s, and insights on How to Pitch to Publish or Sell Your Book.

First-Last Cliches:

Better Late than Never–Rationalization of tardiness.  Traced to Greek and Latin writers, including historian Livy, appears in several early English proverb collections.  Full proverb: “Better late than never, but better never late.”

New Lease on Life–Renewed health & vigor; a fresh start, or opportunity for improvement.  Alludes to a new rental agreement dating from early 19th century.  Sir Walter Scott used it in a letter of 1809 re an invalid friend who was improving.  By mid-19th cent. use as a kind of fresh start.

Cast a Pall upon–To spread gloom.  Pall=cloth or cloak thrown over a coffin.  By 18th century term referred to a spiritual darkness. (“By this dark Pall thrown o’er the silent world,” Edward Young, Nightly Thoughts, 1742).

Throw in the Towel–Acknowledge defeat; give up.  J. C. Hotten’s Slang Dictionary of 1860: term comes from prizefighting, where throwing up the sponge used to clean the contender’s face was a signal that the “mill,” or round, was concluded.  Hotten was wrong: the sponge (or later towel) more often was thrown up as a signal of defeat, and expression was used to other enterprises.

I’m sure you’re all ears to hear about my experience yesterday at the publication workshop. I learned about: editing, revising, and critiquing; if you really want to be published, getting some sort of editor is a key; and the differences among revision or critique groups, developmental editor or content editor, copy editing, and proofreading.

It did my heart good to learn about how one author went through the publication process and gave us some insights on presenting your manuscript and what to look out for.

The Panel on Self-Publishing consisted of five published Redwood Writers–, and JoAnne Rosen, a book designer. Their explanations on how they self-published, pitfalls and good experiences and what the finished product looks like was very informative. JoAnne gave us a handout on the differences among LuLu, CreateSpace, and Lightning Source. One of the authors gave us a detailed report on her self-publishing process.  A lot to go through, but she’s now awaiting her first published book, proving that your dream can be realized.

And last but not least, the afternoon session with Charlotte Cook and Jon James Miller was mainly about How to Pitch to Publish or Sell Your Book. They explained what you need to tell about the book and yourself. Six attendees were able to give a pitch and were critiqued in front of everyone, so we all learned mainly not to tell the story step by step, but give  a general idea of the context. Unfortunately they ran out of time, but briefly discussed the manuscript.  Check Charlotte and Jon out at www.adaptingsideways.com.

Several books were recommended regarding Self-Publishing: The Well Fed Self Publisher by Peter Bowerman, other authors to read are Dan Poynter, Reiss, and going to Yahoo Self Publishing group with Peter Masterson.

I’m energized and raring to go!  Time to get my 4 finished novels out there and continue writing on my other two.

Until next time,

Keep Writing,



Agent’s Day…

Hello everyone!
Late Again in part to buy a new computer and getting used to it.

Last clichés:
Slow But Sure–Plodding but reliable. Dates early 17th century. Idea old as Aesop’s fable re tortoise and hare. Found in John Marston’s 1606 play, The Fawn.

The Hard Way — Most difficult method or path. Comes from game of craps = making 2 dice come up with a pair of equal numbers totaling the point. Term extended to “learn something the hard way” = learn from bitter experience or “come up the hard way”= rise by one’s own efforts.

Creature Comforts — Life’s material amenities. Dates from 17th Cent. Thomas Brooks’s Collected Works (1670) and in Matthew Henry’s 1710 Commentaries on the Psalms.

That’s How the Cookie Crumbles — or that’s how the ball bounces–This is the way things have turned out and nothing can be done about it; that’s fate. Expressions current in America in the mid-20th Cent. and quickly spread to rest of English-speaking countries. Check out The Zoo Story (1960) by Edward Albee.

This weekend I went to the Redwood Writers Agents day and we got to “pitch” our books to different agents. The Team to put this event on came off clean as a whistle. It was a great day and met some very interesting writers, agents and editors.

Have you ever gone to a “Pitching” session? I had 5 minutes to tell them about my story and let them ask me questions. Believe it or not, five minutes is a very long time.

I was able to speak with a pitching coach before the event and she was very helpful. Basically said we’re all people in the room, remember to breathe, engage them, and speak slowly and because I speak so softly, to speak up, and know that they won’t bite. She was very helpful and I believe I did okay with my pitches. Very nervous, but a learning experience and I was asked to send in 10 pages and a 2 page synopsis by two different agents.
A great Day!

Keep Writing!
Have a Nice Day