Tag: novel

I Can’t Blame the Agent

If you’ve been following this blog, you know I spent about fourteen months attempting to rewrite my manuscript, Train Trip: Lucinda Mae’s Quest for Love, Honor, and the Chickens, into a novel a particular agent could successfully represent. At the end of this process, the agent declined representation. This is not her fault. Every...

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The Spinning Plates are Real

For those of you concerned about me after my Great Public Failure (I didn’t get an agent, to put this in perspective), here’s my current game plan: * send the Train Trip query to the paid-editor for tweaking: STATUS: DONE * send Model for Detective (When her model partner disappears, a Memphis fashion model uses her “clothes whisperer”...

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(d) Whatever

I’ve found a rhythm. While my editor in Oregon has Train Trip, I’m working on another novel. The first round, I was in Memphis and I revised Bone Trench, a Christian fantasy novel set in Memphis. Second round, I was down in New Orleans so I finished (!) Jazzy, a Katrina novel. This round—hopefully the last—I’m revising A Model...

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Vangie Street, Stuck on the Runway

I want to work on my novel. They want me to buy Christmas presents. And wrap Christmas presents. And think about food for Christmas. And pack to leave town for Christmas. But Vangie Street is stuck on the runway. She keeps taking a knee—is she Teebowing? Will anyone even remember that phrase in five years?—and popping up like toast. She grins,...

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Chicken Musings

“I have written a novel about the commercial abuse of chickens.” Every time this statement comes out of my mouth, I think, that is the strangest thing. Yet, it’s true. Train Trip pivots on a drug scandal made possible by our “modern” methods of chicken raising and processing. The theme has grown in importance as...

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Forget the Writing Rules

If I knew every book I picked up would be as fascinating as the unpublished novel I just finished, I’d live each day with a readiness for the quiet moments when I could get back to the world between the pages. Most books I read are not so fascinating. Many are poorly written. Or well-written with characters whose lives I could care less...

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A Snail Went to Carlos Fuentes Funeral

Sometimes I get so frustrated by the pace of my writing career, I Google the titles of my novels to see if something is going on with them that I don’t know about. This is an insane activity, as the novels haven’t been published. The only place they exist—other than a mention or two in contests I’ve placed in over the years—are...

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The Endearing Parts

I hate to admit failure. So what I do is re-define reality. No, I didn’t fail to place as highly in the contest as I’d hoped. What I did was to learn a major truth about my revision process. I am trying to shift my novel-writing from voice-driven, told story to scene-based, plotted story. I say “shift” but it’s more...

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Death Enters the Story

I just finished mapping out the last fifty pages of the new Katrina novel, Jazzy. I don’t begin writing with an outline; I begin with a character and a situation. As I write, I jot down a bare-bones outline of what I think is coming next. Often this turns out to be untrue. Sometimes I go back and outline what I’ve written, to see...

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She Will Love Venice

My character in Jazzy, the new novel I’m working on, will love Venice, Louisiana. Venice will be a place Jazzy drove to with her daddy, one of her many “memory containers” destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. She will be devastated to learn the Katrina surge so inundated Venice to make the land indistinguishable from the Gulf of...

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