A Jump Start from a Master Class

Yes, I’ve been very lax on my writing and marketing the last year or so. I humbly confess. It was a busy time, granted. But you’d have thought I would have bloomed more on the keyboard during the pandemic as so many of my author friends did. I did have a near daily snail mail correspondence going on with my middle grandson, and it was his encouragement that finally shoved me back on the old saddle of writing and editing.

I have a 92,000 word manuscript, working title “Twinkies and Tranquilizers,” that I believe is ready for query letters to agents. Time to crack my knuckles and get researching for who is looking for women’s fiction set in the sizzling Seventies.

So when I saw a post on Facebook by the Southwest Washington Writers Conference about a master class on Friday, September 10th titled How to Make Yourself Unforgettable to Agents, Editors, and Readers—Master class with James L. Rubart – I didn’t hesitate to sign up. How serendipity is that? And within an hour’s drive from home. Perfect.

Before heading out that morning, I followed my routine of checking my email, seeing what’s happening on Facebook and reading the online edition of our local paper, mainly the funnies and horoscope. Well, Sagittarius read: “Take things in hand instead of waiting for events to make a decision for you. If you want to change your professional orientation, this will be the moment to take up a career change or retraining course.” The planets have aligned and all systems are go.

Now I had no idea who Mr. Rubart was before the class started. The brief bio stated a Christy Hall of Fame author and marketing expert. By the end of the day, I was hooked, had signed up for his newsletters and purchased two of his books. What an energetic and enthusiastic gentleman. I won’t go into detail of the class, but I encourage you to check out his websites (plural) and find out for yourself the wealth of tips and encouragement this man has. Not only is he a prolific author, but he has a separate company, Rubart Writing Academy, offering courses to unlock your success. He understands ways to stand out in the literary world. He understands people, writers, all of us.

Oh, the brainstorming that went on during those five hours. I’ve created a new blog, Crowded vs Empty where I can explore the variances of suddenly living as an empty nester after two decades of being the queen of the crowded nest. My laptop is getting daily use (finally) in my latest work in progress, a young adult novel. And, wait, there’s more, exciting, new ways to tweak my query letters to agents giving them, hopefully, a chance to hook their attention.

Stay tuned to see what happens.


NaNoWriMo – Check

How many of you have heard of National Novel Writing Month? November is the official month each year where hundreds of thousand of writers from around the world compete against themselves to write a 50,000-word novel. It’s an intense push beginning after midnight of November 1st until midnight of November 30 for a writer to sit in their chair and crank out words.

These is no major prize at the end of the challenge other than the celebration and exuberant feeling of accomplishment. And a badge you can post on your website or Facebook page. There are t-shirts for sale and other writing fun things in their online store.

NaNoWriMo is something I’ve wanted to do for decades. Working fulltime plus various other excuses such as raising a family, then grandchildren, plus publishing my own novels and non-fiction kept me from dedicating thirty days on one storyline.

I can now check this event off my bucket list. That’s right I am a winner of the 2017 NaNo-2017-Winner-BadgeNaNoWriMo challenge. Whew. I’ve had an idea for a story stuck in my mind for these long decades and finally I declared my intentions in October. This year, by golly, I was going to join these thousands of writers and swim in the stress and glory. And, yes, I bought myself a t-shirt so I’ll always remember this excitement.

Too delicious. The drawback is unwinding now from the every day drive to get in x-amount of words and spending hours and hours with a band of characters. Granted, I plan on editing and revising my little jewel over the next few months. I worked too hard not to give the manuscript a chance at publishing.

So stay tuned and I’ll let you know how the process goes …