Book Quotes to Remember

Thursday, May 28, 2009
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." --Groucho Marx

“Wear the old coat and buy the new book.”

--Austin Phelps

“The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go.”
--Dr. Seuss

“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?”

--Henry Ward Beecher

“Books are not men and yet they stay alive.”
--Stephen Vincent Benet

“You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.

Just get people to stop reading them.”
--Ray Bradbury

"When I got [my] library card, that was when my life began."

--Rita Mae Brown

“When I get a little money, I buy books;
and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”

--Desiderius Erasmus

“Books to the ceiling,

Books to the sky.
My pile of books
Are a mile high.
How I love them!
How I need them!
I'll have a long beard
By the time I read them.”
--Arnold Lobel

“I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.”

--Isaac Asimov

“A classic is something that everybody wants to have read

and nobody wants to read."
--Mark Twain

“A library is a hospital for the mind.”

-- Anonymous

“He ate and drank the precious words,

His spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,
Nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,
And this bequest of wings
Was but a book — what liberty
A loosened spirit brings!”
--Emily Dickinson

"I cannot live without books."
--Thomas Jefferson

Book Release Date!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009
If you took my quiz yesterday, you might already be aware...but I finally received a release date for my book, The Stillburrow Crush!! Yay. Keep your calendar's open for FEBRUARY 26, 2010, because that's when you're going to buy, like, ten copies of my story, right? OK, OK. I'll settle for one copy!

Anyway, I'm back from driving my parents to Oklahoma, and let me tell you...when I'm going 80 mph on the interstate through downtown Tulsa, OK (which I've never driven through before), it's not a good time to start disagreeing on the route home. But that's what my parents did. I guess I never should've said, "Just tell me when to turn," because they did that too...except they told me two different directions.

We made it home alive though, thank goodness. And I've watched all my nieces and nephews graduate for the year. Except Matthew, who's having his Preschool graduation Wednesday evening. That might be too cute to miss, so, OK, I guess I have one more graduation to attend.

Now that you're all caught up on my life, I'm off in an attempt to sell book number two!! Wish me luck.
Monday, May 18, 2009

Prom Mania Month / Graduation Weekend

Thursday, May 14, 2009
It's Prom Mania month at the Climbing Rose Blog. They're giving out prizes as well as great prom advice. They even have a free read, "I Was a Teenage Earthworm" by Bonnie Doerr for you to enjoy. So, head over that way for some fun.

Tonight, I will be attending Midwest Romance Writers monthly meeting. And tomorrow it's off to Oklahoma to drive my parents down to see a niece graduate. Of course, we'll have to be back by Sunday to watch two more nephews get their diplomas, and then again on Monday to see another niece and nephew decked out in a cap in gown.

As you can see, it's going to be a busy weekend. Meanwhile, I hope I'll soon have a release date for my story to give you. But... we'll have to see on that one. Someday.

Until then, I wish a hearty graduation congrats to Katie, Jerod, Andrew, Samantha and Cody. I’m proud of you guys.

Rain, Rain, Go away

Monday, May 11, 2009
We had a nasty thunderstorm roll past our house Friday morning. With probably close to 90 mph winds, it took out our electricity and satellite dish. The electricity was out till Saturday afternoon. The dish... still out.

There was no damage to our property (yay! I'm glad I now know what my new house can withstand), but as you can see from this picture on KOAM TV's website, some people had damage.

My poor sister was sitting in her car at the end of the drive with her children waiting for the school bus to arrive when it hit her place. She tells a very exciting account of the tale. My husband was also in an automobile when the winds came. He said that's the most afraid he's been in a storm before. But when you see the high school gymnasium's roof fly past you, I can see where you're coming from there!

I hope everyone had an okay Mothers' Day. Both my mom and mother-in-law seemed content with theirs.

What’s your story REALLY about?

Friday, May 8, 2009
As a writer in general, our main objective is to make a point about the human condition. As a romance writer, it’s the author’s duty to narrow that down to creating a story about the relationship between a hero and heroine; their ups and downs and the emotional tale about how they make it to their happily ever after.

Since Suzanne Brockmann is a great source of inspiration to me and one of my favorite authors on earth, I have tell you about one of her quotes from her Day 5 Interview with Romance Novel TV. She sees her stories as having a spine and a soul. The spine is the central romance between her two main protagonists and the soul is almost like a subplot of that. It’s what else is happening in the story to make it deeper. It could take place in a secondary character’s life or in one of the main character’s. But it always gives deeper meaning to the story as a whole.

I like to think of this second layer as the theme. In Gone with the Wind, all we romance enthusiasts can say the story is about Scarlett finally growing up to realize Rhett is the one man for her. There’s a main story line, aka a plot, aka a “spine.” The End.

But one of the themes Margaret Mitchell makes about the human condition--the soul of the story--is about a woman’s endurance to survive through war and not only make it through by the skin of her teeth, but to triumph. That’s what makes Gone with the Wind such a classic. It has a plotline and a theme, a spine and a soul, layer upon layer of what the story it’s REALLY about.

Now the trick is how to bring in that depth, so that years from now scholars will discover our weighty, thoughtful prose and teach about them in their literature classes. My suggestion is to steal one. Hee hee! I know, I know, Linda, you naughty girl, copy-catting someone else’s brilliance. How wrong. But think about it a moment. Most of the great classics are great because they’ve borrowed their theme, their “soul,” from an even earlier piece of literature.

If you scour Stephenie Meyer’s website, you’ll discover Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice influenced her twilight book, Breaking Dawn. S. E. Hinton based her book, The Outsiders, on the Robert Frost poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” C. S. Lewis’s The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is a simulation of the Bible’s The Passion of the Christ story.

To tell you the truth, I tried to copy my YA story The Stillburrow Crush’s theme off a piece of classic literature too. It revolves around two lines from John Keat’s poem, “Ode on a Grecian Urn.”
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare.

The poem goes along with my theme on teen death. The girl who dies will always be known as that pretty, young cheerleader. She can never change or grow old. She’s immortalized exactly as she was, just as the dancers are on Keat’s famous urn. And the trees painted on the urn he’s describing will always have leaves. My heroine is also immortalizing herself by telling her story through a journal. We readers will always see her as this sixteen year old girl, experiencing her first crush.

Now, I’m not sure if anyone else will ever catch any of that symbolism I made, or even if it deepens the story for readers, but it made the manuscript come alive for me. Plus other great authors like Lewis and Hinton did it for their young adult books, so I thought I’d mention it as an idea for all you writers out there.

Once you have your plot and character down (might even wait until you’ve finished the entire rough draft), step back and look at your story as a whole. Is there a theme about the human condition waiting to emerge from your work? Is it by chance something you could glean from classic literature? If you can find something, grab a hold of it and hang on tight. It works wonders in the revision process and really makes your story bloom. It did for me anyway. In fact, I hadn’t fleshed out my entire theme until I’d sold my manuscript and was working through the first round of edits.

Dear Reject

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Like diarrhea, it's a nasty subject. Happens to everyone (at least it does to every writer) and yet we're all too mortified to admit to it when it does. It's happened to me...more than once...just this year (Rejection, that is, not the other). But I must say, my experiences lately are becoming a lot less horrifying. Actually, I might even call most of them pleasant (gasp, I know).

Eleven years ago when I entered the publishing world and sent out my first submission, I had no idea what to expect. My story came back to me with a standard form letter. Dear So and So, Thank you for querying us, but we're not interested at this time. Yada, yada, yada... blah, blah, blah.

OK, so it broke my heart, but I moved on. Wrote another story and sent that off.

My second submission attempt came back as well, with another similar note attached. Standard, impersonal...rejected. But rubber banded to the back of my returned manuscript, I found a reader's review. I have a feeling this review wasn't supposed to make it to my eyes and was "supposed" to be kept in some file under my name back at the publishing office. But, oops, someone must've forgotten to separate it from the story before returning it to me... and I read this reader's blunt, honest review. Two, full single-typed pages of painful criticism. Ouch. I didn't submit another query for four years after that experience.

But eventually, I did jump back on the wagon and after writing a few more stories, I eased back into the submission game...a lot more leery this time. Many more standard form letters came back. I learned more about submitting from each rejection. And over time, personal notes began to crop up within the mine field of form letters. I could tell people were actually beginning to read my stuff because they gave advice about my plot or certain characters before telling me they weren't interested.

It was ten years before an editor actually offered me a contract... but the rejections didn't end there. Nope, I still get them. I even still receive the impersonal, standard form letters. But lately, those have decreased substantially and personal comments have increased. In fact, in the past three rejections, I was asked to resubmit after making corrections. This is good...this is very good news. I always feel like jumping up and down and singing the theme song to The Jefferson's "Movin' on Up" when I receive these letters. Because one step up from a "please resubmit" letter, is an "I-want-to-buy-your-book" call!

So, anyway, I've discovered manuscript rejection comes in three basic stages before making it to acceptance. There's...

1. The standard form letter where they may (or may not) slot your name into the salutation and write the same "Sorry, we're not interested at this time" mumbo jumbo to basically everyone they contact.

2. The personalized note, thanking you for submitting, and then detailing every reason why they don't want your story. These are helpful rejections because now you know what's wrong with your story and how you can make it better.

and finally...

3. The interested rejection, telling you you're close, but your story still needs a bit more work. Here, they'll either ask you to submit something else or resubmit a revised edition of what you just showed them. Here, it's time to get excited because if contracting a story was fire, you'd be singeing your eyebrows with this rejection.

Literary Rejections on Display is a blog dedicated to posting various rejection letters and making fun of them. So, the next time you receive a nasty little diarrhea note, visit LRoD and join the ranks of every other writer on the planet for a little lift-me-up humor. It always makes me feel better, anyway.

Party at the Wild Rose Press

Friday, May 1, 2009
Happy Birthday to the Wild Rose Press!!

Join us May 1, 2009 for a day of fun blog posts and prizes every hour.

Stop by all day May 1, 2009. Beginning at 6 am ET and ending about 11pm ET, each hour will highlight the many lines we have at the Wild Rose Press.

And every hour, a random winner will be drawn from those who post a comment. The winners will receive their choice of book from that line. At the end of the day, a grand prize winner will be drawn from all that post throughout the day.

The grand prize winner will receive a gorgeous tote bag full of books, a t-shirt, coffee mug, gift certificates and whatever else we can stuff in a tote bag. Or if the winner would rather, they can take a $30 gift certificate to the TWRP bookstore(this can be any TWRP store, White Rose Publishing, the Wilder Rose, or the main Wild Rose Press bookstore.). = Editor's Blog = Main Book Store = Erotic Romance Book Store = Inspirational Romance Book Store = Young Adult Romance Writer's Blog