UPDATE !

After my last blog, I received congratulatory messages from many of you. And, usually, I respond immediately.

At the moment, however, I’m weaning myself off narcotics after a back surgery nearly two weeks ago. I’m taking this lucid BP moment — (Between Pills)– to explain that you will be receiving a message shortly.

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Those emails, cards and texts pumped me up each and every day. I mean it.

The surgery to remove the hardware, which was inserted nearly four years ago during my back fusion, should reduce the current discomfort.  Keep your fingers crossed! Hopefully this will do the trick!

Thanks, thanks and thanks again!

My best,

Darla

P.S. REMEMBER REDEMPTION is done! Watch for it in SEPTEMBER!

Lois Lane? Really?

Today I blog about my relationship with Lois Lane over at rebecca-grace.blogspot.com.

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Guest blogging is fun. It’s like visiting someone. So drop on by and check out my blog there and peruse the site. It’s the first time I’ve ever written anything so personal about how I got into this writing business. Leave questions. Also, if you’re a new writer, you can find great stuff on that site.

But today what’s really on my mind is the weather.

Yesterday a young woman asked, ” Why are you wearing all black. It’s summer!” She had on shorts. But I was the clever one because Colorado does not have summer until it’s officially June. It teases you and sends a few warm days. People rush to their closets and do the reorg thing. Not me.

Growing up in Texas, I always heard, “Wait five minutes and the weather will change.” Yesterday Colorado was at 88 and today snow is in the forecast.

This morning, I hear not one chattering bird but a choir outside as the dark is about to give it up to dawn. Lovely beyond words. Those precious little darlings are ready for spring. They’re in for a great disappointment. I do enjoy spring, but the first couple of years  in Colorado we had a blizzard … in late May. Now I’m snow shy. And skeptical. I’ll believe it when …

Enjoy today. And by that I mean look at the person you love. Grab that face and look into those eyes. Say “I love you.” Don’t do it only to their backs as they walk out the door. Live in the moment. And have a Happy Easter.

MARATHON WRITING

Writing until you are  blue in the face? Does it work? Do you get something accomplished?

Twenty writers met this past week in Golden Colorado at the Table Mountain Inn, and although their fingers may be exhausted, their minds are excited about what happened there.

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It was a lovely three and a half day experience and people worked like crazy creating, editing and generally having fun exchanging their viewpoints and experiences while throwing out encouragement to one another.

One woman in particular had recently switched from academia to writing fiction and it was exciting to see her begin her very first book at this very first writing retreat sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers  and organized by Angie Hodapp. (in the middle)

Another woman worked diligently typing fast and now I know how she has written some double-digit number of books. It was fun to be in the same room with her because she’s so creative and prolific!

The finale of the retreat was having an agent critique our work, anonymously of course.

If we wished to participate in the exercise, we submitted two pages of any work without our names attached.  Kristin Nelson, President and Senior Literary Agent at Nelson Literary Agency, LLC  was friendly and not at all intimidating.  As she critiqued our work, we sat spellbound.

Here are a few of the pointers:

1. Less is always more. Why use several sentences to say what you can say in one sentence.

2. If you can carry your piece with your voice, she said she’d follow you anywhere.

3. Please, no bodily functions at the beginning of the book.

4. Anchor your story in a physical space.

5. Let your scene unfold. Don’t try to give the reader too much information too quickly.

6. Don’t lose the perspective. For instance, In first person, you see everything.

7. Put action with the object.  Make your writing tight.

8. Don’t start a story with a dream. She said she would feel deceived.

I am sure she said more than that, but these pointers are the ones I carried away with me.

And since it was mine that started with the dream, I was more than glad to get her perspective. No need to send it out to other agents seeking representation if that’s a big no-no.

Two things I particularly liked about Kristin was she reassured the group several times that we would not be the same writers tomorrow or next month. We would be better. And we should never give up.

Also, it was astounding to see that she memorized our names (20 of us) on the spot. And to make sure she had them correctly, she reversed the order she said them in. I was impressed. I want to know how she did that!

So I’d say the time was well spent.

So I have to go now. Have to delete that dream sequence.

Writers out there, comments?