Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Blog-A Writers Muse

If you are an author, and do not yet have a blog site of your very own, you are on the verge of slipping into a time warp. *Let me rescue you from obscurity by bringing you into the light and the 21st century!

Blog sites are easy to set up and maintain, it is not rocket science. If you have time for a 15 minute phone call, once a week, then you have time for a blog.

You may ask, "Why do I need one?" The answer is simple. If you are a writer who aspires to sell books, then you will need a vehicle to promote your books when they reach publication. Remember, writing your book is only the beginning. The real work starts when it hits the bookstores! Your publisher will (most likely) only play a small role in promoting your book. The majority of the work, will be left to you. Why not begin by building your audience now?

It will impress editors and publishers if you can include a blog site on your cover and query letters. They will immediately know that you are unafraid to put yourself out there, promoting yourself and your work.

It is becoming increasingly popular for editors to check out author's blog sites to get a feel for their writing style prior to offering a book deal. If they like what they read, they are more inclined to make an offer. That being said, it is no surprise that accuracy (contrary to popular belief) is very important. Maintaining a blog will help you to begin thinking like an editor when you are writing entries to post. In doing so, your over-all writing skills will begin to improve.

One of the great things about blogs, is that the topics are infinite. You can write about anything you like (or don't like). You can post a snippet everyday, or you can post a paragraph once a week. Some authors post an article a month. Blogs are as individual as the writers themselves. Your blog is your can do whatever you like! Just remember, it will be read!

I find that the more I add to my blog, the easier blogging becomes. My site has become a place where I can vent, share, inform, reminisce and dream. I usually surprise myself by the time I have typed the last word. The unexplainable magic that happens when you know you've hit on something, is what keeps me coming back for more.

Looking back at past posts, they are a reminder of where I've been, and how far I have come. Someday, I hope to be a well-known author. It's nice to know that my blog will be there, long after I'm gone. For my loyal readers, it will not be just an affirmation of my success, but a testimony of who I was as a human being.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Weathering the Storm

Growing up in central Florida, I saw a lot of storms. Often they were accompanied by thunder so loud it shook the ground and made my teeth chatter. I can remember many times getting caught in a down pour on my way home from school, rain pelting the top of my head so hard that it felt like pebbles being thrown down from heaven. Within seconds, I'd be soaked to the skin, with my hair flattened and plastered to my face.

Lightening was the worst of all. I could always smell the electricity on the wind. From the safety of our living room, I imagined what would happen if I stepped outside into the crackly air. Surely my hair would stand on end and then SMACK! I'd become a human torch. Of course, my mother was comforted in knowing that I had a healthy fear of such things. It meant I would, most likely, stay out of harms way.

What she couldn't prepare me for was the other storms. The ones life dished out in abundance. She was too busy weathering her own.

Still, storms have become something more than just thunder, lightening and rain. Faye, and all the storms yet to come have reminded me of that. They are a glimpse into the past.

Like the day when the sun was shining and rain appeared from nowhere. My brother and I danced in our bathing suits, shampooing our hair in the warm stream of rain pouring off the roof. My grandmother laughed, handing each of us a bar of soap and instructing us to use it.

I remember putt-putt golfing in the rain with my grandfather, refusing to give up our game because of a little sprinkle, (even though we got soaked to our underwear.)I giggled as my sneakers went slosh, slosh, slosh, from green to squishy green.

I think of sitting in the bleachers with my friends, watching the high school band slide around on a soaked field. We laughed because the opened school books on our heads were getting drenched, along with our cloths...and there was nothing our mothers could do about it!

My favorite storm related memory was more than a decade ago. All the women in our family had gathered at our house for what turned out to be their last time together. The rain blew up unexpectedly and the winds howled. When the lights went out, everyone (me, my mother, grandmother, aunt, great-aunt, etc.)gathered together on our big round sectional couch. We lit candles and snuggled under blankets, munching on snacks and taking turns telling stories and re-living fond memories. It was magical for me. The smiling faces of that evening will be forever etched in my memory, until I see them again.

I've been through many storms, some worse than others. Each of them usually brought me closer to someone. Today, the storm raging outside reminds me of what and who is most important in my life.

When I think about it, that's what all storms do, even those other kinds.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

pimp my spleen: a new book i just bought.....

Hello my little blogging friends, I was blog surfing and came upon yet another Lisa with a sense of humor! This one is has talent too. Check her out if you need a blog fix. Just don't forget where your favorite Lisa is.
pimp my spleen: a new book i just bought.....

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Measuring Success

When it comes to writers and illustrators, what exactly is the measure of success?

What about all those people in the past, who became great successes after death? Many, dare I say, most lived a life of poverty but were happy in spite of it. What does that say for the creative people of this age?

At a time when everyone is driven to achieve financial success, can a writer or illustrator truly be happy when the majority of us are constantly being asked to practically give it away?

If we aren't keeping up with society standards, are we really successful? I'm curious to know what my fellow writers/illustrators think.

In my opinion, it all depends on how you look at it.

I have always measured success in a persons determination to make things happen. I think if you are able to hang in there, against all the odds and obstacles, then you are a person of real substance. If you can keep picking yourself up every time someone or something knocks you down, and you learn from it, then you are successful and should be applauded.

So many of us begin our careers with big dreams, yet many give up, losing faith in themselves just as the door begins to open. Fear is a powerful thing, I should know.

Success scares me to death. With each new assignment, we must deliver a promise. The promise to do what we claim to do best. While it is exhilarating to think that we have been chosen above a kazillion others, it is terrifying to imagine the very real possibility of failure.

Failure in this business can be very unforgiving. It's not like the hotel maid, who forgets to pick up a towel. When a writer or illustrator fails, nobody forgets. It's out there for everyone to see. There's too much invested. You can't just throw it back in the hamper.

So, what does all that mean? For me, it means that my greatest success will be in conquering my fear, embracing what comes next, and finding the courage to keep reaching ever higher.