Author Archives: Jennifer

There’s a Reason They Invented Spandex

I am not young and I am not slender. But there are times I’d like to be a little more fashionable than just wearing mom jeans and a T-shirt. So I have three pairs of leggings – two lightweight to wear with sandals or flats, and one heavier for winter boots. In the interests of modesty (and for the sake of other people’s eyes), I wear a tunic-type top with them. I don’t need my saggy butt out there for the world to see. A few weeks ago, though, I put on my Jeggings to do my exercises at home, and they were great: soft and stretchy and so comfortable I felt like they weren’t there. I even kept them on all day long. So during yesterday’s rain, when my body cried out for some activity besides sitting at my desk, I planned some gym time after running errands.  I … Continue reading

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Free Manuscript Edit by Harcourt Editor

Is your novel finished and ready to go out?  Is it 80,000 words or less?  If so, check out the website run by Deborah Halverson, a former Harcourt Brace Jovanovich editor and the author of the forthcoming Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies.  (I met her an at SCBWI workshop a few years ago, before she went out on her own – she’s great!)  Anyway, you enter by email and she’ll pull a winner at random and then do a substantive edit for you – structure, voice, characters, plot development, pacing, etc. (not line-editing). I’ve entered for my middle-grade time travel novel, Through the Shimmer of Time, and I got extra entries for subscribing to her blog and using my blog to spread the word.  And even though letting all of you know may be lessening my own chances, it’s too good to pass up.  So if you’re ready, … Continue reading

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Writing When You’re Overwhelmed

This isn’t an article about finding snippets of time to write in an already busy schedule.  That’s a very common, on-going situation for many of us, and I’ll write about it later.  But sometimes life throws you a curve, or two, or three.  Not only is any semblance of a writing schedule gone, but so is the ability to be creative.  The mind is simply overwhelmed by a crisis. I’m in that situation now.  Re-settling in the US, buying a house, and helping a dear friend re-start a consulting business after her recent widowhood leave me brain-weary sometimes.  I sit down to write, and my mind just has nothing creative to give. I found a solution yesterday that meets the need of working on my novel daily, but didn’t pressure me and my lack of creativity.  This particular novel began during National Novel Writing Month, and there are a couple … Continue reading

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Self-Promotion for Authors

The Guide to Literary Agents blog had an interesting guest post by J.M. Frey the other day:  why an author with a publishing deal with a respected small press would still want an agent.  She already has a contract, right?  One reason was that there was so much marketing to do, and she’d like to get at least a little sleep each day! Several of us commented that we’d like to know what she does to promote her book – we’ll hopefully need that information soon.  Ms. Frey very nicely sent me a link to the blog post she wrote in response to our request, and her list . . . wow, can you spell d-a-u-n-t-i-n-g? From library talks to interviews and press kits, from Facebook and Twitter to websites, community events and contests, she covers about everything possible in enough detail for us to get a good idea of … Continue reading

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Sharing Writing Tips

As I work on my own writing, I find myself wanting to share.  Tips and tricks I’ve learned, problems and frustrations, writer’s conference experiences, the excitement and dread of submissions.  I compose blog posts in my head all the time, but have never done anything with them. So here I am, finally starting a writing blog.  Hopefully it won’t be just me talking – I’d also like to have on-going discussions, share books and authors and writing websites we think are great, and even include some author interviews. I invite you to come along for the ride.  And if there’s something you think should be up for discussion – writing related, of course – drop me a note.  Maybe you’ll even get to post a guest blog!

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