I’m in a strange kind of limbo right now. Waiting for edits and stalled on my current book, the writing muse is hiding right now (probably because I don’t really believe in her and she’s pissed off).
When I’m in limbo, I tend to cook. In this case, since my family is getting together for Thanksgiving this year and not Christmas, I wanted to make up some holiday goodies to take down with me on Thursday. One that I talk a lot about, but haven’t made in years, is home made marshmallows.
You did not misread that. Yes, I said marshmallows. I LOVE home made marshmallows! But today I remembered why it had been awhile since I’ve made them.
They’re sticky. And prior to that, boiling sugar. WTF? Okay, I got past that part, and did the whole pouring into the medium speed kitchenAid part – but still. I wanted to make peppermint marshmallows (YUM!), but I didn’t have any food coloring – that’s my way of letting everyone know exactly what they’re getting – so I had to stick with regular vanilla.
I digress. Okay. I poured the hot stuff into the bowl and beat for 15 minutes at high speed – until it turned the color and consistency of marshmallow fluff, the stuff in the jar, you know? – then holy moly… I pried the beater out of the bowl; then I needed the spatula that never sticks (IS there such a thing?) in order to spread it out on the foil and oil-sprayed cookie sheet. Except – the darn stuff doesn’t want to come out of the bowl. And when it did come out of the bowl, it didn’t want to spread – it just lumped there all sticky first on the spatula, then on the foil. The stick factor was amazing, and it went everywhere – the spatula, my hands, the counter – anywhere it could stick, it did and while I shouted for help, I also turned help away. No one else needed to get sticky sweet marshmallow fluff on them! I had forgotten that you get about half a second from the end of the 15 minutes of beating to get it onto the already prepped pan, or it turns sticky. Boy, had I forgotten!
I had marshmallow everywhere. On the counter, on my face, my fingers, my jeans – I could have made a perfect Santa beard out of the stuff, only my hands would have been stuck to my face.
Finally I sprayed the heck out of the stuff already on the pan (gave up on the stuff still in the bowl, and don’t even ask about the beater…) and spread it out with my hands, also sprayed. The veg oil disappeared in the flocking of powdered sugar it got next. Now it sits overnight to “cure” before I go through the trauma of actually cutting it.
Gee…after wrestling in the kitchen with marshmallows, I’m thinking writing is a lot easier…oh muse….here, muse muse muse…
In the last sixty days, I’ve been introduced – and influenced by – three writer sites/blogs. Yes, I know there are a ton more out there, and everyone has their favorites – but these are mine.
First up has to be Holly Lisle. I subscribe to her newsletter – she has a ton of writing courses available, plus a free mini-plot workshop (though I don’t know how long it’ll be free). I’ve been using her for my latest plot – and I’m LOVING it. The story is not remotely the same as the short story – and that’s kind of the point. It can’t be. Anyway – for Holly’s site and other fab info, go see her at HollyLisle.com. You won’t be disappointed!
My second go-to site is SavvyAuthors.com. Even if you’re not a member, there are a ton of articles to read on a daily basis that will expand your horizons and introduce you to new authors. I’ve only been a member for a couple of weeks, and as soon as I can figure out the forums and how to get my team going on the bootcamp, I’ll be swimming there happily. Plus, several members are also working with my publisher, so that’s a perk that I can’t get elsewhere.
My third favorite site is Kristin Lamb – find her at KristinLamb.net. Her tagline is We Are Not Alone – and she’s specifically talking to writers. There is so much solid information on her site, specifically about social marketing for writers, that you’d be foolish to not take advantage of her wisdom. I’m subscribed to her blog, and I couldn’t do without it. I save all those emails to go over again and again. One of these days, I’m also going to pick up her book on (what else?) social marketing.
I do have to say here that these sites aren’t solely romance focused. Everyone is welcome, no matter what you write. In the industry, it’s my belief that Romance Writers of America have set the gold standard for writers helping each other. Even if you don’t write romance, I suggest you join – the support you’ll find, and the learning opportunities available at dirt cheap prices, are more than worth the price of admission ($90 a year, I believe – unless it’s gone up recently).
So these are my top writer sites. I’d love to hear about yours!
to the editor, that is! I sent the book this morning, in a rush as I had to get to work. And the entire time I was making phone calls today, I was kicking myself about bits and pieces I hadn’t changed.
Sigh. I suppose the book is never complete – there’s always a way to make it better. A different word choice, or whatever…at any rate, now I just play the waiting game and give her time to read the book. Once I get it back, then I get to dig my hands into it again!
It’s all good…
The amount I don’t know about being published is astonishing. Getting a book pre-reviewed is the way to go, especially with a smaller publishing house. A good way to build up word of mouth. It makes sense, but how…?
Luckily, I work with an incredible group of supportive writers at Crescent Moon Press, as well as the editors and marketing geniuses. They are guiding me (and all the other new authors in their house) as to how to actually get the word out.
Soon I hope to have some of these writers guest blog here, and talk about their new books. In the meantime, I’m soaking up everything like a sponge and flying through edits. I’m halfway through the book; just another 120 pages to go and then of course a second pass. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be done by the weekend, yay!