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rlnolen

November News 2014

What happened?

I’ve been somewhat absent from my newsletter/blog for a month. Writing a new novel takes a lot of butt-in-chair time.

The Work-in-Progress. You can see the "timeline" on the cork board.

The Work-in-Progress. You can see the “timeline” on the cork board.

I’ve heard of National Novel Writing Month for as long as it’s been around. I never thought I would actually do it. I did this time. NaNoWriMo was the impetus I needed to finally write a solid first draft of Token, that YA (Young Adult) work-in-progress that I’ve been telling you about for the last year. I went into the month with four chapters that were not good. I spent some time improving those. I had close to seven thousand words to start. I needed 50,000 words to win (or complete) NaNoWriMo. You see, it’s a national challenge. I probably should point out that now NaNoWriMo is an international challenge. Many people win. I’m not the only one. I have 53,000 words today. There will be more by December 1. I’m officially going to the big TGIF (thank God it’s finished) party at River Oaks Book Store. Yay!!

This is the end of the receipt from a Barnes & Noble in Pasadena. Do you see Deadly Thyme down at the bottom? Whoo! Hoo!

This is the end of the receipt from a Barnes & Noble in Pasadena. Do you see Deadly Thyme down at the bottom? Whoo! Hoo!

 

Now, the News:

Denise, Fern, Sarah, Me

Denise, Fern, Sarah, Me

November 8 was the Houston Writer’s Guild’s first mini-conference under the new leadership team. The team consists of Denise, Fern, and myself. Denise and Fern are the new owners of the Guild. I am honored they picked me to help them steer the course. Our mini-conference was a rocking success with a good showing of members and new folks anxious to learn the craft of writing. Sarah Cortez an esteemed speaker and winner of many writing awards for her poetry books, was our speaker. People said that the day went by so fast they couldn’t believe it. There was also lots of food with breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack.

Now for the News You Can Use:

SAM_1233_edited-1March 28 of 2015 we will hold a one day pitch practice conference to help members of HWG get their pitches and presentations ready for the BIG CONFERENCE. At the pre-conference we will have actual agents for members to pitch their novels, and screenplays to. More details to come.

The next big thing is the Amazing 2015 HWG conference. There will be several agents from NYC there. We will have some Texas agents and editors and publishers there. Friends, this is Big Time! There will be agents looking for folks they want to represent to the big six publishers in NYC. There will also be a lot of break-out sessions about how to self-publish, the art of craft, the business of doing it, the “how to” market it. More details to come.

Down on The Farm

One of the things I did do this month besides have some amazing books signings around town was that I took Cora to visit my brother on his farm. We picked vegetables, Jon took us to visit the menagerie, we petted his AKC Siberians, and Jon gave us some eggs (nicer than any from the store). I want to show you some pictures from that day.SAM_1240

And I wanted to show you some artwork that my amazing sis-in-law did. She drew this from composite photos of her trips to Egypt. She painted it with coffee. Okay, you can say “wow” too.SAM_1243

Happy Thanksgiving!

SAM_1264It’s the end of the month and I want to thank you for sticking with me in reading my blog, especially when there are weeks between offerings. I appreciate every one of you. May God richly bless you in this holiday season.

I thank the Lord for His loving kindness, and mercy in keeping our family safe and well.

Don’t eat too much and watch out for the crazy drivers.

Currently reading

Life Application Study Bible NASB
Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Tyndale
Book of Lamentations - Enhanced E-Book Edition (Illustrated. Includes 5 Different Versions, Matthew Henry Commentary, Stunning Image Gallery + Audio Links)
Prayer Books, Theology Books, Eschatology, The Book of Laments, Book of Laments, Matthew Henry, Anonymous
Peek A Boo I See You (Emma Frost #5)
Willow Rose

3 Days in Paradise

3 Days in Paradise - Chameleon I loved the story here. It reminded me initially of C. S. Lewis's "The Great Divorce" about how awful, scary, frightful heaven can be to those who don't belong there. Then there was an underlying love story here that I liked. It was a bright hopeful sort of story.

Here's where the story could win more five star reviews. The author needs to polish up the first quarter of the story where Dani and her friend are speaking. We hop in and out of their heads on the same page. This confuses the reader. We can still understand another person's reaction by their expression and so we don't need to "get in their thoughts". The author could write this from only one point of view and still convey what she intends. Secondly, there are a few run-on sentences that make little sense. This would take a professional copy-editor about half an hour to fix.

Then there are parts I didn't find believable such as when she shoes the boyfriend away. I expected him to reappear like the jerk that he was, but he didn't. This was a disappointment because his return and subsequent 'boot' could have added good layers to the story.

Then there was the part in the field beyond with the psychologist. I believed it but it could be made better with more sensory detail, and more detailed and paced action and reaction. I longed to visualize that field. What did it smell like? Weren't there any animals? Flowers? Wind?

The author is a good writer, and this is a good story.

I would change my review to a five if the story is lengthened and improved upon. I could love it instead of just liking it.