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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.

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Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go To Sleep - S.J.Watson S.J. Watson‘s first published novel Before I Go To Sleep is amazing. If I tell you what it’s about you might think it sounds “predictable” but I can guarantee that there isn’t anything predictable about it.

A woman wakes up in bed with a complete stranger (predictable). She sneaks around looking for the clothes she went to sleep in and then, sees herself in the mirror. Who she sees isn’t the woman she thought of herself as, in fact, the woman she sees is much older (could this be a sci-fi?) Then she sees the photos taped to the mirror. They are of her and the stranger in the bed. Then the stranger wakes up and begins to tell her how she was in an accident and has lost her memory. It’s a weird memory loss because she can remember things as she goes about the day but as soon as she falls into a deep sleep she forgets everything again. (This sounds boring. Please tell me that isn’t all.)

As the story progresses the reader begins to sense a sort of “dread”. Nothing is as it seems. Soon the woman begins to get the same sense of dread. Why does the man who says he is her husband really seem like such a stranger? Why does she get the feeling each day as she wakes up that she should run away? Is it part of her condition? As she begins to write the events of every day in a hidden journal (You may be thinking how can she remember that? Answer: It’s because a doctor calls her every morning to remind her to find the journal and read it.) Now, things begin to make more sense to her. Though as time passes things begin to make less and less sense.

There is something very wrong with her life besides the obvious. Why does her husband lie to her every day? Why does he get violent when things don’t work as they should like when a dish falls to the floor? She records the violence in her journal and then the next day he tells her the bruises on her face are from when she hit her face with the door. Hmmm.

A most unusual book told from her perspective and read by her/you from her secret journal. This is a horror story made all the more scary by the fact that – it could happen.

The only problem I have with this – having been in an accident where I had memory loss for months, is that what I wrote during that time was gibberish.

Just saying.