Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Screwing Up?

Bear with me, I'm running on empty with only four hours sleep. The past couple of days have been busy with with some presidential duties, writing a post for the LIRW blog, helping my husband replace two basement windows, cleaning, grocery shopping and having to assist in fixing our daughter's brake light that was constantly on. Thank goodness it was no biggie.

I finally emailed my ms to Samhain yesterday and mailed it to Kensington today. I know. I shouldn't have waited so long after the luncheon but for some reason I didn't want to send it. I guess I was afraid. I've sent things out before and have been rejected. Maybe this time I didn't want it happening again, didn't want to hear it. Fear can be like a giant thumb pressing into your back, forcing you down. But I got past it because if you're a writer, that's what you have to do. If you want to succeed that is, right?

Let me tell you two things that happened today. After I mailed my story, I drove a block away from the post office only to realize that I forgot to put a stamp on the SASE that was enclosed in the packet. I went back, was able to retrieve it and fix the problem. If I hadn't remembered, I would have seemed like such an idiot to Alicia Condon. Ok, one disaster overted. Then tonight I'm getting the paper ready for the recycling and saw The South Shore Press, in the pile. That's the same paper I told Linda at Samhain and Alicia had published a few of my articles but was now defunct. Obviously it isn't. It was Suffolk Life that was no longer around. Crap! What was I thinking? Jeez, there's no way to fix that one.

I guess things like this happen to everyone. I sure hope so. I'd hate to think I'm the only one to screw up. Hopefully they'll look past any mistakes I made and say send me the entire manuscript. Yeah, that sounds good. I'll go to bed and have that dream. Maybe it will come true.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yippee! I've been rejected

Now that the luncheon is over, I thought it was appropriate to put this up. It's a little ditty I wrote awhile back for the LIRW newsletter, Shorelines. I hope you like it.


For three years I’ve attended the Long Island Romance Writer’s Luncheon, where I’ve sat quietly, watched, listened and ate decadent chocolate mousse. But this year I was hitting the floor. I finally had something to pitch. Armed with my trusty index cards I approached editor after editor, agent after agent, touting my manuscript, THE TOUCH OF A LIE.

I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t the smoothest out there. My nerves being what they were, I forgot what I practiced saying (that’s where the index cards came in handy), I couldn’t find my pen and had to borrow one from Jozelle Dyer, an editor for Tor, and when it was over, I realized I missed two people I wanted to talk to. But I did receive some positive feedback and a few said, “Send it.”

The following days I sent my baby out into the world where I hoped she could find a good home and would grow to maturity. Hearing it could take six months to a year to get a response, I pushed my submissions to the back of my mind while I worked on other things.

Imagine my surprise and partial dismay when I received one of my self-addressed envelopes less than three weeks after I mailed everything. I dropped it on the table unopened and walked away. I made myself a cup of tea and lit a cigarette. Now I was ready. Tearing away the flap, I pulled out the letter and read. Yep, it was a rejection from Liza Schwartz of New American Library. She was very kind and offered a few suggestions. She will go down in my chronicles as being my first.

Even though I knew my manuscript wouldn’t take shape there, I didn’t feel disheartened. I was kind of elated. It hit me at that moment, and thank goodness it did, that this rejection was a testimony to how far I’d come. I thought how many people are out there sitting at home, thinking of writing a story or writing that piece but never sending it out. Must be thousands, thousands upon thousands.

Yet I did it. I pushed myself to finish my idea, timidly placed it before others to critique it and forced myself to go past my comfort zone to pitch it. That’s no mean feat.

So I rejoice in the arrival of this letter because it tells me how much I’ve grown in four years. With this rejection in front of me I can honestly say I am a writer.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Steven Zacharius and the LIRW luncheon

Good evening. A quickie this time. And no, a quickie tonight is not what you might think it is. Get your mind out of the gutter! I was referring to a short post about the LIRW luncheon, not. . . you know . . . that!

Anyway, the luncheon went so well. I'm grateful for working with such hard working, talented ladies. Yes, I did flub my speech a bit but people said I did fine. And as you can see, I didn't die from fright. If you'd like to see pictures of the luncheon, go to the LIRW blog at http://www.thelirw.blogspot.com/. You'll see and read more about the luncheon there.

Steve Zacharius, our guest speaker, is so approachable, you can ask him anything. He is also a wealth of info. I won't get into everything in his speech but a few important things he told us were:

1) Though hard cover books are slowly dwindling, he is optomistic of Kensington being a strong presence in the future. Ebooks are about 10% of their business right now.

2) A good email list is essential. You can build one by using Twitter, Facebook and blogging.

3) Share that list with your publisher for e-mail blasts

4) Keep in touch with your publisher. Tell them what you're doing.

5) Be on time with your ms.

Well I hope that helped you a bit. Good night for now. ~ Donna

Sunday, June 6, 2010


A while back I mentioned that the group, Long Island Romance Writers, was having their annual luncheon. Well that day is almost here - June 11th. I just happen to be their president which means I'll be giving a speech, something I'm sooo looking forward to doing. Do you hear that? Ping! Ping! It's sound the little drops of sarcasm are making as they hit my metal desk. (By the way, that's me, pictured above, being dragged to the podium) Luckily for me it doesn't have to be long and the names are easy to pronounce. So it might not be as bad as my mind is building it up to be. I just have to get over my fear of speaking in front of a group of people. That's all. Ping!

When I get nervous I crack stupid jokes. I've warned the group about this so they're on the look out if I start to snap my fingers to do the lame butterfly with hiccups joke. Hopefully my mouth won't be on automatic pilot.

It's going to be a fantastic day. The luncheon committee has worked hard and Beth Glash has been instrumental in pulling this off. We have a bunch of agents and editors coming. We have people traveling from Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut to attend, all in hopes to make that one connection so they will get published. I wish everyone did but it doesn't happen that way. But some do. They either get their ms accepted or get an agent or both. That makes me happy. I like hearing good things.

Well I'm off to finish my speech. Wish me luck!