Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Temporary because I'm not sure I like how the pages are set up over there. I could end up coming back here, but for now, look for me at www.cjclark.webs.com Thanks for following!
Friday, October 21, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
And look at these beautiful baskets of goodies raffled off at the conference. They were chock full of books, office supplies, critique packages . . . Congrats to all the lucky winners!
Friday, June 17, 2011
First and foremost you must realize a judge is not out to get you.(especially if you receive low scores). They read works blind--no names attached. Most judges have a criteria they are looking for. Not their own agenda, but one that is meant to improve your writing.
PLUS, your writing helps judges.
I've just finished preliminary judging for a romance contest. This is the second time I've done this. Good experience or bad? Good. By reading other writers' works, I can see what works, what doesn't. I see weak heroines/heros, strong heroines/heros. I see interesting plots with lots of twists. I can see how a great hook pulls me into the story. I can see when secondary characters are pulling too much weight or even adding confusion to the story. Bottom line, being a judge helps me improve my writing.
Have you been a judge? Good experience? Bad? What have you learned from it? If you haven't been a judge, what have you learned from a judge's comments?
1. My favorite food is mashed potatoes.
2. I would like to live in a BIG log home in the mountains.
3. I would love to have a date with Eric Roberts or Andrew McCarthy.
4. I love to laugh, which I don't get to do hardly at all.
5. I have a secret desire to fix the world.
6. When I was young--sigh--I wanted to be an actress.
7. I like to cook and at one time wanted to go the the prestigious School of Culinary Arts.
8. Fantasy: to live in Liberace's mansion where I could sit and listen to him play piano all day/everyday.
And now for requirement number 3: And the Winners Are–
1. D'Ann Linscott Dunham http://www.ridingwrite.blogspot.com/
2. Stephanie Barko http://stephaniebarko.com/
3. Velda Brotherton http://www.%20velda-brotherton.blogspot.com//
4. Sandra Parshall http://www.poesdeadlydaughters.blogspot.com/
5. Linda C Apple http://lindacapple.blogspot.com/
6. Cindi Myers http://cindimyersmarketnews.wordpress.com/
Monday, May 16, 2011
- Writers are a dichotomy. On one hand we are vain about our work, on the other hand, we are filled with doubts and fears. Have you ever found yourself saying: I can't write that. What will my spouse/the church ladies/my boss/my friends think of me?I better find a nicer way of saying that.What if I do let loose and someone criticizes me for it?
Beginning and novice writers are plagued by doubts of how far they should go in their stories. And indeed some editors, contest judges, and publishers may frown upon letting it all out. But there also comes a time when you the writer must take a leap of faith. Think about some of the best writers of all times. Did they cower in their writing? I agree with C. Hope Clark who says, "Good writers spill their blood, guts, sweat (and whatever other body fluids they have) all over the paper. There's no holding back. There's no worrying about what a mother will think or if it will upset a particular political party."
I know the current novel I'm working on will shock a lot of people. They'll no doubt say, "How could she write that stuff?" Although we all want to be the next bestselling author, my stance is: This is necessary for the story to ring true. I'm feeling more confident about my writing. Are you?Are you ready for that leap of faith?
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Criticism in negative. Critique is positive. Criticism is nitpicking. Critique is instructional.
Even in my own writer's group it is common to hear remarks like: "You misspelled _________." "You should have used a comma there." While all well and fine if the writer is not aware of these mistakes, this kind of thing is often editing, not critiquing. Or do you get non-commital generic comments such as, "That was good." "I didn't care for it."
Here's some tips for getting more out of your feedback sessions:
- Be sure to ask the right questions. Rather than throwing your precious baby to the wind for general discussion, find out what you really want to know: Is the writing tight? Have I developed my characters? Is the plot strong or weak? Do you have a sense of place/setting? Is there too much narration? Not enough? Have I overused adjectives in my descriptions? etc. Ask specific questions.
- If you want editing, ask for it. You may want to preface your feedback session with, "I know there are spelling and grammar mistakes in here, I'm not asking for you to correct those. I want _________(see #1). Or maybe you DO want the corrections.
- That old adage: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all applies. You probably don't like your work criticized either.
- Perhaps you can't find much to say about someone else's work. Suggest a market where it might get published.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Is this your desk? Or are you one of those people with a place for everything and everything in its place? After looking at a fellow writer's post about being disorganized I came up with the following suggestions:
- We all know we should keep file folders, but sometimes they become bulky. Have a seperate folder for each manuscript you are working on. If the project involves research, make a seperate folder for that, if it involves newspaper clippings, odd notes, pictures, etc. you may want a seperate file for them, then all folders that pertain to that particular manuscript are put in a pendaflex file.
- If you cannot read a note you kept, throw it away! If it is outdated material, throw it away!
- Business cards are easily lost. If you prefer to keep business cards you should buy a binder, with plastic sleeves for the cards. However, every year you should weed these out. It may have been a great restaurant, but if you're not going to be back to St. Louis (or wherever) within the next year or two, throw it out! Business contacts can be tricky. I suggest keeping the card for a year. If you need to call that person, best check the Internet or White Pages for any changes. If you haven't contacted the person in 2 years, chances are you never will. Toss the card.
- Hopefully you have a filing system. File. File. FILE. You only need your current WIP on your desk.
- Have reference books nearby. It's a pain to have to stop and go into another room to look something up. BUT, don't keep those reference books on your desk. Hopefully you have room for a bookcase (whatever size) near your desk
- Things won't seem as overwhelming in you keep your desk neat and clean. Small organizers like in-baskets can be used for each project you are working on, small dishes or tins (I use an old tin Band-Aid box) can be used for paperclips. Store pens and pencils in a cup style container (in fact, this frugal writer does use an old, cracked plastic glass). Put envelopes in appropriate sized plastic bins and within easy reach.
- Have a bulletin board close to your computer where you can post notes, ideas, stamps, etc.Or better yet, get rid of those pesky Post-Its that keep getting lost. Use a notebook for messages, notes, etc. and date each page. Also keep a calendar on the board so you can write in appts., the date you sent off a manuscript, etc.
- If you need a larger area to keep track of manuscripts, create a tracking method folder. I use a sheet of copy paper, divided into the following columns--date submitted, publication/contest, ms. title, cost (this is opt. but can include contest fee, stamps, etc), regular or e-mail submission, acceptance, money received, rejection, comments.
- Keep a folder or a shoebox with all receipts for tax time.
- Get rid of old e-mails that don't warrant your attention/reply. Think you just have to have them? Create folders for them. But then see how often you actually go through the folders. Chances are you won't. So, toss those e-mails!
- Here's one I may never get the hang of: Don't collect pens. Why do you need so many pens? Throw them all out except for two or three. If it doesn’t have a cap, toss it.
- Writers notoriously grab up freebies at conferences whether we need them or read them. Avoid taking them just because they’re free or if you just can't help yourself, vow to look it all over within 48 hours and scrap it afterward. Since that's wasteful, why take it in the first place? Train yourself to take only those business cards or info that will be of immediate use to you.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Writers bloom when they write. Writers are almost driven to write much as a flower is forced to bloom. However, just as some flowers just can't push themselves up through the soil, some writers just don't ever grow. It depends upon their nurturing. Since writers are basically loners (at least when it comes to their writing) their nutrients are things of their craft: quiet time, the Internet, blooks/libraries for research, contacts, conferences, contest wins, publication, etc.
Writers adversity: no time, squawking kids, demanding spouses, travel, meetings, vet appoint-ments, telephones ringing, company and a thousand and one other little things that infringe on writing time.
Yet the truly dedicated writer continues through this "adversity" of infringements to blossom with a story, article, etc. It is only those who never try or that do not stick with it that wither. As 2011 has arrived, are you blossoming or withering?