Monday, January 15, 2018

#AmEditing

The thing about writing is that to some extent, I can make my own schedule. I can write when I want, working around other things. Of course, that assumes my muse is cooperating and that I’m inspired at the time I sit down to write. I can write until I’m finished, not worrying about anything other than finishing the book.

When it comes to editing, however, I have less flexibility. Usually, I’m editing according to someone else’s deadline. If I want my book published, I have to accommodate the needs of content editors, copy editors, layout people, etc. So when they send me something, everything else I might be working on has to be put off to the side so I can meet my deadlines.

Currently, I’m entering into the editing phase. I’ve been editing my own manuscripts for a while now, polishing them in order to get them ready to submit to my critique partners, or incorporating my critique partners’ comments into a manuscript I’m preparing to submit to my editor. But now, a bunch of different projects are coming together and for the next few weeks I’ll be busy.

My editor will be sending me my galleys any day now (I’ve been saying that for weeks, but really, it’s true) and I’ll have about a week to scour every word, letter, space and punctuation mark for accuracy before turning it back in and getting a release date for Five Minutes to Love—the sequel to Addicted to Love.

I’m also working on a self-publishing project and the editor I hired just returned my manuscript to me with all of her comments. They’re fantastic, but whoa, there are a lot of them. So for the next month, I’ll be working on those a little at a time. I can’t spend entire days on them because of other things going on and the fact that I’ll go batty. So I need to space it out a bit. But when I’m done, that manuscript is going to shine!

And finally, I’m judging a writing contest, so I have books to read. While I don’t have to edit them per se, I have to evaluate them for a variety of criteria, and there’s a deadline for me to complete them. So in between editing, I’ll be reading.


Insider tip: Now is a great time to invest in Advil, as I’ll be taking a lot of it! J

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Zipper

I’m not a klutz. Granted, we all have times when our actions are less than Fred Astaire-like, but in general, I can walk and chew gum at the same time. In fact, at times I’m downright graceful.

I’m also not stupid. I graduated from a well-respected university, have an excellent command of the English language and received good grades throughout my life.

But even graceful, intelligent people screw up, and when we do so, well...we blog about it.

My daughter’s jacket was broken. Now, first of all, I should say, this is a winter jacket she’s been wearing all season that neither one of us recognized. It was a color I don’t remember buying, with a hood of fake fur she’s never asked for. Frankly, I thought it might have been left in our house by a friend. And since it was hanging on our coat rack for months, I decided that if it wasn’t purchased by us, possession was nine-tenths of the law and it was ours now. Especially because it was a coat my daughter actually wanted to wear (as opposed to all the others she studiously avoided, regardless of the temperature).

So when she started wearing it, I was happy. I didn’t even mind that she wasn’t zipping it because, well, people have different body temperatures and I decided if she were cold enough, she’d zip it.

And then we had the deep freeze. The one where our thermometers are in the negative numbers and the wind chill takes your breath away. It was during this lovely blast of Mother Nature’s wrath that she and her youth group were going into New York City to feed and clothe the homeless. There was no way she was going with an open coat.

The only problem was that apparently the zipper was actually broken. The slider opening was closed, preventing the insert pin from being able to be inserted. The jacket was unzippable.

Normal people would say, “Go find another jacket.” Which I did. But I was also stubborn and decided I could fix the jacket by opening the slider. It had originally been open. Something just squeezed the two sides together, which meant I should be able to open them again. Only I couldn’t.

So then I forgot that I was a smart and graceful person and did something stupid and klutzy. I took a steak knife and tried to open the slider. The only thing I succeeded in opening was my thumb.


Which was no help at all for the zipper.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Looking Back

Every year at this time, Facebook does a year in review, showing a slideshow of various photos, status updates and friends from the past year. Like many people who have commented about this feature, this is one year that I’m really not up for reviewing.

We have a president who thinks women and minorities are less than human and would like us to relive the 1950s. We have a Congress with admissions requirements that are more lax than shopping malls. Powerful men who have abused women are pouring out of the woodwork (I’m telling you now, if anyone accuses Tom Hanks, I’m done), and not a single one knows how to apologize—you’d think with all the Hollywood elite accused, one of them would hire a screenwriter to give them a decent apology script that everyone else could plagiarize. And it seems as if the entire world is either falling apart or against us or both.

But, upon further reflection, this year had some incredible moments. Resistance is growing strong. Regardless of political affiliation, people are standing up for what’s right. Decency and courage are peeking through the cracks. Women are demonstrating hidden strength and destroying those who would do us harm. The silent are finding a voice.

I’ve had meaningful conversations with people that, up until that time, I hadn’t discussed anything other than superficial topics. I’ve learned the true meaning of friendship. I’ve watched people I love overcome things and succeed at things that I never thought I’d see.

Those moments are enough to carry me through and to give me hope for the future. And when those moments aren’t enough, I escape into my work, where the women are strong and don’t need rescuing; the men aren’t assholes; and happily-ever-after provides the light at the end of the tunnel (hmm, maybe I DO write about my real life...).

So 2017, while going into the history books for all the wrong reasons, does have some good things that I want to remember—book sales, new friends, fun memories.


But I think I’ll pass on Facebook’s end-of-year feature. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Welcome to Leslie Scott

Leslie is a first-time author, so please check her out!

Jennifer has so kindly offered to host me today on her blog and give me some ideas as to what to talk about. Since, well, this is my very first release and I’m still learning the ropes of blogging and the like. As with most writers, I’d much rather talk about my characters and stories than myself. After all, their lives are far more interesting than ours are, that’s why we read.

My dream has always been to write for a living, to tell stories and have people read them. A few years ago, I decided to stop dreaming about it and actually do it. Helped in part by the fact that my Beta read (and dear friend) told me she wasn’t going to read anything else until I finished one.

One night, while sitting in bed with my husband watching yet another car related show while he talked about the big race at the drag strip that weekend, it hit me. I can combine both our worlds, make it entertaining and sexy. My novel, The Finish Line was born in that moment.

A few interesting tidbits about The Finish Line:

Street racing, since the birth of movies like The Fast and the Furious and shows like Street Outlaws has been given a lot of attention in the past decade. But, it’s not something new. Since the birth of the muscle car, drivers have been testing their mettle on dark streets in the middle of the night.

For me, I thought maybe it was time they try their hands at love.

Jordan, my hero was someone I wanted to be larger than life. The big fish in a little pond, town hero, the sort of guy that everyone wanted to know. So, as I was writing him, he became something special to me. I changed his name then, since I knew he was going to be my first published hero. As a kid, my two first crushes were Jordan Knight from NKOTB and Christian Slater. Thus, Jordan Slater.

Raelynn is the anti me. In truth, I’m much more like her snarky little sister. So, writing her was an adventure in, learning to let go and allow the character to create themselves. There were times writing this, when I really felt like I was being unusually cruel to her. That built a respect, each time the story knocks her down, she just gets stronger. I realized that while she isn’t much like me, she’s someone I could aspire to be like.

Their love story isn’t an easy one, though it was possibly the most fulfilling thing I’ve done aside from having my son. The day I signed my contract, I celebrated for about two minutes before realizing that meant I had to get started on the second novel. Which, reminds me now, that I need to wrap this up and finish up book three.

Thanks so much for spending time with me today. Happy reading!
Blurb:
Another night at the races is more than burnt rubber with a hit of nitrous. For one young woman, it's navigating trauma, love, and loss in the stifling Texas heat under the watchful gaze of her brother’s best friend and reigning King of the Streets, Jordan Slater. Home in Arkadia again, Raelynn Casey starts to heal from a terrible incident at college. She finds love in Jordan, a member of her brother’s circle of racing buddies. When another in the racing circle, the guy who took her to her high school prom, exposes his feelings for Raelynn, tragedy erupts like a tank of race fuel. Guilt, remorse, and pain must be overcome before Raelynn and Jordan can race to The Finish Line.
The Finish Line, Paperback http://bit.ly/2isnD4u
The Finish Line, Nook http://bit.ly/2A88mjH
The Finish Line, Kindle http://amzn.to/2A875ZX
Author Bio:
Leslie Scott thrives in the middle of chaos. Not because she home schools her son and rides herd over the family's zoo of indoor pets or listens to her soul mate wax poetically about all things car and related. Oh, no. That's nothing. The real chaos is the characters in her mind, elbowing and tripping each other to get to the front of the line so they can be the next romantic couple in one of her stories. Her family is her passion. Writing romance is her dream.
Links:
Readers can find me on my website: lesliescottromance.com, on Twitter @leslieSwrites, and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lesliescottwrites. I’m really active on twitter/facebook and would love to hear from readers!