Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ready to Rock!

OK, I know this sounds a bit crazy, but Chuck and I - collectivelly known as Karma Chain - are reincarnating our musical partnership. Hopefully, we were well-behaved enough in our past lives (NOT!) that we don't bomb miserably in this one. (uh-oh...) We'll be performing this coming Friday night at the Diving Cat Studio in Phoenixville, PA. The place is tres cool and the owner, Markels, is a brilliant artist. She makes jewelry, her own breathtaking glass beads, sculpts, and gives art classes. She's also a cat freak, which makes her especially cool.

Chuck and I have a small PA system and we're working on the set list. Back in "the day" that would have been 99.9% originals - we'd throw in a obscure song by X or Fleetwood Mac (yes, they have obscure songs - how many of you have heard Fireflies? And if you have, that means you're a hard-core Mac fan and I'm tres impressed!) However, for this special gig - and it is special - it's the studio's one-year anniversary at their killer location on Main Street, a place that has undergone a total facelift over the last few years - we will be playing about 1/3 originals and 2/3 covers. We're going to do a lot of Beatles, Fleetwood Mac (of course!), Wallflowers, Neil Young, and Cat Stevens, and a bunch of random songs we love: Shelter by Lone Justice; Why? by Christine McVie (pre-Stevie and Lindsey FM); I Need You by America; Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House; Lodi by CCR; Dead Flowers by The Rolling Stones; and Sullivan Street by the Counting Crows. Maybe later in the week I'll post the final set list, in case those of you living in say India, Canada, or Australia (you know who you are) might want to hop on and see what RT airfares are to Philly these days.

In the meantime, I hope your weekend is fun, cozy, and filled with great music!

Your ever-humble novelist/poetess/rock princess.... Debbie Schubert aka Jamie Keys!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Writing a Mystery is a Mystery

Head. Screwed. Back. On. Straight.
First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who helped me screw my head back on straight after my last post. Boy, was I out in left field! Followers come and go; just ask Jesus, Buddha, or David Cassidy. Why should I be any different? I'm so over it. Those who want to read the fascinating things I write are more than welcome anytime, anywhere, anyhow, and the rest of the losers out there? Not my problem. I'm so thankful the brilliant folks who "follow" (oops!) my blog reminded me.

Current Work in Progress
Writing a mystery is a mystery. In my current WIP "Murder on Twilight Circle" I'm entering new and mysterious territory. Of course, it's a mystery, so what did I expect? It's just that no one told me there would be so much more to keep track of, and by "no one" I mean my "writing angel." (see Elizabeth Gilbert's amazing take on creativity) Does he or she think I know what I'm doing? Does he or she think I'm the reincarnation of Sherlock Holmes? Well he or she is wrong. I have no idea what I'm doing, and according to my past-life hypnotist, I was never Sherlock Holmes. Cleopatra, Mary Queen of Scots, and Lady Godiva, yes, but never Sherlock Holmes. Not that that's stopping me from plowing forward and having a damn good time in the process. I'm only 10,000 words in, but it's a fun roller-coaster ride so far and I have a feeling the ride's going to get a lot wilder as it progresses.

Let me explain what I'm up against. For starters, how did Amanda die? (For those of you paying particularly close attention, you may detect a problem here. The poor girl not only died, but had her name changed from Amelia to Amanda in the process. Poor Amanda, may she rest in peace.)

What will the computer forensics show?

And, of course, who did it?

Was it the creepy guy she met on the internet?

What about Sean, the nerdy engineer who took her to Starbuck's every Monday morning for a chai tea latte with extra cinnamon?

What about her anesthesiologist-husband who slices and dices tree trunks into strange "artistic visions" as a hobby?

Speaking of trunks, what about Father Groark? What was that thing he was placing in the trunk of his car?

And, do her uppity girlfriends know something they're not telling?

So, you can see, there's a lot to juggle here and I'm only up to Chapter Five.

(Please, people, help me out!)

In other news...

I've taken the dive into the querying ocean and I'm trying to keep my head above water and salt out of my mouth (not to mention, keeping away from the "sharks" if you know what I mean.) Hopefully, one of the more astute and visionary agents I've queried will glimpse my literary genius and help me secure a six-figure publishing deal preferably before Memorial Day (I'd like to take an extended weekend someplace nice, like say Paris or Tahiti). Otherwise, remember that post I did a few days ago? Yeah, baby. I'll be hopping on board that train. Woo! Woo!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm Sorry... Did I Hit a Nerve?

Thanks to those few, brave souls who made their way through my last post. I know it was long, and perhaps a bit controversial. (Although, I did have an agent read it and she thought it was funny. See - even agents can have a sense of humor!) However, since that post, I had two of my "regular" followers leave me in the dust. This makes me sad. I want my mommy. I'm gonna take my toys and go home to my kitties. They NEVER stop following me.

It also makes me wonder if I've hit some sort of nerve...

I'm finally "live" with my new role as Philly Songwriter Examiner. Please visit often: Philly Songwriter Examiner. Along with this gig is a long list of "Writing Do's & Don'ts." Of course, being the headstrong 'thang that I am, I had already plowed into my first article before this little writing tool came my way. By that time, I realized I'd broken almost every rule on the list. OK, that's a slight exaggeration. I'd only broken two (very important) rules: no caps in the headline besides the first letter of the first word, and don't do an introductory first article. Each word of my first headline was in caps and the article was an introduction to me, glorious, me. So, I had to delete it and start from Square One.

It got me wondering if there are Writing Do's & Dont's in the blogosphere. I'd love your views on if there's an invisible line that shouldn't be crossed by bloggers along the posting trail. Sexy = okay; x-rated = not okay; racist or bigoted = never okay (mean is not funny or acceptable EVER!) Politics, one of my favorites, is definitely okay, after all, this last election couldn't have been more fun to write about, and religion? Better tread lightly on that one. (Just ask Madonna or Sinead O'Connor.) Oh, yeah, and then there's making fun of agents. That's a good one! Or is that perhaps as taboo as x-rated, religious, racist remarks? Hmm... (Or could it be I'm not as funny and entertaining as I thought? Damn, I hope it's not that!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Art of the Query

Since there's been a lot of talk about queries and such on the Bookends and Nathan Bransford sites lately, I've decided to join the party. I'm doing something I've never done before - including a bit of my writing. Please don't steal this masterpiece. If you do, I'll call your mom and tell her you're a really bad person; and worse yet, I'll have to tell my friend Amy I was wrong and she was right. Nothing makes me crankier than having to admit I was wrong. I really don't think you want that on your conscience.

The following is an excerpt from my last novel, "Little Pearls." I hope you enjoy!

(And, if you're an agent, please keep in my mind I am a HUMOR writer. This story is meant to be FUNNY like "ha-ha-giggle-giggle," so please don't take offense. If, however, you are offended, you should know my evil twin Deidre wrote this, not me. Scout's honor.)

The Art of the Query by Debra L. Schubert - Copyright 2009
Every writer worthy of the name soon discovers their entry into the world of publishing begins with the Query Letter. The query is a letter sent by the writer to prospective agents in order to secure a multi-million dollar publishing deal.

I found that peddling a book is similar to selling your first-born to a total stranger:

Knock! Knock! Knock!

Stranger: "Yes, can I help you?"

Me: "Hi! I'm Jenny from down the street, no relation to Jenny From the Block. I know you don't know me, but I was wondering if you'd be interested in purchasing my first-born son, Alex, here? (Hold up Alex so she can get a good look.) He's sweet, cute, obedient when he wants something, loves pizza, burgers, fries with lots of ketchup, and -"

Stranger: Slam!

Can you believe that? It's my first-born son we're talking about here - my pride and joy, the love of my life, my heart and soul! How dare she slam her ugly door in my face?

My first attempts at writing queries were met with roughly the same level of enthusiasm:

Dear Joe or Betty Agent:

Hi! It's Jenny, remember? No? Oh, well I know it's been a while, but I've written a book since we last spoke. It's pretty good, too. It's easy to read and quite interesting. I hope you like it.

Oh, and let's do lunch soon to discuss a movie deal.

Your friend,

This warm and fuzzy approach reaped no potatoes, so I thought I'd try a more professional slant.

Dear Joe or Betty Agent:

I greatly appreciate the opportunity to submit this query regarding a wonderful book I've written. It's all about me and the amazing adventures of my life. I'm sure I've piqued your interest, so I'll get back to my soaps and await your multi-million dollar publishing deal.

Jenny S.

Again, nothing. Something was clearly amiss. Like a good writer, I researched "query letter content" and found oodles of material on the subject. Who knew? I was quite surprised since I didn't think anyone really took this stuff seriously. Since I didn't want to take time away from watching Oprah and Dr. Phil, I merely skimmed the query letter etiquette surface. I did, however, discover some great tips. For example:

1) It helps if you've got credentials on your topic.
2) Try to grab the reader's attention.
3) Be exceedingly professional.
4) It doesn't hurt to have fancy letters after your name.

Being an exemplary student, I immediately incorporated my new found knowledge:

Dear Joe or Betty Agent:

Herewith please find a query letter written in response to your request for query letters noted in How to Get Published Without Really Trying, which, by the way, I think is a great idea. My book Pearls Without a Chain is the story of my fascinating life. I feel I have the proper expertise to write a book of this nature since I've lived with myself for practically my entire life. (Excellent credentials!)

The pages of this unique literary masterpiece exude amazing insights on vital topics such as sex, religion, chocolate, aliens, and imaginary children. I'm sure you can see why this book is worth reading. (Sex - a great attention getter!)

I will be excited to hear your ideas pertaining to my brilliant writing career. I have enclosed a SASE for your convenience. My attorney will be available to discuss any and all contractual details. (A lawyer - very professional!)

Respectfully yours,
J. Shortcake, MD, PhD, MBA, MSA, AIA, ABCDEFG

Sadly, this too caused not even a hiccup. Then I remembered a line from the movie, "Gypsy" - "If you want to do it, you gotta have a gimmick..." What would be a good gimmick? Hmm... How about confidence? Yeah, confidence - that sounds like a great gimmick!

Dear Joe or Betty Agent:

I've written the most incredible story ever concocted in the history of the universe, no make that the galaxy, no make that the stratosphere! War and Peace, Citizen Kane, and Valley of the Dolls combined have nothing on me.

This astonishing prose centers on (are you sitting down?)....ME!!!! I have led such an extraordinary life that you, the reader, will be emotionally, spiritually, and physically spent with nearly every word. I envy you in that you have this book to look forward to reading. What a great thrill that must be. If you enjoy reading this book even one/one-hundredth as much as I've enjoyed writing it, than you will be the luckiest person alive.

In addition to a SASE, I have enclosed a round-trip, all-expenses paid ticket for you and a lucky guest to visit me in Maui. Upon arrival - while still deplaning - I will read this stunning verbiage aloud to you. Can you even imagine a more perfect moment? No, I didn't think so.

I am lying naked on the beach, soaking in the rays, drinking margaritas, and awaiting your enthusiastic response.

Your truly,
Jennifer L. Shortcake
Author Extraordinaire and Queen of the Inter-Galactic Stratosphere

And then I waited. And waited. And waited. And then... Nope, nothing. Just more waiting. I mean Maui for crying out loud! What the hell else could Joe or Betty possible want?

I was starting to get desperate and a tad bit annoyed, so instead of simply claiming to have enclosed a SASE with my queries, I actually started including them. What the heck, I figured - I'd tried everything else.

And baby did the floodgates open...

When I received my first SASE in the mail, I nearly fell off my chair with unbridled exhilaration - at last my publishing contract had arrived! I knew it was just a matter of time until someone glimpsed my unmatchable genius. My days of living in a car and eating out of trash cans like a respectable starving artist were over! I noticed the envelope felt pitifully thin to be embracing a long and complicated contract, but I surmised the process was quite streamlined these days. A one-page contract would be fine - less stuff for my pretend attorney to read. I called my mom to tell her I'd just received my first publishing offer, and excitedly tore open the letter.


First of all, you have a silly name. Secondly, we regret we are unable to pursue your manuscript. If your query is any indication of your writing abilities, we feel you have nothing to offer us or anyone remotely connected to the publishing world. However, don't let this discourage you. Writing - or in your case - "journaling" can be quite cathartic.

Good luck in your future endeavors as something other than a writer.


PS: Don't contact us again. Seriously, don't. If you do we will be compelled to file a restraining order.

Oh. My. God. I was like so totally devastated. My mom said she had to go because the Jehovah's Witnesses or Girl Scouts or some kids selling subscriptions to TV Guide were at her door. I listened to the dial tone and stared at the incomprehensible piece of paper in my hand. These people have elevated the sting of rejection to a whole new level. They may as well have rang my doorbell, stuck hot burning twigs in my eyes, pushed me to the ground, and stomped on me over and over again as if I were a cigarette butt that refused to go out. Is this what they chose to use my SASE for? Silly me. I figured if I had the decency to send them a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope along with my query, then they'd have the decency to return it with a six or seven figure contract. Do they even know what stamps cost these days? But nooooo. Clearly I'm the only polite one in this crowd.

Instead of sending more queries, I thought I'd skip to the chase and send them rejection letters!

Dear Joe or Betty Kissmyass:

You think you're so great? Yeah, well what makes you think so? Whatever it is, it's wrong! You're not so great - you're not even worth the paper this is written on.

Ha! Ha! So there!

Bite me,
The Jennilator

I was on a roll...

Dear Joe or Betty Biteme:

You heard me, BITE ME! How does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot? Yeah, I didn't think you'd like it. But, it's fits pretty well, doesn't it?

You should find yourself another profession like terrorism, for example. That way you could rip the hearts out of lots of people at once instead of only one measly person at a time.

Eat my shorts,

Between the cookies and nasty-grams, I was starting to feel much better. Management was right. Writing can be cathartic. At least I know I can volley mean, ugly epithets with the best of 'em. I'm already starting to think about my sophomore literary effort, which I think will be about lesbians. Yeah, that's right...lesbians! Chocolate, red wine and lesbians!!!

Now I've got Joe and Betty's attention.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Train to Rejection City - "All Aboard!"

Next Stop, Rejection City!
I've got 150 pages left to review on my ms for like the fifty-millionth time. (Thank God I'm not prone to exaggeration.) And, what am I doing? Posting on my wonderful, glorious blog. And that's after commenting on some of my personal faves and surfing the net for wildly important information that I couldn't get through my day without; like the woman who has two husbands and lives in a perfect fairy tale world (that reminds me of a dream I've had a few dozen happy nights, but I doubt it works quite the same way. If it does, she's one lucky and satisfied gal!), or the six bodies worth of bones they just discovered in NM (ah, hell, they were probably all drug addicts and prostitutes, so who cares?), or the fact that poor, little Sarah Palin is "feeling beaten up" since scrutiny has been so intense since the election (now she knows how America felt before the election having to watch her and her grandfather run for office!).

Anyway, my point is, I'm avoiding the real work I've got to do. Why? Two reasons. (I've thought this thing through pretty thoroughly, kids.) 1) I love to procrastinate; 2) If I'm really, totally, completely, thoroughly done with my ms, then I have no choice but to start pounding the pavement to find an agent. (Translation: Ride the train to Rejection City, not my favorite destination *wink, wink*.)

By the end of the day I'll hear the conductor shout, "All Aboard!"

OK, fine. I suppose there's no use avoiding the inevitable. After all, what is life if not one, long, fun, and sometimes utterly depressing ride?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Support System

Who do you go to when you need lifting up, a reality check, true support, or even a totally undeserved compliment? For me, it's my family. My parents. My kids. Sisters. Brothers-in-law. They're there through thick and thin, good and bad, crazy and sane, happy or sad. My friends are a lifeline as well. They're my ever ready cheerleaders, although some look better in skirts and pom-poms than others. (You know who you are *wink-wink*.)

However, through it all, my anchor, my best friend, the one true love of my life for nearly 30 years has been my husband. We've been lucky enough to have experienced mainly sunny days, but there have been a few wretched, seemingly inescapable storms that have really tested the bones of our marriage. But when there is a bond that is so deep and so solid and so strong and is the foundation of all that is good in your world, there is no hurricane, typhoon, or tornado that can overcome it.

Who is/are the support system(s) in your life? What can you count on them for?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ah... Love Sweet Love

To Chuck, Chris & Lisa in Santa Barbara. Happy Valentine's Day. I wish you peace, love, laughter and transformation.

I thought I'd share bits and pieces of my lyrics on the topic of love today (in chronological order, just for fun.) I hope you enjoy!

From "Mystic Waves" my love song to the sea: (10.19.80)
My love for her life equals her love for mine
She guides me with her honest ways
Dances me on her mystic waves
And commands me to caress her timeless soul
And calls me deeper, ever deeper into her
Wither her magic chants - her magic chants

From "Marigold": (10.1.81)
Your essence is a rainbow, dip me in your strands of gold
For I'm a river never-ending, and you're my Marigold
Tell it to me once, cause darlin', once is all I need
When you say you love me, Marigold, well that's all I seee
Your love is of the mountains, your love is of the spring
I've watched you from a distance, see what I see...

From "Diamonds" a love song to my family when I first moved from Colorado to California to pursue my musical dreams: (12.19.81)
Running back home where the snow sometimes falls, finding shelter in the arms of it all
Knowing our ties won't be severed in time - that's a wonder I'll treasure it like a diamond in my mind
You are my diamonds, I find
So hold me closer to you, closer all the time
Know I do love you, yes I love you, well I love you all the time

From "A Sunset Away" for Chuckie: (9.15.83)
And when I look into your eyes, I feel the fire of nights gone by
And as I reach to find a flame, I know it won't be back again
The light of day is just a game and night-time soars across the sky
Stay with me 'til the end of days - How many fires are left to find?

From "Caught in a Dream" for Chuckie: (9.29.84)
I'm caught in a dream tonight
I feel only peace tonight
I look in your eyes to find it...
I'll brush away your tears tonight
And my mind is set on you, just one moment will pull us through
This life's not what it seems, meanings are hard to find
So take my hands tonight, our dreams will be real in time
And my mind is set on you, just one moment will pull us through

From "Stand Still With Me" for Chuckie: (12.31.86)
The snow comes down
Without a sound
I'll bring you gently down with me
In your eyes lies the tide
I want to ride on endlessly
Will we find the way to see?
All I want is you and me
Will we ever know this dream?
Will we ever let it be?

From "Dream Come True" a love song to our first-born son, Adam (and as a premonition for our second son, Ethan): (12.24.89)
Speak softly to me, my love - Tell me the things you're dreaming of
Speak sweetly, my love - I see you come from up above
You are the magic in my soul, you're every dream I've ever known
When you're looking up at me, well I can see
You're my dream come true, I love all the things you do
You're my dream come, and it's true, how I love you

"Sweet Life" for my mom and dad: (9.10.95)
And in my hands, oh mother dear, I hold your precious face
Years of love and dreams and tears that nothing can replace
And in your thoughts, oh father of mine, do you ever hear me say
"My love for you is beautiful, don't ever go away"
Slow it down, keep your feet on the ground, it all goes by so fast
I pray you'll have a sweet life - make every moment last

From "Pray For Love" for Chuckie: (2.18.96)
I'm taking a chance with you risking the dance with you every day
I'm saving a place for you promise you will be true some way
I'm walking through fires for you pain and desires for you every day
And when you come to me, well you run to me and you say
Pray for love and always take it with you, always take it with you
Pray for love and always take it with you, take it with you
Oh what the price could be to sail on your silver sea, away
I hold out my hands for you hoping to pull you through each day
In your eyes is a mystery sacred for me to see, I pray
You reach out your hands for me and whisper your secret dream and you say
Pray for love and always take it with you, always take it with you
Pray for love and always take it with you, take it with you
As the magic is shown to you, we will make it through, you say
You'll walk through the fires for me, never let me be far away
And as time marches on through time, I'll be yours - you're mine, we say
And I'll walk through the fires for you, the pains the desires with you every day
And we'll say, pray for love and always take it with you always take it with you
Pray for love and always take it with you, take it with you

From "Deep" for Chuck: (10.13.96)
You live so deep within my heart
I know that we may never part
Have I told you just how strong I feel?
Can you tell me, is this love for real?
Hold on tight, don't let me go
Without you I don't want to know...

From "Rooftops" for Chuck: (4.16.00)
As you walk through heaven, do you see me there?
With your stars and your diamonds and your angel's stare
I love you so completely, would I ever dare...
To shout it from the rooftops, scream it everywhere
As you hold forever in your mighty hands
Will you take me with you to your promised land?
I love you so completely, do I even dare...
To shout it from the rooftops, scream it everywhere
Is it any wonder that there are angels up in heaven?
It is any wonder you're my - you're my angel here on earth?

From "Love Falls" a song we wrote and performed for my sister, Michelle and her husband, Travis at their wedding: (written 5.13.07) Wedding: 7.1.07
Love fell upon them wide as the sea
Love fell upon them in sweet harmony
Bring your love to me, I pledge my heart to thee
As one in love we'll be - with you my soul is free
She looked upon him, eyes bright and true
She saw a new life come into view
He looked upon her and suddenly knew
This was a love that would see them through
Love falls upon us as wide as the sea
Love falls upon us in sweet harmony
Love falls upon us, bright as the sun
Love falls upon us as two become one

From "More Than a Lifetime" (11.9.08)
In the morning I think of you and the times we've had
In the evening I think of you and I can't be sad
In the daylight I come to you and you take my hand
In the nighttime I dream of you - who can understand?
We've walked through all the fires, braved all the wars, shared so many lifetimes, seen it all before - We've walked through all the fires, braved many storms, shared more than a lifetime
Shared more than a lifetime
In a moment I think of you - all the dreams we dared
All the madness and all the love so deep and so rare
How many ways can you hurt someone, how many tears must be cried?
How many ways can you lift me up higher than the skies?

To my amazingly glorious family (see pic below), friends and wonderful blogging friends out there - thanks for lifting me up higher than the skies!

Happy Valentine's Day to All!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Life Can Be Harsh!

Rock Princess or Nerd?
I'm thinking there may be something very wrong with me. I got a new Thesaurus and Dictionary this weekend and felt like I was on a shoe-shopping spree at DSW while eating a giant Toblerone bar. I've never thought of myself as the nerdy type, but now I'm starting to wonder. I looked myself in the mirror and said, "Self, this isn't how a proper rock and roll princess-slash-novel writer acts, is it?" And do you know what I replied? "Apparently, it is, you idiot. Deal with it." Wow. That was harsh.

The Synopsis that Never Ends
After reading Jessica Faust's blog yesterday on The Synopsis, I've spent the better part of the last 24 hours revising mine. I don't have time for this nonsense. I've got a new book to write and laundry to do. However, I realize if I'm going to have any chance of getting Sparks Fly Sometimes published, I'd better spit-shine and polish not only the ms, but the synopsis as well. I guess Amelia Brennan will have to wait a little longer to see if I can figure out who killed her. Sorry, Amelia. Deal with it. (Wow. That was harsh!)

BTW: I've been asked when this pic of me was taken (the one with the guitar. The one with the glasses was taken when I was seven.;-)) It was almost two years ago at a photo shoot in Philly w/a GREAT photographer - Steven Langdon. If you're in the area and looking for a talented photographer at reasonable prices, give Steven a call.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Murder on Twilight Circle

Murder on Twilight Circle
Yup, that's the name of my new project. (And, yup, that's the name of the street I live on!) My hunch about a murder-mystery series was right on the money. Hopefully, my mc's hunches about the killer's identity will be right on as well! Bree, the hot, bi-sexual, assistant district attorney and Jenny, the rock-goddess-turned-domestic-goddess-turned-rock-goddess from Sparks Fly Sometimes will be sleuthing together in the series I'm calling, "The Doctor's Wives Murders." I'm 5,000 words into Murder on Twilight Circle, and it's already quite the ride. And, don't ask me whodunit, because if I tell you, I'm afraid I'll have to kill you. (A little murder-mystery humor. I'm sure you've never heard that one before.)

As far as Sparks Fly Sometimes is concerned, I'm still hoping for a request for a "full" from the agents who've requested "partials." Until then, I'm continuing to polish and shine the novel for all it's worth. My copy editor in Colorado is also reviewing the reviews, so to speak. I'm fully convinced I'll be pulling pages off the printing machines to make last-minute changes as the book goes to press. I'm planning to hit the query road hard and fast (sounds like a blue movie tag) in about a week. I can't tell you all how much I appreciate your support throughout this whole crazy process. But, I can tell you this: no matter how crazy it gets, I'm loving every minute of it! (Well, except for the "passes," but they're part of the game I'm choosing to play!)

Maybe I'll have a contest to figure out who killed Amelia Brennan - the doctor's wife who gets "offed" in Murder on Twilight Circle. What do you think?

Do we have any sleuths in the audience?

Also, please check out this amazing blog for a super-special giveaway. You WON'T be disappointed! Hands & Heart

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Keep On Truckin', Baby!

Blog Transformation
First of all, thanks to my dear on-line friend Elizabeth for acknowleging my blog's new and improved look. How do the rest of you folks feel about it? (This is the part where you clap and cheer and yell things like "bravo!" or "Go Steelers!" or "Pass the damn ketchup!") My marketing background likes things to look pretty and clearly represent what's inside the package. My blog agrees, and being the elevated being that it is, experienced its own transformation a couple of days ago. So it and I would like some well-deserved acknowledgement, thank you very much. (I'm a rock goddess and a Jewish American Princess - my ego can never be fully satisfied.)

Keep on Truckin', Baby!
I'm currently in wait mode. I have three requested partials out along with several queries. I'm taking my time with the query process, trying to do my due diligence and vetting in a responsible manner. After the ugly mess the GOP made with Sarah Palin, I think patience and thoughtful reflection are a better alternative. I'd rather have no agent than the equivalent of one with the literary expertise and brains of Sarah Palin. (Sorry, my bad. I should never use "expertise" "brains" and "Sarah Palin" in the same sentence.) I think it's important to find an agent who'll be excited about my work and, therefore, enthusiastically represent me to the owners of Random House over tea and crumpets. (That's how it works, right?)

In the meantime, I'm gonna keep on truckin'. I've got two major projects that will hopefully keep me out of trouble:

1) Writing articles for my new gig as Philadelphia Songwriter Examiner. The powers that be are still working on getting me up and running, but I'm told I should be good to go by the end of this week or early next week. At least four articles per week seems daunting, but I love a good challenge. Plus, songwriting and the music biz are endlessly fascinating - I look forward to learning more about my first love. (Sorry, Chuck. I didn't want to have to break it to you this way...)

2) Birthing a new book. Thankfully, this process is far less painful than the more commonly birthed items. (It's not wrong to call a baby an item, is it?) There's a character in my novel named Bree Lang. She's a gorgeous, rich, bisexual red-head who's an assistant D.A. and is friends with Jenny, my mc. Jenny's jealous of Bree because she gets to investigate all kinds of gory, exciting murders (Jenny's a certified true-crime freak.) I think Bree and Jenny will embark on a murder-in-the-burbs mystery in my follow-up novel. I'm really kinda sorta liking that idea. (Sorry for the highbrow prose. Please try to keep up.)

What about you? What are you working on as we speak?

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