Summarizing the Summation of the Synopsis

Rey provided that title as an FYI.  <LMAO>

This is the last synopsis-related post for a while.  No more pointers, no more checklists.  The world—the Internet—is your oyster.  Find your pearl(s) of wisdom.

Recently, I had an overwhelming desire to revisit The Secret.  I didn’t really want to re-read it, not at the moment anyway, but I want an overview, a summation—yes, a synopsis.  My travels took me to a cool site, Four Minute Books.  Here, I found exactly what I wanted and then some.

Niklas Goeke believes “that everyone should be able to learn from the world’s best books for free”.  Gotta love that (as Rey would say).  Nik condenses books in four minutes or less.  Per his site, in 2016 alone, he’d written 365 book summaries.  How amazing is that?

His summaries are worth checking out, not just because they encapsulate books so well but, when it comes to nonfiction, they prove informative, too.  Key points are at your fingertips.  Recommendation: read a few to get a feel for summation (synopsis writing).

FourMinuteBooksDOTcomhttps://fourminutebooks.com

Quick comment: Nik also touts Blinkist.  It’s a “professional book summary service that allows you to understand the key insights into the world’s best non-fiction books in 15 minutes or less”.  Sounds perfect for people struggling to find time to open a book, much less read it (may I see a show of hands, please?).  Visit the site to see what’s what.

With that, I leave you with the synopsis for the last Triple Threat Investigation Agency book, Forever PoiWPsynpoi1

Forever Poi, the fourth mystery in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, has private eyes JJ, Rey, and Linda out to solve a double-arson and murder.  Who torched two Chinatown art galleries and left two charred bodies in the rubble?

Are the arsonist and killer the same individual?  The trio believes so.  JJ (Jill Jocasta Fonne), her melodramatic cousin Rey (Reynalda Fonne-Werde), and her best friend, Linda Royale, encounter a plethora of possible culprits.  The day before the fire, Carlos Kawena, one of the arson victims, had an “ugly break-up” with his partner, James-Henri Ossature.  There were financial issues, too.  Could James-Henri have done the dastardly deed to collect insurance and be rid of his lover?  What about the second victim, Mary-Louise Crabtree, a former queenpin?  Given her sketchy past, might a former foe have murdered her?  If so, was Carlos merely collateral damage?

When the trio is hired by insurance adjuster Xavier Shillingford to assist in the investigation, it soon becomes evident that professional arsonists did not set the fires.  As they immerse themselves in the challenging case, a host of curious characters again materializes. 

Mary-Louise had changed her name (again) and become an artist manager.  Her new life appeared on the up-and-up, but a promising new client, Bizz Waxx, ends up murdered.  Had he discovered something that necessitated his permanent silence?  Beautiful and mysterious Cholla Poniard, James-Henri’s half-sister, also has ties to the art world.  Two of her celebrity divorces have ended with ugly consequences for the exes—and both will affirm that multi-talented Cholla is a dangerous woman who has her way, at any cost. 

Determined detecting reveals that a stumbled-upon key opens the door to an upscale condo shared by Mary-Louise and Bizz Waxx.  Following up on found bank cards, they learn the former queenpin had regularly deposited substantial sums of money.  Courtesy of blackmail payments?  If so, who was she blackmailing and why?

On a planned visit to her mother and nephew in North Carolina, JJ stops off in Chicago to follow up on a lead related to a double agent, Colt Coltrane, who she had inadvertently killed during a previous case.  While she is on the Mainland, Rey and Linda continue investigating on Oaha and find themselves in hot water when they are caught doing what Rey does best: B&Eing.

Cliff, a former partner of James-Henri, also died during a gallery fire.  His friend and roommate, Randy, tells the threesome that Cliff had wanted to sell his share just prior to the fatal fire.  He has a box of Cliff’s documents, which might provide useful if not damaging information.  Xavier and the private eyes scour journals and ledgers, and find references to a French art-gallery linked to James-Henri and insurance policies listing Cholla as beneficiary to deceased artists. 

Charming Bayat Alexandre is one of Cholla’s beaus.  It turns out that he—as well as she—are excellent markspersons.  Had one of them shot a man that could have provided vital information to the private eyes?  A midnight swim to Bayat’s boat has the trio searching for an AR-15 and locating it . . . just as he locates them.  Before he can shoot, however, the gun explodes. 

When the P.I.s confront James-Henri, he claims innocence and ignorance, and suggests they visit a cottage on the North Shore where his sister sometimes stays.  The trip proves successful . . . and night of harrowing flight and fight ensues.

The following day, a van runs down James-Henri, with fatal consequences.  With some ingenuity, the women discover the van belongs to a saimin company and off they go.  Franklen Haloa, an executive at the company, is missing.  Was he murdered? 

Perhaps not.  Another one of Cholla’s “useful” beaus, he assists her in JJ’s kidnapping.  A skirmish ensues with JJ ending up in the hospital.  Cholla, ever relentless, confronts JJ and a fight to the finish transpires.

While Xavier, Rey and Linda visit an associate, Gail takes JJ for a drive around Oahu.  After stopping at a food truck for lunch, JJ receives a mysterious text from someone named GrimReaperPeeper.  He—or she—is looking forward to getting together in the near future.

Checking the Checks

Checklist that is . . . not those awesome paper/virtual payments we so love to receive.

Post #3 continues with the synopsis (and, yes, there’ll be Post #4 because I have four Triple Threat Investigation Agency synopses in total).  Pointers are good, but a checklist might also prove of value-add.

After you’ve outlined or drafted your first synopsis, consider the following—have you:

◊  specified the genre?

◊  incorporated a theme?

◊  captured the protagonist properly—his/her personality, goals, motivation(s), and quest (mission)?

◊  provided pivotal, relevant scenes and conflicts/issues (how they relate to the protagonist’s quest and growth?

◊  noted crucial tension/friction, important plot twists, and how they progress the storyline?

◊  included the climax (resolution)?

◊  ensured the voice is active (present tense, third person) and that there is no extraneous wording (short truly is sweet)?

◊  checked that the details/action are in chronological order?

◊  reviewed what has been written and made certain it “captures” the reader (the agent and/or publisher)?

Remember, a synopsis is a [very] “compact” version of your book.  Because it has to be well-paced and attention-grabbing, every word has to count.

. . . Here’s the synopsis for “Coco’s Nuts!”, the third book in the Triple Threat WPCocoSynInvestigation Agency series.  Does it encompass the above?  Feel free to pass judgment.

Coco’s Nuts, the third mystery in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, finds the three rookie private eyes—JJ, Rey, and Linda—entrenched in their second professional assignment: proving socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer did not shoot her boss, infamous entrepreneur Jimmy Picolo. 

Despite what police believe and evidence suggests, JJ, Rey and Linda are convinced that Buddy has been set up.  In their quest for answers, JJ, Rey and Linda contend with a slew of suspects.  Several persons hated Picolo enough to kill him, but locating the one who pulled the trigger proves challenging.  As the rookie P.I.s strive to uncover a killer amid yet another cast of curious and unconventional characters, they meet up with old acquaintances who may or may not have their best interests at heart. 

 Their detecting travels lead them along a few detours—like the world of gambling and “limb-breakers”.  Picolo’s daughter, Annia, owes thousands of dollars to “collectors” in Vegas and Oahu.  Might this have served as motivation to kill her father, so that she could collect a sizeable inheritance?  What about Picolo’s son?  Might Jimmy Junior have been eager to take over his father’s multiple businesses?  What of nutty Coco Peterson, a Picolo employee who has been MIA since the murders occurred?  A driver for Picolo, the odd little fellow (pest, some call him) has been missing since his boss’ murder.  He certainly appears to be a central piece in this perplexing puzzler. 

Why was Eb Stretta, Buddy’s best friend, gunned down a few days after Picolo?  For that matter, why did someone pump five bullets into Mr. Razor, Picolo’s assistant?  Exploding bombs suggest the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio have ruffled feathers by asking too many questions.  Hopefully, they will obtain legitimate answers before something significant blows up—like the private eyes.

The women discover “remnants” of Coco—his tattoo and jewelry—in Picolo’s million-dollar Haleiwa retreat.  It appears Coco is another casualty, but finding the rest of him is as difficult as proving Buddy innocent.  Fortunately, drop-dead-gorgeous Kent Winche, another Picolo employee, steps in to assist.

To complicate matters, the ever-enigmatic Cash Layton reenters JJ’s life.  Solving the current case is challenging enough, never mind having to figure out what the undercover cop – drug dealer is all about.  And why is it he always seems to know where to find her and what she is up to?

In the midst of the chaos, Cash kidnaps JJ for an all-day outing on a boat belonging to Richie J (his alter ego in the drug world).  A fun-filled afternoon—where a few loose ends from Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? are tied up—transcends into an intimate evening.  All goes relatively smoothly . . . until Cash’s colleague and double agent, Colt, arrives.  His intention to kill them proves unsuccessful.

JJ returns to Wilmington to spend time with her mother and nephew.  Upon return to Oahu, she joins her two friends and colleagues at the new Chinatown office to begin their third major assignment: Forever Poi.

Happy synopsis-ing.

Summing Up the Synopsis

Exciting times.  Or taxing?  <LOL>  Because of the move to New Chapter, Creativia requested its authors submit new synopses for their books.  The result: a community chat about the appropriate length and requirements of a synopsis.  Ta-da!  Topic for today: synopsis refresher pointers.

What do you add?  What do you remove when all the adding’s been done?  Is the synopsis dynamic?  Does it capture all the important components?

You’ve completed your manuscript; now you have to sum up the story.  Ugh.  No fun, you’re thinking.  It’s not that bad, really.  Just commit some time, roll up those sleeves, and grab a cup (or three) of joe.

Start by determining the key/pivotal actions—feats, accomplishments, battles, trials—that your main protagonist embraces and endures.  You may want to write a short paragraph for each chapter.  And, yes, it’s quite all right to include the ending in a synopsis; you are, in essence, “selling” your book, be it to a publisher or agent.

Ensure that you provide enough backdrop in the beginning to paint a visual picture.  Where does the story take place?  Who is the protagonist?  What is the major trial he or she is facing?

Once you have all those paragraphs written, flesh out the synopsis so it flows like a serene stream and not a torrential flood (you can delete later).  Write it in third-person present tense (regardless of how the book itself is written—such as first person, present tense).

What’s important for the reader to know?  Have you provided critical components?  What’s the plot about?  Who is the main character?  What makes him or her tick?  What event(s) play a crucial part in developing and challenging him or her?  How are major issues resolved?

Once it’s all on paper/screen, start editing.  Keep the nitty-gritty and delete the redundant.  Publishers and agents vary on the length of the synopses they want.  Have a one- or two-pager at the ready, but keep a multi-page one handy too (you truly never know).

Here’s a revamped synopsis for the first book featuring the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals, before they were official P.I.s.

The Connecticut Corpse Caper chronicles the antics of several inheritance recipients, as witnessed by weather announcer Jill Jocasta Fonne.  The madcap mystery begins when she arrives one November afternoon at her deceased aunt’s eerie (reputedly haunted) Connecticut mansion, primed for a week-long stay.  Two-hundred thousand dollars will be awarded to each person upon staying the course.  Should someone leave, regardless of reason, his or her share will be divided among those remaining.

Each friend and relative of the deceased and eccentric Mathilda Reine Moone (Aunt Mat) seems as odd as the next to Jill, save for her pastry-chef boyfriend, Adwin Byron Timmins, and her high-strung cousin, Reynalda (Rey) Fonne-Werde.  Simple and wholesome Linda Royale, a screenwriting assistant and B-movie actress Rey’s best friend, seems equally innocuous.

London barrister Jensen Q. Moone and Manhattan lawyer Thomas Saturne are somber middle-aged gents.  While the former resembles Dr. Abraham Van Helsing (sucking on prunes), the latter bears a resemblance to Tinky Winky, the purple Teletubby.  Neither cares much for the other.  Sophisticated May-Lee Sonit is owner of an antique shop called The Pied Piper and Aunt Mat’s good friend; the two women shared a love of wine and theater, opera and classical concerts.  There is a wacky brother-sister team: Percival Sayers is a writer of obscure poetry and landscaping and gardening articles, Prunella an avid bird lover and adventurer.  Unconventional servants—a portly chef, spindly maid, and grave butler—have been part of the household for years. 

All have a secret, as the three women (Jill, Rey and Linda) discover when they step out of their everyday professions and take on roles as amateur sleuths.  Others soon join in the sleuthing and the bumbling, stumbling—and mayhem—not long after the family lawyer passes in the drawing room.  Perhaps Saturne was heavy and out-of-shape, but he never appeared that unhealthy.  

Enter Sheriff Lewis and Deputy Gwynne; exit same, with body, into a misty and frigid night.  Enter and exit Lewis and Gwynne several more times as the body count mounts . . . until there is no option but to remain.

The trio’s Internet detecting reveals much: the history of the antebellum property and previous misfortunate (cursed?) owners, a liaison between Prunella and Thomas, and a sketchy bio of Fred the Ghost (as opposed to Fred the Cat, Aunt Mat’s fat feline).

When eccentric and not-so-deceased Aunt Mat dramatically announces a return from the dead, everyone is thrown into a tizzy.  The dither intensifies when the grande dame explains that the demise had been faked in hopes of ensnaring the person(s) responsible for monetary and in-house thefts.

As an ice storm approaches, legal sorts fall mysteriously ill.  Tensions mount, fingers point accusingly, and tongues flap crossly.  The determined, investigative threesome discover that not only hidden rooms and passageways conceal deep, dark secrets. WPCaperSyn

The Connecticut Corpse Caper is the perfect escape for those who love old B&W whodunit mysteries set in creepy oversize mansions filled with quirky guests, secreted passageways, and disappearing and reappearing corpses.

More on Saturday . . . .

Dream On

OMG.   <ROTFL>   On the weekend, I’d posted “Dreaming the Impossible Dream”.  Given that this blog is dedicated to writing/editing and my own fiction endeavors—like The Triple Threat Investigation Agency series—I’d meant to tie it in with writing . . . how we, as writers, have dreams, be it to become a household name, make money, experience fame, or entertain readers.

I got sidetracked but, as an author, I go where the keyboard and/or pen takes me.

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
– Oscar Wilde (poet and playwright)

I’ve had many dreams over the decades, but there’s only one that’s followed me throughout—to be a writer.  I’ll admit I’ve always wanted to make money as one, not by the truckload, but enough to be able to write full-time, live in a decent condo, pay bills, and retire without worry.  And I’ll also acknowledge that it’s still a dream today—an aspiration. WPdreamusealso

As an FYI, a dream is something you wish were true or something you want, yearn for.  An aspiration, like a goal is something you’re determined to undertake, tackle, attain.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
– C.S. Lewis (writer and lay theologian)

How does one make a dream come true?  Having one to strive for helps.  Decide what yours is.  Really focus; ensure it’s well-defined and doable (sure, becoming a billionaire may happen, bu-ut).  Believe in it; there’s no waffling; no doubt.  Trust it’s yours to be had, that it’s achievable.

“The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.”
– Tom Bradley (American politician and former police officer)

The “Law of Attraction”, creative visualization techniques, and umpteen sites will advise something to the effect of:

 Ask.  Believe.   Achieve.  

Sold!  Who can argue with simple easy-to-follow logic like that?  When it came out, I read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.  Fabulous food for thought and practice.  Basically, whatever you think and feel will affect what you attract into your life—so maintain positive thoughts and feelings, and you’ll receive positive things.

<ROTFL again>  I digress.  Again.  Back to being a writer with a dream.  Once you’ve defined it, believe in it.  Release fear and worry, and determine (record/list) how you can make it happen.  Look at others who have attained what you’d like to; see how they accomplished it and decide what similar action(s) you can undertake.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
– Harriet Tubman (abolitionist and political activist)

Understand that it will, with effort and action, take time for the dream to become reality.  Recognize that you may err or experience a setback.  That’s okay.  It’s not a true setback; it’s a lesson learned.

Learning is a very good thing.

 “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”
– Anatole France (poet, journalist, novelist)

WPdreamALLuse

What’s Our Story?

It seemed appropriate to end the “What’s -?- Story?” posts with one aimed at actually writing one.

Maybe you’d like to tell your story, be it in a short post or a long book, or something in between.  But you’re not quite sure where to begin.

First, give some thought as to who’ll read your story: your audience.  Family and/or friends?  Your blog, social media, and/or website followers?  The public?  Do you want the story to be narrated by yourself or would you like to present it as a tale of fiction?

**  Determine your audience.  Decide how to relate your story.  **

Next, pick up a pen or sit at the keyboard, an audio recorder, or a combination thereof, and start.  Record what you’d like your story to entail, what to share and how to communicate it.  Is there a message?  Do you have something you’d like people to learn about or from?  Are there life lessons?  Or maybe you’d simply like to entertain?

**  Start by summarizing your story/life into three-four sentences.  That’s your focus, your description . . . your blurb, as it were.  **

Do an outline and don’t worry about the flow; you can determine how it should progress (timeline/timeframe) later and delete and rearrange accordingly.  In terms of incidents and events, and memories, you can always consult with family members and friends.  Their remembrances may vary and that’s a good thing—it’s called perspective.  Maybe you have some journals/diaries stuffed in drawers?  They’ll help tweak memories.  Old photos?  Use them, if only to fine-tune recollections.

**  Write down critical/essential junctures (two, five, ten, twenty) in your life that are crucial to your story.  They’ll help shape the narrative.  Whether you use them all is ultimately up to you.  **

If your story leans toward heartrending or sad, or tragic, you may want to add a few happy or cheering moments/events.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a “sobber”, a multi-tissue-box kinda gal.  It’s tough on the eyes and nose to always be bawling and blowing.  Prompting a laugh or two—even a smile—is a welcome break.

**  Give thought to what you’re sharing and why.  Maybe it’s a personal purge.  Nothing wrong with that.  Maybe lessons you learned would help others.  That’s noble.  Contemplate how tragic/emotional/funny/life-changing the story should be . . . how much you want—and are willing—to reveal.  **

This post could easily go on for several pages or be divided into a few. There’s a lot of “advice” to be provided re outline steps, narrative, writing “rules”, and the list goes on (and on).  Perhaps I’ll do that at some point but, for today, I just wanted to provide some food-for-thought ideas re you getting started on your [amazing] story.

Sad and laughing Theater mask

[Looking forward to reading it!]

Ready to rock’n’roll with Forever Poi

Like, how many months have I been trying to get “Forever Poi” packaged/done?   Seems like many.  But it’s all good now—Creativia, “a community-driven, next-generation hybrid publisher”, has accepted me to their author roster.  There’s a lot to organize and do, but it’s all good.  One task at a time.

The front and back covers you see above will likely not be the ones used by Creativia; they’re ones my long-time designer and formatter created.  They’re much in keeping with the previous covers, though the trio do look a bit different.  Cosmetic surgery perhaps?  <LOL>

In the event you’re looking for a publisher, here are some facts about Creativia (pulled from their site):

♦   Besides their partner network, they use marketing channels: Amazon Marketing Services, Bookbub Ads, Facebook Ads, Google Ads.

♦   They cover: proofreading, cover design, eBook and paperbook layout design, worldwide publishing, marketing, sales and royalty payment.

♦   Achievements include: #1 bestsellers in major Amazon categories, book translations into nine languages, and features in high-profile newsletters.

As a fellow Creativia author advised, it’s all about what you’re willing to put into it.  As an writer, you must invest time and effort/energy.  More simply said: reap and ye shall sow.  Given my due diligence and the feedback I’ve received, I’m happy [and excited] to have signed on.

Yes, I’m feeling good about this new phase of my writing life.  As Rey’d say: keep ya posted! thumbs up

Motivational Mottos

Posting about logos not long ago got me to thinking about something similar: mottos.

A short sentence or phrase that encapsulates the belief(s) or ideal(s) that guide a person, family, or an institution.

You may want to consider creating a slogan or catchword that identifies your business or yourself.

On a business/professional level, a motto or slogan distinguishes what you do and/or offer.  Like a logo, it’s something you want people (potential clients and consumers) to remember you by.  It should be simple and relatively short.  Above all, it should be memorable, catchy . . . evoke an image, be positive.  You want to grab people’s attention and retain it.

On a personal level, you might want a motto that serves as positive reinforcement, or reflects an objective or desire.  Or it may “nudge” you re overcoming a fear or unhealthy tendency.  A personal motto could prove inspiring, uplifting, or strengthening.  I’ve had a personal motto—a mantra if you like—for a long time, one I adopted to overcome a persistent sense of non-confidence: conviction of self.

conviction  =  belief  =  faith  = confidence

Believe in yourself =  I believe in me

To be frank, I’m still lacking in the confidence department.  Nevertheless, I hold firm in my motto . . . and, one day, I will wholeheartedly believe.

If it’s personal, place that motto—that rallying cry—on your desk, wall, mirror, body (mine’s on my shoulder).  When readily visible, it serves as a boost and a constant reminder; it becomes a part of who you are (or strive to be).  Maybe it would even work well on your blog or site or “About Me” page . . . ?

See what’s out there in the vast world of mottos.  Perhaps you’ll find one that speaks to you.  Work with it.  Make it your own. WPmottoPixabay

Happy motto-ing.

Writers Be Wary

Although I’ve posted on doing due diligence, I felt a need to do a little something re “Writer Beware”.

. . . Which is also the name of a website dedicated to, yes, writers being wary.  There’s a wealth of information re deceptive publishers, agents, presses, and scams.  Also provided: legal recourse suggestions and resources.

A few years ago I signed up with an agent who I—foolish me—did not thoroughly investigate.  I’d always done my due diligence.  Maybe I’d been too eager re actually having one that I forgot to take it further and explore her accomplishments and standing.  Or maybe I’d been so excited (she’d sounded so professionally sincere), I’d simply chosen to close my eyes.

Very long story short, an overwhelming “gut instinct” finally [thankfully] kicked in and propelled me into action.  I contacted Victoria Strauss, co-founder of Writer Beware (she’s also a prolific author by the way).  Pleasant and patient, she provided background on the agent; it wasn’t favorable.  Too bad I’d not immediately clued in when Ms. Agent congratulated me on making a deal with a publisher I’d never heard of (and soon learned was of questionable repute).

But this post isn’t about me; it’s about us, writers looking for decent deals, be it via a publisher or an agent—how to recognize (ascertain) it’s the real deal.

Just Publishing Advice is worth a gander.  Read Derek Haines’ recent article entitled “Publishing Companies to Avoid and Nasty New Author Scams”.

“Because Indie authors are active on social media, it is easy for a predatory publisher to get your contact details.  Then come the offers for their publishing services.”  (That explains the regular email queries in my Inbox.)  He also states, “When publishing businesses make you an offer that includes the word free, it is a signal that you should be very suspicious.”  (Simple, significant advice.)

Besides browsing websites and articles, do as marketing guru Marcia Yudkin suggests on her site (www.yudkin.com):

“It’s easy to get fast feedback on questionable literary outfits.  Post a notice asking about the specific agent or publisher you’re investigating on message boards or discussion lists frequented by writers.”

In this day and age, it’s far from difficult to “get the goods” on people and businesses.  It’s merely a question of applying yourself . . . not getting caught up in the excitement of the moment (note to self) . . . and using logic.  Think before acting.  Take heed.  Know what you’re getting into; it will save heartache and potential loss of [lots of] money. box123A

Sign on the dotted line?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  . . . Writers, be wary.

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

When Gomer Pyle uttered those words—with a toothy (goofy) smile—it always meant something good.  From his perspective.  From his sergeant’s, maybe not so much. (With fondness, Mom has taken to re-watching Gomer Pyle; as such, I get to view the 60s show, too.  You know, it does have its moments.)

Recently, I decided I’d send out a few queries to traditional publishers and posted about that.  I also provided a link to Emily Harstone’s list of publishers accepting manuscripts sans agent.  Only four were relevant to me.  Haven’t yet heard back from the other two and that’s fine.  Though some may disagree, I can be very patient.

But, lo and behold, I found 19 more publishers, courtesy of a link sent by the same author/blogger/friend who’d sent the first one.  This second list by Ms. Harstone provides publishers specifically interested in mysteries.  Woo-bleeping-hoo!  How lucky can a mystery writer be?

If you’ve finished your own magnum opus and have decided to try the traditional publishing route, do some due diligence before submitting.  Don’t simply check out publishers on their site to see what submission guidelines are: find out if they have a decent reputation.

As an FYI, per Wikipedia:  “Due diligence is the investigation or exercise of care that a reasonable business or person is expected to take before entering into an agreement or contract with another party, or an act with a certain standard of care.  It can be a legal obligation, but the term will more commonly apply to voluntary investigations.”

It’s all good when the surprise is a welcome one, but so not good when it’s an unwelcome one—like signing up with a publisher who’s not on the up-and-up.  Research thoroughly, my friends.  (More on “writer beware” in another post.)  WPsurprise1A

https://www.authorspublish.com/19-mystery-publishers-open-to-submissions/

 

Living in Limbo Land

When in limbo, do the lindy hop!  Trip the light fantastic!  Clog dance!  . . . Do something!

Love my title?  Hey-ho, it’s Rey, taking over for The Boss today.  The poor thing’s super stressed these days.  Ya gotta feel for her.  (To be honest, I’m kinda surprised she isn’t chomping countless chunks of chocolate or sucking sweet sherry or something.)

She’s in limbo, trying to find a cover designer that isn’t going to add to the debt pile.  Sure, if she wins the lottery, the sky’s the limit, but at the moment she’s earning a skimpy salary that doesn’t allow for over-the-top expenses.  Lucking in with a formatter ain’t happening, either.

On a positive note, “HA-HA-HA-HA” is moving along—at a snail’s pace, yeah, but the point is, it’s moving.  And she’s sent out some queries.  That’s nothing to sneeze at.  . . . Hold on a sec; Linda’s wanting my attention.

. . . My BFF—soon-to-be former—says I’m “hackneyed expession heavy”.  Like really?  Ex-cuse moi.

Anyway, from my perspective, The Boss isn’t really in limbo.  She’s just taking baby steps.  Nothing wrong with that.

The point of this post is that when you’re in limbo—experiencing writer’s block, struggling with overwhelming responsibilities, or are just feeling “ech”—go with it.  It’s a phase, sort of like a cocooning.  And we know when something’s cocooned, it does eventually open and something amazing emerges!

In the interim, while that limbo thingy lingers, here are my suggestions:

♦  Do something.  Waiting, groaning and/or moaning don’t do much (the woe-is-me gets pretty tiresome pretty fast).  Dance, sing, watch a movie, take a walk, call a friend, call an enemy.  Just . . . do . . . something.

♦  Don’t chastise yourself.  We all have bad/sad moments and that’s okay.  They pass.  Really, they do.

♦  Write, read, draw or doodle.  Focus on something other than yourself.  See what your favorite hero/heroine are up to.  Sketch the view from the front window.

♦  Get something interesting for take-out.  Have a nice glass of wine with it.

♦  Take on an “assignment” like cleaning the closet, getting rid of the dust cows (mine are bigger than bunnies, I tell ya), painting a wall or room.

♦  Watch a good movie—like one of mine.

♦  Listen to music (that’s always uplifting).

♦  Clear up your Junk/Spam folder; get rid of all those “saley” emails that clog up the Inbox.  Set up new folders and reorganize.

♦  Be grateful for what you have—as in, count your blessings.  Not always easy, this I do know.  But make a list of all the good things you have going for you.  They’re there!

Now, what are you going to do when you’re living in limbo?  That’s right!  You’re gonna do something.  . . . Like kick up those heels and do the lindy hop!WPlimbo123RFcom