Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Successful Pitch!

Woooohoooo! I found out yesterday that my two paragraph pitch was one of the 6 out of 45 pitches subbed chosen by Victoria Curran, Superromance line editor at Harlequin. On Friday I will have the opportunity to participate in an online pitch with her to see if she wants to read my book, Call of Duty.

*sigh* It also means if she wants to read it...I have to prepare a synopsis. Ack!! I have a basic outline I had completed for another pitch a couple of years ago. Maybe it won't require too much wrangling to get ready. The rest of this week will be a little busy for me. We're trying to get our stuff ready to be in Savannah for a month. The travel trailer has to be cleaned and restocked, and I want to leave the house clean so I won't come home to a nasty pit. Hubby and I both have doc appts Thursday and Friday. Busy, busy, busy...

Have a great weekend, my peeps. Huge hugs!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No rest for the weary...

My poor hubby. He's home and working on his Honey-Do list. We finally got the Suburban and our 5th wheel trailer moved over to the new house. And he's just finished painting the living room wall and is headed off to pick up a lighter shade of taupe for the hall. I think he's feeling the stress a little because we're going to Savannah and have little time to get some of this stuff done. Good news...we're going to Savannah. OMG!!! I've always wanted to go and now I'll get the chance to spend some real time there. We're going to leave a couple of days early so we can stop when I need to. Hopefully my body won't give me too much trouble. I'm a little worried about the long trip, but I'm hoping to make a couple of stops along the way to meet some of my online writing buddies.

I wanted to thank Rae, Bella, and Vanessa for giving me a couple of blog awards. I still haven't figured out how to post them permanently. *sigh*

Thanks, Rae!
Thanks, Vanessa & Bella!

I'll try to come up with facts you guys haven't already heard me gripe about. LOL.

1. My whole family took karate lessons when I was about 13 yrs old, young and skinny.

2. I absolutely LOVE eating red meat. Give this girl a medium rare ribeye steak or juicy hamburger any day. Of course with my health in the toilet right now...I've made an effort to eat more white meat. Ugh.

3. I've always had a passion for most things western. I've always thought I was born a century too late and could totally see myself living among my Chickasaw ancestors. My hubby thinks it's ironic that I married a cowboy.

4. I was a tomboy. The neighborhood guys always came by to see if I wanted to play soccer, basketball, baseball...anything outside, I was game. I was a closet girly-girl. I had the Barbie's and dolls...just played them when I couldn't be outside.

5. I HATE to wear shoes. Summer is not just my favorite because of the warm weather...I can get away with wearing flip-flops everywhere. I'll wear the sandals with bling when I have to dress up.

6. I am not a cat person. They can be quite cute and cuddly. But I think they can also be rude, manipulative, and just plain evil. Have you ever watched Pet Cemetary? I rest my case.

7. I have the travel bug. I hate being away from my 16 yr old when we travel, he stays with my mom, but I love the adventure of checking out local history.

8. I guess #7 could lead into this...I love our rich and colorful history. I used to dream of being a pioneer woman. Guess that's WHY I married a cowboy.

9. I hate to swim in murky water. I don't mind getting dirty...just hate not knowing what's swimming around me. LOL. Oklahoma lakes are rich with red clay so I'm kinda stuck with that.

10. And last, but not least...I would LOVE to have a little girl. I'm stuck in a manly-man house full of guys.

Okay guys...I'll pass these awards on to...

Jennifer Bianco

Natalie Bahm

Monday, February 15, 2010

What is that I hear?

Absolutely nothing. Well, almost. The dog won't stop licking herself and I can hear the trickle of the water filtering in the fish tank. But the house is quiet. *deep breath....and sigh* Mr. Chelle is finally home and took little man with him to run errands this morning after he took the man-child to school.

So here I am, enjoying my cup of coffee, hoping my toes will warm up. :) Did everyone have a great weekend? A good Valentine's Day? Mr. Chelle took me to a movie Saturday night and we met his dad and his girlfriend for dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant. Yum. Yesterday? We just hung out and took it easy. Mom took little man to see a movie so we could have some quiet time. Overall? Not a bad weekend at all.

Ok. We talked about what elements are important in a pitch. I guess alot of it depends on what kind of pitch you are looking at as to how detailed it can be. Is it a logline? A basic sentence has to make an impact. I personally HATE loglines and think it's not a valid way to gather enough info about the story to make an informed decision. My first pitch was a one page, simplified synopsis. I was fortunate enough to have been chosen to pitch to a Harlequin editor and had a partial request. The next two pitches I participated in dealt with loglines. They suck. Or I guess I should say...I suck at writing them. You've got to pack alot of punch within just a few words, and you have to choose your words wisely. That's when it's especially important to know exactly who and what line you are targeting.

That's what we're dealing with today. Key words that pack a punch. A pad and pen is my friend at that point unless I'm having a day where I simply cannot hold or grasp small objects. But rolling with the punches is another post, another day. I'll sit down and try to write out descriptive words for each character, the conflict, and what their ultimate goal needs to be. Know your target audience. Use key words to acknowledge you've done your homework. Is your story about home and hearth, or inspirational? Full of desire and passion, exotic or erotic? Is your heroine a single mom struggling to survive only to have a billionaire boss that can give her a Cinderella HEA?

You don't have enough room in a logline for names or places. But the small amount of words used need to include key words to tempt an editor or agent. Know your story. Who are your main protagonists and what do they want/need?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Perfect Pitch?

I don't think I'll ever hear those words. I HAVE been told that I'm wordy, so imagine my extreme panic when I try to come up with a condensed version of what my book is about. I think I actually begin to sweat. Over the course of my writing journey to the ultimate destination of "Pubbed Land", I have forced myself to pitch several of my manuscripts. Some of you have mentioned having the same angst over preparing pitches or blurbs. I thought today maybe we could go over a few of the basics and work up from there. Just know that...I am in no way an expert. LOL. I have had a few requests out of my attempts, and even won or finaled in a couple of contests. But I've also been passed over. You are the ultimate storyteller. Have faith in your story!!

The pitch is basically a high concept showcase of your manuscript. The first thing I do is to open a Word file, or you can just grab a piece of paper. I list my two main protagonists, my heroine and hero. Make a basic list of WHO they are, WHAT they want, and WHY it is important to them. It's the basic goal, motivation, and conflict of the story. Try to use genre specific key words.

And a final thought for today... It's really important to KNOW who you are pitching to. My advice?? Read through the submission guidelines and write down specific key words that are listed to describe the line.

Have a great weekend!! I'll try to get back as soon as possible to work more on the pitching process.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Blog Award

Thanks so much, Jennifer!!

I'm not sure my kiddos would agree though. LOL. Jennifer deserves this one so much that I should resend it to her. She always has such an upbeat outlook. I've been stuck indoors with two boys fighting over anything, and everything. Ugh. Thankfully, before I ate my young, the oldest went back to school today. But we're supposed to get more snow and ice tomorrow night. Ack!!!!

So here are 10 things that make me happy:

1) My hubby, especially when he's home and not traveling. I also like it when he leaves after being home for a long time. JK. Kinda. ;) He really is a huge help with the house and boys when he's home, but I truly love him and enjoy being with him. Even when he's home for long stretches of time.

2) My kids keep me going. There are some mornings that I'm hurting pretty bad and can barely get out of bed, but I know they need to see me doing normal mom things and it helps give me strength. They are growing up so fast and have such cool personalities.

3) Our new house. It feels so good to be back out in the country. When I went outside with the little man during the recent snowstorm, I felt almost overwhelmed by how pretty the house and trees looked covered in snow.

4) My Mom. She is truly an inspiration to me. She has been a huge source of comfort and support my entire life, especially now that I've been diagnosed with the stupid auto-immune diseases. She has a heart of gold and is always involved in helping someone, whether it's her family or employees and local charities.

5) My cousin. She's also my best friend, and I know that I can always share my morbid sense of humor with her. She agrees that we can laugh even in the worst of times and I can count on her to make me laugh.

6) My friends. And that includes my online crit partners and blog buddies. I love sharing my writing journey with you.

7) My pets. We recently lost my sweet Boston Terrier and sent her sister to live with my brother. That doesn't make me happy, but when they were here...and along with the remaining two pups...they make me happy. It's got to be that unconditional love thing.

8) Rain. I don't like to drive in bad weather...but I love to sit and read or relax and listen to the rain.

9) Reading. I LOVE to find books that I can't put down. Ellen Hartman and Helen Brenna are two of my favorite Superromance authors and I know I can always count on them for a feel good story.

10) And lastly...I have to agree with Ms. Jennifer...getting blog awards! It makes me feel like someone really likes me. ;)

I have to admit that I dreaded coming up with 10 things that make me happy. It definitely beats coming up with 10 things I hate. I wonder if someone has come up with that one? The Venting Award, maybe?! LOL

The hard part is coming up with people to pass the award over to, but here goes:

1) Heather Rae Scott

2) Bethanne Strasser

3) Diane Estrella