Posts Tagged ‘author’

I’ve got a lot of years under my belt and in all that time I’ve learned a little something about a lot of things. I like gardens and plants and flowers, so I’ve learned which ones like sun and which prefer shade. I know which like a lot of water and which don’t like much at all. I’ve learned which ones look good with which others and which ones look better all by themselves. That’s one area where I know a little something, but I’m not really an expert.

I’m married and have raised three kids, so over the years I’ve done a lot of cooking. I know how to make things taste good. And to keep the boredon out of the whole process, I’ve tried to get creative with lots of dishes. So, now I’ve overheard others say, “Oh Alice . . . well, she’s a very good cook.” I’m glad to know that, but I also know that Martha Stewart doesn’t need to worry.

I’ve lived in several different homes and always liked to decorate them myself. I liked doing that, because I needed to only please my husband and myself in terms of its aesthetics. I don’t really know why others compliment the finished products. I always thought they were being polite. I think I know a little something, but I don’t think I’m an expert interior decorator.

And now a new one has popped up in my life. I have gotten two emails from other authors who have recently published books. They contacted me for advice on how to market their works. Well, yes, I have spent a few years marketing Becoming Alice and am happy to say I’ve had a fair amount of success in doing so. Of course my book never made it onto any Best Seller list and I am still being bombarded by others, like myself, who are now trying to sell me their expertise. None of their books have made the Best Sellerlist either.

So, I’d like to say that I obviously know a whole lot more about marketing a book than the newly published authors do, but I would never want to sell my knowledge to anyone. You see, I am not an expert at this undertaking either … otherwise I might have made it onto one of those coveted Best Seller lists.

I must admit however that I am mighty proud of what I know about gardening, gourmet cooking, decorating, perhaps playing tennis, and the relatively large number of books Becoming Alice has sold. At least I know a little something.


Read Full Post »

A talk about Becoming Alice, A Memoir, by the author will take place at The Gables on Friday, July 8, at 1:45 PM. For more information call (805)765-7456

Read Full Post »

My mom had a saying which she used often, especially when she was stressed about not having enough time to two jobs that were of equal importance: “One can’t dance at two weddings on the same afternoon of the same day.”

I sometimes feel like that. My dad told us another story which applies to me as well. He, as a doctor, had a nurse of whom he was very fond. He said she did everything he told her to do efficiently and in a timely manner. But if he made the mistake of telling her to do two things, she became so confused that she didn’t do any one of them correctly.

Right now I fell exactly like his nurse. I spend my time being pulled in two different directions in my literary life, one is to promote my memoir, Becoming Alice and the other is to continue writing my next work which is a fictional story, based on true events.

The bottom line is that I can’t find enough time for me to spend to do either one of them justice, especially the writing aspect. Once I get going on a project, I like to keep going. I don’t like being pulled back and forth. I know I must make a decision soon or I’ll drive myself crazy. I know exactly how dad’s nurse must have felt. I don’t want to get to the point where I won’t be able to do either one of those jobs as well as I think I could.

Read Full Post »

It is already January 2011 and I am still cleaning up from left-over bits and pieces of information that I wanted to address from 2010. One of them was an email received from a site that I watch. It is http://www.shewrites.com and I think it is worthwhile to stay tuned.

The email gave us the Gender Stats in Publishing for 2009. Please note:

Amazon Top 100 Editor’s Picks 2009:
77 Men/23 Women

LA Times Favorite Fiction 2009:
16 Neb/9 Women

LA Times Favorite Nonfiction 2009:
19 Men/6 Women

The Ntional Book Awards 2009:
4 Men/o Women

Publishers Weekley Best Books 2009:
10 Men/0 Women

Washington Post Best Books 2009:
69 Men/17 Women

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1948-2009:
40 Men/16 Women

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 1950-2009:
44 Men/16 Women

U.S. Poet Laureate 1937-2009:
36 Men/10 Women

I give up! I can’t believe women are so far inferior to men!

Give me a break!

Read Full Post »

One of the many questions I am asked about Becoming Alice is, “How long did it take you to write your book?” My pat answer is always: three years. Now, that is not true. It didn’t take me three years to write the book. I took me about half that time to write the book and the other half was spent in rewriting it.

Of course, I had the book edited by someone who I trusted to do a good job and many things were picked up which need to be redone, fixed, or eliminated altogether. I was prepared to do that. What I didn’t anticipate was that I became aware of the fact that about a third of the last part of my book didn’t hit the mark as powerfully as I wished. I had to make a decision to either publish a book that I myself knew could be improved, or to rewrite that third all over again. Being the Type A personality that I am, I rewrote that third and had the book published. It is the only way I can operate and I am so glad I did. Becoming Alice has done so much better than I ever dreamed it would.

I have begun a second work. I think it will one day be a good story. My trouble is that I don’t have as much time to write now as I did when I wrote my memoir. So I write about a dozen pages and don’t get back to them right away. When I reread them to get into the swing of the piece, I always find ways to improve it. And then I take the time to rewrite those dozen pages. I haven’t been able to get beyond about twenty pages. I am in a rewrite rut.

My New Year’s resolution is to pick up my new work wherever I left it off and get on with it. I can always take a year or two after it’s completed to rewrite the darn thing. I think there is no way to avoid the rewrite, rewrite, rewrite law for authors.

Read Full Post »

Fiction vs. Non-fiction

I’m in the process of writing a novella, I think. As I stated in a prior blog, I started out to write a short story and then it got too long to qualify for that genre. I didn’t know what to do. I was asked if I was writing a novel and my answer was that my story wasn’t long enough to be a novel. That is when I decided I must be writing a novella. I was delighted to be in the good company of many very successful novalla authors.

In rereading the definition of the novella I discovered that a it is supposed to be fiction. So I went to the dictionary to see if my work would fit into that category. My Randon House Dictionary stated that fiction is The class of literature comprising of works of imaginative narration, esp. in prose form … a made up story … etc. etc. I went to Google and read Fiction is a branch of lliterature which deals, in part or in whole, with temporally contrafactual events (events that are not true at the time of writing) etc. etc.

I also remembered taking a writing class some time ago in which the instructor said that any author writing fiction must necessarily write about something they experienced either consciously or unconsciously which they stored in their memory bank to which they returned when writing their literary work based on imagination and not necessarily on fact.

I had been worried that my work would not qualify as a novella since I write about an occurance from which I allow my imagination to build. The occurance was real; the development of the story is not and comes from my imagination.

I can’t worry about the definition being one thing or another. I need to worry about writing a good story. I can’t worry about whether or not it will be classified as a short story or a novella or a novel. I’m too busy working on a good story.

Read Full Post »

I need to get this off my chest. I’m working on a story right now which seems to fall into the category of Novella. That label applies to works that are of a particular length, somewhere between a short story and a full length novel. From what I have read, they are to follow the prescriptions for a short story, that is plot and characterizations. However, they are allowed to wander. How much remains a mystery. Every definition I read gives a different word count: 20,000 to 50,000 words and 50-100 pages, or up to 70,000 words and 125 pages. I think Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is 125 pages.

I’ve learned that a novella, a prose fiction work, originated in Italy in the Middle Ages and greatly influenced the development of the short story. It is still supposed to be a short and well-structured narrative, often realistic and satiric in tone.

I have known for some time now that short stories don’t have a huge marketplace. I now know that novellas seem to have almost none. I don’t know why they are treated like second class citizens. Amazon and Barnes and Noble don’t have a Novella category to explore if you want to read one. I have often entered my memoir, Becoming Alice in various contests and noticed that there never is a Novella category in which one can enter.

I’m not sure why I’m presently writing a novella. It must be that I’m encouraged by the fact that a novella, with its small size, is much easier to put into your back pocket than a Kindle, in case you are going on an airplane or the barber. I also feel good about being in the company of such great authors as Ernest Heminway Ian McEwen, Leo Tolstoy, Steven King, Stephanie Meyers, Cynthia Ozick, and the list goes on and on.

Now, all I need to do is write a book that is as good as any one of theirs.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: