Let the pitches begin!…

It’s Pitch Madness…a.k.a. #PitMad…day!

A frantic, exciting, nail-biting twelve-hour window when aspiring writers with polished novels awaiting glossy covers & prominent shelf spots pitch to agents and publishers on Twitter.

I have my three pitches ready…wish me luck!


Woosh! The curtains open…

I’m here! I’m here! *waving from the front windows*

I know, it’s been too long! I’ve just been in a little funk. The kind of funk where you eat too many donuts and drink too much coffee, abandon exercise altogether, and can’t properly get started on a writing project even when your sanity depends on it. (All you writers out there, is there such a thing as post-first-submissions-blues…?) And I *moved* into this beautiful new virtual space, had an *open house*, then proceeded to close all the curtains and wander around aimlessly! (All you bloggers out there, is it possible to have bloggers’ block…?)

But I’m back! And I can report the following good news—I have joined Mystery Writers of America, I am signed up for a Sisters-in-Crime writers conference in San Francisco next month, I will be guest lecturing again this fall, and I’m working diligently through Julia Cameron’s “The Artist Way.” Not only that, but school has started, so the college is buzzing with contagious energy, and the first leaves have started to fall, marking the approach of my favorite season. And even though I’ve been in a funk, I haven’t been completely idle. I’ve been working on getting my new home office set-up, completed two cross-stitch projects, traveled to Washington State to visit family, and started translating my grandmother’s cookbook with my father.

“How are the submissions going?” you ask.

In the month and a half since I sent out my first eight submissions, I’ve had two rejections, two non-responses, and am still waiting to hear back from four agents who note longer response times. I’ll admit there was a crisis of faith when I wasn’t instantly offered a deal…honestly, who doesn’t fantasize it’ll happen with the first response?!…but I have regrouped, read all those articles about famous authors being rejected dozens of times before acceptance to soothe my ego, and am actually excited about the next batch of submissions I’m preparing now.

“And how are you getting out of this funk?” you ask next.

Posting this is certainly a step in the right direction! Another must, is getting up early in the mornings to write and exercise, like I did this morning. I have learned that if I don’t, I’m a complete mess the rest of the day. And finally, just reminding myself that I am a writer, showing up to the life I want, and leaving the rest to God and the universe.

Fog and toast…

It’s one of those lovely, foggy July mornings in Sonoma County…and a Saturday. Which means that, not only will the temperatures stay down today, but I can wrap myself up in socks and a sweater, have extra coffee and toast, and spend guilt-free hours in the house.

The focus of this weekend is preparing my first submissions to send out to agents. Tuesday’s the big day. My husband asked, “Why Tuesday?” First, because it takes time to make sure everything is just right, and this is one of those things you want to do absolutely right. “We’re incredibly busy people. Don’t give us an excuse to say ‘no’ with careless errors.” This is something I’ve heard from more than one agent…and I’ve listened. The second reason for Tuesday is that it’s a full moon…and I’m going for all the good energy I can get! In seriousness, I believe I’ve crafted a professional query letter, managed an intriguing yet concise synopsis, and, most importantly, written a great book! As I was finishing the final read-through and line-edits, I found myself caught up in the story and unable to stop turning pages. Since I already knew the ending, this seems promising.

Time for another John Williams’ soundtrack, more toast with homemade lemon curd, and back to those submissions.


Welcome! Cocktail?…



A new blog…and a proper writer’s website! *sound of cork popping*

Welcome to my new home. Apologies for the mess…I’m still settling in. Sorry…do you mind taking your shoes off? Thanks. Now, grab a champagne cocktail and curl up on the sofa…just scoot the kitties out of the way…and let me tell you what I’ve been up to!

If you followed my blog, Living as a writer for 365, then you already know I spent the last couple years working on my first novel, the first Penzey Brighton mystery. What you wouldn’t know if you hadn’t visited is that after multiple revisions and much agonizing the book is ready for submission! Which means, it’s time to find an agent!

Yesterday I participated in my first #mswl Twitter event…when agents and editors share their manuscript wish lists while writers frantically take notes, drink cappuccinos, and scroll through tweets. There was amazing energy and enthusiasm, and Jessica Sinsheimer of and the Sarah Jane Freyman Literary Agency was an absolute gorgeous hostess. I never thought Twitter could be so much fun, and came away with a legal sheet full of agent names and wishes I want to make come true!

And today is the first of July…the first day of a four-day weekend…the first day of the second half of the year. In other words, a good day to say good-bye to the old ship, as my old blog was affectionally known, and welcome you all into my new virtual home.

So, please, have another cocktail. *big band music plays* Appetizers should be out of the oven any minute, and games will start soon. Let’s celebrate, because tomorrow we get to work!