Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best News. EVER!!

Before I get back in full swing of  things I wanted to make an announcement that doesn't pertain to my writing.

Hey guys!

I'm going to be a grandma!! I'm going to be a NeeNa!!!!

Coming August 2013!!!!
My married daughter will be having her first baby!

My next to oldest son proposed to his girlfriend, so my family will be growing in two ways next year!!

Ink in the Book will be back to regular posting after the New Year, and Operation Agent Ink will be posting workshops soon, complete with full schedule.

But for the next few days, I'll be enjoying my children a little while longer!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

I'll be back after the holidays!! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a joyous New Year.

Come back the first week of January for a brand new Ink in the Book!!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Silent Night...Secret Agent Reveal!

Yes, it is silent around here...

If you have nay suggestions for the final month of workshops, leave a comment below. The schedule has een made, but I am waiting on a few return emails before spilling the beans on what to expect in January. But let me say it's going to be great.

We will be discussing the complete submission package:

Query Letter
First 5 pages

There will be a query letter break down and examples of what to include, how to catch an agents attention with a luring hook and how to trick, er, I mean entice an agent to want to know more about your book.

There will be more agent giveaways. These were planned for last week, but things didn't turn out as I had expected (but still awesome!) so January will be busy the first few days of the workshop.

Someone requested an detailed schedule in advance, so I will list each class, discussion session, contest, and workshop in January. This will give everyone plenty of time to prepare for the month and help them get ready for the pitch opportunity in February.

Are you ready for out secret agent reveal?

Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Literary Agency! Her wish list?

I'm really interested in plots featuring time travel, competitions, or stories about travel. I'm interested In YA, New Adult/Adult. Stories that are either contemporary or historical, and I am most interested in romance.

Jordy will be giving away a 10 page critique!!!

I will recap all the agents and their giveaways during the first workshop in January.

Any questions? comments? Suggestions??

See you all again on Thursday!

Monday's check in

Good Morning Guys and Dolls!

What an amazing week last week, huh? I was thrilled with the final turnout of the question and answer. It went so well that we are planning another Twitter Party in January, right before the pitch opportunity. What do you all think? Isn't that great??

I had planned to make a nice long post on what to expect for January workshops, but something has come up today and I've been put in a pinch. So, my post will be late tonight, okie dokie?

This is me right now >>>

This is me right now!!!!
How about you all? Do you have any questions? Do you have anything you'd like to send in for the mentor program?

We've had several new participants sign up, why not say hello? It's great to have ya'll!

Oh, yeah, before I forget, did you see the secret Santa Agent commenting on the blog or on Twitter? I'll be posting who she is and her wish list tonight, too:)

Please comment below and let me know what you'd like to see for January. Next month will be devoted to the submission package and final polishing and editing of manuscripts. Is there anything in particular you'd like to see or need help with?

I'll leave you this morning with my favorite quote (it's already on my sidebar - thanks Ella!)

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
William Wordsworth

Write what's in your heart and have a fantastic week. I'll be back tonight.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Do The Twitter Bug Hop!

Update #1: Jordy Albert of the The Booker Albert Literary Agency just confirmed she'll be here today for the Twitter Live Event!

Update #2 Pooja Menon of the Kimberley Cameron & Associates just confirmed she will be available today on the live Twiter Event:)

Surprises never case to make me smile:) Especially good ones!
Now, yesterday, I felt pretty down and out. But all things work for a reason and I think today's plans may trump yesterday's plan.

Anyone interested in doing a live Twitter event? #AgentInk is going to be featured on Agent Terrie Wolf's Twitter and will be hosting a live Q&A session this afternoon. Her associate Louise Caiola and MAYBE James Schinke *might* be there, But I know Ms. Terrie and Ms. Louise will. I'm checking with other agents and editors, too, and hope to have others join in the fun.

What an awesome Christmas gift!! It's like having ANGELS among us.

When: Friday (today)
Where: #AgentInk
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. EST


Workshop 16 Question and Answer Day

It's  Day Two of Operation Ink and Agents are sneaking around and checking the naughty and nice list! Jack Frost messed things up yesterday and froze up my computer. But, Santa helped out and we are back in business today! Gotta question for an agent?  Don't be shy! Did you ask a question yesterday? Check out the answers today!!

Hey guys! I'm sorry:(. I don't know what happened to our agents today. Maybe they will make their way around tonight. 

I will announce winners tomorrow. 

UPDATE AGAIN! Agent Terrie Wolf enailed and said shes running late in the publishing world but is very close to being here! right here on Ink in the Book!!

UPDATE: Hey everyone! I'm hoping more agents stop in after while, maybe this evening. I guess they all were swamped with business today. If you've posted a question, check back tonight, okay? There are still prizes!reThanks guys and dolls:)

Update #1 is at the bottom, in red.

Update #2 is in green

Door Prize#1
Ramdom dot Org picked T. J!!!!! Please send me your address! You've received an delectable gift basket of chocolate! email me at ink in the book (gmail dot com) 

Door Prize #2 
Random dot Org picked Misha Gericke!!!!! Please send me address! You've won a gift basket of gourmet hot chocolate! 

It's here, guys! Today's workshop is finally here! Can you believe it! I hope you have lots of questions to ask because our agents are standing by to try their best and answer your inquiries! They will be popping in all day to check out your questions and to cheer you fabulous writers on to better writing!

Inquiring minds want to know, right? So now is your chance.

During the day, I will be updating the blog with awesome AGENT and EDITOR INSIDER news.

Oh, and you might want to know I'll be handing out gifts and door prizes and small tokens of appreciation to those who follow my blog, are participating in the workshop, or simply read Ink in the Book quietly in the shadows:)

Our newest agent to participate is....wait. I think I may play a little game! Once our secret agent has commented on a question, I'll let the cat out of the bag! Oh secret Santa, where are you???

For those wondering about the Agent gifts, it's not right to tell a person what their gift is BEFORE they open it, so I'm not telling WHAT the gifts are just yet. But I totally promise you, you will LOVE these gifts. There's a system already set in place- Random dot Org - for those visiting today, so as the system kicks in and winners are chosen, I'll be updating the gifts and who won them throughout the day. Be sure and check back often! If not, everything will be posted still tomorrow, so you can check back then to see if you received a gift.

Feel free to leave a question. Some beautiful and talented Agent is waiting to answer.
And agents, please feel free to comment on any question.

Merry Christmas, beautiful guys and dolls!

So, we are talking about sagging middles and how to fix them. First thing is this: how's the opposition in your novel?  Is the bad guy bad enough? Is he or she believable? Remember, I asked about impending death in the last session. So let's think about death of the MC for a minute.

Does the antagonist have the ability to physically kill your you MC? Make sure the scenes with impending death are written vividly and with excitement.

Does the bad guy have the ability and power to take down your MC, as in a corrupt boss, policeman or colleague who hates her? Be sly and sneaky or just pure evil with these intentions. Make the readers want to turn the page and find out how the evil plan is working.

Does the villain want to emotionally crush you MC?  Write concise, emotionally charged scenes where your MC is on the verge of a break down. And make us cry. And ultimately care about him.

More late, gator!
No gifts yet. Where are you agents? It's coffee time!
free digital photos
Update #2
Agent Terrie Wolf just emailed and said she would be visiting after her class at school! Be patient and hold on tight because there are FIVE agents visiting today to answer your questions!

Follow up Workshop

Good morning lovely guys and dolls! I hope you had a good night's sleep (or a good day, if you live across the world from me!)

I'll just get down to the nitty gritty and get it over with today...

I'm not for sure what happened yesterday? I had FIVE agents confirmed to be here and answer questions, but alas, only one showed up to participate. I don't know why...

I will say, I'm very truly sorry to those who hoped to talk to agent through the blog. I'm very embarrassed and kinda tongue tied today. I really don't know what to say.

Because only one agent visited yesterday, I am only giving away her gift. The other agents may have decided Operation Agent Ink Pitch Opportunity isn't something they can participate in at this time and I don't want to impose something on them.

Brittany Booker of the Booker Albert Literary Agency has generously offered to give away a
Five Chapter Critique!!!!!! Thank you, Brittany!!

So, who won? I'm sure you are just dying to know!! I used Random dot Org and it choose:

Aldrea Alien!!!!

Please email me at ink in the book at gmail (dot) com for information on how to send your material to Brittany!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cheers Cavanaugh Blogfest

Well, I made time for this blogfest, just because I wanted to say thanks to someone who deserves it! I'm not participating fully, like the "rules" say to post, but I couldn't resist a big THANK YOU!

When I didn't even know who Alex was, I would get a comment that would put a smile on my face. It NEVER failed. Then, it got to where as soon as I posted, I expected a comment within 3o minutes from someone named Alex. It didn't matter what time of day I posted and it didn't matter what the subject matter was in my post. I could count on Alex to come along and comment.

I thought he had a spy camera. How did he know I posted???

One day, I went to his blog after several days of missing his post and I wanted to catch up on all the things I had missed that week. As you all already know, he posts awesome ninja news, right? So I had to scroll down to the bottom of his page to read it all.

There to my astonished amazement was a link to my blog!! I couldn't believe it. I felt so honored that someone with so many followers and blog hops and magic comments all the blogoshere would even know who I was or care enough about what I had to say, to be listed in a long line of Blog roll guests of honor.

Even more so, what sealed it for me was the day I was so discouraged and posted a little whiny, woe is me blog post, and here he came and wiped a tear from my eye. A stranger, really, who was kind enough to wipe my tears? How amazing. I felt humbled beyond words.

So, this is my THANK YOU blog post, truly and told in a very raw and sappy way, to the Ninja Captain.

Oh, and Thank you, Mrs. Alex, for kindly sharing your time with your husband for all of us blessed writers!

And if any of you have ever seen Love Comes Softly, then you know what I mean when I say "Clark" (Dale Midkiff) would make a perfect Alex, or vice-verse, or something like that!

As T commented below, Alex needs an award. Yes he does! So Alex, because you have been faithful in commenting on every blog known to man, and because you have sworn to fulfill your obligations and duties faithfully and honorably,  I hereby bestow upon you the award of the Inky Comment!

Alex Cavanaugh, you've been inked!

Workshop 15 Saggy, Baggy Middle?

Operation Agent Ink Preview!

Thursday is our big day and it's full of awesomeness, with agents answering your questions and giving gifts away. What could be better?

So, because Thursday will be full of lots of goodies, I've decided to give a little preview to the workshop. I don't want everyone feeling crammed into the afternoon, but hopefully you all will enjoy the day and getting to know the agents participating in the Pitch Opportunity!

Oh, and out new agent will be here on Thursday, so I'll be posting who she is and what she has on her wish list!!

So, on to the workshop!

Here is a checklist to ask yourself as you approach the middle of your novel:

Do character relationships change? Do they deepen, get more emotionally involved or love/hate more?

Have you given your readers even more reasons to care about the characters and plot line?

Is there a sense of urgency present? Are the stakes pushed up even more? Is there a pending death, whether physical, psychological or professional, or even emotional?

Have you given your characters a STRONG reason NOT to walk away? Have you written a immobilizing setting, relationship, or just good standing morals?

and last, but certainly not least...

 Have you increased the conflict and the tension?

How do you fix a boring middle? That's just what the next workshop will cover. For now, think about these questions on the checklist. Hopefully, this will get some creative juices flowing!!

See you later:)

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

I love Christmas time! It's my most favorite time of the year!! So why not bring the joy and happiness of the season into my blog home?? This week, it's going to be so amazing! I'm gearing up for for Christmas and will be giving away some amazing gifts!

Thursday, December 13th, Ink in the Book will be hosting an Agent Question and Answer Post. Participating agents will be lurking around the blog, peeking in from time to time during the day to answer questions YOU want to know!~

I'll be available, too, if you have questions about the workshop.

But wait! There's more! (do I sound like a TV commercial??)

free digital photos
Remember the agent critique giveaways I told you about earlier? It's time to wrap them and put them under my tree. Thursday, we will be giving away these fabulous gifts from our agents.

There's first page critiques, first chapter critiques, 3 chapter critiques, and much more! Personal emails and phone calls, too!!! It's so exciting I can hardly believe how amazing it truly is!!!

Please, spread the word! I have noticed a HUGE drop in participation to the workshop. I understand it's the holiday season and people are busy, but I hope you can squeeze Thursday into your time schedule. You don't want to miss this, so blog it, tweet it, facebook it!

Twitter Hashtag is #AgentInk

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oooo La La...Surprises!

Just a short weekend email, guys and dolls!! Because I couldn't wait to tell you....

Another agent has confirmed she will be participating in
Operation Agent Ink Pitch Opportunity!!

Woo Hoo!!!! Just as soon as she sends me her wish list, I'll post all the information.

Also, Thursday, December 13th, our workshop will be full of surprises!

You like presents, don't you?? so there will be gifts, giveaways, agent critiques, and other prizes!!!

Oh, and an open question and answer segment with Operation Agent Ink AGENTS!!

I'll post more details on Monday during check in, but guys, it's going to be totally awesome next week!

Spread the word. PLEASE!!

I have a new Twitter! Its @TalynnL and the hashtag for Operation Agent Ink is #AgentInk

How Exciting, right?

Have a marvelous and incredible weekend, you beautiful guys and dolls!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Workshop Email

Very quickly!

PLEASE! If you have sent anything to the workshop email and NOT received an email in return, please resend your material to my regular email address:

inkinthebook at gmail dot com

For whatever reason, I have had several email me and tell me they sent stuff in, but did not receive a response. I'm worried! So I have decided to discontinue the workshop email and use my regular email.

I hope it doesn't cause problems for you and so sorry for the missed communications!!

Agent Insider

Good Morning beautiful guys and dolls!!! How are you today?
I'm doing simply wonderful today!!! I hope your Friday is shaping up into the beginnings of a FANTASTICAL weekend!

I have some AGENT INSIDER news you might enjoy as you work on your character development workshop. It's from Mary Sue Seymour and Marisa Cleveland!!

What makes a good character?

Mary Sue says:

Perfect character - if it's a hero, it's guy you would like to date [if you weren't married!], and if it's a heroine, it's a gal that could be your best friend.

Marisa says:

Perfect characters are not perfect - they are characters with flaws and it's best when their greatest strength is their greatest weakness and the book actively engages the character in that realization and takes them on a twisted journey as they come to this conclusion and deal with it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Workshop 14

Today's workshop will be writing exercises. I know! I hear your groans! But the best way to write better is to write more? Write? er... I mean right?

I won't delay the ink stained pen and smudged paper. Let's get busy!

Writing exercise #1

Writing real human relationships can be enhanced by using real life situations. So first, think of a friend, or maybe someone you don't really like, and write down at least 5 feelings/emotions you have about him or her. What happens when you express these feeling? What are your thoughts? What body movements are involved?  Use these emotions and body movements in your writing!

Writing exercise #2

What would the above person in exercise #1 have to do in order to prove to you that he or she has sincerely changed?

Writing exercise #3

Now, think of someone you know who has had a turn of attitude since you have known them. What changes did he or she make? How did that change make you feel?

Writing exercise #4

From the above exercise, think of a fictional character you love. How did that character change? What do you wish WOULD change?

Writing exercise #5

Pick one of the following characters and give ONE solid, good motivational reason the character might be what he or she is. Which one would be the most intriguing to write about in your novel. WHY?
a lost child
a murdering drunk
a pretty actress gone mad
a rich man marrying for political reasons
a theif
a nun with a kind heart
a lady who would do anything to conceive a child

(Last) exercise #6

Now, write down the consequences for the character you picked from exercise #5. Would this consequence be enough to cause your character to change? Why? How? Write about it.

Well, that's it for now guys and dolls! I hope you enjoyed this change of pace.
Please let me know if you have any questions!!!

Sagging middles, anyone? Come back next week for ideas on how to keep the middle flowing with excitement and intrigue!

Workshop is coming...

Like Monday, I'm running behind. But have no worries guys and dolls. I will post the workshop!  We will be discussing Character Development. I have been looking forward to this workshop for weeks!

We will also touch on the the Middle: From Sagging to Exciting.

It's coming...It will just be late:)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

ISWG December Post

Believe it or not, I almost forgot today was the fist Wednesday of the month! Sorry for posting so late in the afternoon today, guys and dolls!

What am I insecure about this month? Does it ever change, or it always the same old same old?


It changes and this month, I am being totally completely honest....

I must sit  back and ask, is it worth it? Is the waiting, the rejection, the wondering, the tears, and the waiting some more? Is it worth it?

I know it is. I know I MUST stay focused and determined. But it's hard.

It's hard to see other writing friends I have met who started the publishing journey the same time as me. See them with agents, or contracts, or published books. It's hard. It really is!

Don't get me wrong. I am so thrilled and happy for them it's almost like seeing my own work published and successful. But then reality sets in and I know it's not MINE, but my good friend's manuscript soon-to-be published book. Can I act like it doesn't hurt? Should I act like it doesn't make me wonder what's wrong with my writing?

I've come to the conclusion there must be something wrong with my writing. Maybe my technique? My style? My voice?

I don't know, but I am DETERMINED to find the answer and correct my problem.

I will succeed.
I will win.
I will be published.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Operation Agent Ink Workshop Check in and Agent Insider

Hey all! It's check in time! I'm sorry for the late posting. I know check in is on Monday, but yesterday, I spent the day in  Nashville Christmas shopping! I got better deals than Black Friday and I'm so happy!!

So how's your writing coming along? Any questions or comments about passive voice of plot holes? Go ahead and send them in to

workshop ink in the book at gmail dot com (no spaces)

No one sent in material last week and we missed an a half page critique from the mentors:( But this week, we have extended the half page critique~ So go ahead and send in you questions!!

Agent Inside news you can use...What do the Agents have to say this week? Let's hear, straight from the email answer!

What makes a good first sentence, first page and first chapter?

Agent Brittany Booker says -
First off- what makes a good first sentence is 'the voice.' That first sentence should say something about the plot, character or storyline that would let the reader know the type of voice in the story and the tone of the story. If the heroine/hero is a goofy or sarcastic character, the first sentence should reveal that. 

The first page should give us a good idea of what the character is going through, what they are thinking, or a little description of the scene that the character(s) are in. 

By the end of the first chapter, the reader should have a clear view on what the main character is going through, their goals, and a visual of the character. Also, if there are a few main characters, then the reader should be introduced to most of them within the first chapter. 
Agent Mary Sue Seymour says - 

The perfect first chapter begins with a great hook. The first sentence must be high interest and must begin with a scene that is immediately engaging - no set-up, which I define as setting and characterization for a hook.
Agent Marisa Cleveland says - 

Perfect first chapter - starts with the perfect first page - engaging and not reflective - I'm drawn to first pages where the character(s) are immediately in motion (addressing an issue) - and the chapter should always end with a hook or conflict.
Okay, and last for today, I have a question/survey:
Does everyone prefer the weekly workshops, like I have been posting 
Would everyone prefer me to post all the workshop for the moth of December all at once and participants will have the leisure of working on the classes as time permits?
I know December is a busy month for many people. For me, I'll have company most of the month and will be shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping presents, et. just as many of you!

So, voice your opinions! What would you prefer???

Perfect character - if it's a hero, it's guy you would like to date [if you weren't married!], and if it's a heroine, it's a gal that could be your best friend.

Insecure Writer's Support Group

I've rejoined the IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group, and I'm super excited to be back. I missed the post for July, but will...