Friday, April 19, 2013

A to Z Challenge: Q and Celebate the Small Things

It's impossible to think it's Friday already. Today's post is going to be long. I have the A to Z challenge, Celebrate blog hop, and a special post from a guest. You ready for it all??

Celebrate the Small Things:

I am happy to have a home, safe and sound and secure. I've not been attacked, there's no tornado or hurricane or earthquake threatening me, and I'm not suffering the loss of my home, family or friends.

My thoughts and prayers are with those in Boston and Texas.

Q is for QUERY contests: (Guest post from ELLIE HELLER)

This is an excellent time to be a writer!

Not only do you have lots of publishing opportunities, from the traditional agent model to indie e-presses to self publishing (you really should go check out the Dahlia Adler's blog on the various options here: but amount of support you'll find online from other writers is astounding.

You're not alone, there's a growing community of writers online and you can find someone (or two or three or more people) to encourage you and support you on your journey.

Writing is, at its heart, a solitary profession. One person sits and writes. No hanging out by the coffee pot for a chat, no popping into the lunchroom to sing happy birthday to a co-worker, no charts with the betting pool for a current sporting event in the break room.

One person. A computer (or note pad or typewriter – but that last one is pretty rare these days!).

But it doesn’t have to be that way, not any more. While of course you'll need 'alone' time to write you don't have to be alone while writing.  Facebook groups, twitter hashtags (like #1k1h – one thousand words in one hour) and online sites such as CPseek all are great aides to meet other writers, make friends, and to not feel so alone.

To me, though, the best way to meet people is to enter pitch and query contests. In this regard, not all contests are created equal.  Some are merely send in your pitch and the agent/editor will choose from the submissions. No comments, no notes (but a decent way to get in front of an agent/editor!).

However there are also multi-level contests where first you go through a critique period where other people comment and help, then you resubmit a finished product for the agent/editor round (if you are wondering why I keep saying editor, when a press like Entangled or Carina is involved in a pitch contest it's their editors who are judging the pitches).

These multi-level pitch events are the best place to meet fellow writers. You can read their writings, what they have to contribute to the discussion and get a great feel for who they are and where they are at in their journey. Along side the events there's often a twitter element where you can discuss the different rounds and support each other, which is another great place to hang out and 'meet' people.

Best of all, the hosts of these events are fantastically helpful people. Seriously! Running a pitch event takes a lot of work and coordination, exponentially more so when there are several rounds. You have to be a generous spirit and working to help others to commit that much time and effort to the event.

That's how I found Ink in the Book– I was participating in Operation Agent Ink but ended up pulling out because I got the offer from Crimson Romance on A Matter of Fate! (The good news is she's thinking of running another one over the summer.) Even though I didn't complete the course, she was kind enough to reach out and let me come visit to promote the very book that caused my withdrawal.

This is exactly the type of response I've found repeatedly, and show just how great the online writer community is at supporting each other.

So go out there, don't feel like you have to 'go it alone' as a writer, because you don't!  Find a critique partner, follow your favorite authors on facebook, an indie publisher you like, join a multi-level pitch/query contest.

Get some support, make friends and be sure to have fun!



 Someone is setting death-spells targeting mortals and elf blood alike. With her mentor out of commission, it’s up to half-trained Warder Mona Lisa Kubrek to stop the magic. Despite being told repeatedly her job is to nullify spells and not go after the source, too many people are at risk for her to not track the spell-caster down. Even meeting a sexy half-elf shifter won’t distract her from her goal.

Except Cart Dupree is fully trained and has the team to search for the evildoer, so she’d be stupid to not use his expertise. Stupid is something she can’t afford to be, not with her enemy’s henchmen after her. Later she’ll deal with Cart and his questions about her special abilities and the non-standard training her mentor has given her. Right now, they need to unravel where the magician is, and who he is, before he builds enough power to decimate them all.

First, though, they need to stay alive.

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

Ellie Heller
Stories tingling with romance, magic and suspense


  1. LOL, this worked out GREAT! Thanks so much for having me stop by.

    1. I *loved* having you here. Thanks for sharing:)

  2. I second that, grateful to have a home and be safe. Thoughts with those who've had a difficult week.

  3. I have a lot to be grateful for,no extreme weather either.So many awful things happening in the world.
    Is Anyone There

    1. I know. I feel so blessed to be so protected from the evil.

  4. It sure is great to feel secure in your home. I just came back from a business trip to Cairo and I was SO GLAD to be home! And my sympathies to Boston and Texas residents, too.
    Ellie's right about making awesome connections in the writing community. There's strength in numbers. Friends, CPs, and betas are sometimes the only things that can kept me from becoming unglued. :-)

  5. Writing community is thriving! I know we writers are stereotyped as "introverted beings" but the truth is that we just talk (more) to people like ourselves! A very helpful post and a great blurb too.

    Sania at Embracing Dawn

  6. Thanks Sania and Lexa, and to Ink in the Book for letting me come visit. I'm very glad to be have a safe and secure place to call home.


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