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What About Love? by Kitty Bucholtz

April 9, 2015 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , ,

After six weeks of Lent and the booming joy of Easter, I’ve got love on my mind. Not just the cute, mushy stuff that most of our acquaintances seem to think we write about. 😉 But love with power and strength and purpose, the kind of love that changes people and changes lives.

I’ve been thinking about a sermon I heard recently where the pastor told a story about an elderly woman who was kidnapped and forgave her kidnapper, asking the judge to get the man into a drug rehab program. The pastor said what I often think – I’d like to think I would be that forgiving. But he also said the other thing I think when I hear these stories – I’ll probably never be in a position to know.

So he challenged us to something else. Don’t worry about loving your enemies today. Start with something easier. “How about if this week you just try to love the annoying people in your life?”

And it occurred to me that that just might be harder.

Then he said, “When you get so you can love the annoying people, take a step up and try to love the irritating people.”

Ouch. I think I’d rather try to love the kidnapper. At least I can blame it on the drugs and believe in his potential rehabilitation.

And then I started thinking about my writing. If I can’t personally love the annoying and irritating people I come across on a daily basis, how can I write about people with a dozen layers – no, a hundred layers – of relational emotion? Because that’s who we all are – people with uncountable layers of emotion covering hundreds of different relationships in each of our lives.

Love is the emotion that packs a punch. It’s active. It changes things. It changes people.

Love changes us.

We’re romance writers. But do we love the annoying and irritating people in our lives, let alone our enemies? If not, how can we write about love?

How does the love we write about change the people who read our stories? Does it change them at all? Are we afraid of saying too much? Too little? It takes a double dose of vulnerability to put that kind of love on the page.

We must be fearless.

We are among the bards of our generation. Bards tell tales of heroes, warn of danger, and give people courage. All in a fearlessly entertaining way.

That’s the power of love.

Kitty Bucholtz


Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and Unexpected Superhero are currently available on Amazon. The free short story “Superhero in Disguise” and the new short story “Welcome to Loon Lake” are available wherever ebooks are sold. You can find out about her courses on self-publishing, marketing, and time management for writers at her website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.

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Two-Question Survey on Self-Publishing by Kitty Bucholtz

March 9, 2015 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , ,

Hi friends!

I’ve been learning a lot of new things about growing my reading audience for my fiction, and about improving my online classes on self-publishing and time management for writers. One of those new things is landing pages. Some of you have great web sites where the first page draws you in and gives you a reason to stay. Mine isn’t like that! LOL!

I’m learning how to use LeadPages and the AWeber email system to create pages to give away cool stuff (called a first impression incentive) and get people to sign up for my email list. Here is the link to my first ever landing page on my brand new site, Writer Entrepreneur Guides.

I’ll be using that site to teach my classes instead of using Yahoo Groups. (Can I hear an Amen?!) And I’ll be interviewing all kinds of people in our industry to give information and advice to writers who are thinking about or just beginning to self-publish. I’m really excited about this!

The other new thing I’m learning is how to find out what people really want to know about the subject you’re teaching. One of the best ways is to ask them an open-ended question about it, and then use the second question to see how serious they are about learning more. Apparently, the psychology is that if someone is willing to give you a phone number to contact them to ask more – and we all know how much we don’t want to be called by sales people! – that shows how serious they are, and they might be someone who would want to take your class. (You don’t actually call them; it’s only to find out how serious they are about getting the answer to the first question.)

Pretty neat stuff, huh? I hope some of you find it interesting if I share more of what I learn as I blog here on the 9th of every month. One hand reaching forward, one hand reaching back, right? 🙂

If you are interested in self-publishing or just beginning your journey, will you do me a favor and fill out my survey? (The other cool thing I learned is how to embed it directly into a blog post! If it doesn’t work, you can get to the survey here.) It will help me make my classes better for future students. (I’ll be teaching my self-publishing class again next month!)

And be sure to either click on the Writer Entrepreneur Guides link now or the one you’ll see after you click the Submit button on the survey, to get my free gift, The 10-Step Checklist to Starting Your Self-Publishing Business. I hope you find it helpful.

Thanks again for taking my survey! I’m excited to make my next class the best one yet!

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick and Unexpected Superhero, and the free short story, “Superhero in Disguise,” are now available at most online retail sites.

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My Highlights of RWA National in New York by Kitty Bucholtz

July 9, 2011 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as

Tessa Dare asked me to write up a little bit about my favorite workshops from last week’s RWA National Conference in New York. She was going to share my thoughts at the meeting so I could be there “virtually.” Thanks, Tessa! For those of you not at the meeting today, I thought I’d share with you here.

I had three favorite workshops at National this year. The first was called “Buy This Book!” It was a 2-hour role-playing workshop with a mock editorial board. Four volunteers (I got to be one of them, thanks to Marianne Donley!) got to pitch their book to a pretend board made up of an actual editor, two agents, and a published author. Other workshop attendees pretended to be other board members – Director of Marketing, Director of Special Sales, Director of Publicity, etc.

The key is that the volunteer pitching her book had to pretend to be the editor who wanted to acquire it, so you had to present your manuscript and answer questions about it in the third person. One woman presented a manuscript called “Karma is a Bitch” and before she’d finished the entire presentation, agents were already fighting over her! It was fun to watch… but a hard act to follow. 🙂 If this workshop was recorded (and there’s a chance it wasn’t), you should listen to the workshop once the CDs come out. There is a lot to learn about how to present your book to a potential agent or editor, and how to help position your book in the market.

My other favorite workshop was also two hours, “How Do You Mend a Broken Scene?” presented by Roxanne St. Claire. Rocki is an excellent speaker and was very passionate about her topic, but she got personal with her writing so it wasn’t taped and her handout isn’t on the CDs. She handed out five scenes she’s written over the years, a first draft of each and the final draft of each. She also told us the notes she was given from her agent or editor, or notes she’d given herself after reading the scene and knowing something wasn’t quite right.

The notes were on things like “emotional opportunities missed,” “hero is acting unheroic,” and “no additional conflict is introduced” in the scene. Then she read through the new version of the scene highlighting the changes she made. Her point was that sometimes she only had to change a few words here and there, and sometimes she did a complete rewrite of the scene. She was trying to show us how to figure out how much needs to be changed in our own scenes depending on the issue that needs to be addressed. If you can attend Rocki’s workshop sometime, I think you’ll all LOVE it!

I got something out of every workshop I attended, bar one. (That one was because the presenter had an emergency and his replacement *read* the speech.) So I still would give the workshops 100% high marks – they were all GREAT. But I am so glad I attended Anna DeStefano’s “After the Show…Key Things to Do AFTER a Writing Conference.” It seems like the sort of thing a newbie should attend, not most of us. But I was so glad I went! It was on the last day and I was absolutely exhausted by that time.

Anna’s point was – how do we take all this positive energy home with us? We’re all excited to be here with our industry peers, learning and networking, but how can we continue to feel so good about our writing life after we get home and we’re alone with our thoughts? The number one thing is to write as soon as you get home; we all know that. That’s the biggest part of our job. (And something we should apply every time we leave our OCC meeting!)

But she had a lot of other suggestions for keeping up the energy including Twitter hash tags like “amwriting” or “wewrite”, making a list of all the contacts you made at the conference, emailing *each of them* to say it was a pleasure to meet them, creating a To Do list but also a DONE list. We can get overwhelmed with how much there is to do to push our careers ahead; we need to take into account how much we’ve accomplished as well. It will help keep up the positive energy.

Anna suggested other kinds of lists and other small things to do that will help us keep the conference energy going at home, but her point was that we need to STAY POSITIVE in all of our forms of communication. This was a great workshop and one worth listening to when you buy the conference CDs.

This was a great conference and I got a LOT out of it. Going to our national conference is far more practical for becoming a better writer than any of the classes I took in my master’s degree. But if you couldn’t go, buy the CDs and listen to them and take notes and then APPLY THE INFORMATION! I can’t wait to see the next batch of OCC books on the bookshelf!

Kitty Bucholtz is a writer and speaker, and a member of Romance Writers of America and Romance Writers of Australia. She co-founded Routines for Writers, a web site dedicated to helping writers write more, and she recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing. You can follow Kitty on her web site or on Twitter at @KittyBucholtz.

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