Tag: CyberTalk

Home > ArchivesTag: CyberTalk


March 7, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

with Gina Black

It’s appropriate that I, who once considered cyberspace to be my home-away-from-home, have been enlisted . . . er . . . I mean invited to create a monthly blog on the topic. It’s true, I spend hours a day clicking and typing my way from one URL to the next, compulsively checking my email, and monitoring the RSS feeds for my favorite blogs. I’ve forgotten how to shop at brick and mortar (or steel and stucco) stores.

How did shopping get into this?

What I mean to say is that I can find my way from one end of cyberspace to the other even though I still get lost going from place to place. We all have our favorite internet haunts, so I thought I’d start out by sharing some of mine with you.

I usually start out the day reading blogs of all sorts. I’ll trip from Et in arcaedia, ego. (Jennifer Jackson agent at Donald Maass), to Miss Snark, The Rejector, Lit Agent X (Rachel Vater with Lowenstein-Yost Associates), Agent Obscura (Nadia Cornier of Firebrand Literary), Agent in the Middle (Lori Perkins), LIT SOUP (agent Jenny Rappaport who works with Lori Perkins), Anna Louise Genoese (our favorite editor at Tor), Bookends Agency (where agent Jessica Faust does most of the blogging), Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, the Knight Agency, Writing and Rambling (agent Nephele Tempest of The Knight Agency), and Pub Rants (literary agent Kristen Nelson). Not all of them represent romance, but I’ve learned plenty just by hanging out.

I’d probably stop by the Crusie Mayer Writing Workshop to see what the topic is at hand. And then I’d, no doubt, look up at my clock, swear soundly and start dashing around because, as usual, I’d be late for work.

Which you probably are too if you’ve accompanied me on my visits today.

What I’m hoping you’ll do once you’ve read this, is post in the comments any cyber-related questions you have so I can answer them in an upcoming blog. No matter how silly or small, feel free to ask away. You can query me on the tough stuff too, I promise to get answers.

And before long you’ll be able to tell your FTP from your IP, so stay tuned . . .

Somehow Gina manages to work some writing time in around her internet forays. Last year her first book, a historical romance, was an American Title II finalist. She’s currently working on a young adult with light paranormal elements. Most days you can find her blogging on The Gina Channel.

And yes, her computer screen really has burned itself into her glasses.

0 0 Read more

Advice from a Contest Diva

September 18, 2005 by in category Archives tagged as ,

I entered my first contest in 1999 and finaled, ultimately placing last in my category. Even though I didn’t enter again for a few years, I was hooked. In the past three years I’ve entered more contests than I’d like to count, finaled in enough to be proud of, received editor requests, made friends with other contest divas, and had my hopes crushed many times.

Contests are a fun ride, they’re nerve wracking, and aggravating–sometimes all together. Are they worth the time, trouble, and expense?

Absolutely. You get used to sending your work out. You develop tougher skin by learning how to take criticism–even when it’s wrong. And sometimes you get comments that are tremendously helpful.

If you final, it’s an opportunity to get your work in front of an editor. Not all contests provide editorial feedback, but at the very least, by their placement, you see how the editor responds to your work. Editors do request partial and full manuscripts off contests. And, sometimes they buy them.

Okay, now that you’re interested, let’s talk strategy. Not all contests are created equal. Some are just for the first few pages, some are for fifty-five pages (including synopsis), and some are just for queries or a first kiss. You have to decide where your work fits best, and what you want to get out of it.

Some contests are more prestigious than others: the Golden Heart (of course), the Emily, the Maggie, and our own Orange Rose.

Targeting the final judge is often a good idea. Are you aiming for a particular judge from Harlequin or Pocket or Avon? Some contests only use published authors for their preliminary judges, like the Orange Rose and the Maggie.

Should your manuscript be complete before entering a contest? Heavens no! Of course, if you win and get a request, you might wish it was, but if you are entering for feedback it’s best not to have completed the manuscript first.

Do all contests cost money? Actually, no. There are writing contests run on websites, and there are writing contests run by publishers, like the Delacorte YA Contest and Harlequin for their new Epic line.

More strategy: some contest websites have the score sheet you can download. If it has high points for the h/h meeting in the first chapter and yours don’t, that’s probably not the right contest for that particular story.

There are so many contests to choose from! These days almost every RWA chapter has one. Many of them are listed in the RWR. There are also two contest loops you can join. My favorite is Donna Caubarreaux’s Contest Alert and it’s accompanying website Diva’s with Tiaras. Every year Donna keeps track of contest finals and wins and three top achievers get a tiara! (Bring your own boa). To sign up for her contest loop send a blank email to ContestAlert-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. RWA also has a contest loop. To join send a blank email to rwacontests-subscribe@yahoogroups.com (you have to be a member of RWAalert to join).

I picked this topic because on October 8, OCC will be celebrating its 24th Annual Birthday Bash. The Orange Rose winners (both pubbed and unpubbed) will be announced. Along with nine talented writers (three of whom are my OCC sisters), I’m a finalist in the unpubbed contest. Wish us all the best! We’re really all winners, because we’re writing and getting our work out there. Bottom line, that’s what this is all about.

Gina Black

0 0 Read more

Unconventional Wisdom

September 18, 2005 by in category Archives tagged as , ,


Posts from Our Archives | A Slice of Orange

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the advice “give yourself permission to write crap.” I always thought it was good advice until tonight when I really thought about it. I realized I don’t want to write crap. Ever. So, why should I need permission to write it? How easy for that permission become a self-fulfilling prophecy, eh?

So, how ’bout I never do that because I want to write brilliant stories that edify the human condition and make people laugh and cry. What if I gave myself permission to write those instead? Would I be more likely to live up to that?

I bet I would. For one thing, there’s power in positive thinking. For another, it becomes an affirmation. Who would want an affirmation about writing crap? Exactly!

I know the advice-givers don’t really think they’re being negative, they think their advice is freeing. That after the crap comes out, the good stuff will follow. And perhaps that’s true. But why is it that we feel freed up by the negative? Why can’t we sit down at our keyboards and plan on writing something so excellent our computer breaks out in a smile? Is it somehow easier to write crap?

I think not.

It is, however, easier to see our writing as not measuring up than to see it as fabulous. Writers—especially new ones—often compare their work to that of other writers, even trying to emulate them on occasion. That will never do. Just as we have our own fingerprints and underwear, we have our very own voices. It’s finding that voice by writing and writing and writing some more that our prose becomes brilliant, and it becomes brilliant because it is ours, with our very own vision, issues, and spin on things.

So I challenge you…next time you sit down at the computer to write…oh you’re there now?…in that case, close your browser, boot up your writing program and decide you’re going to write some of the best stuff you’ve ever written. And then do it.

Gina Black

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM