Tag Archives: Hugs and Chocolate

What Do You Want to Know About Publishing? by Heather L. Reid

It’s Personal: What Do You Want to Know About Publishing?

by Heather L. Reid

When I asked Karen what she wanted me to tackle for my guest post today, she said, “Give me something that will help others.” That sounds easy enough, right?

I’ve been through the trenches and come out with a two-book publishing deal. I should have the answer. Sage advice should spring from my fingers and onto the page. I must possess some magic knowledge that will help others get from aspiring writer to professional, right?

It’s not that simple. My knowledge revolves around my experience, my journey, what worked for me. (You can read about how I landed my two-book deal here.)

Truth is, every bit of practical wisdom I thought to impart has been rehashed a million times by writers greater than me and would only help those who were seeking the answer to that particular question. There’s plenty of practical knowledge I could have chosen to blog about, but how do I know if any of it will help you? How do I know which bit of wisdom you need to hear today?

Each of you have different needs, different questions you want answered, personal to your journey and personal to you. What inspires you might be different than what inspires me. What’s helpful to one person might be repetitive for someone else.

Maybe you’re new to writing and have questions about basics. Or you might be in query hell, fed up with rejections and if one more person gives you query advice you might punch them in the nose. On the other hand, maybe you’re debating pros and cons of traditional publishing verses self-publishing. Maybe you’re struggling with revisions, characterization, plotting, time management, or wondering if you should give up on your dream. Maybe you need to hear a success story to give you hope.

So what do I have to offer today? Me, for what it’s worth. What would help you? What do you want to know about the process, about publishing, about my journey, or about me?

Have a question about queries?

Want to know what life is like post book deal?

How long it took me to get published?

What men wear under their kilts?

How to write great dialogue?

Want my recipe for stuffed peppers?

Where the idea for Pretty Dark Nothing came from?

How to balance a job and publishing deadlines?

Why I’m a Joss Whedon fan and still grieve over the cancellation of Firefly?

Don’t be shy. Ask me anything. Seriously. I’m not a vampire, I don’t bite.

***

Heather L. Reid eats mayonnaise on her fries, loves men in kilts, and met her husband playing Star Wars Galaxies online. This native Texan now lives with her Scottish hubby in South Ayrshire, Scotland, where she wanders the moors in search of William Wallace. She has been a guest blogger on Writer Unboxed and is founder of a new blog for writers Hugs and Chocolate. Her debut young adult Paranormal,PRETTY DARK NOTHING, will be released on April 23, 2013 by Month 9 Books. She loves to meet and help other writers and readers so feel free to say hello via her website, Twitter, FB, and Goodreads.

21 Comments

Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Publishing

The Goblin Theory: A Bedtime Story for Naughty Children, by Tonia Marie Harris

Annie was a good girl who did wicked things.

She teased her baby sister when no one watched.

She stole the peanut brittle and hid it under her pillow.  Nightmares and a tummy ache made her confess to that one.  She did not need a horrible witch, like the one from Hansel and Gretel, coming for her.

Annie had enough worries for one nine-year old girl, thank you very much.

She blamed it on the Goblin.

He was worse than the witch, and he visited her night after night.

He smiled his smile full of pointed teeth and snorted from his green snout.  When Annie would sneak peeks at him in the long nights, he would cross his arms and sneer.  He didn’t speak, but Annie always knew why he came for her.

She never saw him in the daylight hours, but he knew every wicked thing she did.  He had a list, and it grew longer every night.  This made her tremble, and one night she wet the bed.

That night was the worst.  She called out for her mother, who scolded her and said things like, “You’re a big girl now, Annie.  There’s nothing there.  It’s only shadows.”  But once she turned the lights back off, Annie screamed and cried.

Mrs. James took pity on her oldest daughter, and nestled in bed with her.  She promptly fell asleep.

Annie opened one eye, and there he was.  “Mom, look, there he is.”

But when her mother turned to her, Annie could not see her face.  She spoke, but her words were garbled, like she talked over a mouthful of food.  Her mother never talked with her mouth full.

The goblin only leered at her, and Annie knew he was her secret, and she could never tell her secret to anyone, or he would hurt them.

Annie choked back her sobs, and willed that very long night to end.

To her great relief, her mother woke up with her face back on in the morning.  Annie told her mother she looked very beautiful and hugged her hard.  She meant every word she said.

But as hard as she tried, she always wound up in trouble.  Even for the accidents, like dropping her baby sister on her head, or when she not on purpose flushed her Barbie’s head down the toilet.  Annie always wanted to see what would happen next.  Her father explained it was cause and effect.

Annie believed she understood this theory very well.  Her bad deeds were the cause and the Goblin was the effect.

Each time she broke a rule, the goblin knew.

His list grew so long it curled and unfurled around him.  It made Annie’s heart sink.  She came to fear the list more than she did the goblin.

One night, she decided to be brave.  She thought her father brave, so she pretended to be him.  She stood up from the bed, and knelt in front of him.  He was very short, and it felt rude to tower over him like a grown up.  After all, he was the goblin with the list of all her wickedness, and she was only a little girl.

“What are you going to do with that list, Goblin?”  She said in her deepest voice.

The goblin did not answer, he tapped his helmet with his spear and shook the list so it hissed and rattled like a hungry snake.

Annie knew she would have to do her best to be good, and wait.

And she had an idea, which became a theory.  She did not like to be a scared little girl, who ducked under the covers at night and wet the bed once or twice because the goblin looked as though he would like to eat her.  From this theory, she formed a plan.

The next day she did not break a single rule, and did not pinch her sister, not even once.

She went to bed with a smile and hugged herself tight.  When her father shut the
door, and forgot to turn on the night-light, she did not complain.  The goblin did not pay her a visit that night, or the next.

But Annie did not know how long she could keep up being good.  She discovered that being good bored her near to tears, and she had big plans that did not include goblins with red eyes who wore funny hats.

The list was the worst.  That dreadful, dreary, devilish list, she hated it so, and never wanted to see it again.  She knew the Goblin would leave it just where her parents would find it.  Really, she loved her beautiful mother and her brave father, but they did not have to know everything:

Each pinch and each poke

The things that she broke

Every little lie

And the time she threw the cat from the window.

Just to watch him fly.

She thought the cat had been a good lesson.  They do not always land on their feet, sometimes they land on their heads.

After a long week of being good, Annie woke up ornery, cantankerous, and foul.  She decided she had enough.  Today was the day to do what she did best.  The Goblin would come tonight, and she knew just what to do with him.

Annie started the day by knocking the baby’s milk across the table and ended it by feeding crayons to the dog.  When the dog yarked green and purple on the rug, her parents sighed and put her to bed.

She went to bed feeling a little sorry for her mother.  It had been a long and busy day.  But she went to bed with a smile on her face.

The Goblin did not stand in the corner, as it had other nights.  It came right up to her bed, the list trailing and slithering around his clubbed feet.  Annie felt no fear, she had a theory.

When the Goblin shoved the list in her face, Annie opened her mouth and took a big bite.  It was the most delicious thing she had ever tasted.  The goblin stared, his mouth hung in an o, and green drool glimmered on his pointed teeth.  But he didn’t fight her, so Annie chewed and swallowed the entire list.

Cotton candy.  Apple pie a la mode.  Chocolate cake.

When she was done, she covered a burp with her hand and congratulated herself on being lady like.

The goblin yelled, stomped his club feet, and threw a tantrum better than her very worst.  She could not understand a word.

“I’m bigger than you.”  She stood up and grabbed the goblin, which shook and shivered with fear.

Annie wanted to know what he tasted like.

He tasted better than he smelled, like green apples ripe with sunshine.

She wiped her mouth with the sleeve of her nightgown and tucked herself back into bed.  The little girl decided the best feeling in the world was not being afraid anymore.

The next morning, she woke up with a belly ache that did not go away for days.  But she did not complain and thanked her mother for taking care of her.  When her mother left, she checked under her bed for her new treasures.

Annie picked up the goblin’s felt hat and pointed shoes, not a trace of the goblin to be found on them.  She put the cap on her head, and went to her mirror.  Though her belly hurt and her mouth felt sweet and sticky like a jelly bean, she was satisfied.

Annie was a wicked girl, who wanted to be good.

***

Tonia Marie Harris is a mother, writer, poet, and blogger who procrastinates in her spare time. She  is currently editing a young adult ghost story. Chocolate is her kryptonite. You can find Tonia at Hugs and Chocolate for writers, her blog PassionFind, Twitter, and Facebook.

22 Comments

Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Special Events

DIY Editing and Proofreading, Part II on Hugs and Chocolate

I’m on the Hugs and Chocolate blog today with the second part of a two-part blog, DIY Editing and Proofreading.

Click here for Part II of the DIY Editing and Proofreading.

In case you missed it, here is Part I of the DIY Editing and Proofreading blog post on Hugs and Chocolate.

Give-away!

Make a comment on the Part II blog post on Hugs and Chocolate by Friday, October 5, and you will be entered in a random drawing to win one of the following (your choice) from me: 1) Free six-page edit/proofread, any project, double-spaced text, 2) Free website review and critique, or 3) Free FB Fan Page review and critique.

There are six fine and gracious writers over at Hugs and Chocolate, all of them with their own writing blogs –

Heather L. Reid

Courtney Koschel

Tonia Marie Harris

Jamie Raintree
Jani Grey

Rebecca Fields

If you like the bug photos on these two guest blogs, check out Gwen Dubeau’s photo website. Click this link to see Gwen’s poetry blog.

*** Please note: I am experiencing internet connection problems – I am on borrowed WiFi right now. My “service provider” will not get to me for 3-5 days. So, responses to any comments will be delayed.

1 Comment

Filed under Editing & Proofreading, My Guest Posts

Editing and Proofreading Two-Pack on Hugs and Chocolate

I’m over at the Hugs and Chocolate blog today with the first part of a two-part blog on Editing and Proofreading.

Click on over why don’t cha? Here’s the link for the post on Hugs and Chocolate.

Part II of my Editing and Proofreading Two Pack will be posted on Wednesday, October 3.

If you’re in a clicking mood, try the individual blogs for the fine ladies (writers all!) that make up Hugs and Chocolate: Heather L. Reid, Courtney Koschel, Tonia Marie Harris, Jamie Raintree, Jani Grey, and Rebecca Fields.

Please also take a moment to make note of the photos on the blog at H&C – by Gwen Dubeau. You can see more of Gwen’s photos here. Click this link to see Gwen’s poetry blog.

Photo here by “aophotos” via Morguefile.

4 Comments

Filed under Editing & Proofreading, My Guest Posts