For the first time, I wasn’t chosen last!

imageWhen D.G. Kaye (aka the wonderful Debby Gies) asked me if I’d be the first in her new Friday authors and books series, it was just just like when Ricky Overbite chose me first for kickball, or Sarah Getlost asked me to the Sadie Hawkins dance, or Mrs. Flunkem requested I say the Pledge of Alliegence in front of the classroom: I said, “Weeeellll, let me think about it.”

That’s usually when someone snapped their fingers in my face, breaking me out of my daydream to realize I was either the only one who hadn’t been picked for a team, was dancing with the janitor’s broom after the dance or had actually worn my pajamas to school just like in the nightmare.

So, needless to say, when Debby asked me to be her guest today to kick off her new Friday series, I said “OhHeckYes!”

If you aren’t familiar with Debby, you probably need to get out more. She’s the author of several books, a tireless supporter and inspirer of authors, and a gifted humor and memoir writer.

I’m very honored to be her debut guest and hope you’ll join me over at her place, where she asked me a lot of terrific questions that, in some cases, may have been even more interesting than my answers.

To hop over there, just click HERE! (No, not HERE. Back there where it says HERE)

 

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More writing wisdom you won’t actually find in my book

imageWith my new book coming out in little more than a month, it seemed like a good time for another sneak peak at a passage of writing wisdom that isn’t actually in it.

That’s right! If you like what you read here, there’s more where that came from!

Just not in my book.

You may be asking, “Why is he even doing this?”

I know my publisher is.

My hope is that you’ll read what I didn’t include in my book and think to yourself, “Man! If this is the kind of stuff he left out, imagine how much he must be kicking himself for the @#%& he left in!”

Or something like that.

Anyway, as I wait for the final edit to arrive, here’s an excerpt I didn’t include for one reason (beer) or another (vodka)  — but which I wanted to share with you because, as writers, we all need a little encouragement sometimes…  Continue reading

If you’re a writer without a rejection letter, you’re doing something wrong

imageI have a file full of rejection notes and letters from editors and publishing houses. Many are for my column when I was first starting out.

Others are in response to a murder mystery I wrote back in the late 1990s.

And one is from Miss October 1978.

In spite of the negative connotation a rejection letter conjures up in the mind of most authors — fine, every author — don’t overlook the more important aspects of what it represents.

To begin with, it means you’ve completed a written work. Given a choice between writing a 500-word essay or being tased in the buttocks, the average person would rather drop their pants than pick up a pen. The fact that you aren’t rubbing a bruised rear means you are a writer (Depending on your genre, of course). No number of rejection letters changes that. Regardless of whether its a 400-page novel or an 800-word opinion piece, you have honed and polished your words to the point you are ready to send it out to the world, either in the form of sample chapters, a query or by pushing the “publish” button on your blog or website.  Continue reading