Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blog Will Resume Around January 1

Dear Readers: A new website is being built and, good news for anyone who missed it, this blog will be restarted around January 1. I am having it designed by a team in Santa Monica which intends to surprise me. See you soon,Catherine

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Beginning

The story of this picture: These are the Guilty Pleasures authors, the Doves, my writing group from 2000 to 2007. We got a book accepted in 2002 and published in spring 2003. In August of 2002 we had a group author photo taken. We fooled around with all sorts of different "guilty pleasures" props (tiaras, etc.) and were inexperienced enough to choose as our jacket photo a more serious one than

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pseudonym! Gesundheit!

One Halloween when I was in grad school, I borrowed a suit and tie, glued on a mustache and went about disguised as a man. What fun that evening was! What power I felt! What confidence! So different to feel sure that the whole street was mine, instead of feeling that muggers and harassers owned it. The whole world was mine! (Because of the double takes I got, I know I looked at least somewhat

Friday, September 24, 2010

Invisible Writers

For the past seven weeks I've been reviewing online horoscopes twice a week and posting reviews -- 20 of them now -- that have been read over 2,000 times. I'm an astrology student from way back, and one day started doing this both to write and to perform a public service. I exposed two fake astrologers and dug up the truth for two others, honest and sincere people who had no idea how their work

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Touring a Bookstore

Every writer should tour a bookstore in the company of a manager. Did this yesterday for a class. The manager had 24 years' experience in the business. Bookstore facts:A new book's lifespan on the displays "up front" is seven to 21 days. The book then moves to "the stacks" or regular shelving.A new book's lifespan in the stacks is 90 days.After 90 days the bookstore and publisher begin the

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Girls and Goals

I asked a classroom of adult women writers what their writing goals were. They all said, more or less, "I'd like to publish a book one day.""Great," I said. "Why do you want to publish? To make money? For fame? To leave a mark on the world?""Just for my own personal satisfaction," was the response, and everyone nodded. "Just to know that someone else, one publisher, thought my writing was good.""

Paid at Last

Is it a coincidence that the same day the blog below appeared, complaining of an account gone 12 weeks unpaid, that I received an email from the account in question, saying sorry for the delay but the check was on its way? It arrived in the next day's mail. All settled now.This teaches me: Don't give up!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stiffed at Last

Since 2000 people have asked me to edit their manuscripts, both people I knew and those I didn't, and unless it was clearly a long and massive job, I did not bother to ask for money up front.Then I was asked to spend half an hour on a manuscript sample I found so sorely in need of editing, formatting, and fact-checking that correcting the first two and a half pages took up the whole thirty

Sunday, September 12, 2010

You Never Know...

When the money or spirit gets low I begin to lose my trust in the universe or whatever gave me the desire to write and some talent. I know it does not give these things and then fail to support you. But things bottomed out about a week ago: Unpleasant bills and notices arrived. My Internet was down for four days. Doctor visits left my arms tracked up like a junkie's. I was draggin' my wagon (and

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reaching a Balance

As writers, our work can go on all day, all night. Always something to revise, send out, work on, create, prepare, organize. Always the research, meetings, workshops, deadlines. I have a great work ethic. And this is work I like to do.This summer my mind rebelled. It wanted to see friends, have a glass of wine, go fishing, cook an elaborate recipe, watch stupid TV, shop, go on a date.I said to it

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is It the Readings, Or Is It Me?

Went to a reading, enjoyed parts of it and have analyzed what I enjoyed. I liked a well-told story, which let me ride a rollercoaster of emotions, such as tension, pity, triumph, and "oh no, not that," all in various shades and tints. If there was a story, I dug it. If there was humor, I dug it. If it was a descriptive passage or a scene instead of a full story, or was emotionally monotoned, or

Friday, August 27, 2010

An Alternative to "Readings," Anyone?

I remember a "reading" at a glittering hall rented for the occasion, set with 150 chairs. $35 per person included the distinguished writer's new book, and cocktails, and shrimp on ice. There were 20 attendees. We circled through the echoing hall, all embarrassed for the distinguished writer (a personal friend) and trying to be more people than we were.Where did it go wrong, the "reading"?