Friday, January 29, 2010

So, the day didn't start off too well. I had to be up at 5:00 am this morning. Ouch! Then somehow the hairspray 'sprayer' was clogged and instead of spraying my bangs it went straight into my eye. Straight in the eyeball. Really ouch.

But, if you're looking for the best hairspray on the market to keep your 'do looking fab all day long, then this is the brand you need. I'm famous for my spiky locks and this has held my hair in place during gale force winds. Isn't it funny that I want my hair to look like it's been windblown, but yet I use cement glue to keep it from actually being windblown. Oh, well.

Oh. My. Goodness. Run, do not walk to your nearest bookstore, or log on as quickly as possible to and buy "Standing in the Rainbow." It's written by Fannie Flagg, of "Fried Green Tomatoes" fame, and television's "Dick van Dyke Show" and other shows back in the 60's/70's.

It comes with several different covers, so don't be confused.

The above is what my copy looks like.

But this is a cute version as well.

As is this one.

This book is 500 pages long and it only took me a day and a half to read. No skimming paragraphs, no speed reading. I soaked up every single solitary syllable. I didn't want it to end. Ever.

You will laugh out loud and everyone around you will look at you like you've plum lost your mind. But if it this book doesn't just warm your heart then you probably didn't cry at the end of "Ol' Yeller" either and we'll probably have to completely re-think our friendship. (Somehow, I've just never been able to trust anyone that didn't cry at poor 'Ol Yeller''s demise)

Everything has been pretty quiet at the "Truitt Ranch" which is exactly the way we like it. Here's hoping everyone has a great weekend.

What will I be doing? Well, tonight my daughter and son-in-law will be going to the 'Caps' hockey game. Wait. 'Caps' is the name of the hockey team, isn't it? Has to be. Redskins is the Football team, Nationals is the Baseball team...and Wizards is the Basketball team, so yep. That's right. They're going to see the 'Caps' tonight. Which means, somebody has to watch Sophia. And I am that somebody. Woo-hoo!

"Please, suh...may I have some more?"

Voted "Mostly Likely to Wear a Silly Hat"

So, while maybe the day didn't start off too well, it looks like it's going to end just right.

And I'll have plenty of time for that runaway hairspray to work it's way out of my eyes because trust me, watching Sophia means 'no sleep'. At all. Not even a little. This kid is a chip of the old block. Her mother never needed a wink of sleep, and neither did her Uncle Will (pictured above).

Watch the weather channel tonight and if you're gonna be snowed in then high-tail it to your nearest bookstore and buy my suggested read. Then let me know what you think!

Love ya!!


Friday, January 22, 2010

I write therefore I am...

The past couple of days I've done nothing but read. As soon as I pushed the 'send' button to forward my manuscript back to Jaime ('editor' Jaime, not 'movie' Jamie) I went straight to the nearest bookstore and purchased two novels.

Lori Patton

"Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter" by Lori Patton is a humorous, easy, fast read. The plot, in a nutshell, revolves around a Memphis belle and her adventures when her husband uproots the family to buy a Bed and Breakfast/Restaurant in Vermont. Yes, Vermont! I read this book in one evening. I couldn't put it down. This book is nothing but pure charm.

Right now I am devouring Madeleine L'Engles "The Small Rain." Oh, how I wish I was her.

Her children's book "A Wrinkle In Time" is a true classic and a delight for all ages. Those of you that love Victoria Magazine will remember Ms. L'Engle as "Writer in Residence" back in the early 90's.

"The Small Rain" is a true piece of classic literature. Pure art.

Ms L'Engle was once quoted as saying, "I write for me."

Whether you're a blogger or an aspiring author know what you're writing style is. Know who you are and write for yourself. (Vampire books are the hottest tickets on the market. I mean, these types of books are selling like hot cake, but I wouldn' t know the first thing about writing one.)

I've had to struggle with this on my blog.

I see several that receive no less than 20 or 30 comments daily and I look at myself with usually about 10 or so (not counting the 15-20, I get on facebook as my blog is connected). The most popular musings in the blogosphere seem to be about clothing, home decorating, debating whether we're 'waspy' or 'preppy', city or country, Democrat or Republican. My friends will tell you that I am an absolute clotheshorse. I'm also a serial decorator, a descendant of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington's family (preppy isn't exactly what I would called the Dandridges), and a definite country girl Republican. Yet, I can't picture myself writing about any one of these subjects exclusively. (Good grief, especially not the politics).

So, Kathie, how do I know what my style is?

I, personally, surround myself with lots of critics. People who care not one iota if I scream, cry and stomp my foot. I also have a couple of what I call 'cold readers.' They'll read my manuscript make notes, tell me what they like, don't like, what does or does not make sense. Don't see your critics as 'joy stealers'. Ask what they like and don't like about your writing. What can you do better? Why don't they like it? Why do they like? Do NOT pick people that will tell you what you want to hear. You really and truly must leave your pride at the door.

Take a class. A lot of the colleges have single creative writing classes that you can sign up for. I believe there are some on line which is what this girl is getting ready to do. Writing has to be a passion. If it's yours then you'll do whatever it takes to improve.

Until next time,


Friday, January 15, 2010

Whew! Finished..My

My edits were not only done on time, but done a day early. That was stressful. There were times I even had heart palpitations but I did it.
Now my sweet editor, Jaime, bless her heart, does her 'thang' to make me look like a real writer.
Next, I believe is when the art department works on my book cover. I haven't a clue as to what that entails, but you can bet your bottom dollar I'll let you know.
And another bit of juicy news? I got a note from the movie producer, who coincidentally is also named Jamie - I know, confusing, huh? - and the book is one step closer to 'the Movie'.
Here's how that works. My publicist talked to several producers. They all (4 different ones) asked to read the manuscript. Jamie was the first one to get back to me. She loved it. So, she pitched it to someone at, if you're one of my Facebook friends, you-know-where. She read it and liked and wants to do the movie. So now she will take it before the 'decision makers' that decide what movies will be made for that particular season. I am one step away from the movie.It's a waiting game to see if we make the cut. (Jamie, producer, not editor,) says that this process usually takes a long time. I can wait.
It's all overwhelming right now.
The book is happening and I have to prepare myself for that first. The movie may or may not happen. Of course, the movie is my ultimate goal. But if it doesn't? Hey, I think it's pretty cool to have someone think I've written a story that's compelling enough to even be considered.
Just a bit longer. Not yet. But when this book is released I will be able to tell you everything you want to know about those dark terrifying days that brought the book to fruition.
To those of you new to reading Hillbilly Debutante, that above line won't mean much. But to those of you who have followed me from the beginning, those of you who know about the woman that stalked not only me, but my little boy, and the terror that went with it, you have been patient for over 2 years. I know you are so ready to ask questions and know exactly what happened.
Some of you have e-mailed me privately about your own horror stories. Be patient a bit longer. I'll tell you everything. I promise I won't hold anything back. I'll even tell you things that didn't make the cut for the book.
And hey, I can't begin to tell you how much your support has meant to me for the past 2 years. Really.
Until next time,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Let's talk about editing.

First of all if you're not an aspriting writer, this post will complete bore you. So, consider yourself warned if you choose to keep reading past this point.

Jaime is my editor and new BFF. I'll explain later.

Right now I want to tell you what to expect when you get your manuscript back from the editor.

I can't speak for other editors, but Jaime is very organized. She color coordinates her changes. Gray means to delete, yellow is change wording, etc. etc. turquoise with a hint of yellow with cream around the edges means...etc etc. (yes, I'm joking about the 'pink with a hint of yellow'...)

I was pretty fortunate in the fact that I didn't have a lot of grammatical/spelling issues to deal with. Yes, I'm bragging. I'm a hillbilly, southern girl, and sometimes people just don't understand my euphemisms.

For example:

"Hot doggie on a rock!" means "Oh, my goodness! I'm so thrilled that..... I just won $50 on Scratch Off", or ...."that I just bought that Lily Pulitzer dress for 20% off"...or ..."we're having lunch at the Country Club with the Winslows on Saturday."(feel free to insert your own)

Okay, I'm getting off the beaten path, aren't I? So...back to what happens when you get your manuscript back from the editor.

You are expected to make those changes within a certain amount of time. I have 15 days. Scary, huh? While I didn't have many of the issues I talked about above, there were some other things she wanted me to change or add to. See! If Jaime were reading this, she'd scratch out the 'to' at the end of this sentence. Once hillbilly language.

Which brings me to the final point of why my editor, Jaime, is my new best friend forever.

Because I am not as good as I think I am. Nor will I ever be. Ever.

If you're going to be a writer - hey, I'm talking to myself here as much as I am to you - you have to get over yourself. It's a craft you hone for the rest of your life. You never really 'arrive.'

MORAL: Don't ever think for a minute you can do this without an editor! Even if you are going to self-publish, hire an editor! I've read two books that had great plots, but the execution of both plots was absolutely awful! I was embarrassed for the authors. I don't have to like a book to appreciate it. But these were grammatical, punctuation, and (GASP!!!) spelling errors. Almost every book will have some kind of error, but these? They were incredibly obvious...i.e. instead of "Come on!", it was "Common." "Noveau Riche" was spelled "Novo rich". Once again, I was really embarrassed.

A good editor may do all your re-writes and changes for you. But a great editor points out what is wrong as well as right about your project. A great editor will discuss ways and ideas for you to to make your story compelling and entertaining in ways you never imagined.

I didn't think I had anything else to give to "False Victim." Wrong.

With Jaime I feel I'm being challenged to dig even deeper into my creative energy. I really felt like my creative well, on this plot, had run dry. Not so. That, my friends, is the type of person you want for an editor. Someone that make you achieve what you thought was unachievable.

Until next time....


P.S. It is easy to become so engrossed in your project to neglect yourself. As a result I won't even tell you how much weight I've gained (boo-hoo!). But it's important that you not sit all day. Get up. Move around. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Better yet, ride a horse!