Ten Rules for Query Letters – By MAGGIE STIEFVATER

I stumbled across this post recently while browsing Maggie’s site and thought perhaps some of y’all who are interested in traditional publishing might like to take advantage of her advice.

I completely forgot to post about queries yesterday, after I promised. I realize this makes me a Bad Person and you have my permission to throw Virtual Tomatoes at me now.

Okay, that’s enough.

Here are my thoughts on query letters. Because it’s early and I’ve only had one cup of tea, we’re gonna go with numbers to organize things, because good holy pete, there is nothing like a numbered list to add order to a blog post. So.

1. People overthink queries. Okay, so they are the only thing that an agent or editor might ever see of your work. So they have to embody everything about your personality and your books personality in a single page. So you will get absolutely nowhere if your queries suck, no matter if you’ve written the Great American Novel. Still, people overthink them. And this is why. Because…


A Lil’ Something About Writers’ Block

Everybody gets it now and then and we all have that special place of loathing in our hearts for when our muse just won’t cooperate. I wrote a wee ditty about one such frustrating moment and I’d like to share it with y’all.


What to Study to Become a Writer

I stumbled upon this lovely article by Maggie Stiefvater. It is a common misconception that you have to go through a creative writing program of some sort in school in order to become an author. Well, this isn’t your typical profession and it likely won’t be reached in a typical fashion. But don’t take my word for it; she says it much more eloquently.

A Proper Education

Today, I’m going to answer a question I get asked a lot. Well, I’m going to combine a few variations of it into one blog post. This is the question(s):

1 – “Did you go to school for Creative Writing?”
2 – “Do you have to have a degree in writing to get published?”
3 – “Have you taken classes in writing?”
4 – “Will you be my mentor?”

Continue reading …

They’re Heeeeere

2015-01-09 09.08.42

Woo! I ordered a small stock of my Blood of Midnight: The Broken Prophecy paperbacks from Createspace so I can sell them locally. I hadn’t even taken them out of the box yet and a friend told me to bring one to her house so she could buy it. It seems that most people are still very much attached to the paper-and-ink format of books despite the wonders of ebooks. I sell many more paperbacks than I do electronic copies even though the ebook retails for only 3.00CAD.

Well, I can’t argue. I like the feel and smell of a book in my hands as much as the next guy though if I’m travelling, it’s Kobo or no-go. Readers want what they want and I’m happy to provide.

I had a wonderful 30th birthday celebration. The house was packed with friends playing with Lego, eating pizza and candy, doodling in colouring books, and of course getting in touch with our inner child via alcohol. I like to take the opportunity to have fun and be silly on my birthday. We call them “kidless kid parties” in which we bring together the things that remind us of our youth and forget about responsibility for awhile.

I’d like to share one of the lovely presents I got from my friend Jocelyn.

2015-01-04 17.05.46 2015-01-04 17.06.09

This is a custom-made notebook just for me with a dragon eye on the front and my name on the spine. I didn’t know she had such a talent! It’s so cool. She even gave a tutorial afterwards on how to make one of our own. Soon, the Bonavista Writers’ Circle is going to be all blinged out with our own personal writing books. If this doesn’t inspire me to get writing, I don’t know what will.

Looking Back on 2014 with Poetry

Just a quick scribble here to say “Hi!” and remind y’all that the Review and Renew Writing Challenge is still ongoing over at Jill Jepson’s site. Daily exercises delivered to your inbox to energize your new year of writing.

I puked up a “poem”  for the writing prompt and thought I’d share it with you.


My year of writing was like rusted gears. Still moving, still grinding away, still propelling this busted machine forward, but screaming and flaking and smoking all the way. Exhausted. In need of repair. In need of replacement parts. In need of a break. In need of a new roadmap to tell me where the fuck I’m going. Fuel. Sweet holy fuck I need fuel and better shit than what I’m burning. I got a warning signal flashing and pinging away but I can’t figure out what’s broken. Keep stalling and skidding out of control and I pray to the traffic lights and guard rails that I don’t crash cause I’m fairly sure these airbags don’t work.

I didn’t lose my train of thought. I know exactly where the fuck it is. It jumped track and rolled over into my field of dreams, crushing innocent bystanders. It’s up to the maintenance crew now to put it back together and give ‘er a push so I can get going again. I can’t do this by myself; I’m a terrible mechanic.

Some days, I need a jump-start and some days I need a goddam tow. But I can’t stop ’cause parking is too expensive here. I need a real repair, not a fucking MacGyver. This wreck isn’t gonna be fixed by hanging a new air-freshener on the dash.