Friday Morning FYI – 8/19/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (holy-crap-how-is-it-Tuesday-already? edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Now I’m really pushing how late I can post something labeled with a day of the week from which we’re four days removed. *shrug*

This morning, I noticed the lady standing to my left on the Path was reading a printed manuscript. How do I know it was a manuscript? As someone who’s taken the time to learn proper formatting for submissions, I know MS formatting, and recognized the upper-right header (book title, page number, author name). Curious, I pointed to the page and asked if it was hers? She smiled, answered ‘no’, and said she worked for a publisher. I then told her I write, and asked if the MS was any good. “It’s high fantasy, which isn’t my thing, but it’s very well written.” I apologized for bothering her, to which she replied ‘No problem,’ and we went back to doing our own things. That thirty second exchange leads us to this week’s FYI:

To seize opportunities, preparedness is key. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to talk to someone, provide advice or answers, etc. Knowing how to format a manuscript is important when submitting your work to agents and publishers,  but it also allowed me to recognize someone working in an industry I’m trying to break into. Nothing came of it because I’m not a pushy lout, and she and I will most-likely never see each other again, but what if after I’d told her I write she’d asked what genre and the conversation continued? Stuff like that is rare, but anything can happen.

Learning how your industry works is the best way to be ready when important moments arise. At the very least, you’ll know you’re doing everything right.


Thanks for reading,


PS – No, I’m not saying writers should ride the trains all day looking for anyone holding a printed page and attempt to land a publishing contract. Normal human decency always applies.

Observations and Thoughts on #WDC16

This past weekend, I attended the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City. It was my third WDC in a row, and I’ve enjoyed them all. I plan on attending next year as well, as I’ve learned something from each one. You can read my impressions of the previous two here and here.

I think I’ll start with a review of the three sessions I loved (yes, there are sessions you attend and don’t like for one reason or another, but I’m not going to hammer anyone (even though a few deserve it)), and then wrap up with some general observations. Long post ahead, so get comfy (or scroll to the bottom for the tl;dnr version).

Continue reading “Observations and Thoughts on #WDC16”

Friday Morning FYI – 12/11/2015

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

This week’s (long’ish-and-hastily-written-before-a-five-hour-drive) FYI is about daring:

Last week I wrote about a friend launching a book. I provided a few hints about the novel’s contents, and recommended you check it out. What I didn’t note was the book is self-published. I’m bringing that up because it’s important to understand how daring a thing that is – or more accurately, how daring my friend is for doing it the way she did. She hired a team, invested her time and money, and has done (and is doing) everything right to position herself for success. It’s not what I would have done, but while attending her launch event last night, I saw it was the right choice for her at this point in her evolution as a professional writer.

Where am I going with this? Just to note that in a world (profession, industry, sport, etc.) where everyone wants to tell you how things are done, you have to decide for yourself the best way to go. If you forget that, look to the people around you for a reminder.


Thanks for reading,


Friday Morning FYI – 12/4/2015

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

This week’s FYI is neither observation nor rant nor wisdom, but instead a celebration:

A friend has launched a book! It’s all space-opera-y and genocide-y and romance-y and pew!-pew!-y. You should check it out 🙂



Thanks for reading,


Thoughts on #WDC15 (Writer’s Digest Conference 2015)

WDC2014 was the first writer’s conference I’d ever attended. I learned so much, including how not-ready my first book was for shopping (me shopping it to agents, not the book going out to buy shoes, or something), met some of the most creative/dedicated/fun people, and left feeling like a member of a supportive community. So to say I was looking forward to WDC2015 is a whale of an understatement. I couldn’t wait to get there, and spent the previous week daydreaming about experiencing the same incredible vibe I’d gotten the year before.

But after an hour at WDC2015, I knew that wouldn’t be the case.

Dramatic Cat

Continue reading “Thoughts on #WDC15 (Writer’s Digest Conference 2015)”